Learning to Sea Podcast

 

Miss Scuba USA


LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE

 

I was recently interviewed by Ashley Hasna, who started the Podcast –> Learning to Sea. We chatted about how I got involved in the marine biology field, and how that lead me to becoming Miss Scuba USA 2013. I also throw out some fun facts about the Miss Scuba International Pageant that happened behind the scenes – pretty funny stuff! Here’s a little more about the podcast itself:

Whether living on, near, or far from the water, this is a place to comprehensively learn, love, and share your enthusiasm about the ocean.  We’re covering the ocean from fact to folklore.

Find latest ocean news, interesting crafts, book reviews, and more on the blog. Also hear from ocean experts and enthusiasts on the Learning to Sea podcast. Connection is key, so come down to sea level and enjoy the tide.

Ashley had heard my previous appearance on the Scuba Obsessed Podcast, and reached out to me to see if I would like to be interviewed on her podcast as well. I said OF COURSE! I love meeting and connecting with people from all over the world – luckily podcasts are a great way to do that 🙂 You can listen to the podcast by clicking this link or downloading it on iTunes as well. Be sure to follow all of Learning to Sea’s social media outlets 😀

Follow Learning to Sea:

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100 Days Project (Take 2)


Chanel #5 – 100 Days Project


 

This is my second (and hopefully successful) attempt at the 100 Days Project described below:

The 100 Days Project is simple. 

Choose one creative exercise, and then repeat it every day for 100 days. Record each daily effort and see what evolves in the work and in the self over time.

The project gives anyone a framework and the permission to be creative. It challenges you to dig deep into your creative reserves, to rely on your readiness to work in order to achieve creative breakthrough. It can be an end to procrastination, and the development of resilience. It takes a lot of energy, and yet the rewards can resonate for a long time after the 100th Day is over.

In 2011 Emma Rogan decided to start a 100 Days Project after reading about Michael Bierut’s ‘100 Days of Design’ class at Yale. She invited others to join her and word of the project spread. Since inception hundreds of people have participated in the project.

This 100 Days Project is not a commercial undertaking, and is not in anyway (but spirit) affiliated with the Yale School of Art. Good things will come from the rigorous repetition of a process or idea over the 100 days. To see what others have done before, have a look at the previous projects. – Emma Rogan

Last year, my 100 Days Project’s creative daily task was to draw a pencil sketch of a item listed in a sketch book I received as a gift from a friend. I lasted about 6 days, and my busy life got the best of me :/

This year, I decided to pick a relatively easy task that would be: FUN, EASY, and that I COULD DO ALMOST ANYWHERE:

= HANDSTANDS!

Chanel Handstand

Starting July 11th for 100 days, I will have a friend take of picture of me doing a handstand somewhere new. After starting CrossFit last year, I love doing handstands. I still have room for improvement, so I am hoping doing this task for 100 days will help me improve my form. Also, I’m excited to jump out of my comfort zone and do handstands in some locations where handstands aren’t normally done. It’s time to get CREATIVE 🙂

To follow my 100 Days Project – visit this link here :

Chanel #5 – 100 Days Project

 

Be sure to check out some of the other projects. Last year there were around 800 participants, and this year we have reached over 1000!

Belizian Waterfall Adventures

 

Adam Chanel Waterfall Belize

Recently, I just returned from the most amazing week vacation in Placencia, Belize. My boyfriend’s friend was hosting a destination wedding, and I couldn’t say no to being his date 😉 As soon as I heard “Belize” – all that I could think about was being able to scuba dive the Great Blue Hole (a Bucket List item for many divers). I will save that whole adventure story for a future post.

I took my handy GoPro Hero 3 on her first big adventure under the water as well as above the water. Throughout the weekend I earned the title of ‘GoPro Girl’ haha – it was attached to my side. Hence, I have A LOT of video footage to edit over the next couple of weeks.

Luckily, I had some time on my hands last night and was able to put together a quick little summary of our trip to the waterfalls. Around 40 people from the wedding party hopped on an old school bus for a 30 min ride to the forest. We were greeted at the falls with huge coolers of Belize Belikin beer and burritos – can you say heaven?! There was even a natural water rockslide that you’ll see me go down in the video. It was a perfect getaway adventure! Stay tuned for more video summaries to follow this month 🙂

Lessons and Highlights of 2013

Goodbye 2013, HELLO 2014!

What an unforgettable year 2013 was… it felt like so much was packed into those little 12 months. 2013 year was filled with risks and opportunities of a lifetime. Through all the experiences I had this year, nothing is more precious than the people around you who have proved that they support you 110% in life. I want to personally thank everyone who supported all my crazy life adventures in 2013. Whether you simply liked a Facebook Page, donated money to help get my to Malaysia for Miss Scuba International, sent a personal inspirational note to my inbox, or just verbally wished me luck on my ventures – I honestly couldn’t have gotten this far in life without you. Two words that sums up 2013: Thankful and Grateful.

I’d love to hear from you – please comment below: How was your 2013 year? What did you learn? What were some highlights?

LESSONS LEARNED:

I learned that taking risks has its advantages.
I learned that a good friend will always come back to you in the end.
I learned that being a vegetarian was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I learned that juicing is a delicious and an exciting new addition to my healthy/fit lifestyle.
I learned that life is short, and there’s no reason to not do something you want to do.
I learned that being confident in your own skin shines brighter than anything else.
I learned that being in a beauty pageant is exhausting work.
I learned that doing hand-stands passes the time real well.
I learned how fortunate I am to have a strong, stable, and fantastic group of individuals who have my back with any wild and crazy venture I choose to take.
I learned that there are more nice people in the world then there are bad.
I learned that the worse thing someone can say when you ask them something is ‘no’ – so don’t be afraid to ask for something you want.
I learned that finding a pair of heels you can actually walk in comfortably – is like finding a needle in a haystack!

HIGHLIGHTS:

I AM Scuba Miss USA!

instagrammissscuba
BIG NEWS!

After the Best Jobs in the World Contest, I got approached by a wonderful woman by the name of Ashlee Smith on Facebook. She informed me that she was the 2nd Runner Up in the 2012 Miss Scuba International Pageant, and that I would be a great representative for the USA this year. At first I was like, “Wait a minute..how did I not know of this amazing contest before?!” Well, after some research I learned that this pageant began in 2011. But, the basis of this pageant is right up my ocean conservation alley!

I turned in my application, and soon found out that I was a top contender to represent the USA in the Miss Scuba International Pageant. I was actually chatting with a long time friend today about this whole experience, and he said:

Well, I know you’ve been laying down the bricks for something like this for a long, long, LONG time. If you ask me, you’ve created this path yourself. Things happen for a reason, and this is proof you’ve been on the right path all along. Super stoked for you.
I really took this comment to heart. My whole life has been dedicated to learning and continually falling in love with the ocean. I am meant to educate as many people as possible about protecting our planet. The Miss Scuba International Pageant is made for me.

Please feel free to review the history of the Miss Scuba International Pageant as stated on their website:

The Miss Scuba International pageant was held for the very first time in 2011. There has been many a beauty pageant held in the past, many embracing great causes, however none yet have focused on our oceans. Life on Earth as we know it today began with our oceans. Thus, we decided that it is time that an event such as this is produced to celebrate, not only, the inner beauty and courage of today’s modern women, but also to simultaneously advocate worldwide marine conservation.

The Miss Scuba International Organization is founded by Mr Robert Lo who is also the proprietor of the Sipadan Mabul Resort (SMART) and Mabul Water Bungalows, and as such is a strong believer in sustainable development within the realms of our marine environment. He hopes that by sharing the beauty and wonders of the underwater world via beauty queens, it will enable more people to understand how fragile our oceans are and how much more we all need to play our individual little roles to make a big difference in protecting it.

The winning delegate of the Miss Scuba International competition will undertake a year of ocean conservation campaigns to educate and inspire the desire in all of us to do our best to safeguard our oceans. The pageant will also offer her a unique and comprehensive platform to launch her career and personal development.

Additionally, we also aim to promote safe diving practices through worldwide professional training organizations, and elevate international tourism and cultural appreciation. As people travel to far off destinations to dive, they also learn to appreciate the cultural diversity that makes our world such an interesting tapestry.

Low and behold – I was chosen as SCUBA MISS USA 2013!!! I definitely did a little dance of joy and happiness after I got off that faithful phone call. I can’t express how honored and overwhelmed with compassion to represent my amazing country.

WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?

I am going to Malaysia for 2 weeks in December to compete in the Miss Scuba International Pageant. I never thought I’d participate in a beauty pageant before.. But to be honest, I view this pageant as something so much more. The MSI is sponsored by some big names in the marine conservation, tourism, and diving industries. As many of you know from reading my blog over the years, my passion is marine conservation and photography. I am hoping to gain some valuable connections within the marine conservation industry, and to of course just soak in this amazing once in a lifetime experience!

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Although my accommodation while visiting Malaysia is covered, I am personally responsible for my roundtrip airfare (~$2000), plus all of my clothing/accessories needed for the pageant ($1000+). It sure does add up… which is why I am asking for help from all you kind-hearted individuals out there who recognize and appreciate passion when you see it.

I’ve raised almost $1000 so far from so many generous kind people in my life, and even some individuals I don’t even know personally. If you believe in marine conservation, ecotourism, women in science, and environmental education – please donate anything you have to spare :

Chanel’s PayPal Donation page

(Photo: Nicole Strack Photography)

(Photo: Nicole Strack Photography)

 

 Also, please visit my Scuba Miss USA FACEBOOK page and ‘like’ it! I can’t wait to share this amazing adventure with you all!

Photography Challenge #1: Joe Platko

Firstly – my apologies for the blog-posting-hiatus. Summer is the busiest month for my work..and any free time is mostly spent trying to catch up on sleep or working out. In saying that – I will try my hardest to post at least once a week for all you great readers from across the globe. I am crossing off a Bucket List item in a couple of weeks…stay tuned to find out which one it is 🙂

I am super excited to announce my first Photography Challenge today! Here is a summary of the Challenge:

1) Find a willing and excited photographer

2) Give the photographer a theme 

3) Have the photographer submit 3 photographs encompassing the theme

4) Showcase their 3 photographs on PhotoScienceChanel.com 

5) Then I will share a photograph of my own encompassing the theme

My first Photographer participant is one of my classmates from Cal State University Monterey Bay – Joe Platko. He is an amazing nature photographer – both on land and under the water. We both have an affinity for marine life 🙂 so we get along very nicely.

The theme I chose for Joe seemed fitting for the time being here in America :

SUMMER

At first Joe had a hard time with this theme..that is until he went on vacation in the beautiful state of Hawaii. Here’s what he said :

Hey, so now that I’m back from my “summer” trip to the big island, I thought I’d just give you three images that wrapped up the trip for me. This will likely be my last big family trip, as my youngest sister is now in college, so our family thought we’d go out with a bang. That is why I decided to give all three images for the Summer assignment, and tried to choose shots that epitomized what the trip was about, aside from the family togetherness. Hope you enjoy the shots, ALOHA!

Credit: Joe Platko

Credit: Joe Platko

The palm trees were taken in the parking lot of the beach for our resort.
Lol so that was cool, shooting something everyone else was just walking by.
And I was only aimed up because if I shot dead ahead you would have seen all the cars.
Credit: Joe Platko

Credit: Joe Platko

The reef scene was taken right off of the harbor, when I was diving with my dad.
Credit: Joe Platko

Credit: Joe Platko

The turtle photograph was taken on the last day I was there, after I was bummed about not getting a single shot of one while diving. And I was snorkeling with it just north of Kona.

Thank you so much Joe for these spectacular photos! I couldn’t think of a better place to take “Summer” photos than Hawaii… I have so many fantastic memories when my family vacationed in Maui. The photo I took for this particular challenge was on one of my favorite excursions : whale watching. Well, other than a couple of sea lions and pelicans…our luck out in the big blue was unsuccessful. No whales or dolphins in sight!

But, it was honestly one of the nicest boat rides I’ve ever been on – the weather was beautiful and warm & the sea was so very calm and BLUE. I also had some great company as well 🙂

The photo I snapped to represent “SUMMER” was of these playful sea lions we pulled up to alongside the boat. After working with sea lions, I have a whole new perspective about these pinnipeds. They are such intelligent and dynamic creatures. Hope you enjoyed my first Photography Challenge! Thanks Joe for being my first photographer 😀

If you would like to participate as a photographer – please comment below.
Credit: Chanel Hason

Credit: Chanel Hason

Stop by my Facebook Page : Photography + Science = Chanel
 Shoot me a Tweet : PSChanel
Check out my Pinterest : PhotoScience

What’s Next?

So I thought today would be a good day to update you on my crazy life. After the Australia’s Best Jobs 2 week Social Media Extravaganza, I was left looking for new employment. Luckily, my old boss (and mentor and great friend) for the past 2 years re-hired me to do my old job for the summer (Thanks Andre!). But what happens at the end of August…?

FUTURE LIFE PLANS

(c) Fashweekly.com

(c) Fashweekly.com

After the Best Jobs contest, I have been really thinking about getting involved in the Ecotourism field. Thus, my search of Masters Degrees in Ecotourism has begun! I am also looking into Masters Degrees in Marine Science/Conservation Biology as well.

To be honest, I feel that ecotourism really is my calling. Working for a hotel/ecotourism establishment would combine all the things I love: Marine Science, Education, Meeting people from all over the world, Photography, Living near the ocean, Being outside for the majority of my job, Traveling, and probably Social Media and Blogging of some sort! I do love marine biology, but I don’t want to get sucked into the research field per say. My happiness lies in educating people about our environment and how to protect it. So stay tuned to see what happens next for Chanel Hason 🙂

I also want to get my feet wet more – in terms of SCUBA Diving that is. I am FINALLY planning a trip (July 19-21) back to where I left a piece of my heart- Monterey Bay. There are so many amazing people that I haven’t seen in such a long time that I must reunite with 🙂 Not to mention the BEAUTIFUL sights that I will have to re-visit. I can already picture those 3 days to be filled with adventures including hiking, kayaking, frolicking under the waves in the kelp forests, wine tasting in Carmel Valley, behind the scenes tours at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, saluting my old college stomping grounds at CSUMB, and so much more. Don’t you worry – I will definitely document it all so you can live vicariously through these adventures. Who knows, I might even make an epic video summary of the weekend … 🙂 GET EXCITED!

FUTURE BLOG PLANS

Bear

I am going to start showcasing more photography – from both myself and other fantastic photographers. My new (and SPIFFYCanon 60D has been so fun to play with over the last couple of months. I have already gotten some freelance work photographing a restaurant for their social media/website.

If you are a photographer who wants to participate in a photography showcase on my blog please shoot me an email CAHason@gmail.com . I will give you a category – then you will have to submit to me 3 photos after a certain time period that best summarize that category to you.

My first photographer will be JOE PLATKO – his photography challenge category is “Summer” – stay tuned to see what photos he showcases within the next couple of weeks! We went to college together in Monterey, and Joe has blossomed into a fantastic nature and underwater photographer in the meanwhile. I’m so excited that he is going to be my first photographer on my blog!

I also want to start a “Fitness/Health” section of my blog. Over the past year, I have really educated myself in terms of food/fitness/health and how to change my life for the better of my body overall. I want you to be part of my journey to living a healthier life as well in one central location.

Stop by my Facebook Page (and Like it too!) : Photography + Science = Chanel
 Shoot me a Tweet : PSChanel
Check out my Pinterest : PhotoScience

100 Days Project

bookandpencil

My good friend Nicole told me about this great project: 100 Days Project

Here is a summary of the premise taken off the main webpage:

“The 100 Days Project is simple. 

Choose one creative exercise, and then repeat it every day for 100 days.
Record each daily effort and see what evolves in the work and in the self over time.

The project gives anyone a framework and the permission to be creative. It challenges you to dig deep into your creative reserves, to rely on your readiness to work in order to achieve creative breakthrough. It can be an end to procrastination, and the development of resilience. It takes a lot of energy, and yet the rewards can resonate for a long time after the 100th Day is over.

In 2011 Emma Rogan decided to start a 100 Days Project after reading about Michael Bierut’s ‘100 Days of Design’ class at Yale. She invited others to join her and word of the project spread. Since inception hundreds of people have participated in the project.

This 100 Days Project is not a commercial undertaking, and is not in any way (but spirit) affiliated with the Yale School of Art. Good things will come from the rigorous repetition of a process or idea over the 100 days. To see what others have done before, have a look at the previous projects.” – Emma Rogan


1 thing | Everyday | x100

I decided that my project would consist of one of my favorite hobbies : DRAWING

My artistic passion is fulfilled when creating pen & ink pointillism drawings (where little tiny dots make up the whole drawing). But, considering the time restraint and consistency of this contest, I thought it would be best to go with pencil sketches (which also fulfill my artistic passion). The time limit I put on my sketches each day is : 10 minutes. I think it’s the perfect amount of time to set aside each day to draw a quick simple sketch. Putting a time restraint on this exercise will help me with time management throughout the 100 day process, and allow me to not get sucked into a drawing for hours upon hours. Finally, I will take a photo of my finished sketch, and post it on my MAIN 100 DAYS PROJECT SHOWCASE PAGE. I will keep you updated weekly with my sketches on here too!

So you may be wondering, how will I know/pick/determine what to draw everyday? Glad you asked 🙂 Last year, my wonderful co-worker Roger gave a me the PERFECT gift for this project – it’s a drawing book consisting of 100’s of fresh white pages with a total of 642 different items printed throughout the book to sketch. I often use an image/photo as a guide in terms of shadows/proportions when I draw, but this time I will sketch solely off of what I concoct in my mind. Hence, the drawings may not be the MOST detailed, but I’m excited to see what I will be able to come up with 🙂

To be honest, I have only taken one Art Class and that was in High School (which was over 7 years ago-EEK). With that being said, another reason I chose drawing as my exercise for the 100 Days Project is to practice creating shadows/depths in my sketches. My goal by the end of this project is to hopefully SEE a steady progression of the realism of my drawings. Also, having a pencil and fresh sheet of a paper in front me puts me in a state of relaxation and intrigue. Just like how being in nature makes me the most happy in life, drawing does something similar for the happiness of my soul.

There are 760 other participants who are involved in this project as well – you can view all their creative projects HERE. Each person has come up with an exercise that relates to them- and they range from photographs, pieces of writing, videos, etc. Here are some random chosen examples:

* Tamai: Everyday I will draw a different alien. With different colors and different abilities. I will also give each one a name.

* Tara: Take photos of my husband’s pet skeleton, Nigel.

* Lester: Write a funny one line joke, or a funny story everyday.

* Karl: Shoot one, one shot, one minute video everyday, which when cut together, will create one, one hundred minute feature film set in New Zealand and the USA.

FOLLOW my Personal 100 Days Contest Page:
Chanel’s 100 Days Project 🙂

SNEAK PEEK – My first drawing of the contest – DAY 1 : SWIM FINS
Although, this is not what I’d call my best piece of work..it’s a start right? Cheers to the next 99 days of art!

Day 1 : Swim Fins

Day 1 : Swim Fins

“Fun” – It’s Different For Everyone

Whilst reading The Happiness Project on the plane ride back to Los Angeles after a week in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday break, I read a chapter that really triggered the inspiration for this post.

The sub-chapter that stood out to me was titled: “Finding More Fun” in your life. The author talks about how she loves the idea of such activities like playing chess, or doing a crossword puzzles, or getting a massage…but when she really looked into it, those were things that weren’t FUN for her.

“Only recently had I grasped one of my most important Secrets of Adulthood: just because something was fun for someone else didn’t mean it was fun for me– and visa versa.”

– Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

I took these words and applied them to my own life. What was I doing that a lot of people think is fun..but wasn’t really that fun for me? And what was I doing that truly brought me happiness? Some people may hide activities that bring them happiness because they aren’t considered ‘legitimate’ or ‘normal’ – but I say who cares?! It’s your life, and you just have to do what you need to in order to make your life amazing each and every day. Below you will find my unfiltered list of some activities that I do for fun.

I want to hear what all of YOU do for FUN!

Don’t be afraid – Don’t be embarrassed – Be proud to announce to the world whatever makes you happy. Please leave a comment below with some FUN activities that YOU DO FOR YOU.

NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY – I’ve been a nature lover since the beginning of time. And once I got a camera of my own, boy did I go wild! Whether I’m on a hike, on a whale watching boat, or at the beach..you can bet I will be there snapping away. When I’m in nature, I feel one with the planet and myself (cliché, but that’s exactly how I feel).

SCUBA DIVING Being submersed under 100ft of salt water, with fish and sea lions swimming curiously around you, you really are in another world. The ocean has been my passion and love since I was 5 years old. It’s never diminished- only grown and enhanced. I recall the first time I saw a shark, I thought I was going to freak out and swim the opposite direction, but instead I squealed in my regulator and instead followed it around the kelp beds for 5 minutes!

A NIGHT IN AT HOME– Some nights I just have no urge to put on nice clothes, make up, and a smile to go out and mingle on a Friday or Saturday night. Or, I just downright don’t have the energy to move from off my couch. Instead, I prefer to light some candles, cook a delicious meal, open a bottle of wine, and pick out an awesome movie (or 2). Let me tell you, Netflix is my best friend. I know that I’m young and I should enjoy my youth, but sometimes it just feels SO GOOD to stay in my pjs on a Friday night instead.

DRAWING – I started drawing after taking an art class in high school. I found out that I love chalk, pencil, and pointillism. Although, I also discovered that oil pastels were my enemy. So when I graduated high school and went to college, my mom gave me a pointillism/pencil set because she said how awesome my drawings turned out in high school. Thanks mom- that was a great gift that has now concluded with an awesome portfolio of all my work (and still growing of course!). When making a pointillism drawing, it involves A LOT of patience. This allows me to escape into my own world for hours upon hours. No distractions. My only goal is to create an amazing piece of art that I am proud to put my signature on. I really think it’s fun to create personalized drawings for people close to me. This year I created 3 drawings as newborn baby gifts! Let me know if you want one too 🙂

My Easter Island Drawing

BEING A HOSTESS – There’s just a feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment that comes over me when I know I’m having company at my little abode. It’s an excuse for me to have my apartment looking top notch, first off, and also it’s exciting to welcome someone into my ‘space.’ As I get older and more independent, I’ve noticed how much fun it is to decorate my house and make it MY OWN. When I have people over, I turn on the ‘house wife’ appeal 😉 – you won’t be disappointed with my service. Below is a picture of my girlfriend Miranda visiting from Canada earlier this year.

TIDE POOLING  If you want to put a smile on my face, just drop me off on the coastline and let me be free to explore the wonders of the tide pools. I love exploring and finding fascinating little creatures hidden away in the nooks and crannies of the rocks. There’s even more fun to be had when I have someone else there with me (not too marine science savvy), who I can dish out all of the knowledge I have about the ocean and its creatures! Below I  made a little progression photography piece of my love for tide pooling 🙂

Embrace Your Inner Trouble Maker

Hi blog world!

Well, I officially survived the Bud Light Port Paradise Cruise I won a couple of weeks ago from Young the Giant and Bud Light. It was an amazing experience and a 4 day weekend I will never forgot. The musical concerts were out of this world amazing, and I met some really awesome people from across the United States.

I have so many photos and videos that I will make a little summary video/photo diary that I will post on here very soon 🙂

It felt so amazing not to have a worry in the world, especially when we were on the beautiful private island of Coco Cay in the middle of the Bahamas. It really was a little paradise just for the estimated 5,000 people on the 2 Bud Light Port Paradise Cruise Ships. There were a numerous amount of fun activities located all over the island (jet skis, inflatable ocean wipeout course, local little shops, paddle boarding, etc.). Of course there were hammocks and lots of beach chairs scattered along the pristine white sandy beaches, for those who wanted to work on their tans and kick back for a little bit.

I leisurely strolled into the crystal blue water and just floated on my back and soaked up the beauty, the large amount of luck in my life, the happiness that was overcoming me, and the overall euphoria I was experiencing right then and there. I had no worries. I felt amazing. I was surrounded by amazing people. I was content with life. I had no obligations (but to have fun). I had a huge smile that couldn’t be wiped off my face. 

I was embracing my inner trouble maker. I danced. I drank. I swam. I explored. I made new friends. I learned to embrace the feeling of being free and enjoying EVERY moment  (within reason of course). The picture above is shot of me dancing to Young The Giant – the band who I won this amazing opportunity from. I thought it was a perfect image to pair with this saying.

Life is what you make of it. So you better make it unforgettable!