TWARS (This Week at Reef Seekers) - May 8-15

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Ken Kurtis

Reaction score
Beverly Hills, CA
# of dives
5000 - ∞
Scuba Show, Vortex runs aground, and more
(please scroll down for details)
May is always a hectic month for me . . .

BECAUSE . . . - I always have Chamber Day at the beginning of the month, the Scuba Show is usually in May (although next year it's in early June) and that takes some of my time, I frequently schedule an end-of-the-month trip to give myself a break, and there's a birthday (mine) to deal with as well. Embarrassment of riches when you get down to it, but it all keeps me rather busy.

THE SCUBA SHOW WAS THIS WEEKEND - It was nice to see the Long Beach Convention Center jammed with in-person divers once again, as well as to see the scuba industry out in force under one roof. The 2022 version of the Scuba Show has now concluded after two days packed with all kinds of stuff. My personal experience at the show is somewhat unique in that Reef Seekers doesn't have a booth, but I can usually be found wandering the floor and giving a couple of seminar talks, the most popular of which is always the one teaming up with Coroner Captain John Kades and Chamber Director Karl Huggins for the annual "Why Divers Die" panel, where we review the actual fatalities of the previous calendar year. It's usually the #1-attended seminar and this year appears to have been no exception with about 120 of you showing up to hear what we had to say and share. Saturday certainly seemed noticeably busier than Sunday, but that's not to imply that Sunday wasn't well-attended as well. But for me, the show involves a lot of networking, some of it post-Chamber Day with stores and mfgs, some of it trip-related (we checked in with Buddy Dive since we're leaving Friday), and some of it just seeing some of you roaming the aisles and meeting some new people as well. So definitely a busy and packed weekend, nothing earth-shaking or new that I saw to report, but good to get back somewhat to a sense of normalcy again. Scuba Show 2023 is set for June 3-4, again at the Long Beach Convention Center.

ZOOM SEEKERS WAS LAST TUESDAY - Our guests were Mark Gibello and Vernon Brock from XS Scuba and the theme of the talk was "Diving from a Manufacturer's Point-of-View." Mark gave a nice overview of what XS does and how they do it (they're the largest distributor of tanks and weights among other things) and Vernon gave a really nice presentation specifically on the weight division of their operation and how that's all done. If you missed their talk, we've got it up on our YouTube page and you can watch it at your leisure here: ZOOM SEEKERS - XS SCUBA: DIVING FROM A MFG's POV.

ZOOM SEEKERS ON JUNE 14 - Our guest will be Nancy Caruso, who founded and leads Get Inspired, an Orange County-based non-profit that deals with kelp restoration, abalone replanting, and educating kids about the importance of the ocean. I hope you'll be able to join us.

DR. BILL MEMORIAL UPDATE - I've been e-mailing Bill's son Kevin, who's in charge of things. Looks like it is tentatively set for June 12 (which would have been Bill's 75th birthday) at the Avalon Underwater Park, likely near the flagpole, starting around 11AM. There's talk of it being live-streamed as well. Secondly and separately, the CA Fish & Game Commission has accepted our petition to rename the Casino Point MPA (the water part, not the land part) the "Dr. Bill Bushing SMCA at Casino Point" and it's been put on their June 15/16 agenda. Hopefully we'll get approval at that time as well. I'll give you more info about both events as we get closer.

SOCORRO VORTEX RUNS AGROUND - The Vortex, sister ship to the Solmar V, basically rammed into Socorro Island this past week around 2AM while transiting back from Roca Partida. For those not familiar with the area, Socorro Island itself is roughly 9 miles long and 6 miles wide so its not like it's hard to spot. My absolute speculative guess based on no real information is that whoever was at the helm fell asleep and that's what caused the grounding. All on board - passengers and crew - were able to get off safely but the vessel is apparently a total loss. Someone at the Scuba Show told me the vessel is now in three pieces. So if you had something booked on Vortex in the future, you're going to need to call them and make alternate arrangements.

GOING TO FIJI??? - They've dropped, as of May 1, their pre-arrival testing procedures for those who are fully vaxxed, but you will have to show proof of vaccination. You can read more about it here: FIJI COVID TEST ENTRY REQUIREMENTS.

LOOKING FOR A GOOD READ? - It's long but interesting. Ron Roth forwarded a New Yorker article about a guy who's trying to dive (in a submersible) the deepest spot in all of the world's five ocean. As many of you know, I did a dive in the Alvin submersible in 1996, but we "only" went to 3,700 feet. This guy is going as deep as 36,000 feet. Here's the link (it may initially look like it's behind a paywall but it's not): 36,000 FEET UNDER THE SEA.

That'll do it for now. We leave for Bonaire Friday night so this will hopefully come to you next week courtesy of the Buddy Dive Wi-Fi and I'll have some images to share as well. In the meantime, have a great week and let's go diving soon!!!

- Ken​

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