What is in your save a dive kit?

You don’t have a save a dive kit? How many times have you been on a dive boat and someone lost a fin strap or something is missing or wrong with their gear and magically someone on the boat has that part in their save a dive kit?  All it takes is one time and you are the hero of the day.

So what is in my save a dive kit?

Tools, open ended wrenches are nice but they do add weight and take up room.  I have a multi-purpose tool with wrenches, screw save a dive kitdriver blades and allen keys

O-rings of various sizes and more than 1 of each and at least 5 or 6 tank o-rings and a pick to remove said o-ring

Zip ties for mouth pieces and mouth pieces

A couple mask straps

A fin strap and buckle or 2

Aqua Seal for any patching of a wetsuit I may need to do

Batteries for my computer and camera

I know, that is a lot and yes, the dive boat/shop will probably have all of that stuff so why have a save a dive kit?  There are times that we are not diving with a boat crew or near the shop, especially on the Island of Bonaire where shore diving is the norm.  By having all this extra stuff I don’t have to drag everything back to the shop to get a new o-ring for the tank.

Most of this stuff stays in the room or the dive locker, but it has come handy on a few trips when someone needed to change out a hose or maybe they wanted to try a different hose configuration on their regulator set up.tool kit

What is not in my save a dive kit, hoses and parts for my regulators and the tools to overhaul a regulator that is something that should be done before you get to the islands.


Happy Diving!



Hunting for a Pirate Ship full of Sunken Treasure

I think every diver has some pirate in them and I know every diver dreams and would love to find an undiscovered pirate ship full sunken treasureof gold or sunken treasure.  So today I want to have a scuba dream and we discover an old pirate ship full of sunken treasure!

Now what?

I bet we are not telling anyone about our discovery, or are we sharing this with anyone outside of the most trusted circles and I can promise you I am not blogging about it or making it my status update on face book.  But to validate this discovery we will probably have to bring something back to prove what we have discovered.  So we are going to need some advanced scuba skills.  What advanced specialty scuba classes should we consider?

  • How about Underwater Navigation—I know we have found the pirate ship, but it will probably be broken up into many pieces and we are going to need to navigate and map out the area
  • Deep Diving—it is possible that this pirate ship is in water 100 feet or so.  Deep diving training and planning would be good to have
  • Night Diving—We might want to do some of this discovery work at night so people can’t see uslift bag
  • Wreck Diving—I think this one is too obvious
  • Boat Diving—Of course
  • Search and Recovery—I think this one is very important as we are going to be needing to know how to find and recover items from the pirate ship to prove what ship we found and I am rather confident that the items that we are going to need to recover will be heavier than 8 to 10 pounds and probably a little bulky and hard to carry up in our hands.  So the proper rigging of a lift bag and how to use it safely might be a necessary skill set to have

WOW, so many special skills that might be useful in my scuba dream.  Guess, I better get to scuba class and get ready to live out my scuba dream


Fun and Different Scuba Jobs

With our PADI “Go Pro Night” happening in the shop tomorrow (OCT 8) I thought we should look at some fun and different scuba jobs.  Maybe these scuba jobs aren’t “professional” in the PADI sense, but they are still professional careers.

 fun scuba jobsLast week, I shared on our face book page the career of a PADI course director as a Hollywood stunt person, but how about working in show business in Las Vegas on the Cirque du Soleil show.

Some of the fun scuba jobs that I came across as I researched this little post. Lego Land is looking for Aquarist.  Many Aquariums around the world are looking for divers, from regular cleaning and maintenance to working and caring for the animals. I didn’t even know that Cabela’s has an aquarium and is in need of divers.

Of course this list of scuba jobs, doesn’t even include the commercial side of the scuba world.  Underwater welders and divers to work on the oil rigs out in the gulf.  I think I read there are over 3000 rigs just in the gulf.

What about public safety divers and working with law enforcement.  Or even with marine biologist as research assistants.  That is the beautiful thing about scuba jobs, you just never know when and where you will find one. ok

My journey to PADI OWSI by Jeff Morehouse

jeff PADI OWSI30 days in Vietnam? How in my scuba journey did that happen? As with most that become PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors (PADI OWSI) it began innocently enough with a Discover Scuba Diving while on a vacation in the British Virgin Islands.  That was just so much fun that I got certified to dive. From there diving started creeping into everything I wanted to do and after a few trips to Mexico, I was an Advanced Open Water Diver. But diving only 6 to 12 times a year just wasn’t enough for me, so I started adding specialty classes as a way to improve my skills, but they also got me diving more and watching others teaching scuba interested me.  So, I decided to volunteer to do things at Scuba Joe’s just so I could hang out at the dive shop.

Becoming a PADI OWSI was sort of on my radar to do, when the time was right, but then something happened that changed my life and waiting for “the right time” was over.  Do what you dream of before it is too late to do it! So, I began my Dive Master training with the goal of seeing the world and leading dives. After completing Dive Master, I soon realized that what I really wanted was to be a PADI OWSI.  After some soul searching and talking to friends I decided to go for it and started my path to PADI  OWSI. First becoming an assistant instructor and then the IDC, the most interesting and challenging week or 2 weeks that you will ever spend with some new friends.

Do you remember in the PADI Open Water diver video, the saying “meet people, go places and do things”? Well, I took that to heart and made it one of my little goals. So, after getting my PADI OWSI I started looking for opportunities in places I had never been nor even thought I would go, sending out emails from the listings on the PADI Pro site and then it happened, a response from Rainbow Divers in Vietnam. The next day everything went into storage and off I set.

Since that day, I have meet and made some new and amazing friends. Even the toughest day is still incredible. A few weeks ago I went to lunch and got lost on my way back and wound up in a residential area. You know what they do on their day off? The same thing everyone does, I could have been in Glenwood Springs that Sunday afternoon.  Kids in the street, people washing their scooters.  Similarities bring a common bond and we can all share in the fun.

jm padi owsiI have been lucky enough to go diving 12 days in a row, teaching diving as a PADI OWSI.  Turning fear into courage, opening hearts and minds to the wonders of the world and helping to change a life for the better.

I will leave you with this and as a newer PADI OWSI, I hope I never forget this dive as I recall my first dive. As we come to the surface after our first dive my student yells out “THAT WAS $%#^%$ AWESOME!” how long before we can go again? I smiled and laughed and told him it would be 45 minutes before we could as I like to think “go home again”.  Do you remember your first dive?  As a PADI OWSI you will help people make those memories special.  In the PADI Instructor manual there is a saying, “from what we get we make a living, from what we give we make a life” and as a PADI OWSI I get to see it every day.


Too Old for Master Scuba Diver?

Two times in the past 24 hours I have heard, “too old for Master Scuba Diver” or Specialty classes? I am just an old “fill in your own blank”.  But too old for Master Scuba Diver?  Too old to learn?  I keep seeing the slogan from Dive Training Magazine, “ a GOOD diver is always learning”. Or look at it this way, most of us in our “day” jobs take a training class or attend a training meeting at least once a year, we are always learning something to make our jobs easier; so why should your diving be any different?

lift bag

Maybe the Master Scuba Diver Challenge isn’t for you, but by adding on continuing educational opportunities such as Altitude Diving or drift diving, since we are going to Cozumel next month, you expand your knowledge of something that you love and enjoy doing and generally that knowledge increases or enjoyment of the sport.  Master Scuba Diver is a challenge, it includes advanced open water and rescue diver plus 5 specialties and you need to have logged 50 or more dives. By taking the Master Scuba Diver challenge you increase your knowledge and abilities in the water and greatly enhance your enjoyment of a sport you already love.

Maybe becoming a Master Scuba Diver isn’t on your radar, but as Jethro Tull sang you are never too old to learn (ok so I paraphrase a little). Dive Training Magazine’s slogan is one to take to heart, “A GOOD DIVER IS ALWAYS LEARNING”. It may not be a formal class or program such as the Master Scuba Diver, it maybe something as simple as sitting on the boat and talking about your dive with a dive master or instructor. Maybe you saw an article in the magazine or overheard something on the boat? Take the opportunity to challenge yourself and raise your skill level and your enjoyment of diving

So my friends we are never to old for Scuba


Why become an Open Water Scuba Instructor

CNCC scubaYesterday, I posted to our facebook page the opening lines of the Open Water Scuba Instructors creed. I want to post it here today as a reminder to all of our instructors and to those that are thinking about becoming an open water scuba instructor



As a scuba instructor, I have the opportunity to see:

  • Fear change to courage
  • Faint-heartedness converted into accomplishment
  • Timidity transformed into confidence

As a scuba instructor, I can:

  • Open hearts and minds to the hidden beauty of nature’s creation and our obligation to protect it
  • Foster self-esteem in another person
  • Teach the value of character and integrity
  • Transform another human being and change a life for the better and forever

I have seen this many times and again I saw it this weekend with 2 of my students.  I am like a proud parent in how far they have come. Sometimes we as instructors know what fear our student has.  Sometimes, as in the case of one of our students we have no clue as to their fears since they don’t or are not comfortable sharing until that card comes in and they have it in their hand.

I recall one time when I handed a student his open water card and he had tears in his eyes.  I didn’t think much about it until we got an email, thanking us for working with him and explaining that this macho man had lost someone close to him in a recent lake drowning.

Or the group of 4 men as they watched me so intently as I worked with a Discover Scuba Diving class one evening at the local pool. This group of guys had lost 2 family members to drowning and they consider themselves to be non-swimmers.

Yes, as an Open Water Scuba Instructor I have seen fear become courage. I have seen the pride that students have when they receive that card.  I have seen parents respond to their child becoming open water divers with pride and joy and overcome their own fears and timidness.

I have seen the amazement on the faces of people when they return from their first ocean dives.

And yes, I have seen and lived the transformation as I myself have been transformed by the sport and life of scuba. You see my friends, I was once that timid and scared person and now I am an open water scuba instructor.


A ZOO? In Grand Junction?

Hornbill Aw, a nice sunny sunday strolling through the zoo with our kids and grand kids.  Do you remember that? Do you remember the first time you saw a strange creature diving?

As divers we have the opportunity to impact our world through such positive and wonderful organizations such as Project Aware and many others.  Either through volunteering or the donation of your financial assets, we have opportunities to impact the world and others.  We can make a difference.

I want to share with you and maybe introduce to you an organization right here in our backyard, The Grand Valley Zoological Quest.  What you say a zoo on Grand Junction? But not just a zoo, an educational center built around animals and conservation.  Most of us have been to a zoo or aquarium and marveled and stare and been amazed at the animals, we have even taken our kids and grand kids to Denver to the zoo and some have even dove at the aquarium with the sharks. But we have to travel to do it.  The vision of the folks at www.gvzooquest.org is to bring that here to our valley.

Grand Valley Zoo Quest is a group of professionals devoted to creating a wildlife conservancy in the Grand Valley of Western Colorado.  Our goal is to connect students with nature to promote education, conservation, and research. Since January 2011 over 14,500 students have participated in our programs and outreach.

They are also part of Frog Watch, which is a program funded by the National Science Foundation.  Did you know that there were tree frogs here in the Grand Valley?

Janet Gardner, the founder of this wonderful group of hardworking people, shared that little tidbit with us last night as well as many others such as most of our kids have never seen a racoon or at least can recognize one.

carshowHow can you help?  Well they are hosting a Car Show on June 1 at American Furniture and they have set up the salt water aquarium here in the dive shop with a donation basket.  We are going to host an open house for them here in the dive shop on July 20.  I will detail more plans as we get closer, but the thought is to bring in some of the animals to the shop so you and the kids and grand kids can come in and see and maybe even touch and learn about the animals and also more about the mission that they are undertaking.

Can you imagine an Aquarium/Zoo/Rain Forest/ Educational Center right here in our back yard?  They can and I can and that my friends would impact our world in a positive way for many generations to come

Are you Scuba fit?

okMost of us work out to be healthier and fit.  We eat better and try to maintain a fit body to some varying degree of success.  But are we scuba fit?  What does scuba fit mean?  Let us breakdown how our body moves as we dive.

First, are we cardio fit? Does any effort exhaust us?  Having good cardio fitness is important in diving, due to the pressures we place on our body and our breathing efforts.  I think everyone can agree on this.  So to be scuba fit, we should do at least 20 minutes of cardio 4 to 5 times a week. 

How scuba fit is our core and the rest of our body? Our legs are obviously a spot that we should work on adding some strength and keeping them fit to drive our fins, but what about the rest of the body?  Think about your other activities as you plan your workouts.  Do you like to golf as I do?  Then some flexibility and core exercises would be good to add to our routines. Golf and scuba, also both require a good fit upper body to swing the club or don our gear and to help our dive buddy don their gear.

Being scuba fit does not mean you have to spend hours at the gym and being ultra thin or Mr. Muscle man. It only means being fit and prepared to make the dives we wish to make.  Is our body prepared for the effort we must put forth to enjoy this wonderful sport or are we going to be so sore and tired that we cannot enjoy the rest of what the sport offers us as we travel the world?

There is actually a wonderful web page and program called Scuba Fit.  You can get more info at www.ScubaFit.com

Travel Tips

We have all been standing in line at the check in counter watching the person in front of us fumble with their travel documents. Or we are worried that maybe our passports and other important documents might “disappear” out of our rooms at our destination.Ramons Village

While, this post can’t take away our stress and worries, we can take some safe guards to make sure that even in a worst case scenario, we can get home safely and without much if any delay. Even when there is a safe in the room or in the main office of the resort these travel tips can help reduce our stress and worry.

First, make a copy of everything and leave it with a trusted friend back home.  If something does happens this person will have a copy of everything and can forward it to you via email or other means.  While there might be some delay, due to time difference and that person being available when you need them, this ensures that someone has what you will need.

Or, what I like to do is scan a copy of all your important documents and save them on your smart phone.  Yes, there are apps to help you do this. Many are even having their boarding passes sent to their devices to help reduce the amount of paper that is being used and with the airline apps you can get them securely and you don’t worry about miss placing them in your carry on. This way, you have control of your documents and can retrieve them when you need them.

By having a copy of your passport with you, if yours is lost or stolen on a trip, the authorities at your destination can help you get a replacement usually within 24 hours. Since you have a copy with your photo on it and the numbers they need, this makes the replacement process streamlined and just about stress free as it can be.

Finally, your diver certification card.  Again, while most of us are in the computer and dive centers can login and verify your diver certification, there is another way to make it even easier.  You can download the PADI app for free and then order an electronic replacement card and have it sent right to your device.

While these travel tips won’t cure the other stress of travel, we can at least take some of the stress of dive travel off our weight belts.

Do you have any travel tips to add? Please sign in and leave a comment ok