Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Catalina weekend

This last weekend our Product Specialist, Blair Mott, was fortunate enough to travel to Catalina Island for the Ultimate Diver Challenge Catalina Reunion. As some of you know the weather was not in his favor for a weekend of diving and it was in question if he could even make it to the island. Erik Phariss, who is an instructor for the National Academy of Police Diving, invited him along and they were lucky to make the first out of the only two Catalina Express runs to the island on Friday. Once they arrived they were greeted by Ron Moore of Dive Catalina Ron asked them who they were with and then he immediately offered to help. He was a tremendous help with getting the gear to their house for the weekend. Blair knew they might not be diving because of the weather, but that did not stop him from bringing 2 drysuits, 2 wetsuits, full scuba set up and 3 sets of Force Fins. With the a recent landslide occurring near the ferry dock they had to lug all of their gear into town.
The site of the Dive Catalina truck loaded up brings a smile to Blair's face.

It seems that not only was he a safety diver and camera operator during the UDC, but a good friend of Blair Mott's old mentor Don Santee. Once they settled in Erik and Blair started to explore the town and if you have been there, you know it is a special place with signs that you are not on the mainland everywhere. Blair captured this photo of one of the local transports.

They met up with Jim Pearson of Cinema Rentals who was the logistical coordinator for the Reunion and in charge of all the filming that took place during the 2009 competition as well as the topside filming that would take place during the weekend.

Erik Phariss recounts his experience during the Ultimate Diver Challenge 2009.

They did not get to dive on Saturday as originally scheduled, but they did see some clear sky from time to time.

It was a great weekend where Blair learned a lot about the Ultimate Diver Challenge and met the very passionate people who compete and support the competition on a yearly basis. Pam Bertrand, the Executive Producer of the Ultimate Diver Challenge, has a lot of great enthusiasm and energy that is contiguous and truly a breath of fresh air towards promoting SCUBA diving in 2010. Blair was fortunate enough to meet the contestants, safety divers, judges and production crew for the 2009 Ultimate Diver Challenge and he is excited about the the UDC 2010 , but Blair's highlight of the weekend had to been spending time with Erik and swapping his Tactical and Special Response Diving missions with his own expeditions. Erik Phariss has an amazing story and a lot of experience with Force Fins. Before he left to Miami to teach another course he shared his thoughts on Force Fins.
Thank you Erik for your support over the years and to all the people involved with the UDC. Thank you for letting Blair be a part of your special weekend. He has told me about the passion and excitement surrounding the competition and that is fantastic! I am excited to learn more.

All of us at Force Fin applaud you on what you have accomplished and what is to come!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Funk Zone

Decades ago, the Funk Zone was started @ 28 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara California with Bob's studio and Elaine Hyde Glass blowing studio.
In the above photo Susanne and her son Alex Gagnon checking out Bob's push rod fin in his design studio circa 1987.