THIS WEEK (August 23-30) AT REEF SEEKERS DIVE
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REEF SEEKERS REPAIR DEPARTMENT
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SCUBA CUBA - Thought of this since they're also on the map above . . . American Airlines has announced that they will begin weekly charter service non -stop from LAX to Havana in December. Flights will leave on Saturdays. (They talk about GOING to Cuba, but they fail to mention RETURNING from Cuba. I assume they'll come back but then again maybe this is all a ruse, like in the Twilight Zone's excellent episode, "To Serve Man.") I'm sure other airlines will follow suit and what I thought was interesting was that it's called a "charter" instead of a regularly-scheduled flight, which I assume has something to do with the some of the still-in-place-and-evolving travel rules to Cuba.
GOT SHARKS??? - Still have spots available on our October 21-26 second Guadalupe trip. I'm really looking forward to this one because while what we saw earlier this month was impressive, by October the pregnant females have arrived and they're supposed to be HUGE. If you want to chat about this a bit, give me a call at 310/652-4990 and we can go over all of the particulars.
ANOTHER OARFISH WASHES ASHORE - Once again at Catalina, this time at Pebbly Beach, just south of Avalon. It was 14-feet long and a male, weighing at an estimated 200 pounds. Normally, they're deep-ocean dwellers and the thought is that they come ashore when they're going to die (or coming shallow is what kills them). Here's a link to a short article with a picture: http://patch.com/california/venice/elusive-serpent-deep-washes-ashore.
BIG CHANGES COMING TO THREE SISTERS IN FLORIDA - If you've been wanting to go see Manatees at Three Sisters Springs in Florida, that may become nearly impossible to do if new proposed regulations take place. As you likely know, we've run a number of wonderful trips there in the past and had great manatee interactions. There were times when we had the place to ourselves, and there were times it was crowded. But in the last few years, it's REALLY become crowded with annual visitors going from a little over 60,000 in 2010 to almost 140,000 in 2014. It's really gotten nuts and the simple fact is that the people are crowding the manatees out. So the Fish & Wildlife folks are proposing some drastic changes (http://www.fws.gov/news/ShowNews.cfm?ID=FE2C63F6-5056-AF00-5B5A1B5A1D9B9D17) to limit the number of people and the methods of access to Three Sisters. During a monitoring period, they had as many as 1200+ people in the Springs over the course of an 8-hour day. That's an average of 150 people each hour. The new regs will limit that number to no more than 29 (including guides) at any one time. On top of that, you won't be allowed to wear fins in a misguided effort (IMHO) to keep sand-stirring to a minimum but I think what it will do is just force everyone to walk along the bottom. And while none of this affects other areas of Crystal River where you can see manatees, the reality is that Three Sisters is the most reliable and productive spot so that's where everyone goes. And while I agree with the overall goals of the news regs, I think there are other options and methods they could use be using that wouldn't seem quite so Draconian. From the standpoint of someone like me taking small groups there, this will kill that plan because there's no way to guarantee that we'll be able to get in, plus that the new rules will require a guide to be with you at all times and non-locals will not be able to qualify for that position. There's a public comment period until September 4 and they have been really terrific about communicating with stakeholders (I've had a number of phone calls and e-mails about this) but this looks like one of those times where we're going to love something to death if drastic action isn't taken.
REDONDO WEBCAM - We've told you about this before and then it went down earlier this year. I haven't been able to get the live stream back, but you can now access a snapshot that seems to refresh every few minutes. On top of that, there's both a "last 24 hours" and "last 30 days" strip at the bottom of the page to give you a time-lapse view, so it's still a pretty useful tool: http://www.webcams.travel/webcam/fullscreen/1234915964-Weather-Redondo-Beach-Redondo-Beach.
TOO MUCH TIME ON HIS HANDS - How about recreating "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" with Legos???? One guy has done it. Well, at least it keeps him off the streets: http://nerdist.com/a-20000-leagues-under-the-sea-nautilus-set-on-lego-ideas/. (BTW, since a "league" is 4km, which is 2.4 miles, "20,000 Leagues" refers to the distance traveled under the sea by the Nautilus, not the depth to which they dove.)
ELEPHANTS TAKE A DIP - Finally this week, I just thought this was a nice idea. A zoo in Japan has a built a swimming pool for their elephants, complete with side viewing windows so you can watch the pachyderms swim. There's a great little video about it which includes a shot where the elephant uses his trunk as a snorkel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzcePKQHH5s.
And that'll do it for now. Have a great week and let's go diving soon!!!
Owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.