July 27, 2022 3 min read

Red Tide? / Thanks Sahara / Ocean Salvors

First let’s summarize local diving conditions recently. Viz: below average. Temperature: beautiful. Feel: wet and wonderful. Marine Life: abundant when you’re close to it.

I’m at risk of jinxing us in speaking of these first two topics. However when I see an encouraging recent environmental trend I have to acknowledge it… There hasn’t been much positivity in a long time! 11, 19, and 4 are significant numbers that somehow show much less red tide this year than last. At this point in time last year I had received 11 red tide status email notifications from the FWC and a total of 19 for the year. So far in 2022 I’ve received 4. Granted that’s not an extended timeline to base my observation on but I’ll latch onto anything positive right now! Why less toxic tide? My first thought was that we’ve surely gotten at least the average if not more rainfall this year than on average. It seems to me like it has been a very rainy 2022 but according to the data, we are 6 inches below our average rainfall total of 30 inches, year to date, through July. Whatever the reason… Thank you Lord! Nothing pains me more than watching marine animals suffocate.

Saharan dust is bad for those with a compromised respiratory system but apparently really good at stopping the formation of tropical storms and hurricanes. Do you remember last summer how the NHC’s homepage was continually lit up with yellow and red probabilities for storm formation along with O’s and X’s for those that had already formed? I remember sending out a picture late last summer of that NHC page completely blank, it was the first time in months that was the case. Currently that same page has been blank for 2 weeks now. Shhhh, don’t read that too loudly. Why, besides desert dust? I have a couple ideas to address that question but ultimately, I think God and luck are in charge of cyclones!

Scuba Marco has partnered with the nonprofit The Healthy Earth Organization (THEO) to be financially compensated for doing debris clean ups. That’s sweet, it kind of reminds me of when I opened up the shop 24 years ago… I could do something that I love and makes a positive impact and get paid for it! Does anybody have any knowledge about starting up and operating a 501C? My brain keeps circling back to the thought that local bait fisherman probably lose more cast nets to snags then I would care to hypothesize a number on. They are not cheap and they continue to catch (kill) fish and more. I know that there are a decent percentage of divers that feel as strongly as I do about that travesty and would love the opportunity to eradicate those nets and other harmful debris. My dream is to start a non-profit between fisherman that throw cast nets and divers that love to clean up and preserve healthy dive sites. ‘Ocean Salvors’ is the first name that popped into my head and it’s growing with me. Pretty simple operating procedure: fisherman gets a cast net snagged, they let it go instead of ripping on it and tearing it up. They call Ocean Salvors who timely (depending on conditions) sends divers to retrieve that net, and what ever else may be down there. The Captain makes a contribution to the organization and the diver gets compensated for gas, wear and tear and hopefully even a little time. Captains need to release the net before they secure it to the boat and try to rip it out of the snag which usually just destroys the net and doesn’t free it. “Release it, don’t cleat it” needs to be the captain’s mind set. I could see this being very beneficial and practical throughout the entire gulf coast, if not beyond it also. Is there anybody out there that has some experience and knowledge with charities to give me some feedback? I know it’s fairly involved. My thought process may be off base, it really seems like a win-win-win situation to me.

I saved this for the end, for my loyal readers who know I have to let off some steam and can’t be totally vanilla!
I just erased a 500 word rant… Nobody needs a recap of all the negativity that is surrounding us currently! It was therapeutic for me however. In conclusion: can we all try to be more understanding and diplomatic? Are those words extinct now? So ultimately the song remains the same: “I’d like to be, under the sea…”

Until when: Live Love Dive!!!  —Jeff

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