JOIN US VIA ZOOM FOR SOME INTERESTING CONVERSATIONS . . .
When we had a physical store location, we'd occasionally try to get
a Reef Seeker Dive Cub going. But it always seemed hit or miss.
Lots of work for little return. But Zoom has changed all of that.
(Perhaps this is the one good thing to come out of the pandemic.)
we do now is host a monthly "Zoom Seekers" meeting with
notable speakers from around the country. Each meeting starts
at 7:30PM Pacific time on the second Tuesday of the month and goes for about an hour with a Q&A session
at the end.
Each speaker has their own unique Zoom
link which will be posted on the home page of this website a day or
two before each talk.
Scroll down to see who we've got scheduled and what
they'll talk about. Hope you can join us.
IF YOU MISSED A PREVIOUS
TALK, CLICK HERE
TO ACCESS OUR ARCHIVES AND WATCH WHAT YOU MISSED
MARCH 8 • MIKE LEVER • "SECRETS OF GRAY WHALES"
Mike Lever is the founder and owner of Nautilus Liveaboards and
they also now own the old Baja Expeditions. Although based in
Vancouver, Canada, Nautilus runs trips all over Baja with their
five liveaboards and other day boats. Most notably they go to
Guadalupe and Socorro, but they've also upgraded their
operations at San Ignacio Lagoon and the up-close-and-personal
Gray Whale encounters there have really gotten Mike excited.
Captain Mike’s first career was as a bush pilot in the Canadian
arctic flying heavy water bombers. He says that he had far too
much time off every winter which allowed him to indulge his
passion for diving and boats every winter. Mike became a dive
instructor in 1991, put his first 48-ft dive liveaboard into
service the next year and never looked back. Mike and his team
now own and operate 25 dive boats in Baja ranging from 147-ft
down to 26-ft as well as Baja Expeditions glamping and luxury
camps, including one at San Ignacio Lagoon where Gray Whales
come to calf each year.
SECRETS OF GRAY WHALES
Baja is the only place in the world where Gray Whales swim up to
pangas to be stroked, petted, kissed, and even hugged. Mama
whales even push their calves against the side of the boats to
interact with the humans. Because of all of this and his
frequent trips to San Ignacio Lagoon, Mike became aware of part of the marine
environment that had not been on his radar previously. He's
not only become fascinated with Gray Whales, but has also
learned some of their secrets. And he'll share those with you
in this lively talk.
APRIL 12 • SEAN ECKLEY • "DIVING AT THE CALIFORNIA SCIENCE
Sean Eckley is an Assistant Dive Safety Officer in the Living
Collection Department at the California Science Center. He's got
a passion for marine ecology and our oceans. During his
undergraduate career at UC Santa Cruz, Sean got certified and
worked his way up to Divemaster through the university's scuba
club, as well as received training to become an AAUS (American
Academy of Underwater Scientists) Scientific Diver for UCSC. He
has had many exciting opportunities to work on an array of
projects, from annual monitoring programs, to working on
California Moray Eel study on Catalina Island. After graduating,
Sean completed his NAUI Scuba Instructor course while living and
working in Monterey, CA. Now,
as an Assistant Dive Safety Officer at CSC, Sean enjoys being
able to share his passion for the ocean and skills as an
instructor to keep divers safe and expand the CA Science Center
Volunteer Diver Program to enrich the lives of local divers and
the greater LA community.
DIVING AT THE CALIFORNIA SCIENCE CENTER
CA Science Center has both aquatic and terrestrial animals as a
part of their Ecosystems Exhibits, specifically their 188,000
gallon Kelp Forest Exhibit featuring over 45 different species
of fish, as well as live kelp growth. In order for them to
maintain the exhibits and promote conservation and knowledge
about our oceans, they have a dedicated team of volunteer divers
who come in throughout the week to clean, feed, and give daily
dive show presentations. CSC would like to get more interested
volunteer divers to join the program and this talk will tell you
about the work they do as well as how you can apply to join
MAY 10 • MARK GIBELLO, XS SCUBA • "DIVING FROM A
XS Scuba is a privately-held company, located in Santa Ana, CA.
XS started in 2002 and their first product was a patented weight
belt. XS quickly grew to become a full-line supplier of diving
and snorkeling products. They are the largest supplier of scuba
cylinders and Thermo valves in the world. Through the Sea Pearls
brand, they manufacture and supply lead weights to most U.S.
dive stores. Using strategic acquisitions of other diving
companies, they have been able to expand their product offering
to include regulators, buoyancy compensators and instrumentation
that are recognized for performance and reliability. They
continually bring innovation and new technologies to the diving
industry. The reputation of XS Scuba is built upon the products
that are produced, the relationships that are developed and the
customer service provided.
DIVING FROM A MANUFACTURER'S POINT-OF-VIEW
It's one thing to see this industry as a diver, it's another to
see it as an instructor, and yet another to see it as a dive
shop. But it's a wholly different viewpoint when you're a
manufacturer. For this talk, the XS Scuba folks will provide us with
that perspective and deal with such things as finding new
products and bringing them to market, supply chain issues, dealing
with retailers, returns, and other aspects of this wonderful
business that may sometimes escape the purview of the
JUNE 14 • NANCY CARUSO • "ABALONE & KELP RESTORATION"
Get Inspired Inc. is a registered non-profit 501(c)(3)
organization based in Orange County, and founded and run by
Nancy Caruso. Before ever even seeing the ocean, Nancy was
inspired to become a marine biologist in the 4th grade. “It just
took one lesson on oceanography”, she explains, “and an amazing,
caring teacher, and I was set on my path for life. I knew
exactly what I was meant to do.” The integration of STEAM
programming into our schools has created the perfect environment
for Get Inspired’s programs to continue to inspire students
through the exploration of science. Their programs are designed
to inspire stewardship and curiosity for the natural world
through the exploration of science. They continue to be
recognized for our efforts and successes in the classroom and in
ABALONE & KELP RESTORATION
In this talk, Nancy will explain how they're
working to restore the kelp
forest ecosystem (kelp, White Seabass, Green Abalone, and Pismo
Clams) by getting the community involved in hands-on science and
restoration. They've successfully restored Orange County’s kelp
forests which were gone for more than 20 years. Now, they're
working to restore the species that once thrived in them. By
involving the community in the restoration work, it ensures that
the participants will have a stake in the health of the restored
species and take ownership to conserve them in the future. Get
Inspired currently has 5,000 growing abalone which will be out-planted starting in 2023.
JULY 12 • KURT LIEBER • "OCEAN DEFENDERS ALLIANCE"
Ocean Defenders Alliance (ODA) fills a huge void in the world of
marine conservation by taking on the role of “cleanup crew” for
the seas. Kurt Lieber, is an avid diver and underwater
photographer, and while enjoying recreational dives recognized
through his own experiences the need for this important work. On
dives all over the world, he saw human trash and commercial
fishing gear that had been discarded…often wrapped around
beautiful reefs, trapping and killing helpless marine life in an
endless cycle. The more he learned, the more Kurt felt a
compelling urgency to "dive in" and help the ecosystem survive
this onslaught of man-made debris and pollution. So, in 2000, he
took action by creating Ocean Defenders Alliance. Since then,
Kurt’s leadership and vision has translated into tangible
results for ocean life: hundreds of volunteer divers have
removed tons of deadly man-made debris, presentations have
helped educate thousands of school children, business/civic
groups, and dive club members, and the “Alliance” of concerned
citizens and organizations is growing. While others are talking,
ODA is “diving in” to save lives as often as our resources
permit. To date, ODA has completed hundreds of results-oriented
excursions, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
THE WORK OF OCEAN DEFENDERS ALLIANCE
Ocean Defenders Alliance works to clean and protect
marine ecosystems through documentation, education, and
meaningful action. Working with affected communities, they focus
primarily on the reduction and removal of man-made debris which
poses serious threats to ocean wildlife and habitats. ODA
envisions a world in which they educate communities and involve
them in solutions that help ensure marine ecosystems can exist
free from harm caused by human debris. Without abandoned fishing
gear, trash, and improperly sunken vessels damaging their
habitat, marine flora and fauna will be able to thrive.
AUGUST 9 • SELENA McMILLAN • "REEF CHECK CALIFORNIA"
Selena McMillan has been involved in marine
ecology and research for over 14 years. While an undergrad at
the University of California, Santa Cruz, Dr. McMillan began
working for the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of
Coastal Oceans (PISCO) as a subtidal technician, organizing and
performing long-term subtidal monitoring efforts along the
California coast. Selena left this position to pursue her
master’s at Moss Landing Marine Laboratory (MLML) where she
completed a subtidal thesis examining the trophic interactions
between giant kelp and snails. While at MLML, she worked as a
research assistant for Dr. Rick Starr at California Sea Grant
where she was integral in organizing a Data-Poor Fisheries
workshop that brought together scientists, policy makers and
fishermen from all over the world. Recently, she completed her
PhD at The University of Auckland in New Zealand examining
herbivorous fishes in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and
the temperate reefs of New Zealand. She is excited to be
returning back to her roots in California and diving back into
ocean monitoring as the Director of Education Programs for Reef
THE WORK OF REEF CHECK & HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
Founded in 1996, the Reef Check Foundation is an
international non-profit organization dedicated to the
conservation of tropical coral reefs and temperate kelp forests.
With offices in Los Angeles and Santa Cruz, California and
volunteer teams in more than 40 countries and territories, Reef
Check’s mission is to lead citizen scientists who promote
stewardship of sustainable reef communities around the globe. In
1997, Reef Check conducted the first-ever global survey of coral
reef health. The survey provided scientific evidence of a
worldwide crisis- caused by overfishing and pollution- in the
condition of our coral reefs. In 2005, Reef Check launched its
first temperate reef program in California. Reef Check
California has grown to be the largest citizen science
monitoring group collecting data on California’s kelp forests
and its statewide Marine Protected Area (MPA) network. In 2016,
this program expanded into climate change monitoring and is now
providing ocean temperature data from over 90 sites, and is
monitoring ocean acidification at key sites in California’s MPAs.
SEPTEMBER 13 • ADAM TUCKER • "THE CONCEPTION FIRE INVESTIGATION"
Adam Tucker has been an accident investigator for the NTSB since
September, 2014, and was the lead investigator for the
investigation of the
fire of September 2, 2019.
In addition to the
fire, Adam has investigated numerous other vessel accidents,
both domestically and internationally, ranging from large cruise
vessels and tankers to commercial towing and fishing vessels.
Adam will talk about the process of the investigation, what challenges were faced,
and what was different about this investigation compared to
other ones he has done. This is NOT intended to be a
finger-pointing or blame-assigning chat. But Adam will tell you
what was (and
what was not) found, the
significance of the NTSB’s findings,
and what changes their recommendations might
produce in the overall small passenger vessel industry.
OCTOBER 11 • DR. MARK LEGG • "UNDERWATER GEOLOGY AROUND
Dr. Mark Legg is recognized as one of the leading experts on
faulting and seismotectonics of the Southern California offshore
region based on more than 30 years experience. He has mapped
the major active and ancient fault systems of the area offshore
southern California and northern Baja California, compiled,
analyzed, and mapped the offshore seismicity and earthquake
character, and is the author of more than 35 publications in
scientific journals, books, and maps resulting from offshore
geological and geophysical research. mark has also worked with
the NASA Extreme Environments Project and helped train
astronauts as to what types of rock they might find on the moon
or Mars. He also studies underwater geology and faults, starting
on scuba and then moving on to using underwater submersibles for
his research, including the famed Alvin submersible.
UNDERWATER GEOLOGY AROUND CATALINA ISLAND
We live in an earthquake-prone area and those fault lines also
ruin out into the ocean and affect things both above and below
the water. Dr. Legg will tell you about some of those, describe
some fascinating underwater events that have happened in spots
where we regularly dive, and will leave you with a slightly
different impression of what's happening geologically in our
ocean than you may currently think.
NOVEMBER 8 • DR. SAM MILER III • "IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED"
came to California in 1951 at the
ripe age of 19 and quickly became a teen-aged free-diver. Scuba
diving had just arrived in Southern California and Sam made his first dive in Laguna Beach with no
wetsuit and cheap equipment. It was just a tank and regulator,
fins and a mask, no snorkel. Formal diving instruction didn't
exist until 1954. When you bought your diving equipment, you got
a little pamphlet of about six or eight pages that you read and
that was the sum total of instruction. In those days, every time
you put your head underwater it was a new experience. But Sam
was enamored and quickly moved up the scuba hierarchy. His
instructor credentials have impressive low numbers: L.A. County
OWSI #11, NAUI Instructor #27, and PADI Instructor #241. Since
1962 he ha authored numerous articles in local, national, and
international publications. And he maintains what is likely the
world's largest library of scuba diving books and publications.
Sam was (and is) a charter member of numerous dive organizations
and he also provided diving support for water impact testing on
the Apollo Command Module, which included helping recover it
when it sank to the bottom of the test tank.
IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED
Dr. Sam Miller III has been around diving for a looooong time.
When he talks about the history of the sport, he can do so not
because he read about it in a book or magazine, but because he
was likely there when it happened and knows first-hand. In this
talk, he share some of those stories with you and give you a
better idea of how this industry came to be created and evolved.
Sam will use his personal knowledge as well as his extensive
library to enlighten you on some of the history of this sport
that we all love so much.
DECEMBER 13, 2022 • DOUG & LORENZA SLOSS • "TAKE BETTER PICTURES"
Doug and Lorenza Sloss
have worked in the tourism and hospitality business for several
years aboard the Aggressor liveaboards in Kona, Hawaii and
Palau, Micronesia. There, they have taught hundreds of people
how to dive and shoot photography. Their passion for teaching
translated into the creation of a successful series of video
tutorials that help photographers of all levels to effectively
and professionally post-process their images. Their
award-winning photography has appeared in Sport Diver, Scuba
Diving, Scuba Diver Australasia, Islands, Asia Diver and many
other magazines and books worldwide. Doug has been Field Editor
and regular columnist for Scuba Diver Australasia magazine.
They also lead photo
photography and digital editing, both above and below the
TAKE BETTER PICTURES - IF SAM CAN DO IT, WHY NOT YOU?
Everyone who has ever held a camera in their hand wants to take
better pictures than they currently do. And for those who are on
that quest to be the next underwater Ansel Adams, Doug & Lorenza
can help point you there. In this talk, they'll go through some
of the basics and will share with you how they got their son,
Sam, interested and involved in underwater photography.
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