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

THE IMPORTANCE OF OWNING YOUR OWN DIVE EQUIPMENT AND BUYING FROM AUTHORIZED DEALERS

Scuba Diving is a wonderful sport.  Not only do you see things that most people only dream about but being in the water is one of the few environments where there are no phones, faxes or text messages.  The pure joy of dropping down and seeing a Giant Black Sea Bass or a harbor seal buzzing around you is amazing.  Giant kelp beds swaying in the water…just beautiful!  But, to keep the sport safe you should invest in yourself.

 

Why do I say to keep the sport safe?  Dive gear is a very personal thing and is very dependable.  It is your LIFE SUPPORT!  To be safe (after all we are visiting an environment where neither man nor woman was designed to go) you need gear that fits correctly and is comfortable, designed for the type of diving you will do, and you need to be trained in the proper use of the equipment.  Each piece of gear has a specific function and purpose and you need to understand the gear you are using.  You also need to keep it serviced at the recommended intervals.

 

An authorized dealer understands the products they sell.  They know the features, benefits, applications, are authorized and TRAINED to fit, assemble and service the gear.  They also provide the service of being the link between you and the manufacturer for sales, service, warranty repairs and recalls.

 

Most of us have heard the expression, “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is!”  This holds true for dive gear.  It is very easy to purchase gear online and for a “great” price.  But is it really such a good deal?  Are they an authorized dealer?  For example, many Internet sellers acquire the products they sell through gray market, or third-party channels.  They are not authorized to sell or service the products, they are not trained by the manufacturer and will probably not ship it assembled.  It might even be sold without the original parts or may have been used and returned.  For these reasons most manufacturers will not warrant products sold by unauthorized resellers, so they are selling it without a warranty enclosed or may include their own warranties that look valid by are not recognized by the manufacturer.  Additionally, you will not be notified if a particular product has a recall or an update.  How do you know if they are an authorized dealer?  Call the manufacturer directly or go to their website and check for authorized dealers.  If they are not on the list, check with the manufacturer directly and verify.

 

Here at ALOHA DIVE we strongly believe that the commitment to become a diver, and not just be certified, includes investing in yourself and purchasing dive gear.  It is a good investment and can last years of diving and travel.  It can take you to incredible places and give you memories that will last a life time while keeping you safe.  You know how it has been serviced and how it performs.  You are comfortable.  Our saying is “comfort + safety = enjoyment.”

 

At ALOHA DIVE, we sell gear from some of the worlds largest and most reputable manufacturers.  We know the products and can recommend what is best for you.

 

These are the opinions of the author and I invite any and all comments.

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

Wet Suits vs Dry Suits… Are Dry Suits Really Worth It?

All of our customers and people we see on boats know that I dive “Dry” most of the year.  I get teased all the time, I’m called a pansy and a wimp.   Ok, so I am a girly girl, but I do love diving year-round.  The water in the winter is beautiful, diving at its VERY best!

 

A dry suit is an investment, just like your wet suit was.  Yes, they do cost more, but you can truly use a dry suit year-round.  All you have to do is adjust the weight of your undergarments.  I wear heavy ones in the winter and very light weight in the summer.  Spring & fall I have medium weight garments.  The joy of a long dive on a crisp December day and coming to the surface and knowing that the wet suit people will be bundled up and I can sit out on the stern of the boat and be nice and toasty warm is priceless.  So many of our customers say that they just cannot dive past September due to the cold water, and cannot get back into the water until June.  They miss out on lobster season, gorgeous visibility and diving when there are fewer people on the boat.

 

There are a few types of dry suits; trilaminate and crushed neoprene.  I happen to like the neoprene, it dives like a wet suit.  Other people prefer the trilaminate, they tend to be sturdier.  You can have the suit made with hard sole boots, neoprene socks or latex socks.  Depending upon the foot covering you choose will dictate what kind of socks you wear.

 

When you buy a dry suit, we go over a number of things, including the temperature of the water you will be diving.  We will also take a number of measurements and will then be able to recommend a specific brand of suit.  When the suit shows up we move to the pool and a dry suit course then on to the ocean to dive!  We will show you what to do if you flood and how to use your inflator and dry suit for your buoyancy.

 

Extend your bottom time; you do not get cold.  Extend your diving time; dive year-round.  Enjoy diving the best time of year, winter when the water is clear, the viz is fabulous and there are fewer people on the boat & in the water!

 

Until next time, DIVE SAFE!

DO I REALLY NEED TO BE CERTIFIED TO DIVE?

As an instructor, I have heard this statement way too many times.  Whether I am at a party, in line at the supermarket or in the shop, people are quick to tell me that they have tried scuba diving with a family member or a friend that is certified.  They tell me how they “only” went to 20 feet so there was NO way they could get hurt!  Little did they know that they were at greatest risk in that first 33 feet down.  They did not know that the ambient pressure is twice as great in the first 33 feet as it is at sea level.  What does this mean?  It takes TWICE as much air to fill your lungs in that 33 feet as it does at sea level, and if they hold their breath and surface within that 33 feet, they run the risk of an over expansion injury.  You run the risk of an over expansion injury holding your breath and surfacing from only FOUR feet!

 

Compare your lungs to a balloon.  If you take a balloon down and fill it to capacity with air, tie it off and let it surface, what will happen?  It will take twice the volume of air to fill it that it would at the surface in and as it rises and the pressure decreases, the air will expand (the volume will double) and the balloon can burst.  Now imagine that that balloon is your lungs.  Not a pretty picture.

 

As an instructor, I have seen people slurp in salt water at the surface and have a near drowning experience.  People are in the water with all of this equipment and try to get back in thru the surf zone and get tumbled.  With gear on it is hard to stand up and again, near drownings!  I have seen divers that are experienced come up, take the regulator out of their mouth and slurp in salt water due to wind chop…again, near drowning!  Now imagine that you do NOT have training and try to come in thru the surf zone and get tumbled.  You could drown.

 

Scuba diving is a very safe sport.  With proper training and by following the rules of scuba diving you substantially reduce the risk of injury.  It would be no different than driving a car.  If you are taught defensive driving and the rules of the road and you practice these rules of the road, you reduce the risk of injury.  But…if you jump in a car without any training, take off and drive on surface streets (yea, that’s ok because you are only driving 35 mph) and are only going to drive 20 miles, what do you think can happen?  Also, if you take off and drive at 100 mph on the freeway, weave in & out of traffic, you increase the odds of having an accident and causing injury to yourself or others!

 

We offer scuba training for a very reasonable price.  We will train you to develop the skills necessary for safe diving practices to reduce the risk of injury.  We will explain the rules of diving and what can happen if you do not follow these rules, and how to have a safe and enjoyable time in the water.  Please, PLEASE do not fall into the assumption that if you do not go deep and you stay within 20 feet or so that you are safe without any training!  Don’t take your loved ones into the water without their getting the proper training.  What most people do not realize is that if they take a friend in the water, and they are not insured & certified instructors, and the friend gets hurt that they can be sued!  There is also the possibility that they can be held criminally responsible if a major accident/injury or a death occurred.  Do not leave yourself open to a law suit.  Insist that they go to a qualified instructor and get the proper training.

 

These are the opinions of the author and I welcome any and all comments.  Until next time, Dive Safe!

DISCOUNT SCUBA CERTIFICATION – WHAT IS YOUR LIFE WORTH?

In this era of “internet surfing” for discount pricing, scuba certification is no exception.  However, are you getting “good training” or just minimum standard scuba certification training?  In my opinion, you get what you pay for!

 

I have been teaching Scuba Certification training for many years. The question I get asked quite often is “can you give me a discount on my training?” My answer is “yes, I can, I will give you the bear minimum training according to scuba certification standards.”  The look on a person’s face is “priceless” when you tell them that! Then the next question I get asked “is your training safe?” My answer is “yes, but again, if you want me to discount my price, I will discount my training services to bear minimum training standards.  If you cannot complete the course within the time schedule provided and according to the minimum training standards, then you will have to pay more for completion.”

 

Scuba Diving is a safe sport, provided you have the proper training by a trained professional, hopefully with experience in my opinion. I also am of the opinion people have this idea that Scuba Diving “can’t be that hard…all you have to do is strap on a tank and breathe underwater.” Really? Let’s see, we are going from a natural environment to an unnatural environment!  So my question is?  Why would a person want to pay for minimum scuba diving certification standards?  Maybe they are penny wise and maybe pound foolish in my opinion!

 

A very famous hamburger chain serves square hamburgers. When the original owner was asked why he served square hamburgers, his answer was “we don’t cut corners, we serve quality”.

 

As the owner of ALOHA DIVE, I train my professional leaders NOT TO CUT CORNERS when it comes to Scuba Certification Training because safety is #1 with us.  All of us here at ALOHA DIVE pride ourselves “Quality & Experience you can Trust”

 

I welcome your questions and opinions.

ARE YOU GETTING A GOOD DEAL BUYING SCUBA EQUIPMENT WITH AN ON-LINE RETAILER? MAYBE OR MAYBE NOT?

In today’s e-commence world of on line shopping, scuba equipment is no exception. The scuba equipment manufacturers have made it easy for you to roll out of bed, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and sit down in your favorite chair without getting dressed and “surf” the internet for prices on scuba equipment.

This makes is tougher for scuba “brick and mortar” retailers to lure customers into their store to purchase equipment. However, does the consumer really know what to purchase when it comes to buying scuba equipment? Maybe or maybe not!

There are many variables when it comes to on-line stores, i.e. “gray” market equipment. It may or may not be an authorized dealer. Refurbished or return items? Discontinued Items? May or may not have manufactures warranty? Just to name a few.

Let’s say the on-line store is an authorized dealer for a scuba regulator system. You order it and they ship it right to your door in boxes; now what? Who is going to assemble and test it for you? Maybe your local dive store? If they do and don’t charge you a fee, you are lucky. However, most dive stores will charge a set up and test fee. When you add up the total cost did you save money from the on-line store?

You make a few dives then your equipment has problems, now what? If you bought from an on-line store you have to send it back to them, pay for shipping and wait for them to return it to you. However, if you bought it from your local brick and mortar dive shop, they will help you fix the issue and possibly immediately. If it needs to be sent back to the manufacturer, maybe without having you pay for additional shipping or down time, isn’t that worth something? How about if the item has a recall? If you did not purchase from an authorized dealer, you might NEVER know about the recall. Again, if it is recalled, you will need an authorized dealer to send it back to the manufacturer.

I only bring this up because a customer of mine recently bought a computer from an on-line store at a friend’s recommendation. This on-line store was not an authorized dealer for this computer and it failed. He came to me with this problem; I informed him that the computer must be sent to the manufacturer from an authorized dealer in order for the warranty to be valid. Since he did not purchase this item from an authorized dealer there was nothing I could do for him as I don’t carry this brand in my store. I informed him to contact the on-line retailer he purchased it from. My customer informed me he did and there is nothing they could do for him. Unfortunately, in my opinion, he owns a very expensive paper weight.

Scuba equipment is “life support” so my question is, why would you buy life support equipment on-line just to save maybe a few dollars? If you took up sky diving, would you buy a parachute online to save a few dollars? I cannot believe how many people say no to that but still buy a regulator system on-line.

Your local “brick and mortar” dive stores are professionals when it comes to life support equipment. They dive the equipment, service it and train divers. When it comes to price, they usually match on-line prices. Trust the professionals and support your local dive store, you will be glad you did.

This is the opinion of the writer. I welcome your questions, comments or views.

Please contact me at aloha@dive-aloha.com

Until next time…dive safe.

To Be or Not to Be….that IS the question.

Do you want to be a diver or are you just looking to be certified?  This is a question I ask ever potential student that comes into the store.  Why do I ask this you may wonder?  Let me explain it to you.

 

I recently was talking to a young lady that was certified thru another shop.  She came to us to rent for an upcoming dive and needed to rent everything…from soup to nuts.  The only things she owns are her mask and snorkel.  She needed booties, fins, gloves, hood, wetsuit, regulator system, BCD, tank, weights and a bag.  I was surprised that she did not have her own personal snorkeling package…booties, hood, gloves, fins and gear bag.  This is something that all of our students have.

 

During our conversation I asked why she did not have her own snorkeling package and she stated that the shop that certified her did not require she have it.  It seems that they loan these items to their students.  In my opinion the other shop is just selling certification merit badges, they are NOT developing divers.  They are truly doing a disservice to the student & the industry.  We do not normally rent gloves, booties, hoods and fins but she is a very nice gal and we really did want to help her out…so I rented her some of my personal gear along with a wetsuit, regulator system, BCD, tank & weights.  Your personal snorkeling package is something that we all should own for hygiene reasons and is something that is not very expensive.

 

The boat trip was great and she was a perfect dive buddy for one of our other customers.  They had 3 great dives and formed a new friendship and have made plans to dive together again soon.  We spent time in the galley on the way home discussing the benefits of owing your own equipment and the cost of such ownership and why you are a better, safer diver when you own.  She commented that her BCD was not as comfortable as the one she had rented the time before and that the regulator this time seemed to breathe better than the one the first time she rented. I tried to explain that when you own your own equipment that you are more comfortable, a safer diver and these two items add up to enjoyment.  Let me repeat that, comfort + safety = enjoyment.  A very SIMPLE formula.  When you own your own regulator system you know how it breathes.  You own your own BCD you know where your clips are and where the dump valves are.  You are a committed & SAFER diver.  You have made the commitment to become a true diver and not just certified.

 

I understand that buying a complete scuba system does require a financial commitment up front.  The investment, however, is very worthwhile considering how long scuba gear lasts if maintained properly.  The overall cost is very reasonable considering the years of comfort, safety & enjoyment to will get in owning your own gear.  So, I ask you again, do you want to be a diver or just hold a certification card?  Compare it to getting your driver’s license.  Do you rent a car every time you need to go someplace or do you buy a car?

 

Any instructor that does not explain the benefits of owning your own gear is doing a disservice to the student.  They are cheating the student of the benefits of comfortable, safe diving which equals enjoyment.

 

These are the opinions of the author and I welcome comments

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.