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Bottom times

By club president, Mike Cunningham

Welcome to February, Channel Islands Divers. Have you got enough rain yet?

I am so done with this rainy season. I get it, we need the rain, but not all at once! So, I was sitting around this last Sunday when I happened upon our Facebook page. Seems a whole bunch of Channel Islands Divers flew across the country to Florida just to get sidelined and had to wait around for a storm to pass, or something like that. I didn’t check later but I’m guessing things got a bit better for them at least.

Here in California, not so much. We still have a week left of forecast rain. I’ll wait until March, might be drier.

And now for something completely different.

Somehow after all these years of meetings, for the first time I know of, we were just told that 3 tickets for dinner went unpaid at last month’s general meeting over at Black Bear Diner. My guess, shared by others, is that the staff was just overwhelmed, got too busy, found themselves in an overcrowded, last-minute rush and just didn’t get the tickets out to all the people in a timely manner. Maybe the rush to get out caught them by surprise at the counter and someone walked out, with every intention of making good at a future date, I’m sure.

We took care of our guest speaker but got told that someone had already paid for ours. Teresa tried again later and got told the same thing. That might be one of the 3, maybe. I can see someone paying for ours by mistake and then they don’t get their own only to have it surface after we all leave. I think new staff got flooded with paper and something got lost somehow. They informed us through unofficial channels, a board member eating there on a non-club night. They had no other information than 3 tickets, no amount, no they had this or that and then followed it all up with it’s no big deal, don’t worry about it. Well, if it happened, it is a big deal and we do worry about it so I’m including it in the Bottom Times.

We always said the club will honor all the orders. It’s not official policy and we don’t publicly state it out loud, but we told them from the start that we will honor what goes unpaid.

On the bright side, at the January general meeting, if you were there, you heard it and heard it loud. I brought the club’s old speaker system in. At the last meeting in 2023, Black Bear Diner had a new sound system. They also had a new manager, but I don’t know of any connection. From the start, we would use our wireless microphones and run it through their system. It worked, most of the time. This new system we found waiting for us that night was horrible. It had sound effects and other enhancements that just did not work for us, and we could not turn them off. It was decided we would go without a mic that night and try to speak loudly. Mostly a failure it turns out. Most could not hear. I was 10 feet from the speaker and could not hear him most of the time. So, I dusted off the old stuff and made sure all the pieces we needed were there and working then packaged it all up and brought it with me to the next meeting. A bit more work but was desperately needed and we have the stuff on hand, so use it. I have a few more speakers that are just sitting around, small but powerful and now all I need to do is find cables for them, test them out, and if all goes as I think it will, they’ll be able to hear us in the back of the restaurant. It’s easy to turn them down, not so the other way.

So, this February 21, 2024, the third Wednesday of the month join us at

BLACK BEAR DINER, 2401 East Harbor Boulevard, Ventura.

Start arriving at 6 or before for some lite socializing and dinner (we have the room then) with the meeting starting officially at 6:30pm.

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