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avra cohen
 

Contact Information

About Me

Basic Information

Introduction
Diving opened up a whole new world for me. It has impacted my attitudes about environmentalism, about personal fitness, and even dietary choices. Because I began diving with my then 12 year old son, safety has been a large concern since my initial training and it remains so. That has spurred me to continue learning and striving to be the best diver I can be. I am rarely more at peace than when I am underwater. It is a wonder and a refuge. I am always delighted to meet other divers who share that sentiment.
Gender
Male

Contact Information

City / Town
New York
State
NY
Country
United States
Website
FightSlaveryNow.Org

Dive Training and Certifications

Initial Certification Date
20/11/2002
Level of Certification
NAUI
SDI Instructor
Dive Association/Agency
NAUI
PADI
SDI/TDI
Other
Number of logged dives
250-500
Specialty Certifications
Dry Suit
Nitrox
Adv Nitrox
Wreck
Other

Gear

About me and my diving

Where'd you go diving most recently?
New York Aquarium!
Where are you going next?
Gulf Coast, Florida
What's your dream dive destination?
antarctica
Are you a member of our Meetup?
Yes
One last thing: How'd you find out about us?
Meetup

Contact Information

About Me

Basic Information

Introduction
Diving opened up a whole new world for me. It has impacted my attitudes about environmentalism, about personal fitness, and even dietary choices. Because I began diving with my then 12 year old son, safety has been a large concern since my initial training and it remains so. That has spurred me to continue learning and striving to be the best diver I can be. I am rarely more at peace than when I am underwater. It is a wonder and a refuge. I am always delighted to meet other divers who share that sentiment.
Gender
Male

Contact Information

City / Town
New York
State
NY
Country
United States
Website
FightSlaveryNow.Org

Dive Training and Certifications

Initial Certification Date
20/11/2002
Level of Certification
NAUI
SDI Instructor
Dive Association/Agency
NAUI
PADI
SDI/TDI
Other
Number of logged dives
250-500
Specialty Certifications
Dry Suit
Nitrox
Adv Nitrox
Wreck
Other

Gear

About me and my diving

Where'd you go diving most recently?
New York Aquarium!
Where are you going next?
Gulf Coast, Florida
What's your dream dive destination?
antarctica
Are you a member of our Meetup?
Yes
One last thing: How'd you find out about us?
Meetup

Groups

avra cohen

My Reviews

Eclipse
 
5.0
Jet Fins
 
5.0

Recent activities

  • events 663 days ago
    Michael Feld on Saturday, 24 November 2012 01:05

    YEAHHHH. Might get to see your mug for a change. NICE!

  • avra cohen replied to the topic Re: No Buddy diving. in the forums.
    Hope you had at least a pony bottle. I do understand your point that it is somewhat like going to the movie theater by yourself. We are conditioned to view certain activities as shared events. And there is much to commend the buddy system including the obvious "two heads are better than one" awareness during planning and preparation.

    Solo diving entails all the usual risks of scuba diving, but they are now bourn entirely on a single diver's shoulders. That means greater responsibility and a higher level of training to equip you for coping with emergencies. I'm still looking to take the SDI solo course. Ironically, it would be more fun to have company! Anyone else interested?
    Dive safe, stay wet... avra
    Read more...
    wall 807 days ago
  • avra cohen replied to the topic Re: Spear Fishing in the forums.
    "Yet each man kills the thing he loves
    By each let this be heard,
    Some do it with a bitter look,
    Some with a flattering word,
    The coward does it with a kiss,
    The brave man with a sword!"

    from The Ballad Of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde

    I'm just sayin'. If you're a vegan, I admire that enormously and would not expect you to enjoy spear fishing without significant ethical conflict. I myself have been assiduously trying to maintain a mostly plant based diet, with frequent dipping into the lower part of the ocean food chain: crustaceans and bivalves, squid, and some fish, plate size on down.

    Since I'm already eating these fish (which I think is preferable to supporting the canned tuna industry and other non-sustainable fisheries) I can imagine no more ethical practice than catching them myself. Trigger fish are an abundant reef fish in the Caribbean where they are served up as "Ole Wife" poached and smothered in onions and fish broth, or deep fried with a tangy sauce creole.

    Sure they are beautiful, but so are many animals we consume. I never thought that was a fair standard for what was ethically acceptable to eat. My interest in underwater hunting is based in part on honing a skill set that involves stalking, a knowledge of fish behavior, and significant maneuvering skills. At least I so imagine.

    If and when I get the opportunity to try it, I may find I feel much as you do: "not my cup of tea".
    But I'd like to give it a go. I expect my main challenge will be not shooting myself in the fin!

    Cheers... avra
    Read more...
    wall 884 days ago
  • Michael Feld thanks for the post EXPLORATION: 6,000 fathoms under the sea in the forums.
    wall 904 days ago
  • avra cohen replied to the topic Re: EXPLORATION: 6,000 fathoms under the sea in the forums.
    If this stuff tickles your dive bones, this is some cool archival footage of the bathyscaphe Trieste and the guys that rode her down in 1960:

    Meet the only man alive who has been to the deepest ocean

    Guess they'll need to update the title now, but these were the first.
    Read more...
    wall 904 days ago
  • avra cohen and Pamela Brown are now friends
    friends 905 days ago
  • avra cohen created a new topic EXPLORATION: 6,000 fathoms under the sea in the forums.
    The Andrea Doria is often touted as the 'Mount Everest of diving'. On June 26, 2010, a diver from New Jersey, Carl Bayer, discovered the bridge bell lying on the bottom at 241 feet. This was a brilliant find and well deserved kudos to all involved in that retrieval.

    But last week saw the accomplishment of something I didn't think would occur in my lifetime. A manned mission to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of any ocean at the almost inconceivable depth of seven miles and pressure of one thousand atmospheres!

    But wait! Who was the intrepid aquanaut to brave the darkest depths? No less than acclaimed movie director and underwater addict James Cameron, the same famed filmmaker who brought us 'Titanic' and was a galvanizing force behind the filming of the wreck after the discovery of her resting place by Dr. Robt. Ballard and the unmanned submersible Alvin.

    Now he has gone deeper than any man before, with the sole exception of the one previous excursion to this depth by the bathysphere Trieste more than fifty years ago. Sadly they kicked up a good bit of silt and pretty much obscured anything that might have been gleaned from their cameras. It is hoped that Cameron's vessel, Deepsea Challenger, will be more successful. It is fitted out as a movie studio shaped like an undersea torpedo!

    To me, this is the earthbound equivalent of the moon landing. As a species, we have again dared to travel where no one has gone before. Live long and prosper...

    Read All About It: James Cameron dives to deepest ocean point

    Disclaimer: I am only an enthusiastic lay person with no expertise or intrinsic knowledge of this subject area. Any corrections or clarifications by those more knowledgeable would be more than welcome.

    Stay wet!
    Read more...
    wall 905 days ago
  • avra cohen added a new comment on the album Yagmur Coker's Photos
    Info. Info! Where is this? Looks very cool. Good pix. How do I get there???
    albums 905 days ago
  • avra cohen
    Michael Feld Cartier Handbags fer chrisakes? C'mon... get rid of the spam. This has been up for a week.
    http://www.oceanbluedivers.com/forum/oceanblue-divers-talk/training/no-buddy-diving/page-2#927
    profile 905 days ago
  • avra cohen replied to the topic Re: Spear Fishing in the forums.
    Keep us posted! I'd love to participate. No by-catch, long-lines, or trawling. If you're going to eat seafood, this seems like the very best way to do it. Find it, identify it, kill it, cook it and eat it! Sign me up for a Hawaiian sling.
    avra
    Read more...
    wall 911 days ago
  • avra cohen replied to the topic Re:No Buddy diving. in the forums.
    Les wrote:
    IMHO Solo diving is not the answer.


    What was the question? If it's "How do I avoid being paired with a boat buddy I don't want to dive with?" then it is at least one answer though certainly not the only one and perhaps not for everyone. If the question is "How can I learn and train for self rescue and self-sufficiency in an emergency?" then I think the solo diving course is a very compelling answer. If the question is "How do I avoid juice bags in the camera bath?" then I'd have to agree with you that solo-diving doesn't really address that.

    I haven't read the book you mention but I'd be curious to see the advice they offer. My own observation of the dive community is that snobbery is at a minimum. Equipment envy, oh yeah, big time! But snobbery? When I started diving I was really impressed by the kindness and consideration shown by most experienced divers I met. That was true on the boats, in the shops, at dive destinations and here at Oceanblue. People were almost unfailingly willing to share their knowledge and experience, offer advice, answer questions, explain gear choices, etc. Even as a newbie I felt a sense of comraderie and knew this was a community I wanted to be a part of. I'm happy to say I still feel that way.

    Does that mean I'm willing to jump in the water halfway around the world with someone who isn't clear what they're doing and also be responsible for their care and safety? Of course not. I want to be with divers of comparable skill levels where we can all know what is expected of us in any given situation and contribute equally to the dive mission, even if that "mission" is just to putter around poking at stuff.

    Is that snobbery? There are countless divers with far more experience and skills than I possess. I wouldn't think of tagging along on a dive for which I didn't have the experience and training to be equal to the task. But after undergoing training and certification, I would expect to be welcomed as 'the new guy' willing and eager to learn the ropes. This in fact has been my experience at every level of my dive education so far.

    In diving I've met people from all walks of life, doctors, plumbers, politicians. I think diving is unique in removing the barriers of class, race and religion that so often separate people. Invariably we were all equal underwater in that regard. Though we may be distinguished by our training and experience, I have never met a more generous community of people with a shared interest.

    It is always my pleasure to take the opportunity to give back some portion of the generosity that has been extended to me over the years. Occasionally that may extend to keeping a watchful eye on a less experienced diver or dive team, especially at a site with which I'm familiar. If paired with a less experienced diver, It is under those circumstances especially that I think the skills of solo diving might be particularly pertinent.

    DIVERS WANTED. Snobs Need Not Apply.

    Stay wet... avra
    Read more...
    wall 914 days ago
  • avra cohen added a new wall post in the event, Beneath the Sea!
    If you've never been, you'll be amazed. If you're a regular, it'll be fun to see old boat buddies and catch up on the latest.
    events 914 days ago
  • events 914 days ago
  • avra cohen replied to the topic Re: Shark Finning in the forums.
    weimeiw wrote:
    We have to find a right tone to promote understanding, education and arming ourselves with scientific facts. I think most people are less inclined to cooperate or listen if they feel attacked, and we need everyone on our side. Believe me, the Chinese folks will not eat any more shark fin if they knew how much health risks there is.


    I agree. It is not only the Chinese who bear responsibility for this travesty. Although it is indeed overwhelmingly the Chinese demand for shark fins that drives the market, there are greedy opportunists from around the world all too happy to exploit this market either legally or more frequently illegally. In the film Sharkwater we witnessed the Ecuadorian shark-fin 'mafia' as they blatantly engaged in corrupting officials to continue their multi-million dollar rape of our oceans. This happens in every corner of the globe.

    And many of us can have a look in the mirror as well. Have you ever used Yahoo? Do you know about the controversy that surrounded their involvement in shark finning a few years ago? Alibaba is not only China's biggest e-commerce firm but also the world's largest online shark fin trader. While environmentalists, ocean lovers and a growing world-wide scuba diving community find this utterly scandalous, Yahoo! top managers don't seem to mind. They already have a $1 billion stake in Alibaba representing a 40% shareholding, and, as reported, will soon increase their investment in the Chinese internet company by another 8-10%.

    The Japanese are not alone in their insane whaling practices. The United States practically forced the practice on them in the post-war era to cope with food shortages. Now it seems to be embraced by a minority as a matter of national pride. They are joined in their barbarity by Iceland, Norway and a host of indigenous cultures in many countries including the U.S.

    This is not about race or ethnicity or nationality. It is about stopping criminals who are profiting to the tune of many millions of dollars. They are stealing from us and from our children. They are destroying a marine resource that belongs to us. They are upsetting a delicate ecosystem that has evolved over millions of years.

    How can we change a cultural landscape that allows this? You are exactly right. Education not only of the public, but of the legislators, representatives and institutions charged with protecting our common heritage. Here's one place to start:

    FOX GUARDING THE HEN HOUSE?

    CITES: Remove Dr Giam Choo Hoo from CITES
    CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, Flora & Fauna. It is the UN body created to control the trade or ban the trade in endangered species. Dr Giam Choo Hoo is the Alternative Representative for Asia within CITES. He advises the committee as to what gets and what doesn't get protection.

    He has been discovered to be working with the Shark Fin Industry and uses his position to lobby within CITES against any protection for sharks. He is using the power that he has been entrusted with, to work against the protection of endangered species.

    Frank Pope of the Times of London interviewed Dr. Giam on March 14. An except from his article is as follows, ā€œIā€™m elected by the Asian region I will tend to want to help them out where I can,ā€ he told me. And he went on to say that because Shark fin Soup is the number one most prestigious thing to serve at a big event in China, Chinese people do not want it banned, and therefore he campaigns for that result."

    Frank Pope's Blog

    frankpope.co.uk/2012/03/15/in-conversati...shark-fin-godfather/

    "Giam Choo Hoo is an ecological criminal and an eco-terrorist and his victims are endangered species and generations unborn." - Capt. Paul Watson
    Read more...
    wall 914 days ago
  • avra cohen updated review for Eclipse.
    • Eclipse
    • I got it. I love it. I've never looked back. I know very few instances of divers who have tried a backplate and wings (BP/W)...
    wall 926 days ago
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