Monday, December 21, 2015

Scuba Diving Lessons Portland Oregon, Please Tell a Friend...

Friends, family, students, divers, and those that would like to learn... It's that time when I ask you to consider forwarding this post to anyone you know that might be interested in learning how to scuba dive. You can even "like" the post so it will show up in your news feed and "follow" me on Twitter.

I ask that you do this because so often, people that know I teach Scuba Diving Lessons forget that the best recommendation comes from someone you know. Similarly, knowing someone that teaches and getting the prospective student connected doesn't always happen.

As an independent instructor, I don't own a dive shop as I don't want to sell equipment, I just want to teach. All my classes are taught on your schedule and I come to you for the educational component. My programs never expire and you can take as long as you want to finish. I've taught 10 years olds and I've taught a 72 year olds... Anyone can do it.

I also teach Basic Life Support, CPR and First Aid, snorkeling, skindiving, and a couple technical diving specialties (TDI Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures).

I've had a great couple years, each one growing beyond my expectations. I've made a lot of new friends and we've had lots of great dives together. If you are someone you know is interested in diving, marine life, the oceans, environmental issues and causes, you'll always find new and interesting posts on my JCA Elite Scuba Facebook page ( and Twitter account (

My website is full of information, course descriptions, pictures, videos, and even a scuba blog!

In order to continue to deliver the highest quality, elite five-star training that many of you have first hand knowledge of, I'll be raising my rates January 1st. I'm adding local day boat trips, technical diving education, Divemaster educational programs, international trips, and will be doing several presentations about scuba diving, dive travel, marine life, and the oceans at local schools and businesses. If you would like me to come to talk to your school or business, please let me know.

Thanks greatly for all the support, have a great, safe, and Happy New Year! See you in 2016...!!!


JCA Elite Scuba
Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington

Friday, December 18, 2015

Snorkeling and Skin Diving Lessons Portland Oregon Vancouver Washington

Snorkeling Lessons

Imagine floating on a clear sea of liquid watching fishes, crustaceans, corals, and diverse sealife face-to-face. Your NAUI Instructor will coach you through the process of snorkeling and breath-hold diving. Your fun will grow as your skills develop!

Fun for the whole family. This certification class is for 8 year-olds and older and whether you are an accomplished swimmer or someone who has never spent time in the water, everyone can join in and learn something new.
There is a lot more to snorkeling and skin diving than just getting wet. We'll start with the proper equipment and fit for the location you'll be diving. Then, everyone will learn different kicking techniques, breathing skills, and you'll even learning to clear the water out of your mask. Great training makes a big difference in one's overall comfort.




Skin Diving Lessons

Call or e-mail for pricing, group lessons, and scheduling...
JCA Elite Scuba 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

JCA Elite Scuba, Portland OR -- I've added some more photos from some of the trips we've done... thanks to Thom Owens and Chad Miller for taking lots of the pictures!

Brand: Juan Carlos Aguilar -- The difference between a brand and a product. Why you want me to be your dive instructor. Private scuba diving lessons. Portland, OR.

You've heard people talk about "brands" and "products," but do you really know the difference between them? It's really quite simple and the easiest way to understand it is with this example: "Starbucks." Their brand is world famous. You can walk into any Starbucks and people are hanging out, working on their computers, having conversations even though it's usually pretty loud in there, and the best part... they spend lots of money on poor quality coffee and prepackaged food. If two coffee shops were side by side, the "fun" atmosphere will attract more customers because, well...  who wants to hang out at Denny's? I grew up drinking brewed coffee like the coffee shops, Denny's and Shari's makes. It's not too strong, you can get unlimited refills, and you only pay a dollar or two. I never would have imagined ever paying $4+ for a whipped up coffee infused concoction of ice, chocolate, and whipped cream. In fact, Starbucks is my favorite place to teach! Classroom settings are boring, students actually have fallen asleep in classrooms I've taught in, and as far as retention goes, often the student remembers very little from a classroom experience. No one ever falls asleep at Starbucks.

People don't go to Starbucks to savor fresh roasted gourmet coffee beans (sarcasm implied), they want the atmosphere. When the atmosphere is rich and inviting, it promotes positive associations and makes it easier to remember. I know that most of us had mediocre if not negative memories of the educational institutions we went to.  Who wants to relive that?

What does that have to do with me? I am the brand. When you think of scuba diving instruction, you should be thinking about the instructor that devotes his business to making scuba a lifestyle and something that is part of who you are. It should be fun, something you look forward to doing. As many are coming to find out, there aren't too many mom and pop shops left and that includes shops run by momma Jane and daddy Joe. Often, in order to keep the doors open, the local dive shop has to sell scuba diving equipment, and a lot of it. There is an old joke in the dive industry. How do you make a million dollars in scuba? Start with two! Equipment sales are the lifeblood of their businesses. Their doors aren't open to teach, it's to sell, and with internet sales taking a devastating piece of the pie, a large proportion of shops lose sales because of higher costs of running a brick and mortar.  Many dive shops owners tell me that there is very little profit in education. After paying the instructor, setting aside a little money for the lease or rent, equipment, supplies, advertising, utilities, and the like, if they are not in the hole, they'd be lucky to make $50.

I believe that everyone deserves to make a profit, but as a scuba diving instructor, I place value integrity, and service first. My goal is to create an atmosphere of camaraderie and relationships. After all, how long is a good dive and what do you do during your surface interval? Sadly, I've seen instructors in their cars talking on their cellphones and students on their own waiting for the next dive. They look spiritless and definitely don't look like they are having fun. I don't want to sell equipment and I don't my business to have to depend on it.

I also only teach a student or two at a time. This not only gives me an opportunity to build a report with them, they get to know who I am as a person. Report means that when they want to go diving, they call someone they can trust, someone they got to know, and someone they can share great scuba experiences with. Large class sizes also have the inherent possibility for some of the students to fall behind. Some may also not excel... The odds are more likely that half the class won't get all the attention from the instructor they wish they had. In education, this is called, "teaching for the lowest common denominator."

Juan Carlos Aguilar as the brand is selling the program over the phone, sight unseen and without a store front. It's delivering the educational systems to the students in person. It's also meeting them near their work or homes for my educational review and final exam AND on their schedule and when it's convenient for them. We carpool, and during certification dive weekends, it means that we share a large room, not only making lodging more affordable, but no one is left alone and spiritless.  We share food and stories, talk about the dive day and laugh! When it's time for continuing education, they think of JCA Elite Scuba.

The part of the brand that I feel the most strongly about is that I've found out that it's that I don't need the dive shop, rather the dive shop needs me. Often is the case that the student will spend more on equipment than education, but it is also likely that they will never return to the dive shop, never refer others there, and may even hop from shop to shop without ever becoming a regular customer. Often the student will start to buy used equipment or default to online sales. Ironically, only a few shops have won me over and I feel comfortable returning, recommending them, and bring students there. If I can't take the lead, be trusted to put my students into the right equipment at the right time, I could default to online sales and even equipment sales and rentals myself. Luckily, I don't have the interest in becoming a dive shop, having an inventory, having sales goals, and putting diving on the back burner.  Coincidentally, I've done more diving as an independent instructor than I ever did as an instructor working at a dive shop with a classroom full of students.

When you're ready to learn how to scuba dive, please don't think about it as something you have to just get through so that you can "go" diving. Think about giving me the opportunity to help shape you into becoming a great diver. Plan on doing a lot of work but being able to appreciate quality over quantity.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Scuba diving lessons in Vancouver, Washington. Flexible scheduling. Private classes. CPR and First Aid training.

 Providing private lessons in Vancouver, Washington and surrounding areas. You schedule classes when it's convenient for you. Learning from an independent NAUI Scuba Instructor means that you get the best training in the industry. NAUI has the highest training standards of all the agencies. Whether you're in a hurry and need to get done quickly for an upcoming trip or want to start diving regularly in the Pacific Northwest, JCA Elite Scuba will get you there. Give me a call, send me an e-mail, and check out my website for lots of great information. Refresher courses.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Scuba diving lessons in Battle Ground Washington and surrounding areas... Learn to dive right here. Dive right here...

JCA Elite Scuba provides the best scuba diving lessons, certification, and training in Battle Ground, Washington and surrounding 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. I come to you for classes and on your schedule. Finish your classes in a few days or a few weeks. There is never a rush to have to keep up with others or at their pace. Learn from textbook, online, e-Book, DVD, and direct facilitation from a NAUI Scuba Instructor. CPR and First Aid courses, too. Refresher courses.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

scuba certification classes Portland oregon

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

youtube video: learn to scuba dive with jca elite scuba

JCA Elite Scuba provides the best scuba diving lessons, certification, and Basic Life Support: CPR & First Aid in Oregon and Washington. Your scuba diving certification will be taught on your schedule, where you can take as long as you want with individualized and personal attention. I come to you for classes AND on your schedule... Finish your classes 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, e-Book, DVD, and every student will receive direct facilitation from a NAUI Scuba and DAN Instructor.

Every student always get more than just the basics because I believe in "Dive Safety Through Education" and building confidence through competence. I want you to become a great diver and have experiences that will last you a lifetime! Individual attention means you get 100%. You won't feel lost in the traditional large class.

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Extreme Underwater Ironing

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dive now in Puget Sound... This unprecedented heat wave may have lost lasting ecological effects.

Hello divers, students, and those thinking about learning how to scuba dive.

While many of you have been enjoying this unseasonably hot weather, for those of you that haven't, I've got some news for you.

I dove in the Puget Sound yesterday and the water temperature to 35 feet was 70°F. Yep, unbelievably and unprecedentedly warm! If anyone has been reluctant to dive in the Pacific Northwest, now is the time.

The water had at least 40 feet of visibility and I saw an amazing variety of life that is usually spread out through different times of year, different depths, temperature ranges, and times of day.

With that said, this unprecedented heatwave could be a sign of trouble for the Puget Sound. While there is over 3,000 miles of coastline in the Sound, I've been told that this kind of heatwave could generate a massive die off.

It would be terribly sad to see so much of what I love disappear. I dove the Great Barrier Reef in 2009 and saw coral bleaching below 90 feet and during that entire time I was there, I only saw one Blacktip Reef Shark.

If you want to come see what I've seen, let's go diving... If you have avoided diving in the PNW, now is the time. If you've been putting off learning, let me teach you.

One of the greatest resources on the planet, one that is in our own very back yard, might not be here one day.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Scuba Diver Equipment and Travel Checklist to help you remember what to bring on your next dive trip...



Are you getting ready for your upcoming Scuba or Snorkeling 
trip but think you might be forgetting something? Look over 
these check lists to be sure that you have everything you 
need for your excursion!

 BCD/Weight Pockets 
 Weights/Weight Belt 
 Wetsuit/Dry suit 
 Lycra Suit 
 Knife and Sheath 
 Snorkel and Keeper 
 Scuba Certification Card 
 Surface Signaling Devices 
 Wreck Reel 
 Dive Watch 
 Equipment Bag 
 Camera Equipment 
 Desiccant Packs 
 Dive Lights – Main Light, Backup Light, Tank Light 
 Goodie Bag Accessories: 
 First Aid Kit 
 Save-A-Dive Kit 
 Dry Box 
 Fin Strap/Mask Strap 
 Mouthpiece/Zip Ties 
 Master Scuba Tool 
 Gauge Retractor 
 Extra Batteries and Bulbs 
 Spare Mask 
 Dive Destination Book 
 Marine Life ID Book Float with Flag 
 Game Bag 
 Spear Gun 
 Lift Bag 
 Microfiber Towel

 Airline Tickets 
 Dive Insurance 
 Photo ID 
 Vaccination Cert. 
 Motion Sickness
 Doc’s Pro Plugs 
 Dry Ear Drops 
 Swimmer’s Ear Med.

 Beach Towel 
 Beach walkers
 Rash Guard 
 Insect Spray

Sunday, January 11, 2015

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...