TWARS (This Week at Reef Seekers) - July 29 - August 5

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Ken Kurtis

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Beverly Hills, CA
# of dives
5000 - ∞
Want to travel??? Upcoming 2018 vacation trips:

• October 27 - November 3 - Roatan at Anthony's Key (2 SPOTS LEFT - one full room)
• Perhaps a combo Yap & Truk????
• Maldives for the huge Manta Ray congregation - looking at sometime in Aug/Sept/Oct
• Where would you like to go?

Upcoming local dives & classes:

• Thu., Aug. 2 (RE-SKED) - CLASS - NAUI Nitrox ($25 - please note this will now be an early evening class, 6-9PM)
• Sat., Aug. 11 - Redondo - Navigation (single tank - $25)
• Sat., Aug. 25 (RE-SKED) - Catalina Express - Avalon Underwater Park ($150)

To sign up for any of these dives, either call us at 310/652-4990 or e-mail us at

Return of the heat (but not as hot as a few weeks ago) . . .

GOOD DIVE REPORTS - Kaz Aikawa & friends (Sole Searchers dive club) were out at the Avalon UW Park and report great dives and best of all . . . Black Sea Bass (five of them). George Spanos was out at San Clemente Island and reports 60-foot vis and water temps approaching 70º!!! Plus they saw a yet-to-be-ID'd shark. (He was thinking Bull, I'm thinking more likely Mako or even Bruce.) It looked a little choppy at Vets on the Redondo Pier webcam but Carter Crary (Malibu Divers) says things were looking good up there. Point is: GO OUT & DIVE!!!

NITROX CLASS THIS THURSDAY - We're doing the NAUI Nitrox class this Thursday at a private home in Manhattan Beach. Although this was going to be an afternoon class, once again my personal sked has intervened (I actually booked a video shoot - I think my agent almost had heart failure when she found out) so we're going to shoot for a 6PM start. Likely done by 9PM. Most of the people signed up are already nitrox-certified but haven't dove it in a long time so this will be as much a refresher as anything else, but even if you are starting from scratch, this can work for you. If you're interested in joining us, give me a call before Noon on Wednesday at 310/652-4990 and we'll get you signed up as well as tell you where we'll be.

ONCE MORE ON THE THAI CAVE RESCUE - I realize every week I promise that this will be the LAST time and then the following week there's something else, but this time, I think I'll be able to hold true to form. But if you didn't see ABC's 20/20 this past Friday, you've got to track it down. The entire show was on the rescue from the perspective of the British divers who first found the kids and pretty much co-ordinated everything, as well as were the actual foursome who brought each of the children out. Very interesting stuff and you get a much better idea of the complexity here as well as some tidbits that I hadn't heard previously. Tidbit #1 (and it was easy to miss) is that while it sounds like the rescuers were on rebreathers and many of the other divers were on air, the kids were on an 80% mix. That means their MOD was somewhere between 25 & 33 feet, depending on if you used 1.4 or 1.6 as your guide. Point is that these were shallow dives. Tidbit #2 concerned the death of the Thai SEAL who drowned. It seems that he mouthpiece came off of his reg, he couldn't find the reg and he couldn't find his backup, and that's what did him in. Also underscores that there was little or no room for error. During the program,it's rather chilling to hear one of the divers say, "We know we could get them all out. We just didn't know if we could get them all out alive." An then to hear another military rescuer say they had done an risk analysis and figured that 3-5 of the kids wouldn't make it out alive. Yikes!!! The program is really well-done (IMHO), doesn't mince words, and gives out good info. (And the even refer to AIR tanks instead of oxygen tanks!!!) On my Spectrum setup, it's available through ABC On-Demand until August 3. Really worth watching, especially if you were as riveted as I was by the entire situation.

DO THE STINGRAY SHUFFLE - Got a call Saturday night from a friend of mine who was down in San Diego and got stung by a stingray. More correctly, she stepped on a stingray and it reacted defensively, driving its barb into her heel. Amazingly, two of her friends with her ALSO steeped on rays at about the same time. (Doubtful that it was the same ray.) The first thing I said to her (other "Oooo, ouch . . ." was "Stingray Shuffle" which she said the lifeguards had said to her as well. It's good advice for divers too when you're doing a beach entry. Shuffle those feet so the rays know you're coming and can get out of the way. A ray's barb CAN go through a bootie so don't think you're immune. (And if you're wearing a drysuit, a barb can also cause a flood.) The upshot on my friend is that she's recovering after soaking her foot in hot water at the lifeguard station, getting a tetanus shot, and keeping the foot elevated (plus popping some Aleve). But embrace the shuffle and avoid the pain.

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION - This is not great news, though perhaps not unexpected. The oceans are more acidic now than they have been in 14 million years. (And it's not a Chinese hoax.) Our oceans are great absorbers of CO2. This study suggest we're heading for trouble. There's certainly a natural geologic cycle to things, but this ain't it. You can read more about it here: .

ANIMALS MAY BE MORE LIKE US THAN WE THINK - There's a sad story coming out of Seattle about a female Orca who gave birth to a calf only to see it die fairly quickly. But she has now, for six days, be carrying the dead calf around with her, balancing it's body on her nose, and the Seattle Times, along with researchers, has been following the story. You can read more about it here but next time you think animals don't have feelings and awareness, remember this incident: UPDATE: Orca mother carries dead calf for sixth day as family stays close by .

ENDING ON A HAPPIER NOTE - Can't leave you like that so enjoy this video from George Spanos from his Clemente dive. best of all, it was taken with a GoPro that he had previously flooded and which - due to the miracle of immersing it for a few days in desiccant - recovered. Not sure if you'll need to be a FB member or not but go to George Spanos' FB page and see if you can see it. (I can't embed the link here.) .

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

- Ken

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