Tag Archives: Vernon

Extreme Cave Diving…Danger and Excitement.

Extreme Cave Diving….what it is all about?


A Rescue Diver’s Advice.

One of the British dive team members who helped rescue the boys in Thailand , had some friendly advice to the recovering rescuees. The message conveyed to the boys that everyone was  they were saved,  and be” careful in the future”.

We must always remember this incredible story was not without tragedy , as the life of one of the dive teams members was lost.

Let’s view, “Thai Cave Rescue”




The Alligator Gar vs the Asian Carp

In 2016 the Illinois Senate voted to reintroduce the native Alligator carp species. It is recognized the that the Asian carp as an invasive species is quite prolific and a danger to local fisheries.

The resolution voted on specifically read that” the alligator gar is the only native species capable of eating the adult Asian carp”. The Illinois Dept. of Fisheries was urged to push this program along.

For their part the  Dept of Fisheries stated that the gar stocking program had nothing to do with the Asian carp. The reintroduction of the gar was an opportunity to bring back a native species, an apex predator, and a great sport fish being the focus.

Earlier introduction of gar allowed the dept of fisheries to what would happen. finding were that for every 6,000 fry introduced only about 1,500 will survive. Not much compared with Asian carp that are measured in tons per mile.  the alligator carp will never be able to be found in numbers to stop the carp.  Importantly,  the mouth size on the largest of gar will not allow the fish to take very large prey. Young Asian carp will be threatened by the gar , but after that they get to large..over 12.5 inches, they pass out of the prefered size of bait gar like.

The Alligator gar as the magic bullet to defend against Asian carp is not the answer.

Tips for Saving Water in a Heat Wave

Fill a jug with water and put it in the fridge. Gives quick access to a cool drink without running the water for a while for it to get to the right temp.

Take a shower. Taking a bath uses 40 litres more water than a shower. It also helps to take a quicker shower, don’t dawdle.

Don’t water your lawn so much. If it browns up, don’t worry it will green up next time it rains.

Before watering your flowers think. Could you use grey water? Water from the dishes..water used to wash your fruits and veggies…water from the kids wading pool.

Washing your car? Use a bucket of water, not the hose. How about just not washing the car for a bit.

When brushing your teeth, shaving , or even washing your hands…turn off the tap.

Wait until your washing machine is full before turning it on. Half a load uses more than half the water of a full load .



The Global Surface Area of Rivers and Streams

Researchers in the USA have used satellites, ground measurements, and statistical models to determine how much of the Earth is covered by rivers and streams. The result is a number 45% greater than previously thought.

To understand the importance of understanding why it is important to know the global coverage of rivers and streams you have to know that these bodies of water are a major source of green house gases. and are important in understanding carbon emissions.

In the coming decades we will be battling the effects of climate change, it will be important to know where the carbon we are producing goes, and we will require quantifying the global carbon cycle. Included in this equation will be how much carbon dioxide will be moving from rivers and streams into the atmosphere.

Safety at the Beach or Pool

Swimming season is underway in the Ottawa area. Making sure your kids have their swim lessons is essential for their safety, but lessons alone are not enough.

Never expect a child to be drown proof, even if they are on the swim team. If your child is not a competent swimmer…arms length supervision is recommended. Don’t rely on floaties, but get approved life jackets when children need flotation devices.

Even if your child is a confident swimmer they should never swim alone. Always have another competent swimmer with them or adult supervision.

Infant swim lessons are not drowning prevention exercises. Between 1-4 yrs children are developing their water competency. Over 4 yrs old lessons are a good idea, concerns overconfidence remain. People underestimate their risk, and overestimate their ability. 10 people die from accidental drowning each day.

Knowing about the water is important as well. Water temperature  and underwater objects can also be factors. Pool swimming does not mean you are an expert swimmer in ocean waves and currents. Supervision is important , but so are barriers and pool fences.

Have fun in the water this summer, but keep an eye on the little ones.

Backcountry Water Treatment

Backcountry water sources whether they be lakes , rivers, or creeks can be contaminated by  birds, animals , or humans. If you use untreated water it should be treated before you cook , clean, or even brush your teeth.

The cleaner your water looks to be at the start the more effective treatment will be. Avoid standing water. If the water is silted or muddy looking , let the water settle and skim off the top.


Water borne pathogens are possible disease causing micro organisms. Protozoa include giardia or beaver fever. These are becoming more widespread in North America and are larger than one micron. Bacteria exist in water all over the world. Most bacteria is harmless, but some can cause sicknesses like diarrhea Most bacteria area 1 micron in size. Viruses cause hepatitis, polio, and other diseases. They can be present in any water contaminated by human waste. Most viruses can be in the range of .1 micron range.

Treatment Methods

Boiling…enough heat will destroy pathogens, but it takes time and fuel. Recommended boiling time is 3-10 mins. More time at higher altitude.

Chemicals…are good on bacteria and viruses, but some protozoa can be resistant. Need time to act, from mere minutes to hours. Chlorine can be used but there are some issues. Iodine is good , but some people don’t like the taste or color.

Filters…strain out pathogens when water is forced through them.

Purifiers…have one or more filter stages, together with iodine resin or other deactivates viruses.

UV light … portable devices can treat .5 to 1 liter of water at a time. Beaming UV light through the water damages the DNA of the microbes. Carry extra batteries.

Care…After use filters need to be cleaned and left to air dry to prevent mold or mildew.