Thursday, December 7, 2017

December 2018 JCA Elite Scuba Newsletter is out!

You can read it here if you're not subscribed...

wolf eel give a tour of his digs at sund rock  school of perch hanging out at sund rock
5 inch "Shaggy Mouse" Nudibranchs from a fund dive day with
Chad at Sund Rock, Hoodsport, Washington in the Puget Sound.
(click on the picture above so you can watch the video of them)

JCA Elite Scuba Newsletter

December 7, 2017
Hello fellow divers, students, and everyone thinking about learning how to scuba dive. It has been an amazing year! The weather is resuming its normal ebb and flow of rain and snow and certainly has been interesting including certifying a couple of divers while it was snowing! Check out Audrey...!!! That's dedication.

The end of the year is approaching and I've decided to do another New Year's Eve diving, certification, food, fun, and fireworks spectacular. You can find out more about it by checking out my events pageor watching this video. We'll be staying in the dorm at Sunrise Motel in Hoodsport, Washington. The dorm has a full kitchen and refrigerator, stove and oven, and can sleep up to 14, but 10 would be a good number and give us a little extra room.

I'll be doing lots of cooking between dives or after the day of certification dives so please consider trying some of my specialties. If anyone else would like to cook, we would love to try some of your favorites as well but anyone can make or bring anything. The event is $125 for all three days. Arrive as early as Friday, December 29th at 2:00pm and depart on Monday, January 1st of the new year. I plan to launch some pretty cool fireworks at midnight like you can see in the video linked above. Get away from the big city and spend some time with us at the ocean in a safe and friendly environment.

Three students are set to do their scuba diving open water certification dives and one is on board for their Drysuit Diver Specialty. While the cost of certification, specialties, equipment rentals, air fills, and food are not included, I've priced the event to beat any large city New Year's Eve party and I'll even make you a spectacular offer on certain specialties if you can make it! Save a boatload, add a specialty to your quiver while bringing in the new year in style! I have an outdoor propane heater and fireplace, but you are welcome to bring blankets, too. There is a covered area but I'll also be bringing my outdoor popup canopy to keep everyone dry if by chance the weather is a little cooler than expected.

If you can't make it for all three days, send me an email and I can find out from Frank if a shorter stay is possible. Friends and family, including non-divers and kids are welcome. Everyone can dive as much or as little as you want and there will be others to dive with if I am with students, but I will be doing as much diving as possible. If you're planning to stay with us in the dorm, no pets please. I know that they might not be comfortable at home with fireworks going off where you live, but Hoodsport will probably not be any quieter. I'll be collecting cash for the event in the next week to keep the fees from making the event more expensive for us and at the motel. I can take a credit card if needed, but it will include the service fees that accompany credit card transactions.

Thank you to the many that have signed up for my Newsletter and watched many of my videos on YouTube and I look forward to seeing and diving with everyone at the end of the month.

If you missed any of the previous Newsletters, you can find them all right here.

Happy diving and if I don't see you, have a happy, prosperous, and exciting new year!

JCA Elite Scuba Website
YouTube Videos
If anyone wants to go diving, please feel free to contact me. If I can't go, I can post a note in The Dive Shop(my Invitation Only, Facebook Private Dive Club) and even e-mail others. If you want to join, just send me a note...
Join us in Hoodsport for diving, certification, food, and fireworks to bring in 2018!
Join us in Hoodsport for diving, certification, food, and fireworks to bring in 2018!
Copyright © 2017 JCA Elite Scuba, All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How many questions did you miss on your "INITIAL" Open Water / Scuba Diver "FINAL EXAM"?


How many questions did you miss on your "INITIAL" Open Water / Scuba Diver "FINAL EXAM"?

POLL #1: Test Taking

I'm doing research on some of the outcomes students have on several factors within the scuba diving educational process. Once the statistics are gathered I'll publish the final numbers and see if there are any correlations.

--The polls will all be anonymous
--Please do not choose more than one answer
--Please do not take any one poll more that once
--If it has been a length of time that you can't recall your score within the ranges below, please pass on this poll

Thanks greatly!

100 %
Failed on first attempt

#scuba #scubadiving #scubaeducation #learntoscubadive

Monday, December 4, 2017


The video I made first with my complete argument:


The thread where the conversation takes place:


Google Alerts sent me a notice that 400 divers are going to attempt to hold hands to form a human chain in order to break a world record.

Victorian Scuba Divers to Link Arms for Guinness World Record Attempt

I'm contacting you as it seems that this event goes against the spirit of protecting our oceans.

While it would be amazing to see 400 divers in equipment get together outside of a business conference, these divers are not planning to do this on the sidewalk or on the sandy beach.

If 400 divers are planning to enter the water in the same location, not only will this be unprecedented, but it is surely going to be devastating for the environment. I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, and the business opportunities are surely to be significant, but as stewards of the sea, this seems like it's not going to turn out to be as benign as you are planning for.

We know how important good buoyancy is, so it makes me wonder how can a leader in the industry sanction this event if everyone will not be neutrally buoyant and off the ocean floor during this attempt?

How are you going to mitigate any damage to the environment, the refuse of 400 divers gathering in one spot, and what will you do about any damage that is caused? 

Everyone surely wants to be careful about the inevitability of damage, however I fear that some shops or manufacturers that don't participate or even could advocate against participation, might be looked at not being "team players." 

While this would be a great opportunity to run some buoyancy classes, there is not enough time at this point... and as written in your document:

"We acknowledge it is not the best display of buoyancy..."

"You must be correctly weighted to do this. Do not risk the success of this event by being under-weighted."

•When directed to do so, everyone will descend and hold onto the line on the bottom.  Fully deflate your BC and kneel on bottom. You must be negatively buoyant. For this reason we have chosen the sandy sea-floor. We acknowledge it is not the best display of buoyancy but breaking the surface means the attempt becomes null and void. This means everyone is to be on the seafloor. You must be correctly weighted to do this. Do not risk the success of this event by being under-weighted.

Wow! I can only say that this is promoting poor buoyancy and being over-weighted... This doesn't seem like the kind of world record that needs to be broken when it directly goes against athe foundational tenets of scuba diving!

Another consideration is that this stretch of beach cannot be without animal life under the bodies of those divers... While some animals might not be bothered by the effect, what kind of impact study has been done to determine the effect?

I would appreciate your feedback.

-- Carlos Aguilar


A response from Kat Vcelka, Vice President of DIVA.

"Hi Carlos. It’s great to see someone so passionate about the oceans. Im the Vice President Of DIVA that helped put the event together. 

I’m unsure if you are familiar with the location,  or were there on the day as we did this attempt. 

Although I agree that this is a large number of divers to descend on one site at a time, I assure you that all environmental factors were taken into account. Divers walked in over a stretch of sand that would have been no different to the hundreds of people playing on the sand bank in summer. They then had a 50m surface swim to where we had a line. This line was placed in the sand parallel to the shore. It was not placed on top of reefs and specifically placed with the reduction of environmental impact in mind. Divers lowered themselves onto the bottom and onto the sand and were encouraged to be ‘correctly weighted’ not overweighted like you state. Being negatively buoyant does not mean being overweighted. 

For safety of the divers, and to minimise disturbance of the environment, it was important that divers were on the bottom. As divers lowered themselves down to the sand any animals would have been able to move themselves. 

This event was conducted taking into account many factors. We prioritised safety and the environment in all of our workings. I commend all of the organisational committee and the divers who took part in the event for their diligence and taking these two important matters into account. 

Dive adventures and the other sponsors had nothing to do with the organisation of the day. They generously gave their time and donations to help the Victorian Dive industry. For their generosity we cannot thank them enough. 

I thank-you for being an ocean advocate and hope that my message helps elevate your concerns. I am more than happy to discuss this further if needed. I will private message you my number should you want to use this. Yours in Diving. Kat."


My response to her.

I appreciate the response. Your answers are logical and appropriate, but you've missed the crux of the concerns I addressed. 

The first is that kneeling on the ocean floor was necessary. Impact to the environment is minimal during an open water class, but still problematic. Increase that to 400, and it's worse, it's a precedent. Every certifying agency believes in the premise of as little impact as possible. With that said, while it may have been impossible to get 400 divers to be neutral at once, being neutral is the outcome of all programs, among other skills. Even if we conclude that the same amount of impact would occur standing on the beach, we are terrestrial beings and standing on the beach is appropriate. As guests in the ocean, standing, kneeling, and kicking up silt is unacceptable. DIVA acknowledged that this was not the best use of buoyancy in the literature. You know that's an issue but temper it with it being an acceptable price to pay for the success of the event and it justifies it.

Furthermore, proper weighting wasn't as much of a concern as much was kneeling on the ocean floor, but DIVA voiced that if the diver was not properly weighted that the attempt could be jeopardized. This statement would be more likely to sway inexperienced divers towards being heavier than they need to be. But that too is not the greatest of my concerns.

I didn't mention it in my post, but, one particular instruction was. It had to do with divers that might need "assistance."

DIVA's plan stated, "If you have a problem that cannot be immediately rectified without breaking chain, please back away from the line and surface, heading towards the beach." This makes sense, of course, but that's followed by "If you require assistance wave your arms." 

Waving your arms is NOT a call for assistance. It's the call for help! It made me wonder if the event would have continued while safety divers attended to the diver that requested "assistance"? What if it was a real emergency? How would one differentiate between "assistance" and "help" since the same signal is being used?

Think about this for a moment... How would those divers have felt if they later learned that they did nothing while someone needed more than assistance but actual, real help?

While it's obvious that my opinion differs than the ones that participated as well as the organizers, saying that getting 400 divers together to create a chain could only have taken place if the rules and/or guidelines we teach students were changed, diminishes the hard work of the instructors that taught their students that being on the ocean floor is not acceptable. That gives credit to instructors that didn't teach this to their students and only exemplifies a huge problem currently present in today's training. There are numerous videos of divers who's skills are already in critical need remediation or retraining.

Proper skill execution (being naturally buoyant and off the ocean floor) is ALWAYS necessary, and I think that's what's been lost in the final outcome of this new world record. 

I don't believe it should have been necessary for me to have to try to convince the organization that the actions were wrong -- they should know better!

So here we are... what happens now? I continue to train my students the importance of good buoyancy, staying off the ocean floor, and the correct use and meaning of hand signals, while DIVA, Scubapro, SSI, PADI, AUP, Aqualung, Mares, Dive Adventures, Rye Hotel, and Redboats start again (The event is over, NOW, stay off the bottom).

I'd love to continue this conversation, but in my opinion that would mean that everyone would have to start by admitting they didn't quite give enough thought to the bigger picture. 



A response from Kat Vcelka, Vice President of DIVA

"Your opinion is noted Carlos.  I'm not going to get into a message-a-thon.  The event was conducted with dozens of qualified professionals and rescue divers, ensuring that all divers were taken care of.  Safety of all divers was paramount and the event was well executed with this in mind.  400 divers achieving neutral buoyancy together was going to be impossible.  I'm unsure if you were on the beach when the briefing to all divers started.  The first thing that was said that the safety of the divers is paramount.  Not getting the record."


A response from Kat Vcelka, Vice President of DIVA

"I believe that any one with common sense knew our intention and what kind of a logistical challenge it was to ensure all were safe, with minimising impact to the environment.  Not settling the divers on the bottom would have impacted on safety and the environment greatly, so although I understand your intent, what you say would not be possible on this day and would have been greatly detrimental to the environment, as well as the safety of the divers attending.  Common sense and the briefings given stated that settling on the bottom was a once off suggestion purely for this event.  Everyone was placed on sand and well away from the reef.  I have been teaching for over a decade and was a diver on the event.  There was no damage to the environment and you would be hard pressed to find anyone who attended that would now change their diving to 'sit' on the bottom of a normal dive.  As for hand signals, again this is for a situational dive.  Having someone wave their hand in the air if they need assistance when there are 364 divers on the surface is a sensible thing to do as they could potentially get lost in the sea of divers.  You are entitled to your opinion and I would encourage you to give me a call or an email at with any suggestions on how you would conduct such an event so that we can take this into account for future activities."


AND HERE IT IS...!!! SHIFTING THE RESPONSIBILITY AWAY FROM THE ORGANIZERS AND PASSING IT TO THE DIVERS. "I believe that any one with common sense knew our intention..."



I WON'T ASK DIVERS TO BEND THE RULES ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS. END OF DISCUSSION...!!! "...suggestions on how you would conduct such an event..."

Friday, December 1, 2017

COMMENTARY: "Victorian scuba divers to link arms for Guinness World Reco...

COMMENTARY: "Victorian scuba divers to link arms for Guinness World Record attempt"

Victorian scuba divers to link arms for Guinness World Record attempt at Rye Pier. Sponsored by Diving Industry of Victoria Association on December 2, 2017

#guinessbookofworldrecords #ryepier #perfectbuoyancy #overweighted #divingindustryvictoriaassociation #worldrecordevent #diveplanning #stewardsoftheocean

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Year in review for 2017. Lots of great dive, trips, amazing animals, and...

As of November 23, 2017 I've logged 120 dives... deepest dive was 135ft... longest dive was 85 minutes... 33 new certifications issued... 268 videos uploaded... 33,545 unique views...75,580 minutes watched... 145 new subscribers...

NAUI Nitrox Online e-Learning Course Program. #eannitrox #nitroxdiver #n...

If you are interested in taking this online course, I am currently offering it for only $89. This includes the certification card as
well! To sign up for this course, please follow the link in the description.

Thank you!

Click here to sign up for the Nitrox Program:

#eannitrox #nitroxdiver #nitroxdiving #ean32 #ean36

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Top safety tips for your summer scuba adventure by Shine Lawyers -- REAL...

Top safety tips for your summer scuba adventure by Shine Lawyers -- REALLY...!!!



#scuba #scubadiving #legalopinion #ambulancechaser #shinelawyers #scubasafety #commentary #myOPINION

Monday, November 20, 2017

BLACK FRIDAY 2017 DIVE DAY SPECIAL Are you already certified want to go on 3 amazing dives? Join me for an personalized day of diving!

BLACK FRIDAY 2017 DIVE DAY SPECIAL Are you already certified want to go on 3 amazing dives? Join me for an personalized day of diving! Let me take you to some of the best dive sites in the Puget Sound and show you what you've been missing! • Cloud Sponges • Deep Wrecks • Wall Dives • Boat Diving • Six-Gill? ...there are things you haven't seen! Dive Day with Carlos $150 Call today to reserve your spot... 503-935-2698

Sunday, November 19, 2017


BLACK FRIDAY 2017 SCUBA CERTIFICATION SPECIAL Save 25% on certification for 4 and FREE Drysuit Certification for all When you and your family of 4 sign up for certification, each of you get 25% off lessons and FREE Drysuit Certification Purchase Offer $1,650 Click here: Click here: to read the JCA Elite Scuba Student Agreement

Saturday, November 18, 2017

"Who's the barber, here?" Why is this important?

Just because someone has been doing something for 30 years is NOT a reason to follow them blindly just because they are more experienced, a professional, never had an accident, or because of the number of students they have taught.

Think about it this way...

Program standards have changed over the last 30 years...

Equipment has changed over the last 30 years...

Educational requirements have changed over the last 30 years...

Students' abilities have changed over the last 30 years...

So, why would you give someone a 30 year old program?

Now, that doesn't mean that one will accumulate experiences and continue to learn over a 30 year period and take that amalgamation of all that knowledge and experience and use it to make scuba today, an amazingly robust program.

But, which is it...

#whosthebarberhere #QuisnamHicAdTonsorem

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Watch "The Difference Between a PADI Master Scuba Diver and a Divemaster" on YouTube

So... I do 50 dives in 4 months.

However, it took me over 2 and a half years to get my black belt and I had to take 2 classes a week, 2 hours at a time, and had to test at each belt, spar, and practice at home. 

What you're saying is that in another 5 weeks and 10 dives I will have the skills necessary to put people's lives in my hands and deal with emergency situations adequately... 

60 dives will prepare me fully for this, huh?

I have never seen a diver in 5.5 months that would be adequately trained for Divemaster. Impossible. 

My Divemaster program takes a full year to complete if the student worked every weekend on it!

Don't try to cheat yourself out of a good diving education and thorough training.

If you know a scuba diver and you DO NOT dive, then you DO NOT know anyt...

If you know a scuba diver and you DO NOT dive, then you DO NOT know anything about scuba!

If anyone is going to offer you advice about one of the most dangerous sports in the world, DO NOT listen to them...!!!

#mybrotherdives #myfatherdives #mysisterdives #iknowsomeonethatdives

So, I just met with a young man that just moved to the Portland area. He wants to continue his scuba diving education. I told him about my program and what I'd offer him and if he wanted a mentor in diving, and would help find me business, I would compensate him all the while he could learn for free.

He had an appointment at 2pm so had to leave and right after he did, two women started to ask me what I was selling? I told them I wasn't selling anything. Then they proceeded to tell me what I should not talk about when with a customer/student/client! I started to pack up my stuff immediately while telling them they had no idea what they were talking about.

Someone else that was in that area heard what they were saying to me and as he was leaving said to the two that they had no idea what they were talking about, either!

Before I left, the last thing they said was that they have family who dive! Hallelujah! I've finally found out what the secret to scuba diving is that I've been without for the last 11 years and 1,738 dives!

I shouldn't have spent my money on training, experience, travel, and put my life in the hands of students, divers, and dive professionals, rather, I only had to KNOW someone who dives and that would have satisfactorily been all that I needed to know.

Where the hell have those two been all my life? Just imagine all the things I could have done if I had only known more people that did the activities that I've always wanted to do...

Skydiving, flying an airplane, astronaut, Olympic athlete, recording artist, movie star, etc...

Holy shit! Is anyone out there a doctor? I always wanted to be a doctor! Please post in the comments below what you do so that I will instantly know everything you do about what you are an expert in!

It will be a pleasure to meet you!

P.S. my new program will only be an introduction. once someone meets me they are ready to dive. I'm really excited about this new chapter in my life!


Poorly trained divers kicking up silt. Who taught them how to dive?

Poorly trained divers kicking up silt. Who taught them how to dive?

#frogkick #flutterkick #modifiedfrogkick #modifiedflutterkick #perfectbuoyancy

Perfect buoyancy takes time, but this is just unacceptable. While these divers might not be killing any animals, this type of kicking through the water is atrocious! They need to learn how to do the modified frog kick and slow down! Look at how much silt they are kicking up...

I started teaching in 2008 and became totally independent and full-time 4 years ago -- no dive shop, no pressure to push students through the system and NEVER to award certification cards to divers that looks like these guys!

What saddens me the most is that this behavior has a larger consequence. I know that no one masters anything after confined water and definitely not after open water, and with that understanding, to not teach students to not do this is beyond unprofessional. It is bewildering to see divers like this in the water.

There are dive sites in the world that are so fragile and delicate that it is in all likelihood that this kind of impact could damage those sites without the possibility of recovery, forever! For those cave divers that might have seen some of those majestic rooms I'm referring to, you know what I'm talking about.

I can only say that I would be devastated to find out that a student of mine was responsible for this kind of behavior and if I found out, I would write NAUI headquarters and ask for their cert card to be invalidated until their training (or attitude) was re-evaluated -- perhaps even mine! (I know this is likely to not be allowed.)

While the grander scheme of introductory certification would include re-certification, I know that is not going to happen, either.

Last weekend, my last student (just me and him) logged 7 excursions and a final recreational fun dive, #8 to the limits of his training, what I call, "the deep boats." My opinion is that skill competence will eventually come with practice, but there is a point where the instructor has to decide if the student is ready to become an autonomous diver (not solo diver, rather not need the instructor to accompany them).

I regularly joke with the students that if they are not ready, they can take me to their exotic tropical dive destination (all expenses paid, of course) and I would supervise their dives, take care of all their equipment, and give them a tour of a lifetime. Regrettably, I've never been given this opportunity  [ ;) ] rather the students are told they are not ready nor awarded certification.

We arrive at the motel's check-in at 2pm, dive until dusk, dive all day the following day, and up until noon on the third. It is after the first excursion that on the third day that I tell my student that his regular ascents away from me are not acceptable and I will not award certification if the next two dives have uncontrolled ascents.

I explain that while a risk to the student exists (even if minor), the greater risk is to leave one's dive buddy. This would be excursion #7 and dive #8. [I call them excursions as they are supervised dives and while they log them, the quantity and quality of said excursions must in combination be equal to or greater than if fewer dives where conducted demonstrating everything a diver needs  to successfully complete my program. I don't like the 4 dives model nor prescribe to the 20ft, 20 minute cookie cutter program.]

Upon the end of the dive when we stand up at the shore line, I exclaim, "What the fuck was that and like wow, man!" "That was an incredible dive!" He was overjoyed as well. If I had cut him off after 4 excursions, this victory would never had occurred at this time, nor would the fun dive, #8, and he would have had to return for additional dives. If I had awarded him a certification on the 4th excursion, he would have looked like those in that video.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Video request, "How to use less air while scuba diving."

Video request by, "OneWorld"

"Could you please share the knowledge about 'Air Consumption' as me and my other diver friends also love to know the way... how could we save more air (especially with Nitrox) when we're diving. Best Regards."

Before I begin, I want to clarify that this video is about how much gas one uses during the entire dive... There are plenty of videos out there that tell you how to calculate SAC or RMV, or you can even use the calculator from my website. The link is in the description:

Also, gas consumption with air, nitrox, trimix or other combination should not change the volume you consume throughout the dive.

While trimix is a little "colder" when breathing it in cold water, if you are using trimix as an inflation gas during a dive with a drysuit, consider a dedicated pony bottle with air, or if you want to spend the extra money, argon. Be sure to label the bottles appropriately. Argon is poisonous to breathe...

The first thing to do is to slow down! Really. When you are taking your time, you breathe less and that minimizes the fluctuations in those micro ascents and descents due to inhalations and exhalations...

The next thing to do is keep your eyes on the road... What that means is, know where you are going and don't spend a lot of time looking around before you get there. Look where you are going and make sure your dive buddy is still there. The more you move your head, the more the rest of your body will move...

here's the modified frog kick

as you can see, it takes very little effort and expends very little energy

If you're diving with a buddy, be sure that each of you are close. If you're spending part of your dive having to swim to get to each other, most divers usually kick faster than required at that time, and you're wasting gas...!!!

or even better, stop, and look around...

NO flailing...!!!

When you are ready to look at your instruments, be sure to only look at what you need... if you need to check your SPG, just check the SPG... for those that dive on air-inregrated / compass only integrated computers, pick only one detail to confirm

here's checking your SPG...

here's checking dive computer...

Notice how I didn't hold my breath when I looked. Many divers hold their breath when looking at their instruments

here I am dumping air from drysuit

slow, smooth, and with very little effort...

If you are going to wander around, you'll use more air. When doing your dive plan, plan for air consumption. If you used more, ask yourself why?

When approaching something you want to show others (the size of the Sunflower Starfish to my hand), get neutrally buoyant first, then approach the object, and then use your breath to adjust ascending or descending.

Breathing is important, but is should be smooth and regular... Look at the bubbles and how regular they are and the sizes they are.

When I'm diving, I'm in the zone...!!! Always the most relaxed and never in a hurry for the dive to end. If your dive is going to end too soon, plan for another dive...

18 seconds... 3 breaths...
1 breath every six seconds
10 breaths per minute = super relaxed
12-20 breaths per minute is usually normal

here's the other side...

If you have to or want to turn, learn to use your fins and perform the helicopter technique...

Lastly, be sure to get your weight right... you only need enough weight or ballast to decend at the beginning of your dive.

If you're in a drysuit, a couple extra pounds is okay, but if you're adding extra weight so you can add extra air, it will add up.

While some may disagree, if you're in a drysuit, only use your drysuit for buoyancy. When you have too much squeeze, it's not comfortable, and if you don't have any squeeze and still sinking, you're overweighted... After all, "Who's the barber, here!"

Thursday, November 2, 2017

My response to NAUI Dive Team Report 10/26/2017 Podcast...

I'm not sure if "Culture" is the correct way to define what's the issue at hand and what needs to be changed. You mentioned that "the educator is up against cheap and quick." I think that's the real problem. It's not that the industry necessarily wants it that way, but somewhere, someone thought that's what the consumer wanted, and did everything to convince them of it. Now, everyone thinks it's this way -- the industry promotes it that way. I believe that it doesn't have to be done like this. The reason NAUI excels in the marketplace is specifically because, the other agencies can't compete with us. They won't do work, they won't put in the time, and they often believe that a dive shop or dive equipment is the gateway to diving that all divers need. As we all know, certification cards and fancy gear doesn't create divers... Diving and dive education does. Alex Byrlske said it best, "Certification alone does not guarantee competence." NAUI's educational process and giving the instructor the flexibility to meet the needs of each student is how we will always come out on top. But, there is a piece of the existing ideology that must be changed, and that is that the student should be lead to believe that by the end of their initial course that they are better than they are. Some students are even lead to believe that they have mastered their skills after their initial certification dives. Because of this, continuing education is minimal and refresher courses allow the card holder to not practice with regularity because two hours in the pool is what they are being allowed to pay for after years away from diving. That doesn't mean that I'll never cut the proverbial "umbilical cord" from my students and set them off on their own, rather it means that I have to give them a better set of tools to use by the time that happens. I allude to this by something I hear instructors in the Pacific Northwest tell their students. "If you can dive here, you can dive anywhere." Not only is that not true, but often those students that enter the warm, clear, tropical waters are worse off than prior to their first pool session. The statement is only true when the diver takes the skills they learned in the Pacific Northwest and applies them at and during their tropical dive destination, not because of their arrival. I've seen a lot of instructors that swim the swim, but don't dive the dive -- and they're very often not NAUI instructors. Training isn't about performing a skill, it's understanding why we do the skill the way we do... Training is knowing (among several other things) that a diver's instruments doesn't tell them how long, how deep, how much, and how not to, but confirms the actions and information that they should already know. The best instrument the diver should always take with them over all others is that grey matter between their ears. Their instructors are teaching that, right? One definition of "Culture" I found is "the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, encompassing language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts." This would be synonymous with a stating and believing that graduating from law school and medical school creates lawyers and doctors all the while never conceding that some people are terrible orators (able to tell a convincing story) and others have terrible interpersonal relationship skills (have a good bedside manner). What I believe has to change are the agency's "just culture." It's time to hold organizations accountable for poorly designed systems. We need to create a "Brand." Be what the student thinks of when they tell others about scuba. If we don't build relationships, scuba will fail. We need to rethink scuba because for every educator, scuba is not a sport, but a lifestyle, way of life, catharsis, and connection to a bigger and greater world. "The Brand" is the student's perception of their instructor and what they learned. Someone that gets them, didn't pressure them, that coached them, that motivated them to build the confidence they always had, to express the competence we believe they're capable of. When the customer becomes the student, then the student becomes the diver, and the diver manages the intangible, anything is possible. "Brand” is not just an offer for service or just running a business, but showing them how to do something they've never done before and helping them to learn to trust themselves over that internal voice telling them to bolt to the surface. A diver, stops, breathes, thinks, then acts... a c-card holder does not. In all, some of this may sound beyond the scope of teaching someone how to scuba dive, but...

"The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership."
--Harvey S. Firestone

Friday, October 27, 2017

THESES ARE ANIMALS: Butterfly, Bunny, Kitty Cat, Bunny Rabbit, Ducky, Fi...


#butterfly #bunny #kitty #rabbit #ducky #fishy #snail

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Scuba instructors: Have any of your students not picked up their cert ca...

Why haven't you picked up your certification card from the dive shop...

How long has your c-card been at the dive shop?

Don't you want your scuba certification card?

(questions to scuba instructors)

#ccard #certcard #certificationcard #scubainstructor

Monday, October 23, 2017

My Octopus Project... Octo on top of an empty Moon Snail shell.

The medium is an air drying porcelain like material that doesn't need to be baked. White clay, basically...

Haven't decided if I'll paint it or not yet.

#scuba #octopus #GiantPacificOctopus #modelingclay #octonation #sculpture #artisticimpression

Friday, October 20, 2017

Pumpkin Spice Scuba Diving featuring "I'm An Albatraoz" by AronChupa

Pumpkin Spice Scuba Diving featuring "I'm An Albatraoz" by AronChupa

be sure to listen with the volume all the way up and the bass kickin' !!!

#dancemix #pumpkinspice #albatraoz #aronchupa #timeoftheseason

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Where do you wear your snorkel?

Where do you wear your snorkel?

Do you even wear one?

#snorkel #doyouwearasnorkel

Why you should learn how to scuba dive... Life is too short...

"Every dive is a dream come true."

#learntoscubadive #whydive #learntodive #lifeistooshort #dreamdive #bucketlist #dreamsdocometrue #life0001