THIS WEEK (Sept. 27 - Oct. 4) AT REEF SEEKERS DIVE
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REEF SEEKERS REPAIR DEPARTMENT
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ALWAYS LOOK AROUND - The fabulous experience that Helen and Cathy had is testament to why you should always be looking around when you're diving. When we did our dive Saturday, because I already knew of their whale encounter, you betcha that I was constantly scanning the surroundings hoping the whale would come back. You just never know. I've always referred to diving as the World's Greatest Scavenger Hunt and Helen's and Cathy's whale encounter certainly is testament to that.
WE CAN STILL DO SPECIAL PRIVATE CLASSES - Although we no longer offer regular basic open-water classes, we're happy to arrange for private beyond-open-water-classes. In fact, that's what the Saturday Vets dive was. I was asked if I could do a special private beach class and the answer was yes. The nice thing about this type of training is that it's tailored to your interests, needs, and schedule. For most of these, there's no certification card involved because - like with the beach training - they involve really going into a specific skill or task. Navigation and photo are two examples that immediately come to mind. But we can also make arrangements for special classes doing Advanced, Rescue, and others. So if there's something you'd like to get exposed to or brush up on, give us a call and we'll see what we can work out.
NEW LOOK FOR SMUGMUG - As many of you know, I'm been a fan of and member of SmugMug for a number of years now. They've recently gone through a formatting change and they're now at the point where they're converting all the old-format sites to the new-format whether you like it or not. So I went in and reworked mine over the last few days. Hopefully the "new" look makes things easier to find and view. Also, all of the links (like you'd find on our website) to trip photos and the like from the past should take you to the correct page on the revised site as well. I've made some formatting changes in that I've grouped things together thematically so that there's a folder for "All dive trips" and then inside of that the trips are grouped by year. On the old SmugMug, each collection of photos stood on their own and nothing was grouped together, so hopefully this makes things easier to find if you're looking for locations. But take a look and let me know what you think. I'm always looking for ways to tweak and improve things: http://www.kenkurtis.smugmug.com/ .
MALDIVES IN 2016?? - As I noted above, I'm working on the 2016 trip schedule and am looking at a visit back to the Maldives towards the end of the year, perhaps November or even December. Although there are many boats from which to choose, my preference would be to again go on the Manthiri, who we've used on two trips before. Not only are they really good guys (and I've stayed in touch with their DM Moosa Hasan over the years) but their boat also only takes 12 divers, whereas most of the other liveaboard boats in the area are taking 20-25 divers. I'm also thinking, given the distance traveled (literally halfway around the world), that this makes the most sense to do this as a 9-day dive trip rather than 7. I haven't really started noodling with pricing yet but it would seem that the boat (with crew tip) will come in around $4500-ish. There are a couple of airfare routes that can be flown which would include Emirates through Dubai (two flights - $1650), Singapore Air through Singapore (routing we're used to - $1321), Turkish Airlines through Istanbul (cheapest - $1142), and Cathay Pacific through Hong Kong (shortest and most expensive - $1862). So no matter how you cut it, this will come in around $5500-$6,000. But it's a great place to go and I'd love to be able to pull this together so the first question is . . . who's interested? Shoot me a note and let me know if that's you.
LOBSTER SEASON OPENS NEXT WEEKEND - Lobster seasons starts Saturday morning October 3 at 12:01AM. This is always a time of heightened awareness for us in the professional end of the diving community because it seems there are always those who are more intent on getting a lobster than surviving the dive to do so. Last year, you may recall that in the general Southern California area, there were FIVE fatalities in the first week. If you're going out on the week or weekend, pay attention to what you're doing, especially to your air supply. Please don't become a statistic. And speaking of fatalities . . .
SELFIES KILL MORE PEOPLE THAN SHARKS - It's my favorite new statistic: More people have died this year taking selfies of themselves than have been killed by sharks. 12 people have died (for various reasons) while taking a selfie, and 8 people have been killed by sharks. Who would have thought an iPhone was more dangerous than a Great White? Here's the original article on the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/09/22/selfies-have-killed-more-people-than-sharks-_n_8174912.html?utm_hp_ref=uk&ir=UK .
NO BLOOD MOON DUE TO THE BLOODY CLOUDS - I can just barely make out a faint red blob through the cloud layer so no Blood Moon from Westwood tonight. I did, however, manage to find a nice picture of a Bloody Mary:
And that'll do it for now. Have a great week and let's go diving soon!!!