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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 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


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 for more information and to claim your spot.  



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 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!



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 to sign up.                                   pic by Andy of Sea and Sea 


Anyone who has hiked up and down the stairs at Veteran’s Park only to battle seven foot waves can tell you that scuba is hard work. Our first speaker, Gretchen M. Aston, is the founder and developer of the ScubaFit program that’s specifically designed to get divers into top form in and out of the water. Gretchen has a long list of dive credentials and is a supremely accomplished athlete. She is the second female to be inducted into the AAU Powerlifting Hall of Fame, and will put your lifts to shame. Fit-geeks can’t miss this one.

Claudette of Reef Check Catalina will be in to tell us about the survey program that Reef Check runs here in Southern California. Reef Check is a volunteer based organization that surveys our marine environment and makes the data publicly available online. As you may know, our kelp forests are under constant threat from rising sea temperatures and exploding urchin populations. Organizations like Reef Check keep a keen eye on the health of our oceans. Reef Check is always looking for volunteer divers to add to their ranks, so those who are interested in helping preserve our aquatic environment have one more way to contribute.

Speaker #1 ScubaFit: Gretchen M. Ashton, CFT, SFT, SFN, NBFE , is registered with the National Board of Fitness Examiners, is an International Sports Sciences Association Elite Trainer; personal trainer, specialist in fitness therapy, specialist in fitness nutrition, and a world champion athlete. Gretchen is founder of ScubaFit LLC, developed the Comprehensive FitDiver ® program, is an advanced scuba diver, nitrox diver, and co-author of the ScubaFit ®  Diver Course. She is an Expert Speaker for Los Angeles County Scuba Advanced Diver Program and Underwater Instructor Certification Course. Gretchen is Fitness Editor and/or contributor for California Diver Magazine, World's Best Dives, DiverWire, X-Ray Mag, and Scuba Sport Magazine, has been published in Alert Diver United States and Asia-Pacific, at, is an author at ScubaBoard, and a Scuba Fitness Examiner at Gretchen has appeared on Scuba Radio, Dive Zone Radio, presented at Scuba Shows, has been a guest at dive medicine conferences, was featured in the President’s Council of Physical Fitness and Sports newsletter for inspiring and innovative accomplishments in fitness, and in the Margaritaville Key West website culinary column. As an athlete she set 21 World and Americans records and is the second woman inducted into the AAU Power Lifting Hall of Fame.

Speaker #2 Claudette of ReefCheck -  Reef Check California aims to build a network of informed and involved citizens who support the sustainable use and conservation of our nearshore marine resources. To accomplish this, volunteers are trained to carry out surveys of nearshore reefs providing data on the status of key indicator species. All of Reef Check California's data is publicly available through our Nearshore Ecosystem Database (NED), where you can explore the data graphically to learn about the status of your local dive spots.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CA DFW) also uses this data for assessment of California's coastal network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).  Come learn more about getting involved in the program and meet one of our citizen scientists

Views: 1133
Posting: 11-03-2014
Tags: eco dive, la, los angeles, news, scuba, scubashop, shindig

El Niño, Global Warming & Diving-
 El Niño doesn't occupy the Californian mind as much as something like the Santa Ana winds, but El Niño is just as much a part of the California weather experience. El Nino brings heavy rain and warm waters to our coast, which has a variety of effects on our marine ecology- especially our sensitive kelp forests.

El Niño is a part of the pressure cycles that govern air flow in the Pacific Ocean. During normal conditions, Equatorial winds gather warm water pool toward the west. Cold water upwells along South American coast. During El Niño, surface water warming is prolonged, reducing cold water upwelling. This disrupts the normal flow of air and water, hence the unusual weather phenomena.

The strongest El Niño events was back in 1998,  which caused an estimated 45 billion dollars in damage and 23,000 deaths worldwide. Like the Northridge earthquake, that year was burned into the collective Californian memory. I was only 10 at the time but I distinctly remember the flooded backyards and rain coming down like I'd never seen before. Scientists fear that with climate change warming the surface sea temperatures (SST), conditions will be ripe for El Niños to develop. Super El Niño events like the one in 1998 will not only become more frequent, but more intense as well.  

Those saying that the mild El Niño we are experiencing now is a welcome relief in our extended drought, it is unclear if it will bring enough water to offset the years of depletion our water system has sustained. This winter's El Niño is expected to be less intense than in previous years, but California residents should be prepared for future El Niños with much stronger effects. Last bit of trivia: the name El Niño (The boy in Spanish) refers to Jesus Christ, because El Niño effects were often noticed in South America during Christmas time.

But Warm Water is great! Right?- The extra warm water has been a nice treat for those of us used to the brisk conditions out here in California, but the extended summer temperatures do come at a price. Bull Kelp and Giant Kelp, the native species to our waters, depend on the dense nutrients of cold water to maintain their growth rate of 10-12 inches a day. Warm water not only holds fewer nutrients but also causes a reduction of photosynthesis and consequently, reduced canopy blades. El Niño has been bringing more warm water into our coastline, threatening our kelp forests. Along with over-harvesting and urchin grazing, our kelp forests are at risk. If you would like to help, organizations like LA Water Keeper run kelp forest conservation efforts that are volunteer supported.


Atomic Aquatics SplitFins
Atomic Aquatics SplitFins

Atomic Split Fin Trade In Program-
If you've been eyeing a pair of Atomic Split
Fins, you're in luck. Trade in your old fins towards store credit for a pair of Atomic Aquatics split fins.. Split Fins are designed to be more hydrodynamic, which means less drag and more propulsion, reducing diver fatigue. These fins come in a variety of handsome colors and can really complete that sexy alien mermaid look you've been going for. Without fins, divers would be more or less dead in the water; a good set of fins is an essential piece of kit. This a great time to upgrade your old fins, so bring them over and move up in life!


Marine Protected Areas- The concept of a Marine Protected Area may seem obvious considering our country's many national parks, but they have only actually existed since 1999. With the passage of the Marine Life Protection Act (thanks to Tom Ford), California was split up into five regions that would set up protected marine parks. Now there are over 120 such protected areas up and down the coast where commonly hunted fish can reach reproductive maturity. Fish like the kelp bass, which is very popular with sport fishers, are ten times more common within reserves. These safe havens help reseed other unprotected areas, and scientists have seen an encouraging recovery in fish populations. Fish lovers and fish eaters alike can rejoice, because we have more of them to look at and they have more of them to eat. Everyone is happy!


Princeton Tec Dive Lights- I originally bought my dive lamp to use on a night dive, but since then I take my lamp with me anytime I'm diving. In California visibility can be unpredictable, and often times things get a lot more interesting at depths where sunlight isn't great. Bringing a dive light down to 60 feet brings back all the vibrant color that is lost at that depth, and just makes my dive that much more enjoyable. We stock some of Princeton Tec's excellent dive lamps from small back ups like the Genesis to primary lamps like the 700 lumen Sector 7. SHine these lights to a bit of rock at depth and watch it erupt in life and color. Trust me, once you dive somewhere like Seven Fathom Reef or Farnsworth Pinnacle with a light, you'll never go without one again.


Night Dive Specialty with Lobster & Shrimp Hunts-  Sure, diving into the blackness of night has its spooky factor, but at night is when many nocturnal animals are up and about, like octopi, squids, sarcastic fringeheads, and a variety of more bizarre animals that are hiding during day time hours. It's a very otherworldly vibe. I pretend I'm in outer space, exploring an alien landscape.

Now that it's October, lobster season is in! My Facebook feed is flooded with pictures of my dive friends feasting on lobster they caught on their night dives, and you can do the same. Our night dive speciality will get you familiar with lobster hunting techniques and regulations. If your class is up for it, you can get together and share recipes and pig out on lobster you caught yourself. Nothing tastes better than your own catch. Just a tip from us: the bigger the lobster, the less tasty he is; go for the little ones.

Classes are $199, which includes three dives with your instructor, rentals, and all PADI materials. email


Worst Shark Weak EVER- Shark weak sounds like a pretty good idea, right? A week dedicated to educating the public about one of nature's coolest and most tragic figures. It's a chance to redeem a creature much maligned by pop culture, right? That TV Channel says, "NOPE! We are gonna run stupid-ass shows with names like Alien Sharks, Zombie Sharks, Sharkageddon, Great White Serial Killer and Sharkpocalypse because they get good ratings. Science can suck it!" Not only does this sort of programming perpetuate falsehoods about shark behavior, but is even driving up public demand for shark meat! Television suffers from a dearth of strong scientific communicators, and it's a shame that what used to be an earnest series of science and discovery has devolved into a stonery B-movie flurry of misinformation. Sharks and people alike are worse off for Shark Weak.


Spooky Dive Shindig October 7th 7pm-  Most of the time, scuba diving is just a Finding Nemo-esque paradise of friendly sea creatures and colorful corals. Every once in a while, however, scuba gets real scary. Tales of hungry animals, explosive decompression, and a visit from the LA county deputy coroner will set off our spooky Halloween themed Dive Shindig this coming October 7th at 7pm.

There will be a Casa Andreas tamale bar & Togo's sandwich's from 6:45 to 7:20 and our usual raffle. Prizes this time around will be an excellent boat ticket to Catalina, a first aid kit, and a Pool Discovery Diver course for a friend.

Our first speaker will be Scott of Bluewater Travel. Scott began experimenting with cameras later in life, falling in love with underwater and wildlife photography. He travels often to remote destinations, specializing in adventure expeditions where he can be close with the natural world. Ask him about his gnarliest underwater experiences!

Captain John Kades has been the deputy coroner of the LA County Coroner's Office for the past 12 years. As a part of the Special Operations Response Team, he specializes disaster operations, aircraft fatalities, drowning/SCUBA cases, and skeletal/buried body cases. Kades is an expert when it comes to scuba diving that goes wrong, and more importantly he can teach us how not to end up like his subjects.


Free Octo with Regulator Purchase- Buy a new regulator in October and we will throw in a free Oceanic Delta 4.1 2nd Stage Octopus. Simple as that! Your dive buddy will be super stoked about having a new octo to chill on if he ever runs out of air, which I'm sure you could use to leverage a beer of two out of him.


 The Sherwood Amphos is a more than capable entry-level dive computer for the recreational diver. It supports air and free diving, and its nitrox setting accommodates multiple FO2 mixes- perfect for aspiring tech divers. As many vets will tell newer divers that a computer is a crucial piece of safety equipment. Having a computer help keep track of air usage and managing safe ascents has certainly kept me out of trouble. If you buy an Amphos during the month of October, we'll include a free transmitter, a value of $480 and we'll pay your sales tax on the wrist unit too..


Pre-order a Drysuit- Summer may be over and water will be getting cold again, but there's no reason to stop diving when we stock such great drysuits. Much of eco's staff dive year round, and drysuits make that third or fourth dive of the day feel so much more comfortable than diving wet. As you may be aware, purchasing a drysuit includes the PADI drysuit specialty class, which also goes towards your master scuba diver card. Winter diving has some of the best visibility(50-80 feet), and drysuits totally make you look like an astronaut(sick!). Come into the shop and we can help you order the suit that is right for you.


Red Sea Dive Trip July 25th to August 1st- Our trip to the Philippines may be sold out, but do not despair; we've got another far flung luxury live aboard trip lined up with Eco Instructor Lacie Marshall! The Red Sea is the bit of ocean between Africa and Arabian Peninsula. You may be imagining vast deserts and camels, but the warm water temperature makes for a tropical style dive experience. Think short wetsuits and vibrant coral reefs. Highlights include the massive Daedalus reef, Anenome city, and wrecks like the Thistlegorm, which was discovered by none other than Jacques Cousteau. Divers will be living aboard the Red Sea Aggressor, a very cushy luxury yacht with all meals included. Oh yeah, did I mention beer and wine is all included as well? Beds start at 1899. Airfare is not included. Contact for more information or visit here.

Views: 1701
Posting: 10-28-2014
Tags: california, el nino, la, los angeles, malibu diving, news, scuba

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