2011 Race Schedule for Formula H2O

Apr 12
Posted by Sarah Filed in David Ulloa, destinations, H2O

Formula H2O 2011 Schedule.

Here’s a great B’day present to me from David, the 2011 Formula H2O racing schedule.

I was just thinking it’s getting nice and warm and it’s time to do some diving… This year, the races won’t just include wrecks in Florida. There’s a race in Rome, Italy. I wonder if I have enough FF points to attend that one?

So, start putting the dates in your calendar and see if you can come to one of the races.

2011 FORMULA H2O RACING SCHEDULE
  • May 20th, 21st, 22nd – Vandenberg Underwater Grand Prix – Key West, FL
  • June 4th, 5th – Rome, Italy
  • June 24th, 25th, 26th – Fort Myers, FL
  • July 22nd, 23rd, 24th – Gold Coast Underwater Grand Prix – Pompano Beach- Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • August 19th, 20th, 21th – Wes Skiles Memorial Shoot Out – Key Largo, FL
  • October 14th, 15th, 16th- Quest for Atocha Gold – Key West, FL
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Video from the Formula H20 Race

Aug 26
Posted by Sarah Filed in David Ulloa, destinations, H2O

More video from Ft Lauderdale and the Underwater Grand Prix

I’ve finally editing together Day 1, the practice day for the Formula H20 Underwater Grand Prix in Ft Lauderdale, Fl.

We got up really early and headed out to the boat. The great thing about the Tracy is it’s only a short ride out and you can get a beautiful view of the Florida coastline from the boat.

Everyone hit the water, so they could get acquainted with the wreck, check out the course and of course, to have some fun.  I haven’t been diving in over a year, so I’m going down just to get used to the water again…

After the initial dive in 70ft of water, we headed off to do a shallow dive on the wreck of the Copenhagen. Here, everyone just played around, checking out the fish, playing with the scooters and got some great fun underwater photography in. At this point I was so relaxed, I thought if I saw a shark, I might be ok with it. Just then, a see something grey and graceful in the distance…. Then, I realize it’s one of the freedivers. They are so beautiful to watch in the water. They just glide along, no scuba gear to weigh them down. I was amazed at how they just played underwater, almost like seals.

After the race, everyone headed back to the hotel, where they had a meeting to discuss the logistics of the actual race. Everyone gave their thoughts and experiences of the practice race and how it could be improved for the following day.

There was going to be a lot of people in the water. About 20 racers, plus a plethora of camera people. There was also going to be a bunch of spectators and there was a big concern about diver safety and making sure nobody got hurt.

After everyone was done, Dean Vitale and David Ulloa played it up to the cameras for a Discovery Channel Canada film crew who were doing a piece on the race. Everyone was pretty exhausted by this stage, so most people headed off to relax.

I had never been to Ft Lauderdale before and I wanted to see what was out there, so I recruited Natalie Weatherby, who’s with the Wreck Racing League and David Valaika, who’s the President of the International Association of Handicapped Divers to head out to dinner. As we headed south on A1A, it started pouring down rain. There was non stop lightning and the roads were covered in water. But hey, we’re divers, we’re used to water. So we hit up Shooters, which had a nice outdoor patio and we enjoyed some down time. We couldn’t stay out too late though, we had to be up and at the boat by 7am….

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David explaining Formula H2O

Aug 24
Posted by DavidUlloa Filed in David Ulloa, destinations, H2O

Just in case you’re still wondering what underwater racing is…

David Ulloa and I had just surfaced from the practice race around the wreck of the Tracy, off the coast of Ft Lauderdale, Florida. I got him to explain what Formula H2O is, and why he’s participating.

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David Ulloa won the 2010 Gold Coast Underwater Grand Prix

Aug 22
Posted by Sarah Filed in David Ulloa, destinations, H2O

Congratulations David!david_belt

I came down to Ft Lauderdale to do some scuba diving and watch the second race in the Wreck Racing League, the 2010 Gold Coast Underwater Grand Prix in Pompano Beach, Florida.
David Ulloa, also know as the Shark Whisperer won first place in the expedition class.

I’m headed back to Texas tomorrow and I’ll start uploading video!

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Headed to Ft. Lauderdale

Aug 18
Posted by sarah Filed in David Ulloa, destinations, H2O

I’m headed to the Formula H2O Gold Coast Underwater Grand Prix

formulaH2OI am so excited. Yesterday after blogging, David and I were talking, and he asked why I didn’t just come down to Ft. Lauderdale for the weekend and film the event?

So, I got to thinking. I haven’t done any diving this year and I was starting to get pouty about it. This was my big opportunity to do some diving, do some filming and have a great weekend hanging out with David. Who I am sure is going to win this weekend!

So, I went home and talked to Matt, my other half, and he said I should go. So, by then end of the night, I had plane tickets, hotel and diving booked!2010 racing

I am so looking forward to this weekend. I’m hopping a flight down on Friday morning, then I’m staying at the official host hotel, The Ocean Point Beach Resort, which is right on Pompano Beach. They hooked up the Wreck Racing League with super sweet discount rates. I can’t wait to wake up in the mornings looking out at the ocean!

The race will be taking place on The Tracey. South Florida Diving is the official dive shop for the event, and diving both days, including getting to demo the scooters is only $110. The first dive we’ll get to watch the practice and do demo’s, even get to try the course if we want. The second dive is a drift dive. On Sunday, we’ll get to watch the race from the Tracey, and then explore the wreck. The second dive is a drift dive on a nearby reef.

Sunday afternoon they’ll have the awards ceremony. I’ll get one more sleep in paradise before heading back to work on Monday….

There’s still time to book your trip to the event. The Ocean Point Beach Resort still has rooms available and I’m pretty sure you can still make it out to see the race. It might be last minute, but life is more fun when you add a little spontaneity!

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Day 88 in the Gulf. Success at last?

Jul 16
Posted by Sarah Filed in conservation, destinations, oil spill

It’s day 88 in the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.
BP got a cap on the spill overnight and President Obama is giving a speech about the cap.
The cap is working right now, holding back the flow. However, they don’t know if this is going to work. It might build up too much pressure and blow the cap, or worse, break something further down. Everyone has their fingers crossed that this does work. 88 days of oil in the Gulf of Mexico has had devastating effects on the wildlife and the livelihoods of people who make their living in the Gulf.

If you were planning a scuba trip this year, consider going to the Gulf. There are plenty of operators still running dive trips. There’s so many beautiful places to stay and lots of beaches are still clean. Let’s help keep the dive operators in the Gulf of Mexico in business.

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Scuba in the Gulf of Mexico?

Jul 12
Posted by Sarah Filed in destinations, Diver Education, oil spill

Scuba Shops still operating?

jimmyLast night while BBQing, we were flicking through channels and we saw the Jimmy Buffett free concert in Gulf Shores, AL. It made us wonder, as we looked at the overhead shots of 35,000 people on white sands, how badly are tourist dependent stores being affected? Are local SCUBA stores still operating? Are they able to navigate past the oil and still go diving? Is there anything out there to see? If the water has been closed to fishermen, how about Scuba Divers?

So, I’m going to set up a new page just for the Gulf area. If you are a Scuba Store or Scuba Diver in the Gulf Coast, anywhere from Port Isabel near South Padre Island, TX, up through Galveston, Mobile AL, Pensacola, Tampa and down to Key West, FL, let me know where you are and if you are still running trips into the Gulf.

Anyone who contacts me, I’ll put your information up on the Gulf Coast Diving page to let people know that they can still call you and arrange a trip. If you’re still operating, we don’t want you to lose money because people are just assuming you’re closed!

Use the Contact Page, let us know your website if you have one, phone number, if you’re still doing trips into the gulf, what kind of boats you have, what kind of diving you do, nitrox, liveaboard, night diving, etc and any other information that might be important for Scuba Divers to know.

If you own a Scuba Store, tell us if you sell Scuba gear and diving equipment, wetsuits, scuba masks, if you fill tanks with nitrox, etc.

Faith Hill has just confirmed that she will also be doing a concert in Gulf Shores, AL, so if you’re in the Gulf, let us know where you are so that we can tell people to take their Scuba Gear with them, or get some new diving equipment from you when they’re headed to the concert.

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Oil Spill hits Destin Beach, FL

Jul 9
Posted by Sarah Filed in conservation, destinations, oil spill

Bad parenting in the Oil Spill.

Ok, so I was watching a YouTube video this morning about the oil washing up on the shores in Destin, Fl. I’ve been to Destin. It’s beautiful. Well, it used to be. My ex, who I’m still on good terms with is stationed right there and when we were together, I got to enjoy the stretch of beach from Pensacola to Panama City beach. The area was all beautiful white sands, with dolphins swimming out in the bay. He still lives there, and I feel bad that his beaches are now so messed up from the spill. While he now has kids with his new wife, I’m pretty sure he won’t be doing what this parent does…

Come on people. If we’re so worried about what the oil is doing to the wildlife and teams are down there with soap washing the birds, and volunteers are told not to pick up the oil themselves because it’s so toxic, why the hell would you let your kids play in the stuff? When you’re kid is screaming for you to get it off her, don’t just tell her to rub her foot in the sand.

I love the beach. I’m sure if you’ve spent money going on vacation to the beach, you want to go and spend time on the beach. But really, when there’s that much oil on the beach, stay off of it. If you have to be on the sand, go further back where you’re not getting oil on you.If you were there enjoying it before it washed up, be glad you got a couple clean hours in and pack it up and find something else to do.

I can just imagine this mother suing BP in a couple years when her kids get really sick, saying that it was the oil spills fault… Hopefully someone will remember this YouTube video and show she was negligent for letting her kids play in the stuff.

I’ll step off my soapbox now.

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Gulf Coast Beach Closing Map

Jul 6
Posted by Sarah Filed in destinations, oil spill

Which Gulf Coast Beaches Are Still Open? Gulf Coast Beach Map

With the Gulf Coast Oil Spill still not being contained, and now with Hurricane Season upon us, beach conditions are changing daily.  Hurricane Alex missed the part of the gulf over the slick, but created waves that pushed more oil ashore.

So far it seems the slick has made it as far away as Destin, Florida. Some beaches are still open, but you can’t go out into the water. In some places, the whole beach is closed.

In the meantime, if you’re headed to the beach and want to know which ones are closed before you make the trip, check out this USA Today map that updates daily. It has layers you can check to see where you can fish, where animals have beached and which beaches have advisories issued.

Thankfully Hurricane Alex didn’t bring the oil any closer to Texas where I live, but Florida, the other state I would love to live in is being seriously impacted. It won’t be long till it makes it to Clearwater and devastates the Manatee’s and all the other local wildlife.

We’re supposed to go Deep Sea Fishing off the Houston Coast next weekend. Guess I’ll be using the map to see if we can still actually go deep sea fishing before we make the drive to Houston. I love fishing, but I’m not sure I’d really want to eat anything I caught right now….

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Donating to the Gulf cleanup

Jun 16
Posted by Sarah Filed in conservation, destinations, Diver Education
<div class=\"postavatar\">Donating to the Gulf cleanup</div>

dead sharkIt’s been a while now since the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the gulf of Mexico. Oil is spewing out at an alarming rate and we are starting to see the effects on marine life.

Birds, crab and turtles are coming ashore covered in oil,  while sharks and dolphins are being found washed up dead in large numbers. I know most people are afraid of sharks, but I respect them for their position at the top of the food chain in the ocean, and images like this one make me tear up.

Gulf Oil Spill

They’re still not letting civilians volunteer to help clean up the coast. It’s just too dangerous with how toxic the oil is. Obama says he’s going to make BP pay for the cleanup. Meanwhile, they’re not letting people who are willing to help to help.

There are ways that those of us who can’t make it down to the coast to volunteer or who don’t have boats to donate to the effort can pitch in. There are plenty of organizations who are accepting donations so that they can go do something to help the wildlife in the meantime.

I’ve put a badge on my sidebar where you can donate money to the Emerald CoastKeeper. They’re based in Pensacola, Florida. They are the protectors of the coast between the Alabama/Florida border across to Panama City beach. Easily some of the most beautiful coastline in the entire US.

Even if we feel helpless in this whole situation, we can at least donate something to someone who can do something about protecting our shoreline and our wildlife. Join me in making a difference.

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