Major Innovations in Snorkeling

Perhaps one of the greatest things to come along for snorkelers is the new Nitrox Underwater Technical Snorkel or abbreviated as NUTS. Users have found they can snorkel many more hours and not feel nearly as tired. Snorkelers say it is like a breath of fresh air or actually not really air but man-made air.

Except for the additional weight of the tank on the side of the snorkel and subsequent neck pains which in only a few cases have become chronic, a few people really think it is great idea. Other side effects include but are not limited to – bruising to head and shoulders from the tank, inability to keep one’s head above water, dependency on Nitrox and being laughed at.

And if you really like using split fins, the new Split Snorkel – Nature’s Lungs -gives you twice the air. Some snorkelers who could only stay down half as long as others who stayed down twice as long as they did, now can stay down twice as long as someone who could only stay down half of what they were staying down.

Bonaire’s Mystery Rocks

The secret of Bonaire’s giant underwater boulders has finally been broken by long time Bonaire dive instructor/guide and very short time archaeologist Bruce Bowker. For centuries these rocks have perplexed modern divers as to their origin and placement underwater.

The Mystery Rocks

One day while diving the area known as the Rocks and more currently called Mushrooms, Bruce noticed that the three main boulders all seemed to have a definite orientation as if to mark something. With this in mind, he began a long series of exact measurements and precise calculations as to depths, distances apart from each other and compass readings. Some very interesting results came from all this tedious work.

First it was discovered that when the depth to the top of each rock was taken at mean low tide and the three figures added up, then averaged and about 4.5 feet deducted, the number was exactly 13 feet. The same exact number is arrived at by taking the distance between the rocks which totals about 41 feet. If you average 41 feet it too is 13, almost. Bruce started to see a pattern here with the number 13.

As if that is not enough, when the circumference of each rock is taken, 13 can be arrived at again by dividing the circumference by a number that has 13 as the answer! This applies to all three rocks. It even works when all three circumferences are added together. It soon became obvious that since there are three boulders and if one adds the metric base number of 10, you arrive at 13 once again. In a strong current it takes 13 kicks to swim past the three rocks. In a lesser current you simply have to wait a bit longer, but it still can take 13 kicks.

Conspiracy Theory

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the rocks is the compass readings. This applies to all three rocks in exactly the same manner. By using a very sophisticated electronic digital underwater compass, Bruce discovered that each corner of each rock pointed to somewhere on the compass. Bruce was quoted as saying,“I really feel that was the most important discovery of all. That was the one thing that really got me thinking.” By returning to land and using these compass readings, or ones almost the same, Bruce was able to nearly pinpoint exactly where each rock was pointing. Once again, even on land, all three pointed to some place.

Critics have said that the rocks simply fell from the cliff sides right next to the area. Bruce does admit that this is true all up and down the coast but how can one explain the other aspects of these particular rocks. Others have suggested the boulders were carefully strewn in the water by space travelers. Bruce does not think this the case but also does not simply put that theory aside. “Anything is possible when it comes to these rocks. The information that I gathered has proven to me and at least a couple other people that these rocks simply did not fall from the cliffs like all the other rocks.”

Bruce has also done some sampling of the composition of the rocks, but no conclusive evidence was obtained other than they are made of exactly the same thing all the other rocks and cliff sides are made from. Bruce did not feel that this was a very important part in the origins though.

Then why were these rocks placed where they are? Bruce thinks that it is possible that an ancient society did this knowing, in the future, people would spend a lot of time pondering this question. After all proof of this exists all over the world with such things as the pyramids, the Mayan ruins, the World Trade Center etc. If one considers how much time people waste trying to answer Trivial Pursuit questions, then the rocks were probably part of an old joke.

Bruce Bowker

Mad Fax

I absolutely love my fax machine. How I could have lived without one for so many years is incomprehensible. It has got to be one of the greatest little items to come along in a while. But it absolutely infuriates me when people who have one, have no idea what it is or how to use it.

My biggest hate is someone who lists a dedicated fax number and when you call that number someone says, “Hello!”. This is usually followed by “What?” and then by “Oh, ok just a minute!”

Another great one that is beyond me is someone who has a dedicated fax line and it rings 10 times before the fax answers. What’s going on here? Is the fax using the bathroom and can’t answer immediately?

How about this one. The fax rings, and you get a taped message saying, “The number you have reached is a fax number. If you wish to send a fax, please do so now. Otherwise please check the number and dial again.” Why would I want to send a fax to a number that wasn’t a fax number? So why do I need to be told it is a fax number when I know it is because it says so in the information, I have from the person who faxed me.

My Own Experiences

I received a fax once from a doctor with a question so I replied immediately to the fax number listed. A receptionist answered and was rather flustered at someone saying they were trying to send a fax. After a moment of thought she replied that there was a fax machine in the basement and if I could hold, she would turn it on. Ah yes, the things that make us slam phones down!

The answer/fax/telephone machines are nice but how much more can a dedicated fax line cost, especially if you are in business? I called one of these things once and got a recorded message, which after 2 minutes of advertising, told me I could send a fax now, so I tried to send the fax. The machine at the other end must have been in its microwave oven mode and refused to accept the fax. I called back and left a not so pleasant, recorded message. Not long after I got a call from that business that said they were sorry and send the fax now. So, I did. It still didn’t work. I called back and got someone live this time who said call back again and they would switch the machine to auto/fax only. So, I called again and now got the recorded message only. After far too many calls I finally got my fax through. And this was a high-tech computer company! No dedicated fax line? Come on!

Perhaps this is one of the best ones to date. I received a fax asking a short question so I replied. The phone rang about 4 times and a female answered. The conversation went like this:

She – Hello?
Me – I am trying to send a fax.
She – Sorry, what?
Me – I am trying to send a fax.
She- Oh uh – pause – can you wait a minute?
Me- I would rather not. I am trying to send a fax. She – Just one minute. Wait. (Now I hear some muffled conversation in the background and a male answers continuing the conversation by starting with “Hello.”)
Me – I am trying to send a fax.
He -Uh, oh. Ok, uh can you wait a minute?
Me – No. I am trying to send a fax.
He – Uh ok. What is it about?
Me- You sent me a fax and now I am trying to answer it.
He – Uh, oh yeah. I wanted to ask you about…

That about did it for me and I simply gave my short answer verbally and hung up.

Sending Faxes From A Computer

I also send faxes from my computer. This makes for some interesting one-sided conversations when someone answers the fax number with that all too familiar and very irritating “Hello?” All I can do is stare at the computer screen hoping the beeping noises will jog the memory of the person at the other end into hitting the start/copy button on their fax.

There are those who have only a fax card in their computer. I have sent many faxes to these only to be told later that they didn’t receive my fax. In telling them that I had tried for 2 days, I hear the reason is that they have to turn their computer on to receive so can I send between 7pm and 8 pm only when they usally have their machine on? Considering they live in a time zone 4 hours different than mine, NO!!!! If your going to use a fax and want to answer then have one working all the time.

Nothing, though, beats the time I got a fax with a dedicated fax number listed in bold letters right on top and I immediately sent back the reply. Someone answered with “Hello?” again. I said I am trying to send a fax. She said call right back. I did and she answered the phone. I said I am trying to send a fax. She said OK, call right back. (This is all true!) I did and she answered the phone. I said, “could you please push you ‘start/copy’ button”? She said, “No”, because she was not trying to send a fax. I said again that I was and please push the button. She said she couldn’t because she was not trying to send a fax. I said, “listen, you sent me fax and now I am trying to reply, please just push the start/copy button”. She said she was not trying to send a fax so why should she. I was in my back office with the door closed and my employees could hear me scream down the receiver, “push the freaking start/copy button now”!!!!! She did and the fax went through.

If you have had some experiences with faxes and would like to tell me, just call on my fax. Please allow time for me to unplug my telephone line, plug it into the fax machine, plug the fax machine into the wall and then turn it on. One other thing, let me put some paper in it first. Make sure you use my dedicated fax line number!!!!

Bruce Bowker