Everyone, be sure to check out our friends at Dive Board, your online scuba logbook! We’ll be using their services to log and share the Underwater Sombrero project dives and they’ve been very helpful in helping us spread the word on our project. If you’re a diver and interested in a place to log and share your dive information online, or even an observer with an interest in reading more about dives and seeing the pictures and videos, you need to check them out!
Exciting news everyone! We’ve been in contact with the awesome organization Reef Relief and we’re pleased to report that we’ve started working on the logistics for our book to help support their mission! Once we get past the publishing stage, the plan is for a portion of the sale price of the book to be donated to Reef Relief to support their mission of education and preservation. Be sure to check out their blog post on the project!
As we get closer to publication and have a better idea of cost and publication price, we’ll have a better idea of what the actual contribution will be, but we’re excited about this step and wanted to share!
Keep in mind that our Kickstarter funding drive is only in support of the publishing expenses for the book. Kickstarter does not allow projects to be used to benefit causes like Reef Relief, so we have to be careful about how we present our efforts. Assistance to Reef Relief comes after the book is published and ready for sale.
We plan to include some information on the organization in our book. The coral reefs of our world are very fragile and it’s through the work of organizations like Reef Relief that the public is educated about the need to preserve these wonders of our world. It’s only logical that our book on the reefs of Sombrero Key would help this mission!
Friends, we’re still working hard on promoting the Kickstarter funding drive. We’re currently in single digit days and only about 1/3rd of the way to the funding goal. One of the marketing steps we’re taking is to pass out cards on the project. We’d love it if you’d like to pass out some as well. If you’re willing to do so, let us know and we’ll get some to you! Alternately, you can save the image and print them yourself! Here’s the card:
Are you willing to help spread the word about our Underwater Sombrero book publishing project? Can’t seem to remember the complicated Kickstarter URL?
We’ve made it easier for you now! You can now reach the Kickstarter project at:
Please share this with all of your contacts! Time is running out on our funding drive and we have a long way to go to get to the goal!
Thanks for your support!
Wondering about a gift for that special someone for this upcoming holiday season? Perhaps the Underwater Sombrero project can help!
We’d love to say that we’ll have all of our work done, prints made and the book published by the 2012 Holidays, but we’re afraid that isn’t going to happen. Since the diving and the photography is currently planned for late December 2012, we’ll barely have the photography done before Christmas. Publishing is planned for March 2013 but only if we can get the funding raised!
What we can do though is provide a beautiful Certificate of Support, featuring our colorful project logo, customized for presentation as a present from you, suitable for framing, which will arrive in time for the holidays if you act soon! We’ll ship it to you so you can present it to them. All you need to do is support the Underwater Sombrero Project for at least $10 and then let us know that you want your certificate of support as a gift for the holidays!
If you like, we’ll also customize your contributor recognition in the book and on materials to reflect your gift. Then your gift recipient can wait in anticipation for the delivery of prints and books!
Exciting News!! One of our awesome project backers is going to help us run a special challenge!! For the next 60 hours, starting Sunday 9/16 at noon, an awesome anonymous backer is going to MATCH ALL PLEDGES up to a combined total of $1000!!! Yes, ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS! Wow! Come on everyone! This is just the boost our project needs! Pledges start at just $1 Visit the Kickstarter Project Page right now to pledge!
Did you know you can manage your pledge? That’s right! Once you’re a backer, up until the point that the project closes, you can alter your pledge of support, be it an increase (please!) or a decrease (we hope not!).
Obviously we’d prefer to know what level of support you’re pledging right away, but we understand that not all potential backers are able to do so. We know times are tough and money is tight and you have to watch every penny. If you’re like us, it may be that you don’t know how much money you’re going to have until it gets closer to the project deadline of October 5, 2012. We understand. Really we do. Can you spare a dollar? One dollar? If you can, and you’re willing, pledge a dollar. Then, if you feel the project is deserving, and you have the money available, increase your pledge closer to project close. Just don’t wait until October 5 because at 12:04 AM, just after midnight, the project closes, so unless you’re awake, at midnight, October 5 is too late!
Why bother? Why not just wait and pledge a final amount? Simple. An increasing number of backers is what gets a project the attention it needs to get more backers! Even if the pledge numbers only change by small amounts, that’s still enough to get a project attention, and attention is what we need most right now. Further, people pay more attention to and are more likely to support projects that are supported by people they know. What you get out of it, besides our appreciation, is ongoing project updates, incentives like our currently running email and facebook share contest (which you have to be a backer to be eligible for) and whatever other good stuff we can come up with!
So please, pledge your support, if only for a dollar. Then perhaps later, you can manage your pledge! Thanks for your support!
Sombrero Key Florida, about 5 miles south of Vaca Key and the City of Marathon is home to an extensive array of spur and groove coral formations which extend seaward from the Key’s lighthouse. These are some of the most beautiful coral formations in the keys. Enjoy our gallery of images from our 2009 expedition here!
Here’s some fun facts about the area of the Underwater Sombrero book project!
The Sombrero Key Lighthouse is located on Sombrero Key about five miles south of Vaca Key, home to Marathon Florida. The name Sombrero Key goes back to the Spanish, and old charts show a small island at the spot, but by the later 19th Century the island had eroded away and all that remains is some parts of the reef exposed at low tide. As a result, the reef and the lighthouse have also been called Dry Banks.
The lighthouse was put in service in 1858, automated in 1960, and is still in operation. The foundation is iron pilings with disks, and the tower is a skeletal octagonal pyramid of cast iron. It is 142 feet tall and is painted brown. It has two platforms. The lower one, 15 feet above the water, held water and fuel tanks, the generator (after the light was electrified), boat hoists and a workshop. The upper platform, 40 feet above the water, held the quarters for the staff. The original lens, a first order Fresnel lens, is now on display in the Key West Lighthouse Museum. The Sombrero Key Light is the tallest lighthouse in the Florida Keys, and was the last lighthouse constructed under the supervision of Lieutenant George Meade of the Bureau of Topographical Engineers.
The reefs featured by the Underwater Sombrero book project are located to the south and east of the lighthouse.
… but don’t want to put the effort into finding all the links and writing one? Never fear! Here’s some text you can cut and paste into your email, sign and send. No muss, no fuss, and you’d be helping the project out a lot! This is very similar to the email we sent out to all of our contacts at project launch.
Subject: Please Consider the Underwater Sombrero Project!
I know your time is valuable so I’ll make this short. I’ve found a wonderful project I’m trying to help support and I thought you might also be willing to help. I’ll give you the basic details and some links where you can read more about our project and hopefully pledge your support.
Here’s the key link if you aren’t motivated to read on:
In short, they are trying to develop and publish a book of photography on the spur and groove reef formations off of Sombrero Key, FL. This is not much more than a shoal located just south of Marathon, but it contains some of the most beautiful reef systems in the keys. If completed, the project will result in a hardcover, dust jacketed, 150-200 page coffee table book which will be ISBN registered and eventually available for purchase.
To do this, they’re using the crowd funding platform Kickstarter, and they’re trying to raise $8000 in thirty days.
They are NOT asking for donations. If you pledge to support the project, you are agreeing to purchase a tangible item produced by the project. These items start at recognition in the book, then certificates of appreciation for your support, and go up through different sizes of prints and then copies of the book and other incentives depending on the level of your support. Support levels begin at $1 (yes, one dollar).
If you pledge to support the project, you’ll specify an amount and provide your billing information. YOU ARE NOT CHARGED AT THE TIME OF THE PLEDGE.
On October 5, 2012, IF they have enough pledges to reach at least the goal, then everyone’s card is charged and the money is made available to the project team. IF THEY DO NOT REACH THE GOAL, THE PROJECT IS CANCELLED and there are no charges. Kickstarter funding is ALL OR NOTHING.
If you would please, check out the project proposal on Kickstarter.com. Read the pledge incentives and watch the video.
Afterwards, if you are motivated to help support the project, please click the “Back this Project” button and follow the instructions. Thank you.
If you’d like more information on the project, how the Kickstarter funding mechanism works, or you’re inclined to follow along:
Like them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UnderwaterSombrero or:
Visit the project website: http://www.underwatersombrero.com
If you’d like to help some other way than financially, please forward this email to contacts you feel may be interested, like the page on Facebook and perhaps share the link to that page or our website. Our efforts to spread the word and word of mouth is the only advertising they get!
I promise not to abuse your email by sending you more messages about the project unless you want to stay in the loop. If you do, please either support the project on Kickstarter (which they’ll get notification of) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know to keep sending you project updates.
Thanks so much for your time.
Your Name Here!
PS – if you’ve supported the project financially, you might want to make note of that in your email! Thanks for your help!