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Diving with… Seminole Scuba, Florida, USA

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In this ongoing series, we speak with the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer


What is your name?

Paul Shepherd

What is the name of your business?

Seminole Scuba

What is your role within the business?

Owner

How long has the business operated for?

16 Years

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

27 Years, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

What is your favorite type of diving?

Coral Reefs

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

Florida has an amazing Spring network which offers us lots of crystal clear fresh water diving. With the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other we are perfectly positioned to offer an experience to both as well.

We also offer a lot of International trips that are all guided by our team of experts and that allows us to travel safely to some of the most remote locations in the World. We have recently dived Raja Ampat, Komodo, Africa and Fiji. Soon we are off too Micronesia, Africa, Antarctica, Galapagos, Philippines, French Polynesia and South Africa for the Sardine Run.

What is your favorite dive location and why?

Indonesia, for the diversity.

What types of diving are available in your location?

Florida Springs offer clear water for recreational diving and caves for the more adventurous.

Then the Gulf of Mexico is popular with spearfishermen.

The Atlantic Ocean has fantastic reefs and wrecks all up the coast.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

Introducing new divers to the other 70% of our planet and introducing people to new experiences in various parts of the world.

What is your favorite underwater creature?

Nudibranchs

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

The new trip schedule:

  • Truk Lagoon October 2017 (5 Spots available)
  • Africa November 2017 (Sold Out)
  • Antarctica January 2018 (2 Spots available)
  • Africa November 2018 (Sold Out)
  • Philippines Malapascua and the Visayas January 20th – 30th 2019 (14 Spots available)
  • Arctic May 2019 (6 spots available)
  • Galapagos July 2019 (Sold Out)
  • Africa October 2019 (14 spots available)
  • Galapagos March 2020 (14 Spots available)
  • French Polynesia September 2020 (22 Spots available)
  • Raja Ampat January 2021 (14 Spots available)
  • Sardine Run June 2021 (8 Spots available)
  • Maldives October 2021 (22 Spots available)

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

Keeping people interested in diving. There are lots of options out there for people and keeping them diving is becoming more and more difficult.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

We work a little with Project Aware and then on our big trips we try to work with a charity/conservation company in country to make a donation or try and help in other ways. For the Africa trip we are working with the David Sheldrake Wildlife Trust.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

It’s improving! The industry was always run by hobbyists who generally had no clue about business. That is slowly changing. The fiscal crisis helped remove some of them but there are some still remaining. Just because someone has been diving for a long time does not mean they know anything about business… I think newer companies like Huish are beginning to work that out where as some of the older companies need to bring in fresh blood.

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

We offer a great escape from Disney to those travelling to the Orlando area as well as some world class diving.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

www.seminolescuba.com or email Dive@seminolescuba.com
Tel: 407-333-8856
If in the Orlando area come by the fully stocked shop: 3869 Lake Emma Road, Lake Mary, FL, 32746.

News

Book Release: Diving the Thistlegorm – The Ultimate Guide to a World War II Shipwreck

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Diving the Thistlegorm is a unique in-depth look at one of the world’s best-loved shipwrecks. In this highly visual guide, cutting edge photographic methods enable views of the wreck and its fascinating cargo which were previously impossible.

This book is the culmination of decades of experience, archaeological and photographic expertise, many hours underwater, months of computer processing time, and days spent researching and verifying the history of the ship and its cargo. For the first time, Diving the Thistlegorm brings the rich and complex contents of the wreck together, identifying individual items and illustrating where they can be found. As the expert team behind the underwater photography, reconstructions and explanations take you through the wreck in incredible detail, you will discover not only what has been learned but also what mysteries are still to be solved.

Find out more about:

  • One of the world’s greatest dives.
  • Incredible ‘photogrammetry’ shows the wreck and cargo in a whole new light.
  • Meticulous detail presented in a readable style by experts in their respective fields.

About the authors:

Simon Brown is an underwater photographer and photogrammetry/3D expert who has documented underwater subjects for a wide range of clients including Historic England, Wessex Archaeology and television companies such as National Geographic Channel and Discovery Canada. Jon Henderson is Reader in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh where he is the Director of the Underwater Archaeology Research Centre. With specific research interests in submerged prehistoric settlements and developing underwater survey techniques, he has directed underwater projects in the UK, Poland, Greece, Italy, Egypt, Jamaica and Malaysia. Alex Mustard is a former marine biologist and award-winning underwater photographer. In 2018 he was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for “Services to underwater photography”. Mike Postons pioneered the use of digital 3D modelling to visualise shipwrecks, as well as the processes of reconstructing original ships from historic plans. He has worked with a number of organisations including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Historic England and the Nautical Archaeological Society.


About the book:

  • Release date 25 November 2020
  • Limited run of Hardbacks
  • RRP £35
  • ISBN 978-1-909455-37-5
  • 240 photo-packed pages
  • 240 x 160 mm

Available to pre-order now from Divedup.com, Amazon, online, and from retailers.

Check back on Scubaverse.com for a review of the book coming soon!

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News

Deptherapy’s Dr Richard Cullen becomes a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

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Dr Richard Cullen, Chairman of Scuba Diving Rehabilitation Charity Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education, has been recognised as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society is a prestigious Fellowship that is open to those who demonstrate a sufficient involvement in geography or an allied subject through publications, research or professional experience.

Paul Rose, Deptherapy’s Vice Chair, and a world renowned explorer, author, broadcaster, who is a former Vice Chair of the RGS said: 

“This is a huge achievement by Richard. His Fellowship is richly deserved, and a direct result of his steadfast commitment to preserving our oceans through Deptherapy’s very powerful ‘Protecting Our Oceans’ Programme.  I know the top team at the RGS are looking forward to welcoming Richard into the Society.”

The RGS was founded in 1830 to advance geographical research, education, fieldwork and expeditions, as well as by advocating on behalf of the discipline and promoting geography to public audiences.

Paul Toomer, President of RAID, said:

“I have been close friends with Richard for many years and his passion for our seas, even at 70 years of age, is undiminished.  Deptherapy are the world leaders in adaptive scuba diving teaching and are our much valued partners.  Taking UK Armed Forces Veterans who have suffered life changing mental and/or physical challenges and engaging them in major marine biology expeditions, is to most of us beyond the realms of possibility.  The skills these guys have to develop is just awesome.  This is a great honour for Richard, a great honour for Deptherapy, and also for us as their partners.  The diving world must come together to celebrate and acknowledge Richard’s achievement.”

Richard joins some distinguished Fellows of the RGS.  Former Fellows include Ernest Shackleton and many other notable explorers and geographers.

Richard said:

“I am both honoured and humbled to become a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. When I was invited to apply for a Fellowship, I was, which is very unusual for me, lost for words.  I hope it will allow me to take our message of Protecting Our Oceans to a larger audience and to further develop our programmes.  The Fellowship is a recognition of the charity’s work to raise awareness of the plight of our oceans.  The credit belongs to a group of individuals who have overcome massive challenges to let alone qualify as divers but now to progress to marine biology expedition diving”.

For more information about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education visit www.deptherapy.co.uk.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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