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Divemasters Blog

Jun
04
2015

Scuba News Spring/Summer 2015

 

A Series of Unfortunate Spills

  A recent spate of spills have plagued California's coast. The series of unfortunate events started May 18, when 220,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled into Lover's Point in Pacific Grove. Ironically, the water pollution occurred during maintenance repairs being carried out by Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency workers.  A pump station plug valve failed, and the leak flowed for over six hours before the workers were able to fix it. Unfortunately there's no method of cleaning for this incident, other than to let the ocean assimilate it.  

  Then a few days later, on May 20, an estimated 105,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from a Plains All-American pipeline along the Santa Barbara coast. The result: a 9-square-mile oil slick prompting the closures of Refugio State Beach and El Capitan, near Goleta. Fishing and shellfish harvesting in Santa Barbara County have been closed until further notice. A number of bird and marine mammal deaths, including dolphins and sea lions, have sadly already been reported.

  To cap it all off, mysterious globs of oil began washing ashore in our own backyard on May 27, instigating a 6.8-mile closure of Manhattan, Hermosa, and Redondo Beach coastlines. Local agencies struggled to quickly clean it up and determine the cause. Although the beaches reopened on May 29 after a statement declaring the water safe again, the source of the oily substance is still unknown. Authorities believe it may have been related to an oil tanker or refinery nearby, but it could take days to weeks to discover the origin.

  Do bad things always happen in sets of three? Let's hope this series stops there. In a heartening turn of events, we were going to post a volunteer link to help cleanup the Santa Barbara oil spill, but currently all volunteer positions have been filled!

UPDATE!! Oil Samples are coming in soon. Santa Barbara Oil Spill is suspected to be the culprit. Oil spill reaches Long Beach shores.  

 

 

Jose Bacallao of Heal the Bay  
Topic: Oil Spills Update 
When: July 7th 7pm   

Stay tuned...   All Invited to Learn the REAL NEWS 
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SCUBA SALE!!! 
Huge mark-downs on everything storewide! 
Buoyancy devices, regulators from all the top brands, color screen computers, new color bcd's, new steel tanks and colored weights.... EVERYTHING Must Move! 
       ** MUST COME IN STORE TO SEE**  
All Day Saturday & All Day Sunday 10AM to 7PM

Sea Star-pocalypse:(

  Most local divers know that an epidemic is occurring in Southern California seas with the disappearance of our kelp forests. Tragically, tropical-like warm waters in the summer through winter months, a few devastating storms, and the invasive sargassum have destroyed the kelp forests that many aquatic California creatures used to call home.

Few divers, however, are aware that the largest marine die off ever recorded is also occurring partly in our backyard. What's commonly known as the "Sea Star Wasting Syndrome" started in the summer of 2013 off the coasts of the Pacific Northwest, and has now spread north to Alaska and south all the way to Baja California. Initial theories for the wasting disease ranged from warming ocean temperatures to ocean acidification, but another theory that pins the source on a viral infection is now gaining traction. 

  Imagine the hit show Walking Dead becoming reality, but underwater. Instead of a zombie apocalypse, it's a sea starpocalypse. The first symptom of an infected sea star is the appearance of white lesions that soon become infected. Within days, sometimes only hours, the sea star goes limp and its arms start to fall off. Necrosis eventually takes over and the sea star is reduced to nothing but vaporized goo. 

Unfortunately, until scientists can pinpoint what's happening to our sea stars, there isn't much more we can do as divers other than raise awareness and stick to an eco way of life, like reducing our carbon footprint as much as possible and becoming a debris activist.

 

 

Annual Underwater Santa Monica Pier CleanUp
Help Clean Up Our Beaches! 
September 19th @ 8am

Knives, guns, voodoo dolls, tuxedo, fishing poles are just few things you'll find on this once a year dive under the Santa Monica Pier. Limited to 20 divers.
Link to Instructions - SIGN UP

 

Sargassum "Devil Weed" is here to stay.

 Divers may have noticed there's a new seaweed in town, and it's not here to play nice. Sargassum is an invasive species from the seas of Japan and Hong Kong, and is proving to be a major threat to our native kelp forests. The "Devil Weed" has both male and female components on a single plant, making it extremely good at colonizing new reefs. 

  So what does this mean for our California ecosystems and how we dive them? For one, the spread of sargassum covers significant swaths of seafloor, displacing places where kelp often takes root. Coupled with last year's storm that wiped out our kelp forests and warm water temperatures from El Ni?o and global warming, kelp hasn't had a chance to regrow. Our native fish species also find sargassum to be unpalatable, and haven't been observed eating the weed. 

  As divers we have a responsibility to protect our ecosystems, and conservation groups are working to devise programs to remove sargassum. Casino Point is going to be an important test site to develop strategies to combat the spread of sargassum. In the mean time, be sure to wash your gear thoroughly to prevent spreading sargassum on your scuba gear and we will keep you posted on ways to get inolved. 

  Update: NOAA has reported unusually high El Ni?o conditions brewing in the ocean. High surface temperatures generally point to higher rainfall, which will be welcome in our drought-stricken Southern California, but it also means that Giant Kelp will once again have a difficult time regaining ground without the cold water it requires to grow. With this in mind, kelp conservation efforts matter more than ever.

 

A Californian Summer Bonfire with Eco. July 23rd 7pm to ?

  You all know us by now. At Eco we

 love our beaches and we also love our parties, so this is our chance to combine the best of both worlds with a classic Californian bonfire. Enjoy staying dry for once with all of your favorite instructors and fellow divers around a big cozy fire, and celebrate our good fortune to live in such a beautiful place. When seeking paradise be sure to check you aren't already here. All you need to bring is a deck chair (if you like to sit), drinks (if you don't like being thirsty), and eight dollars for parking (if you like parking your vehicle). All are welcome. Call to get on the roster 310-398-5759

 

Free BackUp Computer & Cressi Octo with full scuba purchase.

 Just do it. Tear the band-aid off and buy it all at once. It hurts much more to buy your kit little by little, and honestly, we can help you save a bit of money by throwing in a free computer and octopus when you do. That's easily 500 dollars in savings, just like that! The second rule of scuba (After look as cool as possible) is to dive safely, and these are the two most important tools when it comes to staying happy and alive while 80 feet under the water. We want to make it that much easier for you guys, so don't hesitate to jump on this deal. COME IN!

 

H3 Outdoor/Dive Computer by SubGravity

  SeaBear is a totally appropriate name when you realize that this dive computer is built with the hiking diver in mind. This computer has got the goods when it comes to serious technical diving, which include algorithms for trimix and heliox. It's also got an altimeter for the trail and a compass for navigating sea and land, which is always handy when visibility goes to hell. SeaBear comes from military manufacturing, and with the H3's sapphire glass and 316L stainless steel construction, this a computer you can beat into the ground without worrying about it failing on you. Oh yeah, and once you're back from the trail or the ocean, you can post your adventures with the social network integrated features built into the watch. Everyone knows that a SeaBear is sexier than a Frogman. 
 DEAL: Trade in your old for credit, no tax, 10% OFF retail, free boat ticket. 

 

Google Calendar .  LINK IT W/YOUR GOOGLE 

  Organizing your calendar can be such a drag, but we have a convenient solution. We've integrated our website with Google Calendar so you can stay up to date with all our latest promotions and dive events with just one click. Go to an event, click Copy to My Calendar, and the event with all the details will show up on your own Google account. Pretty nifty huh? Check it out here.

 

It's Our Duty for Future Divers.
 Recreational scuba divers literally immerse themselves in nature's largest playground and witness first-hand the beauty and sensitive nature of the ocean. Again, given our unique position as divers, it's our duty to promote awareness and responsible behavior in our dive community, embrace sustainable practices, and actively pursue community and global stewardship efforts.  
FREE
$20
Use your Paypal $ 
Buy a $100 for $80 and use your Paypal
Link>> Click Here
Views: 1117
Posting: 06-04-2015
Tags: los angeles scuba, scuba news, southern california oil spills
Mar
25
2015

For those of you who haven’t watched the scuba-diver-must-see documentary, Mission Blue, time to go Netflix it.  This Netflix original instant streaming documentary tells the epic tale of one woman’s journey to save the ‘blue heart’ of our planet: the ocean.  Yes, the place we scuba divers like to think of as our second home; that amazing underwater world composed of swirling seas and awe-inspiring, alien-like species.

blue mission costco

The documentary follows Sylvia Earle, a famous American marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer.  For those who haven’t heard of her, just a few of her many accomplishments include setting a women’s depth record of 1,250 feet,  building robotic subsea systems to explore the deepest parts of the ocean, and becoming the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  

The documentary takes its name from her project: Mission Blue, which aims to establish ‘Hope Spots’ of marine protected sanctuaries around the globe to help replenish sea life in our diminished oceans.  Overfishing, pollution, invasive species, habitat destruction, acidification, and climate change have tragically run rampant in our precious seas, and Mission Blue seeks to turn back the clock and restore Earth’s aquatic legacy.

 


And now Costco is joining the fight and taking action to redefine the Seafood Retail Industry.  As if you needed another reason to shop at Costco, the warehouse giant has sent a letter to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council urging them to protect the canyons of the Bering Sea from commercial fishing activities.  If you want to have a beautiful ocean to dive in for decades to come, you should support eco-conscious retailers like Costco, and only eat sustainable seafood.

Feb
24
2015

As the Pacific Star was heading out of San Pedro, the weatherman on the TV in the galley was calling for lots of rain all over Los Angeles. Instead, all we got on the way out to Catalina was lots of sun, a superpod of dolphins and a finback whale. Everyone was happy to gather on the bow of the boat to enjoy our abundant and diverse California marine life.

When we got to Catalina, we anchored at Rock Quarry, the origin of all the massive boulders that make up San Pedro and Long Beach harbor breakwalls.

Underwater it was a comfortable 60 degrees and with 40 foot viz, we could easily see the massive schools of blacksmith that were swarming all around us. Topside, the sun was shining and we decided to stay and do a 2nd dive to take advantage of the great conditions. After another great dive at Rock Quarry, we headed over to Eagle Reef, seemingly trying to run away from the dark clouds that were blowing toward us.

Unfortunately by the time the first few divers were in the water, the wind had picked up and rain had started to fall. As we descended down the anchor line, we were amazed to be able to clearly see the bottom 60 feet down. Visibility was over 50 feet and we were able to see all the mini pinnacles that make up Eagle Reef.

 

Much-needed rain was pouring down by the time we surfaced and everyone was using that opportunity to turn back the clock and play in the downpour like kids. Even with the weather, the ride back to San Pedro was smooth.

Feb
13
2015

I think it’s safe to say that “Astronaut” was a top childhood career choice for many of us. We may never actually get to hang out in orbit, but diving in a drysuit gets pretty damn close. I can’t help but hum the 2001: A Space Odyssey theme whenever I’m stepping into my ScubaPro Evertec Drysuit. Drysuits open up a lot of dive sites that just aren’t practical for wetsuit divers, ranging from Canadian kelp forests in British Columbia all the way to diving under ice sheets in Antarctica. Right now we’re offering 10% off the sticker price plus we pay your 9% sales tax. Your drysuit comes with the PADI drysuit certification course, a boat ticket to Catalina, and a bunch of goodies to go with your new gear. If you believe the ocean is Earth’s final frontier, you have got to get into drysuit diving. 

 

Views: 899
Posting: 02-13-2015
Tags: drysuit sale- hundreds of dollars in savings
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