Jody and I have decided to sponsor a family through the Salvation Army this year. We started shopping from the family wish list today!
We have been asked by some of our amazing divers if we are going to do a charity event in lieu of our annual Christmas charity dinner, so we thought we would extend an invitation to you to join us; either through sponsoring your own youth/family, or shop from our list as well. Our family is a single mom with 4 kids, and their needs and wants are listed below. They know they cannot expect everything on their list, but sponsors do what they can.
I have listed their needs on the left, and their wants/wishes on the right. I will try to keep this as up to date as possible:
13 year-old boy
8 year-old girl
6 year-old girl
2 year-old boy
I had already enjoyed Paul’s first children’s book, “Harry Hawksbill helps his friends”, and now I have the opportunity to read Paul’s second book, “Gracie Green Turtle finds her beach” with my little granddaughter.
Paul’s colourful underwater photography illustrates the story for the reader, and while you read about poor Gracie’s plight looking for a beach so she can lay her eggs, you learn a little bit about sea turtles and the challenges they are facing as they share this planet with us humans.
It is a wonderful and playful way for a little one to learn about ocean conservation and the impact we humans have on marine life and the health of the marine eco system. My granddaughter was mesmerized by the photos of the sea turtles, and peppered me with question after question about them!
Thank you for another sweet tale to share with the kids, Paul; the more we learn, the more we love, the more we can help, because:
“People protect what they love…”
You can find Paul’s children’s books here (along with some of his scuba-thriller novels):
Paul’s local paper recently interviewed him about his diving, underwater photography, and books:
by Jill Smith
Author: Taylor Abreu
Many people don't understand just how big the Bahamas is. When comparing it to countries like Canada and the United States on the map, is does indeed appear to be quite small...however, Bahamas is made up of 700 islands & islets (small islands), and approximately 2000 cays spread over 100,000 square feet of ocean.
The country experienced a huge and unimaginable devastation when Hurricane Dorian hit. Lives were lost, hundreds of people are still missing, homes were destroyed and two of their largest islands were flooded. As a Category 5 Hurricane, Dorian was the strongest on record to ever hit the Bahamas.
Dorian wiped out everything and left the island's residents with nothing. Some families were separated, and some families still are. They wake up every day to the realization that this still isn’t a bad dream. They’re thankful every day for all that is being done to help, but we as surrounding communities need to understand the importance of continuing to travel to Bahamas right now.
As mentioned above, several people don’t realize the true size of the Bahamas, or just how many islands make up the whole country. Two of the 700 islands were majorly affected by Hurricane Dorian in September... TWO! Nassau, for example, remains a beautiful destination to enjoy a week-long vacation by the pool, by the beach, or even underwater - diving! There is no better way to support the country in this crucial time of need, than to go there. If everyone puts their travels to the Bahamas on pause, their economy will continue to sink.
The reason I’m writing this is because it saddens me every time someone mentions avoiding Bahamas in their upcoming travels. “Why would you go there?” “Is it even safe yet?” “But everything is destroyed!” The Bahamas is one of the most incredibly beautiful Caribbean countries I’ve ever had the fortune of visiting… and it still is exactly that. The water is this beautiful, crystal-clear turquoise blue. The sand is soft and warm from the sun. The sunsets and sunrises vary from deep reds and oranges, to bright pinks and purples. The underwater world is full of life, from sharks to schools of squid. It’s an absolutely breathtaking country, and it needs your help.
What better way to support a country, than to book a vacation down south?
An Oceans Cries
I am one of few on Earth,
Who travels beneath the waves.
It's my duty to voice to you,
Our oceans wishes to be saved.
No more turtles with straws in their noses,
No more sharks losing their fins,
No whales washed up with trash in their stomachs,
Change must finally begin.
Our impact is so powerful,
Even our choice to ignore,
All that's clear and obvious,
That's happening shore to shore.
Countries are stepping in,
To eliminate plastic pollution.
What are you doing to make a change?
What is your ultimate solution?
The movement has begun,
People are opening their eyes,
To all that goes on beneath the surface,
We hear the ocean’s cries.
The ocean must be protected,
It takes up 70% of this Earth.
It provides us with the oxygen we need,
It's kept us living since our birth.
We must all act together,
We must all act as one.
There are different changes for everyone to make,
Only then will we have finally won.
This Earth Day let’s make it about our favorite 70 percent- the ocean. As scuba divers, we are the fortunate few that get to experience its beauty. Beneath the waves we are exposed to a whole other world, one most of us share a common love for... It's beautiful, but it needs to be protected. The colourful coral cannot defend itself from damaging chemicals. The sharks cannot defend themselves from their human predators. Whales cannot defend themselves from the plastic they are mistakenly consuming. The ocean cannot protect itself from us. We are too technically advanced- too comfortable with our current practices. The inconvenience that comes with wanting to eliminate the ocean’s threats scares people. To many, it seems unachievable and unrealistic... But when you find worth in something, anything is achievable. Our love for this magical place covering a vast majority of our Earth can go as far as we wish.
The day I arrived back from my first scuba diving excursion, was the day my family agreed to stop using plastic bags. After discovering that sea turtles often mistaken these bags for their favorite treat, jellyfish, I was devastated. That was the start to my journey of protecting the ocean, and all it took was exposure and understanding. The exposure created a bond... The ocean became my safe place, and I wanted to return the favor.
My generation of divers will see it. Over time, we'll notice the differences. We'll remember the ocean how it was, and live through what it will become. We'll remember the creatures we've seen, that will no longer be with us. We'll remember the colors of the coral, that will bleach overtime. We'll remember taking a giant stride through the blue waves, that will fill with beds of floating plastic. We will remember it, we will see it, and we will live through it- if it doesn't change.
Every article I've read and every petition I've signed, will make a difference. Every plastic bag I've refused and every straw I've avoided, will make a difference. Every photo or video I've posted of the beauties of our deep blue sea, will make a difference. My voice and yours, will make a difference. No single person can doing everything there is to protect the ocean, but all together, each of us can do what we can until the ocean’s threats are eliminated.
I personally believe, that one of the simplest actions you can take as a scuba diver to protect our ocean is sharing your voice and ideas. The ocean’s biggest threat is the belief that someone else will save it. Spreading your voice, opinions, and ideas is the best way to spread awareness and suggestions to those that are not yet on board with the movement of protecting our water.
- EARTH DAY ANNOUCEMENT -
Finally... Adventure Sports is happy to announce that this summer we will be putting together an Eco-Dive Club! Our hope is to create a group of divers with a strong passion to save the ocean, who will have opportunities to arrange different fundraisers and events, geared towards supporting Project Aware's efforts to protect underwater environments and species. Monthly meetings will consist of brainstorming creative ideas and putting together interactive activities for other divers to participate in. Our job will be to engage as many people as possible in the steps towards a healthy, happy ocean... The sky is the limit!
As we continue to expand, with a new location in the near future, we wish to also expand our impact. We are a dive shop that values all that's living within all waterways. We pledge to protect our ocean by doing what we can moving forward, starting with this. We need your creativity, your ideas, your passion and most importantly your love for the water. If "Ocean Activist" screams your name, this club will offer you the chance to expand just how much you can do! Contact the shop for more information on getting onboard.