Altitude Diver, recyclable KN95 masks, 10 underrated aquatic horror movies

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 44

Happy Halloween everyone. I read something online a few days ago that said – who needs Halloween this year – I’ve been wearing a mask and eating candy for six months now. In any event, I hope the kids make the most of it – they’ve been through a lot.

Monty has been getting ready for another new class next week. He will be conducting the PADI Altitude Diver Specialty class for one of the public safety dive teams we work with. Yes – it is critically important to understand the implications of diving above 1,000 feet. Not many people dive at altitude but if you happen to have that opportunity you must ensure that you do it safely.

I heard from Sarah this week with a possible solution for folks to look at if you want to help reduce the newest element in marine debris – disposable face masks. You can check out the Vida sustainable KN95 Mask. Comes with a returnable prepaid label to send the used mask back for proper recycling. Interesting concept.

To close out this Halloween edition, here is a YouTube video on 10 underrated aquatic horror movies. Don’t get scared. Then again there is always the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Finally, remember the time change this weekend.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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Dive Against Debris, Boston Sea Rovers Clinic and more from CRF

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 43

Starting off this week’s blog with an update on our Dive Against Debris class. This was really a great class to teach and to conduct. We had a fantastic day at Fort Wetherill. It was a little chilly early, but the sun shone brightly, warmed things up and contributed to the nice visibility for conducting the survey. Our team of five divers – Irek, George, Bill, Matt and me – covered a significant part of the cove and the good news is we only pulled out three pounds of marine debris. Scuba Shack has now earned the “I Dive Against Debris” badge on the Project AWARE website. Thanks to all of our new Dive Against Debris divers.

Deb and Sarah stopped by last Saturday. They are just back from Bonaire where they spent the last 8 months. It was good to see them and hear about their diving. Deb said she only got in about 100 dives while they were down there. Sounds like it was pretty awesome.

In case you haven’t heard, the Boston Sea Rovers Clinic for 2021 is moving from the traditional March timeframe to early October 2021. October in New England is a great time to visit the Boston area and a great way to end the dive season. Although with weather like we are having and a dry suit, we could be extending longer. Keep the first weekend in October 2021 free – unless of course you are coming to the Philippines with us.

Finally, here is another update from the Coral Restoration Foundation on saving club-tip finger coral and more.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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Pro development, History of Diving Museum, Captive whale ban in France

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 42

Hope everyone had a great week. We had an opportunity to catch our breath this weekend after eight straight weekends of diving. It gave us a chance to do some clean up and organization in the repair shop area after a great deal of activity over the summer and early fall.

We also had a little time to complete our detailed syllabus for the 2021 Divemaster and Instructor Development Course. Please give us a call if you are interested in the details or check out our professional development section on the website. Divemaster will start in March and the Instructor Development Course starts in May.

We didn’t make it down to the History of Diving Museum in Key Largo this year. They are celebrating 15 years of operation and while we couldn’t get there in person, perhaps we can get there through their YouTube channel. There is some interesting stuff out there if you have an interest in our diving history.

Here is some news out of France. The French government is implementing a gradual ban on using whales and dolphins in captivity for entertainment. Their minister of ecological transformation says it is time for a new era. I couldn’t agree more.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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New Rescue Divers, seismic survey danger, professional development website update

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 41

What a spectacular weekend. The clean and crisp New England air made for another great trip to Fort Wetherill.

Congratulations to our five new Rescue Divers – Bill, Peter, Zach, George and Craig. Saturday’s intense pool session set the stage for Sunday’s challenging open water exercises and scenarios. Great teamwork. We all enjoyed the course. It was fun and extremely rewarding.

Dive Against Debris is still set for Oct. 15 and Oct. 18. We continue to expand the offering of courses that allow us to dive local. This is also a certification that has special meaning to us as we strive to fulfill our mission of advocating for ocean health and sustainability.

This short article in Scientific American talks about the stress put on marine mammals from seismic surveys. It seems very cruel to knowingly (I think they know) create this dangerous situation for many whales. Should there be other options?

We have a new Professional Development section on our website. You can get more information on each of our professional courses with our scheduled start dates in 2021. If you have a desire to move into these ranks, please give us a call to discuss.

Regards,
Jeff

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New scuba divers & hyperbaric chamber access

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 40
First up this week – I want to congratulate our newest PADI Open Water Scuba Divers – Jill, Henry, Nick, Bill, Ryan, Chris, Nancy, Ed, and Yaqi. We had a great couple of days at Fort Wetherill. Now that you can venture underwater, your life will never be the same.

Our AWARE Coral Reef Conservation class was also a great success. We had Chris Reynolds from Coral Restoration Foundation give us a nice presentation and update on what is going on at CRF in Key Largo. A great addition to our support for Project AWARE Week 2020. Congrats to all who gained this specialty certification from PADI.

This week we will be completing a Rescue Diver class of five – a most rewarding certification.

The Scuba Shack TV Studio continues to evolve. Monty and Mike built a new computer system to support all the virtual training and production work we have on tap as we wind down 2020 and gear up for 2021. We hope to have the build out completed in the next couple of weeks. Like many things at Scuba Shack, it will continue to evolve.

Availability of hyperbaric chambers is a problem. Because of expense and budget cuts critical care may not be available when needed. There was a recent article in Dive News Wire that outlined how Divers Alert Network is teaming with the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society and others to take action on this issue.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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Dutch Springs recap & Forth Wetherill this weekend

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 39

As we close in on the end of September, the weather has been really cooperating as we continue our abbreviated dive season. It has been dry and we could use some rain here in Connecticut.

We had an absolutely amazing trip to Dutch Springs last weekend. Congratulations to Chris on becoming an Advanced Open Water Diver. Cliff got to dive his brand new DUI dry suit, Matt and Scott got to do their first open water dives with Donna’s guidance and Bill, Zack and George took advantage of the great visibility. Monty and Mike scootered around the lake while I worked with Chris on his certification. We were fortunate to get to have two trips to Dutch this year and are already planning our excursions to PA next year.

We are back to Fort Wetherill this weekend for our open water certification dives. I saw that some divers spotted some tropical fish there last weekend. I think it was a butterfly fish. Don’t discount Fort Wetherill if you are looking to get in the water.

There was an interesting article in Dive News Wire from Dan Orr on the pending crisis with hyperbaric chambers and what can be done to address this problem.

Check out this story. The world’s oldest scuba diver is 100 years old. Amazing gentleman.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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Coral Reef Conservation specialty, Food wrapper pollution

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 38

NFL football is back – it must be September and what a busy September it is. If you are a frequent reader of this blog you’ll know that we’ve got a lot going on.

First Monty and Mike completed another confined water class and our six prospective divers are now set for their open water certification dives later this month. Ron also conducted a virtual Nitrox class with five divers who will take advantage of enriched air.

We are off to Dutch Springs this weekend for another Advanced Open Water class, drysuit orientation and some fun Drive and Dive activities, and we kick off Project AWARE Week 2020 on Saturday.

Last week I told you about our Project AWARE Coral Reef Conservation PADI Specialty class. Well, I have confirmed that we will have a special guest from the Coral Restoration Foundation – Chris Reynolds. Chris will be joining us to talk about the work that the Coral Restoration Foundation is doing and give us insight into the progress being made. As a reminder the class is Thursday Oct. 24 – 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET. Contact us to register and you will then get a link to the Zoom meeting. Attendance is free. The cost for the certification card is $45.

I just read on the Ocean Conservancy blog that food wrappers are now the number 1 item found during beach clean ups last year. I am always amazed at how little regard people have for just throwing things on the ground and not putting them in proper waste receptacles. I have one in the back of the Scuba Shack van to make sure we have a place to put our trash when there is no bin available. One little action by lots of people can make a difference.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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Weekly update – Dutch Springs trip Sept. 18-20

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 37
We had some spectacular late summer weather this past weekend. Hope you had a chance to enjoy the holiday weekend responsibly.

For us, we were back at Fort Wetherill where we conducted the 2020 edition of the PADI Underwater Naturalist specialty – New England style. Deb did a fantastic job getting Irek, Bill, and George ready for their dive and with Steve leading the way, our two dives allowed us to find some interesting stuff that sometimes we look beyond. Great day! Congrats on the certification guys.

Monty and Tom have started another open water class. Our six perspective divers will be doing their confined water training before their certification dives at the end of the month. And, Dutch Springs weekend is a week away – join us – Sept. 18 – 20.

Project AWARE Week 2020 is coming soon. The third annual Project AWARE Week this year will run September 19 – 27. In support of AWARE week, Scuba Shack is conducting the fins-off Coral Reef Conservation Specialty. This virtual event is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 24. Check out our Facebook Events page for all the details.

Matt told me about a recent shipwreck found in Lake Champlain. Turns out they found the paddlewheel of the steamboat Phoenix that burned and sank on September 4, 1819. Wow. Here is the link to the newsflash.

Finally, NOAA has published 5 common misconceptions about the ocean on their website. Just adding to our overall knowledge.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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UW Naturalist class, DAN suspends dive travel insurance program & PADI app

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 36

Welcome to September everyone. It seems like things are starting to cool off a bit and we are getting some much needed rain. It has been dry, but we are still getting wet.

Ron and Tom recently completed another confined water class last weekend and our prospective divers – Nancy, Ed, Chris and Ryan will be heading to Jamestown later this month to complete their open water certification dives. We also have another class starting next week with six more future scuba divers.

If you are in the Fort Wetherill area this Sunday, Sept. 6, please stop by and say hello. Deb will be conducting the PADI Underwater Naturalist class – New England style. Maybe there will be some tropicals in the area. Look for the Scuba Shack van.

I ran across an update on the DAN website that indicated that they have currently suspended their dive travel insurance program. So I reached out to DAN and according to Austen Massey from DAN Member Relations, they are looking to have it back sometime in September. An exact date is not currently available – but it will be back. Stay tuned – I’ll keep you updated.

If you haven’t checked out the all new PADI mobile app – you should. It can be downloaded for both Apple and Android devices. It tracks all of your certifications as well as gives you some great information – especially if you want to learn to tie knots. Find out more online.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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New Open Water Divers, Dive Training Magazine on hiatus & water temps

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 35

We had another great weekend of training. This time we were at Fort Wetherill in Jamestown and completed our first (believe it or not) open water certification dives of 2020. It was a long road back from the shut down and subsequent start up. Congratulations to our newest Scuba Shack divers – Marissa, Amanda, Matt, Scott, Alec, Heather, and Joe. We also want to thank our professional staff – Mike, Ron, Tom and Ian for helping Monty, Matt, Donna and me to make it a safe and fun weekend.

Jamie and Bill also made their way to Jamestown and completed four dives over Saturday and Sunday. Great drysuit diving guys.

We have started another Open Water class this week and will be back in the pool with four prospective divers in training this weekend. Ron is taking point on this class with Tom’s help.

It is hard to believe that this is the last edition of Scuba Shack Weekly for August 2020. We turn the calendar over to September in a few days and look forward to a break from the record setting heat this summer. We actually broke the record for 90 degree days in a year. Think we got to about 39 days. That’s hot! This heat has produced some warm water around these parts and with the cooler days coming ahead and warm water – we should have a great end to the Northeast dive season.

For those of you who enjoy Dive Training Magazine you should know that because of Covid-19 the magazine is on hiatus. Here is an article published last month explaining their reasoning. Let’s hope they are back soon. I really enjoy their articles and discussion.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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