Bunner's Internship Experience

Grand Finale!!!

(Dive Log #24)

It is sad that the time has come to leave the shop as an intern, but all things must come to an end. I am grateful for the experience here at Sunken Treasure Scuba Center. While here, I have learned so much more than expected. I never would have guessed that I would be a certified Sherwood Technician, an Equipment Specialist, Dive Against Debris Diver, and working on my Rescue Diver certification. All thanks to my three months here at STSC. The hands-on experience has taught me so much about the gear and how it really works, and that even one piece in the wrong position can throw everything off. It was also great to see how the shop works in its entirety. It involves so many moving parts that need to be in place to stay in good function from scheduling, advertising, lessons, social events, pricing, and much more! It allowed me to get a glimpse of what the life of a shop owner consists of on a daily basis.

To anyone looking for a similar experience, I would recommend STSC be your place of choice. Unfortunately, I was only able to see how the winter operation worked. I hear the Summer season can be more even more demanding at times. It is tough to imagine having many more classes going on during the week. We seemed to be running around like mad men as is. Though it was demanding at times, the experience was extremely valuable and I am glad to have been whipped into “real world” shape over the past 3 months. Like I told Rich, the college classroom experience did little to prepare me for a 40-hour work week. It is a completely different feel. Rich deserves tremendous respect for continuing this operation for the past 38 years.

I am glad to say that though it is the end of my internship here, I will continue to attend social events and hopefully dives (if the weather permits). At least until I move south that is. It was awesome to meet such a tight nit group of likeminded people who share a passion for Scuba Diving just like I do. Thanks to all of you who helped make my experience here a memorable one. I owe a BIG thank you to Rich who made many sacrifices to have me here. For starters, I took over his office space at the shop, hitched rides to all the events with him, and basically robbed him of his personal time over the last 3 months. Thanks a lot Rich!

Ocean Fact of the Day:  Although coral reefs comprise less than 0.5 per cent of the ocean floor, it is estimated that more than 90 per cent of marine species are directly or indirectly dependent on them!

Until next time…Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!

P.S. If you need me, you can find me somewhere on a beach in Florida...

Over and out,



March 31st!

(Dive Log #23)

We made it to another Friday here at the shop. I can't believe it is March 31st already! Dive season is right around the corner. This week went well yet again. We got much accomplished. Tuesday was the LHU Scuba course, Thursday was the East Lycoming YMCA course, and tomorrow we will be conducting a private course at the Lock Haven YMCA. We hope to see you tonight for another coffee/movie night where we will be showing Johnathon Bird films and chatting like usual.

So, today I organized multiple parts boxes for Sherwood, Zeagle, Aeries, Scuba Max and many more. Because of all the regulator service the past 2 months they were a jumbled mess of multiple baggies with mix matched kits and misplaced pieces. I am glad to have a base knowledge of which parts belong in which boxes. It helped me recognize pieces in wrong boxes and identify where they needed to be. Another thing I never thought I would do occurred today. I reactivated my Facebook account. I want to have a social media platform which allows me to connect with people in the diving industry once I am gone. I was able to narrow down my “friends” list from over 700 people to a much more manageable 200 people. Also, I deleted a whole bunch of embarrassing high school photos which I used to think were great to have online. I felt better instantly. Now I see only what I want to and don’t have to put up with all of the garbage I don’t want to be bothered with. So, please add me as a friend if you are an avid diver that likes to hear about news within the industry. I would appreciate the new connections!

In other news, a new cave-diving documentary called “Diving Into the Unknown”, is set for release on iTunes on April 3rd , and DVD in May. It was shot in Finnish, English, Swedish, and Norwegian with English subtitles. In 2014, two teams of divers from Finland entered a cave in Norway’s Plura River at separate points. They were planning to meet in the middle, but a blocked passage caused two of the divers to die in a panic. When the official recovery operation was called off by Norwegian and British authorities after being deemed too risky, the two surviving divers set out on a secret mission to retrieve their comrade’s bodies themselves. The film made rounds at film festivals worldwide including locations such as New York, Munich, Helsinki, Edinburgh and New Zealand. It received a thumbs-up. If you are interested in watching the trailer or learning more about “Diving Into the Unknown”, click >HERE<

Ocean Fact of the Day: Herbert Nistch is the current freediving world champion. He set the world record with his 702 ft. dive in July of 2007 at the Spetses, Greece competition! 

That is all for this week. Stay tuned for my LAST blog on Tuesday. Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!




Sea Lions!

(Dive Log #22)

My internship experience at STSC is coming to an end. Rich must be ecstatic to get me out of here and have his shop to himself again! Anyway, this is officially my last week, but since I have some hours to make up I will be here a few days next week as well. I will continue to get out blogs until then! As usual this week is rolling along smoothly. Tonight, we have a class at Lock Haven University pool, and Thursday we have a class at the East Lycoming YMCA. I am going to a Microsoft Word Seminar in Williamsport Thursday morning to sharpen my skills with the program that has been giving me so much trouble this semester. Finally, I will learn how to fix all the problems I have been encountering lately.

Today, Rich and I were sorting through old photo albums in the stores computer files to find shots for DEMA to potentially use in the future. It was great to see some of you divers back in the day in so many cool places. Thanks to all of you who have stuck around for all these years. Without people like you it would be hard to run such a great operation! Anyway, throughout our search, we found a bunch of awesome photos and videos from river clean-ups, dive trips, summer camps, pool sessions, etc. DEMA usually uses saltwater photos, but we want to show them that is not the only place where diving goes on. We have great diving right here in central PA. Fingers crossed. You never know if we might get selected!

Looking for a fun place to dive which provides an amazing opportunity to play with sea lions? The South coast of British Colombia is that place. Vancouver diver/filmmaker Russell Clark recently took a dive trip to the region and had an exhilarating experience. Once he got to the site, he could see the sea lions everywhere on the rocks and in the ocean swimming. He entered the water about 100 meters away from the lions and had his camera ready. Within minutes 30-50 sea lions came charging towards him to observe the awkward and clumsy creature in their territory. They would nibble on him in a friendly manner, spin around him, and even show off their tricks, such as picking up a pebble, lofting it into the water, and then twisting around to catch it. All in all, the sea lions at this location are notably interactive with divers, snorkelers, and swimmers alike. That is what makes the South coast of British Colombia a premier spot to capture footage of these amazingly friendly and playful creatures.

Ocean Fact of the Day: Sea lions and seals are two different animals. Differences include 1) sea lions have external ear flaps, 2) sea lions walk on land using all four flippers (seals bounce on their bellies) and 3) sea lions use their front flippers to swim (seals use their hind flippers). Click >HERE< for more Sea lion facts!

That is all until Friday. Remember, Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!



Goodbye Gozo Window!

(Dive Log #21)

Hello everybody. It was another busy week as always. Tuesday night Rich, Greg, and I went to Lock Haven for the 3rd week of the LHU course. Yesterday we were at the East Lycoming YMCA for the 2nd week of that class, and tonight we will be at the shop for Coffee/Movie night as well as the Rescue Diver Course with Travis. We are excited for this weekend at BTS. I am especially excited to hear the speakers who I am used to seeing on television or YouTube videos. There is always a lot going on in the dive industry and I am ready to get caught up to speed on the latest happenings.

Yesterday, I entered data into Project AWARE’s website from last year’s July and September clean-ups. It was another new experience for me. I was amazed at how much debris was involved. The 12volunteers from those two clean-ups removed 8.8 tons (17,720 lbs.) of garbage from the Susquehanna River. Most of the weight was due to tires of which 662 were pulled out. Anyway, I am glad I know how the entire process works now.

In other news, the famous Azure Window Arch has collapsed into the sea. The official name, Tieqa tad-Dwejra collapsed March 9th early in the morning. The event was enough to upset the prime minister who said this news was “heartbreaking”. I’m sure most people, especially divers would agree. The limestone arch has been featured in many films including HBO’s “Game of Thrones” television series. It has been a popular tourism attraction for many years. Walking across the arch was an offense punishable by a 1500 euro fine. A 2013 geological study found that erosion was inevitable but that the arch was in no immediate danger of collapse. The upsetting news came as a shock to many. Though sad, there are still some people who are enthusiastic about the event. Some divers say it is just part of natures cycle and they are excited to see what new ecosystems form around the collapsed limestone.

Ocean Fact of the Day: The High Seas - areas of the ocean beyond national jurisdiction - cover almost 50 per cent of the Earth's surface! They are the least protected part of the world.

That is all for this week. Hopefully I see some of you at Beneath the Sea this weekend. Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!



Back at it Again!

(Dive Log #20)


Hello everyone. I’m back from a much-needed vacation to Puerto Rico. I feel refueled and ready to complete my final weeks here at STSC. Apologies for leaving you all blogless last week.  I hope you all had a great spring break! Warmer weather is right around the corner. I can’t wait to get back into the water with everyone.  

Yesterday was the PADI 2017 Member Forum. I finally got to meet “Stush”, PADI’s famous northeast representative. He is a great guy! The forum included updates and upcoming changes that PADI is implementing this year. A few examples are the new specialties being offered through e-learning, the addition of “Thinking Like a Diver” sections in the new training manuals, My PADI Club, and 4 new pillars of development (marine protection, community involvement, health/wellness, and education). The forum is a great way to brief the industry on changes and is also a good place for PADI to gain feedback from business owners and people working within the industry. It was great to see those of you who came out to the event yesterday. I enjoyed eating at TGI Friday’s with you all afterwards. It was another opportunity to get to know everybody a little bit better!  

The Annual Beneath the Sea conference is this weekend! This will be my first experience at the conference. While there on Saturday I am excited to see Johnathon Bird talk along with many other notable divers/photographers within the industry. Also, on Saturday is the Film Festival and Decompression Party which I am looking forward to attending. On Sunday, I will be attending the Sherwood Regulator Technician clinic where I will become a certified Sherwood Technician. My shop assignment while at BTS is to find a product that STSC must sell for the upcoming dive season. I am ready to see all the products they have to offer!

On Friday at 6:30p.m. the Rescue Diver course starts. For those of you who are interested, you better call the shop soon! I am excited to be one of the students in the class. This will get me one step closer towards my Master Scuba Diver rating.

Ocean Fact of the Day: The gray whale migrates more than 10,000 miles each year, the longest migration of any mammal!

That’s all for today. Stay tuned for more on Friday. Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!




Sherwood's and More!!

(Dive Log #19)

Hello everybody. Hope you had a good weekend! Were back at it again for another week at the shop. Yesterday we spent the afternoon working on Sherwood regulators. They are an entirely new beast to learn. I thought my proficiency was coming along well with the Zeagle’s but with so many companies to learn, I realized that I have barely scraped the surface. Luckily, I am attending the Sherwood Regulator Clinic at Beneath the Sea during the last weekend in March. While there, I hope to learn much more about the regulators. My goal is to be able to disassemble, clean, and reassemble one all by myself. Who knows, I might even bring back a few skills to teach Rich and Travis. In fact, that is my assignment for the shop. So back to the Sherwood’s. Although we got 6 sets completed yesterday, we have another 16 to go. We have our work cut out for us, that is for sure. At least I will get to learn a little more about them before attending the clinic.

On another note, everybody knows about our oceans curious and shy friends; the Blacktip Reef Shark. Here are a few facts about these amazing creatures. Obviously, they get their names from the black markings on the tips of each fin. Not to be mistaken by but are similar to the Blacktip Shark, which does not have the black markings on its pelvic fins. They are commonly found in tropical Indo-Pacific coral reefs usually in shallower waters. They grow to an average of 5 feet yet can reach lengths up to 7 feet and weigh roughly 30 pounds. The Blacktip Reef Shark produces pups instead of eggs and can birth up to 10 pups a year. Three words that describe this creature is timid, skittish, and shy which explains why they pose no serious threat to divers and are extremely hard to get close to. These sharks are listed as near-threatened by the international Union for Conservation of Nature, and like to eat small fishes like jacks, wrasses, and mullet. They have even been found cooperatively hunting by herding small schools of fish together. Read more >HERE<

The Annual Wine and Cheese Party will be at the shop on March 17that 6:30p.m. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend this event due to spring break in Puerto Rico. Though I am extremely excited, I wish I could be there with you guys. Wine and cheese may be one of my top favorite drinks/snacks. I encourage you all to come by the shop for another great social event!

Ocean Fact of the Day: Sharks have highly evolved and complex brains. The sensory part of the brain is especially well developed, giving these species great senses of smell and taste. They can detect their prey/mates at distances greater than 2 miles away! Read more >HERE<

That is all for today. Stick around for Friday’s Dive Log. Until then…Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!




Sebastian Inlet!

(Dive Log #18)


Time is going by so fast. I can’t believe February has passed and March is upon us. I have seen several scuba courses come and go. It has been great to see the entire learning process from beginning to end (minus open water dives). It is a good feeling knowing that new divers are continuously being introduced to the world and are soon able to explore the waters freely. That being said, time never slows down for anyone. A new beginner class has commenced at the Lock Haven pool for LHU students on Tuesday nights. A Try Scuba event will be held at the East Lycoming YMCA on 3/9 at 7:00p.m. Then, a week after that, the Beginner Course will be starting at the East Lycoming YMCA. So, there is still a lot of opportunities for people to take advantage of if interested in Scuba.

On another note, Rich, Hope and I had a great experience at the Lawrenceville B.S.A round table discussion yesterday. It was a little bit of a drive but worth it! It was interesting to see all the scout leaders together coordinating upcoming events. They display a strong culture. After going through their checklist, the floor was open to visitors. That is when Rich gave a brief talk about who he was and what he had to offer through STSC and answered questions on the PADI programs. Then, after the meeting the leaders were free to mingle. Many of the leaders visited the STSC table to learn more and gain further insight into the programs offered. It was cool to see the interest generating by Scuba diving during the discussion. We hope it will bring Boy Scouts/Venture Scouts from all over the area to learn scuba and earn their B.S.A Scuba Activity/Merit Badges.

Tonight, the highly-anticipated talk on “Treasure hunting the Sebastian Inlet” by Will Blodgett is coming to the shop. The shop is all set up and ready for the show. Unfortunately, it is only open to those of you who RSVP’d. This talk has many people excited, and we expect to see a large turnout of 20+ people. All seats are full, and I am anxiously waiting for 6:30 to roll around!

Ocean Fact of the Day: If we could capture just 0.1% of the ocean's kinetic energy caused by tides, we could satisfy the current global energy demand 5 times over!

That is all for this week. Stay tuned next week for more! Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!



Scalloped Hammerhead!

(Dive Log #17)


It is the last day of February and the sun is shining bright. The sun always makes working a lot easier! What has been happening lately at STSC? For starters, Rich and I did a Scuba Refresher course on Sunday. Tonight, we will be starting the Beginner Scuba Lessons at the Lock Haven University Pool. Then Wednesday, we will be finishing up the class/pool sessions for the Lock Haven YMCA class. On Thursday Rich is traveling up to Lawrenceville, PA for a round-table discussion with the Boy Scouts of America Council. Later that night we will be assembling regulators with Travis. Then on Friday, we have guest speaker Will Blodgett coming to the shop to talk about Treasure Hunting the Sebastian Inlet. He will most likely have a tan on from his most recent trip to Key West! We hope to see all of those who RSVP’d there on Friday night. It will be a good one!

For Scuba news, Adidas is making a high-performance training sneaker out of recycled plastic pieces found in the ocean. The motto for the project is “From Threat to Thread”. Adidas has teamed with Parley for the Oceans, a nonprofit collaboration of people and corporations contributing to ocean-conservation projects. Recently, the recycled shoe is gaining momentum. Soccer Clubs such as Real Madrid CF, and FC Bayern Munich played their debut games in November wearing Jerseys made of Parley ocean plastic!  The company has also started making swimwear from the recycled marine debris. This is a huge step in ocean conservation. For more click >HERE<

On a similar note, Oris has released its “Hammerhead Limited Edition Dive Watch”, which will help fund shark preservation efforts through the non-profit organization, Pelagios Kakunjá. The focus of the project is to learn more about migration patterns of the Scalloped Hammerhead shark of the East Pacific. The collaboration will be monitoring/tracking tagged sharks for 6-9 months in efforts to collect more useful information on the endangered species. To read more click >HERE<

I recently finished a rough copy of my “Employee Training Manual” which will act as my special project for one of LHU’s Internship program requirements. Shout out to Rich, Mark and Greg for editing/evaluating it for me. Now I am working on making the changes they provided. I plan on having the final copy completed by early next week. I appreciate their feedback. Thanks the help guys!

Ocean Fact of the Day: The total length of the world's coastlines is about 315,000 miles, enough to circle the Equator 12 times!

That’s all for today. Stay tuned for more on Friday! Don't Forget, Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!





(Dive Log #16)


The featured picture this week is my very own hand-made neoprene koozie from the Equipment Specialist certification class. If you were in this class with me, come to the shop to get your stickers that Rich promised! They are here, and I took the shark one as you can see. The orange pops pretty well against the all black background.

It is yet again a beautiful day. We have been blessed with the warm streak of weather we have been having. I have my fingers crossed though, hoping that it doesn’t plummet into the low February temperatures we all know so well again. I am content with 75 degrees! I can’t wait until it stays like this for good, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

On another note, I read a story about an amazing place yesterday in Dive Training magazine. It is about the tranquil town of La Paz on the beautiful Baja California Sur coastline. La Paz contains a 3.1 mile boardwalk that looks over the Sea of Cortez. There is even a statue of French underwater explorer, Jacques Cousteau with a wetsuit on, and fins in hand as he surveys the sea in front of him. He once called this place “the world’s aquarium”. The Sea of Cortez is home to numerous uninhabited islands and boasts a beautiful diversity of thousands of marine species. These waters are home to sea lions, whale sharks, gray whales, large hammerhead colonies, mobula rays, Humboldt rays, and even giant sea horses.  Divers can explore dozens of wreck sites, and even swim through cave systems. At the uninhabited Isla Espiritu Santo, one can explore the rolling hills and post-card worthy beaches. One can also dive with a colony of friendly sea lions on Los Islotes. La Paz is a small historic town which means it will not have your mega-hotels and big name corporations, although they aren’t a far drive away. This gives it a relaxed island feel for which it is famous. Also, not far away are several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Many choose not to venture away since one could spend their entire vacation exploring this remote historic town. Check it out for yourself to get a little more insight! Click >HERE

Rich and I finished up our East Lycoming YMCA class last night and are ready to start another one on Tuesday at the Lock Haven University pool. Even though it is winter, the fast-paced workload doesn’t slowdown for anybody! We will be finishing up the Lock Haven YMCA on Wednesday as well. We hope to see you all tonight at the shop for Coffee/movie night where we will be showing Jacques Cousteau films, eating popcorn, drinking coffee, and as always, chatting with local divers.

Ocean Fact of the Day: Antarctica has as much ice as the Atlantic Ocean has water!

See you later, Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!




Warm Weather!

(Dive Log #15)


This week will be a busy one. Good thing we had a nice warm front to boost our spirits! The Lock Haven Try Scuba event is held tonight at the Zimmerli pool. Any LH students looking to explore the world of diving should take advantage of this opportunity. Gear is provided for FREE, all you need to bring is a swimsuit. Then, next Tuesday, the Lock Haven University Beginner Scuba class will be starting at the same place in Zimmerli. We have been advertising relentlessly and hope to see a good turnout! The last day of class for the EL YMCA is this Thursday. So basically, our Tuesday and Thursday schedule will switch places in terms of hours starting next week.

For those of you who made it to the Divers Social this weekend at Cracker Barrel, it was great to see you. What a turnout! We hope to see those who couldn’t make it for the next social later this year at Don Patrons. It is always a great time to socialize with local divers, while eating amazing food. I was able to meet a few new people for which I am grateful. I always enjoy expanding my network!

Oris Watches USA awarded the “Scuba Diving Sea Hero” award earlier this week. Brian Kakuk (Co-owner, Bahamas Underwater Cave Diving Facility) won the award this year for his outstanding efforts in cave diving the Crystal Caves in the Bahamas. Brian researches and advocates for the protection of such places through his Bahamas Cave Research Foundation. He says, the hardest challenge was being a foreigner trying to tell locals what to do with their land. His job was convincing the people and government agencies how special these places were, without taking them there. Brian was awarded $5,000 by Oris to continue his research. He plans to use these funds towards a mapping project of the Crystal Caves. He was 1 of 5 nominees for the award who received a brand new Oris Aquis Date watch worth $1,650. Congrats on the award Brian! To read more click >>HERE<<

Ever heard that there is a “garbage island” the size of Texas floating in the ocean gyres? While there is some truth to this claim, it can be very misleading. When you think of an island, you think of being able to step foot on it. This isn’t the case for this so called “island” which can’t even be seen by a plane. The problem is that there are trillions of tiny micro-plastic pieces floating in the North Pacific Ocean which causes many complications for wildlife and the ecosystem. As you can imagine, this makes cleanup extremely hard. It is said that it would take every man woman and child the rest of their lives cleaning this one section of ocean in order to see positive results. In each sample taken, there is approximately 50 to as many as 1000 pieces of plastic to every 1 living organism in the water. In result, birds, fish, and even humans end up consuming these plastic pieces. Many of us believe it is out of sight out of mind, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Major fisheries are finding these plastics in just about every fish caught. Fish that we will later eat. By the end of the decade it is estimated that 99% of all ocean birds will have plastic in their bodies. To read more on this crisis click >>HERE<<

Ocean Fact of the Day: The Arctic Ocean is the smallest ocean, holding only one percent of the Earth's seawater. This is still more than 25 times as much water as all rivers and fresh water lakes.

That is all for today. Stay tuned for more on Friday! Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!





National Margarita Day!

(Dive Log #14)


Classes are going great here at STSC. The ELYMCA group just finished up their 5th week and will be able to complete their open water dives when they are willing to after next weeks class. Lock Haven YMCA has just finished their third week, and more classes are getting started at the end of February. A lot of people are looking to get their certs before summer so they can enjoy diving throughout the warm months. I am excited for the weekend, where temperatures are to reach the 60’s!  Then it will stay in the 50’s for the rest of the week. It is time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine while you can. By the way. Wednesday, February 22nd is National Margarita Day! Get ready to grab your glasses and mix it up. Prepare by tuning into Margaritaville radio station to get the mood right, and get outside!

Exciting news for ocean lovers! Endangered Right Whales are returning after decades of absence to Cape Cod waters. There are only an estimated 500 left in the world. This makes them rarer than tigers, and elephants! Roughly half of the 500 whales started returning to the “Cape” area to feed this month. This area used to be one of the favorite feeding spots preferred by the whales, yet only a few dozen have been seen over the recent years. That is until now, where there have been hundreds of reported sightings. The Right Whale used to be hunted like many other species for their oil and baleen. This is just one of the many contributing factors to their low population. Although there is no positive answer for their return, some scientists are saying a surge in plankton is what brought them to the cape. Once abundant food is found, the whales call out to the others to let them know.  

For those of you who are against shark finning and manta slaughtering, there is a video you need to watch. “A Fish Full of Dollars” highlights a global issue on a local scale by exploring the Tanjung Luar fish market, the largest fish market in Lombok, Indonesia. At markets such as this, up to 75 million sharks are slaughtered each year which is causing the ocean ecosystems to become extremely imbalanced. Without these predators, the health of the world’s oceans is compromised. Many key ecosystems are at risk of collapse. The main problems are the uneducated fishermen who are just trying to make a living along with the corrupt government and its easily bribed officials. Overfishing is causing a domino effect of problems. For example, tourism is declining because of the fact that there are barely any more megafauna in the surrounding waters for tourists to see.  If this is something you are interested in, I would recommend giving this video a watch. To watch the video, click >>Here<<   ***Warning, some images may be disturbing to certain audiences***

Ocean Fact of the Day: The sea provides the biggest source of wild or domestic protein in the world. Each year some 70 to 75 million tons of fish are caught in the ocean. Of this amount around 29 million tons is for human consumption.

Come to the shop tonight for Coffee/Movie night where we will be watching Jonathon Bird films. Enjoy popcorn, a cup of coffee, and some good socialization. Just a reminder, there are only 4 spots left for Will Blodgetts "Treasure hunting" talk on 3/3. RSVP before its too late. Also, Sunday is a Divers Social at Cracker Barrel at 1:30p.m. Don't miss out! Remember… Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!





Valentine's Day!

(Dive Log #13)


Happy Valentine’s Day everybody! Can you believe were already half way through February!? It feels like it just started. I don’t mind, at least that means the warm months will be among us faster than expected. So, last week I was fortunate to hop into the Equipment Specialist Course with some great classmates. We just finished up yesterday, and each got to bring home our own handmade neoprene koozie! It was fun to see how conveniently it can be to repair equipment if you have the right tools and know how.  We got to see and learn how to clean the internal parts to a tank valve, and 1st and 2nd stage regulators. We were also provided a home repair kit which will surely be useful during future dive trips. It might even make some of us a dive hero!

Regulator servicing is a continuous job. We have a bunch more that need to be serviced even after finishing dozens the other week. Mark is coming down to the shop to help us along in the dismantling and cleaning process today. It shouldn’t take too long with three of us at work! I’m just excited to have the opportunity to consistently take apart and clean regulators because I gain a little insight each time. After my experience, I hope to be fluent in the art. We in the Equipment Specialist Course cannot believe that in one day at the Beneath the Sea conference, one can become certified in regulator repair. After seeing what all goes into it, we believe there are simply too many parts to successfully learn these skills in one day. It is always a good idea to take your equipment to a reputable dive shop for servicing.

All new upcoming events have been posted on the STSC website and Facebook page. Go check them out to see which ones’ interest you. This weekend is a Divers Social at Cracker Barrel at the Lycoming Mall. We hope to see you there! Also, you better mark your calendars for an exciting talk by Will Blodgett on “Treasure Hunting Sebastian Inlet for 1715/1733 Spanish Treasure” which is coming up on March 3rd! Also, I am hoping to see a good turnout tonight at the LHU Scuba Club meeting. After last week’s Club Fair, we hope to gain a few new members.

Ocean Fact of the Day: The 133,000-sq. mi. Great Barrier Reef has been a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981. It is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 1,400 miles!

That is all I have for you today folks, I will be in touch later this week! Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!





Always Learning!

(Dive Log #12)


cocos island map

Hey guys. A lot of new stuff going on this week as always. For starters Rich and I got involved with the LHU Club Fair on Wednesday where we manned the Lock Haven Scuba Club table. We are working towards strengthening the Clubs’ member numbers while also creating interest in Scuba for new students. It was a slow few hours with off and on moments of excitement. All in all, we were able to get a solid list of names and e-mails of interested students. This way we can send out meetings, and weekly happenings through the LHU Scuba Clubs email list. My hope is to revive the recent lull in Scuba Club activity. A decline in members has been a consistent theme over the past few years which I plan to turn around in my next few months here. Activities the Club is offering now on the schedule include “Try Scuba Free” at Zimmerli Gymnasium Pool on the 21st along with a Beginner Course starting on the 28th of February and pool time for club members after each meeting on Tuesdays.

Shout-out to our most recent guest speaker, Wayne Laubscher on an excellent job Friday night! His power point presentation on the Yucatan experience and all the wonderful photos provided with blew my mind, especially after finding out they were mostly his personal shots. His laid-back style of speaking creating a welcoming atmosphere at the shop. He was glad to answer questions we had on his photos/experience and was very enthusiastic about the wildlife on the Peninsula. It was refreshing to see someone so involved in the advocating for such a pristine and historical area. Thanks Wayne!

The shop is double booked tonight. Of course, there will be a coffee/movie night as usual where you can socialize with friends and eat popcorn. Along with that, tonight is the start of the Equipment Specialty Course in which I will be joining in on. It should be an exciting night with a lot of divers. I hope to see you guys there!

I was excited to read an article on a very popular Costa Rican island the other day. Most of you have probably heard of this destination and few may have even had the opportunity to dive it yourselves. Cocos Island is a 9.2 sq. mi. island located Southwest of Costa Rica. Jacques Cousteau deemed it “the most beautiful island in the world”. Cocos island is designated and protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In fact, to even step foot on the island one must provide special documentation and be accompanied by a guide or Ranger the entire duration of their trip. While diving off the island one will most certainly see megafauna such as scalloped hammerheads, whale sharks, silky sharks, manta rays, tuna, and billfish to name a few. If you get a chance, look up and read about this magnificent island for yourselves. You won’t be disappointed.

Ocean Fact of the Day: A swallow of seawater may contain millions of bacterial cells, hundreds of thousands of phytoplankton and tens of thousands of zooplankton! In that case, I must've swallowed billions...

Stay tuned for more next week! Until then...Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!





New Species!

(Dive Log #11)



Another week has gone by and I am still here. Thanks to all who came out and tubed with the STSC crew on Sunday. What a day it was. We had a nice size group of people who hit the slopes hard. The more people you got to go down with you the faster you would go. Too bad there was a limit of four… It was probably for the better though, since we would have gone airborne at the end and maybe even through the fence. Not only was it exciting to ramp the stop barriers at the end of the slope but also hysterical watching others ramp off the barrier. Tubing was excellent but the ski lodge food afterwards might have been my favorite part. They are very reasonably priced and serve amazing food. Anyway, it was great seeing you all. Thanks for making this year another successful Sawmill tubing trip!

I must shout out Travis since I forgot to mention his efforts in teaching me how to assemble regulators last week. Thanks a lot Travis! It means a lot to get your expert help on such a confusing task. We got to talking and he is sure he can assemble a 2nd stage with his eyes closed. After seeing him work I believe he can. Now we must put him to the test! We will dub it the "regulator challenge"…

In the news. On Tuesday, January 31, 37-year-old filmmaker and shark conservationist Rob Stewart passed away while diving. He was searching for the elusive sawfish, a creature of the deep with the body of a shark and a beak that best resembles a chainsaw. That was the one and only goal of his dives off the coast of Key Largo. The purpose of his dive was to shoot footage of the creature for his next project, a documentary called “Sharkwater Extinction”. This would act as the sequel to his 2007 award-winning film, “Sharkwater”, where Rob highlighted the worldwide problems of shark-finning. It not only made him a marine and conservation community celebrity but also inspired global efforts to ban shark-finning. It is a shame to lose such an active conservationist, at a time when the world desperately needs more men like him. We in the dive community send our best regards to Robs family. Sorry for your loss. Rest easy Rob.

On a more positive note, there has been a new species of miniature shark discovered off the coast of Belize! It was originally thought to be a Bonnethead, a species of Hammerhead Shark which are found in many spots around the Caribbean. Then after finding many genetic differences they realized it may be an entirely new species of shark altogether. It was discovered during a tagging expedition late last year. More research has yet to be done, and I will keep you all informed on their findings as they arise.  

Ocean Fact of the Day: Water pressure at the deepest point in the ocean is more than 8 tons per square inch, the equivalent of one person trying to hold 50 jumbo jets!

That’s it for today. Don't forget…Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be a Diver!





Wetsuit Winner!

(Dive Log #10)



Week 5 is coming to a close and I am still learning many new things. We are constantly finding things to do to stay busy at the shop. Currently I am learning how to assemble 1st and 2nd stage regulators. I am starting to feel good about it, but it is going to take a lot of repetition before I am an expert that’s for sure. A new beginner scuba class has started at the LH YMCA this week and the other classes are still going strong. The ELYMCA just finished up their 3rd week of class which puts them at the half way point. Speaking of certifications, PADI has just certified its 25 millionth diver!

This month’s speaker will be here tonight after a much-anticipated wait. Wayne Laubscher will be speaking about his Yucatan Experience while in Mexico. He will highlight the unusual geology, bird life, and the dramatic ancient human history of the area.  I am very interested in this topic since being in the same area for spring break last year. Wayne will cover the mysterious Cenotes and teach about their connection with the dinosaur extinction. I hope he will answer some of the questions I have about the Cenotes and wildlife. Other topics to be covered are the Mayan ruins, birds such as toucans, motmots, and tropical orioles to name a few, and his experience diving on an ocean reef. Hurry down to support Wayne and his amazing Yucatan Experience! Grab some coffee and popcorn, sit back and relax.

Looking for employment? Dutch Springs is currently hiring/searching for motivated individuals to join their amazing staff. Dutch Springs has many awesome features/shops such as its Aqua Park, Sky Challenge Course, Scuba Quarry area with all kinds of submerged vehicles, Noble Roman’s Pizza shop, Tuscano’s Italian Sub Shop, and Camping/picnic areas. Dutch Springs provides an excellent day vacationing spot for people all over the state as well as surrounding states. If this is a team you would be interested in joining, click here to visit the website and navigate to the application page.

The WETSUIT WINNER has been drawn. JERRY WYLAND is the giveaways’ lucky winner! Come on down to the shop to claim your prize whenever you get a chance. Congratulations Jerry!

Ocean Fact of the Day:  More oil reaches the oceans each year as a result of leaking automobiles and other non-point sources than was spilled in Prince William Sound by the Exxon Valdez. Click Here for more ocean facts.

Keep up the diver spirit Northeast! Get over to the shop to chat and even support weekly events such as Coffee/Movie nights. Meet new people, expand your network, and talk diving. It wont be too long until you are back in the water (unless you are vacationing any time soon). Stay tuned for more. I will keep you posted on the latest news early next week with another log. Until then... Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!





Goodbye January!

(Dive Log #9)



Already a month has gone by since starting my internship experience at STSC. It is hard to believe how fast it is going. Rich says it has been the easiest month ever for me. Either way, I am learning a lot of new ideas and I feel fortunate to be a part of such a great opportunity where I can gain hands on experience every day. Although I am having a great time, I am ready to say goodbye to January. This means we are one month closer to the start of the 2017 dive season! I cant wait for the waters to get warmer so I can continue to sharpen my dive skills in an open water setting. I plan on starting my Rescue Diver course in March and cant wait to overcome the challenges and rewards it has to offer. This will get me one step closer to my PADI Master Scuba Diver rating which I hope to achieve in the near future. I sense that you are all as ready as I am for the warm months ahead. I hope to meet/dive with many of you this year!

There is some interesting news going on in the dive industry as always. For starters, here is a story out of every divers dream world. Imagine diving the reefs off Samos island and discovering ship after ship lying undisturbed at the bottom of the ocean. Imagine discovering 45 of these pre-Christian era merchant ships in a matter of days. They are all loaded with amphora filled with wine from the island of Rhodes and they have been still on the oceans bottom for over 2000 years. Now imagine being on one of these ships as the skies darken around your fleet and the seas begin to churn. It starts to rain as the skies darken and thunder starts to boom. The angry sea starts swallowing your surrounding ships and you know your fate has been sealed. You and your crew are about to become a small contribution to Davey Jones locker. These are the events that took place to this helpless fleet of merchant vessels in the year 100BC, at Samos Island. Fortunately many of the sailors were able to make it to shore and raise families on the island. Thousands of years later Dr. George Koutsouflakis became the lucky diver that found these ships. He will be speaking about his fantastic discovery and adventure at the one and only "Beneath the Sea" conference this year! I cant wait to hear this amazing story. It will be my first time ever attending this event. We encourage you all to go. It is always a big hit among divers.

More on news. These are not the kind of stories you want to be hearing as a diver but this is an interesting one to say the least. There was an Australian man who was attacked for the second time by a shark while freediving near Queensland's Great Barrier Reef on January 21st. The man was apparently attacked several times by a 12+ foot bull shark while at 45 feet depth. It sounds like the man was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Despite being attacked the man managed to swim back to his boat with serious lacerations on his left arm and abdomen. He was treated by a medic to slow the bleeding on the boat. From there it took him 5 hours to get to a small clinic on Murray island where he was treated by a nurse who moved there 2 weeks earlier. She identified his condition as stable. Three hours after that, a helicopter arrived to take him to the hospital where he waited another 3 hours before surgery. The man is still in stable condition, but I don't know that he will be getting back in the water any time soon. Sounds to me like everything is bigger in Australia. I rarely hear of 12 ft. bull sharks as this one.

Ocean Fact of the Day: Mauna Kea, Hawaii, rises 33,474 feet from its base on the ocean floor, yet only 13,680 feet sits above sea level. This island is the oceans highest mountain!

Well, that's it for today. Stay tuned for another "dive log" later this week!

Remember... Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!





No Stopping!

(Dive Log #8)


Today is yet another great day and I am happy to be here at the Scuba Center. This week has been a good one but it is not yet over. We will be continuing private lessons into this weekend (Saturday and Sunday). This is no problem for me since it is providing me the opportunity for more hours! Anyway, there is a lot going on in the world today. Some good news and some bad. At such a fast pace it is difficult to keep up. Here are a few of the latest happenings.

If you have ever had experienced the occasion of seeing/diving with a Green Sea Turtle in the wild, you are a one of a lucky few. You have felt the sheer beauty and peacefulness provided by its harmless presence. Unfortunately, due to illegal fishing practices in the Gulf, another 15 dead Green Sea Turtles washed up on the beaches of South Padre Island, and Isla Blanca Beach in Texas this week. Green Sea Turtles are 1 of 5, of the world's 7 sea turtle species that nest on Padre Island National Seashore. Under the Endangered Species Act the Green Sea Turtle is considered Endangered for the breeding populations in Florida/East Pacific and Threatened everywhere else worldwide. There are currently 85,000-90,000 female, breeding Green Sea Turtles left in the wild and the number of males, immature females is unknown. Thankfully, due to research centers and marine estuaries, such as our friends at The Georgia Sea Turtle Center (A Marine Debris Initiative) there is still hope for a healthy and natural recovery of sea turtle populations. It is important as divers to take on the responsibility of saving the oceans. We need to continue to participate in programs/efforts such as Project AWARE's "Dive Against Debris".  Advocating for sustainable practices and fighting for new practical legislation associated with the health of the oceans is also a great way to make change happen.

On another note, if you are looking for a new and exciting book to read. I suggest "Shadow Divers" by Robert Kurson. I know most of you have probably already done so but for those of you who have not it is a great investment of time. This is a true story about two American divers who risked everything to solve one of the last mysteries of WWII. You may know the names John Chatterton, and Richie Kohler. These two divers discover a lost German U-boat 60 miles off the coast of New Jersey. It is lying in 230ft. of water and they are on a mission to identify the submarine along with its crew members. I wont spoil any more, but if you are a diver interested in history of the oceans, you should definitely consider taking the time to read this amazing story. It might even spark a new interest in continuing to sharpen your deep/wreck diving skills!

Come by the shop again tonight @ 6:30 for another Coffee/Movie night. As usual we will be watching a film, socializing, drinking coffee, and eating popcorn. We have had great turnouts the last couple of weeks. I hope to continue seeing its success at bringing together local divers!

Ocean Fact of the Day: Most of the world's major fisheries are being fished at levels above their maximum sustainable yield; some regions are severely overfished. Japan is currently stockpiling and freezing Bluefin Tuna before they go extinct in efforts to make huge profits on post-extinction sales. >>Read more<<

Divers of the Northeast, stay educated and continue to spread your worldly knowledge to others!

As always...Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!






Week Four!

(Dive Log #7)


shop display

It is hard to believe that I have been here for 3 weeks and counting. It feels like I just started. They say time flies while having fun but I believe working hard has something to do with it as well. Week four has commenced and with it comes new responsibilities. I am currently working on the "Agency Description" (College Requirement)  part of my internship experience. When I got into the Programs/Services section of the assignment I was surprised at just how many programs STSC has to offer. The list went on and on! I have about 25 on my list already and I still need to add more of the smaller courses and events offered like the Junior Diver programs and the SEAL Team "Aqua Missions" for example. It is simply amazing how much is constantly going on at the Scuba Center. There are so many opportunities for people in the community to take advantage of. I'm happy to see such great turnouts and support for the events offered. I want to give you all a shoutout for being awesome at keeping that dive spirit flowing throughout the colder seasons! 

We are already into the Beginner Scuba lessons at the East Lycoming YMCA and are about to begin the next beginner course at the Lock Haven YMCA starting February 1st @ 6:00. We hope to see a nice class size again like that at the ELYMCA. At this pace we will see a large contribution of new individuals to the local dive community. Let anybody you know that is interested in diving about this new course so that you can possibly gain a new dive buddy for the upcoming season! Also, check out the Nitrox course that will be held on Friday @ 6:30p.m.

Did you know Rich has been declared one of Force Fins best dealers for 30 years straight? You can check out the post on the STSC Facebook page now! That's not all that Rich has achieved while owner of Sunken Treasure. STSC has certified over 4000 divers since opening in 1978...  And in July of 1990 his article on discounting was published in "Diving World" magazine! It is an excellent read, so I encourage you to come by the shop to check it out for yourself. 

On February 3rd, Wayne Laubscher is speaking on "The Yucatan Experience". I am excited for this talk since Wayne will be the first STSC guest speaker I get to see while interning here. Also, having experienced something very similar myself while in Mexico, I can say confidently that it should be a very interesting talk. Everybody will be itching to go after hearing about the incredible sights and experiences Mexico has to offer. You don't want to miss it! And as always there will be coffee and popcorn to sip and munch on while in attendance. We hope to see you there!

Ocean Fact of the Day: The Great Barrier Reef, measuring 1,243 miles, is the largest living structure on Earth. It can be seen from the Moon!

Divers...Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!





Oh Buoy!

(Dive Log #6)


I am starting to fall into a rhythm here at the shop. The more weeks that go by the more I can anticipate how the upcoming day the go. With that being said, I am never doing the exact same thing. New tasks are popping up every day that I am unfamiliar with, which is great because I am constantly learning new skills! For example, after disassembling regulators on Tuesday we went straight to the next task of cleaning all the individual parts (of which are a lot). I spent most of my day yesterday completing this task and was able to get all but one done. I finished the last one today. Now I am looking forward to the assembly of these components yet again. I hope to get familiar with where each piece goes but that wont come easy! Many new tasks are yet to come and I cant wait to discover what they are.

Yesterday was another long but rewarding Thursday. After shop hours, Rich and I headed straight for the East Lycoming YMCA for the first of six classes in a Open water Diver course. I was surprised to see a nice turnout for the program.  They included a spouse from a past course, a mother and daughter, and even a husband/wife team. They are all eager to begin and were able to get fitted with comfortable equipment suitable to their needs. It is amazing to see that people are still motivated to learn Scuba even during the off season here in the Northeast. I am excited to see the entire class process for the first time as an observer as opposed to a student. It is just another valuable perspective I will gain while here as STSC's intern.

How can diving restore your life? There are many ways. The silence that underwater provides us is breathtaking and acts as a underwater meditation. Their are so many noises in our everyday lives that can distract us and make us anxious. For example, think about how many times you hear your phone "ding" in a day to tell you there is a new text, email, or notification of some sort. It is happening constantly. That doesn't even include cars and their horns, alarms, radio, tv, and many other noises that are being emitted every day. All of this nonsense goes away once underwater. Underwater therapy (as it is being called) is showing positive health benefits such as helping PTSD patients cope with stress, increasing joint flexibility, improvement of muscle movement, and even increased sensitivity of touch. A study done at John Hopkins university showed that "restoring neurological and psychological function in paraplegics,” is yet another benefit diving provides. Divers are usually environmentally conscious people which helps heal the reefs instead of destroying them like so many other industries are doing. It also brings communities together such as in California where veterans are banning together and initiating projects such as replanting/rebuilding dying coral reefs! Through these programs they feel a sense of purpose and teamwork in their lives yet again.  To read more visit the full story shared on STSC's Facebook page entitled "How Being A Diver Can Restore Your Life".

We hope to see you at Coffee/movie night tonight. You don't want to miss it. Sea Hunt starring Lloyd Bridges will be the featured video. Come by, grab some popcorn, pour some coffee and enjoy the company of other local divers!

Ocean Fact of the Day: The longest continuous mountain chain known to exist in the Universe resides in the ocean at more than 40,000 miles long!

Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver!



Floating On!

(Dive Log #5)


The Christmas season has passed on but the joy is still here! Yesterday we took down all of the Christmas ornaments at the shop and replaced them with colorful tropical fish decorations. Thankfully Rich was able to keep his feet this time. He had a brutal fall last time while putting them up. So, come on in and see the new look. You will think you're snorkeling on a reef!

Have you ever held a 74 million year old fossil? Would you like to find one? This wish can become a reality at Big Brook New Jersey where you can sift for sharks teeth. Fossilized sharks teeth from the Cretaceous period can be found in creeks and streams all over New Jersey because at one time it was covered by ocean. You can take up to 5 teeth a day. STSC even offers a day trip in order to obtain these ancient fossils. This event will be held on May 6th of this year. Unfortunately, new regulations are being proposed that will end nearly all amateur collecting of fossils on public land so this might be your last chance at this opportunity. If this is something you would be interested in, be sure to email or call the shop to reserve your spot!

On another note, today I am excited to learn about regulator repairs and maintenance with Rich and Mark. I am always looking to learn more practical skills such as this! So far we have spent roughly 3 hours disassembling regulators (1st and 2nd stages) that need to be maintenanced. Mark already taught me a valuable lesson on which piece not to break which I am thankful for because I will be sure to never miss that step again. I never would've guessed how many small pieces would come out of the 1st stage itself. It is amazing. The only concern of mine now is how long it will take me to put all the pieces back together, but like always proficiency will come with time. The next step is to wash the pieces before reassembly. I cant wait to have the entire process down to a science like these guys do!

There's a Open-Water scuba course starting this Thursday at the eLYMCA. Don't miss your chance to have a dive buddy ready to dive this summer. Now is the time to get their dive certification! It looks like there will be a good turnout yet again. This course will be held at the East Lycoming YMCA at 6:00p.m. 

Ocean Fact of the Day: The worlds oceans contain nearly 20 million tons of gold!

That's it for now folks. Keep an eye out for another blog later this week. In the meantime...Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver.



Just Keep Swimming!!

(Dive Log #4)


It has been another great week here at STSC. We hope to see you all out at the coffee social tonight @ 6:30p.m. The three short films tonight will be from Jonathon Bird's "Blue World" productions. Don't miss it! Even if its only for a few minutes be sure to stop by to say hello and/or grab a cup of joe. Popcorn and great diver company will be provided!

Yesterday, I was fortunate to learn how the compressor works. I nicknamed this machine "The Beast" because of its intimidating effects it has on me. It shows no sign of slowing down which is a good thing because it was far from cheap and also the lifeline of the shop. Once on, Rich showed me how to top off and fill all the tanks, how to work the valves and even the importance of rigging a safety tank to relieve excess pressure. I still need a few run-throughs but that is to be expected. After this much needed lesson on air fills we needed to prepare packets for the Discover Scuba event held at the East Lycoming YMCA later that night. Once at the event I was again shocked at the number of participants. We had 11 scouts along with 6 other interested persons'. Needless to say they all had a great time and we plan on seeing the non-scout participants again next week for the Open-Water Course and maybe the scouts another time in order to earn their BSA scuba merit badges.

Have you ever heard of the Hellbender salamander? They are the largest aquatic salamander in the United States and can grow between 12-29 inches long. These salamanders can be found in clear mountain streams from southern NY to northern Alabama and eat anything from crayfish, toads, and even water snakes! A subspecies of this large amphibian is the Ozark Hellbender which is unfortunately a near threatened species (mainly due to habitat loss and degradation) only found in certain parts of Missouri and Arkansas. For more information on these amazing creatures swing by the shop or do some research online. You wont be disappointed! 

Ocean Fact of the Day: The Pacific Ocean contains around 25,000 different islands. This is many more than are found in Earth’s other oceans. Probably great diving locations! If you can get there.

Stay tuned for more next week! Until then...Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver.




Going Strong!!!

(Dive Log #3)

Wow I couldn't believe the traffic through the store yesterday! It was bumping in here with customers. After a slow week last week it was a shock to see all sorts of people getting geared up from opening until nearly close. Let alone on a Monday! But that just means that locals are keeping up that diver spirit year around which is always great to see. It was nice to meet many more people yet again. I better get used to it!

Friday night was also an excellent turnout. The coffee/movie night went extremely well and the shop was full of local divers exchanging all kind of interesting stories. Plus Rich made us popcorn and showed the Jacque Cousteau film documenting their search for El Cazador in the Silver Shoals of the Caribbean Sea. What a great way to bring the week to an end. Be sure not to miss it this week. Even if its just for a few minutes or to grab a cup of coffee. Again it will be Friday night @6:30p.m. Take a look at the picture below.

On another note, did you know that you can see what gear our staff at STSC prefer while diving? Well you can. All you have to do is click their name or photo while on the staff page! This will give you a brief bio of whoever you are researching. In this bio one can find that persons' dive equipment, best dive sites, and even what specialties they teach/prefer. How cool, and this is just one of the many interesting tidbits on the STSC webpage. Check it out for yourself!

I was browsing the Dive Training Magazine and came across a unique new product. Have you seen the new snorkeling by Ocean Reef yet? Its called the "ARIA", which is a new style of mask never before seen on the market. Picture a full-face mask with a snorkel piece attached to the forehead (all one piece). This takes away the hassle and clips (that always break) involved in a traditional mask/snorkel set. Come by the store to grab a free copy of Dive Trainer Magazine and see for yourself! Also, the "Henderson shorty wetsuit" giveaway jar is filling up with names. So while you are here be sure to put your name in the jar. No diver wants to miss an opportunity for a free wetsuit!

Ocean Fact of the Day: The deepest point in the ocean is 36,198 feet (about 7 miles!) at the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific.

Don't forget...Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be A Diver.



Part 2!!!

(Dive Log #2)


Hello everybody! Its another great day here at STSC. I'm excited for my first coffee night where we will be watching a video on legendary Jaques Cousteau. Coffee nights will continue every Friday at 6:30p.m. at STSC, so if you can't make it tonight no worries! Anyway, I hope to see you here so I can introduce myself to some new faces! In the meantime Rich has me cleaning smudges off of the display masks, answering phone calls, and writing this very blog. The following paragraph is an interesting nugget on one of STSC's staff.

Did you know there is someone on our staff that was part of the excavation of the USS Monitor, an iron clad warship built during the Civil War and commissioned by the Union Navy in 1862! From 1995 to 2002 he was involved in the survey and recovery of the propeller, engine, and turret system (which is now on display at the National Marine Sanctuary Mariners' Museum) on the Monitor. This man has been diving for over 30 years and instructing scuba for over 25. He specializes in advanced technical specialties such as cave diving and technical deep diving. The recovery of the USS Monitor artifacts is only one of his many accomplishments. He has also contributed on several expeditions of the Andrea Doria (the ocean liner that collided with the Stockholm in 56') and the USS San Diego (largest warship lost by the US in WWI). Conrad Pfeifer is that man, and he deserves a big shout out. So when you see him be sure to send a congrats his way! If you want to contact or know more about Conrad click on our web site staff page at http://www.divestsc.com/conrad-pfeifer

On another note, I was able to be a part of welcoming two new students to the shop yesterday. They are two really nice guys who will be taking private lessons with us here at STSC. We were able to fit them for their start up gear such as masks, fins, and boots and they left seeming pretty excited to start the course. They are looking to get their certifications complete by early February when they are taking a vacation Belize! While there they will complete their open water dives. 

Well, that is all for today folks! Hope you enjoyed todays edition. Look out for my next entry early next week. In the meantime... Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be a Diver.

Thank you,

Austin Bunner


(Dive Log #1)

Austin Bunner

Hey its Austin here! Its a new year and with it comes my experience as Rich Best's intern at STSC. Just so you know a little bit about me. I am a Recreation Management student at LHU and this internship is my final step before graduation. I am grateful that I get to do something I love for my last semester, and also get credits for it. It doesn't get much better than that! This blog is intended to keep you up to date on the latest happenings at the scuba center, in the industry, and also on my experience here at STSC.

Though it is the off season there is still a lot going on. I helped Rich instruct a cool cat named Jeff yesterday at the YMCA. He needed his certification before going to Costa Rica with the family this week and we made it happen with time to spare! Speaking of the Y, There will be a free try scuba event (RSVP only by Jan. 11th!) at the East Lycoming YMCA on January 12th which we are hoping to get a good turn out for. Everybody knows free is the best flavor so there is no better time than now. Also the entire years worth of events has been posted on the schedule page of the website so be sure to keep an eye out. Rich and I will continue to update the website, social media pages, and e-mails.

On another note, the shop is looking excellent and I am glad to become a part of the culture here at STSC. I was very surprised while comparing online prices to the prices in his store. I encourage everybody to support the local shop instead of supporting big online corporations. Not only do you get a better deal, you also get a real world interaction out of it! On top of that you will get to meet me for those of you who haven't already, and I'm a pretty cool guy!

Rich has me reading everything scuba related he can get his hands on. His ideas are coming at me quicker than I can fully comprehend them, but its great to see those engines turning as well as gain his valuable insight on things. I will be determined to research everything SCUBA over the next few months here and am excited to learn many new things.

Anyway, I will keep you informed over the next few months so look out for my blogs and stay in touch! I hope you all keep that diver spirit and also that I didn't bore you to death. Talk to you soon! Remember, Be Adventurous. Be Amazed. Be a Diver.

Thank you,

-Austin Bunner