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

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

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

NEW VS. USED SCUBA EQUIPMENT; Which should you buy?

NEW VS. USED SCUBA EQUIPMENT Which should you buy? How much is a 10 year old piece of scuba equipment worth today on eBay? Take the r...