Tag Archives: aquatic

2018 Blackbeard Liveaboard Dive Trip!

blackbeard logoHow many people grew up playing pirates?  Imagining boarding a ship, lifting anchor, and sailing to exotic tropical lands and exploring uncharted waters?

That is the idea of a Blackbeard Liveaboard.  Blackbeard’s allows divers to board one of two motor sailboats in Nassau and travel the Outer Exuma islands of the Bahamas and dive places too remote for normal dive boats to go.  See sharks, turtles, rays and a myriad of other sea life.  Walk ashore a remote island that used to be used as a hideout for pirates.  Enjoy great food, drinks and company of fellow divers as you experience things that very few people get to see and do!

Aquatic Dreams went on a Blackboard Liveaboard in September of 2016 and all of the divers had a great time and asked about going back.  They also posed a question… could we run a trip so the only people on the boat were Aquatic Dreams divers?  Our response was that we could look into it, but we would need our diver’s help in filling spots on the boat.  We came back and began asking questions and have officially chartered a private trip with Blackbeard Cruises for September of 2018 for our divers.

This means that if we fill our spots, there will only be Aquatic Dreams passengers on this trip, and we will have much more freedom in choosing our dive sites, activities, and locations for this trip.  It also means our divers will be traveling with people they know and are already comfortable with, making this a much closer experience for everyone!

Our exit from the morning star.

Details

  • Cost: $1130 per passenger*
  • When: September 15th-21st, 2018
  • Where: Nassau, Bahamas
  • Includes berth on ship, all docking fees, up to 19 dives, tanks/weights, all food and drink, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic
  • As an added perk, Aquatic Dreams will include any gear rental necessary for divers as long as we have your size available and you travel with it.
  • $100 deposit will hold a diver’s spot.  An easy payment plan schedule is available to allow all divers the ability to go on this trip!

What is not included?

  • Airfare to and from Nassau
  • Shuttle/taxi to and from airport
  • Tip to crew of the boat
  • Hotel accommodations before or after trip for those arriving early or extending their stay
  • Miscellaneous purchases or souvenirs

* We were previously looking at booking this as a private charter. However, we were not able to fill the entire boat so we are going to release any unneeded berths in the next few weeks and open it up to other dive groups, so the price has dropped to the normal non-charter price.

Payment Schedule**

  • $100.00 – Deposit Needed immediately to secure berth on boat
  • $100.00 – Due 03/01/2017
  • $200.00 – Due 06/01/2017
  • $200.00 – Due 09/01/2017
  • $200.00 – Due 12/01/2017
  • $200.00 – Due 03/01/2018
  • $200.00 – Due 05/01/2018
  • $190.00 – Due 07/01/2018

** If divers sign up after the initial dates posted, payment amounts will be split up evenly among remaining payment dates to allow for affordable payment amounts

How do I sign up?

If you would like more information or to sign up for this trip, please contact us by calling us at 859-594-4611 or emailing us at info@aquaticdreamsdiving.com.

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Reef Shark 3John Hoh - Sea Turtle 5

More Photos?

For more pictures from our 2016 trip, visit our Facebook album here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you running this trip in September?  Why not earlier in the summer?
Weather in the Bahamas is a balancing act. The months of August and September have the warmest water temperatures and calmest seas, but a greater chance for hurricanes. We believe the tradeoff for warm calm water is better for everyone.

Why is airfare not included?
There are several reasons we do not include airfare in our trip prices. Many divers have frequent flyer miles, travel vouchers, or credit cards with mileage benefits they want to use. If we book people’s travel our divers could not take advantage of many of those benefits. There are no travel discounts today with airlines if dive companies purchase blocks of seats on flights, so divers would be restricted to having to only fly at the times that we purchase. Finally, many dive companies partner with special dive travel companies if they wish to offer airfare. These companies often have additional fees that make travel through them more expensive than booking on your own, or require use of certain hotels or resorts, eliminating Aquatic Dreams signature use of large houses and villas that many divers would never be able to stay at otherwise.

Why is the price on the Blackbeard website cheaper than your posted price?
Please review the total price on the Blackbeard website. While the advertised price is $999.00, they add the necessary taxes and fees to the trip, which increase it to the price we are offering this trip at.

How do I get from the airport to the docks for the boat?
You may use a local taxi service, or we highly recommend using the Blackbeard shuttle that they offer for a very low roundtrip price. They guarantee to be there when you land in Nassau, and take you back to the airport.

What time does the boat leave?
Normally the boat pulls out between 2 and 3pm. You must be boarding the vessel between 11am and noon. Once everyone is checked in and all the pre-trip checks are done, the boat will pull out. Because of this timing, most people opt to fly into Nassau on the day before the trip starts. There is a very affordable hotel attached to the docks that most Blackbeard divers use. On our last trip the entire group arrived the day before and we had a pizza and pool party that night to celebrate the trip! This way you are guaranteed not to be delayed the day of the trip or miss the trip because of a cancelled flight.

What kind of diving do we do?
There are a large variety of dives that are done, dependent on water conditions and where the boat goes. Expect wall dives where divers swim through coral canyons out over the edge of underwater cliffs, wreck dives, shallow reefs, blue holes, shark feeding dives, night dives, and drift dives.

Do I have to go on every dive?
Absolutely not! Divers are welcome to dive or not dive any site they choose.

Can I take classes while on this trip?
Yes, we will offer checkout dives for both open water divers and advanced diver classes. Please be aware though that for open water students, to make the most of the trip we would highly recommend that you do your checkouts before coming with us. That way you can enjoy your entire week of fun diving and not worry about checkout dives! If you do not have an Advanced Diver certification, this is a great way to get all of your checkout dives done on one great trip!

What are the cabins like on the boat?
You will be on a 60′ motor sailboat. The ship is divided into 3 distinct cabins, forward, center, and aft. The forward compartment has a total of 8 bunks or berths, each with their own curtain to separate them and a large curtain to divide the space into two areas. This section has it’s own head. The center cabin is for couples and has 4 couples or double berths, again with privacy curtains for each berth, and a head. The aft cabin doubles as the main galley and salon. It has 6 berths in the cabin, plus eating space, galley, head, and shower. This is the main gathering place, but at night most people stay above deck and enjoy the weather, so it’s left mostly for sleeping. This is not a cruise ship, you are on a smaller sailing ship so everyone gets very cozy with each other before the end of the week, which makes a trip with people you know that much better for everyone!

What about cell phones, internet, and emergencies?
We will be cruising the outer islands of the Exumas. There is no cell service and no internet on the boat, so think of it as truly getting away from it all! While we are in Nassau, the hotel we use for the night before does have internet, as well as the Starbucks in the strip mall across the street, so you have plenty of opportunity before and after the trip to check emails. Phone calls there are international in Nassau so check with your local cell provider on international rates. If there is an emergency while we are at sea, family can call the Blackbeard’s main number and give them a message and they will use a satellite phone to reach the boat.

Can we fish on the trip?
As long as the boat is in motion and we are not in the Exumas marine park, you may fish and the crew is happy to supplement supper with your catch! Lobster and conch collecting is also allowed, though all Bahamian laws apply to fishing and collection of lobster and conch.

What about non-divers? Can they come?
Yes, Blackbeard welcomes both divers and non-divers on their trips. Just bear in mind this is a dive vacation, so the focus is on diving. However, on the trip we were on last year, we had non-divers on the boat. They sunbathed, snorkeled, relaxed, and went on the islands when we made landfall. This is still a great way to truly get away from it all and

What about food allergies?
Before the trip all passengers must complete a pre-trip form from Blackbeard. Among the questions are food preferences. If you let them know ahead of time they will make sure they accommodate any allergies or preferences you may have.

All alcohol is included?
Yes, all alcohol is included. Beer is on tap, wine is available, as well as a very full liquor cabinet and rum punch every night. You may also bring your own alcohol if you have a favorite beverage. The only stipulation Blackbeard has is if a diver decides to skip a dive and drink alcohol, their dive gear is locked up the rest of the day.

What about medical insurance?
Standard medical insurance does not work outside the United States. You either need to pay cash in case of medical emergency, or we highly recommend the use of the Divers Alert Network (DAN) for their trip insurance. You may purchase either a yearly insurance policy or a per trip policy. DAN insurance covers medical expenses, travel expenses, lost luggage, the actual trip cost if you have a medical emergency and cannot goo on the trip and the refund period has passed, and a host of other things. For more information, visit their website for more information.

In Memory of a Friend, Mentor, and True Master of the Sport

In memory of Mark Meadows“We all come from the sea, but we are not all of the sea. Those of us who are, we children of the tides, must return to it again and again, until the day we don’t come back, leaving only that which was touched along the way.”

–          Frosty Hesson

Diving, as any sport, has traditions and customs that date back to its beginnings. And as in anything in life, you have those who want to learn, and those who teach them. But once in a great while, you have that individual whose passion and love for what they do transcend the relationship of simple instructor and student. They have immersed themselves in their chosen profession, experienced more than many will ever have a chance to, and live to impart their wisdom, knowledge, and passion to others around them, and for those who identify with and accept the challenge of learning under these Masters, a bond forms greater than that of any student and teacher.

I began my diving career in 2001. I found myself in a local dive shop asking questions and signing up for class. That was the first day I met Mark Meadows. Mark was the head instructor for the shop, and he’d been diving longer than anyone there. He had grown up diving in California but had transplanted to Florida in the 1970’s and dove with the early cave divers before eventually moving to Kentucky. Mark was one of those people who could be gruff and abrupt to those he didn’t know or he felt didn’t share his love or dedication to diving, but if he took a liking to you, he was your strongest supporter.

Mark was the person who introduced me to the idea of the “dive gods”; those that came before us and paved the way for us, the giants whose shoulders we stand on. The father of our sport, Cousteau, but also the likes of Sheck Exley, Bill Stone, and others. He took me under his wing early on, grooming me for leadership, introducing me and others he felt were kindred spirits to new challenges and types of diving. He was the first in line if we had an equipment problem to sort out, or to pass down or build equipment he felt we needed as leaders. He offered to mentor me in becoming an SSI DiveCon, and introduced me to the realm of solo and technical diving. He put together my first pony bottle rig and presented it to me upon completing my SDI solo certifications.

Mark was there as I completed my DiveCon certification and immediately put me to work preparing me for instructorship, instilling in me not only the knowledge of what to teach, but his method of how to teach; his approach and philosophy to diving. To him, we were not instructors or dive leaders, we were true mentors to the next generation. We were stewards of our sport and we weren’t supposed to have others look up to us as dive gods ourselves; we were to be the humble person who learned everything we could, but passed our love and knowledge on to those who were to come after us. Our sport only lives and grows because others hear that call of the ocean and want to see what’s beneath the waves. One of his greatest pieces of advice was that no matter what I did, to always remember and pass my knowledge and passion on to my divers, to get them to see and feel what I felt each time I dropped on a dive.

I began my formal instructorship training in 2005 under Mark. I had the privilege of learning under a true Master and friend and looked forward to becoming an instructor under him. Unfortunately Mark was involved in a car accident in 2006, never recovered, and passed away February 21st, 2007. I went on to receive my NAUI instructor rating and eventually left the shop I taught with to form Aquatic Dreams Diving with the idea to teach and share Mark’s vision. The best compliments I’ve ever received are from those students and divers who say that I’m not like other instructors, that I’m patient and calm and I see divers as friends and companions, not customers and students. That was Mark’s idea of what we should be, so maybe there’s more than a little of him in how I teach.

I’ve tried explaining the Master/Student relationship to divers many times, and sometimes you get those strange looks but in others you see it resonate in them as they understand that bond. It’s well beyond the traditional student and teacher relationship you see in so many dive shops today, as it’s a long term commitment, not a short term business transaction. The relationship takes a student who has much of the same mindset as the master, and a willingness to apprentice, to learn and absorb all they have to offer; and from the master, it requires the patience and willingness to share all they know and pass that along to those diving with them, to give their divers experience and training that may be well above and beyond what’s in the books or told they have to teach, or sold in a class. The closest I’ve ever come to defining it for people I talk to is the idea of the Servant Leader. The person who may be senior, but they live to serve those around them, to raise them up and give them everything they need to realize their own potential.

This February will be the 10th anniversary of Mark’s passing. As the date approaches I find myself thinking back on my diving career, all that I’ve seen and done, the opportunities I’ve had, the friends I’ve made, those lost along the way, and the divers I’ve trained and call not customers, but truly friends and colleagues. And I think Mark would be proud with what we’ve built and continue to grow around his vision. I try to honor his legacy and close with one of my favorite personal quotes that has stayed with me for many years:

“For truly, in the end, we save only what we love, we love only what we know, and we know only what we are taught.”

Mark, we’ll meet again someday, explore new waters, and have a drink afterwards as we catch up, but until then, thank you, for everything.

John

Aquatic Dreams Diving now Accepting Credit Cards!

As we try to grow and offer more services to our divers, we are expanding our accepted payment methods.  We have just finished setting up a merchant account and can now accept credit cards for classes and trips!

There are more ways for divers to go on the trips they want and take the classes that interest them.  We currently accept cash, checks, credit cards, and PayPal*.

Come join us on any of our upcoming dive getaways.  We are currently planning our summer weekend dive schedule, and there are a few spots left on the Blackbeard sailboat liveaboard in September.  2017 dive trips are currently being planned as well.

*Please note that any payment made using credit card or PayPal will add a 3% processing fee to the amount due.

Aquatic Dreams Diving Summer Trips Being Planned Now

We are currently putting our summer trip list together for 2016.  We are finalizing dates and prices now and will be publishing them soon, and will let everyone know as soon as we have them together.

As a head’s up, mark your calendars.  The first weekend trip is expected to be July 9-10 and we will be going to Pennyroyal Blue Springs Dive park in Hopkinsville, KY.  This is a great training park with extremely clear water that is suited for both open water and advanced open water students as well as plenty of fun diving.  We will be offering checkout dives for both courses on this weekend and are offering two special discounts:

1) If you sign up for both the Advanced Scuba Diver course and this Pennyroyal trip, we will discount your Advanced Diver course from $199.00 to $150.00.

2) If you sign up for this weekend trip, your gear rental will be free for the weekend (provided we have what you want in stock at the time of the trip).  This means BC, regulator set, wetsuit, hood and gloves (if needed), dive light (if requested) or anything else.  If you need something and we have it available, you can use it for the weekend.  Just put in a request for what you need ahead of time so we can pull and mark it for you!

Aquatic Dreams Diving in the News – WLWT Interview March 21, 2016

Officials: Currents still too strong to retrieve car that plunged from bridge

Divers say currents needs to be below 1.5 mph

CINCINNATI —For six days, a car been sitting at the bottom of the Ohio River. But the mission to recover the car that plunged from the Combs-Hehl Bridge is too dangerous to try, officials said.

On March 15, a car fell from the bridge and quickly became fully submerged. Campbell County police believe they know the identity of the driver.

Photos from the scene // Watch this story

Authorities said the vehicle had been located via sonar not far from the bridge, but no passengers had been found in the river.

Divers said the Ohio River is dark and dangerous.

John Hoh with Aquatic Dreams Diving has been a professional diver for years. He’s not with the Boone County Water Rescue Team, but he’s worked missions like one Boone County faces.

“Visibility in the river is pretty much zero,” Hoh said. “It’s less than what you can see your hand in front of your face. So when you’re down in that, you’re trying to do work and focused on the work you’re doing, not what’s coming downstream behind you.”

Hoh said that’s where the danger lies.

“If something comes down and hits you, it could definitely injure you. It could knock you unconscious or it could tangle you up in the lines people that people are holding onto to keep you safe.”

The plan to recover the car has been pushed back, again.

To get the car and the victim inside, rescuers said the current has to be 1.5 mph or slower. On Monday, it measured 2.8 mph.

“What you’re really worried about is that current 2.5 miles (peer hour) current, 3 miles (per hour) current — if you’re a diver and you go underwater, you could be swept away, swept from the location you’re searching for,” said Hoh.

The Boone County Search and Rescue Team said it will use a barge, crane, tow boat and commercial drivers to get the car.

Alysia Irvin remembers the moment the car went inside the water. She was in the middle of the crash commotion.

“I didn’t think it was going to go over once I saw it all happening and then I thought oh man and you see it go over you don’t know what to do,” said Irvin.

Rescuers have to wait as river conditions slowly move in the right direction

“What those people are trying to do is bring closure to the families and figure out what happened and get the car out,” said Hoh.

Crews are hopeful to try to get the car out of the river by the end of this week.

Aquatic Dreams Diving in the News – 700 WLW Interview March 21, 2016

John Hoh and Aquatic Dreams Diving will be speaking with Eddie and Tracy on 700 WLW AM at 3:45pm on March 21, 2016.  We will be talking about the recovery challenges rescue divers face and especially issues that divers are encountering trying to recover the car lost over the I-275 bridge after the crash last week.

You can listen to the live stream for WLW here:

http://www.iheart.com/live/1713/?autoplay=true&pname=1209&campid=play_bar&cid=index.html

Aquatic Dreams Diving in the News – WCPO Cincinnati on Recovery Efforts at I-275 Bridge

NEWPORT, Ky.–  Dangerous conditions in the Ohio River are going to further delay efforts to raise the car that fell off the Combs-Hehl Bridge last Tuesday.

“It’s much more challenging than anyone gives [divers] credit for,” John Hoh, an experienced diver and owner of Aquatic Dreams Diving, told WCPO.

Zero visibility and fast-moving debris such as trees and branches are hazardous to divers, Hoh said. The original goal was to get divers into the water Sunday or Monday, but that’s been pushed back to Tuesday or Wednesday – a full week or more since the car fell in.

RELATED: Video shows car falling off Combs-Hehl Bridge

Hoh, who has been diving for 15 years, says divers can’t see their hands in front of their face. We went out with a camera and checked.

“Think about closing your eyes, wandering through a field and trying to find a car in the middle of a field,” Hoh said.

Here is one reason it’s so hard for divers to get to that car on the bottom of the Ohio river: zero visibility. One diving instructor told me in these conditions you can’t see your hand in front of your face.

Posted by Jason Law WCPO on Friday, March 18, 2016

Also, there are big objects – including trees and branches – floating quickly down the river.

“[Divers] have the potential hazard of getting hit from behind by one of these objects. Now, you get hit with a tree at 5 miles per hour, that’s going to knock you unconscious,” Hoh said. “That poses a significant hazard to divers.”

The river is anywhere from 27 to 40 feet deep under the bridge, but it’s not the depth that makes reaching that car so dangerous, said Capt. Dale Appel, director of the Boone County Water Rescue Team.

“This river is very unfriendly right now, very unforgiving. We have to have the current, the speed of the current, in a certain position before any of these divers can do their work,” Appel said Friday.

Appel said they need to wait for the current to slow to 1.5 mph for the sake of divers’ safety. The river was moving at 5 mph Thursday night, he said. Appel has been putting together a plan to get to the car since it fell off the bridge during several chain-reaction crashes involving 12 vehicles. His team has tied a rope to the car and wrapped the rope around a pier so the car doesn’t float downstream in the strong current.

Dive Gear: Tips and Benefits of Streamlining – by Dr. Thomas Powell

streamlining

Dive Gear: Tips and Benefits of Streamlining

by: Dr. Thomas Powell:

Scuba diving is a sport we get into because we love the idea of venturing beneath the waves and seeing new and exciting things. Underwater, we want to be able to move about with ease and focus a large portion of our attention on the sites and activities. When our gear is not right, movement can be sluggish, we may burn through gas quickly, and our attention may focus on our frustrations rather than our adventures. One of the easiest ways to have a better experience underwater is by streamlining our gear and our bodies.

The first way to streamline ourselves is by making sure our equipment fits. If your buoyancy compensator is too loose, it may slide around, ride up, or otherwise make neutral buoyancy difficult to achieve. When you select your scuba gear, you should take the time to make sure your buoyancy compensator or harness is properly fitted or adjusted for you. This may take some time and may require an experienced diver or retailer to provide assistance. The truth of the matter is that you should not just jump into a purchase. Instead, look at what each item offers you for your future in diving. Can you stow or store the equipment you need? Does your rig fit in your hips, chest, and shoulders? Is there a crotch strap that helps secure your buoyancy compensator? Does the rig allow you to make changes or adaptations as needed? Is your wing the proper size for the type of diving you are doing or will it wrap around your cylinder and reduce your ease of movement? Once you enter the water, your rig should be comfortable, easy to use, and adjustable as needed. This will allow the rig to become part of your body as you move through the water.

Second, divers love toys. Most divers have made an impulse purchase for an item that seemed “cool” at the time but will never really be used. Do you really need three noise makers, four coiled bungies just in case you need to clip something off, and various other items on you at all times? Often, these items get purchased and a diver will place them on a buoyancy compensator. These items all create drag when a diver tries to move through the water. Over time, a diver realizes certain items may not be used and then these extra items will get pulled off and stowed away in a gear bag only to be seen during rare instances. When a diver eliminates extra items, drag is reduced and the diver will find it easier to move through the water with ease. Similarly, there are fewer items that can cause entanglement if a diver happens to encounter potential hazards. So take a moment and review your equipment. If there are items that you never use but always seem to carry around underwater, leave them in your gear bag.

In the same regard, some divers like the idea of keeping non-essential items stored in a buoyancy compensator. Items like this may include bottles of defog or other things that are normally kept in a gear bag. These types of items add bulk and possibly off-set weighting issues that could again disrupt easy movement. Items such as these should be left on the boat or at the beach. If the item is truly needed, end the dive, get prepared as needed once again, and start over. Similarly, a diver should make sure that clips, straps, and buckles are secured. Anything that dangles, flaps, or hangs open can create more drag or possible entanglement hazards. Often, a simple pre-dive check with a buddy can help a diver make sure that gear is properly donned and secured.

Once a diver determines what equipment is essential, the remaining items need to be tucked away and stowed so that nothing “dangles” or hangs free to create drag. Items should be kept close to the body. In certain cases, adding items like a butt plate to your buoyancy compensator will allow larger items such as reels, spools, or even canister systems to be stowed on the hips, which keeps them up and out of the way. Keeping items such as bungie, tape, or surgical tubing in your dive kit can also help a diver secure equipment. For instance, if a flashlight is clipped to a harness using a bolt snap, a loop of surgical tubing around the webbing can help keep the flashlight tight to the body when the barrel of the light is tucked under this makeshift flexible strap. Thinking through actions like this can help to tighten a diver’s profile underwater. Keeping your equipment streamlined also helps keep specific items easier to find and use since you know things are not shifting around on the body. Sometimes large items can even be replaced with smaller items. Do you really need a foot long short sword as a tool underwater? Instead, items like line cutters or sheers may meet all of your needs and create a smaller physical profile.

Finally, with time, most divers realize that they need less weight to remain neutrally buoyant. Because of this, taking time to do a weight check every once in a while may help a diver learn that he or she can reduce weight and essentially reduce the burden being carried underwater. Similarly, when the equipment carried by a diver is changed, a weight check should be performed to find a comfortable amount of weight to be carried. Once that sweet spot is found, a diver may find it easier to achieve neutral buoyancy and move about with comfort. Comfort will allow a diver to focus more on practicing kick styles, tucking arms away, and moving about with slow and methodical movements. The more a diver can practice simple fluid movements, the easier the diver will find it becomes to maintain neutrally stable buoyancy while performing skill sets, and with reduced movement comes reduced gas consumption.

One of the biggest actions any diver can take in regard to improving comfort and mobility in the water is streamlining both equipment and the body. Over time, adjustments may become only minor corrections rather than major gear reconfigurations. With improved comfort comes an overall improved experience and more time underwater focusing on the exciting factors that make a person return over and over again to the water.

55 Things Divers Born After 1985 Won’t Understand – by Brian Carney

A typical day at SDI/TDI/ERDI Headquarters consists of lots of emails, phone calls and, of course, meetings.  Over the years these meetings have gone through a lot of different topics and formats, but what happened last week was something I was not expecting … yet.  Generally, in a Marketing meeting we throw around topic ideas for different things we feel would make for great content.   In this particular meeting I found myself listening and then ultimately being asked to write about a topic because I was the most qualified due to my age!  Let that sit for a minute… my age.  When did I become the guy old enough to know about something?  How did that happen?  Well, after I got over that small issue, we started discussing the topic of difficulty people of my age or older (43 for those of you counting) have relating to the generation of Millennials. Take it from me, as I am reminded of it every day at the office, they think and act differently than we do.

This article is the first of three that will address the differences in generations in the industry: Things divers born after 1985 will not understand. A presentation at DEMA titled Inside the Millennial Mind – How to connect with #Millennials to increase business, presented by Lauren Kieren (Millennial) and myself (old guy).  Finally an article by Lauren titled, Things divers born before 1985 will never understand.

Just so I could have some additional insight into this topic I consulted a few other “old guys” for help.  Dan Orr, Harry Averill, and also Bret Gilliam were kind enough to send me their thoughts on this topic for which I am grateful for their input.

    1. The name of the first electronic dive computer, the EDGE, was actually an acronym for “Electronic Dive GuidE” – Dan Orr would know as he named it.

edge

  1. CO 2 cartridges were standard equipment for BCD’s. In early models of BCD’s it was standard equipment to have a CO2 cartridge with a mechanism designed to fill the BCD in an emergency situation to provide buoyancy.   After years of questionable results such as random trigger of inflation at times when it was not needed or also not working when it was needed, or being a pain to maintain due to corrosion, they fell out of favor.   There was a time when it was impossible to find a buoyancy device without a CO2 cartridge
  2. Purge valves on masks were mainstream. In the early 70s purge valves were introduced as a feature on the front of masks.
  3. Octopus regulators were not mandatory.
  4. Pressure gauges were not mandatory, instead divers relied on J valves. SPGs were mandated around 1977 by all training agencies.
  5. A Horse Collar BCD was the only option for a BCD. There were numerous options beginning in 1973 including the At-Pac and Scubapro Back Mounted BC called a Buoyancy Compensating Pack or BCP. In 1977 Scubapro introduced the Stabilizing Jacket that changed everything to this style for most divers.
  6. Back inflation BCDs started long before technical diving
  7. SOS Decompression Meter – Dive computer (aka Bend-O-Matic) was actually sold as a dive computer but had no electronic parts, instead it operated mechanically.
  8. Cave divers got their gear from the hardware store.
  9. Dive gear only came in men’s sizes; women’s sizes were introduced around 1979 for such gear as wet suits and BCDs.
  10. Technical diving had not started yet. Or more appropriately, the term Technical Diving had not been coined yet.
  11. You could have dive gear in any color as long as it was black.
  12. You could buy a wet suit in a kit and put it together yourself… hopefully.
  13. If you wore a buoyancy device of any kind, other divers wondered if you were scared or couldn’t swim.
  14. Buoyancy devices came with a crotch strap.
  15. Divers were suspicious of single hose regulators and would sometimes be heard saying, “Can you really get enough air through that small hose?”
  16. Some divers actually wore pantyhose in order to help them get the early wetsuits on.
  17. At one time, it took lung power to inflate a buoyancy device.
  18. You had to roll over on your back to let air out of your buoyancy device.
  19. It was a life vest before it was a buoyancy compensator.
  20. If you took the original 71.2 cu. ft. aluminum cylinder off under water, it would reach the surface before you.
  21. You had to thread your shoulder straps properly to allow for quick release.
  22. You had to constantly check your “J” valve to make sure it wasn’t accidentally pulled down.
  23. Divers would look at your tank valve and try to figure out if it actually looks like a “K” or “J”.
  24. When the Totes Company actually made dry suits.
  25. When you had to learn about ‘suit squeeze’ before dry suits had variable volume capability.
  26. When dive knives were longer than your snorkel
  27. To protect yourself from denizens of the deep, you carried a shark billy or a Faralon Shark Dart.
  28. When you didn’t have to be a duck to wear ‘duck feet’.
  29. When you cave divers were just as likely to find a car inner tube in their ‘wings’ as their automobile (Note:  the first pair of wings I used actually had an automobile inner tube as a bladder). The very first cave-diving BCs were actually Clorox bottles.
  30. When your dive light could probably double as an aircraft landing light.
  31. You had to decide to keep or remove the neck strap from your regulator 2nd stage.
  32. You had to get into your dry suit through the crotch.
  33. You could buy weights shaped like hand grenades.
  34. You inflated your buoyancy device with a separate air bottle attached to the bottom.
  35. You could choose any breathing gas as long as it was air.
  36. Sportsways, Healthways, Voit, Parkway, Harvey’s, Swimaster, Nemrod, Imperial, Dacor were part of every diver’s vocabulary
  37. If someone asked you, “Are You A Turtle?”, you’d have to answer, “You bet your sweet a** I am!” or you’d owe them a drink.  (Comment:  This was the marketing campaign by Imperial to promote their Imperial Turtle wet suits)
  38. Nitrox and mixed gas didn’t exist for the recreational diver
  39. Sonic alerts, e.g. DiveAlert
  40. Use of oxygen for decompression
  41. Split fins – what are those?
  42. Integrated weight system consisted of a belt with lead on it.
  43. There was no mandatory insurance for dive instructors
  44. IANTD, TDI, ANDI, IDEA, MDEA, ACUC, RSTC were not created yet.
  45. There were very few liveaboard dive vessels and those only traveled to a limited selection of areas.
  46. Most wet suits were nylon-lined, but had textured neoprene on the outside.
  47. No cylinders larger than 80 cubic feet were available.
  48. Dual valve manifolds were not available, instead diving with independent doubles was the only choice.
  49. No Spare Air devices
  50. There was no color film faster than 200 ASA
  51. Portable recompression chambers were the size of a Semi Truck.
  52. No such thing as a referral programs to complete open water training in another location by another instructor
  53. Solo diving was actually what you learned how to do in your Open Water Instructor course
  54. In the span of ten years (approximately 1975 to 1985), items such as alternate-air-source second stages, power inflators, tank-integrated BCs and instrument consoles had gone from being a rarity to being the norm. This is the greatest amount of change in diving equipment in a short period of time that has ever happened. A 1985 diver would look more like one of today’s divers, some 30 years later, than he would look like a diver from ten years earlier.

The one big thing to come out of these articles and presentations is that the industry has come a long way due to innovation and passion from the people within it.  Now is the time to start looking to the next generation and tap into their passion, we just need to find a way to communicate with them.