So excited, I can’t sleep

I’m headed to Florida!

So after the whole “Hey Dad Sex Scandal” broke, I decided I wasn’t going to do any work on Going Down for a while. I didn’t want people to think the only reason for going public was to create publicity for the show, so I decided to just put it on hold for a while.
Then, with the end of summer fast aproaching, I started to feel a little depressed that I didn’t get any diving in this year. So, I was so excited to see that at least David was doing some exciting stuff with the Formula H2O racing. After blogging about it, we talked on the phone, and he says, “Why don’t you come down and film it?”  I thought about it and it sounded super exciting. A weekend in sunny Ft. Lauderdale, filming some cool scuba adventures. I was thinking, I can’t really put my life on hold forever, waiting for this to go to trial. I have to get on with life. So, I said, let me talk to Matt.

So, having decided I wasn’t going to let Oz hold me back, the only thing left was dealing with the financials of going. It’s pretty last minute. It’s already Tuesday, and the event starts Friday. Last minute tickets are super pricey, and I’m super cheap. err, Frugal. It’s what makes me a good producer. So I look at tickets. We could get down there for just under $400 each. But then there was still hotel, car, gear and diving. I was still on the fence.

Driving home, stuck in traffic, I remembered that Matt’s Mom had offered us reward tickets she had on Southwest. I wondered if she still had them and if they had weird restrictions like you had to book them 2 weeks in advance and only on a full moon. So I got home, told Matt about filming in Florida, and asked if his Mom still had the tickets, if he wanted to go. He said he had to work, but that I should go. So I called his Mom and she said to get online and find the flight I wanted and she’d get the ticket.

We then headed off to a big family dinner. It was Matt’s great Aunts birthday. About 20 people all got together for some BBQ. I was in a super good mood and was so happy when Matt’s grandpa, who’s just adorable told his sister that I was his favourite grandkid. He melts my heart!

Then it was off back home. I was looking at the host hotel everyone is staying at and they didn’t have prices listed on their website, which made me nervous. I got on travelocity, to see reviews and to get an idea of prices. Then, like he was reading my mind, David emailed and said to call the hotel direct and tell them I was with the racing group. Their price was $59 a night. Score! It’s right on the beach too.

So then all I had to worry about was diving. It’s not cheap in Texas. Since I was flying back Monday midday, I would be able to dive Saturday and Sunday. The scuba shop sponsoring the event, South Florida Diving was running two dive trips for $55 a day. Both days are only $110. That’s so cheap!

David then emails and says there’s going to be a bunch of underwater cameras, and they’re willing to share film, so all I have to worry about it filming topside. Then of course, editing. 

So, I’m stoked. I get to go to Ft. Lauderdale, which I’ve never been to before. I get to go diving. I get to see some cool Formula H20 Racing. I get to spend the weekend with David and his girl Dee. I get to do some filming for Going Down and I don’t have to worry about breaking my budget. Thanks Mom!

Life is good.


Saving the sharks

Shark Conservation

People who know me in real life know I’m a sucker for sharks. I don’t really like swimming with them, but I recognize their greatness and value their place in the ecosystem. I don’t approve of shark hunting or shark fin soup. I actually boycotted “Bizarre Foods” Andrew Zimmern from Travel Channel after he featured Shark Fin soup on his China episode. I almost cried one day when we were down at the coast and a friend opened his esky (cooler) and he had 5 baby sharks inside. I gave him a long lecture, at which point Matt said to him, I told you not to let her see them! and then I was not feeling bad for him when the Parks and Wildlife ranger came along and gave him tickets for having them.

I had always had a healthy respect for sharks, but it wasn’t till I went to Hatteras to film for Going Down that I truly learnt to love sharks. David Ulloa, the other half of Going Down is so passionate about sharks. He talks about them like they’re little puppies. He explained how they’re not really aggressive. They’re just like dogs. They’re curious. They come and check you out and then they’ll give clues before they bite you. Which they actually rarely do. Think of how much underwater footage you see of sharks. There’s a cameraman down there filming. He’s not getting bit. Neither are his safety divers.

Sharks get a bad wrap. If you walked into the middle of the African jungle and get eaten by a tiger, people don’t all band together and go hunt down the tiger. Yet, if someone is swimming in the middle of the ocean and gets bit by a shark, there’s a lynch mob just itching to go shark hunting. It’s crazy. Sharks keep the ecology of the ocean in balance. They’re a vital element in the ecosystem. They’re also beautiful to watch and should be admired for having been around for so long without really changing over the past few thousand years.

So now David has found a new way to help save the sharks. He’s combined his favourite things, Scuba, Sharks and Racing, and is now going to be “Team Shark Whisperer” in the Formula H2O racing series.

Basically, they take underwater scooters and race around artificial reefs. Sounds awesome! I’ll be keeping up with his adventures and posting updates on Going Down, so you can check it out there.

David will be racing to give attention and all winnings to educational organizations and conservation groups.   This year he will be working with Shark Savers and the JR Dunlap Marine Conservation Program at the University of Miami. Both are wonderful organizations that work to educate and inform the public about the importance of sharks in our aquatic ecosystem.   He will also be creating a website at in the next day or two.

Here’s wishing David best of luck with the race. I hope he can change a lot of people’s opinions about sharks and make them see them for the beautiful creatures that they are.


Texas Beaches

Most people don’t really think of the beach when they think of Texas, but this state actually has a huge coastline. It takes about 8 hours to drive all of it.

Texas Coastline. The closest beach to our house in San Antonio is about 2 1/2hrs south at Corpus Christi, and another half hour out to Port Aransas on Mustang Island. If we want to go to a really nice beach, we make the 6 hr drive down to South Padre Island, near Brownsville and the Mexican Border.

I was hoping that this year we’d get to lots of diving in the Gulf. There’s quite a few spots that are world known. The Texas Flower Gardens National Marine Sanctuary, the oil rigs, the Matagorda Island Liberty Ship Reef and Seven and One Half Fathom Reef are just a few of the places to go diving in the gulf. Whether you want to see coral, fish, hammerhead sharks or do some wreck diving, Texas has it all. It’s just starting to get warm over here. I’m a wimp about cold weather diving, so I was excited about the warm temperatures coming along. Now, however, I’m not sure we’ll get to do any diving in the gulf this year. The oil disaster is just growing by the day. Right now, it’s headed towards Florida, which is devastating for them. However, all we need is one eddy to spin off, or for the Hurricanes to start, and who knows where the oil will end up.

Matt and I went to Corpus Christi with the Jeep club this weekend. We thought about not going, but we thought we’d better enjoy the beach while we could. The water was beautiful and clear and almost body temperature. It was choppy, but it’s so shallow for so far out, it’s not too dangerous. It’s turtle season, so the turtle patrol was going up and down the beach. Matt actually saw one out in the water as it swam right by him.

So, now David Ulloa, my other dive buddy and Going Down partner and I are trying to work out how we can best help with the civilian volunteer clean up effort in the gulf. David moved to Florida last year, so right now, it’s headed towards him. He’s from Texas, so either way, it’s also going to have a personal impact on him. Matt and I are looking at how fast it’s moving, and are preparing to head to Florida if it hits there first. There’s some great civilian volunteer efforts going on. From hairdressers donating all their clippings which get made into booms, to people donating their boats which are taken out to scoop up the crud.

The biggest problem is how toxic the oil is. You can’t just go out there and get dirty. It’s extremely poisonous. You need hazmat suits, special equipment and all that jazz. It’s crazy how something that so many people are so dependent on can do so much damage.

So, right now, David and I are watching and waiting for the best opportunity for us to pitch in and help without getting in the way. I’m hoping that they can get a cap on the thing before it gets too much worse. People are already being affected. Fishermen, diving groups, people who live on the shores in Mississippi. We’re so used to getting our oysters, shrimp and fish from the Gulf, but now they’re not all safe to eat. Divers can’t go to certain areas anymore, incase they come into contact with the oil. Oil rig diving is huge here. I’m guessing that may get canceled for a while….

I guess all we can do for now is hope they get the leak stopped and that we can all pitch in and help with the cleanup. I know I’ll be there, trying to save some manatees!


New Website

One of the most important lessons I learnt in life came from a horse riding lesson.

Where you look, is where you’ll end up.

So, instead of looking behind me at the past, I’m looking forward to the future. It’s also important to keep looking up. If you look down, that’s where you’ll fall.

I’ll keep a section up here of the old stuff. There may be someone out there who’s interested in it… For the most part though, I’m going to turn this into my personal website and blog. Sometimes a girls just gotta have a place to vent. 😉

If you’re interested in what I’m working on this week then check out Going Down or ShrimpTank Productions.

Going Down is the Scuba Series that I’m working on. ShrimpTank is the production company behind it, which during the week does regular stuff, like SEO, Social Media Marketing and all the other stuff that goes into helping people get their 15 minutes of fame.

Check back in every now and again. I’ll be putting new stuff up all the time.