Tag Archives: shipwrecks

Challenges Will Reward Your Longterm Scuba Diving Goals

Challenges Will Reward Your Longterm Scuba Diving Goals
by
Matthew Mandziuk 

In life nothing good comes easy without a fight or working to earn it, unless you win the lottery.  The same can be true moving through a more Progressive Scuba Diving training philosophy where the divers are taught a higher level of knowledge, skills and techniques. Your Personal Challenges will reward your longterm scuba diving goals.

At DDS we pride ourselves on staying ahead of market trends and instead we lead the charge forward towards better diving.  For nearly 20 years we’ve taught our open water divers about the benefits of learning and buying the right gear and the right skills and techniques after over 20 years of doing it the old school way.

We pride ourselves on teaching divers a different (better) way to do things at the open water level where they can move forward with better skills, finesse and discipline allowing them to struggle less, maintain the visibility of even the siltiest environments or most fragile coral reefs, while continuing forward progressing successfully into deeper, more advanced courses, environments and experiences with more comfort and efficiency as they challenge themselves with training that is more exciting, more disciplined, more regimented and more rewarding than some of the “more traditional”  courses which have become stale or outdated as we power ahead into a new age of diving.

As human beings we can always learn more and the same is true in scuba diving, except most dive training has become outdated and boring.  All divers should be more aware of their dive profiles, gas requirements with proper gas reserves built in, no stop time limits and what is happening within their bodies as they spend more time underwater and as they ascend or descend.

Many of these common concepts are lost on the masses because theory is passed over quickly as we tend to suffer from a condition that demands “instant gratification” and dive shops that depend more so now on eLearning doing the work of the instructor for the shops and instructors, so the personal element of sharing stories and experiences with the students is lessened (or in some cases completely lost as there is no classroom sessions), so the students don’t create an emotional bond with their instructors, classmates or Divemasters.

Bad Diver Lots of Silt
A poorly trained diver in silts out the bottom as they have no buoyancy, trim, awareness or cares in the world. Don’t Be Like This Diver.

 

Train Hard

If divers took more time to learn about dive planning, gas calculations, gas consumption, decompression theory and dive sciences, they would be much more ready to take diving to the next level.  This knowledge can help us not just in diving, but also in every day life.

Divers who are taught to manage stresses underwater are more able to handle the every day curveballs life throws at you on a daily basis, as well as how to focus better on challenging tasks, yet the number of divers who progress through Advanced and Rescue diver courses drops as students seem less engaged in some graphic regions than before.

Where a diver can go training wise and the training opportunities available to them make or break the likelyhood of creating a “Lifetime Diver”.  If a diver only dives once a year or 3, they’re better off just doing Discover Scuba Diving Experiences.

A certified diver who goes from Advanced, Nitrox, Drysuit  to Rescue is doing things better, but the key is to find a trainer who can teach you what you need to really know.  If as a diver they tell you it’s okay to be standing, kneeling on the bottom, to rely on holding onto an ascent line and be vertical on an ascent or safety stop as you take up 6-7′ minimum of line with your fins dangling down kicking the divers below you, that’s okay to overweight yourself so you sink or that violating thirds (your gas rule you should be ascending at), that it’s okay to flutter kick and silt out the bottom, wear flimsy floaty plastic fins, split or hinge fins and have stuff dangling off you like a Christmas Tree, it’s time to find a new instructor.

A diver who progresses towards more foundational skills classes like our NAUI Intro to Tech program will have the chance to perfect themselves better than any recreational diver, regardless of if they ever become a tech diver or not, as Foundational Skills Development courses like “Intro” offer the most through and engaging training possible with a combination of dry land drills, confined water drills and open water dives.

Divers who learn the foundational skills to make themselves a better diver and put the time in to become proficient in all aspects of their diving often become a much safer, more aware diver with superior team diving skills, refined buoyancy, flawless horizontal trim, proper ascents and descents, better fin techniques (utilizing a modified frog as their primary kick, modified flutter, ability to turn 360 degrees and do a reverse frog kick to go backwards) rather than flutter kicks, and exceptional problem solving skills.  You even master surface marker deployment, rescue techniques, valve or regulator failures and more.

Your biggest assets in diving are TIME IN THE WATER and BUOYANCY, BUOYANCY, BUOYANCY.

DON’T try and fast track your way through training.  Learn the foundational skills, start diving in the proper gear, train and dive with divers who are better than you are.

NAUI offers the highest standards of any training agency in foundational, technical, cave and overhead training, which is the reason they’re our primary agency for those courses, but we offer training from several other agencies too.

A Properly Trained Diver with Good TrimA properly trained DDS Diver working on trim and buoyancy during a NAUI Cavern/NAUI Intro to Tech Foundational Skills course.

Fitness in Diving

Some new divers complain that lead weights and tanks are heavy, while more Technicall Advanced Divers dive with sidemount or back-mounted double tanks.  Diving with a drysuit also creates more buoyancy, drag and resistance while swimming through the water, so there is an element of fitness required to dive.  Carrying tanks to the water, stage bottles, rebreathers, camera systems, scooters, all these things have weight to them.  Its part of diving, so get fit and get ready to handle the gear you’ll be using.

To get more comfortable handling these items a strength building program to strengthen arms, legs and abs are very beneficial.  30 push-up’s a day, 100 ab crunches and a light jog even 1-2km a couple of days a week will help make a difference in your strength and overall well being, while also improving cardiovascular health.

Swimming will help give the body a resistance free total body workout too and if you can’t take the impact from running or rowing, may be a better option for you and its fun!

Some dive courses require a specific distance to be swam before a specific time, don’t lose out on some great diving because you can’t make the cut.  It IS worth it and it WILL take time.

How Did We Get Here?  It Wasn’t Over Night

Dan’s has become the go to shop for recreational, advanced, technical diving education over the last 20+ years. DDS was established in 1974.  We are Canada’s Oldest PADI Dive Shop and 2nd oldest worldwide currently.

 With the help of a Canadian Diving Pioneer John Reekie (passed away several years ago) we helped introduce the Canadian Diving Market to Technical Diving and Cave Diving gear and procedures as early as 1986!  We were one of the first North American Dive Stores to offer Nitrox as an alternative breathing gas in 1992 when the traditional agencies were anti-nitrox and causing riots at dive shows because they honestly believed Nitrox to be Voodoo Satan Gas!  True Story!

By the mid 1990’s we were offering old-school technical diving and rebreather courses.  By 2000 we were introduced to more progressive diving and upgraded our training, which allowed us to see a different side of diving, one that was less limiting and more progressive.

DDS Divers enjoy a cleaner, more streamlined gear body, gear configuration and ability to share air more effectively than traditional short hose divers

We began offering Progressive Doing it Right based (DIR Diving) training and equipment, including the offering of backplates to new open water sport divers a part of basic training and introducing recreational divers to the long hose/short hose regulator configuration or the Hogarthian method of diving.

In 2007 we began offering more modern and progressive Sidemount training.  We are happy to be offering training on several different rebreather configurations, especially the modular and most vesatile machine on the market, White Arrow Explorer Rebreather System, capable of any configuration.

Every recreational diver can benefit from our experience, the new skills that we offer and every day diving techniques that we introduce from basic open water programs. Horizontal Trim, Buoyancy, Team Awareness, S-Drills, Bubble Checks, SMB Deployments, Air Sharing horizontally in neutral buoyancy with a long hose regulator, Team Diving Protocols and more.

backwards frog kick intro to tech
Learning your foundational kicks without fins or gear on is the first step to perfecting your forward, turn and backwards kicks during an Intro to Tech Course

While not every diver is introduced to this from every instructor around the world, we also offer Foundational training to start experienced divers off right as well, as many of the concepts we teach aren’t taught elsewhere unless the divers have been taught by a certified cave or technical instructor. At the end of the day we want everyone to learn to be better and dive with more confidence, comfort and awareness, so we offer workshops like NTEC which is a great way to prime yourself to learn the foundational skills you should know in a class and pool setting showing you a better way to do things in the right gear.  This also prepares you for a glimpse into your diving future should you want to progress towards Wreck Diving, Cavern or Cave, Ice, Technical and more.

Our experience in expeditions and exploration projects have also helped shape our divers into the best divers in the water.

Get More Technically Correct

When a diver starts to get more “technical” it helps them become a more complete diver.  It doesn’t mean they have to aspire to achieve a new super deep world record sort of depth where they hang for hours on decompression stops, however, it does break through the misconceptions, boundaries of conventional training and opens you up to a lifetime sport with the ability to go anywhere with your diving.

We believe Technical Diving is simply extending your range both with respect to knowledge, but also extending the scope of your abilities beyond what is known and offering new challenges along the way.

Our NAUI Intro to Tech Course has been called the “Best Dive Course” by nearly everyone who’s taken this amazing foundational skills class.  Regardless of whether a student completes the course successfully the first time or not, “Intro” is where better diving begins.

Our Intro course begins with the tightening up of the divers buoyancy and trim, cleaning up and streamlining the entire equipment configuration, introducing new surface protocols and pre-dive regiments like safety drills, SADD checks, Bubble Checks and Heat to Toe checks which improve safety and awareness.

Intro also begins to stress the team concept of diving, which is something talked about but rarely enforced in traditional recreational diving.  We introduce the benefit to 3 person buddy teams, which are often taboo in traditional training as well, as we believe a second set of hands to help and eyes to see are very important should a diver require assistance.

NAUI Intro to Tech Students Air Share
NAUI Intro to Tech Students working on trim and buoyancy while sharing air during their confined water session.

After classroom sessions are complete students are introduced to a combination of dry land surface drills that allow the instructor to demonstrate skills such as trim, fin kicks, flat horizontal body posture, air shares, valve shutdowns, diver rescues, lift bag deployments and many other skills topside as they can talk about each skill attribute and show it off before the students are expected to demonstrate it both on the surface and then the skills are executed by instructors and students under the water in a shallow pool or confined water area suitable for this sort of training.  Upon successful completion of the pool sessions candidates are then taken to open water and will complete all skills in a shallow open water environment where No Stop Times are not an issue.

During Intro to Tech a staff member will video record the students skills throughout the program so they can break down their progress frame by frame and discuss thoroughly throughout the course dives in debriefing sessions.

Students love the fact that this style of training is done intensively as repetition helps them improve and learn at a quicker rate, especially upon review of each dive during de-briefing when we break down all of the skills done that day with video review.

Through clear and concise de-briefings the students know exactly what it is they need to work on and how to improve as we take corrective action with them and continue to show them how to properly execute each skill breaking down the skills as clear and concise as possible.

Just the Beginning

Many divers love the challenge that Intro brings and those divers who work hard and succeed will enrol in their next challenge.

Divers will be using more equipment which creates a need for better fitness, stiffer fins, stronger dive abilities and confidence.

Imagine being perfectly neutrally buoyant without a bottom below you as you stare below into the abyss without any fear or concerns

Intro to Tech is a stepping stone to bring divers more safely into the realm of deeper diving or overhead environments as the foundational skills and trim learned here ensure that those divers are going to be able to perform the rudimentary skills like horizontal buoyancy, frog kick, modified frog kick and to be able to fin backwards for 10′ without hitting the bottom or silting out the dive site because Zero Impact Diving is such am important skill to possess as it saves the reef, fragile clay patterns, maintains the water clarity (especially in a wreck or cave where a diver will have to navigate safely back out of a zero visibility environment) and makes the diving more pleasurable for all.  The other important skill is something we teach at Open Water and again at Advanced Open Water and Intro to Tech, which is being able to deploy and send an SMB up to the surface ascending on a reel stopping every 10′ and then ascending to 15′, 12′, 9′, 6′, 3, surface many of those divers will engage in their next adventure.

Intro to Tech is simply the holy grail of recreational diving because you see what is lacking when you compare it to someone who’s been coaxed into taking a different more traditional Master Scuba Diver sort of approach.  Rather than being taught to dive properly, most divers are taught to pay for an instructors time, a paper manual and a plastic certification card.  While there are some phenomenal recreational specialty courses (Nitrox, Equipment Specialist, DPV, Cavern, Drysuit) most dive stores don’t have the talent or the ability to teach some of these more useful classes and favour a quick payout instead of committing their divers to more in-depth training.

The most popular courses Intro graduates challenge themselves next with range from Wreck Penetration to a Cavern/Cave 1 class, DPV class, Technical Decompression with Helitrox (Tech 1) Advanced Nitrox/Decompression Procedures.

Growing Your Experience

Regardless of the certification level a diver achieves it requires regular diving to maintain that level of proficiency and regular dives to that highest level of certification.  We usually recommend 20-25 dives annually at that level before moving to the next level.

At DDS, We are NOT a certification factory that tries to push our divers from Intro to Tech to Trimix Rebreather in a month.  It’s not about numbers, its about the quality of the diver and those divers that are making poor choices have no real world underwater dive skills and often lose buoyancy, panic or are a complete embarrassment to the sport.

DDS Divers are some of the highest trained divers in the country and they show a lot more finesse and discipline than most.  Those divers who choose to work hard and grow their diving abilities are often asked to join in on bigger, better dives, as well as for support projects both local and abroad.

Expedition projects are conducted yearly and its always great when new members can be integrated into the Divers Edge family, which is our training and exploration group.  We have partners worldwide through several organizations that we do international projects with for caves and shipwrecks.

Get Involved

Regardless of your goals the key in anything is to keep involved and dive with divers who share the same views and the same goals in training and equipment.

We have taught and continue to teach divers from around the world and are more than willing to put on a presentation for groups, clubs, other shops as we’ve been doing for decades.

If you’d like to get involved and benefit from better training, equipment configuration and future diving opportunities, reach out and let’s get you involved with DDS Today.

We have trips, charters, training year round. Your first step is to reach out and make contact, the rest comes easily from there.

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.

 

 

Truk Lagoon DDS Divers In A Wreck Diving Paradise

Truk Lagoon DDS Divers In A Wreck Diving Paradise

A little over three years ago DDS Divers booked a trip of  a lifetime to Truk Lagoon in Micronesia, a pre-war Japanese territory which housed their air base, naval station and in the aftermath became a wreck diving haven of some amazing World War II shipwrecks and victorious systematic attacks throughout the islands by US Naval and Airforce teams, in what was a retaliation effort by the United States for the attack on Pearl Harbour.

Operation Hailstone
Operation Hailstone began February 16/17, 1944

The US launched operation Hailstone which began on February 16 and 17th most notably, but also sparked a long term battle which lasted months after, as the US forces maintained pressure on the Japanese throughout this time and kept kicking them harder and harder when they were down, eventually starving out many of the Japanese officers who were unable to receive supplies from merchant ships and instead had to resort to cannibalism of local islanders, Korean comfort girls (they estimate 10’000 women were taken from their homes and forced to perform as companions to the soldiers) and some of their own wounded or dead troops.

The stories of the war on this side of the world was fascinating and there are many books, documentaries and videos available if you’re interested in finding out more.  In the meantime, lets discuss the planning, the journey, the local area, how plans can change, shipwrecks, diving operations, diving itself, the experience and of course the very sad journey back home to reality.

The Journey

Have you ever heard the age old adage that if it was easy, everyone would do it?  We think that rule would apply here, you see, Truk (Chuuk)Lagoon is an area in the state of Chuuk in the Central Pacific region of Micronesia, among a series of beautiful islands that are located between Guam, Honolulu and the Marshall Islands (which are of interest to us, home to the worlds largest Shark Preservation Sanctuary covering over 200’000 square kilometres or 772’000 miles os protected ocean, as well as being home to another future dive destination….Bikini Atoll).

We departed Toronto in the wee hours of the morning with sand still in our bloodshot eyes as we marched like cattle off to an untimely fate….customs and baggage inspection stations.

White-Arrow-Explorer-Rebreather-Carry-on
White Arrow Rebreather is compact, streamlined, versatile, fits in carry-on!

I carried on my White Arrow Rebreather and the majority of my sensitive equipment, which I knew was going to be a unique experience for all involved, as we usually have quite the ordeal when it comes to getting regulators and a canister light through inspection points. I was searched or had to demonstrate application of the unit everywhere I travelled. 

Air Canada was the carrier that took us to LAX, where it is highly likely they will want to weigh your carry-on bags.  It’s about $400 if you had to check an additional bag all the way through round trip, so its worth chancing it or packing as lightly as possible.  My checked bag had a weight allowance of up to 50lbs and was mostly clothes, fins, wetsuit, boots, trimix analyzer in a heavy duty pelican case and my shaving kit.  I think the comment was made that divers should bring 1/2 as many clothes as they think they’ll need and twice as much money.

My carry-on backpack housed my regulators, backplate and harness, some books (I didn’t even have time to read), liquids, gels, pills, and I was able to stow my jacket and sweater in there.

My carry-on bag had the rebreather, wing, counterlung, breathing loop, tank bands, isolation manifold, canister light, backup lights, spool, primary reel and 2 Shearwater computers.

Once you switch airlines to United there is a much less of a chance that the carrier will weigh your carry-on bags.

Once we arrived at LAX we disembarked and had to change terminals, which involved walking 1/2 way across the entire airport and going through baggage check and customs yet again, this is where I got hassled and detained for the better part of 45 minutes because they kept insisting the rebreather canister was a scuba tank and that I was going to have to check the baggage, until finally after the 4th person tried to tell me this, they located a scuba diver on their inspection staff who verified that it indeed was not a scuba tank and they decided to X-Ray it one more time before letting me go to board my plane which was only minutes away from boarding by this point.

From LAX we flew to the beautiful Central Pacific Island of Honolulu, where we overnighted, got a great meal and a wonderful Teppenyaki experience at Benihana restaurant in Waikiki, where they chef did a fun choreographed show as he prepared our meals right at the table.

Flight Route to Truk Lagoon
Our Route to Chuuk included 5 island hops from Honolulu to Chuuk. Total distance from YYZ, LAX, HNL, TKK was 13220km’s over 32 hours

With our bellies full and anticipation high, we returned to the hotel, got a few hours of sleep and readied ourselves for the final leg of the trip, which would prove to be the longest as well, as we participated in the island hopping to 5 islands including our final stop in Chuuk.  

 

After a total distance (approximate) of 13220km’s and about 32 hours (over 22 hours were spent in the air) we arrived to our final destination. 

The Local Area

Chuck state was so beautiful, very reminiscent of when I was a child and my parents would take me on vacation to Caribbean islands that now are modernized and built up, but back then were very authentic, often poverty ridden and full of local culture that is unspoiled by foreigners.

The airport was located on the island of Weno, where we saw first hand a very simple and modest single story airport that had only 1 lane, a large single un-airconditioned waiting room with a giant fan at the snack bar fanning the patrons, while all the rest were trying to fan themselves as the a/c units were either not turned on or broken.

The runway was a single landing strip where the plane fly’s in and takes off from the same landing strip and they can only host 1 single plane at a time or they’d run out of room.

Chris lets out a bit "Yes!  We Made it"!
Chris lets out a bit “Yes! We Made it”!

Like all of the landing strips we saw on the way into Chuuk, they were all on a picturesque and beautiful ocean backdrop, often times coasting into a narrow passage on the atoll that in this case developed into a beautiful island with lush greenery, while others were not much more than a sand island with a few palm trees and buildings and others were lush with mountains, their own microclimate and some lovely fishing bays and villages.

After a short distance but very long drive on an uneven road with potholes the size of a small crater, we made our way down past the shipping port and marina where the petroleum shipments, sea containers and any imports and exports take place in a bus playing some local authentic Chuukese folk music that was reminiscent of Bob Dylan or Yoko Ono, but yet strangely intriguing and hypnotic, but then again it could’ve been the jet lag starting to set in too.

12039539_10156748944395037_7629883196897363183_nWe travelled at a snails pace of approximately 10-15km/hour and arrived a mere 3km’s later 25-30 minutes into the future at the Blue Lagoon Resort having driving through a very simple, poor and absolutely beautiful countryside with large mountains, palm trees as far as the 1917441_1178647278814533_3342327891376429440_neye can see, bunches of bananas in trees, local children playing ball, chopping coconuts with machete’s, girls dressed up in their best school clothing, giggling and waving as we passed by them, while we also noticed many buildings that were old wartime barracks converted to Churches, school houses, homes and more.

We were told that many of the roads and buildings are still the original constructed ones from over 70 years ago when Japan was ruling this territory.

Even The Best Laid Plans………

12144665_1178647065481221_6526104153967548143_nWe booked this trip 3 years ago, with its intention to dive in style and enjoy a brand new 5 star dive experience aboard a boat that hadn’t yet been built, but last March that boat, newly minted and not even a full year of age (designed not for the rigorous winds, constant waves) built for a peaceful serene environment like Thailand, was caught in some unpredictable weather when a full out hurricane blowing winds of 100 miles an hour or more blew the ship around like a paper, sending it on a trip around the lagoon before its final fate of being beached on the reef, where it was later stripped by the crew of its valuables and burned to the waterline and then blamed on the locals who now truly resent their returned presence and would love to see the next boat sink after making such slanderous comments.

When such a tragedy befall upon our trip plans, many of our original guests were crushed morally and since time was of the essence, we had to quickly look for other alternatives to keep the forward momentum of the trip going.

We turned to “Plan B” which was a combination land and sea package with 4 days on resort at the Blue Lagoon Resort and Dive Shop, which are both located at the end of the islands west/southwest point.

We hadnt the faintest idea what to expect with a number of the reviews being so mixed about the resort, which was the now known as the first leg now of what had turned into 2 part trip with the  second leg of “Plan B” to take part on a live aboard dive vessel that also had good and bad reviews.

The Blue Lagoon Resort was a blessing and having the opportunity to stay on land, it gave us time to reset our internal clocks, slowly get used to the time change and soak up the sun and scenery as much as we wanted, with dives in the morning and afternoon if we wanted them.

Truk Lagoon Ocean View
The view from the boat as it departs the marina looking back on the hotel
Truk from the Air
The view of the atoll all the way around as we prepare our descent into Weno

Flying to Chuuk put us ahead in the future 15 hours as we are normally in Eastern Standard Time, so we took the time to adjust to the changes, enjoying some well needed sleep, some awesome local cuisine and our first series of 2 tank dives, which turned into a late morning early afternoon start by the time all of our gear was setup, tanks obtained and rigged, rebreathers (for those diving CCR) setup, calibrated, tested, doubles (for those diving twins) assembled and checked and then aboard the dive boats we went.

The photos online didn’t do it justice, but we figured regardless, the diving would be fabulous, we were surprised how much fun we had!

12805746_10156587209780471_1058175217908346198_n
Looking down the island towards the direction of town as the sun begins to set in the sky

The resort staff were kind, food was great at the restaurant, the dive staff spoke english very well and the boats were efficient, although nothing special.

We are already planning our trip back here because it was such a great experience and a great value.

If you want glamour and glitz, you’re in the wrong sport, this rating of 5 star is for divers. 

The Sun Kissing the daylight sky goodnight as it sets and another night begins its shift
The Sun Kissing the daylight sky goodnight as it sets and another night begins its shift

Bare in mind we are visiting and diving in a Third Worldcountry, if you want to be pampered find a different hobby or rent a luxury yacht for a week and try it yourself.

Additional Costs:

Be prepared to pay a lot for tank rentals and such at BLDS, unless you can pre-arrange a dive package, that was the only negative , as all of our divers had a $200-$300 tab at the end of the week, despite pre-paying for the lodging/dive charters ahead of time.  If you’re diving single tanks its not an issue.

For rebreather divers, Sofnolime was available by the keg for purchase, while helium is stocked, so you don’t have to pre-pay for an entire bottle which ships over from Guam on a boat, which is what we had to do on the 2nd leg of the trip.  Divers could request whatever mixes they wanted and the state of the art blending system made mixing quick and easy, so we were quite happy overall.

Helium is expensive as in around $5.75/ft3 in US Dollars, so blending for best mix or lightening up your END (equivalent narcotic depth) may be an option.  Don’t expect to be blending 18/45 every day, unless you brought $1150usd cash with you (credit card add 3-3.5% most places) and want to burn through several K cylinders, which are rated at 217 cubic feet of gas per cylinder at 2015psi.

Next trip we’ll be looking into tank/gas packages with BLDS, as we got spoiled on the Thorfinn.

“Plan B” Leg II SS Thorfinn

As the week progressed we neared the final tenure at our Blue Lagoon Resort time and began to look ahead to the second leg of the trip aboard the Steamship Thorfinn or SS Thorfinn as its know as.

1688380_1178646948814566_728906357114400059_nAt first glance online the Thorfinn looked older, had a few less amenities than our fantasy boat that was becoming an artificial reef with each passing day, and the reviews were not all that promising, nor was the massive black cloud of of coal smoke that was spouting out sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, soot, and ash as it slowly chugged towards us for pickup on the resort.

For a brief moment we stared eyes wide, mouths open, asking ourselves if we could just spend the rest of the week on the resort where we had land and clean air, but then we met the staff who came to collect us and our bags with 2 of the nicest laid out rigid hull aluminum chambered dive boats we’ve ever seen and they were nice and friendly and helpful, so we took the leap of faith off the dock and proceeded forward on to the next chapter of our journey.

The SS Thorfinn was massive, which makes sense as they’re known as the Largest Liveaboard dive vessel in the world at 170′.  

Chilling between dives
Chilling between dives

The SS Thorfinn was originally a Norwegian whaling ship in its former life, prior to being sold.  It was known as the “luckiest ship in the fleet” because it often got closer to its prey catching the most game because the hull was made out of military grade type 201 steel, which was non-magnetized, therefore masking its signal and having the animals swim along side the ship rather than avoiding it.  That benefit cost the company a little bit of extra money, as sailors are a superstitious bunch, so it costs more to purchase the “luckiest ship in the fleet”.

 After a little bit of a backstory of the ship, we were even more excited now and began to suspect that this part of the trip was going to be amazing.  

As I wandered around the ship, I was suffering from sensory overload as there was so much area to explore.  The ship was reminiscent of one of my favourite liveaboards, the  Nautilus Explorer (whom we are a travel agent for), which was a similar looking ship with a similar layout, however, we weren’t expecting the SS Thorfinn to be as well equipped or stable.

The common room was where we could be found most days between dives, it was spacious, offered a wide array of movies, had wifi (10 mb per day is your daily allowance) so we could check emails and sparsely use the internet.  There was small bar that the hospitality staff kept open from morning until 11pm for divers wanting cold water or non-alcoholic punches during the dive days, coffee or tea to warm up and a few drinks for those feeling so inclined after the day of diving had ended.

The decor inside the ship was cozy, clean and the hospitality staff were so efficient at picking up after us when we dropped a food item or left crumbs on a table, which was very impressive.  Cleanliness is a huge thing aboard the Thorfinn which is what you want, as liveaboards in remote areas have to content with insects and rodents that are in abundance in an island paradise.

Our briefing and orientation was conducted by the captain himself, Lance Higgs, who at first glance instantly reminded me of Lloyd Bridges.  He had a deep voice, reminiscent of a radio announcer, narrator, or a movie star, which made sense as to how Captain Lance was so natural at keeping the audience of excited scuba divers engaged for the duration of the speech.  

At 78 years of age, Captain Lance has over 1/2  century of experience sailing around the world, until his journey took him to Chuuk where he has run diving excursions throughout this area for many decades.  We hope he continues for many more.

The Rooms on the SS Thorfinn were very clean and comfortable, with the bathroom facilities impressing me the most, as they were spotless.  The beds were made daily and they were comfortable to sleep in.  The air-conditioning could’ve been a little more powerful but the oscillating fans did their job and most nights we had good sleeps overall.

The Food on the ship was great, although a little more North Americanized in comparison to Blue Lagoon, so we were treated to eggs, toast, pancakes, french toast, omelettes, spam, bacon, ham.  Lunches were very good and varied but usually had a soup or salad, meat and veggie entree with a side and dessert, oh so many desserts, one for lunch and one for dinner on this ship.  

Dan Celebrated his 71st bday on the trip.  He was renamed Young Tan
Dan Celebrated his 71st bday on the trip. He was renamed Young Tan

Our dinners were great with the kitchen staff working hard to keep us well fed.  They even made Diver Dan a very special birthday cake as he turned 71 on the trip!  The last night we were on the boat they even had a massive barbecue for us as a thank you.

The Staff on the ship were quieter than on Blue Lagoon, as some were more shy or less fluent with the english language, but we had 2 dive guides (Katsashi and Erik) who were both very quality oriented and very kind, caring individuals, especially Erik, who was the recreational boats guide.  Its so nice when you can feel the positive energy that the staff project, especially having been on some not-so-good trips on ships where the staff are infighting and don’t want to be there.  Some of the staff care about the ship, the success and know the value of having happy divers, because they know they’ll try their best to come back if they had fun.

The SS Thorfinn is essentially a floating hotel and from this floating hotel divers depart aboard the ribs (rigid hull inflatable boats) that take the groups to different dive sites.

The Boats on the SS Thorfinn tries to vary where groups go daily, encouraging divers to mix it up and get a sampling of as many different sites as they can hit.  Each boat goes to a different location unless otherwise agreed upon to facilitate the needs of advanced/technical divers, as well as less experienced/recreational divers, which is what we had, a mixed group of both rec and tech divers.

600434_10156720473035512_5606804602022712273_nThe dive boats were aluminum hulled air ribs that were perfectly laid out for recreational and technical divers.  Divers had a bench seat that opened up and had more than enough room for all but the largest camera systems to keep the deck free and clear.  The ladder could’ve been 1-2 rungs longer and on more of an angle, but the surface staff handled the logistics of getting the divers back on the boat very efficiently in rougher surface conditions.  

The Diving (The Part You’ve All Been Waiting For)

Simply put, it was awesome!

1558564_1178647778814483_5052794766133479853_nAnytime you put giant steel battleships in the water to dive around and through and there are guns, tanks, airplanes, trucks, cars, torpedoes, ammunitions, mines, portholes, artifacts, gas masks, human remains, great visibility, sharks, beautiful sea creatures, some varied coral formations and nice clean interiors free of coral to see the ship as it once was, you’re going to have a phenomenal experience.

1610075_10156720481255512_6496198950869951096_nMost of the sites were within recreational limits with some wrecks being in 65fsw/20msw, most being in the 100′ range, while a few more were in the 100-150′ range, a couple in the 160-180′ and the deepest dive, the San Francisco Maru at 210′.

Many of the ships were upright, with a couple of them laying on their sides.

Our dive logs looked something like this:

Yamagiri – Maru a stunning ship laying on its port side.  The Yamagiri was hit by bombs or a torpedo on the starboard side.  It features some fabulous swim-through’s with access to the entire ship.  As you swim through this wreck you notice cases upon cases of Saki and empty bottles throughout this wreck and the many wrecks.  Maximum depth was 100′ and we saw a cool black and white Lionfish on this dive.

Skull Lodged into the ceiling
Skull Lodged into the ceiling

The most notable feature of this wreck is in the engine room there is a skull wedged into the ceiling from a soldier being blown to pieces and the rest of his bones below and strewn around.  There was possibly a second skull where it looked like only the back of the cranium was embedded into the wall and a large number of bones atop the machinery down a catwalk. 

This was a phenomenal dive!

Momokawa – Maru lays in 90-130′ and features some stern bomb damage, while boasting a beautiful bridge area and torpedo casings throughout the holds.  

10600582_1178647098814551_155630827414111913_nS.S. Nippo – Maru was one of our personal favourites because we had the ability to dive a beautiful upright ship that had guns on the bow, truck frames inside the bow hold, direct access to the engine room via the hatches atop the ship or by going down onto the seafloor, you can swim in through the torpedo hole.  As you make your way through the twisted metal, you see the damage explosives can do until the metal reforms back into a recognizable ship again after entering about 20′ in and up and through the hull.  As you make your way towards the bridge the ship boasts a beautiful telegraph and a pair of Howitzer guns after of the bridge.

The Nippo featured some beautiful hallways to explore with access forward or aft.  This was one we dove a few times.

Rio De Janeiro – Maru was one of the last wrecks we dove.  It lays in a maximum depth of 100′, starboard side down and features helmets, guns, a phenomenal engineroom, a large aft gun, plenty of cargo holds full of goodies, including cases of saki stacked floor to ceiling up the walls.  

San Francisco – Maru was our most favourite of the dives, not because it was the deepest, but because it was the best.  

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Matt hovering in awe over the tanks on the deck

This wreck starts at 140′ to the bridge, 160′ to the deck and had a little bit of everything from torpedoes and shells in the holds, 2 tanks on the starboard side bow, 1 on the port side, trucks and truck bodies in the bow hold, a large bow gun in 150′, a pretty windlass on the bow, sharks, skulls, turtles, fish, it was our favourite dive for a reason.  

We did 3 dives here, including 2 in the same day.

Maximum depth was 210′ and most of us dove this wreck as a technical dive on CCR or Open Circuit Trimix.

Shinkoku – Maru gave the diver the bonus of diving a beautiful coral encrusted ship from the mid ship point to the stern in a reasonable depth range of 30′-125′.  The wreck sits upright and featured great fish life and a fun wreck with lots to see.

10421303_1178646878814573_5215844947796027395_nShotan – Maru was a more technical dive in terms of depths with the average depth ranging from 140-180′.  The ship was a lovely upright wreck featuring a gorgeous windlass, crane trucks in the cargo holds one off the port side mid-ship.   An anti-aircraft gun was one of the highlights on the mid stern of the ship, with a stern gun as well.

Aikoku – Maru  was one ship we were the least enthused to dive, yet, it was one of the most impressive wrecks and one of the most fun.

Skulls and Bones on the Aikoku Maru
Skulls and Bones on the Aikoku Maru

The wreck was involved in a freak explosion when the side gun on the stern shot down a US plane that crashed into the first cargo hold where the ammunition was stored.  The explosion apparently was a massive mushroom cloud reminiscent of an Atomic bomb, as there was so much in the way of explosive mines, shells and torpedoes that everything instantly blew up, taking the front 1/2 of the ship off.

The bridge section of the wreck was ripped off by the liveaboard vessel the Odyssey, which was very unfortunate, as we would’ve liked to have explored that more, but it was ripped and lifted and twisted like a can of sardines.

535316_10156720450900512_7335541029952717658_nThe Aikoku was double the size of the San Francisco Maru making it the largest ship in the Lagoon.

A commemorative plaque is placed before the destruction of the forward section and there are lots of human remains around.

What made this wreck so interesting was the layers of what looked like melted, shifted and randomly laid out sheets of metal on the bow area.  As the ship ceased looking like a ship suddenly, it became a scrap metal pile that dipped down deeper and deeper sagging down towards the seafloor at 205′.

We’re looking forward to exploring this wreck again on a return trip.

Fujikawa – Maru is a very fun dive in 80-120′.  It has everything from planes in the holds, to scenic swim-through’s, to pretty deck corals, ammo all over the ship inside and out and it sits upright very prim and proper like she’s on display for all to see her and her former glory.

Betty Bomber is a Mitsubishi G4M bomber that now rests in 50′ of water.  The motors are a long swim from the sandy resting place of the planes nose and port wing over a bit of coral and about 300-400 feet away.  

This is a great spot for the last dive of the day or for the beginner recreational diver. 

1044267_10156720360415512_4968170594060194871_n
Can you find the diver?

Gosei – Maru is a great intermediate to advanced open water dive with loads of great penetration and lots to see.  You start the dive on the bow in 15′ and make your way down the starboard side going towards the structures, holds and other sections.  The wreck is 270′ x 40′ and max depth is 110′.  You can see a torpedo hole on the starboard side midship.

I-169 
is a submarine and one of our more fun dives.  It was not a remarkable wreck as far as penetration, but it was fun because it offered great wildlife with lots of manta rays and other critters.  It also posed a fun challenge when we were told the Japanese soldiers who served on this wreck were only 4 feet 6 inches tall typically, so we wouldn’t be able to get inside the wreck…….Challengewas accepted and the fun began from there, as a couple of our divers were able to enter at midship and make their way forward, until part of the wreckage collapsed on us and we turned the dive at that point because the wreck was very unstable.

Depth range 70-90′

Kansho – Maru This wreck suffered some stern damage above the waterline, so there were some questions as to how it sank.  The ship featured yet another stellar engine room, where boiler gauges were still in great shape, dials and even a clock still were in place.  Like many of the engine rooms, there were switches and levers galore, and a beautiful propeller and rudder.  Depth range to the stack was 40′ and the deck 65-100′.

Back To Reality

This Trip was one that had so many positives and it was thanks in part to the dive sites, the dive operators, the travel providers, but at the end of the day it was the guests who participated in the trip that made it all worth the distance.

We had such a magical group of people who shared in the experience, the unity, the inside jokes that random people will never understand (Turdle), but I can honestly say that this trip felt like family, and we’ve all become closer as a result of it.

We travelled together, watched each others backs, made sure that everyone was always accounted for, all the while trusting each other above and below the surface.

Truk was a trip that I think has stayed in all the guests minds and memories of late, with random texts being received, messages being shared and people reliving the moments that mattered on a regular basis.

We are very lucky as a shop to have such great divers, customers and friends whom we can share in these adventures with and for that I am truly grateful.

Here are a few random pics from the trip, we hope you enjoy them and we’ll see you on our next trip to Truk hopefully.

DDS and Diver Edge Hailstone Explorers
DDS and Divers Edge Operation Hailstone Explorers 2016

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 12376328_10156720475540512_8097174299207725872_n10609623_10156720482405512_2832622785675553857_n10408734_10156720449985512_5990753267401911733_n12512220_10156720476915512_7871921944820413972_n 12140686_10156720512555512_5844307561345765935_n1930418_1178647272147867_2116367414096140079_n
10309646_10156720498530512_7638916031124415553_n3085_10156720399385512_445179574817341993_n

Additional Videos and Information:

 

 

Justin’s Green Ranger Blog 

Advanced and Specialty Diving Courses

Our Cancellation Policy: You may reschedule your class within a 2 week time period. No shows or last minute cancellations will be subject to rescheduling fee. If you can’t do the class, you may transfer your class fees to someone else who can.

Dive Course Calendar

Aug
21
Wed
2019
PADI Drysuit Course August 2019 @ Dan's Dive Shop/Kiwanis Pool
Aug 21 @ 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm

PADI Drysuit Course August 2019

Taking the PADI Drysuit Course August 2019 opens you up to a world of better diving with more comfort and warmth.  Drysuit Divers enjoy a substantially longer dive season (12 months of the year vs wetsuits 3-4 months). Complete the pool and classroom session on August 21 with Open Water Dives at a later date.

No more freezing on the bottom, you can wear thermal undergarments, don and doff your exposure suit easier than a wetsuit and have more fun above and below the water with a drysuit.

What will you learn?

padi_drysuit_course_dive_dry
Drysuit Divers are happier! Dive all year long, Dive Deeper for longer and have more fun! Join us!

Have you ever really enjoyed diving cold?

Are you excited to dive in cold water in a wetsuit?

Do you smile after a dive like we do?

Drysuit Diving is simply easier than 5-7mm wetsuit diving, more fun, more comfortable and you’ll dive more often!

Want to stay warm? Want to extend your scuba diving season? Then its time to dive dry.

A drysuit seals you off from the water and keeps you dry, warm and comfortable, even in surprisingly cold water. There are more incredible dives, vibrant colours and adventure in the world’s cooler regions and in some areas, conditions are even better in colder months. Becoming a dry suit diver allows you to expand your boundaries and dive more places, more often, with more comfort and enjoyment.

Prerequisites:

If you’re at least 10 years old and certified as a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver or higher, you can enrol in the Dry Suit Diver course.

Take this course as part of your Open Water course or your Advanced Open Water Course.

Availability:

Stop into DDS to enrol in the course and pick up a PADI Dry Suit Diver Manual.  We’ll arrange a course with you and setup a time for class and to watch the PADI Dry Suit Diving video or you can purchase the video crewpack. By reading the manual and watching the video before class, you’ll be ready to get into the water with us and start practicing with your drysuit or one of our rentals if you haven’t decided which suit to go with yet.

Training Agency:

PADI

Additional Details:

Reduce Diver drop-out and enjoy diving locally as well as away on trips.


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

Cold water diving is the most exciting type of diving you’ll ever experience, especially here in Canada with the worlds best shipwrecks, amazing wall diving, drift diving, ice diving, deep or technical diving and the most vibrant colours you’ll see diving places like B.C. or Les Escoumins, QC., Iceland and so many other cold water places that offer the most exceptional visibility.  It’s not uncommon to have 100-200′ visibility in Tobermory, Lake Ontario, etc.

You don’t have to dive wet and you don’t have to dive cold! It’s no fun and it’s more work. 

A properly fitted drysuit and appropriate drysuit underwear system should give you the ability to dive in any thermal environment more comfortably and more enjoyably than a wetsuit.

Drysuits are easier to put on than wetsuits.

Drysuits last longer than wetsuits. 20 years versus 2-4 years.

Drysuits allow you to dive year round.


Experience diving smarter, not harder! Dry is more comfortable, less effort, warmer and extends your dive season!

The first thing you’ll discover is how much more comfortable drysuits are to wear.  Dan’s has a full rental fleet of mens and ladies DUI Drysuits (the best drysuits on the market) and we’ve focussed on offering you the most comfortable suit and underwear combinations.

Next, you’ll learn how to take care of your dry suit. During two dives, in addition to a confined water dive, you’ll practice:

  • Putting on and taking off your dry suit with minimal assistance.
  • Mastering buoyancy control using your dry suit.
  • Dive safety procedures when using a dry suit.

The first dive of this Specialty Course can count as a dive credit PADI Advanced Open Water certification.

Cost For Certified Divers:  $275+HST Includes Manual and certification card.

Cost For Open Water Students: $175+HST as part of the PADI Open Water Course or PADI Advanced Open Water Course.

Required Equipment?

Clearly a drysuit is necessary along with your  basic scuba equipment. 

Additional weights, likely a larger pair of fins.

Where can you go from here?

  • Anywhere
  • Cold Water Diving
  • Deep Diver
  • NTEC
  • Ice Diver (after Intro to Tech)
  • Technical Diver
  • Cave 1
  • Sidemount Diver
  • Underwater Photographer

Anything you do will be more fun in the right drysuit, so start enjoying better, warmer, drysuit dives today.

Aug
23
Fri
2019
Dive Picton DDS Wreck Diving Adventures 2019 @ Waupoos Marina
Aug 23 @ 4:00 pm – Aug 25 @ 3:00 pm

Dive Picton DDS Wreck Diving Adventures 2019

picton-katie-eccles-2
Tech 1 students exploring the shipwreck Katie Eccles in 100′ with Instructor Matt Mandziuk and TSL Grace Marquez
picton-katie-eccles-1
Tech 1 students working on valve shutdowns near the lake bottom of Lake Ontario.

Dive Picton DDS Wreck Diving Adventures 2019 brings you some of our most beloved and enjoyed dive trips ever, as we embark on a magical weekend diving the best shipwrecks in the greater Picton, Point Traverse, Kingston area.

Nothing brings a dive group together quite as much world class diving and adventure, so we will be offering 2 nights of shared lodging in a back country lodge (similar lay out to our Tobermory Dive Extravaganza), with a great selection of wreck diving and fun!

Trip will include 2 days of morning 2 tank boat dives on some of the best wrecks in the area. Depths range from 80-105′.

PADI Advanced Open Water Certification dives are available on this trip as well for those wishing to complete deep, wreck and boat Adventure dives.

Picton offers some of the most beautiful diving of anywhere in the country.  Pristine shipwrecks in crystal clear Lake Ontario water with many artifacts ideal for a photo opportunity, some light penetration and much more.

We will have kitchen facilities, great dining and attractions nearby. We are looking at the possibility of a meal plan, but at this time it’s undecided.

Minimum level of certification would be a diver enrolled in their PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course.  More advanced, deep or technical divers are free to join in on the diving and complete a reasonable dive profile within their training and limitations as well.

Cost is estimated at only $375+HST. Trip price includes lodging and boat charters.

Not included is rentals, gas fills, food, gratuities and Waupoos Marina parking $10/day.  

TRIP IS SOLD OUT. Please contact us if you would like to be added to the waitlist.

DDS TRIP POLICY To reserve your spot all guests are required to fill out a DDS Reservation & Liability Form and pay a $100 non-refundable deposit. Final payment is due 60 days prior to trip departure.

DDS TRIP CANCELLATION POLICY ALL TRIP PAYMENTS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. If the trip goes full, or you are able to fill your spot, you will be reimbursed for everything except your non-refundable trip deposit of $100. To protect yourself against pre-trip cancellation or travel emergencies, we highly recommend you purchase Trip Cancellation Insurance. Travel Insurance is available online from our travel partner Fly and Sea Dive Adventures.

Looking to book your next travel adventure? Contact our DDS Flight Centre Associate today!

Fawn Messer, Travel ConsultantFCA.logo
info@dansdiveshop.ca 
phone: 905-984-2160, fax: 905-984-2167
Flight Centre Associates
Head Office: 1 Dundas St W, Suite 200, Rm M, Toronto, ON M5G 1Z3
1-416-368-4221 TICO#50016384

Sep
7
Sat
2019
PADI Advanced Open Water Course September 2019 Local @ Welland Scuba Park
Sep 7 @ 8:30 am – Sep 8 @ 2:00 pm
PADI Advanced Open Water Course September 2019 Local @ Welland Scuba Park | Welland | Ontario | Canada

PADI Advanced Open Water Course September 2019 Local

Our PADI Advanced Open Water course is the most thorough and progressive PADI Advanced Open Water Course available in the dive industry. This course is available privately for individuals or groups locally or wherever you are located. 

Those wishing to complete the academic portions via the eLearning process may do so by joining our eLearning website click here or can purchase the course with the standard PADI Advanced Open Water materials which are included as part of the course price.

The PADI Advanced Open Water Course introduces divers how to be more aware and how to participate in bigger, better dives utilizing more precision techniques, while exposing you to multitude of different diving environments. 

The training dives are designed to allow you the opportunity to gain experience under the direct supervision of one of our PADI Instructors.

What’s unique about our Advanced Open Water course is that we also allow you to complete your class in a Drysuit if you would prefer to stay warmer and more comfortable than you would in a wetsuit.

Pre-requisite

Open Water Diver with 10 dives minimum over the age of 15yrs.
Junior Advanced may also be conducted to a maximum depth of 70′ for students under the age of 15.

Training Agency

PADI

Additional Details

Our course allows students to experience a multitude of different styles and types of diving including: Deep Diving, Wreck Diving, Boat Diving, Drift Diving, Night Diving, Peak Performance Buoyancy Dives, Underwater Navigation, Discover Enriched Air Nitrox, Search and Recovery, Diver Propulsion Vehicle Adventure Dive and more. Attention is paid to proper buoyancy and fin techniques, air management, specialized equipment, proper gas reserves and dive planning.

Drysuit Option: Dan’s Dive Shop also offers all of our Advanced Open Water Course participants the opportunity to take advantage of a Drysuit Upgrade Option where divers can take your entire Advanced Open Water Course in a DUI Drysuit (requires an additional orientation dive session).

A classroom session will take place prior to deep diving where a thorough understanding of the features, beneifts and safety aspects of deep, wreck diving are covered. Diver’s will learn what advanced diving is all about and what’s required to be an Advanced Diver. Additional training and information is conducted on the dive site prior to the dive.

All students must have a Digital Depth and Timing Device for the Deep and Wreck Dives, if you don’t own one, one will be provided for you. Students will also need a minimum of 2 lights (1 primary and 1 backup).

This is the most through Advanced Course offered in the business and the most enjoyable!

Cost:

$350+HST includes Course and Instructor Fees, PADI Advanced Open Water Crewpak 60303, Certification Fee.

Advanced Open Water “By the Dive” Cost $450+HST.

PADI Advanced Open Water Course with PADI Drysuit Specialty Certification Option $450+HST Not Available “By The Dive”

Minimum Age 15, 10 logged dives is recommended, however, is ultimately up to the instructor.

Additional Costs:

We do not include any scuba equipment rentals in the basic Advanced Open Water course fee.

Any Park entry fee’s or boat charters are additional unless otherwise specified, however, if you join us for your Advanced course on a Trip to Tobermory, Kingston, Brockville, Picton or anyone of our other great local dive destinations, the cost of the trip will include all charter boat dives.

PADI standards now suggest that all students have an smb (surface marker buoy) and a whistle. We’d also suggest for safety a reel to attach to the smb to deploy in an emergency situation from depth.

PADI Drysuit Specialty Option includes use of drysuit, undergarment, larger fins, but does not include any additional rental equipment as many of our divers already have begun to purchase some or all of their dive gear package.

Advanced your dive training in Canada with Dan’s Dive Shop, Canada’s Oldest Most Respected PADI Scuba Diving School.

Sep
9
Mon
2019
Emergency First Response Course @ Dan's Dive Shop
Sep 9 @ 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Emergency First Response Course @ Dan's Dive Shop | Saint Catharines | Ontario | Canada

Emergency First Response Course

The Emergency First Response Course focuses on Primary (CPR) and Secondary Care (First Aid) with or without Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Add PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider conducted the same night for only $117.00+HST. PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider Course regularly $140.00+HST.

Know how to respond to emergencies – just in case.  Statistics show you’re more likely to give first aid to someone you know than a stranger. When minutes count, you’ll be the person to give the necessary aid to a family member, dive buddy or co-workers, before Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrive.

The Emergency First Response (EFR) Primary and Secondary Care course is an accredited CPR and First Aid program that helps divers advance their knowledge, providing the skills they need to potentially save a life.

The course builds the confidence and skills needed to provide basic emergency care. You won’t just watch a video, you’ll get hands on practice with a CPR mannequin, simulate bandaging, role play an emergency scenario and other skills. You’ll get to practice each skill until you feel comfortable.

While the material taught in this course is serious, it’s taught in a positive, upbeat environment.

Here’s what you’ll learn in the Emergency First Response Course:

  •  BLS (Basic Life Support) CPR and rescue breathing at the layperson level
  • AED (automated external defibrillator) use (optional)
  • Preventing and caring for shock
  • Spinal injury management
  • Use of barriers to reduce disease transmission risk
  • Basic first aid: Illness & Injury Assessment, Bandaging, Management of fractures & dislocations, and first aid kit considerations

After you complete the program, you’ll have the skills necessary to help others should it be necessary. By inviting friends or family members to sign up with you, those you care about the most will be better prepared in case of an unexpected emergency.

The  Emergency First Response courses build lay rescuer confidence to provide care when faced with a medical emergency. Students learn and practice the same patient care techniques and principles used by medical professionals, but at a lay person level.

This course is a prerequisite for PADI Rescue Diver and PADI Divemaster.

This course is also available privately for individuals and groups. Please contact us for more details. 

Sep
14
Sat
2019
PADI Rescue Diver Course 2019 @ Dan's Dive Shop
Sep 14 @ 9:00 am – Sep 15 @ 5:00 pm

PADI Rescue Diver Course 2019

Join us for what many of our students call their most favourite PADI Scuba Course, the PADI Rescue Diver Course.  Let us take you through the most exciting core PADI scuba diving course and help prepare you better mentally, physically and emotionally for what can be some of the most serious, rewarding and smartest way to scuba dive. 

Join us Saturday September 14 and Sunday September 15 from 9am-5pm with classroom and Open Water Dives both days.

The PADI Rescue Diver Course is the most essential scuba diving course and the minimum level we would recommend all divers achieve, and rest assured that after we’ve added a little bit of our own insight and experience you’ll have a new outlook on diving.

Most dive accidents are a direct result of human error, and many accidents that happen often happen to the least experienced or less aware divers, learn more about prevention, anticipation, rescue techniques and much more.

What will you learn?

You will learn how to prevent, assess and control problems above and below the water.

You should know how to handle a situation when things go wrong underwater or on the surface.


Make diving safer for you and everyone with the most fun PADI course – Rescue Diver

This is the one dive course that many graduates would call their favourite and most Memorable PADI dive course.  

If you’ve got the Advanced Open Water Program under your belt, this is your next step towards your PADI Master Scuba Diver Rating.

Students will gain life saving skills that will help them to save themselves and other divers from a potentially dangerous situation and test their own personal limits and comfort.

Who should take this course?

This course is a must for anyone whether you’re an avid diver, or even more importantly, the diver who dives down south on vacation, as once a year divers are more likely to experience a diver in distress.

Many divers have received improper training from other shops or instructors, many divers have NOT kept up their level of proficiency or personal diving skills, equipment configuration or knowledge.

Training Agency:

PADI 

Details of what you’ll learn:

Dan’s Rescue program encompasses advanced dive theory, rescue techniques such as prevention, readiness to respond, First Aid, CPR, decompression injuries, underwater search and recovery, specialized equipment, equipment care and maintenance, and open water sessions.

There will be a weekend of Open Water Training Scenarios where Divers will experience simulated “real life” situations that they could encounter in a real diving situation such as out of air divers, missing divers, a panic diver, diver with a pressure related injury, diver requiring immediate first aid, unconscious diver and many other scenarios.

Our course is well over 25 hours of action packed information, diving and excitement.

What gear do you need?

You will need your personal scuba equipment, along with a surface marker, safety reel or spool 100′-150′ of line, waterproof notebook or dive slate, cutting tools, CPR/O2 pocket mask, audible surface signalling device.

DDS will supply all oxygen related first aid equipment, rescue throw bags, etc.

Prerequisites:

Divers need to be certified Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Maintain Current First Aid/CPR (Emergency First Response and Oxygen Provider Courses are available and often run near the Rescue dates), Minimum age of 15 years old.

Cost is only $350 + HST and includes PADI Rescue Diver Crewpak, Certification Fee.

If you’re interested in this course come in and get your books and start your journey to safer diving today.

Where can I go from here?

Here are some popular examples of courses commonly taken by graduates of this course:

  • Master Scuba Diver
  • PADI Divemaster
  • Enriched Air Nitrox
  • Intro To Tech
  • Solo Diver
Sep
18
Wed
2019
PADI Drysuit Course September 2019 @ Dan's Dive Shop/Brock University
Sep 18 @ 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm

PADI Drysuit Course September 2019

Taking the PADI Drysuit Course September 18, 2019 opens you up to a world of better diving with more comfort and warmth.  Drysuit Divers enjoy a substantially longer dive season (12 months of the year vs wetsuits 3-4 months). Complete the pool and classroom session on September 18 with Open Water Dives at a later date.

No more freezing on the bottom, you can wear thermal undergarments, don and doff your exposure suit easier than a wetsuit and have more fun above and below the water with a drysuit.

What will you learn?

padi_drysuit_course_dive_dry
Drysuit Divers are happier! Dive all year long, Dive Deeper for longer and have more fun! Join us!

Have you ever really enjoyed diving cold?

Are you excited to dive in cold water in a wetsuit?

Do you smile after a dive like we do?

Drysuit Diving is simply easier than 5-7mm wetsuit diving, more fun, more comfortable and you’ll dive more often!

Want to stay warm? Want to extend your scuba diving season? Then its time to dive dry.

A drysuit seals you off from the water and keeps you dry, warm and comfortable, even in surprisingly cold water. There are more incredible dives, vibrant colours and adventure in the world’s cooler regions and in some areas, conditions are even better in colder months. Becoming a dry suit diver allows you to expand your boundaries and dive more places, more often, with more comfort and enjoyment.

Prerequisites:

If you’re at least 10 years old and certified as a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver or higher, you can enrol in the Dry Suit Diver course.

Take this course as part of your Open Water course or your Advanced Open Water Course.

Availability:

Stop into DDS to enrol in the course and pick up a PADI Dry Suit Diver Manual.  We’ll arrange a course with you and setup a time for class and to watch the PADI Dry Suit Diving video or you can purchase the video crewpack. By reading the manual and watching the video before class, you’ll be ready to get into the water with us and start practicing with your drysuit or one of our rentals if you haven’t decided which suit to go with yet.

Training Agency:

PADI

Additional Details:

Reduce Diver drop-out and enjoy diving locally as well as away on trips.


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

Cold water diving is the most exciting type of diving you’ll ever experience, especially here in Canada with the worlds best shipwrecks, amazing wall diving, drift diving, ice diving, deep or technical diving and the most vibrant colours you’ll see diving places like B.C. or Les Escoumins, QC., Iceland and so many other cold water places that offer the most exceptional visibility.  It’s not uncommon to have 100-200′ visibility in Tobermory, Lake Ontario, etc.

You don’t have to dive wet and you don’t have to dive cold! It’s no fun and it’s more work. 

A properly fitted drysuit and appropriate drysuit underwear system should give you the ability to dive in any thermal environment more comfortably and more enjoyably than a wetsuit.

Drysuits are easier to put on than wetsuits.

Drysuits last longer than wetsuits. 20 years versus 2-4 years.

Drysuits allow you to dive year round.


Experience diving smarter, not harder! Dry is more comfortable, less effort, warmer and extends your dive season!

The first thing you’ll discover is how much more comfortable drysuits are to wear.  Dan’s has a full rental fleet of mens and ladies DUI Drysuits (the best drysuits on the market) and we’ve focussed on offering you the most comfortable suit and underwear combinations.

Next, you’ll learn how to take care of your dry suit. During two dives, in addition to a confined water dive, you’ll practice:

  • Putting on and taking off your dry suit with minimal assistance.
  • Mastering buoyancy control using your dry suit.
  • Dive safety procedures when using a dry suit.

The first dive of this Specialty Course can count as a dive credit PADI Advanced Open Water certification.

Cost For Certified Divers:  $275+HST Includes Manual and certification card.

Cost For Open Water Students: $175+HST as part of the PADI Open Water Course or PADI Advanced Open Water Course.

Required Equipment?

Clearly a drysuit is necessary along with your  basic scuba equipment. 

Additional weights, likely a larger pair of fins.

Where can you go from here?

  • Anywhere
  • Cold Water Diving
  • Deep Diver
  • NTEC
  • Ice Diver (after Intro to Tech)
  • Technical Diver
  • Cave 1
  • Sidemount Diver
  • Underwater Photographer

Anything you do will be more fun in the right drysuit, so start enjoying better, warmer, drysuit dives today.

PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Weeknights @ Brock University
Sep 18 @ 7:00 pm – Nov 3 @ 4:00 pm
PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Weeknights @ Brock University | Thorold | Ontario | Canada

PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Weeknights at Brock University September 2019

Get ready for the Spring Dive Season with our PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Weeknights at Brock University and enjoy the fun, adventure as you become an underwater explorer with Dan’s Dive Shop, Canada’s Oldest, Most Respected Scuba Diving School.  The course runs every Wednesday Night starting September 18 – October 30, 2019 from 7:00-10pm over 6 weeks with your Open Water Certification Checkout Dives to follow.

Learn to scuba dive with one of North America’s most respected, most experienced, most progressive and visionary dive shops.  At Dan’s we teach you the right way to dive from day one.

Learn how to Scuba Dive and spend your life exploring local and exotic locations.  Dive Ontario and the rest of this amazing world underwater as a DDS Diver.  There are tons of great dive sites both locally and away, as well as exciting wrecks and beautiful aquatic life.

At Dan’s we offer you a more thorough and modern approach to your scuba diving education. We believe in teaching you how to maximize your potential and see where the tides take you.

We pride ourselves on offering you a higher level of training aimed at taking you further through the life long adventure sport of scuba diving. 

DDS Divers are the most skilled and respected recreational and technical divers  in the water because they are taught to be more comfortable, utilize precision buoyancy, possess higher skill and techniques underwater, with more academic and team awareness.

Prerequisites?

Minimum age is 10 years by PADI standards, however we strongly recommend 12-14 years (Unless accompanied by a parent).

How can you enroll?

Complete the academic portions of the PADI Open Water Diver Course and videos at your own pace with eLearning followed by 6 new classroom sessions with your Instructor who will introduce many revolutionary diving concepts not taught in more traditional dive training for a more informative and beneficial dive training experience.

Training Agency:

PADI

Additional Details:

Class Schedule

Pool & Classroom on Wednesdays 7:00pm -10:30pm every week from September 18- October 30 (except for October 16).

Open Water Certification Dives on November 2 & 3rd, 9:00am -4:00pm both day.

Costs:

PADI Open Water Pool/ Class Only $350+HST

PADI Open Water Course Full Certification $500+HST  ALL INCLUSIVE  eLearning activation code and PADI Deluxe Multimedia Crewpak (digital dive tables, virtual log book with PADI Scuba Earth and more!). Includes class, pool, open water dives, full scuba equipment rental (no snorkeling gear), certification fees and more.

PADI Jr Open Water Course $600+HST ALL INCLUSIVE

What gear will you need?

All students will need to purchase their own Mask, Strap Fins, Snorkel, Boots, however many of our students prefer to purchase the rest of their kit too. You’ll want to buy the right gear, so please have a read through our DDS Student Diver PDF and learn more about the specific gear requirements and training differences we offer, as well as some incentives.
You don’t need to purchase a weight belt and weights, at DDS we don’t believe in over-weighting our students. Weight belts are an outdated piece of gear that has not been used by us in training since the late 1990’s.Our divers are taught to use little to no weight.

Financing is available: Finance your PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course, snorkeling gear and even your scuba equipment package at a very reasonable rate. Ask staff for details and learn diving in the best equipment you can…..your own personal dive gear, or ours.
DDS will include all scuba equipment for the course, however, you will enjoy your diving experience much more in your own personal dive equipment.

Our Cancellation Policy: If less than 14 days notice is given there is a $100 fee to cancel or reschedule. No shows forfeit all course fees. Redeemed eLearning is non-refundable.

Sep
28
Sat
2019
PADI Open Water Weekend Scuba Course September 2019 @ Dan's Dive Shop
Sep 28 @ 9:00 am – Oct 6 @ 2:00 pm
PADI Open Water Weekend Scuba Course September 2019 @ Dan's Dive Shop | Saint Catharines | Ontario | Canada

PADI Open Water Weekend Scuba Course September 2019

Learn to scuba dive this autumn and explore the amazing dive sites in your own backyard with our PADI Open Water Weekend Scuba Course September 2019.  Get your PADI Open Water Diver certification and you will enjoy the greatest sport in the world.  

Learn to scuba dive with one of North America’s most respected, most experienced, most progressive and visionary dive shops.  At Dan’s we teach you the right way to dive from day one of our PADI Open Water Weekend Scuba Course.  More knowledge and higher skills are just the start.

At Dan’s we offer you a more thorough and modern approach to your scuba diving education. We believe in teaching you how to maximize your potential and see where the tides take you.We pride ourselves on offering you a higher level of training aimed at taking you further through the life long adventure sport of scuba diving. 

DDS Divers are the most skilled and respected recreational and technical divers  in the water because they are taught to be more comfortable, utilize precision buoyancy, possess higher skill and techniques underwater, with more academic and team awareness.

Prerequisites:

Minimum age 12yrs old. Must be able to swim non-stop 200 meters free-style or 300 meters with mask, fins, snorkel and be able to tread water for 10 minutes.

Agency:

PADI

Class Schedule

You complete the Open Water Diver Course classroom component on eLearn . We will have you complete all academic portions of the PADI Open Water Diver Course and videos at your own pace and will meet up for Classroom with your Instructor as we fill in many of the gaps left in traditional dive training with a more informative and beneficial dive training experience. Students will complete additional classroom and Pool Training sessions on September 28 – 29 and then complete the PADI Open Water Certification Dives the following weekend, October 5 – 6. 

Saturday September 28th, 9am-9pm

Sunday September 29th, 9am-2pm

Saturday, October 5th 9am-4pm

Sunday, October 6th 9am-4pm

Costs:

PADI Open Water Referral Course, Class/Pool Only $350+HST

PADI Open Water Certification Course Only $500+HST ALL INCLUSIVE

PADI Jr Open Water Certification Course Only $600 + HST ALL INCLUSIVE

Full OW Course Price Includes: PADI eLearn with Deluxe Multimedia Crewpak (digital dive tables, virtual log book with PADI Scuba Earth and more!). Includes class, pool, open water dives, full scuba equipment rental (no snorkeling gear), certification fees and more.

Private Courses available at an additional fee.

What gear will you need?

All students will need to purchase their own Mask, Strap Fins, Snorkel, Boots, however many of our students prefer to purchase the rest of their kit too. You’ll want to buy the right gear, so please have a read through our DDS Student Diver PDF and learn more about the specific gear requirements and training differences we offer, as well as some incentives.
You don’t need to purchase a weight belt and weights, at DDS we don’t believe in over-weighting our students. Weight belts are an outdated piece of gear that has not been used by us in training since the late 1990’s.Our divers are taught to use little to no weight.

Financing is available: Finance your course, snorkeling gear and even your scuba equipment package at a very reasonable rate. Ask staff for details and learn diving in the best equipment you can…..your own personal dive gear, or ours.
DDS will include all scuba equipment for the course, however, you will enjoy your diving experience much more in your own personal dive equipment.

How can you enroll?

Come visit us at 329 Welland Ave, St Catharines or call 905 984 2160 or email info@dansdiveshop.ca.

 

Our Cancellation Policy: If less than 14 days notice is given there is a $100 fee to cancel or reschedule. No shows forfeit all course fees. Redeemed eLearning is non-refundable.
Nov
4
Mon
2019
Emergency First Response Course @ Dan's Dive Shop
Nov 4 @ 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Emergency First Response Course @ Dan's Dive Shop | Saint Catharines | Ontario | Canada

Emergency First Response Course

The Emergency First Response Course focuses on Primary (CPR) and Secondary Care (First Aid) with or without Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Add PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider conducted the same night for only $117.00+HST. PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider Course regularly $140.00+HST.

Know how to respond to emergencies – just in case.  Statistics show you’re more likely to give first aid to someone you know than a stranger. When minutes count, you’ll be the person to give the necessary aid to a family member, dive buddy or co-workers, before Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrive.

The Emergency First Response (EFR) Primary and Secondary Care course is an accredited CPR and First Aid program that helps divers advance their knowledge, providing the skills they need to potentially save a life.

The course builds the confidence and skills needed to provide basic emergency care. You won’t just watch a video, you’ll get hands on practice with a CPR mannequin, simulate bandaging, role play an emergency scenario and other skills. You’ll get to practice each skill until you feel comfortable.

While the material taught in this course is serious, it’s taught in a positive, upbeat environment.

Here’s what you’ll learn in the Emergency First Response Course:

  •  BLS (Basic Life Support) CPR and rescue breathing at the layperson level
  • AED (automated external defibrillator) use (optional)
  • Preventing and caring for shock
  • Spinal injury management
  • Use of barriers to reduce disease transmission risk
  • Basic first aid: Illness & Injury Assessment, Bandaging, Management of fractures & dislocations, and first aid kit considerations

After you complete the program, you’ll have the skills necessary to help others should it be necessary. By inviting friends or family members to sign up with you, those you care about the most will be better prepared in case of an unexpected emergency.

The  Emergency First Response courses build lay rescuer confidence to provide care when faced with a medical emergency. Students learn and practice the same patient care techniques and principles used by medical professionals, but at a lay person level.

This course is a prerequisite for PADI Rescue Diver and PADI Divemaster.

This course is also available privately for individuals and groups. Please contact us for more details. 

Nov
6
Wed
2019
PADI Open Water Scuba Course Weeknights November 2019 @ Brock University
Nov 6 @ 7:00 pm – Dec 11 @ 10:30 pm
PADI Open Water Scuba Course Weeknights November 2019 @ Brock University | Fort Erie | Ontario | Canada

PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Weeknights Brock University November 2019

Make winter 2019 awesome with your PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course. Have fun and learn to dive right with Dan’s Dive Shop, Canada’s Oldest, Most Respected Scuba Diving School. 

Get your PADI Open Water on  Wednesday evenings from November 6 to December 11, 2019 from 7:00-10:30pm with your PADI Open Water Certification Checkout Dives to follow in June 2020. 

Learn to scuba dive with one of North America’s most respected, most experienced, most progressive and visionary dive shops.  At Dan’s we teach you the right way to dive from day one.

Learn how to Scuba Dive.  Why not make this year awesome and learn to dive? Spend your life exploring exotic locations as well as diving around  Ontario and the rest of this amazing world underwater.  There are tons of great dive sites both locally and away, as well as exciting wrecks and beautiful aquatic life.

At Dan’s we offer you a more thorough and modern approach to your scuba diving education. We believe in teaching you how to maximize your potential and see where the tides take you.

We pride ourselves on offering you a higher level of training aimed at taking you further through the life long adventure sport of scuba diving. 

DDS Divers are the most skilled and respected recreational and technical divers  in the water because they are taught to be more comfortable, utilize precision buoyancy, possess higher skill and techniques underwater, with more academic and team awareness.

Prerequisites?

Minimum age is 10 years by PADI standards, however we strongly recommend 12-14 years (Unless accompanied by a parent).

How can you enroll?

You complete the Open Water Diver Course classroom component on eLearn . We will have you complete all academic portions of the PADI Open Water Diver Course and videos at your own pace and will meet up for Classroom with your Instructor as we fill in many of the gaps left in traditional dive training with a more informative and beneficial dive training experience.

Upon successful completion of classroom and pool sessions, students will need to complete an Open Water Diving component usually held over a weekend.

Training Agency:

PADI

Additional Details:

Open Water Dives are required for Open Water certification and are included in your full course price and completed locally.

Scuba courses are available 12 months of the year.

Costs:

PADI Open Water Class/Pool Only $350+HST

Full PADI Open Water Certification Course Cost is only $500+HST ALL INCLUSIVE for the standard course with eLearning activation code and PADI Deluxe Multimedia Crewpak (digital dive tables, virtual log book with PADI Scuba Earth and more!). Includes class, pool, open water dives, full scuba equipment rental (no snorkeling gear), certification fees and more.

What gear will you need?

All students will need to purchase their own Mask, Strap Fins, Snorkel, Boots, however many of our students prefer to purchase the rest of their kit too. You’ll want to buy the right gear, so please have a read through our DDS Student Diver PDF and learn more about the specific gear requirements and training differences we offer, as well as some incentives.
You don’t need to purchase a weight belt and weights, at DDS we don’t believe in over-weighting our students. Weight belts are an outdated piece of gear that has not been used by us in training since the late 1990’s.Our divers are taught to use little to no weight.

Financing is available: Finance your course, snorkeling gear and even your scuba equipment package at a very reasonable rate. Ask staff for details and learn diving in the best equipment you can…..your own personal dive gear, or ours.
DDS will include all scuba equipment for the course, however, you will enjoy your diving experience much more in your own personal dive equipment.

Our Cancellation Policy: If less than 14 days notice is given there is a $100 fee to cancel or reschedule. No shows forfeit all course fees. Redeemed eLearning is non-refundable.

Things to Consider

– Not all dive courses are created equal.

– A perceived “too good to be true” priced scuba course often is and there are hidden costs that price it well above ours, while the quality is well below ours.

– As Canada’s Oldest PADI Dive Center we have pretty much seen it all over the last 40 years as we have paved our own way in diver education offering diving education that is a cut above the rest.  We offer all PADI Courses,  from Open Water to Advanced Open Water courses, Rescue Diver, Divemaster, Master Scuba Diver Courses, PADI Assistant Instructor, Drysuit courses, Dive Speciality Courses,  and much more – all taught well above the minimum agency standards.

Why We’re Different – Do Your Homework

We know diving, but find out what others are learning from us. Check out our Testimonials Page.

Learn more about the Dan’s Difference in dive training.

Read our BLOG to learn more about what we do, where we’ve been, upcoming events, articles, newsletters and to see first hand the differences in how and what we teach our divers.

Check out our Photos and watch our Videos to see our divers in action….You could be featured in there yourself once you’re certified like many of our divers are.

Whether you are a new diver or a seasoned diver looking for more challenges or control in your diving, we offer the best dive training from the most experienced and accomplished scuba divers in the country, while offering you the best selection and pricing on scuba diving equipment from all the best scuba diving brands, local diving trips, exotic dive travel, weekly local dives and more.

Want More Challenges?

transition into technical and cave diving courses

For divers wanting more of a challenge DDS specializes in Cave and Technical Diving Courses offering the most in depth technical diving programs in the country including Intro to Tech,  Decompression Procedures, Trimix, Cavern and Cave Diver Level 1 & 2, Wreck External Survey and Wreck Penetration, Ice Diving, Technical Wreck Penetration, Rebreather Courses, Deep Diving, Mixed gas diving, Specialty Diver Courses all of which keep the adventure of scuba diving thriving.

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Dan’s Dive Shop pioneer of Progressive Scuba Diving Courses and Equipment Sales

Vintage Diver Dan 1970’s

Established in 1974 by Dan Mandziuk, Dan’s Dive Shop has shared the adventure of scuba diving in Niagara, Ontario for over forty years.  We are Canada’s innovator of higher level progressive scuba diving education in Recreational, Cave & Technical Scuba Diving instruction and a purveyor of the highest quality scuba diving equipment in recreational, cave and technical diving. 

At DDS we are known for offering the highest level of scuba diving education at every single level of training we offer.

We teach many of our scuba diving courses locally in Niagara, however, we also teach abroad anywhere our students want us to be, which includes other cities, provinces, states and even countries.

Matt Mandziuk carry’s on the legacy of DDS with Progressive Gear & Courses

Not Just Niagara….Dan’s is totally mobile and we are able to teach scuba courses anywhere we can drive to or fly into.  We’ve taught students from all over the world who have sought out the best scuba diving education and we have delivered time and time again.

We’ve taught students from every province in Canada, a number of the US States and other countries.  

We attract a large number of students from the greater Hamilton area, as well as Burlington, Oakville, Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo,  Mississauga, Toronto and surrounding areas.  Northern Ontario is a popular destination for us to teach in as well as we can cover Sudbury, Espanola, Little Current, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and much more with the utilization of eLearning, Skype, FaceTime or Podcasts, with watermanship sessions held in the most convenient locations possible, especially for our students in Northern Ontario.

Unmatched Retail Shopping

Shop with us Online

We are proud to offer Canada’s Largest Inventory and selection of scuba diving equipment from the top brands in the industry.  

We carry the largest selection of scuba and snorkeling equipment offering the highest quality snorkeling equipment, wetsuits, as well as swimwear and metal detectors.

Our pricing is the  most competitive and we offer you the best pricing and service guaranteed on all the scuba gear we sell.   We will not be undersold.

Customers from all over North American and abroad shop our online dive store regularly for the best deals on scuba and snorkeling equipment, as well as expert drysuit sales and service.

Why pay more buying gear from your local dive shop or buying it out of the U.S. when we guarantee you better pricing, equipment choices and service?

We take away the hassle of crossing the border, paying duty or brokerage fees, or expensive shipping.  Let us do the work for you and get the best gear at the best price.  Email or call us for a gear quote.

Fun and memorable dive trips

We love diving locally around the Great Lakes and surrounding areas.

We honestly believe that we have the best diving in the world right here in Ontario and some of the other coastal provinces (Quebec, BC., Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to name a few), so we are pleased to offer both local and down south scuba diving trips and excursions to cater to divers who like diving in any environment warm or cold.

Experience a fun day charter, a fun filled weekend trip out of town diving  the great local Canadian sites, U.S. sites, or join us for a week or more doing some further more exotic scuba diving destinations on one of our dive travel trips around the world. 

We run amazing trips South as well!  We routinely run trips to Micronesia, Mexico, Honduras, Florida, Bahamas and many other warm water destinations too.

Count on our team

Get to know our great team of staff and instructors who are all active and constantly learning divers. We love what we do and are always looking for like minded people to join our dive team.

The majority of our dive team are local Niagara area Divers, with some of our team covering the Toronto and Burlington regions. If you want to learn to dive using a different philosophy that focuses on diver comfort, development of foundation skills, team diving with the ability to go anywhere you could possibly imagine in scuba, the possibilities are endless here at DDS.

E-Learning at your pace

Whether you’re just starting out or are already certified –  PADI’s eLearning is a flexible and convenient way to take more dive courses online at your pace. Sign up and get started right away with the instructional videos and interactive learning modules. Register Dan’s Dive Shop as your local PADI Dive Centre when you sign up and you can come in any time to ask us questions about what you’re learning. 

Active in our local community

We’re involved with many charities and events such as: Project Aware Foundation, We Are Water Project, Dive For A Cure, United Way, Terry Fox Foundation, Race Against Autism, Old Timers Hockey, St. Catharines and Welland Rotary Clubs, Grimsby Auxiliary Marine Rescue Unit, as well as local hospitals, police departments, fire departments,  schools and many other organizations.

Experience the difference

Come in and see the difference we can make in your diving career. It’s fun, challenging and you’ll get a lot more out of this sport with the right store backing you in the right gear with the right skill and techniques.

Let us help you become the best diver you can be – join Dan’s Dive Shop and Divers Edge training. 

See you in the water!