Scuba Shack Instructor Conquers NYC Marathon

Scuba Shack Instructor George Bouloukos along with his wife Christine Siegel attacked and conquered one of the worlds great road races today, The ING New York City Marathon, both finishing with extraordinary times. Their many weeks of training paid off on their way to this wonderful accomplishment.

Congratulations to them both!! Excellent Job!!

Bonaire Fall 2007 Trip Report

The Crew

Scuba Shack visited Bonaire the last week of September to experience the best of both worlds, boat diving and shore diving. Our group of 18 had tons of fun in the sun. Come to think of it, we had a pretty good time after the sun went down as well.

Joy & Maureen

Future Diver

Our 14 divers of various levels of training and experience had our own boat for the week which we took advantage of to visit many of the sites on Klein Bonaire such as Nearest Point, Keepsake, Monte’s Divi and Forrest as well as some of the more difficult to reach locations on Bonaire including Karpata, Bon Bini Na Cas, and Small Wall. Of course no trip to Bonaire is complete with out a visit to the Hilma Hooker where we were lucky enough to have an encounter with a pod of dolphins during our surface interval. Man those suckers can swim fast! Other creatures sighted during our week include sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, many varieties of moray eels, sharptail eels, sea horse and frog fish.

Spotted Cleaner Shrimp

Longlure Frogfish

Sea Horse

Shore diving was done in smaller groups but still big fun. Some of the sites visited include 1000 Steps, The Invisibles, Red Slave, Oil Slick Leap and several dives from the house reef at Plaza Resort.

Fran Takes a Leap

Several divers took advantage of the clear, clam waters to pursue an advanced certification completing deep, navigation, wreck and night dives to name a few. Congratulations to those divers achieving the Advanced Open Water certification. Several of us made night dives each evening. We were escorted by the resident tarpon population. Some of the other nocturnal marine life included squid, octopus, crabs, spiny lobsters and slipper lobsters.

Boy’s Night Out

Others folks opted to relax after sundown. We managed to get in to some of the best restaurants on Bonaire and enjoyed some wonderful meals with good company while reflecting on the day’s dives.

Ralph & Jackie After Dinner

Town Pier

October wreck charters scheduled

Join us for 2 charters in October.
For qualified divers:
On the 14th we will be diving 2 wrecks- The Neptune and the Teti.
On the 28th we will be diving the U-853, second dive will be captians choice.

There are six spots available on each charter. The boat we will be using is Canned Air.
7:30 am departure from Sung Harbor RI.

Call the shop for pricing and availability.

Four more Rescue Divers added to the Scuba Shack Team

This past weekend, four more Divers were promoted to the PADI RESCUE DIVER Ranks by Ed Hayes.
Mark Fearon, Jamie Mazur, Ken Soder, and Brent Petroka Spent last Sunday running through their Scenarios, conducting Rescues of Panicked, Unconscious, and very belligerent Divemasters. It was along day of intense learning and all four students realized how tough a rescue really can be. When you see any of them be sure to congratulate them on their new certification.

DUI Demo Days coming up at Brownstone Park

As a DUI Drysuit Dealer we are proud to be part of the up coming DUI Demo Days at Brownstone Park in Portland CT on Saturday and Sunday Sept 29th and 30th. Come on down and try on any of DUI’s suits, undergarments, or accessories. Also on Saturday night there will be a dinner catered by Farrell’s Restaurant and presentation done by the DUI Staff on diving throughout the world. This is an excellent opportunity to experience the joys of “diving dry”. Stop in at the shop for more info or advanced tickets.

Here is a link to a presentation on everything you ever would want to know about the Demo Days:
Dog Days Rally Presentation

Also another link to more pertinent info about the weekend:
Link to Dog Days Rally Info on DUI’s Web Page

Boat Dives From Pt. Judith

On Sunday August 26, six Scuba Shack divers went diving aboard Canned Air out of Pt Judith, RI. There were 3 newly certified divers and 3 experienced divers (one instructor, one assistant instructor and one dive master candidate). This was an excellent opportunity for new divers to learn the ropes (no pun intended ) about northeast boat diving.

Our 1st dive was on the wreck of the Puszta on the Northeast shore of Block Island. The 384 foot freighter ran aground in 1934 in less than 20 feet of water. The shallow depths, surf and years have taken there toll on the wreck. We managed to find some fairly significant portions of the wreck still intact among the boulders. The entire dive did not exceed 20 feet. There was a bit of surge on the site which contributed to reduced visibility, about 8 – 10 feet.

We had to choose an alternate site for our 2nd dive as the surf was too heavy on the south side of the island to dive the Lightburn. For our 2nd dive we choose the barge in Pt. Judith Harbor of refuge. This barge is upside down and a haven for all sorts of marine life including fluke and blackfish. Max depth was about 30 feet with visibility approximately 6 – 8 feet.

Scuba Shack’s IRONMEN hit the shores of Rhode Island

Scuba Shack’s Ironmen of diving, Tom Kutz, and Guy Martin were at it again last weekend with a stop in Rhode Island.

Here is a report written up by Guy Martin.

Tom and my plan was to dive Dutch Island, We read that this was a good spot for finding “various whatnots and who knows what of curious origin”. so we headed to Fort Getty camp ground to survey the Island. This turned out to be a boat dive so we will save that for another day

We ended up at Bull Point and dove the wall
We entered the water at11:35am, High tide was 12:21pm so we were just about at slack
We dropped down to 60′ and followed the wall along. We had some problems with the flag line getting caught on the rock overhangs above, but we were able to manage the situation and continue our dive.

The viz was about 5′ to 10′ so we stayed close to the wall as that is the best place to spot signs of life anyway. Good dive though saw a lot of black fish and gunners, some small lobsters and large fluke At the turn, the tide was going out, this swept us along toward our exit point, so we got in perfect trim and glided effortlessly back to the starting point. Perfect dive planning!

The second dive we went in the West Cove at Fort Wetherill and followed the wall around, cut through the rocks and encountered a very strong current, and followed the wall to exit at the ramp
The water was full of jellyfish and the visibility was about average for the Ft. Wetherill area, but it was still a great day of diving as it always is.

Scuba Shack Staff Member takes his training to greater Depths

Scuba Shack Staff member, Chris Sawallich has just returned from a week of intensive training in Canada. Under the instruction of Global Underwater Explorers instructor Dan MacKay, Chris successfully completed the GUE Technical Diver Level 1 course (also known as Tech 1). The Tech1 Course is one of the GUE courses available to expand on skills learned in the GUE Fundamentals Course. Tech 1 Divers receive intense training in Decompression Diving procedures and the use of various mixed gases including the use of Helium Enriched Gas (TriOx) in dives to 150 feet. In addition, Tech 1 divers train extensively in problem identification and resolution to help make themselves and their team members safer divers.
Attaining the Tech1 level is a great accomplishment.

Next time you see Chris at the shop or one of our local dive sites, be sure to congratulate him.

Drive & Dive Stop 4 – Dutch Springs Photos & Notes

Stop number four on this years Drive & Dive tour was Dutch Springs in Pennsylvania.

The Scuba Shack crew had perfect weather for the weekends activities which including diving, camping and plenty of fun for the whole family at the Aqua Park on site.

Divers experienced 30 to 40-foot visibility 30-40′ underwater – and plenty of sun on the surface! Divers and non divers had a great time. Some of us stayed at the camp grounds and some stayed at a local hotel, for most of the group this was their first visit but we’re certain it will not be their last.

Diversity in Diving – a Pro’s View

Many people ask Scuba Shack divemasters, assistant instructors and instructors what it’s like to be a diving professional. Often, you might think of us spending hours and hours training new divers in the pool, but remember, we’re also taking part in different activities throughout the year that do not involve diving in a pool.

Almost two or three weekends a month, Scuba Shack is working with new divers and taking them for their first open water dives in Jamestown, R.I. or at the quarry in Portland.

Of course – there are many opportunities for our diving professionals to teach continuing education programs. One of the courses that is really fun is the Rescue Diver Program – you’ll work hard and learn a lot, but have fun at the same time!

Many of our diving professionals get involved with aspects of the sport that are a bit different. You may have never even thought of diving with a scooter underwater, but it’s a great way to cover some distance and relax when you’re underwater. You can see more big stuff and have easy access to diving spots you would not normally visit since it may be too long of a swim.

For those interested in scooters, Scuba Shack recently sponsored a “Try a Scooter” day at Brownstone Park.

Any way you look at it, there is plenty of diversity in diving!