Lost lift bag and DAN Travel Insurance return

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 51

I hope you are all doing well and are as encouraged as I am about the great news on the COVIDd-19 vaccine front. Looks like this is coming none too soon as we see the devastating impacts that the virus is having across the country. We need to keep our guard up for a little while longer.

A couple of weeks ago Donna took a call from a gentleman who said he found a lift bag down in Lyme and when he cleaned it off with a power washer up popped Scuba Shack’s name. Well we sent him a shipping label to get it back. We were quite surprised to find that it was a 500 pound commercial lift bag from years past. We still haven’t been able to find out how and when it was lost. I’ll keep you posted on what we find out. What a blast from the past!

You might have seen on our Facebook events section that we are going to be holding a virtual open house at Scuba Shack in early January. The open house will happen on Zoom. We want people to gather to hear a little bit about what we have in store for 2021, answer any questions you might have and just have some great dialog about diving. We will also be premiering our 2020 year in review video before it goes up on Scuba Shack TV.

In case you missed it, DAN Travel Insurance is available again. If you go to the Divers Alert Network home page and click on Travel Insurance you will see that they have both single trip and annual insurance policies available. Scuba Shack highly recommends that you purchase trip insurance when traveling.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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Just how old can a tropical reef fish be?

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 50

Well we made it through the rain and snow last Saturday. We have to remember that it is December after all and winter hasn’t officially started yet.

It is hard to believe that last year this time Donna and I were just finishing up a really great trip to the Philippines. We enjoyed it so much that we booked a Scuba Shack trip for September/October 2021. Last Thursday night we had a great information session on the trip and it was really fun to talk diving and look forward to the adventure. We will be having another update on Feb. 11 with Les Corkill from Atlantis Dive Resorts. Stay tuned.

Monty, Matt and I are currently working on servicing all of our fleet regulators for the 2021 dive season. We have 21 regulators to get rebuilt and tested. Right now we are more than halfway there. We will then shift over to getting all the tanks inspected and finish up with the buoyancy compensators. Our classes start up again in late January, so we will be ready to go.

How old can tropical reef fish get. Well according to an article on CNET that would be 81 years old. Apparently, this midnight snapper was found off the western coast of Australia. Pretty amazing that these guys can live that long. Check out the article.

Do sharks sneeze? What do you think? Here is a short article from the Ocean Conservancy blog that fills you in on this mystery.

Till next week – thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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2021 schedule available, a climate czar, and shark allies

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 49

Well that was some really wild weather on Monday. While we can use all the rain we can get these days, we could certainly do without the strong winds. The thoughts of the massive outages that Connecticut encountered this summer are always on our mind every time the wind picks up.

In case you missed it, we have published our 2021 calendar on the website. Our entire schedule from January 2021 through October 2021 is now available for you to review. Take a look at all of our open water classes, continuing education opportunities as well as our professional courses. Plan out your diving with Scuba Shack in 2021 by checking out our online calendar.

I was personally pleased to see that the incoming presidential administration has a new role – Climate Czar. Here is a short article from MIT Technical Review that talks about the role and why the president-elect chose to do this.

I came across Shark Allies from the Deeper Blue 2020 Ocean Christmas Gift Guide blog. They are a pretty cool organization dedicated to protecting sharks mainly by working on the banning of shark finning. You should check out their site. They have some pretty cool stuff for sale as well.

Stay tuned for another episode of Scuba Shack Radio this Sunday!

Jeff

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Diving Dumaguete, another PADI Master Diver, NOAA 2021 budget

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 48

Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. I know that this has been a really difficult year for so many of us and the holiday makes it difficult to be with family and friends. It looks like there is a way forward in 2021. Please stay safe and diligent as we battle the coronavirus. We have so much to be thankful for and look forward to crushing this virus.

We are just one week away from our virtual happy hour session on Diving in Dumaguete. This Thursday – Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. – we will be getting together via Zoom to talk about our trip to Dumaguete in the Philippines next September. It looks like we should have this crisis behind us and we are moving ahead full speed with the trip. While the trip is still a way off, we must have our list of participants together by March 2021 – that’s not that far off.

So please plan on getting together with us next week to hear more about this incredible diving value. Call us or email the shop for the details related to the zoom meeting. See you on Thursday.

Congratulations to Bill for becoming Scuba Shack’s lates PADI Master Diver. Bill was out again last weekend with Zach completing his 50th dive to go along with all the specialties he has finished up this year. Great job Bill!

There is some optimistic news coming out of the US Senate these days. Looks like the Senate has proposed a 2021 budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that restores some of the deep cuts proposed by the Trump Administration. Perhaps 2021 will be a turning point in our battle against climate change and the destruction of our environment.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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Core Completed, Diving in Dumaguete Event, Seaweed & Climate Change

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 47

One week to go until Thanksgiving. We’ve had a family of wild turkeys around the neighborhood for several months now. They tend to visit our house from time-to-time. Someone needs to tell them that Thanksgiving is coming – time to go into hiding.

Last weekend, Monty conducted the Scuba Shack Core Principles class. With Mike and Lizzy and Tom’s help, Bill, George and Zack gained valuable experience and knowledge on their control, position and propulsion as well as a thorough understanding of our gear and configuration.

Our trip to the Philippines next September is still on the calendar. We are starting to zero in on flights and other logistics. This is a reminder that we will be having an information session on Diving in Dumaguete on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. This will be a virtual zoom meeting where we will go over the details of the trip and answer questions. Please call or email the shop if you’d like to attend and we will send you a zoom invite before the meeting.

Jill shared with me a link to a TED talk by Tim Flannery on how seaweed can help solve the climate change problem by drawing down carbon from the atmosphere. It is about 13 minute long and quite informative. Perhaps 2021 will bring change.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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Mohawk Pond report, new Master Divers, Core & Tec40

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 46

Wow! Hope you had a chance to enjoy the great weather over the last week. Hard to believe we are in the second week of November and I am running the air conditioner in the car. I’ll take it.

Monty, Matt and Ron made the trip up to Mohawk Pond in Goshen to complete the two dives with the team to complete the PADI Altitude Diver class. There is a lot more to this class than meets the eye. They had some great weather and a lot of fun. They even salvaged an old row boat

Congratulations to Irek for completing his PADI Master Diver certification. I can remember when Irek first came to the shop right after we took over. His goal was to move up the PADI recreational ranks. He is now in the elite group of PADI Master Divers. Great job.

Also, a little late in reporting but congratulations are also in order for Tom who also completed his PADI Master Diver certification. Tom had this objective for a number of years and he was able to get all the required work done the end of September. Nice work.

This week we start Core Principles and Matt and Mike are finishing their PADI Tec40 class with Chris from Dive On It.

A lot going on, come in and see us.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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Adventuring to Litchfield County, The Odyssey, and Goodbye Mr. Bond

Scuba Shack Weekly – Volume 3, Number 45

How did everyone like the snow last Friday? Just a little too early don’t you think.

This is certainly a historic week. Our presidential election happened and as I write this we are waiting for the final counts. Contentious for sure. My sincere hope is that ALL the votes will be counted and we can move forward together.

Speaking of moving forward, Monty will be heading up to Mohawk Pond in Goshen this Saturday to do the Altitude Diver specialty class with one of our public safety teams. Mohawk Pond is above 1000 feet (1181 ft). I will be sure to provide you with an update from their adventure to Litchfield County.

I thought I’d continue on with the movie theme and was looking to see if there were any new scuba related movies out there. I didn’t really find anything. As I was looking I came across a movie (haven’t watched it yet – maybe this weekend) called The Odyssey – a French film on the life of Jacques Cousteau. You can view it on YouTube. It is about 2 hours – so plan accordingly. Anyone seen it – came out in 2018.

We are all saddened by the loss of Sean Connery. The joke around the Nassau trip was always the rumor that Mr. Connery would be at Cafe Matisse or that he was spotted there just prior to our arrival. Monty also tells the story of when he met him at Compass Point. Whenever we had the chance to dive the Bond Wrecks we would always have stories about 007. Good by Mr. Bond.

Thanks for tuning in,
Jeff

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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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