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Spring Is In The Dive Air – Spring 2018 DDS Newsletter

Spring Is In The Dive Air – Spring 2018 DDS Newsletter

Our latest DDS newsletter is online now have a peak at all the upcoming trips, charters, new gear and some great promotions.

2018 promises to be an incredible dive year as evidenced by the flurry of activity already for trip and course signups and much more.

We even released this years dive trip/charter/weekly dive theme.  Dan’s The Dive Slayers!  You’ll love it.

Learn about some of the new Sidemount harnesses on the market from Light Monkey, Halcyon and Sub-Gravity.

CLICK HERE for online viewing. 

 

 

Wednesday Night and Local Diving Schedule for 2017

Wednesday Night and Local Diving Schedule for 2017

The Wednesday Night and Local Diving Schedule for 2017 is well underway.  Get involved and get diving some of the best dive sites in the area this summer. 

All of our trips are full for the season now, so spend less time driving and more time diving shipwreck sites that are even better than most of the Tobermory shipwrecks by sticking around Lake Erie and Lake Ontario this summer.

We have some phenomenal end of season dives too which are shore based and some amazing DPV dives too, so lets get diving.

Charters and weekend dives require advanced sign up.  There is a charter form that will need to be filled out. Please book well ahead, many dives are already full or filling up.

dds-divengers

Divengers Age of Ultra Diving Wednesday Night Dive Schedule 2017

May 31st Ontario Rd. Bridge (Welland)

June 7th International Train Bridge (Ft. Erie)

June 14th Navy Hall (Lower Niagara River)

June 21st The Barge (Upper Niagara River)

June 28th Netherby Rd. (Upper River)

July 5th Swing Bridge (Welland)

July 12th Kings Bridge Park to Boat Launch
(Chippawa Creek)

July 19th Boat Launch to Stanley Ave. (Chippawa)

July 26th Peace Bridge/Thompsons Hole *

August 2nd International Train Bridge

August 9th Frenchman’s Creek

August 16th Ontario Rd. Bridge

August 23rd Barge (Upper Niagara River)

August 30th Netherby Rd. Drift

September 6th Swing Bridge (Welland)

September 13th Kings Bridge Park to Boat Launch

September 20th Boat Launch to Stanley Ave.

September 27th Navy Hall

October 4th Thompsons Hole *

October 11th International Train Bridge

October 18th Swing Bridge

October 25th Frenchman’s Creek

November 1st Navy Hall

Wednesdays require you to be on site by 6:30pm, gear up and dive in by 7pm, most dives are an hour in duration followed by a “Debriefing” at a local establishment.

A * Denotes Advanced Dive.  A ** Denotes Technical Dive. Charters have a Charter fee.

Gratuities for staff and boat personnel greatly appreciated.

DDS Weekend Charter Dives, Trips, Events 

Sunday May 28th DDS DEMO DAY & BBQ @Welland Scuba Park $15/person. 

June 11th Tiller Wreck Charter AM & PM * (Sold Out Waiting List in Effect)

June 18th Father’s Day Tiller Wreck Charters * (Sold Out Waiting List in Effect)

Thursday Night June 29th Lyman Davis/Sligo Charter off of Humber Bay, Toronto *

July 2nd Lake Erie Carlingford/Benson *
July 3rd Lake Erie Crystal/Tradewind *
July 7-9 Tobermory Dive Extravaganza 2017 * (Sold Out Waiting List in Effect)

Thursday Night July 13th Tiller Wreck 2 Dives *

July 22-29 Newfoundland Trip Wrecks, Whales, Mines and More!

July 23rd Lake Erie Acme/Stone Wreck *

August 6th Tiller Wreck Charter AM & PM *

Civic Monday August 7th Lake Erie Finnie/Niagara 

August 11-13 Rockport Thousand Islands Dive Weekend (Sold Out Waiting List in Effect)
August 20th St. James/Arches Technical Charter or Picton Wrecks **

August 24th Oakville Wrecks Birmingham/Barge *

September 1-4 Northwind Expedition 2017 (Sold Out Waiting List in Effect)

September 17th Tiller Wreck Charter AM & PM *

September 22-24 Tobermory Dive Extravaganza 2 *

October 15th Tiller Wreck Charter AM & PM *

October 19-21 Brockville Dive Exposé *

October 28-November 3rd Blackbeards Bahamas Liveboard Dive Vacation (Sold Out Waiting List in Effect)

October 29th Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest 2017

Friday November 3rd DDS RENTAL GEAR SALE

November 5th Rockport Wall Shore Dive

November 12th Waome Dive Carter Gravenhurst*

November 19th Bon Echo Park Scooter Dive (DPV’s available for rent with DPV Cert)

November 25th– December 2nd Mexico Cave Trip

December 3rd Brockville Daryaw *
December 8th DDS Christmas Party

December 29-January 6th New Years Mexico Cave Trip **

February 11-17 Florida Springs Trip (Intro to Tech, Cavern, DPV Training) *
February 18-24 Florida Springs Trip (Cave 1 Training) *
February 25-March 3rd Florida Springs Trip (Cave 2 Training) **

Dive Sites subject to availability. Locations subject to change. Please register in advance for all charters and weekend dives.

 

 

Unmasked A Modern Look at Scuba And Snorkel Masks

Unmasked A Modern Look at Scuba Masks And Snorkel Masks

Today we’re going to talk about Scuba and Snorkel Masks, which also hold true for FreeDiving applications.

Many Divers and Snorkels ask us “What’s the Best Scuba Mask?” Our answer is simple….The one that fits you best. Read on and learn the additional features that will make your dive mask the best.

Question For You:

Have you ever been to a resort where someone just hands you a snorkel mask our a dive mask out of a bucket and tells you to go and enjoy the water?  For some that can be a wonderful eye popping experience and for others it can be painful, irritating, uncomfortable or downright unnerving.

Today we are going to discuss some of the key features, technologies, materials, styles and levels of comfort you can come to expect from a good quality scuba or snorkel mask. 

Hopefully this will help you pick out the best scuba mask or snorkel mask for your every day water related activities.

Key Features

Some would argue that the more expensive the mask is, the better it will fit you or the better quality it is.  This isn’t quite the case.

The best mask on the market is the mask that fits your face first and foremost.

Factors that affect the fit of the mask are face shapes, facial hair, buckle or strap design, single or double lens, type of mask skirt material, lens glass and frame shape to name a few.

Generally speaking the bigger the face the larger the mask skirt and frame will have to be.  Someone with a narrow face like a woman or small child can fit a small to mid size frame, while most average size faces would benefit from a standard fit, larger faces may require a wide fitting mask.

There are a handful of brands who offer small/medium fitted masks, as well as wide fitting masks, while the norm is to make a mask for the average face.

Once you’ve determined the size of mask you may need its time to weigh options, for example, if you have facial hair, you may favour a stiffer mask skirt with a frameless designed that will sit slightly higher above the moustache versus one that lays across the hair preventing a full seal against the upper lip and under the nose.  

The Moustache: Moustache divers or snorkelers can be one of the more challenging people to fit, so we often gravitate to a few good “moustache masks”.  These masks are shorter and stiffer in the upper lip area and aren’t as affected by the facial hair which can break the seal of a softer skirted mask.

The BARE Frameless Mask, Atomic Frameless Mask, Mares X-Vision standard and TUSA Powerview have been some of our most successful options. 

Avoid The Dreaded Purge Valve!  Rather than going for a proper fit, some people choose to go for a mask with a purge valve in the nose that allows you to simply blow out to evacuate water, which is great, when they work, however, we believe a purge valve mask is an excuse for an ill-fitting mask.  

Purge masks also tend to fail over time having the valve curl or simply falling out causing the mask to fill up with water, so for this reason we simply don’t recommend or endorse the use of purge valves in masks, but are happy to add one into any mask you desire should you want one.

Wearing a Skirt?

Guys and girls both wear skirts when wearing a mask.  So what’s the difference in mask skirts?  Mask skirts can be made of a number of different materials including Rubber, TPR (transparent rubber), PVC, Silite, Silflex, Silter, Silicone, Crystal Silicone, Liquid Silicone, Liquid Crystal Silicone, Gummybear Silicone and more.

Rubber was the most common type of material throughout the infancy of snorkeling and scuba because it was inexpensive, created a seal, was black which helped the person see clearer without glare and refraction of light, but it was not a product that had offered a lot of longevity, however, in the late 1970’s silicone started to become more popular due to the fact that it didn’t break down in the sunlight, was more comfortable and chlorine resistant.

Alternatively TPR, PVC, Silite, Silflex, Silter are all harder skirted alternatives that cost less, are replaced more and are often found in the department stores.  Some manufactures promote a silcone mask/snorkel combo, however, a mask can be class as “silicone” with as little as 5% in the skirt.

You can tell how much silicone is in the mask vs. plastic or other materials by holding the clear skirt up to the light.  If the mask has an opaque colour that looks “clumpy” or more white it isn’t pure silicone.  If the mask skirt has an odour the smells like chemicals, its not pure silicone.

Many of our dive mask brands offer both “sport” quality and “dive” quality. Both can be suitable for snorkeling and in some cases diving too, however, fit and comfort are the 2 most important factors affecting your decision to purchase one over the other.

Pure Silicone mask skirts are still the most comfortable, last the longest, do not break down with repeated saltwater or chlorine immersion and are UV resistant.

Silicone masks can come in skirts that are acid washed to be perfectly transparent or they can be coloured black or other unique colours.  At DDS we prefer black silicone because it offers better vision through the process of eliminating excessive amounts of light which flow in through the normally clear skirt and then cause glare and refraction of light when compared to their black skirted brethren who provide eye and glare protection and less overall strain and eye fatigue.

Clear Skirted Masks Yellow over time.

Black skirted masks also age better maintaining their black colour, whereas clear skirted masks only stay clear for a little while, that is until the uv rays, dirt, sand, rubber and other factors start to cause a yellowing of the skirt and they become opaque over a rather short period of time, meanwhile the black skirted mask is still looking as fresh and good as it did the day it was purchased.

Regardless of the mask you choose it’s all about fit and comfort.  You can read review after review, but the mask should be fitted by a professional who understands your needs, wants and has a good selection.

We sell virtually every brand of mask, but have cherry picked among our entire staff the masks we feel to be the best fitting masks on the market.

Keep the gimmicks to a minimum.

The Fit

Make sure when you’re wearing your mask you can equalize your ears by squeezing your nose pocket, this will ensure you can get to the nose pocket when you need to.

Make sure the mask strap isn’t too tight.  A proper fitting mask only needs to have the strap snug, not tight because the water pressure is going to keep the mask on your face for the most part too.

Make sure the mask doesn’t sit against the brow area putting pressure on it if its a 2 lens mask (men generally have a protruding brow).

Make sure the nose pocket doesn’t dig into the bridge of the nose.

Wear the mask strap just over top of the ears centering it around the middle 1/3 of the skull.  Wearing it too high can cause the mask to push up under the nose causing chaffing and making it raw over time, so really pay attention to centering it and keeping it adjusted comfortably.

When wearing the mask you can check for proper width by looking in a mirror.  You don’t want to see the skirt too narrow that it sits on the eye, but you also don’t want it so wide that it lets water in through the top or sides.

Breath in through your nose without using the strap, see that the mask sits comfortably on the face.  If it does, put the strap on, snug it up comfortably and with the mask against the face exhale.  The exhaled air should go out the bottom of the mask not the top of the head by the temples or above the eyes.

High or Low Volume?  Which is Better?

Low Volume is always best.  The lenses sit closer to your eyes.  There’s a smaller airspace to equalize the masks internal airspace which is something you’ll notice when you go down on breath hold or on scuba.  With increased pressure the mask will suck to your face more and more and more eventually causing pain and discomfort.  To avoid this you’ll need to equalize the airspace by simply blowing some air through your nose into the mask to keep it from squeezing down.

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Black Skirted Masks maintain their colour and help eliminate light glare

Lower volume masks are more comfortable and are easier to clear water out of as well.  Imagine a big round window shaped mask and how big and how much water can fill that mask up.  Now picture a streamlined mask that has a similar surface area to that of a pair of swim goggles but with an enclosed nose so you can blow into it.  

Which mask is going to be easier to clear the water out of ?  The one with more or less water in it?  If you guessed less water in it you’re right.  The smaller the masks overall internal volume the easier its going to be to blow the air out of it.

Frame or No Frame?

Divers have long gravitated towards plastic framed masks that press the glass, plastic and frame all into one package with a lens retainer.  They’re durable, comfortable, most popular.

Frameless masks are a more modern concept that has less overall parts and simplified construction by simply moulding the silicone frame over the tempered glass lenses and bonding the silicone to the skirt.

The Different Mask Lenses

The market for different dive lenses have changed a lot since the initial introduction of simple tempered glass or polycarbonate lenses.

Tempered Glass lenses are still the industry standard because of their durability, relative cost effectiveness and the fact that they don’t shatter inwards due to pressure.  They can break like anything else, but generally the glass will stay together.

Tempered Glass is durable, they aren’t affected by scratches in the water, but they do have a greenish tinge to the glass which cuts back on light transmission.

Polycarbonate is plastic, scratches very easily and not suitable for scuba diving or much more than pool playing.  They’re typical of your department store masks which are cheap and not designed to last.

Ultraclear Glass Lenses introduced by Atomic Aquatics

Ultraclear glass is an optical quality glass with exceptional clarity and high light transmission, with no colour distortion.

Standard float glass (tempered glass) lets through approximately 86% of the available light but UltraClear lenses can allow up to 92% light transmittance. Combine that with the increased colour vibrancy and clarity and you’ll never want to dive with a standard lens again.

ARC Lenses or Anti Reflective Coating Lenses Introduced by Atomic Aquatics

Between 4-14% of light can be reflected back or “lost” by the standard “green float glass” mask lenses used by the more traditional mask makers.  ARC technology lenses are especially important for SCUBA divers underwater, where available light is quickly absorbed by the surrounding water because they help amplify available light.

Atomic Aquatics ARC Technology to reduce reflected light and actually increase the amount of available light transmitted to a diver’s eyes. The result is a greatly improved transmission of 98% of available light, compared to a loss of more than 14% of light with standard green “float” glass used on the majority of masks on the market.

ARC uses a multi-layer metal oxide coating process applied to both sides of the UltraClear lenses. This allows more light to enter the mask by reducing light reflections off the inside and outside surface of the lens. The metal oxide coating is only a few microns thick.

Anti-Reflective Coatings or ARC is a multi-layer metal oxide coating process applied to both sides of the Ultraclear lenses. This allows more light to enter the mask by reducing light reflection off the inside and outside surface of the lends. Clearer, crisper vision.  Reduces eyestrain, glare and prevents ghost images on the viewing area of the lens. A must for night diving and limited visibility conditions and underwater photographers.

Mirrored Lenses

Some Divers like the idea of mirrored lenses, however, they reflect back at the fishlife and can cause unwanted confrontations.  They also hide the divers eyes, which are essential when assessing diver comfort underwater, so for this reason we’d suggest staying away from mirrored lenses.

Types of Mask Straps

DDS Neoprene Mask StrapMost mask straps are made of the same material as the mask.  They’re designed to fit comfortably, not overly tight around the back of the wearers head and have side adjusters that allow you to often times pull the mask strap by tabs to tighten it.  

The straps can pull hair or can tend to be uncomfortable.  One way we fix this is by adding a neoprene mask strap backing or replacing the entire strap with a neoprene adjust-a-strap which uses Velcro on the sides and neoprene on the back of the head. 

You don’t need hair to enjoy a neoprene mask strap, they’re the best option for ease of donning or taking your mask off, plus they also float a little bit, so if you drop you mask into the water you may have faster response as it may not sink immediately .

Prescription Lenses

We can get a number of masks with prescription lenses.  We carry lenses in + or – diopters, as well as custom ground lenses for people needing lenses for different pupil distances and special features. 

The costs of lenses for negative diopters are very reasonable.  Positive diopters are more expensive.  Standard bio-focal lenses are also available.

We generally recommend TUSA or Atomic for prescription lenses.  They’re easy to install and the masks are the best quality you can buy.

Replacement Parts

When purchasing a mask consider the fact that this product will last you 20-30 years if you look after it.  My personal TUSA mask is one I’ve had since 1996.  Dan had a 30 year old TUSA mask.  When you buy quality products from reputable manufacturers who make their own masks (NOT OEM with a Log slapped on) you purchase a product that is going to have parts and service around for years (or decades) to come.

Mask clips can commonly break if dropped or stepped on.  Lenses can chip, mask skirt scan rip, lens retainer clips can break if you’re cleaning the mask and mask skirt on a regular basis.

Brands like TUSA, Atomic Aquatics, Mares Diving, Problue and Scubapro keep a range of clips and replacement parts in stock.

Pre-cleaning Your Mask

Pre-clean your mask with toothpaste rubbed on the inside of the glass and take a toothbrush with mild abrasive and brush the inside glass to remove a protective silicone residue that is tacked on the inside.  You can also carefully burn it off with a flame if you have a steady hand and trust yourself around silicone.

Pre-cleaning the mask will help prevent fogging and will give you a better chance of fog-free diving.

Defogging Your Mask

Mask defog is your friend.  Not because we’re a dive store, but because you don’t want bacteria ridden saliva in your mask that you may or may not fully rinse out.  We’ve seen divers with eye infections from using the communal “spit bucket” on the dive boats down south where 10-20 divers are all spitting in their mask and then rinsing in a communal bucket.

Commercial Mask Defog is awesome!  It lasts years and years despite the small affordable 2oz bottle it comes in.  McNett Sea Drops and McNett Sea Gold are the best defogs we’ve used.  No bacteria or eye irritation and you also don’t have as much black mould or bacteria growing in your mask after 6-12 months of using it vs. spit.

Spitting in your mask is a good temporary solution, but defog will prevent things from growing in the mask and give you the best fog free solution.

To use your defog properly though follow these steps. 

  1. Apply defog to mask lens dry 2-3 drops per lens or 5-6 drops overall if single lens max.
  2. Leave defog on the mask until you’re ready to hit the water
  3. Rinse defog off with your finger and water
  4. Put mask directly on your face or keep filled with water until ready to wear
  5. Keep mask on face, do not take off and let it air dry
  6. If taking mask off fill it up with water and leave lenses wet, don’t air dry

Maintenance For Your Mask

Your mask over time may get dirty, mildewed or saturated with salt crystals or sand which can get between the lenses.  Every 1-2 years or sooner, you should consider taking your mask apart and with hot water, some dish soap and a toothbrush, gently rinse and scrub every bit of the mask frame, skirt, lenses, and lens retainer clips (This isn’t possible with Frameless masks which do not come apart).

To learn more about care and maintenance of your scuba and snorkeling gear take our PADI Equipment Specialist Course.

In Closing,

The best mask on the market is the mask that makes you feel like its a part of your face, it fits naturally, it doesn’t hit off the brow, press on the bridge of the nose and doesn’t need to be overtightened.  It can come with a range of different lenses and price points, but at the end of the day its the mask that feels the best and has the features you want that’s the right one.

While technologies change, the fit criteria should all the same.  Comfort, ease of adjustment, ease of clearing because its low volume and it should look quasi-stylin’.

Matt Mandziuk
Recreational, Cave & Technical Diving Instructor
NAUI Cave & Trimix Instructor 45416
TDI Trimix Instructor 4767
PADI MSDT 207233
SDI Instructor 4767
IDREO Rebreather Instuctor (CCR)
Owner
Dan’s Dive Shop, Inc.
www.dansdiveshop.ca
matt@dansdiveshop.ca

Winter Travel Tips

Winter Travel Tips Repost from The Businesss Link Niagara

Planning a little underwater getaway this winter? Dan’s Dive Shop can help you enjoy the water to its fullest.

By Matt Mandziuk

A popular HBO TV series uses the catch phrase “Winter is Coming” which to many signifies that it time to set your winter travel plans. People travel for a multitude of reasons. For some, it’s about getting away and relaxing, while others look for new and exciting activities to participate in – many of whom gravitate to the beach to swim and explore the sea.

To enjoy the water to its fullest, you’ll want a few of the items listed below to make it more fun, exciting and comfortable.  

  • Get yourself a good quality mask to clearly see what you’re looking at. You’ll want one made of high quality, hypo-allergenic silicone which offers a comfortable face seal. We recommend black silicone so it doesn’t yellow or cause excessive glare and distraction with a low surface area so there’s less effort to clear the mask of any water. The nose pocket should be easily accessible if diving down to pinch, lenses made of tempered glass. A proper fit is the most important feature, so take the time to get fitted by a professional. Don’t use swim goggles if you’re planning to swim below the surface deeper than a few feet.
  • Snorkels are available as just a simple a tube with mouthpiece, or with a purge valve on the bottom to aid in easy clearing of water. Semi-dry and dry top snorkels that help eliminate water from entering the tube above or below the water are now the most popular.
  • Fins are very useful to propel you effortlessly through the water and help you cover more distance without exerting, especially if there’s a current present.
  • Mesh shoulder bags, duffel bags and laundry bags are great ways to carry your gear to and from the beach. Having a pair of surf shoes will help protect your feet if there’s rough terrain en route to your entry or exit point.
  • Rashguards, chillguards and wetsuits are great ways to keep the sun off your back or keep you warmer for extended time in the water.
  • Having the right equipment can really make the experience a positive one. If you’re nervous in the water but still want to swim atop and look down, use a snorkeling vest, which orally inflates with air and allows you additional buoyancy and peace of mind. We’d also recommend pairing this with a dry snorkel to keep the water completely out of your mouth.

Regardless of where you’re traveling this season, Dan’s Dive Shop brings the fun of the sea and the sun with you for activities above and below the water with the largest selection in the country and the most competitive prices – so stop in for a fitting today!

neopine full face snorkel mask easy breath

Head Pirate Jr Set Bluepink snorkel veststahlsac_panama_mesh_backpack_bag

Dan’s Dive Shop is located at 329 Welland Avenue in St. Catharines. For more information on Dan’s Dive Shop, call 905.984.2160, email: info@dansdiveshop.ca or go to https://dansdiveshop.ca.

 

Canada Day Cleanup 2016 Another Great Day For The Environment

Canada Day Cleanup 2016 & September 18th Cleanup

There was a light drizzle and dark skies flew overhead of the dive site, DDS divers had a happy Canada Day this year.   Eventually though, the dark overcast clouds made way to bright and beautiful weather for the great group of scuba divers who participated in the annual DDS Canada Cleanup Dive Against Debris, which was hosted by Dan’s Dive Shop of St. Catharines, ON.

This year the team decided to clean up the underwater section of the Welland Swing Bridge, as well as topside along the canal bank.  and a beaver dam that was interwoven with bleach bottles, construction foam, socks, plastic bottles and cans all throughout the wooden home of this local area resident.

Scuba diving is a beloved leisure activity that is conducted virtually anywhere it is safe to dive and explore, and divers are often times very protective of the earth and its resources, animals and countryside, which is why it was so great to see another amazing group of volunteers show their support for the environment on their day off.

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Surface support retrieving mesh bags full of garbage for the sorting and documentation process
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An inhabited beaver dam made of sticks and garbage

For those curious about what was removed from the dive site, the divers removed a pair of smart phones, lawn chairs, an entire garbage bag of random clothing items including shirts, hats, boxer shorts, sweaters, underwear, jackets and more.  An entire garbage bag was filled of items just from the beaver dam, with other bags being filled of just plastic bottles and plastic cups, another of soft drink and alcohol cans, glass wine bottles, beer bottles, fishing lures, electronic equipment, bicycle handle bars, antique bottles, an entire garbage bag of old plastic bags, strings of Christmas lights, bits of an artificial Christmas tree, plumbing supplies, toilet seats, aerosol cans, a wall safe and many other odds and ends.

 “It’s bittersweet conducting a cleanup because you feel good about yourself, but also frustrated with the naivety or outright selfish
nature of some people who carelessly or intentionally dump their trash where so many people splash.” – Matt Mandziuk owner of Dan’s Dive Shop, Inc.

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Matt assisting divers with gear and entry down to the water

Mandziuk also concedes that “On any given day in the summer you see children swimming, dogs playing, people wading in the Old Canal and if they only knew how much trash was tossed into their playground, they’d likely feel uneasy swimming in an underwater garbage dump.”

The scuba divers hoisted out hundreds of pounds of garbage and this is just from an isolated spot in the Old Welland Canal, where they then had to separate, document and then weigh the different types of garbage found.Divers participate in the Canada Day Cleanup yearly and have cleaned up locations between Lincoln Street Bridge to the Swing Bridge, as well as Sherkston Quarry and continue to make their way around the area doing their part for the environment, but when you see bags and bags of trash being hauled out of these small isolated areas, it makes you wonder what lies throughout the rest of the lakes and oceans.

Dan’s Dive Shop hosts this event yearly, with otherIMG_2473 cleanup initiatives offered on other dates as well, as the Dive Against Debris title is one coined by a not for profit 
environmental agency called Project AWARE, which is backed by the worlds largest scuba diving training agency, PADI, the Professional Association of DivingInstructors, for whom Dan’s is the oldest training facility in Canada and about the 3rd oldest now worldwide

This year dive patron Barbara B. took the initiative to have a meeting with Walker Industries, who happily agreed to accept our garbage and recycling free of charge as a debt of gratitude for the dive communities hard work and environmental awareness.

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DDS Divers doing their part to clean up the place we love to be the most….Underwater

As Canadians we are very fortunate to have such a beautiful country, with so much open space, fresh water, clean air, however, if we continue to take for granted that these resources will always be there for us and we don’t change our environmental habits, continue to litter,  over consume, over pollute, overuse our natural resources as so many people do, it can ruin this beautiful country just like so many other countries populations have done to their own lands.  

As a country everyone should be reminded that fresh water only stays fresh by keeping it clean, that the air only stays fresh by making sure we reduce the amount of combustable chemicals we put in atmosphere and that we replenish the trees and oxygen giving plants that we cut down to make way for new shopping malls and communities.

Do your part to keep your country beautiful.

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On September 18th, DDS Divers and the Welland 9th Regiment Scouts participated in another clean up dive in Welland where another truck bed full of garbage was removed from the Welland Recreational Waterway.

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The Welland Swing Bridge is one of the prettiest and most enjoyable shore dives in the area, with visibility often best in and around the dock pilings but its a haven for garbage as people throw everything off the bridge from guns to safes to shopping carts and bikes and everything in between
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DDS Divers cleaning up the shoreline and entering the water to retrieve more garbage.
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A great gathering of good hearted people.

 

 

Ontario Scuba Diving Trips and Events 2015 with Dan’s Dive Shop

Ontario Scuba Diving Trips and Events 2015 with Dan’s Dive Shop

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Photographer Fawn Messer being captured capturing a shot

It’s that time of the year again where the weather is warming up, the birds are singing in the morning as the sun kisses the earth with its inviting rays, the lakes and surrounding bodies of water warm up and Canada awakens from a deep, long winter freeze….Just in time for the best part of the year……Dive Season and some great Ontario Scuba Diving Trips & Events.

As always DDS has a wide range of fun dive trips and scuba diving events for you.

We offer a number of diving opportunities for the beginning recreational diver looking to hone their craft and gain more experience under the watchful eye of one of our DDS Instructors, Assistant Instructors or Divemaster, while we also have a number of trips and dive charters lined up for more advanced divers, cave and technical divers.

Over the years we have had the unique experience of growing our travel market, offering TICO approved dive travel through certified operators for international travel. As we are expanding at such a large rate that we are moving forward with plans to offer in house wholesale travel to our clients!

Here’s a look at the dive trips and events we’ve got on the books for 2015 so far:

DDS 2015 Season Kick-off BBQ & DEMO DAY

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 This year our season kick off BBQ and demo day takes place on May 31st from 9am to 5pm at Welland Scuba Park. Demos will include:

  • Precision Buoyancy Workshop with Wreck/Cave Explorer and Instructor Matt Mandziuk & DDS Staff.  Learn how to fin properly, how to balance yourself better in the water, as well as learn some of the foundation skills that all divers should have a handle on.
  • Yoga for divers with Kristen Mandziuk-Hardy.  Yoga for divers can be very beneficial in improving comfort, slowing your breathing rate and maximizes enjoyment underwater.
  • Drysuit Demo to experience the magic, comfort, warmth, freedom of donning/doffing and dryness of diving in a DUI or Santi Drysuit and start your journey to more comfortable diving that doesn’t revolve around the weather.  There is no “dive season” when you have a drysuit, you can dive year-round.
  • Demo The Latest Gear try the latest gear from Halcyon, Shearwater, Dive Rite and more:  Backplates, regulators, computers, and more.

For full info and schedule visit our Event Page. Tickets are on sale now. CLICK HERE to order yours today!  Ticket cost includes shipping and Paypal convenience fee; or pick up your tickets in store for only $15.00+HST.

Rockport – Thousand Islands

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One of the best things about diving in fresh water is the artifacts you see on a dive.

Nothing makes us happier than having a chance to get out and dive the US wrecks from Rockport Ontario to Boldt Castle and beyond, as we plan to dive our favourite shipwrecks like the Keystorm, America, Vickery and likely a  fun wall dive to finish off the day on Sunday.  Diving is also available on the Friday for tech divers looking to do some deeper dives.

Trip Date June 19th, 20, 21, 2015. 

This trip is currently sold out, but a waiting list is being put together.

Tobermory – Fathom Five Marine Park

Tobermory has been a favourite trip for divers since the 1970’s and continues to be one that gets bigger and bigger with each year, so this year we’ve added more lodging and more boats!  

Join us for 2 nights of lodging, 3 days of diving (1 shore, 2 days of boat diving) and food all wrapped into a price that you couldn’t do cheaper yourself (unless you camped).

This trip is geared for recreational divers primarily while technical divers take advantage of longer bottom times on the same sites.

Immerse yourself with the Wreck Diver specialtyExplore shipwrecks with the right gear and comfort

Complete your PADI Drysuit Specialty and Advanced Open Water Course on this trip.

July 10, 11, 12, 2015
October Date Coming Soon

Cost is only $350/person + HST including food, diving, lodging. Space is limited.  

When the “premium lodging” is booked up we will be offering a discount for simpler accommodations in housekeeping cabins with hydro, no onsite bathroom (there is a bathhouse) Cost only $295/person +HST and includes the same meal package and dive charters, just simpler accommodations.

Brockville – Dive the 1000 Islands

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Join us this August for warm wreck diving in Brockville

Brockville is another favourite trip similar in cost and structure to Tobermory, but with warmer water, diving what many call the Canadian Caribbean!

Join us for 2 nights lodging and 2 days of 2 tank boat dives. Shore diving is available Friday.  Lunch and Dinner included Saturday, lunch Sunday.  No Breakfast included.  We have kitchenettes to make an early morning meal.

Cost is only $350/person +HST. Space is Limited.

August 21-23, 2015
October Date Coming Soon

Northwind Expedition Style Dive Weekend – North Channel Lake Huron

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Dive one of the best shipwrecks in all the Great Lakes.  A perfect dive for advanced open water divers through to technical divers with wreck penetration, this perfectly preserved time capsule offers you a window to what the roaring ’20’s were like.

The Northwind is the premier shipwreck in the North Channel, but don’t be mistaken by thinking its the only shipwreck in these waters.  Much like where the trail of shipwrecks begins in Tobermory when

Learn how to steer, stow, care for and enjoy a DPV

Highway 6 ends, the carnage continues across the water where Highway 6 re-commences as you make your way further North towards Little Current, ON (near Sudbury).

382695_10151038751555512_1834590869_nThe North Channel of Lake Huron is home to hundreds of shoals and islands that often have a hidden secret below the surface.  There are a lot of great wrecks here where the water is warmer, but not quite as blue and deceivingly inviting as Tobermory, while offering wrecks that are near untouched in comparison.

The Northwind is a 300′ long shipwreck resting in 75-140′ of water with ability for certified technical decompression divers to enjoy longer run times and with penetration endorsement enjoy swimming through the cabins, hallways, galley, tool rooms and more.

Cost includes 3 night accommodation in Little Current at the Anchor Inn, 3 days of full day boat diving for a great price of only $499+HST.  Meals are not included.

Technical Decompression Diver with Helitrox and Wreck Penetration courses will be available on this trip.

Check out the Pictures in the Gallery

Check out our Northwind Video

DUI Drysuit DEMO DAY – Alexandria Bay, NY

Have you ever wanted to try a drysuit without the financial commitment?  Well now you can and not just any drysuit, but a DUI Drysuit!  DUI offers the worlds most comfortable, flexible, customized drysuits on the market. Stay warm and dry underwater and enjoy the best diving in the world…..cold water diving.

Immerse yourself in total diving comfort year round regardless of depth or Temp. Take the Drysuit Specialty Course
Immerse yourself in total diving comfort year round regardless of depth or Temp. Take the Drysuit Specialty Course

They have several racks of drysuit that can fit XX Small to 5XL and virtually every size in between for men and ladies, as well as their full line of amazing drysuit undergarments, heated drysuit underwear like the DUI BLUEHEAT and More!

Extend your dive season to 12 months of the year.  Increase the number of dives you can do in a day due to greater heat retention.  Increase the duration you can spend underwater when you’re dry and warm.  Dive Dry.

September 26/27, 2015 

Cost only $15.00US plus food and lodging or take your PADI Drysuit Specialty Course at a special discount of only $160 CDN including the admission to the event.

Curacao Dive Trip November 2015

Enjoy the warmth, the colours and the excitement of the beautiful island of Curacao with DDS, as we invade and enjoy some fun in the sun.

Curacao2015.ticoNon-stop flight from Toronto to Curacao (includes transfers to and from hotel) means that good diving is only a few hours away.

5 days of 2 tank boat dives on wrecks and reefs and unlimited shore diving await you.

Rooms are double occupancy staying at Lion’s Dive, which is right next door to Ocean Encounters, our hosting dive shop. 2 bedroom suites or apartments are also available at an upgraded price.

Sign up before July 15th and get a $50.00 DDS Gift Card to be used towards your next purchase!

Non Divers welcome cost is only $1595 +$120 tax

Diver Rate (includes 5 days of boat dives and unlimited shore diving) only $2195 +$120 tax.

Breakfast is included daily

For questions and booking, please contact our travel partner:
Fly and Sea Dive Adventures
8528 123 St.
Surrey, BC
1-888-995-3483
diving@flyandsea.com

Florida Springs Trip 2016

Sidemount Cave Dive in Twin Cave, Marianna, Florida
Sidemount Cave Dive in Twin Cave, Marianna, Florida

Join us in Florida’s gorgeous freshwater springs for the most challenging but rewarding training opportunity of your diving career. Step up your diving by taking the right courses, learning the right skills and techniques and take your diving to the highest level possible. You won’t regret it.

This is ideal for recreational divers who are looking for more experiences and who want to finesse their diving skills. During our hallmark Florida trip we offer one of our best foundation courses – Intro to Tech. This course will give you more control in the water. Coupled with our Cavern and DPV courses, you’ll have an action-packed week. 

For those who are seeking continuing education in the overhead environment we offer Cave 1 and Cave 2 classes. You’ll experience what so many divers from all over the world travel to Florida for – the rugged beauty of the caves.

Local Diving Opportunities and Events

Wednesday Night Dives

Diving is social, the dive community is fun and diving is fun!  Don’t forget that every Wednesday from mid May through until November/December we offer Wednesday evening dives throughout the local Niagara area.

This is a great opportunity practice new skills and learn some new techniques on a weekly basis as you dive and improve yourselves underwater with DDS Staff members.

Drift Diving, Night Diving, Canal or Quarry Diving, and maybe even the odd wreck dive await you.

Remember every dive you do this year LOG YOUR DIVES.  Once you get to season dive number 50 you’re eligible for FREE AIR for the rest of the year.  Rules are simple tanks must be current with DDS VIP and Hydro.

Tiller Wreck Charters

Join us for regular dive charters to the majestic Tiller Shipwreck off of Port Dalhousie in Lake Ontario
Join us for regular dive charters to the majestic Tiller Shipwreck off of Port Dalhousie in Lake Ontario. Photo by Stu Seldon.

We’ll be hosting a series of dives to our amazing Lake Ontario Tiller Wreck this summer.  Enjoy this pristine pre-1850’s wooden schooner as much as we do with great visibility as you gain new experiences diving bigger, better, deeper sites like this one.

Join us June 14th, 2015 for a fun day on the Tiller.  Cost is only $75/person.


Lake Erie Dive Charters

Wreck Diving in Lake Erie is awesome! Join us this summer for something different

May and June we’ll have some Lake Erie charters, as well as a big charter July 1st for Canada Day Weekend.

We have dive charters available departing from Port Colborne, Long Point and out of Barcelona, NY.

Costs vary based on distance and depth range. 

 


Weekend Shore Dives

Every weekend this season we’ll have dives going out with DDS Staff, so the excuse “I don’t have a dive buddy” or “I don’t have anyone to dive with” won’t wash with us.  If you want to dive as bad as you say, we’re listening to you and willing to take you out, make the commitment and let’s go diving! 

Log Your Dives

Remember every dive you do this year log it.  Once you get to season dive number 50 you’re eligible for FREE AIR for the rest of the year.  Rules are simple tanks must be current with DDS VIP and Hydro (or a new tank purchased from DDS).

Tech Talk Tuesdays with Matt Mandziuk & Guests

techtalkEach year we run a number of informative information nights discussing whatever topics people seem to be interested in. 

There are a range of topics in the can including “Rebreathers 101”, “What Is Technical About Tech Diving?”, Sidemount Diving, Dive DRY, Underwater Photography, Decompression Theory – What’s Actually Happening in Your Body and many more topics throughout the year.  Stay Tuned as we publish the upcoming schedule to Tuesday Night Tech Talks.

Use The Hashtag #ddsdivers #dansdiveshop

Show your support and love for DDS when you engage your friends on social media.  Use the hastags: #dansdiveshop or #ddsdivers and get a change to be a featured DDS Diver on Facebook, or win cool prizes randomly drawn.

What’s the purpose of a hashtag?  

Hashtags categorize a relevant picture or post with the use of the # and corresponding keyword or keywords.  Those words show up in searches for that subject on Twitter, Instagram or other social media sites. 

Next time you’re on a site like Twittter or Instagram, type in #ddsdivers or #dansdiveshop and see what comes up.  Make those tags part of your social media ritual when posting dive pics of you and your friends.

Don’t miss out on any of our dive trips and events!

Contact us today via Facebook, email or give us a call at the store to join us for some fun dive trips and interesting dive events!

Don’t forget to join our email list if you haven’t already.  Scroll down to the bottom of this or any other page and fill out the form and get the latest updates, information, specials, sales and more.

 

 

 

New Dan’s Dive Shop Website Launched!

Well here we are, 2014!  40 years of Dan’s Dive Shop adventures in scuba diving equipment and education!

amobile-laptop-tabletWe couldn’t think of a better way to finish off the last quarter of the dive season than by reworking our website to make a more user friendly interface that is easier reading, more friendly for scrolling, totally responsive for mobile and tablet applications, while also increasing the efficiency of our online store, newsletter signups, social media plug-in’s and of course making something fresh, clean and new!

The old site was great and still stands up above the many great dive store websites out there, but us being the innovators and leaders in the industry that we are, we decided it was time to up our game yet again.

A website for us should be a reflection of the dive store and we’re making some major changes at Dan’s each week. We’re making many visually pleasing improvements internally as the store undergoes some minor renovations. We’re getting prepped for some major overhauls over the fall and winter months.

It’s nice having such a great customer base to share in the fun and excitement with as well, so please feel free to give us any feedback you have with the changes, with our staff and instructors and just anything at all dive trip, store, gear or course related, we alway love hearing form our divers.

Some key features about the website you should know and use:

Social Media Links: 

We’re going social! Stay connected with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And help us find you by showing us your best dive pics with the hashtag #dansdiveshop.

Get Diving Directions:

We now have maps to all the dive sites we visit on Wednesday dives, as well as many of our favourite local dive sites. Check out our dive sites page where we have Google map links to show you how to get to them, instead of having to call the store and ask for directions, with 1 click your dive direction problems are solved! 

Interactive Calendar: 

You can integrate our courses and events section into your Google + account, Apple Calendar, Outlook, Timely Calendar, just scroll down the calendar page and hit the subscribe button.

Blog:

If you found this blog, you’ll notice we have a more professional blog site that is dedicated to you and easily updated, archived and searchable for keywords or topics. Check back frequently as we add in more content regularly on all of our diving knowledge and experiences.

Enhanced Mobile and Tablet Applications

You’ll notice that our site has a responsive screen for mobile and tablets to make viewing on small screens as pleasurable and as easy to expand and reduce as possible.  This was one of our favourite features.

Improved Shopping Experience

We have always wanted a shopping cart e-commerce site that was easy to use both at the customer and admin level and we think with the new store you’ll find answers to your questions.  We have a new fully integrated shopping cart that lists stock availability (which isn’t interfaced with our actual POS store inventory, but should be closer to giving you real stock status), specials, a couple of different shipping providers, easier reviews to write and the ability to share products with the world of social media. Start shopping! 

eLearning

We have integrated more of our PADI eLearn links throughout the site to make signing up for your next PADI scuba diving course easier than ever. 

Photos and Video Galleries

Something that everyone loves is looking through photos and watching our videos, so we’re going to make every attempt for you to keep these areas fresh and up to date.

Thanks for growing with us and we hope you enjoy the new site experience.

Yours in diving,
Team DDS.