Thursday, 27 September 2007

Scuba Schools International Business Consultants – Hand Picked for the Job

SSI continues to serve the dive industry with a staff of highly-qualified Business Consultants ready to help dive centers.

Scuba Schools International (SSI ) the premier education and business organization focuses on the needs of Dive Retailers through skilled SSI Business Consultants and just the right tools.

SSI is serious about the achievements of dive retailers and the representatives who deliver that information. The uniqueness of the SSI Business Consultant TEAM is their credentials. Each representative was hand chosen due to their professional background in diving, managing or operating a retail dive store and their rich history in the diving industry. These hand-chosen individuals are experts in diagnosing and prescribing the various SSI business tools and educational programs designed for results.

"When we began our business 15 years ago, we did not research our certifying agency and know now that was a mistake. There was a day when I had trouble selling a single BCD who would have guessed after putting together $1500 - $3000 Total Diving Systems that they would sell themselves. Our gear sales tripled in the first year and we have never looked backed. Now, we only look forward to keep our systems fresh with the newest styles and accessories. If you do not have total diving systems in your store you are letting precious dollars slip out your door" – Debbie Knight, Knight Diver Aquatic Center.

Doug McNeese, SSI Executive Director stated, "We realize that education is the beginning of every sale in a dive store and our business model is designed to maximize that potential! Not only are certifications up, but so are our dealer’s sales. By and large, this comes from the work of our Business Consultant TEAM."

Regions are broken into Western-Ed Salamone, Midwest-Watson DeVore, South Central-Eric Peterson, Northeast-Daryl Bauer, Southeast-Kirk Mortensen, and Caribbean Resorts-Lisa Mitchell.

These skilled individuals truly understand what it takes to run a successful dive store and resort and are dedicated to your success. When you become an SSI Dealer, these professionals will go to work for you. They will meet with you and crossover your staff to help everyone become familiar with the SSI System of products and programs. The objective in the crossover is not to retrain your already qualified instructors. We understand they already have the necessary skills to train divers. Our goal is to familiarize them with the SSI Philosophy and how to maximize the potential of every student.

SSI's goal is to improve dive retailer’s profitability and success by utilizing fully developed business strategies and high quality educational programs. At SSI , we believe your success equals our success.

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For more information about Scuba Schools International visit

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Happiness is a Clean O-Ring

Happiness is a Clean O-Ring

by Michael Boom

Underwater photographers are fastidious about the o-rings and o-ring grooves on their housings for good reason: compromise the integrity of an o-ring and you may be giving the delicate electronics inside the housing a salt-water bath. That's why you'll often see a photographer carefully cleaning o-rings and grooves to make sure there are no errant hairs or grains of sand sealed into place, ready to leak on submersion.

One trick to cleaning o-rings and their grooves is to make sure that cleaning doesn't leave behind leak-prone deposits of its own. For example, cleaning out a groove with a cotton swab may leave cotton fibers behind in the groove. Wiping an o-ring clean with fingers that aren't so clean may add grit to the o-ring.

The cosmetics department of almost any drug store offers an elegant solution: cosmetic wedges or, as they say in chic French, eponges triangulaires. For a few bucks you can buy a bulging bag of small triangular fine-pored sponges designed not to leave traces behind when wiping. Their triangular points fit right into an o-ring groove, and you can easily wrap them around a loose o-ring to remove grit. If they get dirty, you can either throw them away or wash them in soapy water to use again. And if their advertising is truthful, they resist swelling, flaking, and crumbling.

What more can can a fastidious photographer ask for?

Mike Boom shoots underwater video in northern California, Hawaii, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands. He's written about videography for Rodale's Scuba Diving magazine. You can contact him at

Article from The Underwater Photographer

Saturday, 15 September 2007

APEC officials agree on global warming statement

SYDNEY (AP): Pacific Rim nations on Friday reached agreement on a joint statement on global warming, overcoming bickering between rich and poor nations about whether to include targets on emissions, two Asian officials said.

Experts from the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum approved the wording of a final draft statement on climate change that would be handed to leaders at their summit starting Saturday, the officials said.

If the leaders agree to the statement in it's current form, it would be a big victory for the goal of Australia and the United States to have China - one of the world's biggest polluters ”“ and other developing nations commit to quantifiable goals to tackle climate change.

Full article here

From: Associated Press
Published September 7, 2007 07:24 AM

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Marine EIA

Marine EIA

Marine Environmental Impact Assessments

marine ecology consulting is Fiji and the South Pacific's leading company for Marine Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA).

After the passing of Fiji’s Environment Management Act 2004, the demand for EIA related Marine Resource Assessments has grown significantly. (click on this link to download a pdf copy of the Environment Management Act 2004 )

Monday, 10 September 2007

Lonely Planet Diving and Snorkeling Fiji (Diving & Snorkeling)

This is an attractive book which the scuba diver will want to order. It maps and describes 74 of Fiji's top dive sites and the color photography is excellent. Despite the title, however, those interested in beach-based snorkeling will find little of use here as almost all of the sites included are accessible by boat only. Even the new Waitabu Marine Park off Taveuni is mentioned only in passing.

There's virtually no practical resort or restaurant information, and the first quarter of the book is devoted to brochure-style hype you can read on almost any Fiji website. Critical reviews of dive facilities are strikingly absent, so this book is of no help in selecting a specific scuba operator. Five pages of listings in the back of the book provide basic contact information, but even this is out of date as all Fiji telephone numbers have increased from six to seven digits since the book was published.

Most of the email addresses are also wrong, so substitute whenever you see Nevertheless, when one considers the cost of a scuba tour to the South Pacific and the lack of any alternative Fiji dive guide, all of the above criticisms are mute and serious divers will click this title straight into their shopping carts.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Increase your Dive Time on Fiji’s Stunning Reefs

Nice set of ideas and articles by Richard



Diving in Fiji: March 2007:

"Increase your Dive Time on Fiji’s Stunning Reefs: a discussion on diving and air consumption: Part 1

Fiji’s reefs are known worldwide as being some of the richest in the world teeming with life and colour. For the purposes of this discussion, the key elements of this ‘life and colour’ are that they occur in tropical waters – generally warm and clear - and also at relatively shallow depths.

Yes, of course, Fiji has abyssal walls and drop offs and pelagic action to suit anyone’s taste but the fact of the matter is the most abundant life on coral reefs is at less than 20 metres. This is great news for those wishing to spend their time under water rather than sitting on the dive boat. We do not have the extreme physiological impact of cold water and rarely are dives limited by no-decompression times but rather by air consumption. Therefore there is a real opportunity to max out on your underwater time.

For many, however, short dives are the reality and there is the frustration of having to do your safety stop and end the dive whilst other divers are still enjoying being underwater with plenty of air still in the tank. Inevitably, when those other divers return to the boat they are asked ‘how do you do that – what is your secret’. This always prompts the macho ‘how much air"

Saturday, 8 September 2007

James D. Watt – In Memoriam

James D. Watt – In Memoriam

Ken Knezick of Island Dreams provides a tribute to well-known industry photographer who recently passed away.

The community of underwater photographers has lost one of its guiding lights, as James D. Watt has succumbed to lung cancer after a 15-month battle. James Watt was a friend and mentor to many of today’s dedicated underwater shooters, myself included. Though only 56 years old at his passing, James Watt has left behind an enduring legacy of powerful artistic accomplishments, and equally fervent friendships.

I initially met James Watt when he signed on to one of Island Dreams’ first Wakatobi excursions. This was during the “good old days,” when the already arduous journey culminated in a 22-hour boat transfer from Kendari to Wakatobi on a rusty cargo ship. Our first conversations were leavened with Havana cigars, single malt Scotch, and a quartering sea. Jim was my roommate at Wakatobi in a tiny non air-conditioned, long house room crammed with our ice chests and photo gear. When not spending five hours per day underwater, we had plenty of time to share ideas and to begin to come to know one another.

Before the journey, Jim made a big point of explaining to me that he had not joined the trip to pursue photography, but because he was burned out on working and needed a vacation. All that was quickly forgotten as our first Wakatobi day dawned and Jim was out the door on the fly shooting topside photos of pristine beach and palm trees leaning out over the glistening azure sea. He went on to create artfully composed images of local fishermen in hand-hewn dug out canoes, over-unders including baby sharks and beach scenes, amazing sunsets with unique foreground elements, composite panoramas, and some of the absolutely finest underwater images every produced at Wakatobi.

Our friendship began in the golden age of film, but Jim signed on to my following year’s Wakatobi tour, when we both showed up with Olympus 3040 point and shoot cameras. He also brought with him one little plastic Inon submersible housing, just produced, which we proceeded to fight over for the rest of the trip. While the established film photography world was exceedingly skeptical and even condescending, James Watt immediately saw the budding potential of digital, and the future of photography.

Jim was the first of the professional underwater photographers to boldly abandon his complete line of Nikon gear, as he switched to Canon so as to avail himself of that innovative company’s first forays into digital SLR’s. His first housing was a beautiful German job, custom produced for him at no small expense. I looked over his shoulder as he made its first dives on an exploratory cruise to Irian Jaya on the original Kararu live-aboard. It was exciting to perceive Jim’s palpable joy as he explored the possibilities of instant photo feedback, while finally exceeding the austere limitation of 36 exposures per dive.

Due to his well-honed skills and prescience regarding digital, James Watt effectively gained a five-year jump on the rest of the professional wildlife photography world. To my mind, it is the greatest measure of this man that from the very start, he chose to share his hard-won knowledge with the world. While others were proclaiming that “digital will never catch on,” or that the “my stock agency will never accept it,” Jim was posting “how to’s” on the Internet u/w photo chat boards, explaining why it would work, and exactly how he did it.

For those of us in Houston, we were fortunate that James Watt kindly graced our SEASPACE Film Festival on multiple occasions, and presented some of the most valuable underwater photography technique workshops that we’ve ever offered. His presentations to the Houston Underwater Photographic Society contained even more advanced content and precious insight. While other photo pros haggled with me for more money, top billing, or both, Jim was always ready to pitch in and help. Though he was based on the Big Island of Hawaii, all it took was one phone call, and Jim was making flight arrangements. On one occasion he scheduled his first trip shooting white sharks in South Africa, so that he could travel through Houston on his return to participate in SEASPACE. That turned out to be “the year of the flood,” when for good measure his Houston hotel caught fire, and my wife ended up helping carry Jim’s heavy photo ice chests down the darkened stairwells of the smoky Radisson Astrodome Hotel. It is a poignant sadness for us all that Jim’s advancing illness and the rigors of chemotherapy forced him to cancel, at the last moment, his long-awaited participation in SEASPACE 2007. Oh yes, this is a man who will be missed by so many.

James Watt was a professional wildlife photographer of exceptional talent, always pushing the boundaries of possibility. Both a highly skilled technician, and an artist of great creativity, it was an education beyond measure to be Jim’s dive buddy and watch him compose shots of “typical scenes” in completely new ways. While other professionals would have jealously hoarded such hard-won skills as secrets of their trade, James Watt had no fear of sharing the bounty of his vision. Along with his infectious smile, warm way with the local Indonesian children, his love of adventure travel, a good joke, a savored drink, general joie de vivre, it is Jim’s sharing and caring spirit that I will always remember, and strive to hold alive in my own heart.

Good diving brother Jim…we miss you greatly already. But you will not be forgotten. Your creative, artistic images and your unique spirit will live on in your name and in the hearts of many who had the pleasure of swimming with you.

With much love and respect, Ken Knezick – Island Dreams

To learn more about James D. Watt, and to view a wide selection of his work, you are invited to visit:

NOAA study backs up predictions of sea ice loss

From: Associated Press
Published September 7, 2007

Sea ice loss in regions of the Arctic is likely to exceed 40 percent by 2050 compared with the 1980s, according to an analysis of ice computer models by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A 40 percent loss of sea ice off Alaska in the Beaufort Sea could have profound effects on marine mammals dependent on the sea ice such as polar bears, now under consideration by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for "threatened" status under the Endangered Species Act because of changes in the animals' habitat from global warming.

Researchers James Overland, an oceanographer at NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, and Muyin Wang, a meteorologist at NOAA's Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington in Seattle, reviewed 20 computer models provided through the International Panel on Climate Change in its fourth assessment report released this year.

Full article here at ENN

Award lifts tourism image - Fiji Times Online

Award lifts tourism image - Fiji Times Online

Saturday, September 08, 2007

BEING given the Best Destination award by international accommodation provider is a welcome boost in promoting Fiji's image overseas, says Visitors Bureau chairman, Patrick Wong.

Mr Wong said the award would give mileage to Fiji as a destination. He said all employees and employers in the hotel sector should be congratulated.

"They play a huge role," said Mr Wong.

Fiji Islands Hotel and Tourism Association president, Dixon Seeto said the award would help market Fiji. However, he said Fiji still needed a widespread marketing campaign.

Fiji was voted Best Destination by consumers in the Oceanic region, representing Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.

Read more at Award lifts tourism image - Fiji Times Online

Wednesday, 5 September 2007



Digital underwater photography a major emphasis at DEMA Show 2007 in Orlando.

SEA&SEA dealers seeking key sales techniques and product knowledge for maximizing underwater photography sales and profits in their store should mark their calendars.

These highly informative sales seminars are hosted by professional photographers Andy Sallmon,, and Kevin McDonnell,, and are offered at no charge. Pre-registration is required and seminar information may be downloaded at

Dealers may also reserve space by providing account number, name of company, attendee name(s), and requested date via e-mail to or by calling Customer Service at (800) 482-2282.


Hosted by professional photographer Andy Sallmon

Updated and now in its 2nd year “From Pixels to Profits” was a sell out at DEMA last year. Come back and see what’s new and share in the success.

“From Pixels to Profits” is a step-by-step comprehensive approach toward creating an underwater photo-based retail, training and travel center in your dive store. All the essentials necessary will be discussed. At the end of the presentation Andy will share his latest insights on how to market and teach underwater photography classes, while tying them in to equipment sales and travel opportunities for your customers. Take the first step toward success and be our guest at this fun and dynamic seminar.

Date Time Location

Wednesday 10/31 2:30-3:30pm Convention Center # S220D

Thursday 11/1 2:30-3:30pm Convention Center # S220D

Friday 11/2 10-11:30am Convention Center # S220D

Saturday 11/3 10-11:30am Convention Center # S220D


Hosted by professional photographer Kevin McDonnell

Topics will include: All of the basics shop owners need to know in order to talk and sell digital underwater photography. This is a must-attend seminar for all those who currently sell underwater photography equipment in their stores, and especially for those who are considering opening an underwater photography center. Keep your customers happy by selling them a system that they will be able to use and enjoy. Know your product, know your customer - know what to say and what it means. Tips and cues that you cannot afford to miss - they WILL make the difference toward successful underwater photography sales!

Date Time Location

Wednesday 10/31 4-5:00pm Convention Center # S220D

Thursday 11/1 3:30-4:30pm Convention Center # S220D

Friday 11/2 11:30-1pm Convention Center # S220D

Saturday 11/3 11:30-1pm Convention Center # S220D

Since 1972, SEA&SEA has been the leader in underwater imaging technology. The company offers a complete line of digital imaging products ranging from compact point and shoot cameras to professional housings, strobes, and accessories. Visit for more information. SEA&SEA products are distributed in the United States and territories by Tabata USA,

Monday, 3 September 2007

DAN Pocket Guide to First Aid for Scuba Diving

Know exactly what to do for all scuba diving first aid situations.

High-tech laser printing on hard vinyl sheets make this pocket-sized "how to" guide virtually indestructible and completely portable. Waterproof. Dirtproof. You can even mark up pages with a grease pencil then wipe clean. Spiral binding allows you to fully open the book anywhere and lay it flat. Fully illustrated with easy-to-follow instructions. Index-tabbed pages allow you to quickly access the information you need. "What you really need to know, when you really need it!"

Tabbed sections include: Emergency Assistance Plan, Dive Injury Information Form, Safety Assessment, Injured Diver Assessment, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Bleeding, Physical Assessment, Field Neurological Exam, Positioning of the Injured Diver, Oxygen First Aid, Bone and Joint Injuries, Carbon Monoxide Toxicity, Decompression Illness (DCI), Subcutaneous Emphysema/Mediastinal Emphysema/Pneumothorax, Seafood Poisoning, Heart Attack/Cardiac Arrest, Seizures, Spinal Injuries, Squeeze/Barotrauma, Seasickness (Motion Sickness), Oxygen Toxicity, Allergic Reactions, Thermal Injuries and Marine Animal Injuries.

Pocket Guides are jam-packed with critical information from field experts. World renowned Pocket Guides have had an international almost cult-like following for over ten years.

Virtually indestructible and completely indispensable, Pocket Guides are perfect for enthusiasts and gift giving. Join the experts and carry Pocket Guides. Select from 28 Sports/Hobbies, Fishing and Emergency Assistance titles.

POCKET GUIDES: The Biggest Little Books You'll Ever Need. Finally, you can take it with you!