We’re Open For Business

As you all know, we are taking our first steps back towards normality by reopening the shop on Tuesday 16th June.
We are looking forward to seeing you all but are taking the safety of our customers and staff very seriously.

We are super excited to be finally re opening for all equipment sales, cylinder and regulator servicing, kit hire, battery changes, trip bookings and drysuit repairs.

Here are some of the things we have implemented in line with the Government’s guidelines to keep us and all of our customers safe:

🐠 Only 2 people will be allowed in the shop at any one time.
Please wait outside or in your car if there is already 2 people in the shop.

🐠 Please limit those that visit the shop to only those who actually need to come in.

🐠As per government advice, please wear a face mask in our small shop.
If you do not have a mask you will be requested to remain outside.

🐠 We have put 2 metre distancing measures in place around the shop and at the desk. Please be ‘distance aware’.

🐠Hand sanitiser is available for your convenience.
Please sanitise your hands on arrival.

🐠Signage in and around the shop to remind you of the social distance recommendations.

🐠 We would prefer contactless card payments where possible.

🐠 When we are filling cylinders we will be wearing latex gloves.

🐠 If you’re waiting for air fills you will be asked to wait outside or in your car until your cylinders are ready for you.

🐠 We will ensure all surfaces are cleaned, disinfected, and washed down as required.

🐠 A mask sanitising station is provided for mask try- on.

🐠 Latex gloves will be provided for trying on any dive gloves.

🐠 Our toilet and kitchen area is now for staff use ONLY!

PLEASE NOTE!

As much as we love seeing you all, following the Government advice we are sadly not able to offer our usual refreshments and much loved chats at the moment. 😔
Please don’t think we are being funny, we are just trying to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Pool and Open Water training-
We have not yet heard anything from the Leisure Centre about a return date as of yet.

There has been various talks about open water quarries reopening. We will get a plan of action together as regards to training as and when we feel it is safe to do so.
Those that had got courses booked before lockdown will be contacted first.
So please bare with us our hands are tied from all angles at the moment.

Don’t forget though!!!
You can continue your scuba diving adventure though the online PADI training system!
Give us a call for more information and advice of what’s on offer.

For any enquiries please feel free to give us a call on 01952 257590
Or email us at scubateks@hotmail.co.uk

Please like and share this post to your fellow divers!

#ScubaTeks #OneLifeDiveIt #Covid19 #Telford #Shrewsbury #WeAreOpening

Curious Facts About Crinoids

Peta King

Recently we’ve shared a few videos of Crinoids floating freely through the ocean. They’re mesmerising to watch, and the videos we shared had you asking some questions about these curious creatures, so here are some interesting facts about Crinoids.

They’re not starfish

They are however, related to both starfish and echinoids. Like starfish, Crinoids usually have 5 fold symmetry.

They’re not plants

Despite their resemblance to flowers, are not plants. They are echinoderms – animals characterised by their rough, spiny surface and 5 fold symmetry.

You’re more likely to find a crinoid fossil than you are living crinoid

Crinoids today are relatively rare however they were once plentiful and diverse.

Crinoids fossil
Crinoids are old… really really old

Crinoids have been around since the Ordovician period – 490 million years ago! Palaeontologists however, think they could be even older than that.

Feather Stars versus Sea Lilies

There are around 700 living species of crinoids known to us. Generally, they’re found in two forms. Those that have a ‘stem’ and those that lose their stem as they mature. Crinoids that have a ‘stem,’ are often referred to as Sea Lillies because of their resemblance to the flower. Often their stem can anchor them to the ocean floor. Those without a stalk – Feather Stars, float freely through the ocean

They eat with their hands

Well, kind of. A Crinoid’s feather-like arms are covered with a sticky mucus which traps food that happens to float past. Then, the tiny tube feet that cover the arms, pass the food particles to the centre of the arm where it is transported to their mouth.

Crinoids
They know no bounds

Crinoids are commonly found in water deeper than 200 metres, but sometimes the variety without stalks will be seen in much shallower water.

Want to see these guys in real life? Your best chance is to start diving today and you may just get lucky enough to spot one.

Spider Crab Pyramid

No stranger to capturing unique and wonderful scuba diving experiences in Melbourne, Australia, PADI scuba diver PT Hirschfield has recently come across a pyramid consisting of hundreds of spider crabs.

In 2014, PT witnessed thousands of spider crabs migrating in Port Philip Bay and this recent encounter again highlights the interesting behaviour of these marine critters.

There are numerous theories about the spider crab migration, however the most common thought is that the crabs converge in this particular area to moult their exoskeleton and mate.

How To Celebrate Your Diving Milestones

scuba diving in hawaii with padi

For starters, to be able to celebrate your 50th, 100th or another hallmark dive, divers need to log every dip, even if that just means checking the log on your dive computer, if your dive computer is capable of keeping count.

Doing something special not only helps you remember the hallmark dives, but also builds excitement moving forward.

Here’s how to celebrate:

Try a new skill, like a night dive or deep dive.

“A lot of times, when divers hit milestones, it opens them up to try that something more—that next thing, be it a deep dive, wreck dive, etc.” — Stephen Bennett, GM and course director of The Scuba Shop, 5-Star IDC in Mesa, Arizona

Dive a new location.

I didn’t want my 200th dive to be in Shaw’s Cove, which we dive all the time. So some buddies and I went to Catalina Island and did a 100-foot dive — and high-fived at depth.”— Charles Han, Divemaster and IDC candidate at Beach Cities Scuba Toys dive center in Cypress, CA

Document it.

Find someone with an UW camera or invest in one to take photos, maybe even a selfie, so you don’t forget the event.

underwater photography

Make a souvenir.

“Put a rock or something natural on the ocean floor with your name on it and the number of dives.” — Tarre Beach, PADI® diver since 1995

Celebrate at dinner, like it’s a birthday.

“On our recent group trip to the Philippines, we had a young lady complete her 100thdive. We were staying at the Atlantis Resort, which presented her with a cup that included her name and the fact that she’d completed 100 dives. Later that night, we celebrated it at dinner, and posted it on our store’s Facebook page. What’s fun about recognizing our divers’ milestones on trips is that as soon as one person reaches a hallmark dive, others in the group start sharing the fact that they are about to reach (blank) dives. Guess it’s kind of contagious.” — Scott Taylor, PADI Course Director and co-owner of A-1 Scuba & Travel Aquatics Center in Littleton, CO

Tell someone.

Any life event or achievement is best savored when shared with someone else, whether they are a certified diver or not. In fact, if you really want to impress someone, tell a non-diver.

Make a new buddy — literally.

Invite a friend to start working on their dive cert so that they can join you for your next hallmark dive. A Discover Scuba Diving experience can be budget friendly and is a great way to get a friend hooked on the sport.

make a dive buddy padi

Get started on your next certification.

“My 500th dive was the first dive of my Tec40 certification. It wasn’t planned that way, but turned out to be great.”— Jed Grundy, MSDT, manager of Beach Cities Scuba Toys in Cypress, CA

Jump back in the water.

“I celebrated 50, 100, 1000, and 2,000 all the same. Just went diving!”— Travis Rudder, diver since 2007

Are you getting close to your 100th dive? Be sure to join to the elite group of divers by getting your Master Scuba Diver rating.

10 Facts About Seagrass You Probably Didn’t Know

Emma Daffurn

1. There are around 50 different species spread all over the globe

Seagrasses evolved roughly 100 million years ago from grass on land, which is why vast marine meadows can be reminiscent of our terrestrial grasslands. Often confused with seaweed (which is a relatively simple algae), seagrasses are organized into four distinct plant families PosidoniaceaeZosteraceaeHydrocharitaceae, and Cymodoceaceae.

2. They LOVE the sunshine

Seagrasses are found all over the world, in every continent except Antarctica. However, they require lots and lots of sunlight to photosynthesise, so the depths at which they occur in the ocean are limited by light availability.

If you currently find yourself near to a bay, lagoon or estuary, we’re willing to bet you’re near some seagrass too.

3. They’re ‘ecosystem engineers’, literally creating the foundations of life

Not only do seagrass meadows pump out a staggering amount of oxygen each day (~100,000 litres per hectare!), they also bring stability to the ocean floor with their extensive root systems.

This means that seagrasses literally alter the ecosystem around them for the better, creating a welcoming habitat for marine creatures great and small. 

4. They can absorb carbon up to 35x faster than Amazonian rainforest

Yes, you read that right, 35x more effective! Seagrass meadows account for more than 10% of the ocean’s global carbon storage, whilst only covering around 0.1% of the ocean floor.

That adds up to roughly 27.4 million tons of CO2 annually.

Compare this with the 37.1 billion tonnes of CO2 produced by humanity in 2018 alone, and it soon becomes crystal clear that we need faster and stronger action to address accelerating climate change, like, yesterday.

Seagrass is just one promising method of doing so, and one that is undoubtedly close to divers’ hearts.

5. A single acre alone can support over a million species 

Why so close to divers’ hearts? Because of the awe-inspiring, quirky and beautiful marine creatures these habitats represent.

Let’s play a quick game: which of the species below does not rely on seagrass?

Thorny Seahorse

And the answer is…… you guessed it – none of them!

Every single one of these species – and more – rely on the habitats created by seagrass in one way or another.

The sad truth is that when the future of seagrass is uncertain, the future of these beloved marine creatures also comes under threat.

6. You can thank them for that 30m/98ft visibility

As seawater gets trapped in vast seagrasses, sediment and particles suspended in the water column become trapped too. This means cleaner, filtered oceans – the natural way.

When the seabed lacks seagrass, sediments are more frequently stirred up by winds which decreases visibility, and there is nothing to stop land-based industrial discharge or storm water runoff from washing right onto delicate coral reef systems.

7. They provide crucial refuge for numerous species of juvenile reef fish

Seagrass meadows are often referred to as nursery habitats, as their dense gardens trap and slow the flow of seawater, creating shelter for juvenile fish.

Juvenile Cuttlefish

Without seagrasses or mangroves to hide out in, these little ones become extremely vulnerable to predators in the open ocean or on the reef.

As with all life on earth, the ability to safely raise the next generation is critical to species survival. When this comes into question, so does the future of all life in the ocean.

8. They’re the true underdog when it comes to coastal community resilience

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the benefits of seagrass are limited to the ocean alone, but you’d be wrong!

The stabilizing effect of seagrass actually reduces flooding from storm surges and hurricanes by dissipating wave energy.

In a time of unpredictable, extreme weather events, this means safer, dryer and more resilient communities. The very same communities where you or your family live, work or spend vacation.

The good news? For every $1 invested in coastal restoration projects and restoration jobs, $15 in net economic benefit is created.

9. They’re under serious threat – disappearing at a rate of two football fields an hour!

Seagrass meadows are disappearing at an alarming rate, and we’ve already lost an estimated 29% globally in the last century. Why?

Natural Threats

  • Heavy storms, floods and droughts that make water conditions unfavourable (unfortunately, now being exacerbated by human-induced climate change)
  • Disruption by feeding predators as they search for food, including sea turtles and manatees

Human Threats

  • Removal by resorts who believe their guests prefer a white sandy seabed than a green meadow
  • Irresponsible boating practices including poorly thrown anchors and sailing in too shallow water
  • Agricultural and industrial run-off overwhelming the seagrass’s filtration abilities
  • Destructive fishing practices such as dredging (scraping the seabed, catching everything, then dumping by-catch overboard)
  • Blocking out of light in busy harbours and docks

With three species of seagrass on the endangered list, and a further 14% facing an elevated risk of extinction, now is the time to act.

10. We are the solution

As much as we have unknowingly collaborated across the planet to destroy seagrass habitats, we have the power to work together in protecting them.

As a global network of torchbearers, together we can save the ocean. There is still hope and there is still time.

Volunteers planting seagrass with The Ocean Foundation

Contact

ScubaTeks Ltd

Unit 40
Ketley Business Park
Waterloo Road
Telford
TF1 5JD

EMAIL: scubateks@hotmail.co.uk
TEL: 01952 257590

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Office Hours:

Tues – Fri (10am – 5.30pm)
Saturday (10am – 3.30pm)
Monday & Sunday (Gone Diving)

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