Time Capsules

By Tamara Collins 1979 Timeless in the USVI

Skin Diver's first (and definitely largest) U.S. Virgin Islands dive guide was produced in January 1979 by Paul Tzimoulis and Geri Murphy. Including advertisements, maps, dive site listings, photos and text, it ran for 26 pages. Many of the same dive sites we write about in our most recent guide are pictured here: Cane Bay, Coki Point, Salt River, Buck Island, Fredericksted Pier. In fact, the only thing that really seems to have changed is the dive gear. There are even a few dive operations that have made it through the years Aqua Action and St. Thomas Diving Club on St. Thomas. We may lament the passage of time and the changes it brings, but in some corners of the world (and even close to home) time stands still.

1962 Divita for Divers

We are used to being bombarded by supplements and vitamins targeted to every lifestyle, but can you imagine having a multi-vitamin just for divers? In the 1960s, there was Divita, a sensational new vitamin concept developed exclusively as an assist to more vigorous skin diving. This was the tag line on the advertisement that ran in the April 1962 issue of Skin Diver. Distributed by King Neptune Products in Los Angeles, California, Divita was the answer to overcoming obstacles sometimes encountered by cold water, diving fatigue and over drainage of the body's oxygen supply. For $4.95 you could get a two month's supply so important to your diving pleasure that it deserves a place alongside your speargun, mask, fins and regulator.

1955 Black Sea Bass for the Taking

In the early days of diving, big fish were the reward that divers sought for their risky plunge into the sea. In those days there were many of these behemoths for the taking. Eric Hanauer writes in this issue's Comeback of the Black Sea Bass that on occasion [fishermen] would land 50 to 100 fish per trip The April 1955 cover of Skin Diver shows a grinning Jack Prodanovich riding a six-foot, 300 plus-pound Black Sea Bass that he speared and wrestled to the beach off Coronado Island. It was a great feat for these early spearfishermen. With crude weapons and minimal gear, they had only their strength and bravado to depend upon. Little did they know that within 10 years the Black Sea Bass would nearly disappear from the California coast.