We’re going to Grand Cayman!

Grand Cayman – Sunset House. Dates are April 5 – 12, 2020 Here is the breakdown….
7 night accommodations

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

5-days of 2 tank boat trips

3 X 1 tank afternoon reef boat dives

Unlimited shore diving for your entire stay

Round trip airport transfers

Government tax & service charges

Nitrox-6 days unlimited tanks

IF 16 of us go, we can dive the Kittiwake Wreck & Stingray City at no additional charge.

LET”S MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!!!

PACKAGE PRICE:

Double Diver Double Non Dvr

COURTYARD : $2350.00 $1700.00

OCEAN VIEW : $2550.00 $1900.00

COURTYARD – SINGLE DIVER $3050
There are NO Ocean view single rooms!

This does NOT include airfare….too many people want red eyes, others do not. People have airline preferences. If you want to go you must put a $400 deposit down and final payment is due by January 15, 2020.

We’ll see you in Grand Cayman!


Roatan CharterWe proudly use & recommend Roatan Charter for all of your dive travel…both domestic & international. Mention us when you book and receive a $50 voucher! 1-800-282-8932

Puerto Galera Philippines

We are Going to Puerto Galera Philippines October 2019!!

Start saving your pennies and your vacation time.

We will be going to Puerto Galera and staying at the Atlantis Dive Resort. A 10 night stay and you make up to 5 dives a day including a night dive every day. This is a 5 star resort and it is absolutely beautiful with the property located on the beach.

Cost will be $3,650 pp for 10 nights or $3,350pp for 7 nights (based upon double occupancy). Additional cost for single occupancy. This INCLUDES airfare, lodging, food, airport transfer, NITROX a GREAT TIME!!

Dates will be October 11-22, 2019 or until the 19th if you are staying 7 nights. If you are interested we can sign you up with a deposit & take monthly payments. We have non-diver rates.

Call the shop at 818-345-3483 for details.

DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS TRIP… OUR TRIP TO ROATAN IN 2018 WAS EPIC.​

Why should you support your Local Dive Shop?

By: Chris Russello, Worldwide Master Instructor Trainer.
ALOHA DIVE-Director of Training

January, 2018

I recently read an article where in 2017 over 7000 retail stores closed across the United States. I thought to myself, “In my opinion, technology has made the consumer a couch potato!” Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. I think it is great that you can press a button on your phone, lap top, tablet, or computer and get information on consumer products and prices; but as you know, the e-commerce giants like Amazon have put many stores out of business, including a lot of brick and mortar dive stores.

I believe competition is the essence of good business. However, when it comes to e-commerce, Scuba Diving Retail stores are at a disadvantage. E-commerce does not have the overhead costs associated with retail brick and mortar stores, therefore e-commerce can offer lower prices on equipment. Is that good or bad?

It’s good for consumers who may, or may not, receive better prices and it’s bad for brick and mortar stores where they may have to lower their prices to compete with e-commerce, which in turn lowers their margins and profit. If customers do not visit the retail store and the store does not make a profit, guess what happens? You’re right they close their doors.

Here is why brick and mortar Scuba Diving Stores are so important!
· Dealer protection: When you purchase from “on line” the vendor may not be an authorized dealer for that product. If it is defective or recalled you are out of luck.
· Expert knowledge: You get more from a live person who has expert knowledge on the equipment you are buying not just some random scuba blog.
· Equipment is assembled and tested by a professional: When you buy on e-commence it comes in boxes. Who will assemble and test your gear?
· Professional fitting: With e-commence, if it doesn’t fit then you have to ship it back

Those are just some of the reasons why brick and mortar store are so important. I am of the opinion, if this trend continues, more and more brick and mortar Scuba stores will close or will downsize dramatically becoming maybe a place where you can receive an air fill, maybe rent gear, maybe get training or repairs. Dive Stores, in my opinion, cannot survive just by certification training, air fills, etc. They need to sell you the right Scuba Equipment and turn you into a diver.

GET OFF THE COUCH, VISIT AND SUPPORT YOUR DIVE SHOP BEFORE IT’S TO LATE!!
ALOHA DIVE IS YOUR FULL SERVICE SCUBA DIVING STORE

WINTER TIME DIVING

WINTER TIME DIVING by Chris Russello Master Instructor Trainer

In all my years of diving I am still wondering, why does scuba diving slow down in the winter months? I know, I have heard all the excuses in the world like “it’s too cold…Weather is bad”, bah, bah bah.
Ok, for all you 90 day wonder divers, ya know the divers who dive from June through August and maybe a little in September…guess what, you are missing some of the best diving in Southern California. I am talking… about Winter Time…yes WINTER TIME.
I understand the water is a little colder, about 6 to 10 degrees and of course the air temperature is too, however, since the water is cooler the kelp grows and thrives. In addition the visibility is great since there is no plankton bloom.
I was out diving the other day. The water temp was about 59, the air was around 61-62 but the diving conditions were fabulous. The ocean was calm, visibility was 40-50 feet and the kept forest was amazing. You don’t get these conditions to often in the spring/summer months when the water is warmer. Usually, when the water starts to get warmer in spring time you get a plankton bloom, which of course turns the water green. Then as the water continues to heat up the kelp starts to die off and visibility is not the greatest.
I am of the opinion that people are funny. They won’t go diving in the winter time claiming it is too cold, but they will drive up to the mountains, wear heavy clothing to keep warm and then slide down a mountain on top of that white stuff called snow. To me, snow is just frozen water I haven’t dived yet. Maybe it is a good thing people don’t dive in the winter time, the boats and dive sites are less crowded, the divers who do dive all year round are dedicated divers and are better divers, in my opinion. All of us at ALOHA DIVE enjoy diving year round. Come join us. I welcome your opinions and views.

Drinking, Diving & Boat Etiquette – Do they mix???

Drinking, Diving & Boat Etiquette – Do they mix???
By Deb Disney

I recently booked a boat trip for a few students, another instructor and myself. Since we had to be onboard by 6am the morning of the trip, we decided to spend the night on the boat as opposed to getting up at o’dark thirty. We arrived the night before about 7:00 and unloaded our gear and chose a bunk. Since we had already had dinner, we decided to sit in the galley do our paperwork, brief the students who were staying onboard with us and just visit.

Sitting down at the table, I was a bit surprised to find almost a full bottle of vodka on the table. I thought, who does this belong to? It was only a few minutes later when a group from another dive shop came in and poured themselves a shot. The group sat down and started some pretty heavy drinking, then left for dinner. We finished our paperwork and went to bed.

About 10:30 or so the group showed up back at the boat. They were, as they say, “well into their cups”. They stayed in the galley drinking & partying until about 2:00 am, LOUD, keeping most of us awake. At one point I did ask them to please try to be a little bit more quiet as I was trying to sleep. They toned it down for a few minutes but then went right back to the loud laughing and storytelling. This was bad enough, but when a few were hanging over the side of the boat, “chumming for fish”, I thought that not only is this rude but it is downright dangerous! The group who were drinking consisted of an instructor and a group of students. To say that I was surprised at this is an understatement. Why would an instructor, or for that matter anyone drink that much the night before diving?

The next morning I got up about 6:00 am to meet our other students that had not spent the night on the boat. I needed to brief them on paperwork, where to put their gear and all the other things that you need to be told your first boat trip. The group that were up half the night yelled at us to be quiet which caused more than a few people to raise an eyebrow. One of the other passengers swore under this breath and then turned the lights on in the bunkroom stating that they kept him up half the night it was his turn to pay back.
Fast forward to what went on at the first dive site. To say that the drinking group were a little slow is an understatement, but then what would you expect? On the trip, over to the island a few of the group were fairly sea sick (or should we say hung over?) and a few others did not look so well. The instructor seemed to be somewhat better off than the students were and commented that drinking was not a problem as long as you drink water.

My thoughts on all of this is that there is a time and place for everything and drinking that much before diving, or even setting this type of example with students is not a good idea. Drinking dehydrates you which can lead to an increased risk of DCS. Drinking impairs your judgement, not a great when diving. It slows down your reflexes, not good for an instructor who is responsible for students, or for students that need to have a clear head and good reflexes to perform the skills required to get certified. Drinking dehydrates you which is a leading cause of cramps. The list can go on and on. Forget about how rude it was of them to keep most of us awake half the night.
The good news is, nobody was hurt on the trip. A few people sat out the last dive since they were tired and at least two people I talked to said it was because they did not get the sleep needed the night before due to the other group keeping them up. We all pay good money for boat trips and want to take advantage of all dives on a trip. It was not fair to the other passengers.

Keep in mind, I have no problem with drinking & having a good time. But again, there is a time and place for everything. Drinking on a dive boat the night before and partying to the extent that you keep fellow divers awake and are hung over the next day is not the time or place…in MY opinion.
ANY THOUGHTS?

Catalina Dive Park – Is it a true savings???

I was recently was talking to one of my customers about boat trips and the Catalina Dive Park, also known as the Point.  My customer was telling me that he goes to the Point to dive because it is so much more convenient and cheaper.  We had a good discussion and at the end he admitted that maybe he was wrong.  Let me break it down for you and then let you decide.

Boat trips are wonderful (in MY opinion).  You can go to the boat the night before, as a rule, and spend the night onboard.  No extra charge.  You get up in the morning and you have fresh coffee, breakfast and a nice trip to one of the islands.   You get to the first dive site and jump in…no waiting for your tank & weights, no stairs to go down or climb and no modern day portable toilets or commonly known as smelly outhouses.  After finishing your dive, the dive master, or another crew member, will pull your fins at the swim step and help you up the ladder.  You are then greeted with some tasty snacks, water, soda, tea or coffee.  While you are chillin’ and doing some surface time, the Captain moves the boat to another dive site and they fill your tank with more air.  You are briefed on the new site and conditions and then you jump in.  Again, after your dive they pull your fins and serve you a hot lunch and something to drink.  They fill your tanks and move to a 3rd site.  After the last dive you have deserts or something on the way back to the dock.  You can take a shower and take a nap if you are tired.  The cost for the day?  About $135 – $140.

Now, let’s talk about the Point.  First, you have to get up at o’dark hundred & drive to the boat.  You have to be there an hour before it leaves, so if you take the 7am boat you have to be there by 6am to get in line with your gear and wait to board.  Now you take an hour ride over without breakfast, unless you buy it or take it with you.  You get to the Point and pay baggage to take your gear to the Point and you walk over to the dive area.  You can take a taxi if you prefer, but again, it costs.  If you take your lunch, an ice chest, you pay extra for baggage to take it for you.  You can take your own tank & weights, or you can rent them….and most people rent.  If you take your own tank you pay for your air fills.  Now you get ready and change in an outhouse that smells.  You suit up and then wait in line on the stairs to get in the ocean.  After the dive, you pull your own fins, climb the stairs and then hump your tank to the fill station for an air fill.  Food or snacks; only if you took them with you or want to buy some water and a candy bar for a marked up price at the fill station.  So you do three dives and repeat the above…then you walk back to the Express.  You wait in line with your gear and find a seat.  You’re tired and hungry?  Snacks are sold on the boat for an inflated price and you sleep sitting up.  The cost for this day?  The boat is $72, round trip, parking is $17 for the day, baggage is $11, an ice chest is $8, (or a taxi is about $17) tank & weight rental is $35 for a 3 dive day.  Did you take your lunch or are you buying on the Island?  Lunch on the Island is about $15 per person for a burger and a coke.  Let’s assume you took your lunch but rent tanks and weights, your cost for the day will be $135 and you still have to stand in line and do not get to dive different areas of the Island but the same area over and over again.

Now I’m not a rocket scientist but it seems to me that boats are a better deal.  The Point is nice if you have children and need a confined area or only want to be out ½ day but still, the cost is more per dive without any of the amenities.

Tell me what you think.  Comments & feedback are welcome.   deb@dive-aloha.com

Call Aloha Dive to book your next boat trip.  We have many trips planned for 2017 and would love to have you join us!

The above article is the opinion of the author and may not express the opinions of management.