Little Cayman trip details posted, divemasters & Discover Scuba

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 4, Number 15

Wow! We are halfway through April 2021. Is it me or is the year really accelerating? Only two weeks until we are at Dutch Springs.

This past week has been all about tanks on the service side. Lots of tanks getting inspected and ready to go for the dive season.

Over this past weekend we had an awesome pool session with our Divemasters in training. We spent three hours going over skills, watermanship, and teaching. With this session complete, they are on their way toward gaining their rating later in May. Great job, guys.

Our Discover Scuba Diving date at the Greenknoll Branch YMCA in Brookfield is set. It will be on Sunday, June 13 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Registration will be coordinated by the YMCA in Brookfield. When we have the details on how to register I will let you all know in case you know anyone who wants to experience scuba diving.

Last week I let you all know that we have booked Little Cayman Beach Resort for October 2022. Well you can now reserve your spot by giving us a call. We’ve added some additional rooms given the initial response. The base price for a double diver is $2,145. The single diver rate is $2,535 and a non-diver can join for $1,875. Pricing does not include airfare, and we will have that as an add on later this year. You can reserve your spot now for $250. This is refundable up until Jan. 2022. At that time a total $500 non-refundable deposit will be due. CALL NOW to reserve your spot or to get more information. Our website does have more details and information.

Have a good week everyone,
Jeff

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Little Cayman – Oct. 15-22, 2022

This incredible all-inclusive trip to Little Cayman includes seven nights and six full days of scuba diving offshore along one of the most beautiful underwater walls in the world.

You’ll be completely immersed in the experience that is Little Cayman Beach Resort. The resort has been in operation for decades, providing divers world-class opportunities only minutes away by boat. Really, the boat trips can be as little as three minutes to access the beautiful wall diving that starts at only 18 feet! Diving the Bloody Bay Wall Marine Park is considered a must-do adventure for divers from all around the world. Don’t miss your chance!

Located within the resort, Reef Divers provides personalized valet diving on custom built Newton dive boats. Don’t lift a finger! Short boat rides await to the iconic Bloody Bay Wall. Dive computers are required.

Chef-prepared dinners have a different theme every night, featuring soups, appetizers, salads, vegetables, starches, and hot entrées. And there’s always a selection of fabulous desserts!

Photos and illustrations courtesy Little Cayman Beach Resort, Reef Divers and Jason Belport.

Little Cayman Beach Resort is located in the Marine Park Zone, adjacent to more than 20 dive sites!

Little Cayman All-Inclusive Dive Package Includes…

  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily
  • Six, two-tank morning boat dives
  • Five, one-tank afternoon boat dives
  • Dive trip to Cayman Brac to dive the MV Capt. Keith Tibbetts’ wreck (Offered on select days; weather dependent at no additional charge)
    … So that’s a schedule including 17 boat dives
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Welcome Rum Punch and Manager’s Cocktail Reception
  • Resort fees, taxes and hotel gratuities.

Optional Airfare

Pricing for optional roundtrip transportation by coach, Roundtrip Airfare between JFK and Little Cayman, including inter-island flights, is not yet available but ran about $800 per person in 2019.

Note that gratuities for the dive staff are not included. Scuba Shack highly recommends DAN and trip insurance to protect your travel investment!

Little Cayman Trip Pricing

  • Double Diver $2,145
  • Single Diver $2535
  • Non-Diver $1,875

Early Booking – Make your reservation before Dec. 31 with a refundable deposit of $250 per person. A second deposit of $250 is required by Jan. 1, at which time all deposits become non-refundable.

Booking after Jan. 1 – A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required.

Payable in full on July 1, 2022

Valid passport required. Scuba Shack highly recommends that you carry Travel and DAN insurance.

Little Cayman Photos

Photos and illustrations courtesy Little Cayman Beach Resort, Reef Divers and Jason Belport.

 

Scuba Shack West and Little Cayman

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 4, Number 14

It is very refreshing to see things starting to turn green and getting some of the colors of spring out there. The goldfinch at the feeder have gotten their bright yellow feathers back.

Normally the week before Easter is usually pretty slow but we continue to keep rolling. After another great Divemaster session, the crew was out back working on full face mask units for one of our public safety teams as well as their 24 tanks. They’ll be ready for the season.

We also have some exciting news. We have been working with the Brookfield YMCA to offer open water courses as well as other scuba training at their pool. We are calling this initiative Scuba Shack West. We are very pumped up about this opportunity. Our plan is to start with a Discover Scuba event in June and then run a couple of classes in July and August. I’ll keep you informed of the progress. If you know anyone in Fairfield county and vicinity who are looking to learn to dive, please pass this along and have them contact us.

And here is a BIG ONE! We are going back to Little Cayman Beach Resort in 2022! We have booked a week of diving on Little Cayman for October 15 – 22, 2022. We are not able to book airfare yet, and will add that on later. This trip is guaranteed to sell out. Give us a call and don’t miss out.

I can not believe we are only three weeks away from Dutch Springs!

That’s it for this week.
Jeff

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New Wet Notes & service center update

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 4, Number 13

Hope everyone is doing well as we close out March 2021, make our way into April, and applaud the vaccine rollout here in Connecticut. We are almost there!

March ended with just as much activity around the shop as when the month started. Hard to believe that just four weeks ago we were ice diving.

Ron sent us a picture of Lizzy doing some diving at Blue Heron Bridge (lucky Lizzy) down in Florida. Looks like she had a bit of an encounter with an arrow crab. I’ve never had the opportunity to dive at Blue Heron Bridge – perhaps someday.

The latest edition of Wet Notes from Scuba Shack Radio is on YouTube. If you missed the podcast, check out Wet Notes for March 28 here.

On Saturday Tom and Jay completed all the final set up for our new regulator testing capability. We now have a constant source of low-pressure air running to the testing bench as well as LP air hoses to all workstations around the shop. Monty and team have put together a very impressive scuba service shop. We can give you a tour on your next visit.

Our Divemaster class is proceeding nicely. We are just about half way through the knowledge development, have had our first pool session and are on track for all the remaining work. Bill, Dave, Jay and Zach are working hard.

Until next week – take care.

Jeff

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Spring means a long weekend in the Bahamas!

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 4, Number 12

Hooray – we made it to Spring 2021. This promises to be a whole lot better spring this year than 2020. What a fantastic change in the weather. To think that just 10 days ago we were ice diving. Only in New England.

Here it is – the FINAL call for Nassau. We need to close out the Memorial Day trip to Nassau in the next week. If you are ready to get away soon – diving with Stuart Cove is the way to go. Check out the details and then call us by April 1.

Well we continued our Divemaster class this week with one night of lecture (thanks Peter) followed by a night at the pool. Ron and I were able to take Bill, Zach, Dave and Jay through their first set of skills. They had an awesome night at the pool and are really off and running with their DM rating later this spring.

The AIR Flow Bench and HP Manager are operational. There are still a few tweaks to the set up but on Saturday Tom and Jay completed the hook up of the high pressure lines. Bill was able to get the flow meter to work properly and we tested our first regulator. A great step forward for our service department.

It was quite busy at the shop on Saturday. Good to see folks getting ready to dive. Ahh, it is amazing what some nice weather will do.

Matt and Joel also started the March Open Water class this week. Our future divers completed their virtual session on dive physics and dive planning and are now set for their practical work at the shop and pool.

Until next week,
Jeff

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Get in on the scuba tank group buy to save!

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 4, Number 11

Hope everyone had a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! What did you do to celebrate the wearin’ of the green? A Guinness can really hit the spot! And – have you adjusted to daylight savings time yet? I still don’t get the need.

Well if one ice diver class wasn’t enough, Monty, Chris, Matt and Mike headed back to Mohawk Pond for another course. This time it was with the Brookfield Police Department. The ice held up just long enough to get them through their three dives over the two days. Congratulations to all the hearty divers on your certification.

We are making progress on getting our new regulator test equipment installed and up and running. On Saturday, the gang (Jay, Ned, Tom, Bill and Dave) was in, helping us get it properly configured and secured. We are very excited to have this new gear in the shop ready to serve all of you. We’re almost there.

In case you missed it, our semi-annual tank order is set to take place on April 1. If you have been thinking about some new tanks, now is the time to get them ordered and ready to go for the 2021 dive season. Just email us or give us a call, tell us what you want, then we will give you a quote. Deadline for ordering is March 30. Time is getting short.

The latest edition of Wet Notes from Scuba Shack Radio is on our Scuba Shack TV. Catch up on the latest news and information from the podcast.

Also – if you are planning on heading to Dutch Springs this year you should note that the daily admission fee is going up to $54 per day. But right now you can purchase daily admission tickets at last year’s rate of $45 per day up until April 1. Act now if you want to lock in some savings.

That’s it for now.
Jeff

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Busy Week – Ice diving and new classes start

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 4, Number 10

Wow – only in New England can you get both the dead of winter and late spring in a single week. I’ll take the 60 degree weather any day.

It would be a serious understatement to say we had a very, very busy week here at Scuba Shack.

We started our Divemaster class with Bill, Dave, Zach and Jay. They are off and running. Orientation and our first lecture is complete. Thanks to Peter, Tom, and Ron for helping us as they make their way into the PADI Professional ranks.

Then on Thursday night Monty and Matt hosted our second drysuit seminar with Pete and Tor from DUI. If you live in New England you will certainly want to consider a drysuit and DUI is most certainly a superior brand.

On Friday night Mike and Ron started a Core Principles class with Nancy and Jill. It continued over Saturday and Sunday at the pool and finished up with a video review on Tuesday.

We made our way up to Mohawk Pond on both Saturday and Sunday to conduct the Ice Diver course with the Region 5 Dive Team. It was COLD with over 14 inches of ice. Congrats to Ray, Mike, Eric, Bob and Pete on becoming certified ice divers. And thanks to the whole crew including Monty, Matt, Chris, Tom, Bill, Jay, and Zach for braving the elements and allowing us to deliver an incredible experience. You can check out some of the pictures on the Scuba Shack Facebook page. Also – take a look at the video.

And if that is not busy enough, Matt and Monty presented their 2018 Tobermory video to SECONN on Tuesday night. The wrecks in Tobermory are spectacular and the video captures the cold and deep diving. Scuba Shack plans on going back in 2022 – stay tuned.

There is more ice diving on tap along with more Divemaster training and we hope to start work on the flow bench this weekend. Stay tuned. What a week!

Jeff

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Scuba Tech, Ice Diver & New Regulator Test Gear

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 4, Number 9

Hurray! It’s March! Pretty soon the time will change (again) and we will see longer days and start to experience warmer weather.

With this edition of Scuba Shack Weekly, I am making a change to the blog. In the past, I’ve given a little bit of an update about what is going on at the shop and then also included other bits of information or links to other interesting stories or content. Now, with the incorporation of Wet Notes into the bi-weekly Scuba Shack Radio podcast, I will exclusively focus this blog on shop activities in an effort to keep you connected and informed about Scuba Shack.

If you want the more general news information, Wet Notes will be available either from the podcast or on Scuba Shack TV. Multiple options here.

Congratulations to Dave on completing our first Scuba Shack Basic Technician course. It was a great eight weeks of work. The course covered tools, o-rings, computers, BCDs, regulators, tanks and tank valves culminating with fill station operations and introduction to gas blending. Now it is onto Divemaster for Dave.

All of the preparations are complete for this weekend’s Ice Diver training. We are hoping that the ice holds for the Region 5 training. The preparation for this class is intense. Safety is paramount as this cold overhead environment presents unique diving challenges. Stay tuned for an update on the class next week.

I am very excited to report that we just received our new test equipment for regulator service. Our H.P. Manager and A.I.R. Flow Analyzer have arrived. This new test equipment will allow us to be more precise in the calibration of the regulators we service. Monty and I have been eying this for several years and now we have it. All that is left is to put it together, install it and learn to use it. Will provide a picture once it is installed.

That’s it for this week.
Jeff

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Pool time, metal work, and ropeless lobster fishing

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 4, Number 8

I didn’t think it would ever stop snowing last week. Every time I cleaned off my car or deck, it seemed there was more of the white stuff to move. Does anyone have a prediction on when the last of the snow will happen this year?

Last weekend we were able to get back to the pool in New Britain and complete several refresher sessions. We will continue to try to work these sessions into the schedule. Also, Penny completed her confined open water training and is now off to a warmer climate to do her open water certification dives.

Monty and the gang were in the repair shop all day Saturday getting the equipment ready for an upcoming Ice Diver course. Welding, cutting and grinding metal made for quite the experience in the service bay. Stay tuned for an update in early March on the training. Even though we are looking forward to spring, we want the ice to last just a little bit longer.

Last week I sat in on a presentation by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute that centered on how to save the North Atlantic Right Whale. The presentation talked about the numbers, threats and efforts to protect them. One of the major issues for this species is entanglement. Entanglement can come from the lines tied to the buoys on lobster traps. There is some new technology out there that supports ropeless lobster traps. Interestingly there was a story on NPR that talked about this approach.

The North Atlantic Right Whale is one of the most endangered species on the planet. Every effort to save them is needed.

Time to say goodbye to February 2021.

Take care,
Jeff

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Plan your dive travel to the Bahamas or the Philippines!

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 4, Number 7

Our crazy weather continues as we make our way toward spring. It won’t be long now! With each day we get a little more daylight and a little more warmth.

In case you missed it! We are now booking our Memorial Day Weekend Nassau Trip. The trip led by Peter Katz is now in its 17th year (we think). It would have been 18, but last year – well you know. Donna and I are planning to make the trip this year. We did this trip for quite a few years before taking over Scuba Shack. We now figure it is time to go back and have a good time diving and dining in Nassau with Peter and the crew.

Last Thursday night we had our second informational session on the upcoming trip to the Philippines. Les Corkill from Atlantis Dive Resort joined us to talk about the logistics, the resort, the diving and to answer questions about this amazing dive opportunity. I cannot wait to get back out there. This 10-night trip runs from Sept. 29 through Oct. 9. It is one of the best values in diving in the world in the heart of the coral triangle. If you weren’t able to attend and would like more information, please give us a call. The deadline for signup is now April 1.

Coming soon on Scuba Shack Radio, I will be introducing a new segment to start every show. Wet Notes will be the bi-weekly update on news and tidbits from the diving world or interesting developments in the world of ocean conservation and sustainability. I also would like to pass along any information from those who either read this blog and listen to the podcast, so please let me know if you have any items of interest that I can pass along in Wet Notes on Scuba Shack Radio. Wet Notes will premiere on Feb. 28 with episode 53.

Thanks for your continued support.
Jeff

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