Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Florida Vacation

Headed south for the upcoming December Holliday storms. Well I was able to avoid the snow, but the cold temps made their way down to Florida.

Staying just out side the gates to Sea World, they are not on my to do list. The weeks plan is simple, Rest, visit, Rest, Visit... You get the idea?

We headed south very early Christmas morning. After driving for over 12 hours we arrived in Orlando around 1730 hrs. Checked in to our room and started making plans for the week. Sunday was our rest day after the long drive.

Sunday night was the first planned event. Blue Man Group show at Universal Studios. I thought the show was very entertaining but not enough music. There were several skits performed and lots of interaction with the audience. I was looking for more of a concert ty
pe show. More interaction with the musical instruments. But when they did play, it was a great presentation.

After the show we had our pictures taken with the Blue Men.

On our way out of the park we stopped at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and restaurant for some late night snacks. Well for me it was shrimp, sausage. with mashed potatoes.

Monday night The Pirates Christmas Dinner Adventure. A sit down meal with a Pirate show on the center stage. Each section had their pirate they cheered for throughout the show.

The meal consisted of a salad, plate of chicken, pork, potato wedges and rice. I thought it all tasted good except for the rice. Something else I did not like about the meal, I could not see what I was eating. There was not enough light on the counter. And trying to eat around a chicken leg/thigh is not easy in the dark. Our view was also blocked by one of the props that was between the ship and our seats.

Tuesday started out early with a trip to the Universal Studios. The morning was cold and that made for a chilly walk through the park. Some of the sites we saw, Shrek 4-d, Twister, Men in Black, Disaster, E.T. Adventure, Horror Make-Up show, Terminator 3-D,Fear Factor Live, BeetleJuice's Graveyard Review and Jaws.

While at the park we were also selected by one of the park members to participate in the Macy's Holiday Parade as a balloon handler. At first we dressed up in the red suites to work on the Holiday Stars, but was then moved over to the Snow Flake Balloon. Now we had to change into the blue suites. There was four of us on this round balloon.

Wensday is R.R. day.

Thursday will be a cold morning and busy day. This is my day to shoot some underwater pictures. Starting out in the morning early with a 1.5 hour drive to Crystal River for our snorkeling trip with the Manatees with American Pro Dive Center. At this time in the morning the water will be warmer than the air. Water temps 72 degrees all year round. After the snorkeling we will drive off, warm up and head to the Blue Grotto for a Dive. Then after that dive, we will head to the devils Den for the second dive. I feel cold just thinking about it. But that will be my day of diving in the springs.

Friday night is New Years at Universal Studios, a special event.

Saturday is checkout. Then if the temps are nice to the beach.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Buy Art Give Art

Today was "First Fridays" in down town Charlottesville, Virginia. The night was cool with cloudy skies, but the

folks of Charlottesville were out looking. But not only was it First Night, it was the kick off of Buy Art Give Art. (Video) I was at Skylight Studios tonight and met with lots of friendly local shoppers. I wonder how many shoppers tonight actually bought a piece of art.

What I found to be the greatest thing about Charlottesville is the people of this small college community. It is nothing like the other towns I have lived in. The Charlottesville community is what I consider "Alive". There is always something going on.

Having said that, I did my part today as a community member. I did "Buy Art Give Art" tonight!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

North Carolina Wreck Diving at it's Finest

Diver Down SCUBA Diving Charters
Captain Bob Cox
(252) 240-2043

On July 16th 2010 Lake Monticello Dive Team members and friends headed down to the shore of North Carolina to meet with the boat Cpt of Diver Down, Bob Cox. This was the begining of an adventure no one will ever forget.

After feeding the fish during our ride out to the wreck, our leader Greg Z. geared up for the dive.

What made this dive diferent from all his other dives in the past, was the fact that Sea Sickness does exist for some. (Greg, Ernie, Will B. John)

I believe he described his own entry into the ocean as "flopping into the water."

After reaching the deck of the ship he joined me for part of my
dive. "Into the ship?" he said, My reply "sure!" It was dark and gloomy and with out lights all we had was the nautural light that was entering the ship from all the cut out holes.

So what kind of fish like to hang out in dark cool places waiting for some thing shinny to excite them? Well Mr. Baracuda just happened
to be behind door number one. Well needles to say, I headed out the same way I came in.

So we decided to explore this hole from topside. Like a good leader, Greg led the way until he hit bottom. Not much to see down there but, up was looking good.

Dive number on day one ended well, all divers make it back to onboard with no dive injuries.

Day 2 started bright and early. All divers met back at the dive boat ready to hit the rough seas. Well that was all that where willing to put their bodies through some abuse. The seas where really stirring this morning, but there was nothing stopping the brave from the adventure. After all, diving is an adventure.

After and one and a half hours one of the dive masters inform us we have traveled 5 mile out. The wreck was another 10 miles out. The seas where so bad, it was taking forever to gain ground. So the question was asked. Do we want to call the dive off or continue on? Well another three hour ride did not sound like much fun, but we did not want to miss another dive. An option was then thrown in. What about heading to the site we dove at yesterday? Much closer! So it was decided that we would dive the same wreck. Good choice.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kate Miller-Heidke Corner Lounge Private Performance

Last night I attended a show hosted at the Sound Studios in Charlottesville Va. The event was put on by 106.1 The Corner and recorded live for the Corner Lounge. FREE Beer was provided by Starr Hill.

I will say this was another great private event put on by our own local radio station 106.1 The corner and their one and only Program Director Brad Savage. Another great group of Corner VIP folks from around town and some out of states folks that wanted to get in on this one time event with Kate Miller-Heidke.

The performance was outstanding with a great little interview conducted between Brad and Kate. All this topped off with a CD signing.

Great job Brad!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

2010 CoCo View Roatan Honduras SCUBA Diving

2010 dive trip was great. While Virginia was recovering from the big snow storm, I sat back and relaxed in the sun. Well that is not exactly true.

The days were full of diving. Four dives a day with some nice hot meals in between.

We did get hit with a nice storm one night that played havoc on the Island Internet service not to mention the electric. But the resort has always ensured that the electric was up and running by using their backup generators.

I did take a quick photography course with Tim. The how to, and how not to with my new camera. Canon G11. Macro is great topside, I do not recommend it underwater unless you are using a good flash. All my macro shots where blurry due to the shutter speed really slowing down in the macro mode.

The highlight of the trip was the shark Dive. And I only took 600 plus pictures in the 47 min dive. Yes continuous mode. That was Worth the money. Now if I can just sell my pictures and get some of that money back.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Roatan Honduras

The trip is completed and I am still going through over 3,000 pictures. I may find a few good ones.

The highlight of the week was participating in a shark dive.

Video coming soon.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

CoCo View Resort Roatan, Honduras

I am heading back to Roatan in 7 days. This is a yearly event that I have had the honor of participating in for the past few years.

CoCo View Resort is located on an island off the island of Roatan. The atmosphere is so relaxing affter a day of diving you never want it to end.

A typical day for a SCUBA diver at CoCo View. Well lets just say, my day. I am up very early in the morning. Slap on some shorts, shirt and footwear and head to the dining area with my laptop. I am usually there before the cooking staff arrive. I get on the internet and check the weather and my email. By then someone arrives and starts up the coffee maker. Nothing like having the first cup of brew in the morning. Slowly more guest will trickle in an suck down that first pot.

Once breakfast has been devoured it is time to get your self dressed for the day’s first dive. I am now using a 5mm compared to my first 100 dives in a 3mm. I do like the 3mm better. It was less restrictive.

Each group is assigned a boat, driver, and dive master for the weeks stay. So there is no confusion of where do I go today.

Once everyone is on the boat and ready to depart, the dive master will give you the briefing of where we will be diving for the morning trip. Each boat departure consists of two dives. First is a deep dive at one of the many dive spots and the second is a drop off dive out in front of the resort.

Upon completion of the morning dives it is time to cleanup, dry off in get ready for lunch. After lunch it is back to the boats and out for two more dives. How long is each dive, well that is up to you. The boat leaves when everyone is safely back on board. It is NOT one of those dives where they say "we will be down for 45 min and back on the boat" Your air, your partner’s air and mind decide when it is time to end the dive. No one tells you lets go, dive over. You enjoy the dive stress free.

Then there is the dinner meal. And to this point I have not mentioned how good the meals are. Do not come here with the intention of loosing weight. The food assortment is so GOOD. Well let’s just say, you want to try it all.

After the big meal it is relaxing time. That is if you are not planning to do a night dive. Yes a night dive. FUN, FUN, FUN... These are group dives or just a dive with your partner and are done at your leisure. You decide when to go out, you decide when to come back.

These are controlled by a tracking system using a signup sheet, diver tags and a marking strobe. When the fist diver goes out the strobe is placed on a down line. All divers out will place their tags on the down line. When they return from the dive, the divers pick up the tags and return them to the shack. Last diver in brings the strobe light.

Now it is cleanup, dry off and relax time. Or in some cases "Bed Time". The dining area also has a bar, pool table and assortment of games you can play. Up stairs you will find a big screen TV and a library of books to keep you entertained.

So we are looking at four dives a day, or five if you have the stamina. Every day there are venders on the Island to show you what they have to offer. You do not have time to hit the main land if you are up to four dives a day. So the venders bring their crafts to you.

During the week if you do want to hit the mainland of Roatan, there are sever day trips planned. Shopping, Iguana Farm, dolphin dive and other attractions.

Overall it is a nice, friendly resort to dive at. Great food! Great staff! Great support personnel!

Not to mention you can see a lot of sea life.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Under Water Pictures for Sale

Want to buy an Under Water picture for your hallway or a nice set for your office? Finally my site is up for selling pictures. This was no fun task, and it was costly.

The site can be accessed by going to and selecting the proper link. I hope the info is correct, this should be fun.

If you have any questions about special orders, give me a call.



Tomanek Collection

Accepting donations towards a New Camera.

Every $ HELPS!