Editorial – September 2017

Success Equals Good Planning & Good Execution
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional

If this editorial was written at the beginning of the month it would have covered exciting things that were happening in September, like the introduction of a new dive season, Surf Expo, the Saint Lucia Photo Fest, the Roatan Photo Fest, and Cathy Church’s guided dive trips to the Solomon Islands.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Jose changed all that.

Now we have shifted gears to cover good planning and shift execution.  Keep your life simple.  Focus on and protect what’s important to you.  Live like today is your last day but plan as if you were going to live forever.  Making the most of your life is living at the top of your game.  What’s important to you?  If there are many things that are important to you, then a balanced life should be your highest priority.  Ask yourself, how can you get the most out of life doing the things that mean the most to you?  That goes for your career also.  Important decisions like where do you train to learn what you need to know to do your job?  Where do you work and with whom do you work to grow in your chosen profession?  What is the end goal and how long will it take for you to get there?  How will you know that you’ve arrived?  If you haven’t asked yourself these questions before, NOW is the time to do that.

The Industry is getting ready for DEMA Show right now.  You have about a month and a half to finish up your pre-show marketing and plan your at-show strategy and your post-show follow-up.  Do you know why you are exhibiting or attending?  Is your plan an end goal or a means to a larger goal?  Have you read Rhonda Abrams’ Trade Show In A Day? 

How about after DEMA?  Have you looked into exhibiting or attending Regional Dive Shows in 2018?  Lone Star State Dive Show, Our World Underwater, Beneath the Sea, Scuba & H2O Adventure Show and Scuba Show?  Now is the time to get the best prices on booth space, airfare and hotels.  Draw up a strategy for each show and included a pre-show, at-show and post-show segment.  Join the Dive Industry Association and have them help you with your plans.

Would you like to help the industry grow next year?  Make it a plan to donate to the Dive Industry Foundation, our industry non-profit, tax exempt, charitable organization, dedicated to promoting economic growth in the diving industry.  $10, $20, $100 or 10% of your company profits are all acceptable donations.

Whatever you decide to do with your marketing budget next year, doing it with purpose and do it with a plan.  Here’s wishing you a successful year in 2018.

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The Volga Saint Lucia

The Forgotten Wreck. – St. Lucia.
by Donovon Brown
St. Lucia July 2017

The SV Volga.

The Coolie Ship was the AKA given to the SV Volga, a three mast British flagged vessel that hit a reef and sank on the port side of the Castries Harbour on the 10th December 1893.  This was three years after the vessel was commissioned. The Volga collected indentured laborers from Calcutta, India.  Their first stop was to be St. Lucia and then onward to Jamaica where the majority of the Indians were intended to have disembarked.

The accident report stated that the captain anchored the vessel and did not take due care of his vessels position, while at anchor the vessel with the changing wind, swung onto the rocks creating a large hole on the port side of the ship and it sank. There were no casualties of this incident. The captain temporarily lost his license for this incident.

Most of the St. Lucians of East Indian heritage had a grand or great grand parent that was aboard this vessel. Before this incident the island of St. Lucia was occupied mainly by the white plantation owners, managers, soldiers, bookkeepers and their families or families of freed slaves of African decent. The indentured laborers aboard the Volga were intended to become skilled or semi skilled laborers providing services that the descendants and freed slaves did not provide or where there was a greater demand for this service.

The vessel lays on the northern side of the Castries Harbour for many decades before it wad deliberately sank by the British by placing explosives aboard blowing up the vessel that had become “an hindrance to navigation”, this submerged the entire vessel.

This vessel is a not often visited dive site in the north of the island. Few dive shops take their divers there. Bone Yard is the most popular name given to this dive site as there is also the remnant of what appears to be an airplane at the stern of the vessel.

These photos were taken by Rick Nunn, a diver who have been visiting St. Lucia for over 15 years as a diver, sometime twice yearly. This was his first dive on the Volga, an early morning visit before his daily two tank dive.







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Editorial – August 2017

It’s Potential That Counts – Not Past Performance
by Gene Muchanski, Editor
The Dive Industry Professional

Working on the 2018 Scuba & H2O Adventure Show last month helped me realize what is important to diving businesses that are interested in marketing their programs, products and services in the United States.  I’ve been asked to manage the Scuba & H2O Adventure Show in Tacoma, WA  that is scheduled for April 20-22, 2018.  The first thing my team did was start work on a Business Plan.  The plan includes all the things we need to do to make the show successful.  Important questions like, “Why are we doing  a show?, Who are we doing the show for?, What needs to be done? and When do things need to be complete?” all had to be answered.  I personally learned a lot when I started writing down all the components of the event that needed to be addressed and formulating a timeline for the completion of each and every task within each component.   The components we are addressing are Attendees, Speakers, Exhibitors, Sponsors, Advertisers, Volunteers, Vendors, Staff and Show Management.

In the first month of our project, we focused on the duties and responsibilities of the show management, followed by working on venue details with our vendors.  In the following 2 months we sold 1/3 of our total booth space to a great group of 2018 exhibitors.  This month we hope to complete the workshops and seminars component of the show.  With a solid educational and entertaining program presented by world-class industry experts, combined with an exhibit hall filled with the best diving equipment, training and travel companies in the industry, at an excellent venue location, we can spend months focusing on marketing and advertising our event to the divers of the Pacific Northwest.  The amount of advertising that can be done on any event is usually dependent upon the quantity and quality of sponsors a show can attract.  Sponsors and advertisers normally look at the quality of the event that has been put together first and then the potential the region has for attracting attendees.  With investing, we say that “Past performance does not guarantee future success.”  It’s the same thing with dive shows.  It’s not how many exhibitors or attendees a show had last year, or in the past three years for that matter.  What is important to next year’s success is the size of the potential a Pacific Northwest venue has to attract divers and industry professionals to the event.

To determine the economic potential of the Pacific Northwest diving community, we have to look at the number of Dive Stores, Dive Boats, Dive Clubs, Dive Resorts and Dive Instructors in that region.  We also have to define the number of Divers in the area and the number of individuals interested in learning how to dive.  Knowing the size of the local diving community, we can determine what the economic potential of the area is.

That brings me to the second myth I’d like to shatter.  A dive company should never put all of their marketing budget into only one or two of the largest regional dive shows in the country.  First of all, not every exhibitor has done an economic potential analysis on every region in the country.  You shouldn’t blindly exhibit at a show just because other companies are doing it.  Do your own homework.  Secondly, many exhibitors are local to a specific show and they always exhibit there because they are local.  Thirdly, your marketing show budget should be spread out, percentage wise, depending on your potential to compete in each regional market.  It should be based on the number of current clients you have in that region and the economic potential of that area that may lead to growth for your company.

Face-to-face events like regional dive shows are important to our industry in that they build and strengthen local dive communities.  Every business that has a vested interest in a particular region should participate in proportion to the number of their current customers, former customers and future customers in that region.  If you only exhibit in one or two regions of the United States, you are not supporting your customer base in the other regions, which will diminish your relationship with them and lead to reduced sales.  You also lose the opportunity to gain market share and that hurts your growth potential.  Successful marketing campaigns can be conducted in at least six regions of the country with a little bit of planning and coordination with your Regional Sales Managers and your Local Dealers.  Finding cost effective ways to build relationships with your Reps and Dealers leads to more sales for your company, your Rep and your Dealers.  When local divers don’t see your company or your products at their Regional Dive Show, they quickly forget you.  Out of sight – out of mind!

Successful Sales & Marketing Professionals use regional dive shows to their advantage.  The venue is set up by an independent show producer, which means that your only job is to invite your customers to the event and prepare a presentation that showcases and sells your products.  Your presentation could be entertaining, educational, or social.  What’s important is that time spent with your Reps, Dealers and Customers builds relationships that lead to sales and growth.   Weekend events like dive shows are cost effective to participate in.  There is no other way for you to meet with so many people in so little time.   Never underestimate the power of face-to-face marketing.

We’ll see you in Tacoma in April.


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Tovatec Introduces Dash 50 Light

Announcing the New Dash 50

Tovatec is happy to announce a new small light.  The New Dash 50 is the perfect backup light.  We took the compact size of the Sea Squirt (HL1), but made it a more powerful light.  The light is priced just right; it is a great was for a new diver to have a positive experience and learn how important lighting is for successful underwater photography

6170 Lake Shore Court, Colorado Springs, CO 80915   –  800-324-5032 or 719-597-2885 – sales@tovatec.com

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World UW Hockey Commission

Subject: Day 5: France and Canada
by Coach Holland Ja
Sent: Fri, Jul 14, 2017 11:24 am

Our morning game is with France who I believe will win the gold in these games. They are fast. I mean blur fast. I tell our boys to stay with our game plan until I call free sub so that starters and subs can have enough minutes in the game to become a better player for the experience. I tell the boys to have fun.

Our starters are magnificent. They scrap and fight. Quantum, Raymond and Zakk are exceptional. Playing with courage and tenacity, we hold the French to 6 goals in the first half, but the starters are spent. The French sub freely with all ten of their players and have no drop off. Final score France 15 USA 0.

I send Quantum, our Captain to the interview booth. After every game, an interview is held with a player from each team live on line. Technology is here and you can watch the games from home. Times and schedule are posted on our website SF Sea Lions underwater hockey.


Our afternoon 5 pm game is with Canada. Everyone knows there is history between these two teams. Even the commentator of the live feed streaming knew that there was bad blood. Outwardly, we are cordial. I shake hands with the Canadian coach and wish him luck.

I tell the team to be ready and coiled on first strike. Our game plan includes a hard strike straight up the middle. The Canucks have the same strategy and there is such an impact that you could almost feel it through the water. The Canadians fight hard but we hold them time and time again as they attack our goal. On a breakaway, Zakk has a clear shot to the Canadian goal. But a Canuck slams into him from the side in a blatant foul. The refs stop the game and confer. The USA is awarded a penalty goal.

The second half is a show of courage and tough play on both teams, but I can see the Canucks tire and know that they cannot score on us. I see Ryan and Quantum positioned so far back that normally, I would be telling them to tighten up but I know they are letting our forwards work and preventing any possibility of a breakaway. The USA defeats Canada and has their victory.

I hug our boys and tell each one how well they performed. Our starters were outstanding, but our subs stepped up. Ben Leo showed his speed and power on several breakaways. Ben Zeigler did not miss a beat when he subbed in as our pivot. Justin Lee carried his weight and performed well giving our backs the rest they needed to stay fresh.

Coach Tom Brown and I embrace after game. He has been with us from the beginning and knows this team as well as anyone. He has taken over much of the coaching duties allowing me to focus on the game plan and line up. I am grateful for his help and for his friendship. This win is dedicated to Tom Brown.

Holland Ja
Coach, Team USA U19


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DIA Members to Exhibit at DEMA Show 2017

The following Dive Industry Association Members are exhibiting at the DEMA Show on November 1-4, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.  Make it a point to visit our DIA Members FIRST.


Retail Services & Software

Travel Businesses, Destinations, Resorts, & Dive Operators

Certification Agencies


Associations, Media and Shows & Events

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Editorial – July 2017

Looking Into The Future
by Gene Muchanski, Editor
The Dive Industry Professional

The Summer officially started at the end of June.  We begin the month of July with our Independence Day celebration and next thing you know, we’re seeing “Back To School” ads.  What’s up with that?  Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s the way businesses operate.  While your sales people are selling today’s products to today’s customers, your marketing people are thinking “What’s Now, What’s New, What’s Next.”  They are living six months in the future so your sales people will be ready to sell new stuff, to new customers, in the next season.

That’s why I’m writing the July Editorial about the DEMA Show and beyond. Last year’s July Editorial was about July being the half-way point of the year. It was about the advantages of good strategic planning in the pre-season, in-season, and post-season. It talked about the necessity of exhibiting at regional dive shows and planning your entire campaigns correctly. Throughout the year, from last July till now, I saw an increase in companies exhibiting at regional dive shows.  I saw an increase of consumer advertising by the exhibitors and sponsors of these shows and because of that, I saw an increase of attendees at these shows.  It was quite obvious that exhibitors were “pleasantly surprised” with the attendance.  Many exhibitors in fact, used those exact words, pleasantly surprised.

The return to Tacoma from Seattle was a small victory for the Scuba & H2O Adventure Show at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center.  With the help of many dive businesses that wanted to have a successful show, Rick Stratton was able to convince 72 exhibitors to purchase 92 booth spaces.  He encouraged 31 speakers to give 54 seminar presentations and 7 industry film professionals to show their 7 films.  One club had it’s annual meeting and 1 extraordinary photography icon gave a 1/2 day photography workshop. (That well-deserved plug was for you Cathy!)  Attendance at the show was a pleasantly surprising 3,000 ish.

The Scuba & H2O Adventure is returning to The Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center on April 20-22, 2018.  It’s returning stronger and more confident than anything in its 12 year history.  Rick Stratton has appointed Gene Muchanski as the 2018 Show Manager and Gene asked the non-profit organization Dive Industry Foundation to advise on the show.  Understanding the importance of all the components that make a show successful, the Show Team is focusing on Attendees, Seminar Speakers, Exhibitors, Advertisers, Sponsors, Vendors, Volunteers and Staff.  They are working with local dive stores, dive boats, dive clubs and dive instructors to put on a world-class event that will proudly showcase the Pacific Northwest and the entire diving industry.

The 2018 Scuba & H2O Adventure Show has set some aggressive goals for the next show.  The Exhibit Hall is planning for 157 booths.  1/3 of the booths have already been sold, with 9 months remaining before show time.  The 5 seminar rooms have a capacity of 370 people per hour.  We plan to run at least 85 seminars in 3 days and cover a wide variety of diving topics of interest.  We are hoping to attract at least 5,000 attendees from the six states surrounding Tacoma, plus British Columbia.

Putting a Dive and Travel Show together is not rocket science, but it does take a lot of planning and local cooperation.  It definitely takes an ability to look into the future and make the necessary plans so that everything falls into place at its proper time and order. If you would like to be a part of this annual program, please contact Gene Muchanski.  The show is looking for exhibitors, speakers, film producers, advertisers, sponsors, volunteers and attendees.

For more information contact:
Gene Muchanski, Show Manager
Phone: 321-914-3778
email: gene@diveindustry.org 
Web: www.DiveIndustry.org




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Christmas in July With Roland St John

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Miss Scuba Netherlands Dives With Coral Restoration Bonaire


Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean (June 30, 2017) –This week, Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire (CRF Bonaire) gratefully welcomed Miss Scuba Netherlands, Jessica Wohrmann, to join a Coral Restoration Adventure Dive. “When I heard about the efforts of Coral Restoration I was eager to learn more about their investments in restoring the reefs”, says Jessica enthusiastically. “I had an amazing and educational experience!”

Together with the Coral Restoration Adventure Dive Jessica was given the opportunity to see a diversity of dive spots on the island of Bonaire by using Buddy Dive Resort’s Diver Propulsion Vehicles. “Diving with the underwater scooter was astounding! This technology made me able to see most of CRF’s restoration sites just in one dive. And I felt safe all the time.” During the Coral Restoration Adventure Dive Jessica learned how to conduct a restoration site survey and participated in the site maintenance activities by removing algae, which can damage the corals and affect their growth.

Jessica: “I was actually amazed by the fact that it is possible to grow corals and transplant them back to the reef. It takes a lot of time and effort from the volunteers. Therefore I would like to give this project more awareness by encouraging young people like myself to go diving for a cause by restoring the reef and protecting the ocean and underwater wildlife. For me as an ocean lover who is fond of diving and fish this is an important cause. There is a lot of fish to see here in Bonaire, I even saw my favorite Trunkfish several times, but together we have to make sure we keep it that way. CRF Bonaire is doing a great job in marine conservation and I support their efforts. For example the ‘Adopt a Coral’ is a great initiative!”

Miss Scuba International stands for protection of the ocean worldwide. As Bonaire is part of The Netherlands CRF Bonaire could be a perfect charity for Miss Scuba Netherlands to start promoting on behalf of her home country, according to Jessica. “Coral restoration is something that should happen all over the world. It is important to protect the treasures of the ocean.” Jessica Wohrmann is Miss Scuba Netherlands 2016 and was the first of The Netherlands to compete in the global contest of Miss Scuba International. Currently Jessica started a new adventure to become Miss World Netherlands 2017.

About Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire
Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire (CRF Bonaire) is a Non-Profit Organization founded in 2012, when Ken Nedimeyer of CRF USA was invited to visit the island to work with and assist Bonaire with their continued efforts to preserve Bonaire’s greatest assets, its reefs. In February 2012, the Bonaire government together with the Bonaire National Marine Park, granted a permit to a local dive operator to start the CRF Bonaire Pilot Project. The project centers on the restoration of the shallow reefs by establishing Staghorn and Elkhorn coral nurseries and restoration sites. The mission of the CRF Bonaire  is to develop affordable, effective strategies for protecting and restoring the shallow water population of Staghorn and Elkhorn corals along the coastlines of Bonaire and Klein Bonaire. CRF Bonaire, supported by the local government and the Bonaire Marine Park, is developing a large scale reef restoration program, promoting awareness and engaging tourists and local volunteers.



Enjoy, be inspired and please get involved!

For more information about the Miss Scuba International program, visit www.missscuba.com.

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St. Lucian “Conservation Cuisine” Battles Lionfish


For Immediate Release
Source: Anse Chastanet
Contact: Bevan Springer, Marketplace Excellence


A delicious lionfish meal, compliments of the culinary team at Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet resorts.
ST. LUCIA (July 1, 2017) – Lionfish, one of the most destructive invasive fish species ever to reach the Caribbean, are wreaking irreparable damage on coral reefs by eating practically everything they come across. And they eat a lot: A lionfish’s stomach can expand up to 30 times its normal size.
It has become of particular concern to environmentalists who lament the fact that lionfish, with no natural predators in the Caribbean, continue to grow at an alarming rate, with scientists fearing the invasive species may never be entirely eradicated from the region’s seas.
But, a high-end resort company in St. Lucia is doing its bit by including the fish as part of its famed cuisine.
Karolin Troubetzkoy, executive director of the storied Jade Mountain and its sister resort Anse Chastanet, together with her culinary team, have launched a “conservation cuisine” initiative preparing the lionfish as a delicacy.
“It is not much of a stretch,” declared Troubetzkoy. “Lionfish is a white flaky, but firm, fish with a flavor between grouper and mahi mahi.”
To ensure diners get to try as many takes on the fish as possible, Troubetzkoy said, “we are serving a multi-course dégustation menu with paired New World wines, in which we showcase the quality and taste of this very unique fish.”
A perfect dinner setting to savor a lionfish meal at two of St. Lucia’s leading resorts
Diners, seated at a romantic beachside candlelit restaurant, are served lionfish as pure sashimi, citrus ceviche wrapped in a crispy tortilla, and either grilled or stewed with the flavors of St. Lucia. “It is always delicious and a very special dinner experience prepared by our best passionate chefs and sommeliers,” she said.
And for the diving enthusiasts, the resorts’ scuba operation Scuba St. Lucia has introduced PADI’s “Invasive Lionfish Tracker Specialty Course”, which takes guests on two dives to learn about controlling the invasive lionfish population and discover practical methods for humanely capturing and euthanizing these fish. 
Lionfish reach adult size at about two years old, and it’s safe to say they won’t get anywhere near the endangered species list because a female lionfish can release between 10,000 and 30,000 unfertilized eggs every four days, or about two million eggs per year.
“So, bon appétit and save our seas!” Troubetzkoy quipped.
About Anse Chastanet 
Anse Chastanet is set amid a lush 600-acre estate with two soft-sand beaches and breathtaking views of St. Lucia’s iconic twin Pitons mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amidst St. Lucia’s lush tropical beauty, activities range from jungle biking, hiking and bird watching to snorkeling on the reef within swimming distance of the beach. The environmentally friendly, award-winning resort has  49 individually designed rooms, 37 of which are scattered about a lush hillside, and 12 that are nestled within a tropical garden at beach level. Innovative menus – one entirely vegetarian – are offered in four different locations and feature fresh produce served up from the resort’s organic farm. Guests can join interactive chocolate-making classes in the resort’s chocolate laboratory, or in a range of watersports.
For further information about Anse Chastanet, email ansechastanet@ansechastanet.com, call 1 800 223-1108 or visit www.ansechastanet.com.
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