Cypress Sea getting out of the dive business

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on December 13, 2009 at 07:35:03:

It is with mixed emotions that we announce the sale of the Cypress Sea. The boat
will return to being a crew boat, working the most ambitious construction
project in California history, the Bay Bridge, busily shuttling workers back and
forth. It seems a very short time ago we retrofitted it to transport divers, and
pulled into the Breakwater Marina ready to launch our dive charter business. We
were filled with heady dreams of helping develop Monterey into a dive
destination sought after and flocked to by divers worldwide. Today, Monterey
remains a world class dive destination, its stunning beauty wisely protected by
sanctuary status. Yet, despite the valiant efforts of dive operators throughout
the area, the diving stubbornly remains associated with weekend adventures for
mostly local divers, as only a lucky few enjoy the quiet solitude of week day
getaways. The irony is that we had our weekend charters for 2010 well organized
and planned out for the entire year. The reality is that operating a business
two days a week is not a recipe for a profitable endeavor, especially when the
business is also highly weather dependent, and the offer we received seemed
timely. As such, the charter on Sunday, Dec. 13 will be the final one. Our 22
year journey has been both rewarding and frustrating at the same time.

We have made some incredible and lasting friendships, witnessed several couples
meet and fall in love with their future spouses on board, and introduced
hundreds of divers to Monterey's legendary dive sites, while "discovering" and
naming many other "secret" spots. Our captains and crew members have been
excellent "front men" for our business, safely transporting divers to the sites,
keeping a watchful eye during the dives, while entertaining, feeding, and, when
necessary, caring for them between dives. None have done this with more
character and style than the one-man-show himself, Phil Sammet. From the early
bagel wars, to the bras hung from various antennas, to shenanigans they think I
never knew about – rest assured – Phil was behind them! The memory of Correy's
bright and mischievous smile also comes to mind and tears still involuntarily
well up. Our store staff have manned the phones, answering questions (What's the
weather going to be like this weekend?) and booking reservations. We are deeply
appreciative of our crew and staff's dedication to excellence, and we owe a debt
of gratitude to them for the favorable reputation we have earned. We are also
deeply grateful for our regular charterers: the dive stores and dive clubs who
faithfully and enthusiastically coordinated events and classes to bring their
divers aboard. Our mutual love of Monterey diving has created a bond that we
hope will carry beyond the dissolution of our charter business. Finally, we are
grateful for the dive community. None of this would have been possible without
divers! What a wonderful assortment of characters we have met over the years –
from those experiencing their very "firsts" – first boat dive, first night dive,
first cold water dive, first time seeing (fill in the blank) – to highly
experienced divers enjoying Monterey at her finest – to everything in between –
the stories you have generated will be treasured and elicit smiles for a long
time… It has been our privilege to have you aboard!

It has certainly been a year of transition, change, and sadness for us
personally. "To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose
under heaven." (Ecc. 3:1) As the Cypress Sea pulls up to the dock one final time
and that "season" closes, we look forward to being able to fully focus our
attention on our dive store, Any Water Sports in San Jose - now in our 26th year
in business - continuing to provide friendly and professional service and
instruction, offering competitive pricing on a well stocked inventory of dive
equipment to recreational and tech divers throughout the area, and providing
air, nitrox, and tri-mix fills to certified and qualified divers. We, too, will
become customers of the other excellent operators who provide boat diving in
Monterey, and we will continue to provide a wide variety of travel opportunities
throughout the world. We look forward to working with you as your dive store of
choice for many years to come.

Ginny and Frank Barry

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