Drive and Dive Stop #3: Cape Anne Divers

The Scuba Shack Drive and Dive Tour of the Northeast continued on July 22 with a boat dive with Cape Anne Divers out of Gloucester, MA.

Four Scuba Shack divers (Jeff, Donna, and Matt Cinciripino & Denis Finnegan) took Cape Ann Diver I (the small boat) to two dive sites south of Gloucester.

The first site was Kettle Island. The dive reached a max depth of 42 feet. Lobsters, crabs, flounder and stripe bass greeted the divers as they made their way around the rock outcroppings.

The second dive moved to Saddle Rock. Here the dive reached about 30 feet. If you could image even more lobsters, with black sea bass, a sea robbin, sculpin, crab and skate.

The diving was exceptional with water temperatures averaging 60 degrees and visability in the 10 to 20 foot range.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next stop, Dutch Springs on August 11-12. Call the shop now to sign up!!!

Drive and Dive Stop # 2: King’s Beach

Scuba Shack’s Drive and Dive Tour 2007 continued on July 1st with a stop at Kings Beach in Newport, RI.

A total of 18 divers made the trip led by Instructors Gary Woods and Joel Toohey. Assistant Instructor Peter Katz and Divemasters Jeff and Donna Cinciripino also made the trip to provide participants with even more knowledge and experience.

The group did two dives and watched tall ships sail out of Newport during our surface interval. Weather was spectacular with great visability, calm conditions, and abundant marine life. A great shore dive…

Next stop, Cape Ann Divers on July 22nd…call the shop now to sign up!!!

More pics are up in the gallery.

Drive and Dive Stop #1: Fort Wetherill

Scuba Shack’s 2007 “Drive and Dive” Tour kicked off today with a stop in Jamestown, RI at the Ft. Wetherill dive site.

Five divers- Keith Chicoine, Amanda Dana, Fran Falanga, Bill Walsh, and David Zell; and four Divemasters- Sheri & Chris Sawallich, and Donna & Jeff Cincirpino and their son Matt, completed two dives at the Historic site.

Weather was perfect, and the water conditions were close to the same. Divers spotted plenty of life in the cove and made some new friends in the process. Special thanks to Donna for her wonderful fruit entree to enjoy on the surface interval.

Everyone had a great time and can’t wait for the next installment of the series on July 1st at King’s Beach in Newport, RI.

Photos courtesy and © Chris Sawallich.

Cape Ann AOW Dives- Round 2

Scuba Shack pros Nick Kalosky and Chris Sawallich returned to Cape Ann with two more students yesterday afternoon to complete the Shack’s first Advanced Open Water Diver class of the year.

Guy Martin and Tom Kutz did two dives- one on Paddock Rock (90′) and one on Egg Rock (35′) to finish up their advanced certs. Mark Fearon accompanied the group on the two dives.

Divers were treated to 20+ feet of vis on the first dive with a nice variety of life including urchin, anemone, lobster, crab, rock gunnel and more. Current and surface chop picked up a bit on the second dive making for some fun conditions down below. Popping up and down among the rocks and riding the surge was made even more pleasurable when they found plentiful life taking shelter in the same channels they chose including fluke, stripers, and more.

Topside pictures courtesy of Chris Sawallich…

Students Complete Dives & Programs in Gloucester, Mass

The forecast looked grim for twelve divers from Scuba Shack while they packed their gear last Friday evening…the weather report called for thunderstorms and rough seas arriving just in time for the commute up to go diving with Cape Ann Divers in Gloucester, MA.

What the divers were treated to upon their arrival early Saturday morning was absolutely beautiful. Seas were flat and calm on the surface, visibility was 30+ feet, and there was abundant life all over the Chester Poling.

The Poling is a coastal freighter that sunk in a storm on January 10, 1977. Split in two pieces, the stern section has become THE wreck of choice for many New England divers who return time and time again. It lies upright in 90 feet of water, just off the Gloucester breakwater.

Scuba Shack Instructors Monty Fitzpatrick and Nick Kalosky led two groups of students on the wreck.

Monty’s group of two completed dives one and two of their Wreck Diver course; part of Scuba Shack’s Master Diver Program. The students, Mark Nash and Gary English braved the 42-degree waters in their wetsuits to run reels and gain a greater understanding of the wreck. Monty was assisted in the water by Dennis Bosse and Denis Finnegan.

Nick’s class of three completed their final two dives of the Advanced Open Water Program: Deep and Wreck. Jeff Boudreau, Mark Fearon, and Steve Morgan enjoyed the best of New England diving on their first boat trip in the region. Marine life they encountered included starfish, anemones, flounder, urchins, and more…Nick was assisted in the water by Chris Sawallich.

In addition to the students, George Bouloukos and Sheri Sawallich enjoyed two fun dives on the wreck. George got some great video the can be viewed on his website.

Photos courtesy of and © Mark Nash and Chris Sawallich.

Trip Report: Diving the Tongue of the Ocean in Nassau

Nassau, the Bahamas was once again invaded by divers looking for a good time, when Scuba Shack hosted a group of intrepid souls over the Memorial Day weekend (May 23-28, 2007).

Lead by assistant instructor Peter Katz, twenty divers spent four days exploring the underwater realm off the southwest corner of New Providence Island. Walls, wrecks, shallow reefs, and Hollywood sets were all on the itinerary. Undersea life ranging from the smallest peek-a-boo blenny, to lionfish and reef sharks were encountered on a daily basis. One dive on Pumpkin Patch produced enough lobsters out walking around to feed the entire group (too bad we couldn’t take them)!

After an electrifying day of diving (ask Jeff B. what he thought of the sharks on his first encounter), it was back to Orange Hill Beach Inn’s pool for a quick dip and a cold Kalik beer before setting out for a night on the town.

Whether it was a rowdy night at Capriccio’s or an elegant meal in Café Matisse’s garden, this group was up for the challenge. Of course, no one can forget the night at Café Johnny Canoe’s, what with Rachel leading the conga line behind the Junkanoo Jammers winding through the entire restaurant or J.J. showing how Bahamians can shake their groove thing!

We won’t get into details on the “Dollar Dance”, but the Scuba Shack crew made a good showing, with Maureen, Jennifer, Lorraine, Anna, Jessica, Debbie and even Vivian leading the group on. The night would not be complete without Bobby leading the assault on the Casino. “Roulette Red” was the battle cry! And cry we did. . . oh well!

The last night was a barbecue at Orange Hill followed by a get together in the infamous Orange Hill “honor” bar with Stuart Cove dive staff members. A great night was had by all and Peter’s bar bill will attest to it! Many new friendships were made, and the group can’t wait until next year to get back to Nassau.

Photos from this trip are now posted in the gallery.

Advanced Open Water Students Complete Night Dives

On Friday June 1st five Advanced Open Water Diver students submerged for their first night dives. Slipping beneath the surface in Stonington just after sunset, the students were treated to many sights not commonly seen during daylight hours including free roaming lobsters, squid, and much more.

Scuba Shack runs its Advanced Open Water Diver program numerous times throughout the year. The course is comprised of five experience dives:

2 core dives- Navigation and Deep
3 elective dives- commonly chosen selections include Search and Recovery, Wreck, Night, Buoyancy, and Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV)

Checkout the pictures below for a glimpse into the predive activities…

Photos Courtesy and © Chris Sawallich.

Congratulations to Scuba Shack’s First Graduates of 2007

Led by instructors Gary Woods and Joel Toohey, 15 divers returned to Brownstone Park on a beautiful Sunday morning to complete dives three and four of their Open Water examinations. All students passed with flying colors and have now earned certification as PADI Open Water Divers. Time for them to get out there and explore!!

The weather was as good as it gets all weekend and everyone had a great time. Post-dive festivities included signing logbooks and a cookout.

A special thank you goes out to Scuba Shack’s tremendous crew of assistants!!! This team of world-class individuals is always ready, willing, and able to volunteer their time whenever we call on them. Events like this one would not be possible without their help!

Photos courtesy of Chris Sawallich

Scuba Shack’s First Open Water Dives of 2007

Scuba Shack’s 2007 Open Water Diver season is officially underway!!!

15 divers who completed the confined water and knowledge development portions of their Open Water Diver courses over this past winter and spring chose a beautiful day to descend upon Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park in Portland for Day 1 of their checkout dive weekend.

More to follow…

Pictures courtesy of Chris Sawallich.

December 2006 Grand Cayman Trip Report

Seven of us arrived at Cobalt Coast on Saturday afternoon. We were greeted with open arms and friendly smiles, it felt like we were part of the family. All the staff at Cobalt Coast were fantastic, they would go out of their way to make you comfortable. The resort itself was first class, I would have to give it at least four stars. There was nothing to do but eat, sleep and dive and dive we did.

Our daily routine consisted of waking up and having breakfast around 7:00, then over to the dive shop, which was onsite, (literally 25 steps away) to catch the van for 7:45 that would bring us to the west side. The weather was beautiful, 80 degrees and sunny but a little too windy to dive the north side. Once at the dock we were greeted by the rest of the crew and loaded aboard. The dive sites were a mere 15-20 minute boat ride away, just enough time to gear up, it was great. After a 5-10 minute briefing the pool was open and in we went for the first dive of the day. After we were all back aboard we would weigh anchor and take another 10 minute ride to the next site where we would listen to the briefing again and jump in. After the second dive we would head back in be back at the hotel around noon or so, just in time for a great lunch. Most of us just kicked back an enjoyed the afternoon waiting for dinner, logging our dives sharing our days experiences. A few of us opted for a few afternoon dives also.

I can’t say enough about the staff at Cobalt Coast and DiveTech, all were fantastic and made the whole week a pleasure. Some of the sites we visited were, Big Tunnel, Doc Polson, Dragons Hole, Spanish Anchor, The Knife, Wreck of the Oro Verde, Round Rock, Peppermint Reef, Eagle Nest, Aquarium Reef, Caribbean Sand Chute and Killer Puffer Reef. I think one of the favorites was the wreck of the Oro Verde. The wreck itself was interesting but the sea life was absolutely incredible, I swear the fish were fighting over each other to get their pictures taken.

Respectfully Submitted,
Tim Aldieri aka “Spyder”
Scuba Shack Divemaster.

Pictures:

Cobalt Coast: The resort, the gang, the view.

The View: The view from the rooms every morning.

Green Moray: Taken at “Spanish Anchor”

Spotted Moray: Taken at “Aquarium Reef”


Anemone: Taken at “Aquarium Reef”

Safety Stop: After “Spanish Anchor”

Turtle: Taken at “Caribbean Sand Chute”

Rainbow” Taken on the ride out to “Aquarium Reef”

More pictures will be posted in the gallery section soon…