Local diving, Lionfish, Scuba Shack TV subscriber challenge

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 22

Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day. What a great weather weekend. New England’s waters should be warming up with the sunshine and we are ready to get wet.

Last week we opened up the shop again and kicked things off with a virtual staff meeting to connect and talk about what this year’s dive season might bring. The gang is going to hit the road to scout out local dive sites so we can plan out some drive and dives. We think there are going to be some interesting options. Let’s see what they come up with. If you know of a local dive site that you’d like us to continue please give me the feedback. It’s easy, just use the Contact Jeff option below. When we get something scheduled we’ll get it posted here and on Facebook.

Interested in learning more about invasive lionfish? Well, REEF is putting on another fishinar on June 16. The presentation will be by Dr. Alli Candelmo from the REEF staff. The fishinar starts at 8 p.m. ET. It’s easy to register and also become a REEF member. Membership is free and they are an outstanding resource for learning all about the interesting fish we encounter.

Scuba Shack TV currently has 50 subscribers. We have added 10 subscribers in the last 3 months and 12 so far this year. Our first challenge is to double that number. I invite you to subscribe, provide feedback, and help us bring content that is both fun and informative. Help us in our push to 100. It’s easy just click here.

And here is the latest from Scuba Shack TV – the Christmas Tree Worm

Thanks for tuning in and see you soon.

Jeff

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Retail store open, plastic bottles made from plants

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 21

We have now officially reopened the retail side of the business along with our continued ability to service equipment. We have implemented all the requirements that have been outlined by the state with respect to safeguards against the spread of COVID-19. Things may look a little different at the shop as we are limiting the amount of stuff on display and trying to make social distancing practical. The new hours are also posted on the website.

It is hard to fathom that this weekend is Memorial Day Weekend – the start of summer. We normally would have already been to Key Largo, Dutch Springs, conducted our first open water certification dives and Peter and his gang would be in Nassau with Stuart Cove. March, April and May 2020 have certainly been a year unlike any other.

Our Cuba trip in January 20201 has been cancelled. We needed to make an early call on this one given the need to lock in our space in June.

I got an email the other day from 4Ocean that talked about plastic bottles that are made from plants that degrade in one year. This is fantastic. I dug into this a little bit and found a short interesting article that talks about it. Let’s hope this catches on. Looks like Coca-Cola might get on board.

The newest video on Scuba Shack TV out there. If you like these videos and other interesting things from Scuba Shack TV, please subscribe to our channel. There is some interesting stuff regarding equipment, maintenance and Nitrox out there as well as trip videos and more. Join us at Scuba Shack TV. We continue to add content.

Thanks for tuning in and see you soon.

Jeff

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Scuba Shack opens May 20, virtual classes, Scuba Shack TV

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 20

We have gotten through the cold and dreary weather last weekend and it looks like things are going to finally get warmer. We are also looking like we will have the shop open again starting May 20. We will be starting off slowly to see how thing go.

Our shop hours will be adjusted as follows:

  • Sunday and Monday – Closed
  • Tuesday – Friday – Noon to 6 PM
  • Saturday – 10 AM to 2 PM

From everything we are reading we may not be able to start live training again until July. We are however offering another virtual equipment specialist class in early June. The cost for this class will be $150 and registration will be available on our website soon. Just wanted to put this on your radar.

Ever see a black grouper. Check out the latest episode of The Fish and Things I’ve Found Underwater.

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Happy Mother’s Day, virtual training and the Southern Stingray

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 19

First of all this week, I want to wish all the moms out there Happy Mother’s Day. This year’s celebration is certainly different than in the past. Let’s all hope next year we will be back to normal.

Last Saturday we were at the shop. It was a spectacular day and we did have some folks stop by to pick up gear that they had serviced. We were properly protected with facemasks, curb side pick-up, bagged equipment and staying six feet apart. We are also ensuring that our disinfecting protocols are outlined and we had a chance to start putting them in practice.

This week we had two virtual training sessions on Wednesday night. First, Deb conducted a Project Aware specialty class and Monty hosted a virtual public safety gear configuration with Pete Nowrocky from OMS/DUI. Thanks to everyone who attended.

This Saturday we are also conducting our first virtual Nitrox session. Monty and Ron have been busy shooting video to support the curriculum. There will most definitely be more of this in our future.

From all indications it looks like we may be able to open again on May 20. We will be adjusting hours as we expect things to be different. We currently do not know when pools will be open again, so that will impact our classes going forward. Hopefully, we will be able to offer the PADI Underwater Naturalist certification class in Jamestown, RI on June 14 if their parks are open. More to come on that shortly as we need to be sure we can travel to RI.

Finally, the latest episode of the Fish and Things I’ve Found Underwater is available on Scuba Shack TV.

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Equipment service reminder, Virtual Project AWARE, the Rock Beauty

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 18

As we come to the end of April 2020 it is hard to image that we are already four months into the year and that we have been closed for six weeks now. We continue to monitor things closely and hope to be open just as soon as we are permitted and feel that it is safe to operate.

Just wanted to remind everyone that we are accepting equipment for service. We are at the shop on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm for curb side drop off and pick up of your gear for regular maintenance or service. If you can’t make it on a Saturday, please email us or leave us a voice mail.

We will be holding a virtual Project Aware class on Wednesday, May 6 at 7 PM. It is a great way to connect and talk about how we as divers and non-divers can help protect and save our oceans and waterways. The class is $65 and you can register and pay online at our Facebook events page. Join us and get your PADI Project Aware Specialty certification.

Matt and I were online last Friday night for the REEF Indo-Pacific jeopardy game. It was a lot of fun. We were reasonably good with the fish from Hawaii like the raccoon butterflyfish, bird wrasse, or yellow tang. But when it came to some of the fish from the coral triangle, we need to either study more or travel over there more. Maybe both. It was great fun and I got called on to pick a box – can you say – “Call the doctor for $300 Alex?”

I have posted another episode of The Fish and Things I’ve Found Underwater on Scuba Shack TV. This week’s feature is the Rock Beauty. Another one of my favorite fish. (I have a lot of favorites). Hope you are enjoying the series. I like putting the research in and learning more about all the things I’ve had the fortune to encounter. Fish and Things #4 Rock Beauty.

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REEF fishinars, REEF Facebook groups, Fish and Things – Spotted Drum

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 17

Hope you had a Happy Earth Day – 50 years and counting.

This week’s blog should have been coming to you from Key Largo. Instead I will have to settle for my pictures from last year’s trip and watch the trip video to realize just how great a trip that was.

I have been going through all my diving photos from the past and trying to really focus on identifying what it is that I captured with the camera. To help, I’ve been turning to REEF and going back to their archives of Fishinars. I also did a Fishinar this past week on some of the species from Honduras. They have a lot of cool stuff out there. Check out their jeopardy game. I will be doing another jeopardy game this Friday night

Additionally, REEF has several Facebook groups out there. There are groups for the Tropical Western Atlantic, Indo Pacific, Hawaii and more. I joined several and what is neat about this is you can post pictures of things you need help in identifying. They have already helped me with a couple of fish I couldn’t accurately identify. Another great resource.

A new episode of The Fish and Things I’ve Found Underwater is on Scuba Shack TV. This week’s featured fish is the spotted drum. Fish and Things #3 Spotted Drum.

Hopefully we will be getting some clarity on our way forward in the next couple of weeks. Until we do I appreciate you tuning in.

Jeff

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PADI eLearning discounts, more Fish & Things, sanitizing scuba gear

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 16

Right now is a great time to purchase your eLearning package from Scuba Shack and PADI. Currently, a 20 percent discount means you can save between $17 and $64 on programs. You can get started on your home study today, and enroll in one of our programs this year. If you have friends who wants to get certified, they can start their Open Water Diver program today. Maybe you need a Scuba Tune Up? All available programs are on sale! Please do contact us before purchasing any professional level programs or if you have any questions. This offer is scheduled to end on April 30.

I hope everyone had a relaxing, safe, and socially responsible Easter. The weather was certainly spectacular. Donna and I got to do a nice long walk and enjoyed being outside before the big storm hit on Monday.

Over the weekend I had a chance to record another episode of Scuba Shack Radio. I am now up to 30 shows.

Also, another installment of the Fish and Things I’ve Found Underwater is on our YouTube Channel. This week’s feature is the queen angelfish. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel and like our videos – it helps our reach.

We recently published some information regarding sanitizing scuba equipment. We also just received a new shipment of Steramine to ensure that we continue to follow strict disinfecting procedures and plan for our re-opening. We will continue to monitor the latest guidance on the critical aspects of ensuring our scuba gear is safe.

Thanks for tuning in,

Jeff

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Travel changes, virtual training is live, and the French angelfish

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 15

We are now three weeks into our closing and we still are not sure when we will be permitted to open again. It would seem that we still have quite a way to go until we can safely resume operation and begin to recover from the pandemic. Uncertainty has dictated that we make some changes to our travel schedule.

If you haven’t already heard, we have changed up our travel schedule due to the uncertainty of our current situation. The Nassau trip is looking like it will go in October – Columbus Day. Same schedule Wednesday to Monday. With that we have decided to cancel the Bonaire trip this year. All of the details are on the website. Thanks for understanding.

The virtual equipment maintenance class is ongoing and finishes on Friday this week. Monty has turned our classroom into a studio that is quite capable of delivering in an engaging and professional manner. He has posted some videos from the course on Scuba Shack TV. We will be looking to do some more virtual training soon.

The first episode of “The Fish and Things I’ve Found Underwater” is also on Scuba Shack TV Check out the French angelfish – one of my favorites. They are short videos of between 2 to 3 minutes. I have a bunch more in the works and hope to get a new one out every week. So I am staying busy in my phased retirement with social distancing.

We hope to see everyone soon and until them please stay safe.

Thanks for tuning in,

Jeff

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PADI Equipment Specialist, Scuba Shack TV, & tell us how you’re doing

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 14

Every day brings us new news and updates regarding the current COVID-19 crisis. It now seems that this is going to be with us for some time. We remain closed as a result of the governor’s executive order. We are presently all healthy and sincerely hope all of you remain that way as well. 

If you find yourself wanting to do something a little different, remember you can sign up for the PADI Equipment Specialist class that Monty will be delivering virtually. By completing your electronic learning and attending the three virtual sessions, you will get your PADI Equipment Specialist certification. This class costs $150 and you can either register through our Facebook events page or by using our online sign up from the website. Of course you can also email us.

Last week I introduced you to Scuba Shack TV – our YouTube channel and you saw on our Facebook post that Monty has set up a studio. We are continuing to look at getting more stuff up on the channel. This week I have a promotional introduction to a new series that I am putting together (filmed in my personal studio – i.e man cave) called The fish and things I’ve found underwater. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Finally, I’d like to know how everyone is doing. Please pass along how you are spending your time social distancing and I will let share your experience in future blog posts. Just hit the feedback section below.

Until next time, please stay safe, healthy and socially distant.

Jeff

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Equipment Specialist course starts April 6

Don’t let social distancing keep you from continuing your diving education.  Join Scuba Shack online and earn the PADI Equipment Specialist rating.  This specialty maybe applied towards your PADI Master Scuba Diver rating.

During the course, you will learn about routine care and maintenance procedures as well as scuba equipment storage recommendations. We will show you how to overcome some common equipment problems and offer equipment configuration suggestions.

We will discuss:

  • General Equipment overview and maintenance
  • Regulators and how they work
  • Tanks and Valves
  • BC Maintenance

Materials

PADI Equipment Specialist Touch eLearning

Prerequisites

If you’re at least 10 years old and certified as a PADI (Junior) Scuba Diver or higher, you can enroll in the Equipment Specialist course.

Course Dates

There will be three, 90 minute sessions, and each will run from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

  • Monday, April 6
  • Wednesday, April 8
  • Friday, April 10

You must attend all three sessions to receive your PADI Equipment Specialist certification.

Location

Virtual classroom via JoinMe, with the details and instructions provided to students prior to the class.

Technology Requirements:

Click here to learn what you’ll need to participate in the online program. You can join on most computers or your iPhone / Android mobile device.

Program Cost & Enrollment

$150 includes the PADI Equipment Specialist eLearning Touch, and certification fee.

Register for the class online or call (860) 563-0119 to enroll in the program. Enrollment will be limited to the first 10 students.