All posts by immersions1

Hello and thanks for checking out my blog. I've been an avid diver since the early 1970's. I got my first scuba certification while stationed at Ft. Devons, Ma. in 1977 and have went deeper into the sport of diving ever since. I am a current PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer. Attended The Ocean Corporation in 1980 to obtain my Commercial Divers certificate (graduated 2nd in class). Attended the PADI GOLD COLLEGE in 1984. Became a Course director with SSI ( Scuba Schools International ). I have worked in the Commercial Diving industry for 8 years in the Gulf of Mexico, Schaefer Diving Company, Ocean Tec and Oceaneering to name a few. Worked as a Public Safety Diver with the Eldorado Sheriff Department and worked with several Fire and Law Enforcement jurisdictions in Search, Rescue, Recovery and Evidence diving in all the lakes and waterways of central California. Owned and managed several Scuba Business such as The Texas Dive Shop in Freeport, Texas. General Manager of Dolphin Scuba Center in Sacramento, Ca. from 1989 to 1995 and part owner of Scuba Plus in Stockton, CA from 1998 to 2005. Currently I am a freelance Diver with Aqua Video in Fair Oaks, CA. and still teaching recreational scuba diving at all levels. My certifications are with PADI, SSI, NAUI, ANDI, IANTD. Member of the Historical Diving Society.

Rent or Buy: The question of when to purchase your own Scuba Equipment

Scuba Package

When you enrolled in your scuba course, I’m sure there was talk about the benefits of purchasing your own equipment for the course. Dive stores survive off of gear sales, not certification fees. And because of this reality, most stores do and will push for divers to own their own gear, above the standard snorkeling package. This has two sides to it. First of all, safety is number one in dive training. Having your own equipment and learning in that equipment makes you very familiar with all its features and benefits. It most likely will fit you better than borrowing or renting. This in turn increases your confidence in the water and makes for a more enjoyable diving experience. On the other hand, if you don’t buy gear right away, don’t  borrow equipment from a friend, your friend will assume any liability if lending it to you, but rather, rent from the store you are taking your training with. The store staff will fit you with whats most appropriate regarding fit and comfort. The gear they rent should be properly serviced and provide for a good experience to complete your training. Just remember, every time you want to go diving, you will be renting unfamiliar equipment. In a way, that’s not a bad thing. It will give you an opportunity to try different equipment before you buy. So, to answer your question, you don’t need to purchase hard goods right away. Just rent the best you can for the time being. When renting, ask the dive center if they have different rental gear with different features you can try. But DO, and I repeat, DO…, save or finance to get your own gear. Owning your own gear will save you plenty of money in rental costs and reduce anxiety from using unfamiliar equipment.
NOTE of CAUTION: Watch out buying life support equipment on auction sites. You never know how its been used or serviced and if parts are still available to service the item prior to diving. I have known many a new diver that have purchased on auction sites, only to discover parts are no longer available for servicing or the item was recalled due to safety issues.  When the time comes you can afford your own gear, remember you want service, so I recommend to purchase from a place you can get service, returns and exchanges, Your local Diving Center. Good luck .

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Winter Projects and Tips to stay immersed in diving.

Ok, new to diving. You just got certified before fall semester. Now spring semester is just around the corner and it’s still winter outside, well maybe not for all of us, but for those of you in the dead of winter don’t fear, and of course, don’t hold your breath. There are plenty of activities and things divers can do while waiting for spring and summer sunshine.

Below are just a few ideas to get you out and about and prepare for summer fun in the sun, on the beach and of course, underwater…

  1. Its February, think about the type of diving you want to do this spring and summer. Write them down and find fellow divers that would like to be your dive buddy. Discuss where, when, purpose and logistics. Check your diving gear for the trip you are planning and make sure it’s properly serviced and ready for spring and summer activities.
  2. Make sure your exposure suits will still fit before your next dive trip.Suit alterations take time to complete.
  3. Based on your objective and where you are going, it’s always more fun knowing as much as you can about the dive trip you are planning. If you are planning to go to a local dive spot, check with local dive centers and clubs on interesting aspects of the site like underwater fauna, problems and or hazards associated with that site. If its to an exotic dive destination overseas, book as far in advance as is possible to ensure a spot. Booking in advance is always the best course of action. When booking international dive trips, always check on cancellation and refund policies with both the dive center, air and other 3rd parties that may be involved. Also don’t forget to learn and explore the local topside attractions and culture as well. Its fun to visit the local dive center in winter and see what they have on board.
  4. Scuba Skills Update. If its been several months you have completed your course, it would be wise to enroll in a Scuba Skills update at your local diving center, especially if you are new to diving.ScubaReview
  5. Join a local diving club. If there isn’t one around, whats wrong with starting your own local diving club? Diving centers may or may not have or sponsor a club. Call and find out.

    My resort of choice on Panglao.
    My resort of choice on Panglao.
  6. Be an advocate or an ambassador to the sport of diving. I have given many a presentation at elementary schools on the sport of diving. Career days at High Schools as well. Call the schools in your area and speak to the Guidance counselor or principle to see when they are having a career or speakers day. Let them know you have equipment, or a dive store I’m sure will lend equipment, to do a presentation on the Sport of Scuba Diving.
  7. If you have the experience and qualification, maybe you can become a diver in the public service sector. Check with fire and police departments on qualifications to be a volunteer.          Public Safety Diver
  8. Start your own blog on your own diving adventures.

These are just a few of many ideas and suggestions to jump-start your diving now before the spring and summer rush. Feel free to add to this list any ideas you may have as well.

Happy bubbles,

Gary

The Gem of California’s Central Coast, Monterey Bay.

Warm water diving “stinks”, well ok, not really!

But I think I got your attention that you will take the time to look at this photo mosaic of Monterey Bay’s San Carlos Beach and other sites. Just click on an image for a larger view.

This post will be updated with new photos of the most popular beaches and diving sites of Monterey Bay beginning  January 19, 2014. Just waiting for my new housing for my camera

So you want to learn to scuba dive, where do you begin…?

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Learning to scuba dive has never been easier to master and enjoy than it is today. Training techniques, equipment innovations and a plethora of diving destinations around the world await those with an appetite for exploration and new experiences.

Scuba instruction consists of basically three simple components:

1.Academics

2.Pool or Confined water sessions

3.Open Water  Completion

The first segment, Academics, can be completed at a local diving center in a regularly scheduled class, taught privately or as an on-line E-Learning program such as PADI offers. This is where you gain the knowledge of basic scuba equipment, safe scuba diving practices, different diving environments, fresh water and marine life, simple diving physics and physiology and so forth. After each academic session their is usually a small knowledge review and then a final written exam at the completion of the academic portion.

The second segment, Pool/Confined Water Sessions, will have to be completed with a professional scuba instructor at a local facility or a diving resort. This segment is where you begin to learn the skills of scuba diving  in a pool or confined water setting , under the direct supervision of a diving instructor.

The third segment, Open Water Completion, is where you get to do what you came for, exploring the underwater world. Here is where your instructor will take you to a local diving site and have you demonstrate in real openwater conditions, the skills you learned in your pool/confined water sessions. Most agencies require a minimum of 4 open water training completion dives to gain your Open Water Scuba Certification.

Your Open Water Completion dives can be done as a “Referral” at a participating Diving Resort basically anywhere in the world! Ask your scuba instructor about a referral if you are planning a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean, the South Pacific, the Mediterranean,, the Red Sea, the Sulu Sea, the Philippines….gosh, there is just to many places to mention and I know your already thinking of yourself in an exotic local exploring this new exotic world!

So what are you waiting for….JUMP IN……..

To begin your new underwater adventure, I would suggest looking for a Scuba Diving Center locally. You would be surprised how many diving centers there are close by. Get their phone number and call the center, better yet, pay a visit and speak with a staff instructor about the many options available to learn to scuba dive.

Most diving centers now offer evening, weekend and private instruction. Most centers will do everything possible to accommodate the needs of prospective divers busy work schedules.

So, you looked in your local yellow pages, looked on-line and discovered their isn’t a local facility within 100 miles of you…..OMG…!

Whatever you do, don’t hold your breath…, pardon the pun fellow divers, as I stated above, there are many ways to make your underwater dreams happen.

Many of the major scuba certification agencies, in the USA at least, offer an on-line e-learning course to begin your adventure. The on-line e-learning program that I suggest and offered as a suggestion to students of mine is at http://www.padi.com. Just log into their site, and on their first landing page you will see the on-line courses that PADI offers. You can also explore the site and get really excited about scuba diving. So, log in and get wet today!

Happy Bubbles to your new adventure, and always dive with a friend (that way you have someone to back up your fish stories).

Here are links to the most common certification agencies that are recognized worldwide:

http://www.padi.com

http://www.divessi.com

http://www.naui.org

http://www.cmas.org

First Underwater Adventure from Gary Jines on Vimeo.

Diving in beautiful Monterey Bay
Diving in beautiful Monterey Bay

My Trip to Cebu, Bohol, Philippines

The Philippines. Most of us here in the US have heard of Manila of course, but did you know that over 7100 islands comprise this Asian Pacific archipelago?  Most likely not. I sure didn’t until I read an article in Skin Diver magazine years ago. I was fortunate enough to pursue a career in diving that afforded me the opportunity to finally visit some of these amazing islands, its people and culture. I’ve added here a small slideshow  of some recent photos to these amazing islands.

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Hello world!

Hello everyone!

My blog will be focused on what I love doing most.., diving! Diving with my friends at local diving sites, or abroad to exotic locations with new friends and diving pals.

Not only will my blog post underwater photos and stories of denizens of the deep, but topside attractions and cultures as well.