What's new: The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association trade show presented more new electronic products than ever this year. Topping the list was the Mares Icon HD dive computer with a full-color, high-resolution screen. It even has a function that displays detailed photos of wrecks and dive-site maps. The Aeris F.10 computer was designed specifically for free divers. Other new items: Navimate, an underwater GPS, promises to deliver precise positioning information over a half-mile area. The Bladefish Diver Propulsion Vehicle is lithium-ion powered and about the size of an angel food cake, yet offers power and duration comparable to DPVs five times its size. The Vindicator scuba tank valve handle indicates if a tank valve is open, closed or between. And the Pocket Buoy is an inflatable dive float and extendable flag that fits into a small pouch.
What's to learn: Dr. Heyward Mathews, founder of the Pinellas County artificial reef program, shared interesting photos and information during a lecture series Tuesday in Clearwater about the many wrecks he has helped deploy in the gulf. His next free presentation, about coral reefs, is at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Mac's Sports in Clearwater. Mathews, an oceanographer, is forming a group of divers to document marine life concentrations on our reefs and wrecks.
Chad Carney teaches diving and spearfishing in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at floridaskindiver.com or (727) 423-7775.