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*** PLEASE NOTE THAT OUR PO BOX NUMBER HAS CHANGED - IT WAS 11634 ***

P.O. Box 634 Beverly Hills, CA 90213

(310) 652-4990



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  THIS WEEK (May 25 - June 1) AT REEF SEEKERS DIVE CO.  
(Please scroll down a bit for all the info, text, pictures, & links.)

YAP & PALAU 2015 TRIP REPORT     YAP & PALAU 2015 PICTURES & SLIDESHOW  

SURGING SHARK FEED VIDEO     BLUE CORNER DIVE VIDEO     JELLYFISH LAKE VIDEO

2015 FOREIGN TRIP SCHEDULE

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTERS

CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR PICTURE PAGE      CLICK HERE TO READ OUR FOREIGN TRIP REPORTS

DIRECTIONS TO BOATS and VETERANS PARK (REDONDO)

REEF SEEKERS REPAIR DEPARTMENT 
Contact our repair guru Robert Stark directly at 310/947-8523
or via e-mail at ReefSeekersRepair@gmail.com

(Ask Robert about our unique concierge "Repair Pickup & Delivery Service")

SAVE 33% ON YOUR REG, OCTO, OR BC REPAIR - CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW


Want to travel??? Upcoming 2015 vacation trips:

July 11-22 - Indonesia (includes Bunaken, Lembeh Straits, & Bangka)
 July 31-August 5 - Great White Sharks at Guadalupe Island aboard the Belle Amie (I NOW HAVE AN EXTRA SPOT AVAILABLE ON THIS ONE)
August 15-22 - Isla Mujeres and the Whales Sharks (plus cenotes and MUSA)
October 21-26 - Great White Sharks at Guadalupe Island aboard the Nautilus Explorer (now three spots available on this trip)
December 1-13 - Red Sea Aggressor (southern route - includes possibility of snorkeling with dolphins) plus 2 days in Cairo [SOLD OUT]

GET MORE INFO ON ALL OF OUR VACATION TRIPS HERE
: www.reefseekers.com/foreign_trips.html

Memorial Day Weekend already??????  . . .

"START" OF THE DIVING SEASON
- We're very fortunate in SoCal in that we can dive all year round. But we also know there are some of you who think of the diving "season" as running from Memorial Day through Labor Day. So guess what? The diving season has started!!! This should actually an interesting summer. Because the water stayed very warm through the "winter" and because we've had such a dearth of rain, there will be changes you'll see in the environment. For one thing, there's been less kelp and more Sargassum. That should start changing. But it will also likely affect the various fish species you might see underwater. Maybe you'll get more of the seasonal guys like Black Sea Bass (Italian Gardens has always been a good place to go find them) but might get less of others. I've long said that diving is the world's great scavenger hunt: You never know what you're going to find but when you go back an hour later, things will have changed. So whether you dive year-round or just from Memorial Day to Labor Day, enjoy the summer diving time as it's now upon us.

SANTA BARBARA OIL SPILL - Of course the joy of the start of summer diving is tempered by the sadness of the aftermath of that oil spill up in the Santa Barbara area. It looks now that about 105,000 gallons of oil spilled on land and of that, 21,000 gallon diverted into a culvert and went into the ocean. That's the oil that's caused all the problems and caused places like Refugio to close. The biggest issue with spills like these, even a relatively small one like this, is that the effects of it are likely to be felt for many, many years to come. They may be able to clean up the surface oil and take out the stained sand, but what about the oil that dissipates into the ocean and sinks? What about oil that's ingested by some of the animals in the area? The Exxon Valdez spill happened in 1989, 26 years ago, but residents of Prince William Sound will tell you they can still dig down a few feet and find oil remnants in what's supposed to be a "clean" area. The Gulf oil spill was a little over 5 years go and there was just a study released last week that's attributing a rise in dolphin fatalities in the Gulf to residual effects from that spill. So even though this seems like a "small" spill, the effects will linger and can spread, especially because some animals will transit the area and may be initially affected in SB but will end up elsewhere. You can argue all you want about how we "need" oil but we really do need a healthy ocean too and we haven't quite yet figured out what the risk/reward is with pumping oil in areas where ocean contamination is a very real possibility.

GREAT WHITES OFF OF ORANGE COUNTY - Everyone was getting excited last week with the discovery of juvy Great White Sharks swimming off of Sunset Beach. It's been well-know for years that SoCal waters seem to be pupping grounds for juvy Great Whites, who at this young age generally prey on small fish. So when I heard about this, my first thought was, "Yay, healthy eco-system!!!" Of course others had the reaction of "Man-eaters in the water!!! Run for your lives!!!" So lifeguards and marine researchers went out last week and were able to attatch transmitter tags to seven of the fifteen sharks they spotted. The L.A. Times had an article on this and my favorite quote was from Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Claude Panis who said upon seeing how skittish the sharks were when they were approached: ". . . it kind of settled my fears down. The sharks really don't want to interact with people. " Well . . . DUH!!!! Researcher Chris Lowe (he runs the Shark Lab at Cal State LB) attributes warmer water and an abundance of prey to the increase in the juvy sightings. Don't know if you're likely to spot any in the water, but what a cool experience if you do and hopefully you'll have some sort of a camera with you as well.

WANT TO SEE BIGGER GREAT WHITES? - I guess that's the perfect lead-in to pitching our two trips down to Guadalupe to see the Great Whites that seasonally hang out down there. The first trip is aboard the brand-new Belle Amie (sister ship to Nautilus Explorer) July 31 to August 5. We'll drive to San Diego (or if you're from out-of-town, fly in to SD) and we'll pick up a bus that will take us to Ensenada where we'll board the boat. Then it's a day-long ride to get down to Guadalupe Island but once we're there, there will be plenty of opportunities to get in the water to watch for these top predators. The boat has at least four (and possibly five) cages that each hold 4-5 people and everyone takes turns with cage time. One cage is at the surface right behind the boat, one cage is also behind the boat but submerged a few feet, and the other cages are fully submerged about 40 feet deep. (The cages are hoisted in and out of the water so it's not like you ave to swim through the sharks to get to them.) So you've got multiple vantage points.The other interesting thing is that all the diving is done via hookah so you don't need tanks, BCs, or regulators. In fact, you don't need fins either. So you'll have plenty of opportunity to get into a cage, experience the thrill of a lifetime, get to check your shots, get back in to do it all again, and repeat this pattern for three days. Then it's back to Ensenada and eventually back home. I've never done this trip before but I know a number of highly experienced divers who have done it and they ALL come back saying it's a mind-blowing experience. How much will it cost to get your mind blown? Depends a bit on the level of room you go into but with trip costs, port fees, and crew tip, you're looking at roughly $3,500-4,000. As I mentioned, there are some spots open on our first trip aboard Belle Amie and then are also some spots open (cancellations from another group) on our second trip which will be on Nautilus Explorer October 21-26. If you're interested, let me know with an e-mail to this address or a phone call at 310/652-4990.

TIRE REEF - NOT THE GREATEST IDEA - Interesting article in Sunday's L.A. Times about an "environmental catastrophe" in south Florida. Seems that in 1972, someone got the bright idea that old tires would make for a good artificial reef. So they dumped . . . 700,000 . . . tires into the ocean. It's known as the Osborne Tire Reef and was hoped to be an environmentally-friendly way to get rid of steel-belted radials. Uh, not so much. Not only did coral not grow on the tires, but many of the tire bundles broke apart and drifted onto existing reefs, damaging or even killing them. The Osborne Tire Reef today is a "virtually lifeless vista" of tires that stretches across 35 acres of ocean floor, about 70 feet deep. But now they've started a project to remove many of the tires and have hired commercial divers to do so. It's estimated that they can remove 90,000 tires, it'll take two years, and they've budgeted $1.6 million for this. From 2007 until 2009, military divers removed about 72,000 tires as part of training exercises so once this phase is completed, there will still be half a million tires underwater. But some are so buried that it's impossible to bring them up and others are partially buried so that bringing them up would silt things up and possibly do more harm than good. So they'll see how this goes and then evaluate further options. But one word came to mind as I was reading this article: Yikes!!!!


THE CUTEST GOSLING IS NOT RYAN - One of the things I've always liked about playing golf out at Woodley Lakes (Encino) is that it's part of that whole Sepulveda Basin wildlife area. We always get Canadian Geese there but when I was playing out there Sunday, I was amazed and tickled pink by the number of baby geese (goslings) that there were. I don't think I've ever seen any there before let along in the numbers we saw today. (One pair of geese had 14 goslings with them.) We were able to snap this family on the 14th green (right before I missed my putt for par) and it was also interesting and nice to see how protective the adult geese were if we got too close. Much hissing going on. But aren't they cute??????
 
And that'll do it for now. Have a great week and let's go diving soon!!!

- Ken

Ken Kurtis
Owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.


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