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Indonesia, Dr. Bill memorial, and more (please scroll down for details)
Today (Sunday) was quite a full day and the culmination of a busy week . . .
INDONESIA TRIP IS SET FOR OCTOBER - We are confirmed for a wonderful diving vacation with our good friends at Murex in Sulawesi, Indonesia. This is a phenomenal place to go diving as you get the unbeatable combination of vertical walls of pristine coral, sloping reefs, tons of activity in the shallows, and muck diving to boot where you're likely to see creatures both weird and wonderful. The travel dates (from LA - but you can leave from elsewhere) are October 17-28 (actual dates at the resort are October 19-28). Cost for the land portion - all diving (3 boats dives/day plus optional shore dive), all meals, crew tip, double occupancy, etc., is $2,950. (Single supplement might be available. Adds $375.) Airfare is running $1,475-ish in Economy and . . . brace yourself . . . $7,200 in Business. I've reserved 10 spots and might be able to get more but would like keep this group to 14 or less. I've already got 5 confirmed and a number of maybes. If you're interested, e-mail me (or call) and I can shoot you the specifics. A $1,000 deposit holds your spot. This has always been a winner for us in the past (we were last there in 2019) and we anticipate that 2022 will be no different. This short video will give you a taste of the trip: INDO 2019.
ZOOM SEEKERS THIS TUESDAY- Our speaker is Nancy Caruso, founder and leader of "Get Inspired," a non-profit that works a lot with kids to get them excited about the ocean and who also is heavily involved in projects like kelp restoration and abalone planting. Nancy will not only give you an idea of what she does, but also will let you know how you can volunteer to help her do it. Our meeting starts at 7:30PM with a Q&A following Nancy's talk. We'll be done no later than 9PM. Hope to "see" you Tuesday. Here's the link:
COVID TEST RULE LIFTED FOR RETURNING INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS - As of Sunday you no longer have to produce a negative COVID test to fly back into the United States. While just about everyone is cheering this, I honestly have mixed emotions. On the one hand, keeping people who have tested positive off of planes has got to be a good thing. As we mentioned last week, Buck's group in Roatan had a few people test positive pre-departure and had to extend their stay. Pain in the butt but likely better for the greater good. On the other hand, getting the testing done is inconvenient and sometimes costly. Our tests in Bonaire, with a 20% discount, were $52.50 each. And most people (99%?) test negative so what's the point? Like I said, I've got mixed feelings. What the elimination of the test requirement really does is put the onus on people to be aware of their situation and honest about it if they might be sick. So take some antigen tests with you when you travel and if you feel sick, test yourself. And if you want to protect yourself from others who might be sick, continue to mask up when you're in close quarters (like on a plane).
DR. BILL'S MEMORIAL IN AVALON - Today would have been Dr. Bill Bushing's 75th birthday. So it seemed only fitting that a bunch of us made our way over to Avalon today for a celebration of his life. A number of his family members and friends spoke, and I also spoke about our efforts to rename the Casino Point SMCA in Bill's honor. (More on that in a minute.) The event was live-streamed through Bill's FaceBook page and the video is there to be viewed in case you missed it. Here are some shots I took today:
The marine layer draped over the hill as we arrived
Bill's son, Kevin, welcoming the crowd
We had multiple Pelican Fly-bys in Bill's honor
Speaking at the flagpole in the Park
A lone bagpiper with "Amazing Grace" to close
CA FISH & GAME COMMISSION MEETS THURSDAY - Of specific interest to our diving community will on Thursday, June 16, and agenda item #25(B)(IV): Petition 2022-06 - Request to rename the Casino Point State Marine Conservation Area to commemorate Dr. Bill Bushing. There are five Commission members (one vacancy) so I think we need three votes in favor. Because the numbering carries over from the previous day, this is actually the 12th of 23 agenda items. I have no idea when this will actually be heard (the meeting starts at 9:30AM) but my guess is late morning or early afternoon (post lunch break). You can attend in-person but a better option is to attend virtually. In doing so, there IS a way to offer public comment in support of the petition. You can read the specifics here: COMMENTING TO CA FISH & GAME COMMISSION.
And that'll do it for now. Have a great week, fingers crossed for Thursday, and let's go diving soon!!!