TWARS (This Week at Reef Seekers) - May 10-17

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Ken Kurtis

Reaction score
Beverly Hills, CA
# of dives
5000 - ∞
Well, it was a pretty exciting week, and I'm still in recovery mode . . .

CHAMBER DAY 2020 RAISED $136,775 - Yowser!!! Once we had to convert to an event that was going to be 100%-virtual, we weren't sure what to expect. Our magic number is always $100,000, so the question is whether we'll exceed that or fall short. And, given the event changes we had to make as well as the economic uncertainty surrounding the ramifications of COVID-19, we didn't know what to expect. We had some very serious discussions about not making it to $100K. But you all stepped up and really came to the rescue!!! The Challenge alone did close to $90,000. We ended up with 182 people on the Flying Dutchman (37 of whom were from Reef Seekers making us the #1 Dutchman recruiter) and 217 people at virtual Chamber Eve (with 11 at the Reef Seekers "table"). So, all in all and certainly with the restrictions, it was not only a successful event, but a record-setting one as well. Because we usually get some late donations and sign-ups (the Challenge and the Dutchman are available through end-of-day Friday, May 15), the total will go higher. We may even have a shot at cracking $140K. So thank you all very much for participating and while we hope you'll never need the services of our Chamber, your generosity makes sure it's there for us 24/7/365.

DID YOU CATCH THE LIVE-STREAM OR THE FACEBOOK LIVE BROADCASTS? - We did a couple of new things this year that seemed to work out well. One was that every Monday and Friday at 3PM, I'd go on FaceBook Live through the Chamber FB page, and do a 10-minute update and plea about the event. We'd usually have 50-60 people watching live and then another 200-400 would watch once it posted to FaceBook. But the culmination of all of this was our live broadcast on Wednesday evening, May 6. Karl was out at the Chamber on Catalina and I was at Chamber Day HQ in Westwood (aka my apartment) and we bounced things back and forth for two hours. (The first hour was our pre-show and the second hour was the program we'd planned for Chamber Eve.) The show was available both through Zoom and FB Live and it seems (as best we can tell) that there were about 700 viewers tuned in (some of which involved multiple people) so we think this would qualify as a success. Plus, we had a blast doing it. If you missed it, the whole thing is available on the Chamber FB page. There was a recording glitch so the first part is only 7:00-7:30PM. But the one labelled "Part B" starts around 7:40PM, includes most of the "Chamber Walk Thru" video, and then all of the live program through to the end. This part runs for 101 minutes but you can use the timeline marker to skip through. (And it's already gotten 2,000 views.)

AND IF YOU'RE INTERESTED - The first radio station I appeared on (at the ripe old age of 11) was WKEN in Dover, DE. So I guess this qualifies as "KEN-TV". But this is how we converted my living room into a television studio. Just needed a couple of computers, some studio lights, gray blanket for a neutral backdrop, movie screen to hang the blanket on, a big-screen TV for a monitor, a clip-on mic, and away we go. Easy-peasy. And since we had to cut the air-conditioning off, knowing I was only visible from the waist up, I could wear shorts. This is what it looked like:

- I know of a couple that made it over to Catalina where the viz was 60-80 feet and the water temp 55-65º. Some folks also made it out to Palos Verdes where, once you dropped below the red tide (which is still producing nighttime blue bioluminesence) the viz was about 20-25 feet but the water temp was low-to-mid 50s. Brrrrrr. But I'm sure it was nice to get diving again.

WANNA TALK ABOUT IT? - I've been really pleased with the dive club talks and Chamber Day stuff we've done through Zoom so let's try it again. This will be the virtual equivalent of a Reef Seekers Dive Club meeting. How about this Tuesday evening at 7PM? We'll discuss what diving might be like as we deal with life post-COVID in terms of social distancing on boats, disinfecting gear, and stuff like that. It'll be some combination of group discussion and PowerPoint presentation. If it goes well, we'll do it on a regular basis. You don't need to be registered with Zoom to participate. The link below should automatically open up the Zoom portal for you. You can participate with video/audio on or off, lurk if you want to, or actively join in. Because this is my free Zoom account, we'll be limited to 40 minutes (and they're REALLY good about cutting you off). So join us this Tuesday at 7PM and we'll see how it goes: REEF SEEKERS TUESDAY ZOOM CHAT ABOUT COVID & DIVING.

UH-OH - And if COVID-19 and Murder Hornets aren't enough to worry about, this is supposedly the next danger on the horizon: The Great White Gull Shark:

And that'll do it for now. Have a great week and let's go diving soon one of these days!!! (And we can talk about it Tuesday evening.)

- Ken

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