1980 -The Oro Verde Takes the Plunge
The Oro Verde is probably one of the most frequently dived wrecks in the Cayman Islands. In her present glory as a dive attraction, its hard to believe she languished on the surface for years before Grand Caymans dive operators recognized her potential. Finally, on May 31, 1980, the 184-foot freighter was sent to the bottom. Nancy Sefton covered the event in Skin Divers September issue.
The wreck had an interesting past. After serving in WWII, she carried
cargo across the Caribbean, but when her owners ran out of money, the
unpaid crew ran her into the shallows of North Sound. Sefton didnt
mention it, but rumors hint at a secret cargo of Jamaican ganja.
Today, divers wouldnt recognize the ship as its pictured
in the article. Seftons photographs show a clean-hulled vessel
lying on its side, with its propellers protruding from the bottom. Now
the Oro Verde sits upright, and she is a living reeftime and the
fury of Mother Nature have transformed her.
1971 - Eddie Bauer Outfits the Diver
Before Warmwind and TruWest, there was Eddie Bauers Four Season suita watertight, one-piece coverall that warmed the bones of divers caught in the chill of the north wind between dives. Spence Campbell of the Northwest Diving Institute wrote about the suit in Skin Divers March issue. He was used to training divers for hours on end in 38°F weather, but he wasnt happy about it, so he approached the management of Eddie Bauer Expedition Outfitter. They suggested the Four Season suit, which had been designed for snowmobilers and hunters, but was perfect for divers. Zippered pant legs allowed easy access, and its heat-retaining properties made it the most efficient and durable diver anti-exposure cover currently on the market. When Campbell tested the suit in the freezing weather, his body temperature ran between 79 and 80°F. Snug as a bug and ready for the next dive.
1960 - Humor in the Early Days
Skin Diver hasnt always been politically correct. In the 50s
and 60s, the writing could be tongue-in-cheek and incredibly sexist.
Carl Kohler set the tone of the humor in the magazine with his ruminations
on women divers, and the trend continued with numerous jokes, spoofs
Zig Bulanda aimed his biting editorial wit on the sport of diving itself
in A Guide for the Beginning Skin Diver. The articles
only illustration is the menacing face of a Wolf Eel, with the caption,
I am always looking for the beginning skin diver. Bulanda
wrote, The good skin diver is able to provide fresh, warm-blooded
meat on the hoof to flesh-eating denizens of the deep
the time he laid down his pen, hed taken a shot at dive instructors,
the instruction process and women divers. In the old days nothing was
sacred, and no one took themselves too seriously.