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Oceanblue Divers - A New Kind Of Dive Club

By Erin Boyajian

OceanblueSitting down with Michael Feld, founder of Oceanblue divers in New York City, is an adventure in enthusiasm.  Passionate about diving and the environment, Michael has a mission.

 
“We need to save the oceans, a diver at a time”, he says. Promoting awareness within the dive community about ecological concerns is only part of it. Oceanblue also seeks to address the needs of divers as a lifestyle. Their monthly happy hours provide a comprehensive social venue where divers can connect. They are also treated to presentations by renowned speakers who keep them abreast of what’s going on in diving and beyond, around the globe. 
 
Michael’s passion is contagious. The club started in 2006, through meetup.com. The response was immediate, and from there, Michael started organizing trips. The first one was to Stuart’s Cove in December of the same year. When I asked him how the trip was, Michael replied, “Intense! So much fun. We took over the Daiquiri Shack, across from the Wyndham Hotel. Fresh daiquiris, six bucks. Legendary.”
 
It’s definitely about more than daiquiris, though.  Michael’s premier concern is dive safety. His certification classes emphasize that- both in the pool, and on trips. He also builds diver knowledge according to new information and reminds divers that even on land, they have choices. “ While out dining, you can pull out a seafood card, and check to see if what you’re ordering is an ecologically sound choice”, he explains. “You could also get your date to change their meal. Doing small things like this really add up.”   
 
After that first Stuart Cove trip, others were born. In the next year, Oceanblue had trips to Bonaire, Sulawesi, Cozumel, and others. Michael organizes the trips so that they meet the needs of different schedules and availabilities. “Dive and Dash” is a popular short trip of about four days. “Dive Your Face Off” is a trip that provides unlimited diving, and “Final Frontiers” offers exotic, far away locales.
 
I met up with an Oceanblue group this past August in Bali. They were returning from a liveaboard trip on the Archipelago, around Komodo.   What impressed me were the topside activities that the group engaged in. Next to Balinese dancing and bike tours through northern villages, they maximized their topside time well. I also enjoyed hearing stories from what sounded like a fantastic week of diving. 
Everyone on that trip was psyched. Remembering it fondly, Michael tells me, “that’s what it’s all about.”
 
For more info on Oceanblue, check out their website: www.oceanbluedivers.net
 
You can also reach Michael Feld at michael@oceanbluedivers.net