Part of the certification process for all open-water divers is going to the pool and running through a specific set of underwater skills. Normally in the summer months we use Deb & Grady’s 10 ft deep pool, but in early May, their pool wasn’t warm enough so the junior divers used the pool at 5 mile for their pool class. Attached you’ll find a video of their experience. Look for the post finishing up their certification coming soon! Enjoy!!
This weekend we got a great start on our next set of junior divers. There are 3 junior divers going through this class that will get certified very soon. Very exciting!!
Now if you went through your dive classes with Deb &/or Grady Weston, think back to when they were telling you how to set up your equipment. They made it a point to say that you should turn your gage into the back of your BC before turning on the air.
Do you remember why? It was just to make sure that it didn’t explode. Deb told us that she’d never experienced that but it was definitely a possibility.
So Saturday the kids went to the pool over at 5Mile to get their pool classes in. Chuck Beaver, Lee Lake and Mark Willoughby were in the pool to help Deb. They got all their equipment set up and had it waiting on the side while the kids did their swim test, underwater swim and float test.
As the kids were getting ready to do the 10 minutes of floating, Deb said 1, 2, 3 and then there was a loud BOOM!
Chuck was on one side of the pool, I was on the other, Deb was on the south side between us and Lee and Mark were in the pool. We all just looked at each other like who had the start gun? The kids weren’t affected by it at all they just started floating/treading water. The rest of us started wondering what happened.
Turns out, we now know why it is a good thing to turn your gauge into the back of your BC when you start airflow to it because Lee’s gauge actually exploded. Lee’s equipment/gauge had been set up and turned on for a good 10-15 minutes at the point the gauge exploded.
We found the plastic portion of the gauge all in tact about 15 feet away from where Lee’s equipment was laying. The face wound up on top of the dressing rooms about 30 feet away and we never did find the needle, it was like looking for a needle in a… you get the picture.
No matter how long you have been diving or how much experience you have, you can always learn something new. Take this lesson and apply it the next time you use one of these gauges. And as always have fun Diving!
If you missed the Underwater Photography Class presented by Brian Head on Saturday, you sure missed out on a great, informational class, however I’ll do my best to do it justice right here.
The class started out in the morning at Extreme Sports Scuba for the classroom sessions where we received informational handouts as well as Brian going over the different types of cameras in general that are used for underwater photography.
We covered topics such as exposure, flash positioning, composition, editing software and overall camera maintenance. After around 2 hours in the classroom we broke for lunch and then it was time to head to the pool.
We all met back up at 5Mile Camp to try out what we learned in the classroom.
Now I know you might be thinking, what is there to take photos of in a swimming pool? Well don’t you worry because that was totally covered. We had fish, flamingos, a hand of cards, a Smurf, aquarium greenery, a sharks tooth not to mention photos of other divers taking pictures.
As always it is extremely nice to be able to get out and into a swimming pool during the winter months, however Saturday I would say that the highlight of the pool session would have been the nice, warm, hot tub.
Now don’t let that comment mislead you, we had a blast in the pool, but it was a bit cooler than normal, we were sitting around 78 degrees so by the time we were all finished taking photos, we were ready for a bit of a warm-up. Thank you Brian Head for sharing your knowledge with the rest of the class.
When you think of wintertime, you probably don’t think of a lot of scuba diving events but this is a great time of year to promote the sport. Saturday January 25th and Sunday January 26th Extreme Sports Scuba headed over to Pittsburg, Kansas, for their yearly boat show. Saturday Deb Weston and Dan La Due represented and Grady Weston came over on Sunday.
During the show they met with a lot of certified divers and even people who were looking into refresher courses. There were even new prospects looking into getting certified. That’s what we need with this sport to keep it alive and thriving!
It’s always great when there is a funny story and a great lesson to be learned. This year’s story was of a woman who came up to the booth and was staring at the ERDI poster, which also included a photo of a car in the river. She stood there and stared and stared at the poster and finally spoke up and said, “Oh the D stands for diving doesn’t it not driving.” They all got a good laugh because she couldn’t figure out how the car in the river went along with driving . By the way, if you’re having difficulty remember what ERDI stands for, it stands for Emergency Response Diving International.
Saturday if you missed the Equipment Maintenance Seminar, you missed a lot of great information. Now with most dive get-togethers there is food.
12 People were in attendance.
Proper maintenance of your equipment is essential, but don’t worry if you weren’t able to attend, here is some very useful information that you can apply to your Scuba Diving gear.
- Annual or every 2 years service (this is done by certified tech).
- Replace o-rings, clean and adjust system as a whole unit.
- Clean only while under pressure.
- Run fresh water over system especially after salt water use.
- NEVER dunk entire regulator in rinse tank after dives
- Especially after salt water due to contaminates in rinse tank.
- Leaving salt water residue on system could pit the chrome plating on the brass causing permanent damage. Wipe hoses down with silicone pump spray for neat look and protection
- NEVER attempt to do your own extensive repairs to 1st or 2nd stage of your regulator.
- Know your systems working capabilities. Is it piston or diaphragm – balanced or not. Is it good enough for deep diving?
- Check your system out before leaving on a trip. Replace computer batteries, check hoses, is everything working properly!! Check hoses, hose wraps can conceal damage. We can pressure check your 1st stage while you are in the shop.
- Remember this is a life support system (try breathing under water without it.
- Storage – Change how you coil to prevent damage to hoses.
- Always rinse BC after lake or salt water dives.
- Clean Bladder well after salt water use.
- Annual service of Air 2 or similar octo/inflator combos.
- Check straps and buckles for proper operation, replace if needed.
- Store unit partially inflated in cool dry place and out of sun light.
- Visual every year.
- Hydro every 5 years.
- Always store with at least 500 PSI and secured vertically in cool dry place.
- Handling – Avoid damage from rough handling, dents. Be alert to sound of escaping air, valves can sometimes open slightly during transportation.
- If cylinders are totally empty of air they must be visually inspected as water could leak in.
- If you suspect damage to cylinder. Immediately drain and contact your visual inspector.
And by all means, if you have questions, give Extreme Sports Scuba a call or better yet swing by the shop and they’ll be more than happy to assist you to help keep your equipment in tip top condition.
Now that you are Scuba Certified, what can you do next? Well, we have just the information for you! In this post you’re going to learn about the Specialty Scuba Certifications that you can partake in.
Scuba Diving from boats is an everyday occurrence. Whether on a private vessel or one of the many charter dive boats available worldwide, divers are frequently not aware of the special procedures and etiquette used when boat diving. The SDI Boat Diver course will introduce you to some different types of boat diving and the skills needed to plan and conduct a boat dive with maximum safety. The list of skills and knowledge you will obtain during this course is long and includes
- Safe Entries and Exits
- Proper stowing of equipment
- Safety Procedures
- Planning boat dives
- Drift diving from live boats.
The SDI Computer Diver course is for divers who have not yet used a dive computer or for divers that want to learn a little more about the computer they are using. During the course and the two dives that go along with it, your SDI Instructor will cover:
- Computers vs Tables
- Display information
- Types of computers
- Downloading information
- Utilizing planning modes
- Programming computers
Personal Dive Computers are used by the vast majority of divers today and have proven to be a valuable tool for monitoring and documenting dives.
SDI’s Deep Diver course is a must for any diver wishing to explore a little more and will teach you the risks and benefits of deep diving. Many interesting sights lie just beyond 18m/60ft such as beautiful wall dives, ship wrecks, and critters that don’t come into the shallows. During the course, your SDI Instructor will take you on two covers skills like:
- Proper descents
- Air management
- Effects of nitrogen narcosis
- Dive planning
By the end of the course your knowledge and comfort level will be increased. The Deep Diver course has a maximum depth of 40m/130 ft, the suggested sport diving limit.
Some of the best dives in the world are found in currents where the nutrients are rich and ready to be feed on by soft corals, sponges, and Manta rays. Whether you’re planning on drifting down a wall or shooting through a passage, the SDI Drift Diver course will teach you the techniques for doing it safely. The course covers:
- Tides and currents
- Buddy Procedures
- Entries from live boats
- Buoyancy Control
The SDI Dry Suit Diver course will open up a whole new world of diving to you. Many of the waters around the world are better dove in a dry suit. These waters have an abundance of marine life waiting to be seen and photographed, dry suits are also being used in tropical waters during the cooler months. Your SDI Instructor will teach you
- Selection of a dry suit
- Care and maintenance
- Emergency procedures
- Proper Weighting
- Buoyancy Control
Many divers find that night diving is their favorite type of diving. As with all specialty diving applications, procedures are different than those associated with Open Water Diving. The purpose of the SDI Night & Limited Visibility Diver course is to acquaint the Open Water Scuba Diver with the procedures, techniques, and potential hazards associated with diving at night or in limited visibility. By becoming familiar with the use of dive lights and night diving equipment such as navigation
- Buddy system procedures
- Buoyance control
- Interacting with nocturnal aquatic life
You will be able to enjoy night diving with maximum safety and comfort.
One of the most important skills a diver can have is good navigation; this could be with a compass or by natural formations. The SDI Underwater Navigation Diver course will teach you the necessary skills to navigate using a compass and natural navigation. During the course your SDI Instructor will teach you:
- Compass Features
- Distance estimating
- Reading ocean bottom contours
- Practice skills
Making a dive and seeing waters of the aquatic environment can only be topped by taking pictures of it to share with friends and family. The SDI Underwater Photography course allows you to experience some of the special considerations of underwater photography, with the discussion of many areas of interest to the photographer. Your SDI Instructor will assist you in selecting a camera, good buoyance techniques, lighting and framing of the perfect shot. Whether you want to use film or digital, this course and your SDI Instructor will teach you what you need to know.
- Diving Ship Wrecks are a passage into the past. With each wreck, there is a story to tell – some wrecks are historic participants of and era, while others…just a spectator in time. Diving these wrecks can be an adventure all on its own. Wreck diving can be one of the most exciting aspects of sport diving and can uncover pieces of history seen by few others, however every effort must be made to maximize safe diving techniques.
- In the SDI Wreck Diver course, we will discuss and use equipment and techniques commonly employed while wreck diving. This course may be taught as a 1) non-penetration (2 total dives) or 2) limited-penetration (3 total dives) course. In the event of “Limited Penetration Training,” limited penetration is defined as “swim through or within the ambient light of entry point,”. Your SDI Instructor will teach you how to safely plan and execute wreck dives in a fun and enjoyable way.
- By signing up for this wreck course, the perspective student has begun to enter one of the most popular diving activities in the world. Combining adventure, exploration, and history, shipwreck diving is something almost no diver can resist. One of the best ways to participate in wreck diving is from a dive boat, and this alone can open up new vistas of diving areas that may have originally been thought inaccessible or unreachable. Drift diving is a unique experience where a gentle current in clear water can give divers a completely different perspective on their underwater world. This course will provide helpful hints, secrets, and techniques for all three activities.
These courses are all offered at Extreme Sports Scuba so if you have any questions or find a certification you’re interested in persuing, please contact us and we’ll be more than happy to help you.
So, you’re thinking about becoming Scuba Certified? Or, You’ve just become certified and wonder what you can accomplish next. If you’ve done your research, you know that Grady and Deb teach through SDI or Scuba Diving International. This post is part 1 of the different types of certifications you can achieve through SDI and Extreme Sports Scuba. If you happen to find something you’d like to know more about, contact one of the instructors at Extreme Sports Scuba and they can hook you up. So, without further delay, here is a listing of the first installment of dive certifications you can achieve.
The SDI Open Water Scuba Diver course is an entry-level certification course designed to give you the necessary skills to safely conduct open water dives. Some of the skills you will learn include buoyancy, proper weighting, marine conservation, equipment assembly, proper dive planning, and maintenance. It covers all the basic knowledge about equipment, physiology and the marine environment while training students to perform basic skills underwater. This course is the key to start exploring dive destinations around the globe or just in your backyard.