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….
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.
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!
I’m headed to the Formula H2O Gold Coast Underwater Grand Prix
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!
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!
I’m not really much of an art buff. I took art in school, but I preferred making things to painting. I’ve never really enjoyed going to art galleries or museums. I find most art to be pretty boring.
Then I found Pascal Lecocq. The first time I saw his art was at the Dive Show in Houston 2 years ago. Full of breathtaking blues, with surreal scenes of Scuba Divers in various states of non-diving activities. It was breathtaking. It was mesmerizing. It was unforgettable. Pascal was easy to find at the Texas Dive Show in Dallas. A sea of blue, with people standing around, silent, gazing at his paintings. I had finally found art that I admired, that I could just stand in quiet wonder, imagining the scene if it were to come to life. It wasn’t that I didn’t like art after all, I had just never found any that I liked before.
I can imagine filling my house with his art. Pascal even has art on tiles, and I’m imagining when we finally get around to re-doing our bathroom, having several of his pieces right there in my shower, like this lucky person in Switzerland.
Pascal’s signature painting in a Diver with a flag, acting like a bullfighter with a shark.
There are many more that I like, such as the turtles piled on each other, and takes on popular culture, like the divers in the Hollywood Blvd scene.
My personal absolute favourite though, is the long thin painting of a free diver as she heads back to the surface. It evokes a silent calm to a room.
If you’re looking for something beautiful for your house, or even just a nice mug or mousepad, stop by and see Pascals work. He’s even got postcards. I might get a few of those till I can find a place for the larger stuff…
One of the interesting people we met at the Texas Dive Show was UnderwaterAdvisor.com They are an online Scuba Directory where you can go to find out all about different dive shops, resorts, equipment and almost anything you can think of Scuba related.
While there are sites out there like Travelocity which give reviews on resorts, they don’t go into the specific Scuba detail that Underwater Advisor does. They’ll let you know what kind of air they provide, what size tanks, if breakfast is served early enough to eat before heading out to the boat and if there’s a deco chamber nearby.
People can post reviews on their local dive shop, letting you know if the staff is smart and helpful or just trying to get a bigger commission. They also list local instructors, manufacturers and the list is going.
I think it’s a great idea and a useful tool. I know I’ll be using them from now on!
We headed up to Dallas for the Texas Dive show on Valentine’s Weekend. Driving up from San Antonio, we were worried if we would even make it into Dallas. They had just had record snow. Over 14″ of the stuff. It was not only a record for that day, but for all time. They’d never received that much snow fall in a 24hr period. We started to see snow by the time we got to Georgetown. By the time we got to Waxahachie, everything was white.
Thankfully, as we got to Downtown Dallas, the roads were pretty clear and not too slick. We had waited till later in the day when it was a little warmer to get through Dallas. There’s nothing worse than icy overpasses. We headed through Dallas at peak hour, but being a snow day, traffic was almost non-existent. We made our way to our hotel in Plano/Frisco, dumped our stuff and headed over to check out the Texas Dive Show.
Walking in, the first person I saw was Dustin, a diver I had previously met in Houston at Camp CDE. He was on his way out and it was nice to see someone I knew right off the bat.
We went up to the registration desk, showed them our emails from when we had pre-registered online. They had a good deal going on where if you registered before Christmas, you could get in free. They gave us name tags, we entered into a raffle and then headed inside.
Friday night was only open from 5-8pm. We used that time to go around, see who all was there and introduce ourselves and make sure everyone was OK with being filmed. We noticed that the Dallas show was a lot bigger than the previous ones in Houston. Matt and I then headed back to the hotel and caught some Zzzz’s after the long drive.
Next morning, we got up and headed back over to the show. I was glad we had gone over the night before, because today everyone was expecting us when we showed up with the camera. Some people were nervous, but everyone did a great job of explaining what they were there for. All the displays were nice and colourful and everyone was full of energy. It should make for a great episode. I should be done editing it this week and have it online by next.
Big thanks to Brad Nolan for letting us come up and film at his show. He did a great job on camera too! We really appreciate everyone letting us come to their booth and taking the time to talk to us. Hopefully, this will inspire people to come out to the next dive show and meet all the fabulous people we got to meet.
I will say though, I think the snow outside made the show inside even better. When you’re shivering walking in, there’s nothing better than seeing a backdrop of some tropical paradise and thinking of diving in those warm waters….
Ever heard of the Streamy Awards? It’s like the Oscars or Emmy’s but for web series. Sounds cool right? Well, if you’ve enjoyed the couple of video’s we have up so far, and would like to see us get even bigger and better, please nominate us. A nomination for Going Down could mean we get picked up by someone who can fund us to do some major filming. Then we can come to your town and go down with you.
Most of the categories are for scripted series, so Going Down would probably be in the Hosted Series category.
Well, it’s already 2010 in my homeland. I logged on to see how it went in Sydney, and it’s funny that a Scuba article was right there on the front page. A story about diving with Sharks.
I’ll take it as a sign that I’m going to get a lot of diving done this year! I sure hope so. I had meant to get a bunch of diving in last year, but taking a job at a SEO company and teaching acting on weekends ate up all my time, and I ended up not getting my feet wet at all. This year, I’m not going to let anything get in my way!
In February I’ll be headed up to the Texas Dive Show. The one in Houston 2 years ago is where I met so many fabulous people who helped get Going Down started. I hope to meet some new wonderful people this year. Double bonus that it’s also on Valentine’s weekend so Matt and I get to go somewhere out of town together!
We’re working on some new ways to get Going Down funded so we can go out and just get filming. As all you divers know, Scuba isn’t exactly cheap. It’s even more expensive when you’ve got a crew to feed! While the idea of Going Down is Scuba Diving locally on a budget, we’re not local to every location, so we’ve got more expenses that the average diver. So instead of looking for a financial sponsor for the entire series, we’re now thinking about partnering with people for individual episodes. This makes it much easier for companies to get their name out there. It also helps localized companies. It should be a win-win for everyone invloved. We can get out there and film each episode and the budget allows, and you don’t have to wait for us to have enough money for 13 episodes before we get out there!
Well, Happy New Year Everyone! May 2010 bring you many adventures, both in Diving and on land. Be Safe, Be Happy and Have Fun!
I had a request for an RSS feed on Going Down, so I think I now have one set up properly… Better go test it out and let me know if it’s working properly. Then you can keep up with the new Scuba happenings on Going Down automatically.