Time Capsules

Tamara Collins

1977 DEMA Gear Guide Revisited
It's been a while since Skin Diver's first DEMA gear guide exactly 23 years. This story appeared in the April, 1977 issue, three months after the First Diving Industry Trade Show sponsored by the Diving Equipment Manufacturers Association [was held] January 16, 17 and 18 in Miami, Florida. The original gear guide was six pages long and displayed gear from many familiar manufacturers Sherwood, Scubapro, U.S. Divers, Wenoka, Dacor, Oceanic, SeaQuest, Ikelite and more. Author Jim Hall pointed out some of the most innovative products at the show: U.S. Diver's super-secret, fuel-burning wetsuit heater and Farallon's Digital Combo which combines a Digital Depth Indicator and a digital pressure gauge. He also recognized the fastest growing area of the sport, underwater photography.

1964 The Race to Innerspace
In 1964, with the race to space spurring competition, Skin Diver grew curious about Russian activity in innerspace. Frederick Philocox, author of the January article, Under Russian Waters, wanted to know about their equipment, its cost and their proficiency as divers. The evolution of diving followed the same time line as it did in the States, with organizations taking hold in the early '60s. The Russians were into competition, and actually established a World Champion title for divers in 1962. The equipment was mostly European-made and cost about twice as much. The photographs of Russian divers printed in this article had never before been seen in an American publication.

1959 Paradise Found in Grand Cayman
This April, 1959 article is possibly the first ever written on Grand Cayman. Barbara White recalls the simplicity and beauty of life that's not found elsewhere. She writes about the local characters that offer dive trips. Captain Ertis runs fishing excursions for $35 a day for four people and throws in a lobster lunch. Skin diver Tom Hubbell has complete skin diving equipment, including a compressor, and can take spearfishermen to the biggest fish and marine tropicals. Barbara even gives tips on catching angelfish, Beaugregories and Blue-Headed Wrasse. In between dives she hangs with the locals at court day and dances to a wild Calypso beat at night. There were only about five hotels on the island, running from $6 to $25 per day. Roundtrip airfare was $89.70. Is paradise lost?