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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Gulf Coast Oil Spill

May 24
Posted by Sarah Filed in destinations, Diver Education
<div class=\"postavatar\">Gulf Coast Oil Spill</div>

My husband Matt and I belong to a Jeep Club in San Antonio. They had arranged a trip to Corpus Christ and Port Aransas last weekend. We had been so slammed during the week, we thought about not going on the ride, since it was a 6am start and we wouldn’t get back till late that night. Then however, we thought about the oil spill in the Gulf and how it hadn’t reached Corpus Christi or Port Arthur yet and we should go down and enjoy the beach while it was still clean.

So we got up at 6am and headed to the meeting point on the SE side of town. We met up with another 5 jeeps and headed south. When we got to Corpus, we met up with the local Corpus Christi chapter. So we now had about 10 jeeps cruising up and down the beach.

We set up some easy ups and everyone sat and relaxed for a bit after the drive. The weather was perfect. It wasn’t brutally hot, there was a pleasant breeze, and the water was a balmy 86 degrees. Everyone took advantage of the crystal clear water, while discussing the possible effects of the oil spill hitting the coast line.

We saw little four wheelers going up and down the beach with turtle flags on there. Matt actually saw a large sea turtle swim next to him while he was out in the water. It’s currently turtle season, and the four wheelers were a sea patrol dedicated to making sure that when the turtle beach themselves that they don’t get run over by people like us driving up and down the beach.

I’m really hoping the spill doesn’t make it to the Texas coast. When I first moved to Texas 10 years ago, there was lots of oil on the beach. They actually had cleaning stations where they provided alcohol to wipe your feet before going back to your car. I had a pair of beautiful shoes ruined by the oil. There’s been a real effort to clean up the gulf and keep it clean. Scuba Divers even use the oil platforms to dive on. I can’t imagine the effect of the oil spill on the Scuba industry. With so many places to dive in the gulf, from the artificial reefs off the coast of Pensacola in Florida down to the Oil Rigs and Hammerhead dives off South Padre Island. In between the two are many Scuba shops and dive centers who’s livelihood is going to be severely affected by the spill. Then there’s the affect to the marine life.

Sure, there’s a small amount of oil leaking naturally in the gulf all the time. But nothing of this magnitude. From the abundance of wildlife on the Texas Flower Gardens to the manatees off Central Florida, the impact of the spill is going to be huge. If you live near the beach, go enjoy it while you can. Once Hurricane season starts, there’s no guessing where the oil will end up.

There are several civilian efforts to help clean up the coast. If you’d like to get involve with the cleanup, check out some of these places.

http://pascagoulariver.audubon.org/issues-action/oil-spill-efforts
http://www.2010oilspill.com/
http://www.oilspillvolunteers.com/

If you have a better list of volunteer opportunities, please reply below so that we can share the word.

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