Aloha Sea Lancers!
By now I am sure you are aware the number of Covid cases is increasing on Oahu. Today, guidance from the base was put out that says gatherings of ten or more were allowed only for mission essential reasons. As much as we would like to get together with you and your families, we know it is everyone's best interest to postpone our Friday night dinner until these restrictions are lifted. We will reschedule it as soon as we can.
For now, the club will remain open during our normal business hours with all our regular services. In order to limit everyone's possible exposure, please consider leaving family members at home, come take care of your business and limit your time at the club. If we are forced to close, we will do our best to keep the air stations open so you can fill tanks. If this happens, we will send out another email and post it on social media.
Sea Lancers President
Aloha Sea Lancers!
I hope this finds you well and able to enjoy the great diving we have right now! The ocean has been really calm for shore diving the last month, which also brings good conditions for you boat owners to make some comfortable trips off shore. With the all the scuba shops not running trips, it is an ideal time to dive on sites that are normally jammed up with commercial boats. A few weeks ago we dove the Corsair and the YO-257/San Pedro wrecks and had the place to ourselves…and amazing visibility!
The club is growing and we now have over 70 members! Thanks to each of you for being part of our community and spreading the word so others can join us in exploring the seas and making new friends. And thanks to all those who keep the club running and make improvements to help us move forward.
We are happy to see everyone at the club, but please remember the equipment room is for club staff only, and not a place for children or just to hang out. There are a lot of moving parts where people can get hurt while your staff are trying to do maintenance/check gear in and out, etc. Please use the parking area and entrance at the far end of the building and the half door that separates the two rooms for gear check in/out. Tanks may be brought to the outside door of the equipment room, but all other check in/outs should be done at the half door.
Just a reminder that club services (air and gear use) are for the recreational use of club members only, and not for the financial gain of SeaLancers members. It is also not for use by anyone who is not certified. Once they get certified, they can join SeaLancers and sign their own gear out. Those who are doing these are putting SeaLancers in jeopardy in case of an accident that could shut the club down permanently.
In case you did not know, we offer hydro testing and VIP inspections for club members. Typically hydro inspections take 2-3 weeks while VIPs are done in just a few days. If you bring tanks in for hydro or VIP, we will provide you with tanks to use while yours are out for servicing. In addition, we have loaner gear, and all our prices are very competitive to the local shops.
Our First Friday Feast this month will be August 7th, and hosted by Michele Cooke. She is going to set up a potato bar with a huge array of toppings! Please join us at 1730, bring your families and a new member and enjoy meeting new friends…and sharing your recent diving tales!
President, SeaLancers Diving Club
Even though I know many of you already, there are still several I do not know so let me start by officially introducing myself. My name is Bart Jingst and I am your SeaLancers Diving Club President. Last summer, a new Board of Directors was elected and along with Ian Buchanan, Dan Rose, Vic Vitkauskas, and Jim Sowa, we are here to ensure Sea Lancers helps you stay active in diving by offering a safe, modern diving experience through our services and a large network of members. Even during these challenging times, we hope you are able to enjoy some great diving. While the local scuba shops have been restricted on chartering due to COVID, shore diving is great right now and a good opportunity to dive with new friends and experience fresh dive sites…and you don’t get seasick!
I would like to say thanks to all the workers who keep the club going every week from the cashiers (John, Heidi, Vic) to the equipment manager (Jim). I also want to thank everyone who has helped on our workdays with pouring concrete, resurfacing the parking lot, painting, etc. Lastly, a big thanks to all board members for providing support and leadership behind the scenes that help keep this club going. They have been so amazing that the improvements you see have been paid for nearly entirely by the Sea Lancers staff, saving the club money to help keep membership prices low. This includes parking lot maintenance, concrete, paint (donated by a member) and various other smaller projects.
You may or may not know that we raised our dues at the beginning of the year because JBPHH nearly doubled our fixed rate electric bill. There is also a possibility of another increase this fall, at which time we may need to raise dues again or adjust our rates for loaning equipment. We will look closely at our financial status and only make increases as necessary to keep the club going.
We are also looking for new members! Since we cannot compete with MWR, we are not able to advertise as their competitor, so we are looking for new ways to promote and grow our membership. Some new members have proposed getting shirts made with our logo and website. We are working out a simple design to keep the cost down and will soon post them on our website and ask for pre-orders. By far, the best way to grow the club is through word of mouth, so keep talking about the club and bring in new members - you get a free month for it.
As restrictions relax on what we can do, we will be scheduling regular club dives. Prior to the pandemic, we were setting up a dive charter out of Waianae, so that will probably be our first event when the restrictions end. If you have any ideas for club dives, or would like to organize one, please let me know so we can help set it up and make sure the word gets out.
Starting in July, each first Friday (not including holiday Fridays), we are going to have a potluck dinner at the club. On July 10, one of our new members, Erick, is going to be making fish and shrimp, so please bring a side dish or dessert, your families, and your latest diving stories! Each month we will have a different main course prepared by a volunteer(s) for us to enjoy. If you would like to volunteer, please let us know...or just come on by as we always have plenty of food!
Our club membership is on the rise and many members are coming in regularly, which is great! We are making new friends, sharing experiences and learning new dive sites, and often sharing some good food. With this growth, we are now asking members to park on the far side of the club and use that door (the side opposite the air-fill stations). This will eliminate the congestion in the equipment room and make the process of checking gear in/out safer and more efficient. In the near future, you will see signs outside and inside the building indicating entry only for club staff, tank check out/in. We have made a lot of progress in clearing out the big room for you to use and enjoy. As far as drinks go, anything in the fridges is free; we just ask that you bring something to stock it up from time to time. In addition, if you have a boat, feel free to rinse it at the dive club, then park it away from the buildings so we can leave those spaces open for vehicles. There is ample space out towards the main road where you can park your boat if you do not have other arrangements made.
I know this is a little long, but we have so many things happening now and more to go such as roof repairs, rearranging the equipment room, and moving a compressor…just to name a few. While we did install a Drop Box for payments, we are also strongly considering adding Venmo/PayPal as a way to pay club dues, eliminating the requirement of having to pay your dues in person or mail them. Please let me know if you would use these forms or suggest another payment method to make it easier for you. You will always be able to pay in person, use the drop box or mail it to us if you prefer! If you are interested in volunteering your expertise or have ideas to make your club better, please reach out by text or email...keep on diving!
President, SeaLancers Diving Club