It`s now mid February, and although I live is SW Florida it seems that I really haven`t been able to get out diving as much as I`d like. I know this must sound pretty lame to those of you who are living in the cold climes, but to me, I`m getting real dehydrated and long to get wet a lot more often then I`ve been able to lately. This is the time of year that I annually get my equipment checked out at my local scuba shop, and upgrade to new and better equipment for myself. This year I have purchased a new Dive Rite Trans Plate with Trek Wings. Now, if I could only get in some dives to check this new system out! Last year I was fortunate enough to get in 68 dives. As you can expect most of my dives are in warm water. I do enjoy many aspects of the sport...from wreck diving to fossil hunting to exploring and navigating and of course, continued education programs through training...I began and now completed training for my NAUI Master Scuba Diver certificate. I try to keep up to date in training and obtain new certifications...in that process I am constantly getting reinforcement of the basics, which we all must never forget and also must continue to practice as we dive. This year I hope to obtain my oxygen provider certification through DAN. Lately, I have become passionate with spearfishing and hunting. I will be going on a liveaboard at the end of March from Fort Myers Beach to the Dry Tortugas for a 4 day hunting trip. As a member of a very active dive club down here, I am involved in our club`s spearfishing competition, which is both a friendly and rewarding avenue to compete and reinforce great friendships as well as offering me the opportunity to win some great prizes. I have also arranged a mid April all day charter for six of us to go spearfishing here in the Gulf. My best spearfishing trip this year will come in late August when I will drive up to North Carolina to get in on a couple of all day charters, out of Topsail Beach and the Morehead/Beaufort areas and hopefully capture a few of their large spiny lobsters, and harvest a few nice hogfish and groupers. This year I hope to again get in at least as many dives as last year...although the continuous cold fronts that come in on our Gulf of Mexico mess up the seas, viz, and water temperature quite often. I did get a fossil hunting dive in from the beach in Venice in January, and a couple of training dives off of Boca Grande in so far in February. More often then not, our plans for spearfishing have been scuttled by bad weather on the weekends, when most of my buddies are available. But as the winter wanes and the spring comes, the opportunites will warm up like our Florida waters. The premonition and waiting for all of the wreck, fossil, hunting, and recreational dives I enjoy so much are keeping me sane while I endure just a few more weeks of winter. To all my dive buddies out there, hope you have great plans and many dive opportunities this year too! Enjoy!