Why Must There Always Be A “Wake Up” Call?

Why Must There Always be a Wakeup Call?
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional

We live our lives in a constant state of hustle and bustle.  On the run, go, go, go. It seems we don’t pay attention to what’s important in our lives but instead, what’s important in the moment.  So when we have a crises that makes us stop and evaluate the way we’ve been doing things, we say we “Had a wakeup call.”

We all have friends who’ve been there.  Heck, we’ve been ourselves.  Like the Diver who has a bad experience in the water because of faulty equipment or bad health and fitness.  You know, the once active Diver who is now 50 pounds overweight, and has his “wakeup call” to lose those 50 pounds, after an exhausting dive.  The Diver didn’t gain those 50 pounds overnight.  It happened over a long period of time.  It crept up on him while he was focused on other things.  The over-confident Diver who almost drowns when he surfaces far away from the boat and no one sees him because he didn’t bring a snorkel, doesn’t have a whistle, and never bought a safety sausage.  I don’t think that our seasoned Diver just forgot to bring them on that one dive.  I bet he had been cutting corners for many years, little by little because of his skill, experience, and lack of problems on past dives.  The question is, why do we have to let things get so out of control or become so lax that we realize we are not living at the top of our game?  Why do we have to wait for a crisis to happen before we swear to get back on track?

I recently saw another example of “wake up calls” during Hurricane Irma.  Many of my neighbors, myself included, were well prepared with generators, gas, extra food and water, propane and emergency equipment.  The homes in our neighborhood are new so they are all made of concrete block and everyone has storm shutters.  A week before the hurricane, a group of us pitched in and put storm shutters up on a dozen houses.  All of that prep work helped us hide from the wind.

When it came to the water part of the hurricane that was a completely different story.  We found out that you can hide from wind but you have to run from water.  Guess what?  Wake-up call time!  You have to do your best to prepare for water surge in a hurricane.  Some things you can prepare for, some things you can’t.  Keeping people and animals safe is my highest priority.   You can always get new “stuff.”   Having less stuff is now at the top of my 2nd priority list.  Protecting electronic equipment and data is next.  Family pictures and memories all have to be digitized so they are easy to take with you or store some place safe.  Diving gear, photography gear and video equipment?  Heck they are going with us so we can dive wherever we evacuate to !

So I guess my recent wake-up call made me realize I never want another wake-up call again.  I’m getting ready now so I won’t have a wake-up call later.  I’m going to live an active life, being on top of my game and do what is important to me for the long run.  Keeping and protecting the stuff that is important to me and letting go of what isn’t.  It’s time to adopt a “less is more” attitude?

What’s important in your life?  Are you prepared to live the life you have always wanted, right now?  Don’t wait for a wake-up call.  Prepare now.


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Baltimore Dive Show – January 19-20, 2018

For Immediate Release
October 10, 2017


US Dive Shows LLC has announced consumer tickets are now on sale for the Baltimore/DC Dive Show 2018, Friday evening, January 19, 4-8 PM and Saturday, January 20, 2018 10 AM – 5 PM at the Radisson Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore, MD. See the show web site for more ticket information at www.baltimorediveshow.com

“We are planning an exciting show in Baltimore this January,” said Brian Miller of Baltimore who has partnered with Brad Nolan of Harvard, IL to produce the 2018 show for the scuba diving retail market.

“We will feature a great line-up of area scuba dive retailers, dive clubs, travel wholesalers and resorts, instructional agencies and equipment manufacturers as exhibitors (Floor Plan). There are seminars from local experts and specialists that will make this a fun learning experience for divers at every level”.  Miller added.

The show will feature some unique Internet activities that will create an interaction between exhibitors and consumers attending the show.

  • Demonstrations on product and diving techniques, lionfish, regulator servicing & cameras.
  • Live music on the exhibition floor
  • A Sealed Auction for dive travel and special equipment
  • A raffle for dive gear and scuba lessons
  • A 50-50 raffle both Friday evening and Saturday afternoon
  • DJ/Surface Interval Party Friday evening

The Cody Unser First Step Foundation (CUFSF) will be featured as the keynote speaker Friday evening and make a presentation on how scuba diving has been such an important part of her therapy and treatment. Ms. Unser stricken with an auto immune condition called Transverse Myelitis in 1999 was left paralyzed. She was treated for many years at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. As a quality of life therapy Cody learned to scuba dive at her home town in New Mexico. Cody considers scuba a major factor in the recovery that she has experienced.

The Baltimore Trinidad-Tobago Baltimore Steel Orchestra will be performing on the show floor most of the day Saturday. The “Scuba Cowboy” Pup Morse will perform Friday evening and throughout the day Saturday. Mr. Morse features country music, “Scubaribbean” music and “Trop-Rock” music. The show floor closes at 8PM Friday and everyone will move to our DJ/Surface Interval Party till 11PM Friday.  We want to start the 2018 diving season with a fun, friendly event for divers” says Mr. Nolan. “The Baltimore/DC Dive Show is the ticket!”

Tickets are available at the Show web site www.BaltimoreDiveShow.com.

Exhibitor Booth Rental Information:  CLICK HERE

Special Hotel Rates click “GOLDEN TICKET

Promotional Video CLICK HERE

For more information about the Baltimore/DCDiveShow contact:

Brian Miller
USDiveShows LLC
(410) 458-0260

Brad Nolan
USDiveShows LLC
(815) 593-8888

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Mobby’s & DUI Announce Global Alliance


Two long term diving equipment companies have announced a global alliance on the construction, manufacturing and distribution of equipment.  Mobby’s USA (Mobby Dick, Inc. in Japan) and Diving Unlimited International, Inc. (DUI) are world leaders in the scuba industry in thermal protection.

The alliances covers’ the areas of sales, product development, marketing and related functions.   As the alliance has just been announced further details will be forthcoming in the near future.

Diving Unlimited International, Inc. (DUI) is a 54-year-old manufacturing company founded in 1963 in San Diego California.  DUI manufacturers a premier line of dry suits for thermo protection.  Additionally, DUI is the distributer for OMS products in North America.  DUI hold several patents for products related to military and commercial use as well as for the sport diving market.

MOBBY’S is a leading worldwide manufacturer of diving drysuits, wetsuits and accessories for men and women. Since its foundation in Japan in 1963, the company has earned an international reputation for innovation, quality and performance within the recreational, commercial and technical diving markets. MOBBY’S offers high quality products with bright colors and original silhouettes combined with aesthetic elements.


Robert C Watts
Diving Unlimited International, Inc
1148 Delevan Drive
San Diego, CA  92101
619-236-1203 ext. 302

Mark Ross
1800 NW 169th Place, Suite B110
Beaverton, Oregon 97006


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Editorial – October 2017

October is Time For Review
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional

You might be tempted to think that October is time to get ready for the DEMA Show.  Although there is a lot of DEMA prep going on this month, October is more than just that.  This month should be dedicated to finalizing your plans to meet face to face with your current customers, former customers and future customers at the largest trade event this industry has.  It is also time to review the programs, products and services your company sells in the market place.  What you sell and who you sell it to is the primary focus of your business.  How you sell is a part of your marketing strategy.

Going to DEMA Show as an attendee or exhibitor is a decision you make based on your sales and marketing strategy.  Exhibitors decided last November that they were going to exhibit at this year’s show and signed their contact at last year’s show to get the best possible booth location.  During the past year, hotels were reserved, airfare was purchase and plans were made to be away from the business for a week or more this fall.  The booth display was chosen, upgraded or purchased and staff was picked to work the booth. The main focus of exhibiting at a show is to sell something, prospect for new clients, gather leads or educate prospective clients.  The best way to do that is to make appointments with your clients during the pre-show phase of your campaign.

Attendees going to the DEMA Show have many reasons to plan early.  It makes sense to make airline and hotel reservations early to get the best prices and availability.  It gives you plenty of time to ask your equipment vendors if they are exhibiting at DEMA, if they plan on having a DEMA Special, and are conducting any seminars or workshops.  It’s a good idea to know if your Sales Rep is going to go to the show and when you can make an appointment with them.

DEMA is the time to touch bases with your Travel Wholesaler to see if they have any new Resort Clients.  Are they offering any FAM trips you might qualify for?  Are they running any travel seminars at the show?

Certification Agencies make great use of the DEMA Show venue.  For such a small number of exhibitors, they account for a large number of booths and a larger number of seminar man-hours.  Store Owners need to plan their time at the show very carefully to ensure they have scheduled their exhibit hall time and their professional development commitments proportionately.

So what should exhibitors be doing in the month of October?  Go through your exhibiting checklist.  Do you have everything you need to show off your new or key products?  Is your booth ready to go?  When is it shipping?  Does your staff have everything they need in terms of airfare, hotel, and food allowance?  Are they trained to focus on the goals set by your sales & marketing department?  Have you set appointments with your current customers?  Have you emailed all of your clients and given them your booth location and Dema Show Special.  How many appointments do you have?  How many of your clients are attending Dema Show?  Can the ones who are not attending get the Dema Show Special now? Have you read Rhonda Abrams book, Trade Show In A Day?

Have you made an appointment with the Dive Industry Foundation (Booth 1502) and pledged a Tax Deductible Donation for this year? Please stop by our booth and give us your Business Card.  We’d like to show you a few ways to have a good year in 2018.   If you have a few extra business cards, we’ll make you two luggage tags at the show.  See you in Orlando.

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That’s Why They Call It Adventure Travel

by Gene Muchanski, Executive Director
Dive Industry Association, Inc.

I’m having a cup of coffee at the Earl of Sandwich, a great eatery at the Los Angeles Airport. We are on our way to the Solomon Islands via a plane change in Fiji.  Fiji Airways was our airline of choice for this trip. Our flight leaves at 11:30 PM and the ticketing counter doesn’t open until 7:30 pm.  It’s 4:45 now.  People by the hundreds are walking by our vantage point from the cafe, some running, to catch their flights to destinations across the globe.  There is excitement in the air as travelers attempt to quench their insatiable appetite for travel.

We just survived Hurricane Irma in Florida.  Sunday and Monday were rough days for us on the east coast of central Florida.  The power came back on Tuesday and we packed for our trip on Wednesday.  Here it is Thursday and we are on our way ½ way across the globe to go diving.  We’re tired, exhausted actually, but we’re excited about the adventure that lies ahead.  We’ve never been to the Solomon Islands before.  We heard the diving was spectaculure and we hope our photographs and video will come out better than average, but it’s the spark of adventure that sustains us.  Adventure is why we dive.  Remembering our adventures is why we take pictures and create videos.  Getting to that adventure is why we spent thousands of dollars on the trip, more photographic equipment and new diving equipment.  No one had to sell us more diving gear or photography equipment.  We sold our selves on the adventure, and the gear helped us make the most out of it.

I remember introducing Jean Michel Cousteau at a speaking engagement at a Travel & Adventure Show in Long Beach.  He proceeded to tell the audience that he had always attended diving and surfing shows in his career, but it was the thrill of The Adventure that brought him to the adventure show that day.  And why do we admire Jean Michel so much?  It’s because we are fascinated by the adventures he has experienced in his lifetime.

A dear friend of mine is Larry Boucha.  I remember a certain conversation we had as if it were yesterday.  Larry and Nancy Boucha were swapping dive stories with Dana and me over drinks at the Hotel Cozumel.  We were each sharing our best dive stories when Larry changed gears and told us about his Dive Trip From Hell.  The story took him a half hour to tell, as he unraveled his tale about a dive trip that started out great but went south very quickly.  As the story goes, everything that could go wrong did.  Larry drew us into his story as he gave us a detailed account of this terrible dive trip.  We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  When we thought the story couldn’t get any worse, Larry sat back, sipped his drink, and said, “That’s why they call it adventure travel!”  With tears in our eyes, we laughed for hours.

So when you are standing in long lines at the airport, or waiting for late arrivals on the dive boat, dealing with broken or lost piece of diving equipment, or whatever the inconvenience of the moment is, remember Larry Boucha and say, That’s why they call it adventure travel.

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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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