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GUE.tv Video Contest Deadline Extended to 2021

Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) along with contest sponsors Halcyon, Fourth Element, Paralenz, Shearwater, Santi, and Divers Alert Network (DAN) are looking for videographers to show off their skills while sharing their passion for the underwater world.

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WANT TO WIN CASH AND SOME COOL DIVE MERCHANDISE? GUE.TV JUST MADE AN UNDERWATER VIDEOGRAPHER’S DREAM COME TRUE.

In celebration of the magnificent underwater world, Global Underwater Explorers’ GUE.tv along with contest sponsors are pleased to announce the deadline for the GUE.tv Video Contest has been extended into 2021. The contest was originally slated to end this September, but due to COVID-19 and stay at home orders around the globe, GUE has extended the contest until September 30, 2021. 

“By adding an extra year to the timeline for the contest we hope divers will have time to get back in the water and to create some really inspiring videos,” said GUE President Jarrod Jablonski. “The contest offers some pretty impressive cash and prizes, so we are looking for people to really wow us with imagery but most importantly storyline and passion.”

Video submissions should connect the viewer to the majesty of the underwater world and focus on a particular aspect of the subject’s location, such as its unique ecology, ecosystem vulnerability, or marine life inhabitants. Alternatively, the video could provide a personal account of the impact this environment has made on the creator. The style of the video can be at the discretion of the creator, but it must be a minimum of three minutes long and a maximum of ten minutes. 

Thanks to the sponsors of the contest, entrants will be entered to win:

1ST PLACE 

  • $2,000 USD
  • GUE Platinum membership
  • GUE.tv one-year subscription + GUE/GUE.tv logo wear
  • Halcyon primary light (winner’s choice)
  • Santi custom drysuit (winner’s choice)
  • Shearwater Teric diving computer
  • Fourth Element premium wetsuit (winner’s choice)
  • Fourth Element Expedition Seres luggage (3 bags: 60L, 90L, 120L)
  • Paralenz underwater camera and accessories
  • DAN Europe $500 USD voucher (products or services)

Total Value ~ $10,000 USD

2ND PLACE

  • $1,000 USD
  • GUE Gold membership
  • GUE.tv one-year subscription + GUE/GUE.tv  logo wear
  • Halcyon custom BC system (winner’s choice)
  • Santi heated vest
  • Shearwater Perdix diving computer
  • Fourth Element Halo AR undersuit
  • Paralenz underwater camera
  • DAN Europe $200 USD voucher (products or services)

Total Value ~ $5,000 USD

3RD PLACE

  • $500 USD
  • GUE Silver Membership
  • GUE.tv one-year subscription + GUE/GUE.tv logo wear
  • Halcyon single tank BC system (winner’s choice)
  • Santi undergarment (winner’s choice)
  • Fourth Element X Core vest
  • DAN Europe $100 voucher (products or services)

Total Value ~ $3,000 USD

The contest opened on February 5, 2020 and will continue through September 30, 2021. To submit a video, please use the entry form here. Submissions received before or after these dates will not be considered.

The contest is open to all applicants 18 years of age or older at the time of contest entry. Younger creators are welcome to transfer rights to a legal adult who can submit on their behalf, but the prize will be awarded to the name of the legal entrant. Please review all of the rules and regulations of the contest here before submitting a video. 

May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Finding Zen During A Pandemic: Open a New Dive Center

Who would be crazy enough to open a dive center in the midst of a global pandemic? A triumvirate of trimix-breathing GUE divers, that’s who. What is the sound of one fin back kicking?

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By Amanda White

Photos by zen dive co. [correctly spelled with no capitalization]

January, 2020—Zen dive co., a Pasadena, California dive center, just opened in the midst of the global pandemic. Who are these crazy people? Kian Farin, Alex Caillat, and Francesco Cameli co-opened the shop after the concept had been in the works for several years. Each of them brings a different perspective as each is part of a different generation.

Kian, in his twenties, has been working in the dive industry for five years and has been an instructor for several agencies. He is a GUE Instructor Candidate. Alex, in his thirties, is a scientific diver and has worked on Ghost fishing projects and clean ups.  Francesco, in his forties, is the self declared grumpy one and brings the tekkie side of things to the team as a GUE instructor and rebreather diver. 

What possessed this trimix savvy trio to open a dive center in the midst of a viral tsunami that has claimed over two million lives and has impacted nearly every industry on the planet and most certainly diving?

zen dive co. opened on January 15th, 2021. From left to right: Kian Farin,  Jamie Mitchell, Alex Caillat, and Francesco Cameli.

“Initially, we realized there was a bit of a slowdown with COVID but,” Farin said, “at least here in Southern California, scuba diving is one of the sports people can still practice somewhat freely, though there have been restrictions of course. Boats have smaller loads and people can’t gather in big groups, but it’s one of beautiful things. Once you’re underwater, that’s it. And it’s helping with people’s stress.” 

The team of three said the pandemic has given them the time they needed to sit down and create a plan for their business, build the shop, and then also have the opportunity to fix any bumps that come up along the way without being too busy with the day-to-day operations. 

So why did they choose the name Zen?

“In the craziness that’s going on at the moment in the world,” Cameli mused, “there is one place where I can picture myself where I am truly calm, at peace, and relaxed. It’s in the water. So it seems fitting.” 



See a Need, Fill a Need

The three divers have set out to fulfill a need they see in the California area for an innovative dive shop that inspires and supports the community. A self proclaimed “club house” for divers, equipped with its own espresso machine.

The fancy espresso machine for the divers’ clubhouse.
Zen’s rental BCDs are not like the others.

This team of hilarious and dedicated divers are trying to break all the preconceptions of dive shops and the industry. A major one is the color of their rental gear, which—GASP—has stepped outside of the black and grey scale. Their rental wings feature bright blue and orange. But also of interest, they rent only backplates and wings.

“We put a lot of thought into the experience that the diver will have at Zen,” Farin explained. “And additionally, everything in this building within these walls has had a lot of thought put into it as far as its modularity and its multiple uses. Just like our backplate systems that are very mission specific, you can put a different wing for a different dive and a different plate for a different dive, we can rearrange our entire space to accommodate anything from a West Coast GUE conference to a yoga class, to a diving course.”

Zen stocks items such as backplates, wings and longer hoses for recreational divers—no jacket BCDS here— as they believe its the best option for divers.
The unique set up in Zen makes it easy to see the gear, try things out and hang with the staff.

So Is Zen Really That Different? 

All of their introductory courses, whether it’s through PADI, NAUI, or GUE, are taught with a backplate and wing and are taught with nitrox (They only breathe air at the surface.). The courses, regardless of the agency, are taught to the shop’s standards. But what is the most interesting is their approach to instructors. Anyone is welcome to teach there, but they must meet the shop’s standards, not only for teaching and watermanship skills, but also in being stewards for the environment. Like GUE, all of their instructors will go through requalifications to teach at Zen.

Zen’s classroom can be rearranged to accommodate instruction, meetings, or even yoga.

“It’s not just what material is the agency teaching, it’s does the instructor fit what we are trying to do with diving here,” Caillat said. “It’s not just, is this person teaching proper trim, but it’s are they also being stewards of the environment? Are they teaching good ethics? So anybody can teach with us, as long as they meet our quality standards.”

The shop has also brought in distance learning to accommodate for COVID-19. Their classroom has state of the art technology that allows students to video conference with their instructor and a virtual black board. 

Along with their approach to teaching. Zen has started a different process for gas fills that makes the life of a diver so much easier. They bank standard GUE gases, but also can blend you any mixture you would like on the spot. The coolest part, you’re paying by the cubic foot.

“It was something I drew inspiration from Extreme Exposure in Florida,” said Cameli, the gas blender. “Basically where you just back your car up, and we come and fill your tanks. You can even text me what you want. Don’t get out of your car, just pop your boot and I’ll make sure you get what you need. I can even make it on the spot, so I can just connect a hose and just fill you up and sell you the gas per cubic foot rather than, by the tank. It’s like filling up your car at the gas station.”

Zen’s gas blending station. They can do any mix you wish and have the standard GUE gases.

According to Cameli, designing and building Zen’s gas blending station was one of the most consuming tasks that the guys undertook to get the center up and running, that and, of course, selecting a suitably high-end espresso machine to fuel Zen’s coffee bar. Did I mention that Cameli is Italian? Ah, the diving dolce vita.

Other challenges?

According to the team, the hardest part of opening during a pandemic has been keeping everyone healthy and safe. The second hardest part has been dealing with shipping, both incoming and outgoing.

Zen is also a partner with “Malibu Scuba Repair (MSR)” owned by Karim Hamza. Zen is now open by appointment only. You can find Zen here, and make an appointment: zendive.co. Soon you will also be able to shop their online store.

Take a Walk Through Their Shop

Additional Resources: 

Follow Zen on Social: Facebook, Instagram


Amanda White is the managing editor for InDepth. Her main passion in life is protecting the environment. Whether that means working to minimize her own footprint or working on a broader scale to protect wildlife, the oceans, and other bodies of water. She is a GUE Recreational Level 1 Diver.  Amanda was a volunteer for Project Baseline for over a year as the communications lead during Baseline Explorer missions. Now she is the Marketing Director for GUE. Amanda holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, with an emphasis in Strategic Communications from the University of Nevada, Reno with a minor in creative writing.

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