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P.O. Box 634 Beverly Hills, CA 90213

(310) 652-4990



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    THIS WEEK (January 15-22) AT REEF SEEKERS DIVE CO.   
(Please scroll down a bit for all the info, text, pictures, & links.)

 MALDIVES TRIP REPORT     MALDIVES PIX & SLIDESHOW

ISTANBUL TRIP REPORT       ISTANBUL PIX & SLIDESHOW


2017 FOREIGN TRIP SCHEDULE

(Reef Seekers position statement on a 2017 Cuba trip)

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTERS

CLICK FOR OUR PICTURE PAGES      CLICK HERE FOR 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 2017 vacation trips:

March 18-25 - Bonaire [ LIMITED TO 12 DIVERS - 5 SPOTS LEFT ]
June 10-17 - Isla Mujeres (early in the Whale Shark Season)
 July 7-19 - Yap Immersion #1 (special 13-day trip featuring all that Yap has to offer)
 LIMITED TO 12 DIVERS - 4 SPOTS LEFT ]
 July 21-August 2 - Yap Immersion #2 (week #2 - same sked as above)
 LIMITED TO 12 DIVERS - 5 SPOTS LEFT ]
 September 1-6 - Great White Sharks of Guadalupe on the Nautilus Belle Amie WE'VE OPNLY GOT 6 SPOTS - ONLY 3 SPOTS LEFT ]
 NOV/DEC (still working on exact dates) - Ultimate Indonesia
                     (A week at Murex in Manado, 10 days in Raja Ampat on the Aggressor, 4 days in the Lembeh Straits)


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

Upcoming local dives & classes:

 DIVE - Thu., 1/19 - Squid night dive at Redondo (6PM - FREE!!)
 DIVE - Thu., 2/2 - Squid night dive at Redondo (6PM - FREE!!)
 CLASS & DIVE - Sat., 2/11 - Navigation with one daytime dive at Redondo (9AM - $25)
 DIVE - Wed., 2/15 - Squid night dive at Redondo (6PM - FREE!!)
 DIVE - Sat., 2/25 - 36th Annual Avalon Underwater Cleanup (6:15AM - $150 w/event, boat, & taxi)
 DIVE - Wed., 3/1 - Squid night dive at Redondo (6PM - FREE!!)
 CLASS - Wed., 3/15 - Photo Workshop (7PM in Westwood - $25)

To sign up for any of these dives, either call us at 310/652-4990 or e-mail us at kenkurtis@aol.com

It's hard to co-ordinate the rain with weekend diving . . .

MOISTURE FROM THE SKY STOPPED IN TIME - I remember a number of years ago we not only got a lot of rain, but it ALWAYS seemed to start on Friday and went through Sunday night, totally wiping out the weekend dive schedule. This go-round it seems a little better as the rain pretty much stopped on Thursday. I talked with Ray Arntz (Sundiver) on Friday and he was out near the Isthmus and said it was lovely with good conditions to boot. And Saturday was simply a drop-dead gorgeous today. I know Buck and the Barnacle Busters were heading over to the Avalon UW Park today. I didn't get a report yet but checked out the Avalon HD cam (http://www.visitcatalinaisland.com/avalon/webcam3.php) which also gives you a view of the Park and while I couldn't spot Buck, it didn't seem too crowded and the conditions on the surface seemed benign. However, our luck may not hold as the forecast for next week indicates rain Friday and then Saturday through Monday with some really heavy stuff those days. So we might at least get Saturday in. And these things can certainly change over the course of the week so make sure you keep an eye on the forecast. One prognosticator that we like to use is Weather Underground: https://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/hdfForecast?query=90024&searchType=WEATHER.

FUN FISH ID CLASS - I'm going to try to offer more semi-specialty classes this year (sked for the first quarter is above) and last Wednesday night we held the first one, which was Fish Identification. (The others will be Navigation, Nitrox, and Photo Workshop, in addition to Beach Diving.) These classes are fun for me to teach, I don't need to have rental gear, and we try to cover topics that will be useful for newer divers but which may not have gotten adequate play during the basic open-water class. The nice thing for me is that I give these from my Westwood location (except for Beach Diving) which also means I can accommodate small numbers as I don't have to rent a classroom. Just remember for these classes (as well as for the various dives) you need to be signed up ahead of time so I know you're coming. You can do that through e-mail at this address or by phone at 310/652-4990.

MERCURIAL AIRFARES - You all know I love to travel but the most aggravating part of it is trying to book airfare and hoping you're getting the best possible price. Sadly, there's no real way to predict when the prices are going to go up or down. A good case in point is our upcoming (March 17) Bonaire trip. I'd been keeping an eye on prices, which historically have been around $900 or so, and before the end of the year, they were in the $1,000 range. I was convinced they'd drop a bit so was delighted to see the other day that they'd come down to $781. Not a bad deal. I watched the prices for a few days and it didn't seem like they would be any more movement so sent out a note to people to book before the prices went higher. A few days after everyone had gotten their tickets, sure enough, United made a price change. Sadly for us, it went down even further, to $643. Arrrrggghhh! What's further aggravating is that I'm also watching the prices for our Yap trip (also on United) and they've been staying pretty solid at around $2,000. So just because one route goes down (or up) doesn't mean other routes, even on the same carrier, will change. But there are a few things you can do to game the system . . .

BEATING THE AIRLINES AT THEIR OWN GAME - Many of the airlines allow you to put a ticket at a specific price on hold. Some let you do it for free (American Airlines for 24 hours) and some charge a small fee (United will do anywhere from 3-7 days for a nominal fee). It's certainly worth $10-25 if you can avoid a price increase that could be in the hundreds. And even with the ones that allow for a free hold, you can gamble that you can release the hold right when it's about to expire, go right back in to the website, and place a new hold at the same rate, hoping they've released your fare and you can grab it again. But it's a game where it definitely pays to do your homework, see what other airlines are charging, see if your airline drops prices 4-6 weeks out or something like that, and check pricing regularly. Last year on our Isla Mujeres trip, the pricing for economy was around $900 and First Class was $1,100. So I went ahead and booked a First Class ticket for myself since the price difference was so small (and you'll make most of that back in waived baggage fees). A couple of people joined us late and at that point, economy was down to something like $650 and First Class was coming in just under $900. Go figure. The prices don't always rise as you get closer to your trip dates but you can also cost yourself a lot of money by waiting too long.

NAT GEO BEST PHOTOS OF 2016 - The disclaimer is that they think not that many people can shoot underwater and then they limit themselves to the work of only a few of their known photogs. But you might be interested in seeing the 15 shots National Geographic calls their best of 2016. My fav is #3. Would love to see Brian Skerry's camera after that one: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/best-of-2016/best-underwater-photos-year-national-geographic/.

CUDDLING WITH SHARKS - If you've been diving for a while, I'm sure you've encountered some animals who seem to develop a "friendship" with you. For instance, we had this one memorable dive in the Sea of Cortez years ago, where an adult female sea lion "adopted" our group, demanded belly rubs by lying down in front of us and didn't move until we complied, and at the end of the dive after we climbed into the panga, followed us all the way back to the Don Jose and the barked at us to come back in the water to play some more. Pretty cool and special. Equally so is this story coming out Australia where a man who runs a dive school regularly sees a specific Port Jackson shark, who now comes over and seeks him out whenever she spots him. Pretty nifty: http://www.boredpanda.com/diver-cuddles-shark-rick-anderson-australia/.

CLEANUP IS A-COMING - February 25 is the date, the Green Pier is the place (at least for us), and we'd be happy to have you join us. Give us a call at 310/652-4990 to get signed up or do it on the Cleanup web page and choose Reef Seekers.

And that'll do it for now. Have a great week and let's go non-rain diving soon.

- Ken

Ken Kurtis
Owner & NAUI Instructor #5936
Reef Seekers Dive Co.


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