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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: 1517
Posting: 11-26-2014
Tags: buy, diving, eco dive center, gear, scuba

Harsh conditions made for a challenging day of diving The Explorer this weekend.  This is in part due to the super moon that we are experiencing (in case you were wondering.)  We departed late Saturday night for Santa Rosa Island, one of the outer Channel Islands.  Santa Rosa is one of the best spots to dive but conditions are usually bad so there is a very small window that charters have to fit into.  Hence the reason why Santa Rosa trips are generally done once per year.  There were very strong currents, wind, and big swells.  But still doable. This was definitely a trip for those with a fat healthy logbook. The first site was right off the island.  There was a large reef directly below the boat with a huge crack in it.  Almost looked like a wall had fallen down.  In the crack you could see all the nocturnal fish taking shelter – mostly because their bright colors make them easy prey for predators.  We saw a ton of treefish in there.  You can spot these at night or in darkened holes or cracks during the day. Look for the black and yellow striped fish with rosy red lips. The second site is where things got great.  After an hour or so of searching for a spot, the captain came across what looked like a huge plateau (mesa?) on his sonar thingamajig.  The crew then elected me to jump in and check it out before we sent all the divers in.  What I found was unreal.  A huge underwater island.  The top was flat sitting in about 20 feet and then rounded down a bit then dropped off to a sheer wall to ~50 feet.  Sorta looked like if you cut the top third of a scuba tank off.  Surrounding the base of the wall were a half dozen swim-throughs – or at least that is how many I saw.  The entire underwater structure was massive and would take some planning if you were to try and get around the whole thing. There was tons and tons of life.  Some of which included gigantic sheepheads, scorpionfish, and hundreds of scallops.  After we surfaced everyone was so jazzed that we made sure the captain marked the spot for next time.  The captain did so and informed the entire boat that the spot was to now be known as Jason’s Underwater Island.  Huge thanks to the crew of the Explorer

Onward and downward,


Views: 1156
Posting: 08-11-2014
Tags: advanced, california, diving, santa rosa, scuba, underwater island

Conditions were UNREAL at Casino Point on Sunday.  40 ft. viz, 74 degree water and great weather.  Casino Point is a well-known MPA (marine protected area) and the fish were out in force.  I think they know they are safe Wink.  Tons of sheephead, blacksmith, and the biggest kelp bass I have ever seen – had to be almost 2 feet long! On dive 1 we descended down and then followed the slope into the clearing and then around past the Jacques Cousteau monument.  Pro tip: As the kelp thins out to the large clearing at about 45-65 feet, hover motionless about 10-15 feet off the bottom and look down. The clearing is like a freeway for bat rays.
On dive 2 we kept it shallow because this is the time of year that the juvenile garibaldis are in abundance. They are the tiny orange fish (1-2”) with iridescent blue spots.  Look under rocks and ledges and you will find them.  But be careful for dad, male garibaldis are known as most territorial of the damsel fish, even attacking divers when you get too close.  Pro tip: put some frozen peas in your pocket and they will come right up to you to investigate the smell and you can nail a killer photo.  Don’t feed them though, while the garibaldis might be virtually harmless, the kelp bass and the sheephead pack a good set of teeth and will not differentiate a pea from the tip of your finger.  Next week I will be diving on the Magician in search of some giant black sea bass.  It seems that everyone has been spotting them but me.  Till next time this is Jason your local divemaster signing off.


Onward and downward.   

Views: 1384
Posting: 07-21-2014
Tags: casino point, catalina, dive boat, diving, garibaldi, scuba

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