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Divemasters Blog

Dec
26
2014

1st dive spot on central/north side of island was a terrible pick for open water class. 3-4 ft swell, that sloshed us all over the place underwater and a 2ft wind chop on the surface that made discussion very difficult without swallowing copious amounts of water. Not good spots for skills (ie sand) under 30ft deep. This spot pushed andrea to the limit and was not the type of dive that I would want to take my students on for their 1st ocean dive. We did see some fantastic sheephead (7-10lbers) and some lobster traps with some monsters in them. Spoke with Ted (captain) after dive and he took us around to the south side of the island where thing were calmer. 2nd spot was fairly deep (anchored in 30+ft of water), Andrea was unable to equalize after 2 attempts past 15 ft so we were forced to abort the dive. We did spend some time at 10ft holding onto the anchor line while enjoying the kelp nearby. 3rd dive was deep (40ft), Andrea and I jumped in to practice some skin diving techniques but did not attempt scuba due to equalization issues on dive 2. Crew was very helpful with Andrea. She was unable to climb up ladder with gear, so they removed her gear on swim ladder and then handed it up after she was clear.

Views: 902
Posting: 12-26-2014
Tags: scuba
Dec
05
2014

TONITE! Scuba Shindig by West LA Dive Club
Shindig is always scheduled for every first Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM, That's tonight! This is an "open-to-everyone" event. You're invited and so are all of your dive buddies. There is no cover, no membership, and no charges of any kind. Come and enjoy a night of dive entertainment and education on us!  Details and tonight's special guests 
 

Get Your Friends a Gift Card.

Let's face it; evangelizing the church of scuba isn't always the easiest. Friends get lazy or complain they don't have time, but we have a solution. Give them a gift card! You bring your buddy to the dive shop and redeem your boat tickets. On the boat, you and your buddy find a pair of enchanting female divers. Diving together in the dense kelp bed of Emerald Bay, you realize that these women are your soulmates, and that this moment is the beginning of a beautiful life together. The two of you eventually marry your respective lovers, growing old together. In the sunset of your lives, on a beach in Vanuatu, you and your buddy are drinking daquiris with your wives. You look at your buddy and say, "Bruh, aren't you glad I bought you that gift card to Eco Dive Center?" He just smiles and raises his drink. You clink glasses and live happily ever after. Buy or forward this link

 

 

 

Research Diver Certification Course 

 

Getting the research diver certification will open up new opportunities for the scientifically-inclined diver. Our course at Eco Dive Center teaches divers data gathering and oceanographic skills that conservation and research organizations look for. With a research diver certification, you have new opportunities to work or volunteer at aquariums. Aquariums often need research divers to conduct specimen retrieval, or to go on research expeditions. Research diving is your door to adventure while making a difference.
Contact Jason@ecodivecenter.com More details  

 

Surf-fur Boat Coats Are Comfy as Hell

When I pop out of the water after a winter dive, I can't wait to ditch the wetsuit and crawl into my fuzzy boat coat to warm up between dives. You may have spotted swimmers and lifeguards sporting these coats, because they know what's up. A boat coat is waterproof and windproof and usually includes a cozy hood that makes even the gnarliest conditions bearable. My favorite feature of the surf-fur boat coat is that there are holes built into the pockets so that you can make a quick deck change without doing the whole towel tango. When the bathrooms are full, you can change without flashing your dive buddy. Heck, you may be able to convince him to pay for your coat just for that comfort alone.

 

NEW Skin Diver Specialty

Some of the best diving can be found in shallow water, especially in Southern California. Marine Protected Areas like Shaw's Cove are fantastic skin diving sites, with reefs, kelp beds, and funky rock formations to swim through. Skin diving uses minimal gear and can be done without the prep and planning that scuba requires. Getting the proper training helps you get the most of out of your time at the beach. The PADI Skin Diver certification course teaches divers proper breath hold techniques and the safety methods required for apnea diving. Scuba divers looking to expand their skill-sets or challenge their fitness levels will find skin diving a compelling change from blowing bubbles. Look on the site for details next month or email dive@ecodivecenter.com

 

One Up One Down Keeps You Alive

While freedivers don't face any of the decompression dangers of scuba diving, breath hold techniques do come with their own set of risks, such as the shallow water blackout. When freedivers push the limits of their bottom times, they may lose consciousness near the surface due to cerebral hypoxia. Without a trained buddy to revive the diver, the diver will drown. Adhering to the one up one down rule eliminates one of the most lethal elements of freediving and should be followed at all times. Stories, such as the one of Bohdan Vitenko and Jonathan Proce, prove that even elite athletes are susceptible to blacking out. That said, freediving is not a dangerous sport as long as practitioners have the proper training to avoid blackouts and treat them when they occur.

 

Scuba First Aid Kit Tips

Our deep sea adventures are not without their inherent dangers, and a responsible divershould be prepared with a good scuba-specific first aid kit for every dive. Standard first aid materials include a variety of bandages, non-adhesive gauze, absorbent compresses, aspirin, a CPR mask, gloves, scissors, antiseptic wipes, and a small thermometer. Dive specific materials should include materials to treat jellyfish stings like vinegar and small razors, motion-sickness medication, and waterproof bandages. A crucial piece of gear is of course the oxygen bottle kit for instances of decompression illness. In all DCI cases, treating divers with oxygen reduces symptoms and recovery time.

 

Convenient Online Refresher Courses

Sometimes you've got too much to get done before a tropical dive trip; got to get those visas stamped, the house sitters paid, mail stopped, robot rocket launcher security system installed. We get it. Fitting in a scuba refresher course isn't always a top priority, but there is a way to get it done from home. We offer an online refresher course through the PADI website and the course runs through all the important points of diving and scuba equipment that you would in a classroom. Of course we haven't quite reached virtual reality diving yet, but any amount of preparation and review can save time and even save a life on your next dive trip. Time spent reviewing at home always means more time on the beach, in the ocean and by the pool. Pool Refresher AND New "Virtual Classroom" 

 

This Months Article on Diving History: Japanese Divers of the Past

Before scuba systems were invented, humanity had only breath hold diving to reach the treasures of the ocean. One of the oldest surviving freediving traditions are practiced by the Japanese ama divers, who scour the seafloor for abalone and pearls. Ama were always women, because women's bodies were believed to be better suited for the cold waters. These divers were capable of two minute breath holds and would often drop down to 60 feet of water in search of shellfish.

Traditionally ama dove with little more than a loincloth and a wooden barrel that acted as a dive buoy. Diving without equipment was considered to be an important part of keeping balance with their marine resources and preventing overfishing. When goggles arrived during Japan's Meiji restoration, their use was limited to one hour per day. Slowly modern equipment became progressively more accepted, growing to include wetsuits and fins. When scuba technology arrived; however, ama communities chose to stick to freediving, staying true to their heritage.

These days, abalone is mostly farmed and overfishing has devastated much of what used to be fertile reefs, spelling the end for ama as a profession. Still, they continue to hold a cherished place in the popular imagination, with many novels and TV shows starring ama characters, such as James Bond's Kissy Suzuki.    by Jarret Leong

Bali Dive Adventure April 11 to the 18th $1300  Join Eco for 6 full days of diving at the top diving destinations in Bali. Known as the Garden of Eden of the ocean, Bali offers some of the richest and most diverse sea life a diver could ever hope for. Soft corals, wall dives, wrecks, and even the chance to see large pelagic marine life are all packed into this amazing trip!! It's almost sold out so don't wait, book your spot now. Contact Heather Chandler at heather@ecodivecenter.com for more information and to claim your spot.  

OWNING YOUR OWN SCUBA GEAR

 

You've heard many times during your certification that owning your own gear is better than diving with rental gear. Is there any truth to that? Why should you invest your hard earned money in a full set of scuba gear instead of just renting?

Do the math: Every time you rent gear, you're spending between $45 to $75 a day. If you purchase a decent set of gear for $1,200, that works out to 20 dive days. If you dive one day a month in winter and twice in summer, you break even in about a year.  And that's not even taking into account your annual scuba vacation or the fact that the gear you purchase is of a superior quality than rental gear.

Dive more: When you own your own gear, you will dive more. Why? Because it is easier and cheaper. You no longer have to drive to a dive shop, fill out a waiver and rent gear. You just need to drop by and get a quick air fill and you're on your way to the dive site.

Dive longer: It's not a myth. When you dive with your own gear, you are more comfortable underwater and that translates to better air consumption and longer dives. Every single diver strives for better air consumption and getting your own gear is the first step.

WINTER EDUCATION IN CLEAR WATER

 

Winter is one of the best times to continue your scuba education, and here are 3 reasons why:

1) Classes are smaller and boats are less crowded. The summer rush is over and warm water divers stay at home. Our instructors are still very eager to teach and you get more attention from the instructor with a smaller class size.

2) Winter is the perfect time to do certain specialties like drysuit and night. Buy a drysuit at Eco and get a free drysuit specialty class. A free class and beat the cold at the same time? That's a no brainer! With less daylight hours, extend your diving opportunities with a night specialty and see all the cool critters that hide out during the day like octopuses and pipefish.

3) Visibility usually gets better during the colder winter months. Our kelp forests also thrive in colder waters so with thicker kelp comes more marine life. These are the perfect months to work on your Fish Identification specialty and Underwater Photographer specialty.

And don't forget...once you have your rescue certification and 5 specialties you attain the Master Scuba Diver rating, the highest recreational certification you can get as a recreational scuba diver!

ENHANCED SHARK AND RAY PROTECTION

 

At a recent conference in Ecuador on November 9, 21 species of shark and rays are now listed under the Appendices of the Convention of Migratory Species, tripling the numbers from before. The new additions includes many pelagics that scuba divers love to see underwater like manta rays, devil rays, hammerhead sharks, thresher sharks and silky sharks.

 

Because of leadership from countries like Egypt, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Fiji and others, all member nations have now agreed to strict protection of all these species. Of course, the listing of these species and commitments made by nations have to be followed by funding and strict enforcement of regulation, but the enlargement of the list is a good first step as it shows that divers voices can be heard and how we spend our tourism money matters.

 

Put your tourism dollars to work and swim with some of these iconic species under protection. Join Eco Dive Center on our tropical trips in 2015 to the Philippines, Bali, Fiji and the Red Sea. Click here for more information and email tim@ecodivecenter.com to sign up.                                   pic by Andy of Sea and Sea 

 
Nov
26
2014

You've heard many times during your certification that owning your own gear is better than diving with rental gear. Is there any truth to that? Why should you invest your hard earned money in a full set of scuba gear instead of just renting?

Do the math: Every time you rent gear, you're spending between $45 to $75 a day. If you purchase a decent set of gear for $1,200, that works out to 20 dive days. If you dive one day a month in winter and twice in summer, you break even in about a year.  And that's not even taking into account your annual scuba vacation or the fact that the gear you purchase is of a superior quality than rental gear.

Dive more: When you own your own gear, you will dive more. Why? Because it is easier and cheaper. You no longer have to drive to a dive shop, fill out a waiver and rent gear. You just need to drop by and get a quick air fill and you're on your way to the dive site.

 

Dive longer: It's not a myth. When you dive with your own gear, you are more comfortable underwater and that translates to better air consumption and longer dives. Every single diver strives for better air consumption and getting your own gear is the first step.

Views: 901
Posting: 11-26-2014
Tags: buy, diving, eco dive center, gear, scuba
Nov
13
2014

Location: Anacapalacie marshal

The water has cooled off from a few weeks ago and is now back to normal (for this time of year) levels at 66-68 degrees. Visibility ranged from 60 feet early in the day to 30 feet in the afternoon. A few playful sea lions greeted us when we dropped in for our first dive. The sea life on Anacapa is always spectacular, with outrageously sized Sheepshead and Garibaldi in every direction. 

Views: 1024
Posting: 11-13-2014
Tags: eco dive center, lacie, scuba
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