Tag Archives: shipwrecks

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!

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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.  

1934739_10153430376713314_966225306630410427_n
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. 

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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

10649486_10156748964170037_3865600380344346994_n11143228_10156720359055512_4332506375286490501_n
 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

Nov
1
Wed
2017
PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Brock University November 2017 @ Brock University
Nov 1 @ 6:45 pm – Dec 6 @ 10:45 pm

PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course Brock University November 2017

Get ready for the Fall/Winter Dive Season with your PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Course at Brock University and enjoy the fun with Dan’s Dive Shop, Canada’s Oldest, Most Respected Scuba Diving School, and get your PADI Open Water at Brock University every Wednesday Night starting November 1st, 2017 from 6:45-10pm over 6 weeks with your PADI Open Water Certification Checkout Dives to follow.  This will be the final Brock Scuba course for 2017.

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.

 At Dan’s We Offer You A Major Difference in Dive Training

 You’ll notice our divers look different underwater than the way the other stores or instructors teach.  This is because less than 5% of the industry teaches diving this way, as they themselves lack training or haven’t kept up with current trends in the diving industry. 

dds toby 2

Don’t settle for an inferior course that introduces you to antiquated skills and techniques.

 You owe it to yourself to get the best training you can, to learn the most modern and progressive diving techniques.  

Learn to dive in and purchase the right equipment configuration rather than several choices that you’ll outgrow quickly, as well cheapest_scuba_diving_courseas to enjoy your dive experience to the highest level, learning the right skills, finesse and in water control to enjoy your underwater experience to the fullest.

Here at Dan’s you’ll learn how the right equipment configuration and sound foundation skills can set the stage for diving excellence.  

Buoyancy and your control in the water affect everything you do.  Why not learn how to dive smarter not harder? 

Benefit from learning to use the right gear and  techniques from the beginning.

What Diver Would YOU Rather Be? 

Ask Yourself which kind of a Scuba Diver would you want to be like underwater?

Check out the following 2 videos showing Progressive Diving (the way Dan’s Dive Shop Teaches) versus Traditional Recreational Diving (the outdated way everyone else teaches).

Progressive Diving Video

Traditional Recreational Diving Video

What Are Others Saying About Us?

Want to get a better feel for the way we teach?  Nothing speaks louder when others talk about us: Check out our Testimonials Page.

Our PADI Open Water Scuba Course is the first in a series of progressive scuba diving programs offered through our award-winning 5-star PADI Dive Centre.

23975_637475103520_89906648_38631183_537409_nTopics covered provide in-depth knowledge of basic scuba related theory and equipment (including but not limited to: trim and buoyancy, fin techniques, weighting, pressure, volume, diving orientations, specialized equipment, basic decompression theory, diving accidents, first aid treatment, dive planning and table and computer use).

Our divers learn the most modern skills, concepts in the most progressive and modern equipment configuration on the market, as we teach all courses without kneeling on the bottom, skills are completed horizontally and neutrally buoyant in the most streamlined buoyancy system and regulator configuration on the market.

You will have a more efficient and streamlined fin kick than most divers because we teach you how to properly use your fins introducing you to a multitude of different fin kicks and techniques.

We want to ensure you learn the right way to dive right from the start, as you progress in diving through your Advanced Open Water Course, Specialty Diver Training and at the very least have you train up to the level of PADI Rescue Diver.

We want you diving the right equipment, especially when you’re ready to purchase your scuba equipment from us later on.

Most divers pay for costly mistakes in poor training and equipment purchased elsewhere and end up constantly upgrading purchases and training they weren’t happy with.  This will not happen at DDS.

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 can complete the PADI Open Water Scuba Course classroom component on eLearn or by registering for the course in store and picking up your PADI Open Water Crewpak.

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:

The Full PADI Open Water Scuba Course cost is only $450+HST for standard PADI Open Water Course and Crewpak or $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!).

What gear will you need?

All students will need to purchase their own Mask, Strap Fins, Snorkel, Boots.   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.  

You don’t need to waste money on purchasing your own weight belt and weights 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.

Financing is availableFinance 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.

Students purchasing their own scuba equipment package from us (regulator, computer, buoyancy system) will be issued a Dan’s Dive Shop Gift Certificate in lieu of using our rental gear.  The Gift Card can be used towards your next purchase of training or equipment.

Dan’s is proud to offer the Largest Selection and Best Pricing available on all quality brand name Scuba and Snorkeling Equipment.

DIVE DRY!


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

For students wishing to be warmer, drier and more comfortable during open water training dives, students can take advantage of diving dry in a DUI drysuit and experience how much more fun and enjoyable drysuit diving is. 

Take the PADI Open Water Scuba Course and add-on the PADI Drysuit Specialty Course as a combination and dive dry and warm instead of in a wetsuit at a discounted rate of only $175.00+HST to above course fee. Includes PADI Drysuit Diver Materials.

Enrich Your Diving!


Dive Longer, Feel Better, Upgrade your course to an Enriched Air Nitrox Open Water Course

Add the PADI Enriched Air Nitrox Option for students already enrolled in our  PADI Open Water Scuba Course.  Nitrox offers divers more energy between, during and after diving, Nitrox will wake you up and make you feel better and allow you to gain more bottom time staying down longer underwater. Cost is only $150.00+HST includes nitrox manual, specialty certification card, nitrox tank rentals for open water dives.

Where do I go from here?

Here are some popular courses divers are often interested in taking after Open Water.

  • Advanced Open Water Diver
  • Enriched Air Nitrox 
  • Drysuit Diver
  • NTEC
  • Drift Diver
  • Night Diver
  • Rescue Diver
 

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.

Nov
24
Fri
2017
PADI Weekend Scuba Diving Course November 2017 @ Dan's Dive Shop
Nov 24 @ 6:00 pm – Nov 26 @ 2:15 pm

PADI Weekend Scuba Diving Course November 2017

Our Award Winning PADI Weekend Scuba Diving Course is offered on the November 24-26 weekend for those who are unable to attend a midweek class. Classroom begins Friday night for orientation, all day Saturday and Sunday here at our store and one of the Niagara Region local pools.  This is the full PADI Open Water Diver Weekend Course (class/pool).

Join us November 24, 25, 26, 2017 Sign up today.

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 we can issue you a PIN activation code.

What are you doing this Winter? 

Learn to Scuba Dive.  Why not make this winter awesome and learn to scuba dive? Spend your life exploring exotic desitinations as well as diving right in your backyard here in Ontario  where we have some of the best diving in the world.   Scuba diving offers you a plethora of great dive sites, exciting wrecks and beautiful aquatic life both locally and away on vacation.

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.

 There is a Major Difference in Dive Training

 You’ll notice our divers look different underwater than the others, that’s because less than 5% of the industry teaches diving this way.

With Dan’s you’ll learn how the right equipment configuration and sound foundation skills set the stage for everything you do underwater.  Why not learn how to dive smarter not harder?

Benefit from learning to use the right gear and  techniques from the beginning.

Ask Yourself which kind of a Diver do you want to look like, check out these 2 videos showing Progressive Diving versus Traditional Recreational Diving.

Progressive Diving Video

Traditional Recreational Diving Video

Pre-requisite

Minimum age 12 years old (15 recommended for weekend courses unless parent is taking with them)

Training Agency

PADI

Additional Details

Our award-winning Weekend Open Water Course lets you get the expert training you need, in the convenience of a weekend course. We run the course over two weekend sessions. The first session is dedicated to knowledge and skill development, and in the second weekend we give a hand at our skills in the open water.

Weekend 1 is packed full of interesting and educational information including the underwater world, scuba diving equipment, potential hazards and prevention of problems in the water, self rescue techniques, dive planning and management of the dive, considerations in dive planning and dive buddy selection, PADI RDP Dive Table workshops, and many more classroom topics. These are covered Friday evening during the orientation session and on Saturday’s class session.

After the classroom sessions wrap up we will go to Ridley College. Pool sessions typically run 6-9pm Saturday and Sunday morning from 9am-12pm. Upon successful completion of all academic and pool sessions students are then qualified to completed a series of open water dives.

Dan’s PADI Open Water Dive Course is a beginner course designed to provide a strong foundation for student divers with no prior diving experience. Topics covered provide in-depth knowledge and solid skills in scuba equipment, diving science, basic concepts such as trim and buoyancy, fin technique, weighting, pressure, volume, diving orientations, specialized equipment, basic decompression theory, diving accidents and first aid treatment, dive planning and table use. We introduce our divers to the most modern skills, concepts, and equipment configuration alternatives not taught anywhere else in Canada at the open water level. This ensures you learn the right way to dive, the right gear to buy, and the right training path to take without making costly mistakes on poor training and equipment purchased elsewhere.

Books need to be picked up and read in advance with knowledge reviews completed or you can sign up for our eLearn classes

Students who cannot commit to a structured course involving attendance to the weekend classroom sessions can work with us through independent study using our PADI eLearn Package and our on-Staff Instructors can go over the academics with you.

Pool Sessions will have to be completed within the specified guidelines, however, make-up sessions are available, see staff for more details.

The pool sessions progressively build on previous skills each week with divers improving their comfort and familiarity with each session.

DDS Progressive Open Water Diver Course $450 + HST includes PADI Open Water Crewpak (books) Certification fees, ALL Scuba equipment rentals for pool and open water sessions.

DDS Progressive eLearning Open Water Diver Course $499.99+HST (We supply you with a PIN Number for activation)Includes PADI Deluxe Multi-Media Crewpak with Digital Manual, Online Videos, Virtual Dive Table, Dive Computer Simulator and PADI Online Logbook through Scuba Earth.  Please do not purchase PADI eLearning on your own or costs will be higher.

PADI Open Water Referral Program $299.99+HST is designed for students who wish to complete certification down south. Includes all classroom and pool training, as well as rental equipment for pool sessions.  Please note that your destination will charge you additionally for the certification dives.  For this reason many divers often decide to upgrade to our Open Water Checkout Dives Package to complete their open waters with us after seeing just how different and how much more progressive our dive training is.

Being a Progressive Dive Shop who’s been in business for over 40 years we can help in selecting the right store for you to do your referral through, or you can join us on one of our amazing winter trips and certify with us and maintain the same quality, consistency, configuration and techniques that only a select few educators offer world wide.

We also recommend you take our gear down south with you on your trip to maximize your comfort and maintain a positive experience in favour of using old, outdated bcds and regulators that don’t fall within the guidelines of our progressive training style.

Bring a Friend Special.  For a limited time save $100 combined ($50ea) when you bring a friend in with you to sign up for one of our Progressive DDS Scuba Courses.

PADI Open Water Check Out Dives are ideal for divers who have completed their classroom and pool dives elsewhere or wish to upgrade from our Open Water Referral Program.

If you’re new to DDS and our philosophies we will have you complete an equipment configuration and skills orientation to introduce you to new skills, techniques and gear configuration not covered by your previous training followed by your certification dives.

Cost is only $200 for the open water dives including your certification card, open water dive equipment rental is also included (Backplate, Regulator, Tanks, Dive Computer, Exposure suit with hood, gloves, weights).

Additional Benefits: If you decide to purchase your scuba equipment package from us to use on your pool and open water dives we’ll give you a $100 credit to your next purchase.  If you purchase your gear to use for your open water dives we will give you a $50 credit towards your next purchase.

We can accept students from any accredited dive training agency including: PADI, NAUI, SDI, SSI, GUE, UTD, IDREO and more

Private and Semi-private courses are also available at a slightly higher cost.

What gear will you need?

Atomic Mask, Snorkel, Fin PackageAll students will need to purchase their own Mask, Strap Fins, Snorkel, Boots.   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.  

This Great program is our most popular program for shift workers, people on tight schedules and divers really excited to get wet quickly.

Upgrades 

PADI Drysuit Option for students wishing to be warmer, drier and more comfortable during open water training dives. Students can take advantage of diving dry in a DUI Drysuit and see how much nicer drysuit diving is. Add $175.00+HST to above course fee.

Drysuit Option includes one more class/pool session, 2 more open water dives, PADI Drysuit Diving Manual, Specialty card certification and the use a DUI Drysuit system for Open Water Training dives.

Enriched Air Nitrox Option for students enrolled in the open water program who would like to have more energy between, during and after diving, Nitrox will wake you up and make you feel better and allow you to gain more bottom time staying down longer underwater. Cost is only $150.00+HST includes nitrox manual, specialty certification card, nitrox tank rentals for open water dives.

Jan
19
Fri
2018
PADI Open Water Weekend Course January 2018 @ Dan's Dive Shop, Inc.
Jan 19 @ 6:00 pm – Jan 21 @ 2:00 pm

PADI Open Water Certification Weekend Scuba Course January 2018

Your New Years Resolution for 2018 should be to get your PADI Open Water Certification with DDS! Our Award Winning 5 PADI Star Scuba Diving program will be running Friday January 19-21, 2018 which will cover your class and pool sessions.  Open Water Dives will can be completed away on a winter trip or locally this coming spring, or you can even take a referral and certify on your own trip if traveling abroad this winter.

Dan’s is one of North America’s most respected, experienced, progressive and visionary dive shops.  We pride ourselves on offering you a higher level of training designed to take you further into the life long adventure of scuba diving. 

 Dan’s Offers A Major Difference in Dive Training & Philosophy

 You’ll notice our divers look different underwater than the way the other stores or instructors teach.  This is because less than 5% of the dive instructors are teaching progressive diving, as they themselves lack training or haven’t kept up with current trends in the diving industry, making them outdated or unsafe in comparison to those who are doing it better and doing it right.

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.

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.

dds toby 2
DDS Divers hover motionless in the water with effortless trim, posture and have superior abilities and awareness

Don’t settle for an inferior course that introduces you to antiquated skills and techniques.

 You owe it to yourself to get the best training you can, to learn the most modern and progressive diving techniques.  

cheapest_scuba_diving_course
There is no such thing as a $99 scuba course, its a poor attempt to lure potential customers into an inferior scuba training experience.

Learn to dive in and how to purchase the right equipment rather than making the wrong choices repeatedly as divers quickly outgrow their gear and their original dive shops when they learn there is a better option.  Enjoy your dive experience to the highest level with the right skills, knowledge, team awareness and some finesse.  Let us help you enjoy your underwater experience to the fullest.

Here at Dan’s you’ll learn how the right equipment configuration and solid fundamenals will set the stage for a more enjoyable adventure. Dive smarter not harder.  You will benefit from learning how to use the right gear and with more progressive techniques from the very first session.

What Diver Would YOU Rather Be? 

Ask Yourself which kind of a Scuba Diver would you want to be like underwater?

Check out the following 2 videos showing Progressive Diving (the way Dan’s Dive Shop Teaches) versus Traditional Recreational Diving (the outdated way everyone else teaches).

Progressive Diving Video

Traditional Recreational Diving Video

What Are Others Saying About Us?

Want to get a better feel for the way we teach?  Nothing speaks louder when others talk about us: Check out our Testimonials Page.

Our PADI Open Water Diver course is the first in a series of progressive scuba diving programs offered through our award-winning 5-star PADI Dive Centre.

23975_637475103520_89906648_38631183_537409_nTopics covered provide in-depth knowledge of basic scuba related theory and equipment (including but not limited to: trim and buoyancy, fin techniques, weighting, pressure, volume, diving orientations, specialized equipment, basic decompression theory, diving accidents, first aid treatment, dive planning and table and computer use).

Our divers learn the most modern skills, concepts in the most progressive and modern equipment configuration on the market, as we teach all courses without kneeling on the bottom, skills are completed horizontally and neutrally buoyant in the most streamlined buoyancy system and regulator configuration on the market.

You will have a more efficient and streamlined fin kick than most divers because we teach you how to properly use your fins introducing you to a multitude of different fin kicks and techniques.

We want to ensure you learn the right way to dive right from the start, as you progress in diving through your Advanced Open Water Course, Specialty Diver Training and at the very least have you train up to the level of PADI Rescue Diver.

We want you diving the right equipment, especially when you’re ready to purchase your scuba equipment from us later on.

Most divers pay for costly mistakes in poor training and equipment purchased elsewhere and end up constantly upgrading purchases and training they weren’t happy with.  This will not happen at DDS as our divers are taught the Doing it Right approach of training in and utilizing the right gear and techniques from the very beginning.

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 can 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 availableFinance 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.

Students purchasing their own scuba equipment package from us (regulator, computer, buoyancy system) will be issued a Dan’s Dive Shop Gift Certificate in lieu of using our rental gear.  The Gift Card can be used towards your next purchase of training or equipment.

Dan’s is proud to offer the Largest Selection and Best Pricing available on all quality brand name Scuba and Snorkeling Equipment.

DIVE DRY! PADI Open Water Drysuit Diver Upgrade


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

For students wishing to be warmer, drier and more comfortable during open water training dives, students can take advantage of diving dry in a DUI or Santi drysuit and experience how much more fun and enjoyable drysuit diving is. 

Complete your PADI Drysuit Specialty as part of your PADI Open Water Certification Course at a discounted rate of only $175.00+HST above the standard course fee. Includes PADI Drysuit Diver Materials.

Enrich Your Diving and Breath it all in with A PADI Enriched Air Open Water Diver Upgrade


Dive Longer, Feel Better, Upgrade your course to an Enriched Air Nitrox Open Water Course

PADI Enriched Air Nitrox Option for students enrolled in our PADI Open Water Certification Course who would like to have more energy between, during and after diving, Nitrox will wake you up and make you feel better and allow you to gain more bottom time staying down longer underwater. Cost is only $150.00+HST includes nitrox manual, specialty certification card, nitrox tank rentals for open water dives.

Where do I go from here?

Here are some popular courses divers are often interested in taking after your PADI Open Water Certification.

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.

Feb
4
Sun
2018
Florida Springs Trip 2018 @ Luraville
Feb 4 @ 6:00 pm – Feb 10 @ 10:30 am

Florida Springs Trip 2018

Florida Springs Trip 2018 Week 1 is an intensive training week offering expert level training in DPV, Intro to Tech and Cavern Training with Cave & Technical Diving Instructor/Explorer Matt Mandziuk.  If you want to be the best diver possible, this trip is life changing and will improve every aspect of your diving.

Don’t miss out on our SIGNATURE TRAINING TRIP in Florida’s beautiful aquifer in the heart of cave country. Spend an exciting week with us earning your Intro to Tech, DPV and Cavern certifications. It’s an intense but incredibly rewarding week filled with lots of diving in some of the most spectacular and unique dive spots in the world. 

Read  testimonials from past graduates in our Testimonials page and see just how monumental this trip is!

Participate in our NAUI Intro to Tech Class and see that this course is not just for tech divers – it is a foundational skills refinement  course that will dial up your control, problem solving and finesse as you dive in any situation. Our DPV course covers the use of one of the most fun and useful exploratory tools – the diver propulsion vehicle, while our Cavern course will build on your Intro to tech skills dovetailing seamlessly into one another, while exposing you to a magic that few divers experience – the cavern zone of beautiful caves. 

And if you’re looking for greater challenges, CHECK OUT OUR CAVE 1 AND CAVE 2 courses the following weeks. Call or email the shop for more details and make training with us in Florida next February the best decision of your diving adventures!

Lodging and food is only $550 US (based on a group of 6) Course package is only $650 for Intro to Tech, DPV and Cavern Diver Combination Courses.  Sign up today for the most progressive, high skills training experience of your dive career and challenge yourself today. 

For more course information check out our Cave & Technical diving courses section.

To book your accommodations please contact our travel partner:
Kristen Mandziuk-Hardy, Travel Consultant
FCA.logo
kristen.hardy@fcatravel.ca
phone: 905-328-7851, fax: 905-984-2167
http://www.flightcentreassociates.com/KristenHardy
Flight Centre Associates
Head Office: 1 Dundas St W, Suite 200, Rm M, Toronto, ON M5G 1Z3
1-416-368-4221 TICO#50016384

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!