Friday, December 19, 2014
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Saturday, December 13, 2014
JCA ELITE SCUBA
jca elite scuba, private lessons, flexible scheduling, naui, learn to scuba dive, portland, oregon, vancouver, washington
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Charging volunteers a fee to help clean up the environment... Really?
Is volunteering done out of the kindness of one's heart or one's wallet? Do we volunteer to make the world a better place even if there is no return on our investment? I do...!!! There is a difference when that fee buys food, drinks, and pays for the costs associated with renting a campsite -- when it is all spent on the activity.
I just found a flyer for a dive shop that charged volunteers $20 to come pick trash out of a local lake. The volunteers did get a sandwich lunch and soda. What was not included: parking ($10/day or $30/year); air fills ($5-10); rental equipment ($50-$75); and of course they had to drive up there and pay for the cost of gasoline ($2.75/g).
I talked to the park ranger, and as expected, a business cannot charge people to go to the lake to do an event like this. A foot-long sub at Subway cost $5 and a can of soda, 50 cents... where did the extra money collected go? Does anyone think this is wrong?
Monday, December 8, 2014
In the Maya Underworld
Cavern Diving... open water divers welcome
It's what started it all for me. I went to Mexico and I wanted to dive the cenotes...
Next year I went to Florida and got cave certified.
Scuba Diving Lessons for Women by Women
Learn to Scuba Dive in the most beautiful place on Earth...
Sea Fox Divers provides the best scuba diving lessons in the Portland and Vancouver areas. Your scuba diving certification will be taught on your schedule, where you can take as long as you want with individualized and personal attention. Finish your certification in a few days or a few weeks. There is never a rush to have to keep up with others or at their pace. Learning modes include textbook, online learning, DVD, and every student will receive direct facilitation from a Scuba Diving Instructor .
a little about Callie Renfro...
She got certified in 2010 and loved diving so much that she immediately started to take specialties courses. She started diving the Oregon Coast almost every weekend, and with lots of dives under her belt, became a Dive Control Specialist in 2012. Encouraged to keep learning and wanting to teach, she quickly made the jump to PADI Assistant Instructor that same year. In 2013 she achieved Open Water Instructor and now strives towards teaching advanced specialties.
Callie mostly dives in the Pacific Northwest. During the winter months she loves crab diving at Netarts Bay. Every year she spends two weeks diving the warm waters of Isla Mujeres, Mexico, home of the Cancun Underwater Museum (MUSA). These life-sized statues were created to promote reef growth and provide marine life habitat.
One of Callie's greatest passions is deep diving. Her favorite dive so far was diving the Cenotes in Tulum, Mexico, which pushes her desired to become a Cave Diver.
Contact Callie Renfro at email@example.com for more information, to schedule an appointment, or learn more scuba diving!
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
"I don't have the time to learn."
"How is your program different from all the others?
"I already have several hobbies and play several sports."
"Aren't all instructors the same?"
"I can't afford it."
"Is there a difference between the certification agencies?"
"I'm claustrophobic. I can't dive."
Living with claustrophobia is difficult, frustrating, and challenging. Is being claustrophobic getting in the way of setting goals and effecting your day to day life? Depending on how you answer, scuba diving may still be for you. You'll want to ask yourself, "Do I want to continue to live with these fears," and if not, "What can I do to overcome them?" I can design a program that will slowly introduce you to the equipment and build your confidence in the water. You don't have to be a great swimmer, either. Let's breakdown some of those roadblocks and open up some of the doors you've been wanting to pass through.
"I don't have the time to learn."
Like all things that are important to us, we find the time. One of the ways I help my students find the time is to have the most flexible schedule in the industry. I will meet you anytime and place. For our initial introduction, I usually meet students at a Starbucks. It's a great place to meet, they have snacks and beverages that makes the first meeting casual and comfortable, and it also makes a great place to do lessons. I've never know anyone to fall asleep in a Starbucks. In my opinion, classrooms are really the worst place to learn. Additionally, when you are ready for the pool sessions, I can meet you any one of six days a week. Your certification dives can also be done on your schedule even if you want to break the two days up. I've found that having only one place to meet, a particular day to teach on, and a weekend that you might not have off usually doesn't work the best for the student. I want you to dive and become a scuba diver! If I was a dive shop and couldn't get you certified because your schedule doesn't fit, then you don't dive... That also means you don't continue your education. I want you to be my student, so I will make my schedule fit you!
"How is your program different from all the others?"
I focus on quality and don't funnel students through my program all at once. While I can teach up to eight students by myself, I've found that someone always gets lost with large class sizes. I limit my class size to four (if everyone knows each other -- like families), otherwise it's two students at a time, unless you are learning on your own. Not only does that make it easier to meet everyone's needs, no one ever feels like they are falling behind or holding up the group. When a student gets stuck, we have the time to take to make sure they feel comfortable before going on to the next skill. I focus on the student's abilities, not disabilities. Just because one skill is difficult, I don't let that become an obstacle to certification. It may take more time, but I don't charge you extra when it does. My standards are are higher than industry standards! Not only will that make you a better diver, you won't find yourself underprepared when you are not diving with me. At some point, the instructor must cut the proverbial "umbilical cord." Just because you paid for certification, that doesn't guarantee certification on your timeline. It benefits no one to send a poorly trained diver out there. Sometimes the path is non-traditional, but safety and attention to detail should never be things you pay additional for or just not receive during your training.
"I already have several hobbies and play several sports."
There are those that make their sport their life. You've heard about those surfer dudes that live to surf... Scuba is a passionate sport to many, but it is also a lifestyle. Scuba divers take trips just to dive. Many do practice other sports and participate in other activities, but few of them will change your life like scuba does. After quitting my banking job in 2006 and learning to dive a month later, my path in life changed. I can honestly say it was a spiritual experience. I've dove all over the world and have seen first hand a multitude of diverse animal life, historical shipwrecks, and even learned to cave dive. I have become more patient, feel grounded, and have become more confident and self-reliant. Are you looking for a community to be a part of, a group of people that you can put your life in their hands and make new friends? Scuba is all that and more!
"Aren't all instructors the same?"
No. Everyone had favorite teachers in school that influenced them and scuba is no different. Those that influence us play immense rolls that shape our lives for years to come. "The dive course you take is going to be no better than the dive instructor who teaches it." Your instructor should be dedicated to you, to scuba diving education and to the scuba diving industry. I feel privileged to have met, taught, and in many cases become friends with those I have taught. I continue to dive with several of them and many continue their education with me. I never had these experiences in any of the vocations I was a part of before scuba. One of the greatest assets to learning from an independent instructor is their individual philosophy. Being a NAUI Scuba Diving Instructor means that I can tailor my program to my student's needs. It's important to remember, "In no field can certification alone guarantee comptence." My job is to build your confidence through competance.
"I can't afford it."
While scuba is an equipment intensive sport, and there is some equipment you want to own, you don't have to buy it all to enjoy everything scuba has to offer. Many new divers rent equipment until they find what works best for them. There aren't many sports that one can try different styles and name brands without having to make a purchase. Rental equipment varies in manufacturer, size, fit, style, purpose, and quality. With that said, if you want to learn how to dive, I will find a way to make it happen. There are times when I consider and accept payments. Yes, pay as you...!!! There is a way to make most things happen, and when it comes to scuba, I have lots of resources at my discretion. I partner with a few shops that share my philosophy and ethic. There will come a time when you'll be able to afford more and if I am flexible with you now, my hope is that you'll come back to me in the future. Relationships, personal and business, make the world a great place. Let me help you build relationships that will last you a lifetime.
"Is there a difference between the certification agencies?"
Yes. Becoming certified requires an educational component which can be done in a classroom setting, at home with self-study, or on the internet. Many agencies follow the World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC) standards. The WRSTC's mission statement is, "The World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC) is dedicated to the worldwide safety of the recreational diving public. As such, one of the WRSTC's primary goals is the development of worldwide minimum training standards. The establishment of globally recognized and implemented standards is a valuable asset in addressing local and national regulatory issues." Currently, there are twenty-two WRSTC member agencies. Some you may be familiar with: SSI (Scuba Schools International); PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors); and SDI (Scuba Diving International); and some you may not be: IAC (International Aquanatic Club); PSS (Professional Scuba Schools); and IDEA (International Diving Educators Association). These agencies create and comply with strict professional standards set by WRSTC, and their certifications are recognized worldwide. Scuba diving is a self- regulating industry. Each agency establishes its own agenda for diver training and issues certification for each level of scuba diving competency and experience, from beginner to instructor. Courses vary in teaching methods for the beginner's level, but they all cover the same essential knowledge and practical skills development as set by WRSTC.The main mission of certification agencies (SSI, PADI, SDI, IAC, PSS, and IDEA) is the Marketing of Scuba Diving. Some do a better job than others. The organizations you have heard of have done a better job of selling their brand. Is NAUI a member of the WRSTC? No. NAUI's standards surpass those standards and is known as having the highest in the industry!
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Donate Now to Friends of Mia
About Friends of Mia
Friends of Mia Foundation is dedicated to funding childhood cancer research and helping local patients and families. With your support, we can help kids with cancer, one smile at a time and provide hope to kids with cancer one mile at a time. Friends of Mia is an organization that was created in 2009 to help offset medical and living expenses for Mia and her family when she was diagnosed with High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) when she was 2 years old. Mia had a 3 year battle with Leukemia, including 2 relapses, a bone marrow transplant from her twin brother Noah and many long stays in the hospital. Sadly, on April 17, 2012, Mia peacefully passed away in her sleep.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Friday, February 21, 2014
When: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 6:00 PM
Where: Veggie Grill
508 Sw Taylor St
When: Saturday, March 1, 2014 12:00 PM to Sunday, March 2, 2014 3:00 PM
Where: Sunrise Motel & Dive Resort, Hoodsport, WA
I only have two spots left and will extend the special to anyone that would like to do my trifecta! deep, night, and navigation for only $200. class is on wednesday at the veggie grill downtown portland and the certification dives will be march 1 and 2 at sunrise motel in hoodsport, washington. you can even split it up. do the class wednesday, and dives later...!!! as a naui instructor, i have the priveledge of writing my own lesson plan, so it will be all the good stuff without the extras you might be used to having to pay for. books not required. will be lecture, Q&A, and interaction. no extra fee to do the certification dives. i have technical diving experience and will be integrating some of the best techniques from recreation and technical without the added risk. AND... a "simulated" decompression is part of my deep class! you can even show up at veggie grill as i have a squareup.com account and can take payment with a debit or credit card right there! here is the lesson plan:
Friday, February 14, 2014
Monday, February 3, 2014
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Friday, January 10, 2014
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Specialties and Levels
Learn a little more, be a lot better...
Most divers complete their training and have only touched the surface of what they can learn. Learning some new skills with a specialty class can improve your comfort, confidence, and diving opportunities. By the time you're done with your Open Water training you will have completed six Open Water dives. If you're going to dive in the Pacific Northwest, you will want to dive in a drysuit. Adding the Drysuit Diver Specialty will add one more day and two more dives. By taking on this commitment, you will finish your program at a place that some divers don't see until their second year. You will be extremely prepared for the best that diving has to offer and others will recognize how much more advanced you are!
This is actually the way it used to be done. Changes in the economy and easy access to other sporting activities have caused the industry to change their minimum requirements and even their standards. I intend teach you, "the way it used to be done" -- to create the most competent and highly proficient diver!
Below are some of the extra specialties you will want to learn. Most start off with Night, Deep, Nitrox, and Drysuit. My favorites are: Perfect Buoyancy, Navigation, Wreck, and Equipment Techniques! Most specialties only take an hour or two, a dive or two, and you get to start putting your new skills to work right away. If you don't have any of the specialized equipment that you might need, I can help you find it at some of the dive shops that I've got a relationship with. Not only will they appreciate the business, but most of my specialty classes are only $50 right now! This is a great time to learn some fantastic skills, get some cool tools, and become an even better diver.
Night Diver: Done during the hours of darkness. Experience a different set of marine animals. Specialized light configurations and equipment. I love diving at night! I saw my first "Sailfin Sculpin" on my first night dive. The Giant Pacific Octopus often hunts at night, too. I once saw a GPO in her den, and then on my way back she was gone! I bet she was out hunting.
Limited Visibility Diver: Techniques in high silt, particulate, or turbidity which can reduce the ability to see to zero. You could say that you'll be diving by feel. Low Vis is cool! New divers often swim by all the really cool small stuff. In very low visibility, you have to go slow and this forces you to look at what's in front of you!
Drysuit Diver: Open diving opportunities in 30 degrees to 80 degrees waters and dive all year long. Reduce hypothermia and decompression sickness risk potential. Dive longer and improve buoyancy. I love my drysuit! I've been told by some of my students that they're buoyancy is better in their drysuits and it wasn't as hard to learn as they thought it would.
Boat Diver: Safety, etiquette, entries, exits, and non-shore diving opportunities. I have relationships with several boat charters in the Pacific Northwest. We do boat diving all year long and with over a thousand miles of coastline in the Puget Sound, there are diving opportunities for everyone!
Computer Diver: Increase bottom time, monitor ascent rate, manage N2 and O2, record dive profile, and do more dives. Dive computer technology has come a long way! Computers can do everything now, and dive computers are so easy to use. Many of them have alarms to tell you if you go outside of your planned dive criteria and most will allow you to grow with them. Most computers today allow you to download your dive profile so you can see all the information about your dive on your home computer, laptop, tablet, and smart phone. My dive computer allows me to dive with up to eight different gasses and do decompression diving! Wanna learn...?
Enriched Air Nitrox: Decrease nitrogen on-gassing, increase bottom time or depth, reduce decompression sickness risks, and nitrox is your gateway to decopression diving. As we get older, some of our risk factors increase. It's inevitable, guys and gals... So, if we reduce the risk factors when we dive, it's like we're young and invincable, again. Well, almost! Nitrox can be one of those tools to reduce risk. You'll find great deals for nitrox diving all over the world, too.
Search & Recovery: Discover lost treasures, lift bag and SMB deployment, line use, search patterns, location identification, and more. I find cool stuff all the time. Would you believe that I found a block of cement with two boot in it in Lake Mead! Really! I used recovery techniques to take move it to a spot that everyone could enjoy seeing it. Las Vegas has some interesting history... I didn't find anything inside the boots, if you were wondering.
Deep Diving: Extend your range, deep dive planning, redundant breathing systems theory and usage, decompression theory, risks and rewards. My deepest dive to date was to 241 feet. I dove it on Trimix, a gas combination of oxygen, nitrogen and helium. The descent took me about five minutes, I spent 15 minutes exploring the USS Monitor, and then my ascent took 90 minutes! It was one of the most technical dives and definitely one of the most fullfilling I've ever done. I started by learning advanced nitrox techniques, then decompression diving techniques, and after many dives and lots of practice, I took the trimix course. I'll be teaching these soon, too. Watch for updates!
Equipment Techniques: How does my regulators work? "Woops... I disassembled it and need help putting it back together." No worries, learn how it all works and be even more confident in your scuba diving equipment. I'll teach you how to clean, assemble, maintain all your gear. Keeping your equipment in perfect condition is important, after all, it's your life support. Even if you can't service it yourself, the mechanical process is very interesting. I love servicing scuba diving equipment.
Underwater Photography: Still life composition and equipment techniques. Lighting, perspective, and preperation. I spent many years as a concert photographer, back in the old days before digital technology. But, you know what, the most important parts of photography, that is -- "painting with light" are still true today. Let me show you all techniques that help to create great photographs in and out of the water. Underwater photography equipment is affordable for any budget. Let me show you what's out there!
Stress & Rescue: Risk, stress, and aid. assessment, management, and techiques. Emergency and crisis management, first aid, oxygen administration. You never know when an emergency might arise, and being prepared for it -- before and after -- is important. Stress & Rescue is a requirement for your Master Diver certification, too. It is a fun class and you will be put through great challenges. See what is going around in your environment and be an agent to reduce risk. This is an all day specialty and costs $100, but it will be the best money you've ever spent on education.
Navigation: Orientation and equipment techniques. Reciprocal and geometric heading and courses. Compass procedures utilization, and function. I would say that underwater navigation is the most underestimated skill, especially in the Pacific Northwest. Getting back to the shore seems pretty straight forward, but if you go in the wrong directions, then what...? I carry a compass on me and use it on every dive! The best part of navigation is that you get to where you want to be a lot sooner and spend less time wandering around looking for what was on your dive plan. Compass techniques are just the beginning, too. Natural navigation is a major part of knowing where you are at any given time. This is one of the core classes that I would recommend that everyone take right after open water certification.
Waves, Tides & Currents: Atmospheric and gravitational factors that can influence diving. Risks, procedures, and conditions. You wouldn't want to start your dive and then realize that the tide is taking you further out than you expected. Struggling against tides and and currents can be exhausting and futile. The ocean doesn't get tired, but you will. Starting your dive into the oncoming tide is one of the keys to this kind of diving. You'll learn a lot more and be able to apply these skills on your first dive. If you ever been white water rafting, imagine doing it under the water. That's drift diving. It is as close to flying that you'll ever get. I've done drift diving down the Colorado River below the Hoover Dam in Nevada. Spectacular and exhilerating!
Wreck Diving: Navigation to, on, and around sunken boats, ships, planes, vehicles, and debris. Risk of overhead environments, collapse, entanglement, and entrapment. Some of the best wreck diving is right here in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. All skill levels and sites are out there. Remember, your compass will probably not work around a large steel vessel, so understanding the wreck, how to navigate it, and how to get back to the mooring line is key! I've dove around the B29 in Lake Mead and I never realized how big it was! WOW...!!! You come up onto the tail first. It has to be 20 feet tall.
Line & Reel:Lines and reels or spools are carried with me on every dive. I am cave certified and would never enter a cave without knowing the way out. Similarly, getting to a site quickly by following laid line, having line that takes you back to your entry point, and line to help with ascents and descents are invaluable. Using line isn't straight forward, though. The risk of entanglement or fouling is a possibility. If you have other divers with you, what does the line mean to them? Learn all about line and reel work and you'll never do another dive without them.
Diving Emergency Management Provider: A dive emergency is rarely a single event. More often than not, separate small problems compound to create a larger emergency.
Divers interested in understanding first aid care for dive emergencies can take the Diving Emergency Management Provider (DEMP) course from a DAN Instructor. This program integrates the knowledge and skills from several DAN training programs into a single course -- at a significant time savings without sacrificing any skills.
The DEMP course includes the knowledge and skill development from each of the following DAN course: Basic Life Support: CPR and First Aid, Emergency Oxygen for Scuba Diving Injuries, Neurological Assessment, and First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries.
BLS/CPR and First Aid: Basic life support, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and triage. Scence assessment, organization, and prioritization. Mouth-to-mouth, Automated Electronic Defibulator, chest compressions, and overall general emergency management. Not only a good idea for the diver to know, but great for parents with children and would you believe I even heard of someone performing chest compressions on their family dog after being electricuted. Thess are the skills you hope you never have to use and if you've been trained in the past, standards have changed. Learn the most up-to-date skills and techniques and prepare for, "the worst case scenerio." All of us can be hereos...
Emergency Oxygen for Scuba Diving Injuries: The DAN Emergency Oxygen for Scuba Diving Injuries course is designed to train and educate interested individuals in the techniques of using oxygen as first aid for a suspected dive injury. In addition, this course will introduce the fundamentals of recognizing diving injury warning signs, response and management. This program also provides an excellent opportunity for experienced divers and instructors to continue their education.
Neurological Assessment: Approximately two-thirds of divers with decompression illness experience damage to their nervous system. These signs are often vague and can go unrecognized by the diver, causing the symptoms to be dismissed as insignificant or not dive related and delaying treatment.
Additionally, stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability. Recognizing signs and symptoms of a possible stroke and activating EMS can minimize lasting effects.
The Neurological Assessment course focuses on how to obtain essential information about an individual involved in a dive emergency or suspected of having a stroke and what information to relay to emergency medical services.
First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries: Although serious hazardous marine life injuries are rare, most divers experience minor discomfort from unintentional encounters with fire coral, jellyfish and other marine creatures at some point in their dive careers. Learn how to recognize and minimize these injuries.
The First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries course is designed to provide divers with knowledge regarding specific types of marine life injuries and the general first aid treatment for those injuries. This course introduces students to identification of potentially hazardous marine life as well as how to avoid injuries.
LEVELS AND RANKING:
Unlike other agencies that only require four open water certification dives, I feel that more are necessary. I've heard many of my students proclaim that their last dive was the best! So, why stop on dive number four when you're already at the water's edge and dressed to dive. The best way to get better is to dive often and regularly. So, with that said, I have it planned for us to do anywhere from two to four more dives on our open water weekend. That means that you'll have to take an extra day off from work and spend it in the most beautiful place on earth! Is that so bad?
Open Water Diver: 6 dives
Advanced Open Water Diver: Open Water Diver, with Drysuit, Nitrox, Deep, and Night specialties.
Master Diver: Advanced Open Water Diver, with Stress & Rescue and DEMP.
Divemaster: Master Diver and Leadership training... This is the first professional ranking in Scuba. Be the best you can be and get paid for doing what you love, too!
Schedule & Fees
Specialties & Levels