Last week, I went on a very short, but very productive expedition to my home waters off of Palm Beach County, Florida. Much of it was a “return to dive” exercise. Part of the reason for my absence off this website was that I was convalescing from fairly intensive surgery (that caused two major complications that caused me to miss an expedition and training in Bonaire, and another expedition to the cenotes of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula).
Continue reading “Come Dive with Me, Come Dive, Let’s Dive Away!”
OCTOBER 16, 2018 UPDATE: This was a great idea that didn’t pan out. Unfortunately, September and October turned out to be incredibly busy and I wasn’t able to donate the necessary time to get this going. I will post some recommendations in the coming days, but nothing so elaborate as this had been planned.
ORIGINAL POST: August 29, 2018
While I’m a multi-issue voter – I care about whether or not my duly elected representative likes puppies, babies, AND Mom’s apple pie, for instance – there’s two issues that will make or break my support for a candidate: marine conservation and climate change. In Arizona, we’re upstream from ocean, so what we do here filters down into the Blue Eternal, and in Florida – well, Florida will literally live or die on the health of the oceans and the level of the sea. For my ocean adjacent home state of Florida, and the land-locked desert I now call home, I’ve decided to try to determine, in four races, who is the ocean hero who I can support, and hope, as a salt-water enthusiast, you will similarly support.
Those races will be Arizona’s and Florida’s gubernatorial and senatorial races, and I’m going to be honest with you – I don’t know what I’ll find. I know next to nothing about Florida gubernatorial Democratic candidates Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis, and while I like Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, and have a fair amount of animus towards current Florida governor and Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott, I’ve never gotten into the nuts and bolts if their records on ocean policy and climate change. For Arizona, same thing with current Republican governor Doug Ducey, and Democratic candidate David Garcia. For Arizona, I’m actually fairly antagonistic towards Democratic Representative Kyrsten Sinema, and I don’t care much for Republican Representative Martha McSally, both running for Arizona Senate.
What I’ll be doing is running a series of issues up the flagpole – for DeSantis, Sinema, and McSally, I’ll be using their Congressional voting records, focusing primarily on the most current Congressional session. Likewise for Bill Nelson, I will be focusing on his Senatorial voting record. For Doug Ducey and Rick Scott, I will be focusing primarily on laws they have signed and policy edicts they have issued. Gillum will likely be the biggest challenge, as Mayor of Tallahassee, he will have the most limited ocean policy record, so I may have to extrapolate based on his Mayoral record, coupling with promises made on the campaign trail.
Full disclosure – I am a Democrat, but I’m going to attempt to boil away as much of biases as humanly possible, and go with the science and consistency (meaning: if candidate X is for small government but mandates a big government policy, you’ll hear about it. Similarly, if a candidate is anti-climate change and then takes money from Big Oil, you’ll hear about that too).
There are some things that are going to be taken as non-negotiable.
1. Climate Change: The science is settled. It is real, it is man-made (anthropogenic), and it is causing problems from coral bleaching and ocean acidification, and a political columnist with no field experience or research work’s opinion does not carry the same weight as a scientist who is doing the work.
2. Biodiversity is critically important: Yes, the desert pupfish and the Lost River sucker are as important as the great white shark and right whale.
3. Plastic pollution must be addressed: This means from your drinking straw to a ghost fishing net. There is no single solution for this non-point pollution problem, and all of us are part of the problem (from the consumer to the producer). No, skipping the straw will not draw Lisa Frank rainbows in the sky over an ocean of jumping dolphins. Unless you need it due to disablity, there’s still no reason why you should be using a straw.
4. The affects of rivers and waterways upstream affect ocean health: This should be a no-brainer, but some people don’t get this.
The rating system will be clear and concise. I’ll introduce it with the first post I do, no later than Saturday morning, and we’ll start off, as is my wont, with shark conservation.
NOTE: THIS IS THE WORK OF A PRIVATE CITIZEN, EXPRESSING OPINIONS GUARANTEED UNDER THE 1ST AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. I REPRESENT NO POLITICAL PARTY, POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE, 501(c)3 or 501(c4) CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION, OR COMPANY.
Finally, I’m all caught up. After March and April’s ReefBox unboxing – both which contained stuff mostly for stuff on the surface, I was looking forward to some stuff that I could use while I was underwater… And lo, once again, Reefbox delivers.
This month is the BCD Box, or if you’re strictly a land-dweller, “Buoyancy Compensator Device” – it’s basically how we divers stay down, and it’s (mostly) where we store all our gear underwater (well, where I do anyway). And there’s some cool stuff in here.
Still behind on doing the unboxings. At least this one is sort of in the time frame when I originally received it. Kinda. Not really.
So, normally the ReefBoxes come in this nice reusable/recyclable box. Sturdy and blue, and two months in, I’m at the stage where I’m like “OOOOH THE BLUE BOX HAS ARRIVED WITH FUN STUFF FOR ME” when I see it on my porch.
So I was a little surprised when this month’s ReefBox was just a boring brown box. “Have they changed their packaging?” I asked myself. I imagine it would probably be cheaper, but… my blue box? WHERE’S MY BLUE BOX?
The ReefBox people anticipated that. So imagine my delight when I opened the box, and saw this…
Oh boy oh boy oh boy…
Continue reading “April ReefBox Unboxing! Better Late Than Never (Part 2!)”
Wow. I am so behind on these. I’ve just been so incredibly busy, what with work, getting ready for a year’s worth of dive trips, and Phoenix Comic Fest on the horizon, I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and review the cool stuff I’ve been getting from ReefBox. Divers, if you’ve got the money, sign up for it. It’s like getting a little present each month to yourself. Yeah, there’s redundancies, but the difference between a failed dive trip and a successful dive is redundancies. The night before you get on the plane or hop in the car, and you don’t have something, you’re going to be angry. Don’t be angry, get ReefBox.
And if you’re just starting out diving, over the past 3 months (YES I’M THAT FAR BEHIND), I’ve gotten stuff I would have loved as a new diver. It’s win-win.
So the March ReefBox was the “Dive Boat Essentials” box. Behold!