3 Scrumptious Lionfish Dinner Recipes

Posted: 12th February 2015 by admin in Scuba Diving
Lionfishdinner

Winner, Winner, Lionfish Dinner ;)

It isn’t exactly Chilean Sea Bass, but many people like the taste of Lionfish, and there is also a sense of satisfaction that comes along with digesting this horribly invasive species. It’s for the greater good of the ocean, yah know?

Lionfish is a delicate whitefish that readily accepts the flavors it is cooked alongside. It is flaky and firmer than halibut. Some foodies place it somewhere between grouper and mahi mahi. So, now that you know what to expect from this fiesty predator, let’s explore some of the best ways to prepare lionfish.

1. Tempura Lionfish

Ingredients:

Lionfish meat

Salt

Ginger

Rice vinegar

Garlic

Favorite tempura batter

Mirin

Preparation:

Prepare the fish by lightly washing and patting dry. Prepare the marinade which includes a mixture of fresh ginger, garlic, mirin, salt and rice vinegar. Marinate as per your time allowance but up to 1 day. Make tempura batter (as per your favorite recipe)

Cooking:

Heat oil. Dredge fillet in flour and dip in batter. Fry until lightly golden.

Serve with your favorite oriental sauce.

Source: http://www.lionfishhunters.org/Recipes.html

 

2. Castaway’s Wreck Diver-style Lionfish

Ingredients:

42 ounces lionfish fillets, patted dry

flour (for coating)

5 cloves garlic, diced

2½ cups chopped tomatoes

5 tsp. capers

1/2 cup white wine

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

2 T. chopped fresh basil

parsley or kale for garnish

lemon wedge for garnish

Preparation:

Dredge fillets in flour to lightly dust. Place in sauté pan with small amount of hot butter over medium heat. Cook first side, careful not to burn.

Turn over fish when golden, and reduce heat while adding garlic, tomatoes, capers, white wine and lemon juice. Cover to hold steam in and cook until fish is fork-tender. Add basil and serve immediately. Garnish with sprig of parsley or kale and lemon wedge.

Source: National Geographic: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2013/07/10/lionfish-gotta-eat-em-to-beat-em/

 

3. Blackened Lionfish

Ingredients:

4 fillets lionfish

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 tablespoons butter, cubed

Preparation:

Preheat a grill or grill pan . Place 2 lionfish fillets each into the center of two 10-by-10-inch aluminum foil squares. Combine the garlic salt, oregano , paprika , cayenne and black pepper in a small bowl, and then coat both sides of the fillets with the spice mix. Top the fillets with the butter cubes, and then tightly wrap the foil squares to form 2 pockets. Place the pockets on the grill and cook until the fish is tender and flakey, about 6 minutes.

Source: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/blackened-lionfish-with-creamy-potato-salad.html

3 Gross Things Every SCUBA Does

Posted: 5th February 2015 by admin in Scuba Diving
You spit in your mask, don't you?

You spit in your mask, don’t you?

When you first started diving, you probably thought about all of the shiny new gear and vast open water. But did you think of all of the disgusting things you would be doing? Probably not. And by now, they probably come as second nature, so you don’t even realize how gross they are – until you start discussing them with a non-diver. Well, don’t worry. We won’t be the ones to tell your friends that you do each and every thing on this list. But if they are reading this –trust us– the cat is out of the bag. :)

1. Spit in your mask

We know you slather saliva in the same mask that you put on your face. Just inches from your eyes is a layer of drying saliva. You’re disgusting. But then again, so are we. The truth is that spitting in your mask keeps it clear, and it is one of the most important things you can do before you submerge. Spitting in your mask is an issue of safety and overall enjoyment (things can get hairy under the water when your visibility is impaired). Here’s why spitting in your mask works: The pocket of air between your face and the mask’s lens gets very humid and causes condensation to form. You could purchase an anti-fog solution to keep the condensation at bay, or you could just spit in your mask.

2. Pee in your wetsuit

Were you expecting an underwater port-a-potty? Diving is an adventure that does not stop for bathroom breaks. Many dive boats do not even have restrooms, so by the time you are geared up and ready to rock, you may already have to pee. The good news is that peeing in your wetsuit can also help keep you warm in chilly temperatures. If you are still grossed out by the notion of urinating on yourself (this one does take some getting used to), be sure to clean and thoroughly dry your wetsuit between dives.

3. Become a mucus monster

This is one disgusting side effect of diving that simply cannot be avoided. When you dive, your mucus production increases. Do not be surprised by the slime that oozes out of your nose and mouth when you submerge. A dive may not be the best way to make a good impression on a first date, but this phenomenon is perfectly normal. Just rinse out in the water before you get back on the boat and you should be fine.

5 Types of Divers to Avoid (Like the Plague)

Posted: 29th January 2015 by admin in Scuba Diving
Do you know this guy?

Do you know this guy?

Most of us get spoiled by diving with our trusted dive buddies. But when we venture out with a larger group, we run the risk of encountering the worst kind of divers out there. If you have known anyone like the divers on this list, you know how crucial it is to avoid diving with them at all costs – or you may pay with your sanity. And as a PSA, if you think you may be one of these divers, it’s time for some serious dive reform. Ask your friends if you fall into any of these categories (just to be safe).

1. The Underwater Bandit

You know the rules. Leave the ocean as you found it (or better); Take with you nothing but pictures. The underwater bandit does not think these rules apply to him. He is usually a new diver looking to take some souvenirs home to show off to his non-diving friends, but he may also be the ultimate underwater menace who damages coral reefs or grabs a fish for a selfie.

2. The Know-It-All

Whether on land or at sea, no one likes a know-it-all. But this diver doesn’t seem to care. He just wants credit for knowing all the basics and a heaping pile of useless information. And it doesn’t even matter if he’s right. He will tell you he is, and that is all you need to know. This annoying dive personality is likely to speak over other divers, or worse, the dive instructor while they are trying to communicate something important.

3. The Nervous Nellie

The only type of diver worse than a know-it-all is a nervous Nellie. You almost want to feel bad for these divers, but it’s difficult to feel pity when you are relying on them to be your dive buddy. Panicking underwater is extremely dangerous for the diver himself and for others in the group.

4. The Lone Ranger

This diver is also a know-it-all, but not all know-it-all’s are Lone Rangers. The Lone Ranger has his own set of ideas in mind for the dive and does not consider anyone else. As far as he is concerned, he is on this dive alone. If this sounds like you, don’t bother diving with a buddy or group. It is extremely disrespectful and could be dangers to other divers if you leave them in the lurch.

5. The Perpetual Novice

Some divers are just more serious than others. They dive more often and try to get as much experience under their dive belts as possible. They also take things like buoyancy control very seriously. Other divers are happy to dive on rare occasions and are unwilling to invest the time and energy to master techniques that all divers should know. This type of diver will bring you down. They are unable to dive as long as experienced divers and they are more likely to be a liability than a help.

4 Reasons to Wear Dive Gloves

Posted: 22nd January 2015 by admin in Basic Dive Gear
For your protection

For your protection

There is one thing that no scuba diver can deny. You need a lot of gear to be able to make yourself at home under water. And unfortunately, that gear can get expensive. If you’re diving on a budget, you’re probably looking to cut unnecessary items off of your list. In truth, unless you are planning some cold-water dives, you can probably get away without dive gloves if you are careful. But before you make the tough call, let’s explore some of the ways dive gloves.

1. Keep your hands warm!

Doesn’t it seem like your hands and feet get cold before any other part of your body? That’s because they do! Your body is designed to keep your internal organs from freezing, and your hands and feet simply aren’t important enough to rate a good layer of protection. That’s why, even in relatively warm water, some divers’ hands can become very uncomfortable with prolonged exposure. Dive gloves will help ensure that your hands stay about as warm as the rest of your body. Just be sure to choose the right gloves for the water temperature of your dive.

2. Protection from sharp objects

You know you are not supposed to touch the coral reef. The rule is in place for your protection and to protect our oceans. But even an accidental brush of unprotected skin against the reef can cause serious damage. Keeping your distance is always a good idea, but coral reefs are not the only sharp underwater objects to avoid. Wrecks are filled with sharp edges, and even a spiny fish could rip your flesh if you aren’t careful. Dive gloves are not a coat of armour, but they will offer some protection to minimize the damage.

3. Protection from stings

Ideally, you will want to keep a safe distance from all marine life, but sometimes, this simply isn’t possible. We all know how quickly a bloom of jellyfish can sneak up on us, and that is never a fun experience. The rest of your body will be covered, but without dive gloves, your hands will be left exposed and prone to getting stung. Lionfish are another species that often sting divers.

4. Look like a pro ;)

Most divers who know what they’re doing will wear dive gloves. Maybe not on every dive, but they definitely will have a pair at-the-ready in their gear bags. If you want to look like you know what you’re doing down there, you should own the right gear and know when to use it.

If you have any questions about which gloves to buy, check out our diving gloves buying guide or feel free to give us a call.

Two Types of Divers: Do You Pee in Your Wetsuit?

Posted: 8th January 2015 by admin in Scuba Diving
Hey, it happens...

Hey, it happens…

There are two types of divers: Those that pee in their wetsuits and those that are liars.

Which are you?

Most divers don’t want to admit to this somewhat embarrassing behavior, but it’s hard to deny that simple logistics of coming up for a potty break simply do not make sense.

So, let’s bring this previously taboo subject to the forefront. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. Here are 3 reasons why you should not be embarrassed about peeing in your wetsuit.

1. Immersion diuresis – Immerse all or part of your body in water, and guess what happens? You will probably have to pee, even if you didn’t have the urge before getting into the water. Lower temperatures and water pressure cause the body to increase urine production, and as we all know, this will lead to the urge to hit the restroom. But when you’re all geared up and enjoying your dive, there are no restrooms to be had. You see? This is why divers pee in their wetsuits. That’s right. It’s science.

2. Warmth – Wetsuits work by trapping a small amount of water close to your body, which your body heats and then uses to keep warm. Peeing in your wetsuit adds warmth to the suit, if only in a localized area. In chilly waters, this can be a very welcome feeling. Is it gross? Well, yeah. But it provides warmth and relief that will allow you to get your mind off of “holding it” and on to the barracuda that just swam by you.

3. Convenience – It takes a while to gear up and get out into the water, right? Most dive boats don’t have bathrooms, so when you’re hitting the water, it has already been some time since your last bathroom break. Add to that your dive time and the amount of time it’ll take to get back to shore and you may be going quite a while without access to a toilet. Do you really want to tell your dive buddies that everyone has to cut their dive short because you have to get back to shore and use a restroom?

Of course, there are also some downsides to peeing in your wetsuit. The obvious one is that it is gross. As mentioned above, the wetsuit is designed to keep water close to your skin, and if you pee in that water, well, you get the gist. It also isn’t great for the suit itself. If you regularly pee in your wetsuit, you may find yourself going through suits more often than someone with more bladder control.

So, although there shouldn’t be any shame in peeing in your wetsuit, try to maintain some control. If you can hold it until you get back to shore, go ahead and do that. Your skin and your wetsuit will thank you.

Control your buoyancy

Control your buoyancy

Isn’t it funny that the one skill that a diver needs in order to be successful is also one that people struggle with most often? Buoyancy control takes time to master, but the time spent to practice and master this skill will pay off in spades.

Do you know where you stand in this journey? Can you improve your own buoyancy? Here are three signs that your buoyancy control may need some work:

1. You use your hands and/or feet to maintain your position – Some divers can get a little defensive about this point. “It’s called swimming,” is one comment I’ve heard from new divers more than once. But in reality, there is a time and a place for swimming. You should always be able to maintain your position with little to no movement. Think about it, if you have to use your arms and/or legs to remain in position in a tight spot near a coral reef, you could risk hurting yourself or the reef. Not to mention the fact that you will be using more oxygen than you need.

2. You rely on the BCD a little too much – Your natural breathing should play a large role in buoyancy control. If you aren’t using your breaths, though, you will be forced to rely on your buoyancy control device way too much. If you are changing the amount of air in your BCD too often, you run the risk of forcing uncontrolled ascents and descents, which can be a very dangerous thing. If you are ascending uncontrollably, you may experience decompression sickness. If you are descending too quickly, you may experience nitrogen narcosis. Buoyancy control is about more than just prolonging the dive and making it more enjoyable. It is also a matter of safety.

3. You run out of air faster than your dive buddies – If you dive with a group and you are always the one who needs to come up for air the fastest, that is a sign that you are not in control of your own buoyancy – or everyone in your group is a buoyancy control master and you are not. There are other reasons why you may run out of air quicker, but the most likely reason it would happen is a lack of buoyancy control.

If you are having trouble controlling your own buoyancy, don’t be too hard on yourself. This is a skill that can be difficult to master. The good news is that once you have the hang of it, almost nothing will hold you back from progressing in the sport and having the dives of your life.

5 Sea Creatures That are Not at All What They Seem

Posted: 26th December 2014 by admin in Scuba Diving

Have you ever known a large guy who people call “Tiny?” Sometimes nicknames aren’t the most accurate way to describe a person – or a fish for that matter. The marine life that made this list are in the same boat as the robust dude dubbed with such a misnomer. Their names are quite deceiving.

1. Starfish

No one can deny that this little guy is a star, but did you know that the starfish isn’t really a fish at all? The first starfish skeletons were found from the Cambrian period, which means that these echinoderms pre-date dinosaurs. That’s right; the starfish is one of the oldest forms of life on this planet.

2. Sea Gooseberry

Have you ever seen a gooseberry in real life? I can assure you that it is much tastier than this sea creature that bears the same name. They are distant cousins of the jellyfish, which we will get to in a moment, and are made up of mostly water with tiny, thin hairs that help them navigate through the water.

3. Jellyfish

No, this is not a fish made of jelly. It is, in fact, about as much jelly as it is fish. Actually, this is an invertebrate from the phylum Cnidaria. Fortunately, not all of the 10,000 types possess the power to sting. And that’s a good thing since they range greatly in size.

4. Spiny Dogfish

If only this shark could play fetch. Now, that would be something. And it isn’t exactly man’s best friend either. This is the only type of shark that possesses a venom that mildly toxic to humans. And man is not too kind to the dogfish either. They are commonly eaten, although you may have heard them called rock salmon (yet another misnomer).

seapineapple

5. Sea Pineapple

It is easy to see where this animal got its name. It clearly does resemble a pineapple, albeit a somewhat deformed version of one. People do eat the sea pineapple, but its taste is quite different from that of the fruit with the same name. It is quite the delicacy in some parts of Asia, but many have described its texture as being rather rubbery.

Do you have an irrational fear of anything? For you, it might be spiders or heights. For some other people, it’s sharks and whales. What makes this fear even more irrational is that many of the people who fear underwater creatures do not spend a great deal of time in the water.

Now, I’m not trying to belittle your fears. Many types of sharks and some spiders can do some serious harm to humans. This is an indisputable fact. However, under the right circumstances, humans can also do some serious harm to humans. And guess what? We are much more likely to be hurt or killed by another human than a shark or spider. But instead of redirecting our fears, let’s just take a look at why these underwater creatures who have gotten a bad rap are not as scary as you may think.

1. Sharks

Let’s just begin with the elephant in the room. We’ve all seen the movie Jaws. We know what the inside of a Great White’s mouth looks like. But did you know that your chances of being attacked by a shark are roughly 1 in 11.5 million? Your odds of being killed by a shark are even less. On the other hand, humans kill an average of 100 million sharks each year. Who should be afraid of who?

2. Orcas

Many people are afraid of these whales because of their nickname: Killer. But did you know that killer whales are actually related to dolphins? Most cetaceans are incapable of eating humans, so even if they wanted to, they would have no reason to attack a human. Another reason you shouldn’t be afraid of orcas? Well, when was the last time you saw one? You were probably sitting safely in a boat on a whale watching excursion or behind glass at SeaWorld. Humans and whales simply do not encounter one another in the wild very often.

3. Water Snakes

The movie Anaconda has given water snakes a bad name. But, anacondas live in tropical South America, so you probably don’t have to worry about an encounter. There are other snakes that live closer to home that you may be concerned about, but again, encounters with humans are extremely rare. For example, the venomous banded sea krait is quite possibly one of the most venomous snakes in the world, but they are so extremely docile that unprompted attacks almost never occur.

Exploring the World’s Most Dangerous Dive Sites

Posted: 30th October 2014 by admin in Scuba Diving

Deep WaterIf the thrill-seeker in you emerged at the first sight of this title, proceed with caution. Even master divers can run into trouble diving at one of these dangerous locations. If you do plan one of these dangerous dives, please be sure to do your homework. Find out what makes them so dangerous and how people have run into trouble in the past, so you may be able to avoid the same fate.

1. Jacob’s Well, Wimberly, Texas

Part of the danger of this site is that it seems so harmless. You may even see little kids swimming at its surface. It’s a fairly popular swimming hole – and it’s not really dangerous until you don scuba gear and start exploring. As you pass the first and second entryways, you’ll wonder what all the fuss is about. Sure, there are a few tight passageways, but it’s not until you get into the third chamber that things start getting hairy. It’s easy to kick up the gravel here and destroy your visibility. That, combined with the tight space of this passageway can spell disaster for a diver. There’s also a passageway that appears to be an exit, but it is no such thing. Unfortunately, many divers have been confused by this and at least 8 have lost their lives in Jacob’s Well.

2. Temple of Doom, Tulum, Mexico

This is a popular dive site, but don’t let that fool you. It has certainly earned its name. This network of caverns and tight passageways is easy to get lost in, and that can lead to trouble for even the most experienced divers. Diving is a sport on the clock. You simply must be at the surface before you run out of air. It’s very easy to become disoriented and lose your way in Cenote Esqueleto, also known as the Temple of Doom.

3. Samaesan Hole, Samae San Islands, Thailand

When you hear about a dangerous dive site, you probably expect caverns and wrecks. You may even expect strong currents (which this site also has). But you’re probably not too worried about unexploded bombs. Unless you’ve been to Samaesan Hole. This dangerous site gets its reputation from a strong current – it’s not uncommon for divers to unknowingly surface miles from their submersion point – and the fact that this is a former military explosives dumping ground. Oh yes, and let’s not forget the fact that it is deep. A whopping 280 feet, in fact. Indeed, this is a dive for very experienced divers who know how to proceed with caution.

3 Must-See Cold Water Diving Destinations

Posted: 23rd October 2014 by admin in Scuba Diving
Silfra, Iceland

Silfra, Iceland

There is a distinct chill in the air and many of us tropical-water divers are already starting to plan warm-water getaways, but should we turn our backs on diving just because it’s a little chilly in most of the world? Heck, no! Let’s go cold water diving!

If you haven’t tried cold water diving, it’s an experience to behold. There are some obvious differences, such as gear you’ll need, between warm and cold water dives. If you’re new to this, you may want to take a PADI course on the subject, just to be sure you get the most out of your experience – and stay comfortable along the way.

British Columbia, Canada

Visiting Vancouver? You’ll find some of the most stunning dive spots in the Pacific just about a 40 minute ferry ride from West Vancouver. This emerald-green wonderland is dubbed the Sunshine Coast because they get more sunlight each year than any other destination.

Here you’ll find wreck dives, great spots for drift diving and –get this– Giant Pacific Octopus dens. There’s truly something for everyone. Water temps will vary based on the air temperature, but in the winter, you can expect averages in the mid 40s Fahrenheit.

Silfra, Iceland

The scenery in this popular dive spot will blow your mind. Because of the Silfra fissure, a crack between North America and Europe, you’ll likely feel like you’re coasting along the surface of another planet. This is one of the only dive locations in the world where you can dive right in the crack of where two continental plates meet. It’s a very cool experience! And visibility is great – upwards of 100 meters! But be prepared for the cold. You’ll be swimming in glacial water that is filtered through porous underground lava and it stays between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit year round. Here’s another cool fact about this location: You can drink the water at any time. It’s about as pristine as water can possibly get, so enjoy!

New Zealand

The temps in this area definitely fluctuate, going from subtropical in the north to quite temperate in the south. But there are some amazing spots to visit here, including Milford Sound, and Aramoana Mole – where you are likely to encounter seemingly mystical things like sponge gardens, kelp forests and sea dragons. In the Milford Sound, you’ll dive in a fiord with a freshwater layer on top of seawater. Because of this unique combination, you may encounter species that would typically only be seen in the deep sea.

Are you pumped for some cold water diving? Get your passport and drysuit ready and get to it. :)