Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mele Kaliki-Shaka!

Well, Christmas has come and gone for 2006 and I must say, it was a lot of fun getting ready for it and then spending time with my great friends here on Maui. As usual, it's a very busy time of year for us with all of the increased tourism. And also, as usual, I had a list of about a zillion things to do and I barely got anything checked off that list. One of those things was to update my BLOG!

I had some phenomonal dives over the last month or so. Since the water has been cooling down a bit, I've been putting the wetsuit heaters (HOTSUITS)to good use. I even let a couple of friends try them on our Christmas Eve dive. They really liked them and said they stayed much warmer than usual. I think I even sold a unit!

I had the chance to make a couple of really cool Torpedo Scooter dives too. One was out to Marty's Reef, the hard to find underwater oasis located about a half mile out from Five Caves. We had some low vis and rough water near shore that day but I had a couple of pretty salty guys with me and they had no problem keeping up with me. The trip out to the reef was fast and on target. We made it there in record time which gave us plenty of time to explore the magical beauty of Marty's. When I called it an oasis, I meant it! There are literally thousands and thousands of fish there. Many unusual types too. We went around and around and observed some interesting fish behavior and then, all of the sudden, there it was....a 6' Manta Ray! Not so common on shore dives around here so it was a big treat for all of us. I Torpedoed out to it and got to cruise along side for about three minutes as it flittered through the water. It definitely was interested in checking me out too. The Beatiful creature stayed with me and practically flipped onto it's back to give me a good look at it's black spotted belly. It swam like this for quite a while before turning over and then zipping off into the wild blue yonder. I was fortunate to have my camera and I got some of the best Manta footage I have ever taken

I had a second Manta experience just yesterday too! We were heading out for what was expected to be just an average dive at Ulua Beach. I had six divers with me, 5 of which were on the second dive of their lives. Our plan was to complete dive two of their certification class. The water was OK, not especially clear. I noticed some plankton on the way out and thought, hey, mantas eat plankton, maybe we'll see one. Well, sure enough, only 8 minutes into it, we were turning the corner headed for deeper water and there they were. Not one, but two 7' wide mantas in full eating mode! They were swooping by us with their mouths wide open, gathering up plankton. They would turn on a dime and come back by us again and again! What a treat! I looked back at my group and they were doing it all.....smiling through their regulators, eyes wide open, flashing the shaka, double shaka, extreme shaka, the super shaka and even the soon to be patented, extreme-super-shaka!!!!! It was amazing and something they will never forget. Thank You Christmas mantas! You really made my holiday complete!!

I hope everyone continues to enjoy the season. It was a great 2006, I've made over three hundred dives this year with a few more to go before it's over. I'll try to keep you posted...

Aloha and Haouli maka hiki hou!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The E-Zine is Coming!

Here's a pre-view of what's coming soon from SHAKA DIVERS!

This first issue e-Zine will feature:

What to Get Your Favorite Diver for Christmas. Do you need some ideas? Look here!

A talk about the seasonal arrival of our beloved Humpback Whales. They sound so amazing when you hear them underwater!

An announcement about our new Heated Wetsuits!! Do you know that we are the first to introduce them here on our Shaka Divers Shore Diving Tours??

And finally, information on our cool contest on "New Handsignals" involving the Shaka Sign! Got any ideas? Want to win some official Shaka Gear?

Oh yeah, and don't forget to read "Shaka Doug's Monthly U/W Photo Tips! You'll get better shots if you follow his simple advice!

Remember: Dive Shaka and You'll Always Have a Shaka Dive!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Heated Wetsuits are in!!!!

Excellent! I finally got my first order of items purchased at the DEMA show. I will now be offering for the first time on Maui, Heated Wetsuits! That's right! Now you won't worry about the cold winter waters here in Hawaii. You will be able to dive comfortably for up to an hour or more with your own personal wetsuit heater made by an Australian company called "Hotsuits".

I am the first dive operator on Maui to provide these to my guests. Come try them and see how great they work. I can predict they will come in real handy on that second and third dive of the day. I can't wait to start using them myself!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

It's "Busy Season" once again on Maui!

We're in the homestretch for 2006! Thanksgiving is behind us and it's full steam ahead through Whale Season. I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving Day. I shared food, fun and thanks with a large group of my closest and best friends. It was a great day, we deep fried a few turkeys and had a fabulous dinner overlooking the ocean at sunset.

Most of us here on Maui are far away from our real families and it's nice to know that I have a very wonderful extended family close to me. We spent the next two days together making some bubbles and playing with my Torpedo Scooters. I shot some great photos and have decided to start a weekly feature here on my blog called the Photo of the Week. Each week I'll look through my shots from my dives and pick my favorite. Some weeks that will be very hard to do. I see so many amazing things underwater and I shoot between two to three hundred shots a week or more. I'll see how it goes. Let me know how you like them!

The water has been calm this week and I can't remember the last time I saw it so smooth for so long. It's really a treat when the ocean is like this. I like to get in as many dives as I can when it's glassy and clear. It makes up for the rough days that we get here every now and then.

I've also noticed a slight drop in water temp. I think it's due to the increased cloudy days we've had over the last few weeks. The sun just hasn't been hitting the water like usual. I feel the change but it's still about 78! Not too hard to deal with! Visibility has been nice as well with an average of about 50-60 feet at Makena Landing and Five Caves. Now bring on some whales!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Aloha from the DEMA Show, Orlando Florida

Aloha from the 30th Annual DEMA Show in Orlando, Florida. I've just finished my fourth visit to this show and I must say, it was the best ever. I've gone to the show in 1990, 1997, 2005 and now 2006. Each time it was held in Orlando except last year, which was in Las Vegas. I liked the location better last year but I think I liked the show better this year. I attended several sales and marketing seminars this time which is where I got the inspriation to start a blog. I hope that those of you who read this blog find it useful and somewhat entertaining.

The DEMA Show not only introduced me to some creative new ways of looking at my business. It also opened my eyes up to some great new products, some of which I will be making available to my diving guests over the next few months. Some products I have ordered will take some time to arrive, but by early 2007 everything should be in place and SHAKA DIVERS will step ahead of the pack and truly become a unique and remarkable diving company on Maui.

Watch for new announcements over the next few weeks to see what's on the horizon for me, my SCUBABUS, and SHAKA DIVERS.

You can check out the DEMA Show at

In the meantime, happy diving and Aloha!