TWARS (This Week at Reef Seekers) - January 23-30

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Ken Kurtis

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Football, Cleanup, Icefish, and more
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For those who follow the Rams . . .

HAS YOUR HEART RECOVERED? - From a blowout to a nail-biter. Probably as effective as an EKG to determine the status of your heart. And what are the odds that the first three playoff games this weekend would ALL end on time-running-out game-winning field goals? If you had a bet on that, you likely made a fortune. Alternately, the phenomenal end to the Bills/Chiefs game underscores why I hate the NFL overtime rule. Both teams should get a chance to possess. Otherwise, a coin flip essentially decides the game when the first team scores a TD (as happened tonight). But all four games this weekend were fabulously exciting. Gonna be hard to top the excitement for the two conference championship games next Sunday. But here's hoping.

COME TO THE AVALON U/W CLEANUP - We're about a month away from the 40th Annual Avalon Underwater Cleanup on Saturday, February 26. As things stand now - and granted it all could change one way or the other - this will be an in-person event. We've got reservations out of Long Beach on the 6AM boat (god-awful early but leaves time for a nice breakfast once we get to Avalon), coming back at 3:55PM. We have eight in our group so far and there are a little over 300 people signed up all together. One of things we're looking forward to this year is seeing what there is to be brought up because, since we didn't have a live event last year (due to COVID), there's really two years worth of trash waiting to be found. As usual, we'll be at our traditional Green Pier location. The diving starts at 9:30AM and you need to be out of the water by 11AM. The awards ceremony starts at 1PM and will be done by 3PM so plenty of time to make the boat home. If you sign up on your own, tag yourself as part of the Reef Seekers group. If you want to travel with us, $140 will cover you for boat, taxi, event registration, and fun. Especially if you're signing up on your own, don't forget that early bird registration ends on January 31. This is a great event that we've supported since it started. Hope we'll see you in Avalon next month.

WORLD OCEANS ARE STILL WARMING - For the sixth year in a row, a report distilled from two major sets of international data shows this and concludes that this is a result of human-induced climate change. Although the peer-reviewed paper gets a little into the weeds at times, it's still a sobering reminder that people can have a greater impact on things - both for good and for bad - than you might normally think. You can read a summary of the findings here: OCEANS CONTINUE TO WARM.

COLD-WATER NEWS TOO - At the other end of that temperature spectrum, scientists were surprised to discover an enormous colony of Icefish nests in the Weddell Sea near Antarctica. This nesting area is thought to be one of the largest breeding grounds of any fish in the world. They counted over 100,000 nests - each one about 2.5 feet wide - and estimate there may be as many as 60 million nests in an area covering 93 square miles. To put that in perspective, that's over 4 times the size of Manhattan, New York (which is 22.8 square miles). The nests are about 1,000 feet deep but their discovery also underscores how little we know about the ocean and that there are a lot of things in the world's oceans waiting to be discovered. It's estimated that only 20% has been explored. If you'd like to read more about this Icefish discovery, use this link: HUGE FISH BREEDING GROUNDS DISCOVERED.

BEACH DIVE NEXT SATURDAY - We promise it won't be cold enough for Icefish but if you can brave the temps of a January dive, we have a Beach Dive Class on the books for next Saturday at Vets Park in Redondo. Single-tank escorted dive with some pre-dive education about how to read the surf and get through it as well as the dive itself. Conditions permitting, we should be able to get down into the canyon depths (60-80 feet) where some squid egg clusters have been spotted in the last few weeks. Give us a call at 310/652-4990 if you're interested.

FREE AT-HOME COVID TESTS - As President Biden promised, the government has set up a website where you can order four free (a diver's favorite word) at-home antigen COVID tests. Here's the website: https://www.covidtests.gov/

CONSIDER AQUAMATION - Have you ever heard of this? It's actually an alternate, and more "green" eco-friendly, form of cremation. According to Bio-Response Solutions, aquamation is a water-based process whose scientific name is alkaline hydrolysis, in which a "combination of gentle water flow, temperature, and alkalinity are used to accelerate the breakdown of organic materials" and which "uses 90% less energy than flame cremation and does not emit any harmful greenhouse gases." Novel concept. Bishop Desmond Tutu requested this process for his body upon his death.

And that'll do it for now. Have a great week, go Rams, and let's go diving soon!!!

- Ken​
 
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