TWARS (This Week at Reef Seekers) - July 25 - Aug. 1

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Ken Kurtis

Reaction score
Beverly Hills, CA
# of dives
5000 - ∞
Rod Francis, Socorro, Yap, Bonaire, and more
(please scroll down for details)

Let's get the sad one out of the way first . . .

ROD FRANCIS' CELEBRATION OF LIFE IS SUNDAY, AUGUST 1 - That's this coming Sunday at Knollwood Country Club in Granada Hills starting at 1PM. (It also would have been Rod's 81st birthday.) Dress is informal and Rod's daughter Kim has suggested that Hawaiian shirts (if you have one) would be appropriate. Please note on the announcement, especially with the recent uptick in COVID cases, that masks are required. After the service, there will be a reception with food and a cash bar. You do NOT need to RSVP but if you have questions, you can contact Kim at the number on the announcement. (Or you can feel free to contact me.) Rod taught for both Sunland Sports and Reef Seekers for a long time, as well as did repairs for both Reef Seekers and West Coast Divers Supply. So his path crossed many of yours. Hopefully we'll see a bunch of you there on Sunday, August 1.

SOCORRO IN MARCH OF 2022 - We had a FABULOUS trip to these remote islands this year in January and plan/hope to duplicate our underwater success again next year. We're also on the same boat, the Nautilus Under Sea. The reason we chose this vessel is because it maxes out at 19 divers, as opposed to 25-35 on some of the other boats that visit the area. On top of that, we won't have more than 15 divers on this trip because we've already got 4 people who are doing single supplements, which further reduces our total load. So if you're looking for a great Socorro trip on a boat that we can guarantee will be uncrowded, this trip (March 11-20) is for you. We've only got four spaces left. We have one standard stateroom for two people and two slots still open in the co-ed triple (which is also cheaper). A bonus - on top of the limited load - is that this time of the year we are much more into whale season so there's a good chance of Humpback Whale encounters, either from the surface or maybe even underwater. (We definitely heard the males singing this past January and that was simply magical.) If you want to get a taste of what we saw this year, you can click here for the SOCORRO 2021 PICTURES. And if you want to grab one (or two) of those last spots, you can call us at 310/652-4990.

MPA DECADAL REVIEW - I will be talking more about this in the coming 18 months but when the Marine Protected Areas up and down our coast were created 10+ years ago, one of the mandates was that they would be run under what's called "adaptive management," which essentially says figuring out what's working and strengthen it and figuring out what's not working and change it. I sat on a number of iterations of the Statewide Interest Groups that helped design them back then and I've been invited/appointed to another statewide panel whose mission is to make sure the various user groups have input into the review process. I'm representing diving interests, consumptive and non-consumptive, retail & recreational, etc., and am the only diver doing so in the 20+ people on this steering committee. Down the road, there will be opportunity for individuals or groups or comment, make suggestions, ask for improvements, and stuff like that. It's supposed to be a very transparent process with final recommendations submitted to the CA Fish & Wildlife Commission in December of next year. So we've got a long road ahead of us and I hope if this is of interest to you, that you'll take advantage of some of the input opportunities that will be presented.

BONAIRE IN 2022 - We've pushed the trip back three times now (I think) and are currently set for May 20-28, 2022, staying at Buddy Dive. We always do these trips as a combination of boat dives (usually 9-12 dives depending on our package) and shore dives (some on the Buddy house reef and some we drive to). We get breakfast daily at Buddy, have use of a shared vehicle for each room, and have plenty of time to explore non-diving options as well like seeing the Flamingos or taking a scenic tour of the island and learning why the eastern side of the island is called "The Wild Side." What we generally do is book 2-bedroom apartments but I try to only put three people in them. Gives us a little more room and flexibility. You can also arrange for a single or double just for you if you prefer at a slightly higher cost. The trip right now is going for $2,250 which includes diving and staying at Buddy as well as a the crew tip. Air skeds will likely change but right now Delta & United require an overnight on the way back, but American can get us home (through Miami) same day. But we have plenty of time to work this out. If you're not already signed up or at least on our "interested" list, be sure to call or drop us a note. Bonaire always is a great dive trip and, especially given that for a lot of you, it might be your first post-pandemic vacation, it's a great place to get your gills wet and feel comfortable in the water again.

ZOOM SEEKERS NEXT MONTH IS BILL ACKER OF MANTA RAY BAY - Make a note for August 10 at 7:30PM as that's our next Zoom Seekers meeting and our speaker will be our good friend Bill Acker, founder and owner of Manta Ray Bay in Yap, and fondly known as "The Manta Man." Bill will bring us up to speed and the re-opening of Yap in 2022, and will hopefully get you salivating for a visit to this fabulous place where we love to go. Hope to see you then.

PHOTO CLASS THIS WEDNESDAY - If you're not happy with your pix or videos, this might help put you on a better path to photographic success. Our regular Photo Workshop will be held via Zoom this Wednesday evening starting at 7PM. We'll give you some easy, simple suggestions as to how to de-mystify picture taking, and that can include some specific suggestions for your specific camera or video setup. The class is very informal, costs $25, and we'll also have the opportunity to look at specific shots you've taken and give you suggestions as to how they could have been improved, which will hopefully translate into success down the road. If you want to get registered, e-mail here or call us at 310/652-4990.

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

- Ken

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