Monday, May 20, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
Danielle has always been very naturally comfortable around horses, and like many children do, she learned everything and anything to do with them very quickly and easily. She took lessons for a couple of years, but eventually had to stop for awhile. I don't think there was a moment in time when she wasn't yearning to return to the saddle.
|Healing Hearts Ranch|
I decided I had better take some lessons before departing for this summer vacation that I'm supposed to enjoy. Danielle had already started lessons at Healing Hearts Ranch in the fall of 2012, and at the same time she volunteered to help them with their therapeutic riding classes. We both agreed to make a couple financial sacrifices so that we could take riding lessons together, and I'm extremely happy we did this.
Someone else will have to tell you whether or not I'm riding well, but I can tell you that I'm loving my lessons. I was sure I would never want to canter by choice, and definitely feared an accidental canter. Kristi, our instructor, uses tactile and illustrated techniques to teach, which works well for me. She could see right through me, sensing my fear and my tension. She reminds me to breath, use soft hands, press and release, and so much more. I'm no longer afraid of a canter, in fact, the only things I fear now are the mistakes I might make that send the horse the wrong message.
I'm always excited about our Monday riding lessons. With each lesson I learn a little bit more about myself, gain confidence, and enjoy the precious time I get to spend with my daughter. Today, Kristi taught me that my grandson is not an autistic child, he's a child with autism. Leg yielding, one hand and gentle reining, a few laps at a cantor, and a more compassionate vocabulary; definitely love my Monday lessons. You can learn more about Healing Hearts Ranch on their web site.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
|Luxfer 63 CU FT |
Luxfer 63 CU FT Aluminium Scuba Diving Tanks
These tanks are great for instructors diving in the pool, and they are perfect for shorter students. Every cylinder is produced from high strength aluminum alloy 6061-T6. Cycle-tested in excess of 100,000 cycles at service pressure. Corrosion-resistant interior and exterior--unlike corrosion-prone steel cylinders. Nitrox-ready: Scuba Diving Tanks can be charged with oxygen enriched air immediately.
Seasoft Soft Weight Belt Pro 16 Lb With Stainless Steel Buckle
|SeaSoft 16 Lb Weight Belt|
With Stainless Steel Buckle
|Apollo Bio-Fin Pro|
4 Sets Apollo Bio-Fin Pro
These fins are great. They're comfortable, take very little energy, and in low visibility they are easy to see. Fins come with their original fin straps, or you can purchase them with Apollo C-Series Spring Straps.
USIA Superstretch Undergarment
An extremely warm and comfortable double- layered four-way stretch fleece one piece dry suit undergarment jumpsuit with foot and thumb loops. The USIA Superstretch has been tested in the cold waters of the Puget Sound and Oregon Coast, and divers have responded overwhelmingly to the warmth of this garment.
Weezle Compact Undergarment
The Weezle undergarment is comfortable, easy to dawn and remove, and warm. It does a good job of keeping you warm, and won't overheat you in the spring, summer, and fall.
2 Tusa Platina R-100 Balanced Piston First Stages & S-10 Regulators
R-100 & S-10
Coming soon...DUI Dry Suit, 3 Sea Doo Supercharged VS Bombardier Scooters, 2 Spearguns, Coldwater Neoprene Boots and Gloves, Dry Suit Ring Systems, and more. We will list as time permits. Of course we live in Dupont, WA, so we are hoping to sell our gear to locals, but if you are willing to pay S & H, we are willing to ship the gear.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
2011 - We had just started running, so we decided to start slowly and cautiously, opting to run the half-marathon. Adam (18 at the time) ran the full marathon, Taylor (16) ran the half-marathon with us, and Danielle (16) ran the 5k. A good friend of ours, Kyle Larson, joined us in running the half-marathon. All-in-all it was a good day, we all finished our runs, we spent just as much time socializing as we did running, and we all learned a great deal about long distance running that day.
2012 - We all loved this local run so much, we all returned to the TCM. Adam wasn't able to train for the marathon, so he joined Steve, Taylor, and I on the half-marathon, and Danielle returned to run the 5K. Steve and I had already run a couple of marathons in 2011, but our 2011 TCM medal was only half of a medal, so we had to run the half in 2012 to get the second half of the medal. Once again, we all loved the run. Steve and Taylor ran together, keeping a pretty good pace, and finished together. Adam and I ran together, keeping a pace I could enjoy, and finished together. Danielle finished the 5k and then grabbed the camera to get some photos of the rest of us as we crossed the finish line. Once again, this run did not disappoint and we all had a great time.
2013 Race Map. Last year, we went a little crazy on the running, and actually managed to qualify for the Marathon Maniac (MM) running club. This year we will be running the full TCM marathon with our MM friends. Steve's going to try to help me set a personal record on this run. I'm more of a jogger than a runner, but with his motivation and patience, I hope to run more than jog this year.
I'll post an update and photo's once we've finished the 2013 run. Scratch that, too tired and too sore to take photo's. There were a lot of different finishers medal, but this is the beauty Steve and I received.
|2013 Tacoma City Marathon - Marathon Maniac's Finishers Medal|
Sunday, April 21, 2013
As you may know, this October Steve and I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon as a member of the Semper Fi Fund Team. The Semper Fi Fund is a nonprofit set up to provide immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Both Steve and I pledged to raise $400.00, but with your help, we hope to raise much more than that.
To make a donation, please visit our fundraising pages:
Thank you for supporting us and our efforts to make an impact on the lives of those who have given so much in the name of freedom!
Saturday, April 20, 2013
The run and two broken ribs cost me a lot including a trip to Indonesia, a few months of scuba teaching, and of course no running or any serious work outs until my ribs healed. As 2013 approached, Steve and I decided to switch gears a bit. We did some reading and picked a few marathons and running events that would be more meaningful or fun.
Our first marathon this year is the Tacoma City Marathon on Sunday, May 5th. We've run the half twice, but decided it was time to run the full marathon this year to celebrate with our fellow Maniacs in this 10th year anniversary of the TCM. They changed the course for the marathon this year, “flattening it out,” but Tacoma is not flat and no matter how hard you try to find a flat course, it’s still an up and down hill city.
In August, we are going to set aside our long distance running shoes to run the Pacific Northwest Spartan Race on Saturday, August 3rd. Steve, Sean, Taylor, Adam, and I are running as the Foolish Five. We are hoping that Danielle, Tiffany, Joel, and Gabe will be there cheering us on as the boys push me up and over every obstacle.
Route 66 Marathon. Steve likes the look of the finishers medal, so this run will be one of our “for fun” runs. In the cold of November, we will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma to run this marathon. Doesn't this sound a little crazy? Let’s travel in the winter to a very cold location to run 26.2 miles for fun so that we can pick up one of the coolest looking finishers medals.
Hopefully, this schedule will help us reach our goals of fitness, fun, and time spent together.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Let's start with Rescue. Well it wasn't exactly diving, but it was still supremely fun. Whether it's rescue in the pool, or demonstrating rescue techniques at the beach, Rescue classes are always a blast.
Next I joined a TL Sea Diving PADI Deep Diver specialty course. We were diving Jorstad Creek; a beautiful location in Hoodsport, Washington.
There are many places people can go to dive, but if you haven't tried diving the amazing waters of the Pacific Northwest, you are definitely missing out on something wonderful.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
We decided to take the whole family scuba diving yesterday. That's five divers; Steve (my husband), Adam (my son 17), Taylor (Steve's son 15), and Danielle (my daughter 15). We own almost enough gear for all five of us to dive; five tanks, four dry suits, three undergarments, four regulators, mask, snorkel, & fins for all of us, almost enough lights so that we all have a primary and a back-up light, almost enough weight for all of us to dive in our wonderful cold Puget Sound water, gloves, hoods, clips, computers, whistles, knives, and a few scissors. We packed the truck early Saturday morning, and jumped in the car to catch the matinee Iron Man 2 in Olympia. On the way home we stopped at Cabella's to pick up four fishing licenses (it's almost Ling spearfishing time), then over to Taco Del Mar for a quick bite to eat, back to the house to pick up the truck.
Still short on gear, we headed up to TL Sea Diving to grab two undergarments, one dry suit, one regulator, and top off a couple of tanks. The day was sunny and warm when we arrived at our favorite local dive site; Redondo Beach, WA. We unloaded all of the gear and started setting up. First problem, Taylor’s outgrown his BCD and there’s no way to make it fit him. I’m smaller than him so we trade BCD’s. Second problem, “mom, my tank only has 1800 psi.” Third problem, “where are my boots?” Already in my thermal protection, I jumped into the car and buzzed up to the dive center and returned in record time; all problems fixed.
Danielle and I were diving the first dive of the PADI DPV Diver specialty. She’s been waiting for a long time to take this class and she’s very excited. She and I entered the water first and entry was smooth. We made our way on the surface to the drop point and descended down the line to approximately 20 feet…pitch black and murky. The plankton bloom is in full swing and we can see each other as long as we are no further apart than six inches.
The dive was fantastic as far as skills and communication go. Using only my compass and site familiarity, we worked our way over to the PVC diamonds, some 400 yards from our entry point, and with some serious luck we found them. Danielle was stuck to me like Velcro on neoprene, and we scootered through the diamonds both demonstrating and performing the DPV skills. I held onto my DPV while we did the tandem skills in fear of losing it because of the bad viz. Finding the final diamond, we took a compass heading for the Geo-dome. Inside the dome we fine tuned some of the DPV skills. The visibility cleared a bit in the dome, but it was pitch black and our lights seemed almost useless.
Nothing to see and all skills completed, we took a compass heading for our exit point and zoomed back into the murky no-viz water, stopping only once to complete our three minute safety stop. Not a great dive, not even a good dive, just one of those dives where the best comment was “we made it out, never got lost, and stayed together.” Danielle and I climbed the stairs and started disassembling our gear.
Less than five minutes later the boys popped up and we rushed out to meet them to help them carry their gear in. Their dive was similar to ours….
The purpose of their dive was to give Adam and Taylor some experience setting up, diving with, firing, reloading, and maintaining their spearguns in preparation for their UW Hunter Specialty. They got into the water just minutes after we did, swam over to the descent line, and dropped into the murky water below. Steve found the large rope marking the path to the carousel, and moving at a snails pace, worked his way deeper hoping for better viz. Having moved only a few feet, Steve turned back to check on the boys…he found one, where’s the other? He moved his light within an inch of Adam’s face and scanned. Just as he figured out it’s Adam, Taylor’s light came into view. They continue this slow pace until they were 70 ft deep…and the viz was still awful. They stopped and settled into position to fire their guns.
During the descent, Adam determined that his dry suit and semi-dry glove configuration wasn’t working. He was slowly adding cold water to his suit through his right hand glove. He really wanted to try out the speargun, so he ignored the cold water entering his suit and pressed on.
Taylor, not having a lanyard to attach his speargun to this BCD, was extremely nervous that he was going to drop the gun and lose it in the murky landscape. Instead of moving into a diving position, he dove in a vertical position during the entire descent. He laughed to himself that if someone saw him they would think they were seeing Neptune himself with his speargun in one hand and his light in his other hand.
Not wanting to actually hit any fish, Steve searched an area with his light to be sure it was void of all life, and then he gave Adam the OK to fire his gun. After firing, retrieving his spear, and reloading his gun, Steve gave Taylor the OK to fire his gun. Taylor fired, retrieved, and reloaded his gun, and they all made their way back to their exit point.
With all the gear loaded into the truck and car, we discussed options for dinner and returned home to clean our gear and settle in for the night. The best part of the day started once everyone had finished devouring their dinner. One at a time we each took turns recounting the dive from our own point of view, everyone laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes. Turns out even a not-so-good dive can turn into a great dive when shared with family.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I've never understood why a company drops a popular product. With all the social networking sites, blogs, and feedback, it seems nearly impossible for "The Who from WhoVille" to go unheard. In this case, it's like holding a billion megaphones to a companies ear and everyone yelling at the same time. Maybe that's the problem, maybe we made them go deaf.
Specifically the focus of this particular frustration is Starbucks. People are actually leaving feedback on Starbucks own idea Web site, http://mystarbucksidea.force.com, and Starbucks appears very slow to respond...if they respond at all.
First, there's the Pike Place blend in the afternoon. Literally thousands of people have visited Starbucks Idea page asking them to add a variety of afternoon blends, and still no change.
Next, a lot of people have asked Starbucks to bring back the Almond syrup, so many I got tired of counting, right there on Starbucks Idea page, and still no almond syrup.
Lastly, and this one is the most personal, Please Bring Back The Espresso Brownie...Please. O.k., to date there were only four comments on the Starbucks Idea page, and one of them was mine, and this is probably one of the most unhealthy desserts on earth, but once in a while I just need one. I love them!
So, Starbucks, when you get the chance, please offer different blends in the afternoon, bring back the almond syrup and the beautiful, wonderful, tasty espresso brownie.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Today I had an opportunity to teach a handful of PADI divemaster candidates Decompression Theory and the eRDPML. I thought I would share a little information about theoretical tissue compartments and calculating tissue pressure.
In the early 1900's the British Navy found it too expensive to train scuba divers only to have them retire early because they were experiencing the bends frequently. In 1905 they contracted Dr. John Scott Haldane to research the causes and possible methods of preventing decompression sickness (DCS). After experimenting on goats, Haldane concluded that when descending, nitrogen pressure in compressed air is higher than in a divers body, so body tissue absorbs dissolved nitrogen and eventually body tissue will saturate and absorb no additional nitrogen. Once a divers begins to ascend, the nitrogen in the body tissue is higher than the surrounding pressure and the body tissue releases the nitrogen. Pressure gradient is the difference between the dissolved nitrogen pressure and the surrounding pressure. If a divers ascends correctly, the body can handle the gradient pressure without DCS, however, if the gradient pressure exceeds acceptable limits, bubbles form and cause DCS. Haldane completed his experiments in 1906 and published his theoretical model and no-decompression tables in 1908. Today, virtually all dive tables and dive computers calculate their no decompression limits based on his theoretical decompression model.
Tissue Compartments, Halftimes, & M-Values
Haldane built his theoretical model based on the fact that different parts of the body absorb and release dissolved nitrogen at different rates, therefore his model is based on multiple theoretical tissue compartments. His original model included five tissue compartments, today's versions have 14 or more compartments. Each theoretical compartment has a halftime which represents the time in minutes it takes to absorb and release nitrogen and is expressed in meters/feet sea water (msw/fsw). Each compartment takes six halftimes to fully saturate or empty. Original Haldane models ranged from 5 to 75 minutes. Today's models range from 3 to more than 600 minutes. In the 1960's, Dr. Robert Workman reviewed Haldane's model and revised it noting that each tissue compartment could tolerate different levels of over-pressurization and was depth dependent. His revision introduced the M-value which describes the amount of over-pressurization each compartment could tolerate at any depth.
Calculating Tissue Pressure
Ok, now we get to the problem or the problems. The problem is that students sometimes have trouble with this part of the lesson. They have trouble understanding how to calculate tissue pressure. Here are a couple of examples that break the calculations down into their simplest terms.
QUESTION: A 5 minute halftime compartment will have how much tissue pressure 5 minutes after its taken from the surface to 90 feet in seawater?
|1||5||90.00 fsw ÷ 2 = 45.00 fsw||45.00 fsw|
- After 5 minutes, a 5 minute compartment will saturate 1 halftime.
- 1 halftime is 1/2 the total depth: 90.00 ÷ 2 = 45.00
QUESTION: A 5 minute halftime compartment will have how much tissue pressure 20 minutes after its taken from the surface to 90 feet in seawater?
|1||5||90.00 fsw ÷ 2 = 45.00 fsw||45.00 fsw|
|2||10||45.00 fsw ÷ 2 = 22.50 fsw||45.00 fsw + 22.50 fsw = 67.50 fsw|
|3||15||22.50 fsw ÷ 2 = 11.25 fsw||67.50 fsw + 11.25 fsw = 78.75 fsw|
|4||20||11.25 fsw ÷ 2 = 5.63 fsw||78.75 fsw + 5.63 fsw = 84.38 fsw|
QUESTION: A 5 minute halftime compartment will have how much tissue pressure 40 minutes after its taken from the surface to 90 feet in seawater?
|1||5||90.00 fsw ÷ 2 = 45.00 fsw||45.00 fsw|
|2||10||45.00 fsw ÷ 2 = 22.50 fsw||45.00 fsw + 22.50 fsw = 67.50 fsw|
|3||15||22.50 fsw ÷ 2 = 11.25 fsw||67.50 fsw + 11.25 fsw = 78.75 fsw|
|4||20||11.25 fsw ÷ 2 = 5.63 fsw||78.75 fsw + 5.63 fsw = 84.38 fsw|
|5||25||5.63 fsw ÷ 2 = 2.81 fsw||84.38 fsw + 2.81 fsw = 87.19 fsw|
|6||30||2.81 fsw ÷ 2 = 1.41 fsw||87.19 fsw + 1.41 fsw = 88.59 fsw|
Since each compartment takes six halftimes to fully saturate or empty, after 30 minutes, a 5 minute compartment is fully saturated. Therefore, after 40 minutes, the compartment is still fully saturated at 88.59 fsw.
QUESTION: How long would it take a 20 minute compartment to saturate to a given depth?
SOLUTION: 20 minutes per halftime * 6 halftimes = 120 minutes
Well, I hope this helps anyone out there trying to understand Theoretical Tissue Compartments, Halftimes, & M-Values. I love working these problems. If you would like to see these same problems worked in metric or you have a different problem, feel free to contact me with a question. I'll post the question and solution.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
From the casting to the acting, this movie was done right. Writers, directors, and producers balanced the original stories, character background stories, the future, and current activities, and they did this exceptionally well. I never felt lost except maybe when...oops, that would be a spoiler.
Looking for a spectacular cinematic adventure...you've found it. Want believable special effects...it's in this movie. Need something old and something new...it's here. Put it all together and project it onto an IMAX screen, and you get the best motion picture of the year!
As a final note, I woke my teen daughter up and asked her to get ready to go to the movies. She asked what we would be seeing. When I told her it was Star Trek, she rolled her eyes and exhaled the word "oh" so strongly, the temperature in the room changed and the curtains bristled. When the movie ended, she called some of her best friends before we reached the car and told them "you just have to see this movie."
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Pulau Sipadan lies just off the northeast coast of Borneo in Malaysia. It's the only oceanic island in Malaysia. Living corals grew on top of an extinct volcanic cone to form the island. In 1989, Jacques Yves Cousteau was so taken by the diving on this island he filmed his documentary 'Ghosts of the Sea Turtle' there. To me, Sipadan is a paradise I hope to return to...very soon.
Getting to Pulau Sipadan is quite an adventure. If you're flying in from Kuala Lumpur, you can fly directly to the Tawau [Tu Wow] airport; lucky dog. From anywhere else in the world, you'll need to fly into Kota Kinabalu airport. From Kota Kinabalu airport, catch a connection to the Tawau airport. The next step involves catching a bus or a van to Semporna which takes about 1 hour. From Semporna, you'll catch a private boat to your dive resort which takes about another hour.
WHERE TO STAY
Sipadan was once the center of a territorial dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia. On April 23, 2000, A Filipino terrorist group, Abu Sayyaf, kidnapped 21 people from a resort on the island. Eventually, all 21 victims were released. In 2002 the International Court of Justice awarded the island to Malaysia. In 2004, in an effort to conserve a balanced ecosystem on and around the island, the Malaysian government ordered all on-site resort operators to move their structures off of the island. The Malaysian military now protects the island and surrounding areas against terrorist attacks. So, since staying on Sipidan isn't an option, you'll have to stay at one of the neighboring resorts.
There are several options including three resorts on the neighboring island of Mabul, and the Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort. Each of these resorts is a short boat ride to Sipadan, and each resort offers endless opportunities to shore dive, but the Sipadan Kapalai Dive Report is a magical location. If you sit quietly on it's helicopter pad, the only thing you'll hear is the sound of the breeze and the gently lapping water. This resort sits on sturdy stilts on the shallow sandbanks of the Ligitan Reefs, so there's plenty of diving all around the resort. "Planned and built in full style as an airy, comfortable, sunny water village with no land in sight, it boasts a mile-long sandbank of powdery white sand where one can suntan at complete leisure while gazing out to the miles of brilliant turquoise stretching into the horizon offering the purest image of natural serenity."
Sipadan is peppered with dive sites all the way around, and each dive is unique. Before diving here, I was afraid of being in the water with sharks. On our very first dive we dropped down on an incredible wall dive. There were other divers below us and I lost my dive buddy amongst all the bubbles. Keeping my eyes open and scanning the area for my husband, I moved closer to our divemaster, and when we reached our maximum depth, there was a shelf where there were at least four large shark. My heart was racing and I was momentarily paralyzed. Then I noticed the sharks moving away from photographers. Every time someone approached a shark, it moved away. That was the beginning of the end of my fear of sharks. On one of our dives we were surrounded by a swirl of so many barracuda they blotted out the sun. During another dive, we lost track of the number of white tip sharks and turtle. "Normally rare diving scenes are frequently seen in the waters around Sipadan." We saw schools of bumphead wrasse, green and hawksbill turtles, gigantic schools of big-eye jacks that will swirl around you taking you to a diver's heaven. You end almost every dive atop a shallow reef with cleaning stations, tabletop coral, eel, shrimp, cowry, nudibranchs, flatworms, and tons and tons of fish.
A NOTE OF CAUTION
If you want to dive here plan ahead, travel with a dive center, and make as many arrangements as you can ahead of time. The rules for diving at Sipadan change daily. Sometimes they let five boats approach the island, sometimes four, sometimes none. A boat of divers may be allowed to do one, two, or three dives before leaving the island. The best way to be sure you'll get to dive Sipadan is to stay at one of the resorts for at least a week. That's why we stayed at the Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort, the diving around the resort made waiting for Sipadan worth it, and the diving at Sipadan is worth the wait!
In 2005, my husband, Steve, and I had booked a vacation package on a cruise out of Florida. After discovering we had been roped into a scam vacation package, we decided to cut our losses and bail on the vacation. With time off already approved by our employers, we scrambled to put together a new vacation plan. Steve mentioned he had always wanted to visit Belizé to do some snorkeling so we put together a trip that would take us into three distinct areas of Belizé and bought the Lonely Planet Dive and Snorkel Belizé book. It didn’t take much reading to discover we would be missing out on some incredible experiences if we limited ourselves to snorkeling, so we decided to get scuba certified. In fact, we noticed some of the best diving was deeper than 60 feet so we backed our class up to allow us enough time to get certified as advanced divers. The vacation far exceeded our expectations. Each reef we visited was covered with a rainbow of colorful life with an interstate of bi-directional traffic at rush hour in the form of fish, eel, rays, and turtles. The simplicity of each dive left us free to soak in every view and creature leaving us with some terrific memories.
When we returned home we immediately thumbed through our dive magazines looking for our next dive destination. We both agreed that Bonaire and Curaçao were at the top of our wish list, but they seemed so exotic we didn’t think we could get there anytime soon. Then we met the owners of TL Sea Diving in Des Moines, Washington. They told us about an upcoming trip to Bonaire and without hesitation we signed up. Since then we’ve traveled with them to Nanaimo, Canada for some fantastic wreck diving, Bonaire, Netherlands for some breath-taking boat and shore diving, Cozumel, Mexico for some exciting drift diving, and Malaysia and Indonesia where the diving is nothing short of breathtakingly incredible. We’re so enthusiastic about exploring underwater worlds with our new friends that we’ve signed up for several of their upcoming trips to both local and warm water destinations.
The thought of scuba diving began with feelings of trepidation and I considered it an unattainable dream. Today I’m living that dream. I lost my brother in 2005 and regret not getting certified earlier to dive with him. Now he accompanies me as my secondary buddy on every dive. What are you waiting for?
Friday, May 1, 2009
These are photos from a recent trip to Indonesia. The point of this slideshow is to demonstrate that it's easier to "color correct" photos that start out good. The value of taking an underwater photo using white balance cannot be over emphasized. All of these photos, with the exception of the four with shadows, were taken with a Canon PowerShot A640 and an Ikelite housing with no lighting or stobe. Color is managed completely using white balance. The four fish with shadows were taken on a night dive with no white balance or stobe...I cheated and used my husbands video lighting...hey it was a cute fish and I left my strobe at home.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
While studying to become a PADI divemaster...on the road to becoming an PADI instructor, you have to develop a strong understanding of pressure. There are so many terms and formulas related to pressure that I frequently felt confused. I generally calculated the correct pressure, but was always unsure of the ending unit indicator (ATA or ATM). I asked Larry "Harris" Taylor, Ph. D. if he could provide a concrete explanation, and this is what he said.
ATM is a unit of pressure equivalent to the weight of the earth's atmosphere at sea level. Absolute pressure (ATA) is the total ambient pressure on the system being calculated or measured.
ATA is used to indicate that the absolute pressure includes the 1 ATM addition to the read gauge pressure.
So, if water depth is 1 ATA (as read by depth gauge at 33 fsw), the total pressure on the diver at depth is 1 ATA (weight of water) + 1 ATM (weight of atmosphere) = 2 ATA