Hereford Sub Aqua Club goes underwater quackers for their 40th
Hereford Sub-Aqua Club in the UK has just completed an underwater cycle ride and duck race as part of the Hereford River Festival.
The club was looking for something different to do for its 40th anniversary year and this is what they came up with. Here’s what Chairman Mike Bailey had to say about the celebrations…
“The race took place on Saturday 3rd May. Three riders took part – Mike Bailey,Linda Evans and Russ Pryce. Each had a support diver and they were John Taylor, Tony Cook and Steph Kerridge. The idea was to ride bikes along the river bed, which is not much of a spectator sport in itself, but with the addition of large inflatable ducks attached to each bike, it made more of a spectacle and enabled us to have a duck race using pedal power.
“The club used standard scuba gear, but carried extra weight to compensate for the water’s natural buoyancy and for the fact that they were pushing down on the bike pedals. As far as the club knows they are the only ones to have ridden down any river in the UK, probably in Europe and maybe the whole world! The bikes are standard bikes, which were donated by Mastercraft Cycles of Hereford, although we weighted them down a bit, to ensure they sink easily. The bikes were auctioned off for charity after the race and combined they raised £140.
“The visibility was very poor (at times we could see about 6”) and it was difficult to tell which way was up, down, left, right, forward or back. Because the visibility was bad, balance also becomes an issue and we were all unseated at times, sometimes more off the bike than on it, especially as we had to deal with moving water too! The river can be a hazardous place, as there are many obstacles to overcome, including non-moving items such as shopping trolleys, tree roots, concrete blocks and the uneven river bed, but also because floating objects get washed downstream and there is always an issue with surface traffic – canoes, kayaks etc, plus much more.
“The winning pair of riders / divers was myself, Mike Bailey (rider), and John Taylor (support). The support divers help with balance and direction and were there just in case there was a problem. As winners we received a cheque for £50, which was donated by Linda Prenter (one of the club’s members) but this was then donated again to a charity called Village Water – they provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene for projects in Zambia. The winners also got a small trophy of a diver with a duck attached.
“We may have another go next year, but might change a few things based on the experience gained this time.
“Hereford Sub-Aqua Club is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The club has been diving to many places, including Pembroke, Scapa Flow, the Orkneys, Shetland Islands, Gibraltar, Spain, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Maldives and the Red Sea, but many other places too. We have about 35 members, men and women, young and old, from all walks of life.”
To find out more about Hereford Sub Aqua Club, visit their website: www.herefordsubaqua.org.uk.
Marine Life & Conservation
Reefs Go Live returns for new season
CCMI brings the ocean directly to classrooms around the world through live-stream lessons from underwater
In 2018, the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) launched Reefs Go Live, their innovative, flagship education programme that live-streams directly from underwater on the coral reefs in Little Cayman to students in classrooms around the world in real time. For the 2022 season, the four episodes of Reefs Go Live reached more than 107,000 viewers in 22 countries. CCMI’s Reefs Go Live team hopes to expand their reach with four new episodes and supplemental teaching resources to help integrate the material into classroom lessons.
Science Communications & Development Manager for CCMI, Beth Chafin, is excited to be part of another year of Reefs Go Live:
“Knowing we have an audience that spans the world, our team is energised as we plan and implement our Reefs Go Live season for 2023! We feel that creating a connection to the ocean and sharing the beautiful coral reefs of Little Cayman with others, both locally and abroad, is one of the most important ways to increase support for critical, timely issues such as marine protection and sustainability. At CCMI, we are fortunate to have these stunning reefs at our doorstep; not everyone is so lucky to be this connected to coral reefs, but healthy coral reefs are vitally important to everyone on earth. Bringing the ocean into classrooms and homes through Reefs Go Live allows us to share the work we do at the Little Cayman Research Centre, facilitate real-time interactions between viewers around the world and our experts in the field, and inspire the diverse audience to take positive action for the future of coral reefs.”
The first episode of 2023 will take place on Friday, 31st March at 10 am Cayman time (UTC -5h). The episode, ‘Finding Hope on our Reefs’, will feature what CCMI’s long-term monitoring of Little Cayman’s reefs shows us. The data from the annual surveys reveals important trends in reef health over time that reflect global threats and the benefits of strong local protection. Reefs Go Live hosts will explain why this annual monitoring is important and what the results tell us about the future of our coral reefs that we all depend upon. Viewers of each episode will be able to ask questions of the diver and participate in polls through the online platform to make Reefs Go Live an interactive experience.
Additional episodes for this year will run at 10 am (UTC -5h) on the following dates:
Thursday, 11th May: Adaptation on Coral Reefs
Wednesday, 24th May: Reef Resiliency & Restoration
Thursday, 8th June: World Ocean Day – 25 Years of Coral Reef Research
Registration for Reefs Go Live is free and is only required once to receive access to all episodes: https://donate.reefresearch.org/rgl2023.
Reefs Go Live provides an opportunity for students from all over the world to engage with the stunning ocean environment in its most natural format. As coral reefs around the world face unprecedented pressure, generating increased engagement with these precious ecosystems creates an opportunity to promote marine sustainability in a positive and fun way.
Reefs Go Live utilises streaming technology with underwater video and audio equipment to enable real time broadcasting from Little Cayman’s stunning coral reefs. Little Cayman, a Mission Blue Hope Spot, hosts one of the healthiest reef ecosystems in the Caribbean, which overall remains healthy and shows resiliency to climate change impacts. The broadcasts and education materials draw connections from CCMI’s current research conducted in Little Cayman to the national science curriculum and key ocean literacy principles, making CCMI’s work relevant and accessible to students and viewers of all ages, and emphasizing the relationship that we all have to coral reefs, no matter where we are.
Reefs Go Live is a free education programme that is made possible by the generosity of The Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation. To register for the broadcasts and teaching resources, please visit: https://reefresearch.org/what-we-do/education/reefs-go-live/
Palaemon Divers shortlisted for top Business Award
North West-based Dive Centre, Palaemon Divers, has been shortlisted for Leisure and Tourism Start Up of the Year with Start Up Awards 2023.
Palaemon Divers is delighted to be named a finalist in the Awards which celebrate Start Up Businesses and what they have brought to the economy within three years of their launch.
Palaemon Divers was started by Leanne Clowes in the midst of COVID lockdowns. Leanne walked out of her well paid corporate sales job with no savings after a redundancy in a previous role and spending the majority of the year before COVID to follow the dream! After the redundancy and COVID, life struck just a little differently and the pull to become a full-time dive instructor became impossible to ignore!
So with that… notice was handed in, no savings, nothing physical to start being a full time dive instructor other than personal kit at the time – oh and the fact, Leanne was actually an Assistant Instructor at the time and hadn’t attended the instruction exam at that point as there had been none going on through COVID obviously!
However, the first Instructor Exam that was happening out of COVID was booked onto – no pressure at all with no full time job, no money as a back up, mortgage and bills to pay…
Leanne started freelancing as an instructor in the North West using various outdoor locations for training, and the business snowballed and quickly gained its first physical dive centre in January 2022 along with finding their own private in-water training facility at Princes Dock in Liverpool. Since then, 100s of new people from Liverpool and further afield have been introduced to the amazing sport of scuba, and experienced the abundant life under the surface of the dock itself.
In a time of no travel to outside your area or abroad, Palaemon Divers found something new and exciting to introduce the city of Liverpool to those who spend five days a week in the office looking down at the dock and not really being able to appreciate what the dock actually means to Liverpool!
It became apparent during 2022, that although Liverpool was fantastic, more growth was on the cards which came in the form of a second location, Palaemon Divers – Warrington. The second dive centre is an ex micro brewery in Warrington with a central location close to the M6, M62 and M56, spread over two floors which includes a classroom, workshop, compressor and a floor dedicated to retail.
The efforts in building this business have not gone unnoticed with the shortlist for Startup Awards, and also another shortlist which will be announced in the next month.
For more, email or visit:
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