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Manta Divers, April 2013 Staff news and dive trips

Greetings Divers!

I have good news and bad news. First the bad:  Our friend and Team Manta divemaster, Neil Badham, (AKA Nigel, Princess and Frahhncis) is leaving us.  Alas, a job change is taking him away from us, and hopefully to some diving in the waters off southern California.

I feel a bond with every student I certify, but Neil is special in that he was the first person that I certified from open water and advanced open water diver, to rescue diver, to master scuba diver and to the professional rank of divemaster.  I have come to know him as one of those rare people who have a passion for diving and enjoy helping others to enjoy the sport.  He is a cheerful helper to all, and a great role model to Manta Divers’ students.  In addition, he is absolutely a scream to be around.  We will all miss his pickle sandwiches and crazy British sense of humor.  Good Luck, Neil, we wish you all the best and great success in your next endeavor, but we hope you will come back and dive with us again sometime.

Fortunately for us, we have 2 divemaster candidates in training this summer, Patrick Gazarkiewicz and Scott (Tater) Duban.  I am very pleased to have two such qualified and passionate people challenging themselves to join the ranks of PADI professionals.  If you have been following our blog, you have been hearing about Tater’s journey from PADI scuba diver to his decision to become a divemaster.  Patrick is bringing with him years of experience on the local dive team, and as an EMT.  Both candidates were busy last year taking various specialty courses and will likely earn their Master Scuba diver designation as well as divemaster.  Look for them on our excursions this summer.  Manta Divers is lucky to have them both!

Neil in the tube Neil relaxing between dives






        In Other News.........

I am working on the scheduled dive outings for summer, but want to announce a really great Road Trip I’ve planned for July 12-15.  While we always have a great time at quarries near to the shop, I’ve been hearing about Ohio diving quarries, particularly White Star, Portage and Gilboa, for a while, so I thought it was about time we investigated for ourselves the native fish, and helicopters, cars, trucks and airplanes they have underwater.  We plan to leave Kenosha Friday at noon, aiming to avoid the worst of the traffic around Chicago.  With that lead, we should hit Perrysburg, OH at about 8:30pm.  We will stay over at a hotel and head to our first diving spot the next morning.  We will dive Sunday and Monday as well, with a departure time Monday of 1pm.  There will be limited space in the dive van, but we can always have a dive caravan, or divers can just meet us there. The hotel is already booking up for that weekend, so the sooner you decide, the better.   Students are welcome.  This would be a wonderful opportunity to get your Advanced Open Water dives in! 

We are also planning a weekend trip to Lake Wazee in Black River Falls, and a trip to Northern Wisconsin.  Watch next month for the full summer dive schedule, and watch the website calendar for the latest developments.

Do you want to extend your local diving season?  Are you curious about drysuit diving?  Come to a BARE Drysuit informational evening, May 29 at 6:30pm at the shop.  Our Bare rep, Bo Harper will bring a selection of Bare drysuits for you to see and try on.  Special pricing will apply to all suits sold during the the event and each drysuit purchase includes a PADI or SDI drysuit specialty course ($119 value) for FREE!

Be Prepared to Care!! Has it been 2 years since your last first aid or CPR course?  Do you want to be able to help in case of an emergency?  Join Manta Divers' Emergency First Response Course.  Class will be held May 28 & 30 at the shop strating at 6:30pm.

It is not too early to start thinking about (and saving for) Team Manta’s 2014 Tropical Adventures.Whale Shark  January 11-18, we will be heading to Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles.  At $1700 per person (double occupancy), for air, accommodations, 2 boat dives and unlimited shore diving daily, you can hardly go wrong. This far south, the weather is always wonderful: not cool and rainy like much of the Caribbean is in January. 

For big animal adventure, we are taking our group to Utila April 19-26.  Utila is an island off the coast of Honduras that is regularly visited by whale sharks.  These gentle giants can reach lengths of 40 feet, but don’t let the label “shark” scare you, they only eat plankton and small fish that happen to be scooped up in their large mouths.

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