It’s World Oceans Day!

Gorg_kelpbass_Garibaldi_P. CollaHappy World Oceans Day. In our ever changing world, the ocean is one thing that unites us all and she can use our help. Make a difference today. ‪#‎SeaSaveFoundation‬, ‪#‎Oceana‬, ‪#‎OceanConservancy‬, ‪#‎ReefCheck‬, ‪#‎HealtheBay‬, ‪#‎LosAngelesWaterkeepers‬, ‪#‎GetInspired‬.

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Your Scuba Show 2016 Primer

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Click here for show info and advanced tickets

Another year, another trip to the Long Beach Convention Center for the annual gathering of our local dive community. So much to see and so much to enjoy right? Okay, maybe not so much to enjoy but there are some gems if you take the time to seek them out.  So what do you want to look for? Follow us here at CFD as we discuss how you can maximize your scuba show experience.

First off, you should look for innovative new dive products. Seriously. Look for them. I challenge you. No, they’re no there. Or over there.  Okay, I jest. There are really no new products. Maybe an innovative water bottle or some new way to clip your mask to your wetsuit in day glow colors. That’s it. Roll outs are usually at industry trade shows so don’t be surprised if you …don’t be surprised? It gets better though.

How does it get better? I’ll tell you. Looking to travel? A dive vacation on the agenda for 2017? You’re home with Scuba Show. The 4 corners of the globe are covered under one large, flat convention center roof. There is something for everybody from local boats with special show packages to long-range excursion trips to tropical atolls. Try checking out Eric Bowman and the Peace dive boat out of VenturaPeace or Keith Sahm with Grand Cayman’s ever popular Sunset House. Both are great operators for the discerning diver.

Looking to do something closer to home that gets you in the water and helps conserve and protect our local waters, then visit the outer netherlands that is non-profit row. Situated outside the convention center floor by the main entrance, this is where you go to find volunteer dive opportunities that can fill you with both dive opportunities and personal self-satisfaction year round. Talk to Ian Jacobson at Los Angeles Waterkeeper or Colleen Wisniewski at the Reef Check Foundation to see how you can make a difference.  Both have great diving programs that you’ll be glad to be a part of.Logo300x300

Don’t forget the seminars btw. Lots of good stuff to hear and see. There are all sorts of topics covered from Travel to dive accident analysis. A little bit of something for everybody. Check out Saturday’s schedule for a sample of what might float your personal dive boat.

Finally, don’t forget to say hi to all your old dive friends or maybe, make some future new old dive friends. Catch up over a couple of 8 to 10 dollar LBCC beers and talk about the good old days and better ones to come. This show is really all about community and reconnecting with something pretty special. As for me, look for me on aisle 1. I’ll be the 250 lb man modeling Slipskin dive skins sporting a tiparillo with a sake and soda. You won’t want to miss it but you should.

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Happy Earth Day!

It’s Earth Day and at least 2/3rds of said Earth is beautiful blue ocean.  It’s only appropriate that you get your bass out there and celebrate. It’s also a good time to think about and reflect on the multitude of problems that we are dealing with here in our local waters. So, while you’re tossing back a salutatory cold one remember, that even after your gear is cleaned and put away, a diver’s work is never done. We’ll see you out there.

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Won’t somebody think of the divers?

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March 12th is Diver Day at the Aquarium of the Pacific

You like looking at fish and don’t really feel like getting wet and then having to clean your gear? If so, then today is the day for you. Bring your c-card and your singular sense of looking at fish and you’re in for a great day. Click on the link below to get directions to a ridiculously large and obvious property in Long Beach that even my four year old can find. GO Go go. It’ll be fun.

Swim like the wind to Diver Day at the Aquarium of the Pacific

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Scuba Divers are saving Palos Verdes and they need your help

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The kelp forest we all deserve

As divers, we take for granted sometimes that there are people out there trying to protect the ocean for us. We assume that when there is a major issue or event like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that every acronym in the government and science community is going to leap up and solve it, and for the most part they try to do just that. But what about the gradual declines of ecosystems that take years to happen and often longer to make right?  Who deal with those problems. It might surprise you to know that in Los Angeles, divers like you are the ones making a difference.

Located on eastern most tip of Los Angeles County, the  Palos Verdes Peninsula is a special place to divers. It’s where scuba first took off in America over 70 years ago and why not? It was beautiful with lush kelp forest teeming with life,  providing both a physical and spiritual bounty to the adventurous new underwater water explorers diving it. It was almost too good to last so naturally it didn’t. Between it’s proximity to the largest commercial port on the West Coast, a local population with millions of people and growing,  and it’s role as super convenient chemical dump site for Monsanto, we pretty much managed to turn this underwater paradise into a visual study of what the moon might look like under 80 feet of water. Now fixing a problem like a burnt out light bulb is easy. When the old bulb is gone, replace it with a new one. Replacing, repairing, and protecting hundreds of hectares of burned out kelp forest isn’t quite that easy.

There have been lots of work done over the past 45 years by a lot of different groups and organizations to repair and restore this once pristine ocean habitat. Success has been limited despite the effort but right now there is group of recreational divers and a concerned and dedicated conservation group working to change all that.

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Working hard to protect the kelp

Ian Jacobson is the Kelp Project Coordinator for Los Angeles Waterkeeper, an organization dedicated to insuring the quality of water in and around the county of Los Angeles. He’s more than a scientist however. More accurately, he’s a leader,  working with a well-trained team of volunteer divers to restore the denuded kelp forests along the Palos Verdes Peninsula. If he hasn’t got his team controlling an out-of-control purple urchin population, then he’s got them planting giant kelp stipes or vacuuming invasive sargassum(an evil invasive weed). There is always plenty to do and making headway towards recovery is a constant struggle. And it never stops. When work needs to be done, it needs to be done. And it’s paid off handsomely. Over 15 acres of kelp forest have been repaired to become the amazing habitat it once was. For more information about this successful program you can look here.

So what’s the problem and how can all divers help? Simple.  Working with volunteers isn’t as cheap as it sounds and the overhead can really add up. Funding is always an issue. Right now the Los Angeles Waterkeeper  Kelp Project is in a financial crisis. They need $20,000 to sustain the project until Spring when new funding to continue their work off Palos Verdes will become available. Good ideas and volunteers are always welcome as well. The team is always looking for helping hands.

I’ve always been a big believer that divers are the best stewards of the ocean that any community has. We get so much pleasure from our escapes beneath the waves that it’s only natural that we would want to protect our marine paradise. Supporting the Kelp Restoration Project and Ian’s team is a great way to do it. And some day, when the waters off the peninsula are once again home to magnificent kelp forests supporting the marine life it’s supposed to, you’ll know, when it mattered, you made a difference.

See you all out there.

Los Angeles Waterkeeper has set up a funding page at classy.org to make donating easy. Give early and give often.

 

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Learn more about how Los Angeles is protecting its water.

 

 

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A New Year’s Dive Report —- The Ocean is Closed!

Rocky EntryDespite how happy these throwback Los Angeles County Instructors look, most divers are bummed to be on the beach for at least the first few weeks of the New Year. When it does open up, remember to be safe and pick your entries.Until then, those of us at CFD remind you to stay cozy and we look forward to seeing you out there.

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It’s Lobster Season ….again. Some simple rules to followish.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

The guests of honor

Hi Kids. It’s lobster time again here in the southern California bight and with divers massing to make their first jump at midnight(and last at God knows when), let’s take a minute to think before we stride. I’ve put together a list of gentle diving suggestions that might help make this a memorable and/or enjoyable experience.

So from the top;

  1. Diving at midnight is just a horrible idea. You’ve worked all week and hustled home to get your ship together to make an island-bound boat or meet up with your buddies to ply the local waters. Then you end up waiting around to take life sustaining equipment into the dark recesses of the Pacific at a point where you would normally be in bed. Why? Tomorrow you can dive at 7:30 pm and be home by 11. Camaraderie and seafood is overrated.
  2. Anyone who tells you that the big bugs are hiding beneath the bull kelp is lying. They are not there. They were never there. They will never be there. They are also not really deep. Don’t be a diving shmuck. They are by the same spots you saw them hiding back when you dove the same area during the daytime.
  3. It’s not a race. Bug fever is anti-social behavior. Shoving people by the gate doesn’t help get you any more lobsters. It only makes you a douche. Relax. It’s a big ocean.
  4. If you’re standing at the gate wondering why you are getting ready to take a giant stride for your 3rd dive of the night at 3:54 am, turn around and take a forward roll into your bunk. Sleep to dive another day.

I know this may take some of the romance out of opening night but it’s a long season. Pace yourself and enjoy it. I think it was Lloyd Bridges who famously said “He who sleeps and snuggles away can always dive on Saturday.” Or maybe it was my 3 year old daughter. Either way, if you head out, be safe and follow the rules. No bug is worth getting a ticket or said ticket punched for.

Monday mornings come way to early after a fun weekend

This is what Saturday looks like after an all night hunt. You resort to drinking bud light. Yuckitty.

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