Manta Divers, September-October, 2013 Dive travel is for novices!
Sorry for the lateness of the newsletter! We are busy trying to squeeze in as many dives as we can before all the sites close and we are high and dry for the winter! The good news is that there are still spots available on both the Curacao (January 11-18,2014) and Utila (April 19-26, 2014) trips, so you really don’t have to be high and dry. Instead you can hang out with Team Manta and have more fun than regular people!
For seasoned divers, there is no excuse needed to go diving. Each winter, they await the announcement of the next Manta dive trip so they can start dreaming. They know the thrill of exploring the reefs, experiencing new places and foods, and of course meeting new people in a new tropical location. They are experienced travelers and are confident in their diving skills and familiar with their gear. New divers, however, are sometimes hesitant to join a group dive trip. There are many reasons given for this, but none of them hold water.
New divers may not want to go on a dive trip if they do not have their own gear. If a diver is going anyway in this sport, it is important to work toward owning his own gear, but of course, the finances are not always there, so renting becomes the only option. We talk in class about the challenge of constantly having to relearn how a BC works if you always rent one when diving. We also talk about the fact that if you rent sight unseen from a shop, you may not get a BC the fits properly, or that is equipped the same as the one you trained with A solution for this is to rent from your local dive shop! Chances are that it will not only be a brand you are familiar with, but it may be the very BC you did all your dive training in. When renting a regulator set up, evidence of current maintenance is important. A reputable shop will be willing to show the maintenance record of a regulator that you rent. In addition, at Manta Divers at least, we offer a special weekly rate for divers on our Team Manta adventures, so not only will the diver be comfortable, but the price is right!
A newer diver once commented to me that he didn’t feel that his skills were good enough to spend a week diving. My question to him was, how do you propose to sharpen those skills? When diving several times each day for a week, a diver cannot help but improve his skills. I say it takes about 15 dives in which the person is really working at their buoyancy to really get it down. On the average week long dive trip, travelers do 10-15dives. Therefore, if you are a noobie diver when you start out on a trip, you will be an old hand at it at the end of the week. Another advantage is that, if a diver is open to it, the instructor/leader of the trip, as well as the dive crew are ready, willing and able to share their diving wisdom to help speed the process of transforming you into a seasoned diver!
Dive trips are also a chance to get some intense advanced dive training in some of the most beautiful “classrooms” around. Week long trips provide ample time to complete courses such as Advanced Open Water or most any specialty diving course, with plenty of opportunities to practice your new skills under the watchful eye of your instructor.
Some people don’t like group travel because they’ve heard horror stories about being stuck with people who are obnoxious and being unable to escape them. The truth is, unless you are on a live aboard, there are plenty of space to place between you and someone you don’t get along with. You will only have to be in close proximity to the boor on the boat in between dives. You will not have to listen to him underwater, and as soon as the boat lands, you can be off to whatever thing it is you want to do. The possibility of having someone in your group who is a jerk is worth the risk when you consider the advantages of group travel.
When you travel with a dive group, you do not have to do all the work of making arrangements and you can be sure that the destination was investigated for optimum diver friendliness. There will be wash out facilities and a safe place to stow your gear between dives and it will be dry and ready to go each morning. Groups hold power at the resort. We have been able to arrange dives to special sites that were not on the schedule the week we were diving, or request sites that we are familiar with and would like to return to. Traveling with other divers exposes a novice to many tricks to efficient packing, gear handling, boat tips, etc. In addition, most people in the group are willing to help a fellow diver in distress, for example, offering the use of their back up mask, or a replacement fin strap from their “Save a Dive” kit.
So it is clear that group dive travel holds many advantages for the new diver. And who knows? You may become that seasoned diver who escapes each year to another wonderful dive destination ready to share his expertise with the next noobie!
In Other News……………
Now is a good time to purchase your regulator! From now until October 31, Aqualung is offering a FREE alternate air source ($215-$230 value)with the purchase of a new Legend or Titan series regulator! In addition, a free Apex Octo is included when you purchase a new Apex regulator.
Extend your dive season with a drysuit! I am again offering a FREE Drysuit Specialty course, (including certification), a $119 value, with the purchase of a new drysuit and undergarment. Stop in and check it out!
Congratulations to our newest Rescue Divers, Melissa Hinshaw and Joe Gaske!
Congratulations to Scott “Tater” Duban on his 100th dive, completion of the Night Diver Specialty course, and on earning the Master Diver rating! This is quite an accomplishment. Way to go!
Check out all our newly certified divers here.