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Our monthly eNewsletter keeps you up-to-date on training programs, products, services and dive travel opportunities offered by Central Connecticut’s premiere dive center.

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QA Review

Thank you for taking the time to complete Scuba Shack’s Quality Assurance feedback form. The feedback you provide is reviewed by the training director and Training Council to help improve our programs and ensure a great experience for all Scuba Shack divers.

Overall, combined results are shared with instructors, but we generally do not provide results with student names to instructors unless you specify you want us to do that in your feedback.

Drysuit Diver

Effective Jan. 1, 2011, Scuba Shack’s Drysuit Diver program has been replaced by the GUE Drysuit Diver class. Scuba Shack’s instructional staff worked closely with the GUE team to develop and implement the new course.

Class Fee

Call Scuba Shack for pricing. Group rates available.

Underwater Naturalist Course June 5

New for 2019, Scuba Shack continues to add more exciting training opportunities for all of our New England divers. You don’t have to travel to some tropical destination to gain a deep appreciation of our ocean environment. There is plenty to learn and see here in New England. We will be conducting the PADI Underwater Naturalist specialty course in June.

The course will consist of one classroom session on Wednesday evening, June 5 followed by two dives at Fort Wetherill in Jamestown, Rhode Island on Sunday, June 9.

Fort Wetherill is not just for basic open water training. There are plenty of things to find and observe. Your two dives at Jamestown will focus on gaining a deeper appreciation of New England diving.

Continue your diving adventure with the PADI Underwater Naturalist specialty certification and be one step closer to PADI Master Diver. The cost for this class including your PADI certification card is $165.

Divers are expected to provide their own gear for this course. Rental equipment is available.

Contact us online or give us a call at (860) 563-0119 to register. Space for the class is limited.

Turks & Caicos scuba trip report

Scuba Shack had a group of 11 head out to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos on Oct. 20 to dive with Dive Provo. And what a week! The weather was spectacular. Sunny and in the low 80s every day. We did some diving in West Caicos – Amphitheater and the Crack, two days of diving at French Cay, and also spent a day in beautiful Grace Bay.

We had swim throughs and beautiful walls, with Caribbean Reef sharks cruisin’ by on every dive. Lots of lobsters, and a couple of large turtles, one of whom sat and posed perfectly for us. Another day we had a small nurse shark who followed our group from beginning to end. And then showed up at the next dive site!

On our boat trips returning from French Cay we were treated to some stunning turquoise tinted clouds, reflecting the beautiful turquoise water below. And some curious dolphins. Magnificent!

Afternoons were spent with friends, new and old, lounging on the beach, taking a nap by the pool, a little sightseeing, and maybe an adult beverage or two. It was a very relaxing week.

We had dinner in some interesting locations. Danny Buoys, which was all decked out for Halloween, Mango Reef located in the marina and Somewhere Cafe, a breezy little place located right on the beach. Coco Van, an Airstream Trailer converted into a gourmet food truck, located in a grove of coconut trees and the Fish Fry, where there were lots of interesting Halloween costumes.

Thanks to our Dive Provo crew – Morro, Caroline, Selma, Pablo and Alan and everyone in the shop. Diving with all of you was such a pleasure.

Check out Scuba Shack’s upcoming travel in the Travel section. Next up – Cozumel, February 2019.

Safety stop – Equipment provided by the dive boat

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 1, Number 13

Black Friday is over. Small business Saturday is behind us. And the Christmas commercials are a little overwhelming. I wonder just how many cars people really buy at Christmas time.

We are in full maintenance mode here at the shop. After a very long and busy dive season, we now have a several weeks to get all of our gear serviced and ready for 2019. The van has been unloaded and all of our tanks will be inspected. Our regulators will be serviced as required and all BCs inspected and made ready for the new season. And that’s not all. The maintenance shop is also very busy servicing full-face masks and regulators from our public safety clients.

One of the skills we teach during our open water course is the giant stride entry. We do this because most of our dive adventures start from a boat. By the end of the course everyone is fairly comfortable with the giant stride. We also talk a lot about safety stops. During the classroom we discuss the various equipment that the boat may provide to make our safety stops easier and less stressful.

On our trip to Turks and Caicos I was able to capture some pictures of what this equipment looks like underwater. First there is a hang bar that is off the side of the boat at approximately 15 feet. Just make a slow ascent and “hang out” for three minutes. Dive boats also typically have a line off the stern with a buoy ball and suspended from the buoy ball is a line with weights on it. This is another place to hold on if you need to steady yourself.

A final safety measure provide by the boat may be a regulator (also called a hooka reg) at safety stop level should you run low on gas. This equipment is there for safety but one of the best safety options is to dial in your buoyancy and relax on your safety stop.

I came across a short article on Dive News Wire about a new book called The Airplane Graveyard. I would call this a coffee table book that combines military history and scuba diving. If anyone has it, I would be interested in your thoughts on the book.

Hopefully we will see you around the shop in December. Come by for “hot stove” scuba any time.

Thanks for tuning in,

Jeff

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Christmas break, reef-friendly sunscreen & travel

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 1, Number 16

Five days to go until the big man does his thing and delivers all those wonderful presents under your tree. Don’t forget the milk and cookies.

We are wrapping up 2018 here at the shop. Businesses have a lot of year end activities and we are no different. We are however going to take a little three-day break for Christmas. The shop will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year. The last day that we will be open before the holiday is Saturday, Dec. 22.

Science is a wonderful thing and keeps us moving forward. We have been carrying a brand of sunscreen at the shop for a number of years with the goal of helping protect coral reefs. This topic of “reef safe” sunscreen is hot (no pun intended) and we are now seeing laws that ban sunscreen that is not “reef safe”. Needless to say there is some confusion so I did a little research and as you know we like to keep things simple here at Scuba Shack. Here is the low down – avoid sunscreens that have oxybenzone or octinoxate and use one that has zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

There is more – ensure that the minerals used are non-nanotized – that means the particles are not too small to be absorbed by the coral. Our new choice at the shop is Stream2Sea, arriving this week. Another great benefit is that the tubes are not plastic – they are made of sugar cane resin. We continue our commitment to the health of the ocean.

We have finally gotten the remainder of our 2019 dive travel up on the website and trips are now open for booking.

Nassau is the same great price and value as last year. The Little Cayman trip in October (all inclusive, air, hotel, diving, meals, airport transfers) is filling up fast. Last count we had 10 already signed up with a maximum of 24 divers. Little Cayman is extremely popular and your trip leaders will be Jeff, Donna, Monty and Matt – yes, we are all going.

Our spring trip to Key Largo is also posted. Come join Matt and me on this fly and dive. Check out all the travel details on our web site.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Scuba Shack.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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Boston Sea Rovers, Frozen Fin, and REEF (Key Largo)

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 1, Number 17

Welcome to the last edition of Scuba Shack Weekly for 2018. We all trust that you had a Merry Christmas and are looking forward to a Happy New Year. Bring on 2019!

Last week Monty and I attended the December Boston Sea Rovers meeting. With just a little more than two months before the 65th Clinic, the preparations are in full motion. Scuba Shack will have a lot going on this year with Monty running a Public Safety Professional Workshop on Friday, March 8. Scuba Shack and Dive On It handling the Discover Scuba on Saturday, March 9 and we will also have our booth set up on the exhibitor floor Saturday and Sunday, March 9 & 10. We hope you will be able to make it up to Danvers, Massachusetts for the show this year. Get your tickets online.

Before that however, we are getting all of our preparations completed for starting up our 2019 training beginning with tank inspections.

We will also be at Green Harbor Beach in New London for SECONN’s 54th Annual Frozen Fin Dive on Jan. 1. Who knows who will be getting in the water. Come down and find out.

In preparation for our Key Largo trip in April, I have been doing some research for the PADI Fish Identification specialty that we will be conducting. We will be doing this class in the hometown of REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation). REEF’s mission is to conserve the marine environment by protecting biodiversity and ocean life. I have been a member since 2010 and as part of the Fish Identification class we will be conducting a REEF survey where you will identify, count and submit a survey of what you find.

Additionally, I hope to incorporate a visit to REEF HQ. If you are interested in this specialty class in April give us a call to sign up and check out the Key Largo logistics on our travel page.

REEF also puts on what they call “Fishinars”. In preparation for Key Largo, you might want to view the May 10, 2018 Fishinar titled Diving the Florida Keys.

As we close out 2019, I’d like to thank all of our Scuba Shack family and friends for your support in 2018 and looking forward to seeing you soon.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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NFL Playoffs, diving Lake Champlain, and diving is therapeutic

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 2, Number 2

Well you know it is January when the NFL playoffs start. My Philadelphia Eagles made it in and made it out of Chicago. Now St. Nick will be taking on the Saints this Sunday in New Orleans.

Our training has started for the year. We’ve already gotten in our first pool session with a Scuba Review this week and we are only a couple of weeks away from our first weekend open water class. We will also be conducting a Nitrox class on January 19. There is still time to sign up and get this critical certification under your belt. Our training calendar is up-to-date, check it out. The service department is very busy with regulators, full-face masks and quite a few tanks.

Last week I introduced the Project Aware Specialty course in February. For anyone who is interested in just what Project Aware accomplished in 2018, here is a link to a short video. We can make a difference!

The latest edition of Alert Diver Magazine has an article written by Ethan Gordon about diving in Lake Champlain. Ethan is the current president of the Boston Sea Rovers. Hopefully you’ll run into Ethan when you are at the show in March. At the end of the article is a video that complements Ethan’s information.

We all know how good we feel to get in the water and dive. Anticipating the giant stride and descent to a beautiful coral reef or an amazing wreck. Everything slows down. We relax and take in everything the ocean provides us. Back on the boat, we enjoy the sunlight and have great discussions about the dive and what is next. Diving is therapeutic. Here is an article for Dive Training Magazine confirming what we know.

Let’s get out and dive. You’ll feel better.

Until next week. Thanks for tuning in,

Jeff

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Wrecks, Dive Training Magazine and more

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 2, Number 3

Well the Eagles came up a little short in New Orleans and the Patriots came up really big in Foxborough. By this time next week, the Super Bowl match-up will be settled.

Scuba Shack has started our latest IDC. Two more of our Divemasters have started their journey towards becoming PADI Instructors and will be completing the instructor examination in May at Dutch Springs. We
are back in the pool on Thursday night Jan. 24 at New Britain YMCA. If you want to get in the water and practice or are interested in a refresher course, please call the shop to register.

I know that a lot of our divers like wrecks. All kinds of wrecks both the artificial wrecks sunk for our enjoyment or what we call real wrecks caused by weather, war or some other cause. The Chester Poling off of Cape Ann, Mass. is one of our favorites. I recently read this article on eight different wrecks around the globe. I have done two – the Kittiwake in Grand Cayman and the Carthaginian in Hawaii. How many have you done?

While I am on the subject of wrecks, here is a short video on a new wreck found in the English Channel. Strange story. (The original story is at the KTVB website.)

The latest edition of Dive Training Magazine has arrived at the shop. As usual it is filled with all kinds of great information. If you’d like a copy to take home and enjoy please stop by the shop. We also have some back issues available.

Also, I have a little more detail on our Fish Identification course. Here are the details. I am really looking forward to working with REEF. Call and let us know if you are interested in coming down to Key Largo and doing something a little different.

Boston Sea Rovers is less than two months away. Come up to Danvers, Mass. and you won’t be disappointed.

We have a lot of new things in the pipeline for 2019. Stay tuned.

Jeff

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