Snorkeling Trips and Strong Swimmers

If you are a strong swimmer, you may be disappointed with how you are treated when you go on a “snorkeling” trip in a tropical location.  Some places require you to wear a life vest and have other restrictions.  The first clue that this is not a real snorkeling trip is, they don’t ask if you know how to swim.

Dear Tropical Tourism Boards, Legislatures, Rule and Law-making Entities, Snorkeling Trip Vendors :

Do not treat people who have worked hard to develop swimming skills

2008 LEN European Championships Final 400m Freestyle Women
Competitive Swimmers

the same as those who have not.

An example of casual swimming

I am a 66 year old former competitive swimmer. I am a Water Safety Instructor,  I taught a LOT of kids how to swim in the YMCA program.  I was certified to SCUBA in 1987.

I work out three to four times a week.

What is Snorkeling?

“Snorkeling allows you to enjoy the underwater world from the surface of the water and diving down while holding your breath to get a closer look.”
— Scuba Diving vs. Snorkeling • Scuba Diver Life › scuba-diving-verse-snorkeling

That means that from time to time, if you see something interesting, and are a good swimmer, you take a momentary surface dive from the top to view something on the bottom a bit closer.

When we go on a tropical vacation, I do a few Scuba trips, and I also Snorkel with my wife.  I do not go to places that require snorkelers to wear a vest.  I am a very experienced snorkeler. I like to do surface dives (Also known as a Duck Dive  ) when I go snorkeling.

You cannot do a surface dive with a vest.

I am neutrally buoyant, with nine pounds of weight (I wear a full sun protection suit when I snorkel and dive).  I find taking weights is preferable to doing what they call Free Diving. There are many semantic differences and confusion about what free diving is. I refer to the more technical definition used by the some of the standard bodies (and for competitive free diving events) . See I do not feel the need to use breathing techniques that require a lot of training, when, with a few pounds of weight, I can stay underwater for a minute.  Free diving requires skills and practice.  Wearing a few pounds of weights requires no special skills. Wearing nine pounds of extra weight does not impair my swimming or floating on the top — it just makes it easier for me to do a quick surface dive to get a closer look at some of the marine life or corals that are a few feet  below me.

If you are negatively buoyant, getting and staying underwater is easy.  If you are positively buoyant, it is more difficult. See Personal Buoyancy

I am not unusual in doing surface dives. Every tour guide I have ever been on a snorkel trip with will do many during the course of an hour snorkel. Any good swimmer will do a few when something catches their eye.

Having a one size fits all mentality for snorkeling safety does not make sense.

I am not unusual.  Statistics on the number of capable versus casual swimmers are not available.  The  has over 400,000 current members.  The number of people who have been members at some time in their lives is in the millions.  Think of these people as Olympic Hopefuls.  This does not include many of the swimmers who are members of their Junior and High School swimming teams.  College Teams…Water polo players ….  Swimming Instructors…  Synchronized Swimmers. .. Navy Seals … Japanese Pearl Divers .... Add in Iron men, Marathon Swimmers, and groups like the L Street Brownies.  Capable swimmers number in the tens of millions.

Dear Tour Operators and Tourist Boards:
If you want people to visit your area and enjoy the marine life there — for many, the very reason they have paid good money to be there — do not treat people who have spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours, working on becoming the best swimmers they can be, like casual swimmers. That disrespects their skills — and in essence penalizes them for knowing how to swim well.

In fact, these are the kind of people you want on your boats, just in case a situation arises where your team could use some additional help.

Gary and Anne snorkeling

Snorkeler’s Pledge


  • Maintain good mental and physical fitness.
  • Ask in advance about snorkeling conditions like currents, tides, aquatic life from a knowledgeable, source who is familiar with local conditions.
  • Snorkel within your limitations.
  • Look but don’t touch — marine life is fragile.
  • Keep your fingers away from turtles, and eels.
  • Give sharks and rays a wide berth.
  • Snorkeling is a recreational activity. It is for enjoying nature, not competition.

Ten Tips for Divers (and Snorkelers) to Protect the Ocean Planet
The Divers Pledge to Protect the Ocean

I would be more than happy to sign a waiver saying I take personal responsibility for my snorkel trips. If I have a heart attack or stroke, my number came up. If I am swimming in a protected area, with a boat and dive flags, and I get run over by a drunken boater, that is another thing. Snorkeling insurance does not need to cover my heart attack. It should cover the rogue boater who runs over swimmers, or snorkelers or scuba divers.

Setup your Google for an International Trip where WiFi is Limited or Slow

As of Android Pie 9 Nov 1, 2019
Trip where WiFi is Limited or Slow

How to Disable Push Apps Like Google News ?

Google Fi app

Fi Network Tools

Select Enhance network – off to turn off
VPN – off (less overhead for slow connections)

Spam and blocked numbers

Block spam calls – on

International settings:

Select Account
Account settings

Select Alerts- on.
Select International
Select Notify about coverage before and during travel – on ( should work without Mobile Data or Wifi)

Open the Project Fi website

Select Account tab — your plan (or group plan), select a person.

Select Service outside the U.S – on.
Select Calls to non-U.S. numbers – on.

On your device

Settings – Select Network & Internet – Select Mobile Network – Roaming – on.

Once you turn on the settings, you can use the International services uninterruptedly. For more information, please refer to this link.

International charges:

Text messages are free of cost (both sending and receiving)
Here is the article that breaks down the international call rates depending on the country you call.
As far as Wi-Fi calling is concerned, you’ll be charged, depending upon the country you’re calling. Refer this link for WiFi calling rates.
You can enjoy data for just $10/GB.
To make a pure Wi-Fi call, make sure that the Airplane mode is enabled and then the Wi-Fi is enabled.

Chrome, Google Drive etc

Sign into your Google Account on all the devices you want to use on your trip before you go.
Synch everything the day before then turn off synch

Chrome on Laptop or Desktop

Right hand side, Settings, Advanced,Privacy and security
Sync and Google services , turn off

Disable automatic App updates

Open Google Play.
Tap the hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) on the top-left.
Tap Settings.
Tap Auto-update apps.
To disable automatic app updates, select Do not auto-update apps.

Turn off automatic picture and video uploads

Open Google Photos
Tap the hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) on the top-left.
Tap Settings.
Tap Backup and synch.
Toggle Backup and synch off
See Cellular Data Backup – Photos should be off, Video Off

Settings – System

System -Backup – Do a Backup – if you try and turnit off it says it will delete everything

Google Maps

Make sure you’re connected to the Internet and signed in to Google Maps. Search for a place, like San Francisco . At the bottom, tap the name or address of the place tap More . Select Download offline map Download.

Android System Updates

Google “turn off {your phone maker ex moto } Android system updates.

Standard Settings to Consume Little Data

Wifi off, Bluetooth off, NFC off,
Disable Automatic App Updates
Turn off Automatic picture and Video Uploads
System – Backups – turn off System backups
Google Account – Turn off Synch

Enhance Network off (VPN off)
International alerts on

Downloaded Maps for the area in Google Maps
Favorite Maps and Location in Google Maps
Enter Location in Google – Google Maps
Google Maps – toggle Wi-Fi ONLY on

Data Saver off (to lessen impact on the network) May have to turn on
Location (GPS ON)
Mobile Data off

Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox, pause synching

When I want to use the phone and apps over Cellular Data
Mobile Data on
Google Maps – toggle Wi-Fi ONLY off
Data Saver on (may need to turn this off)

When I want to use WiFi (there is a network available)
Wifi ON
Google Maps – toggle Wi-Fi ONLY on
Data Saver off

If app problems, trying clearing cache:

Change Settings Notes

Data Saver
If enabled, your Android handset will restrict the background use of cellular data, thereby saving you from any unpleasant surprises on your monthly mobile bill.
Pull down from the Top Data Saver, then flip on the switch

Pull down from the Top Bluetooth, then flip on the switch

Battery Saver
Pull down from the Top Battery Saver, then flip on the switch

Mobile Data
Pull down from the Top Mobile Data, then flip on the switch
Also Settings, Network & Internet, Mobile Network (Google Fi) – Mobile Data -toggle, Roaming – Toggle Mobile Data

GPS on off
Settings > Security & location .
Privacy section
Tap Location to turn on or off .

Airplane Mode
Cellular: Your device will stop communicating with cell towers. You won’t be able to send or receive anything that depends on cellular data, from voice calls to SMS messages to mobile data.
Wi-Fi: Your phone will stop scanning for nearby Wi-Fi networks and attempting to join them. If you’re already connected to a Wi-Fi network, you’ll be disconnected.
Bluetooth: Airplane mode disables Bluetooth, a wireless communication technology..
GPS: Airplane mode also disables GPS-receiving functions, but only on some devices. This is a bit confusing and inconsistent. In theory, GPS is unlike all the other technologies here—a device with GPS turned on is only listening to GPS signals it receives, not transmitting any signals. However, some aircraft regulations do not allow the use of GPS-receiving functions for whatever reason.

Security And Privacy
Google Play Protect on (turn off Unknown Sources)
Find My Device (requires WiFi)

Google Translate
What do you need to have on for google translate to work
Check Google Play before Download and use from above link
Download on laptop
Open the Google Translate website. You can access it at

Windows 10
open settings Update and Security – updates, pause updates for 7 days
Win 10
?Install Windows Defender Application Guard
Isolated Browsing

All Settings

Privacy – Some of these might be useful,If I was connected to WIFI

Activity History Off


Alarms Only

Shared Experiences – Off

Remote Desktop if Win 10 Pro
Turn off synching for Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox etc

The Google Links
Open File Picker,-88.0677905,11z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x8f5b61fbed6153e9:0x41424c2902bd3290!8m2!3d18.001592!4d-87.9432837

Google Drive 
On device , in system tray, right click on GD, See 3 dot hamburger at top, select pause

Google Fi
You can contact a Google Fi expert through the Google Fi app. You can also dial 611 or call the number below:
Touch and hold 0 until you see the + icon on the display
Dial 1-404-978-8610 (international rates may apply). Fi international problema

Use your Phone Outside the US,(international%20rates%20may%20apply).

International use is supported in over 200 supported countries and destinations. Cellular calls are $0.20 per minute, and texts are included. You can also make calls over Wi-Fi. The rates for calling over Wi-Fi internationally depend on the country you’re calling. For specific rates, see Google Voice calling rates. 22 cents a minute. Text Free

If you don’t want to receive system updates notification, you can turn off the Automatic System Updates via Developer Options.

To Enable Developer Options:
Settings > About Phone > Tap Build Number 7 times
Go back to Settings > Developer Options > Disable Automatic System Updates

Michael Cohen – Trump’s former lawyer

Criminal status: Currently incarcerated at Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville.

Cohen warned Republicans, who he saw as defending the president, to take note of his current position: “The more people that follow Mr. Trump as I did, blindly, are going to suffer the same consequences that I’m suffering.”

Cohen said he violated campaign finance laws at the direction of Trump and “for the principal purpose of influencing” the 2016 presidential election.


Feature Request for Contacts – Stock Android

This URL for this request is at:

Update Nov 11, 2019

I made some Project Fi support requests and posted questions on the Google Fi support forum before I wrote this.  To my suprise, I found this setting in the Google Fi app on my phone.  Select Spam and blocked numbers,  Block spam calls.  We shall see how this works. If it allows phone calls from people not in my contacts, like some Doctors, Acquaintances and others, that will be great.  I think it still would be a good idea to have a seperate ringtone for calls that the number is not in my contacts, but this, hopefully, will make my life better.

My Moto X4 shows the:
Phone app (
and the
Contacts App (  to be from Google LLC.

This information was obtained by opening the app, (example Contacts) Left Menu – Help and Feedback – Right Menu – View in Google Play Store.

My carrier is Google Fi.

My system:

Device Name: moto x4
Sim status: Google Fi
Software Variant: google_fi
Software Channel: retus
Android version: 9
Build number: PPW29.69-39-6
Contacts Version @2019 Google Inc.
A lot of open source licenses

In the Terms of service, it says you may need a google account to use some services. My phone contacts synch with my Google Gmail account and I see them at:

More on Gmail and Android Contacts integration at:

Maybe there is some coordination needed between the apps and the carrier to make this requested functionality available.  Maybe the automobile options might need tweaking.  Contacts are integrated with the Phone app, the Messages app, DUOHangouts, the  Gmail app and other apps can use the functionality through APIs. We note that care must be taken not to interfere with any existing functionality.  Other apps or services might need to changed to fulfil this request. Other apps or services might want to incorporate similar types of features.  If the phone makers are given the default functionality, it will be better for all of us.  Please adjust, expand and forward this request as necessary.

Please implement and integrate the following in the Google Contact and Phone apps:

1. Create the capability to set a default ringtone for everybody in your contacts

2. Set a different default ringtone (system) for any number not in contacts.

3. Optionally and in addition, set a default ringtone for calls already identified as spam.

4. Create another capability to set another custom ringtone for people in a group (or with a label)

5. Keep the option to create a custom ringtone for any individual, no matter what group they are in. 

6. Option 5 overrides option 4.  Option 4 overrides option 1. 


Identify calls from people you know.

The primary reason I am pushing for this is I just had a situation where one of my neighbors called me.  She was scared, there was someone at her door that would not go away.  I ignored her call, because, most of the calls I get are spam. People rely on other people. Please give us the capability to set an auditory clue as to the caller, not just a visual one.  It is wonderful that Google has implemented phone calling spam detection techniques.  This request makes that implementation better. 

Having the ability to have a separate ringtone for people in you contacts and another for non-contacts makes reacting to spam calls a lot better.  Think of moms with babies, people walking around without their phone on them, because they are home.  People in the shower etc.  Think about the blind and visually impaired.

Where are we now:

My research shows no easy way to do this.  You can set a ringtone for a contact, but, not a group.

If there is a macro / scripting / automated solution, can someone please tell me about it? The above link has a suggestion; however, it is tied to an event and a single contact. It is really inadequate.

It is not a significant task to create these requested features. The core functionality already exists.

Some additional notes on implementation:

Add to Settings

Enable Advanced Custom Ringtones
Default Ringtone for Contacts
Default Ringtone for non Contacts

Some additional logic

Check and warn if (Enable Advanced Custom Ringtones and [a member of multiple groups]

Check and warn if trying to delete a ringtone that is used.

If ringtone cannot be found, use a system default ringtone.

My Moto x4 with stock contacts has the label feature.  Option 4 might use the ability to set a custom ringtone for that label. Can a contact have multiple labels?  In some instances, like sending emails using the label, this would be desirable. It would not be desirable to have a contact have multiple ringtones.  If creating a label for a group of contacts, if one of the members of the group already has one or more labels, pop a message that says, this contact is in the group (label) and you are over riding the label ringtone.  Would it be desirable to use the default as the existing label ringtone or use the new label ringtone? Other details on this would need to be defined.  For example: would it be desirable to identify and keep any individual contact ringtone already set, if trying to set a label ringtone.

Suggestions on Ringtones – what you hear

example chirpy for contacts
plodding for non contacts

Use different instruments, pitches, very different tones for different groups.  This request is independent of the actual ringtone used; however, it might be desirable to provide defaults that are very easy to remember and identify.

Would it be possible to have different types of vibrations?

Not implementing this type of feature will from now on be referred to as the Boeing 737 plan.

Dear Google product experts, please refrain from telling me your suggestions, unless you have a concrete way of accomplishing these requests.  This feature may require some implementation by the phone manufacturer, but most of the core functionality I am requesting can be encapsulated in the Google Contacts app.

One of the core reasons I use Google Fi, is that you get a pure Google Android experience. If you know of another place to submit this request, please advise.  It has been suggested from the help and feedback on my phones Contact app and sent to and requested through Google Fi support.  if you like this idea, please do the same!

Please also see:

I have not locate the source for the Google Contacts app. Is the contact app open source?

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James Taylor – Shower the People

You can play the game,
You can act out the part,
Though you know it wasn’t written for you.
Tell me how can you stand there
With your broken heart,
Ashamed to playin’ a fool?

When one thing can lead to another,
It doesn’t take any sacrifice.
Oh, Father and Mother,
And sister and brother,
If it feels nice, don’t think twice

Just shower the people you love with love,
Show them the way that you feel,
Things are gonna be just fine,
If you only will,
If you only will only

Shower the people you love with love
Show them the way you feel,
Things are gonna be much better,
If we only will,

You can run but you cannot hide,
This is widely known,
Listen to what do you plan to do
With your foolish pride,
When you’re all by yourself alone

Once you tell somebody
The way that you feel,
You can feel it beginning to ease,
I think it’s true what they say
About the squeaky wheel
Always getting the grease

Better to
Shower the people you love with love,
Show them the way you feel,
Things are gonna be just fine,
If you only will,
If you only will want it now

Shower the people you love with love,
Show them the way you feel,
Things are gonna be much better
If we only will

Shower the people you love with love,
Show them the way you feel,
Shower the people you love with love,
Show them the way you feel,
Shower the people you love with love,
Show them the way you feel,
Shower the people you love with love,
Show them the way you feel,
Shower the people you love with love,
Show them the way you feel,
Shower the people you love with love,
Show them the way you feel,
Shower the people you love with love,
Show them the way you feel,
Shower the people you love with love,
Show them the way you feel,
Shower the people you love with love,
Show them the way you feel…

I guess things are gonna be just fine
If we only will