What does it mean to become an Advanced Open Water Diver?

This is your year   By Steve Bowles President of Buckeye Scuba Cleveland, Ohio       What does it mean to become an “Advanced Open Water Diver”? It means a commitment to dive, it means commitment to owning a total diving system and it means taking more classes. All of these things together begin you down the path to becoming an advanced diver. So many times I hear people say “I need to get my advanced open water card”. I always cringe when I hear this because I know what it means. Most people end up taking a weekend program with a pre canned program where they get a taste of few specialties but don’t really get “ADVANCED TRAINING”. I hear them say “I want to dive a deep wreck” or they are going to a resort that requires the advance open water card so they can do a night dive. I think you should want the advanced open water rating to better yourself and not just because you need it to dive a wreck or do a night dive. If you really want to become and Advance Open Water Diver here are things that will benefit your understanding. First you have to dive. It does not matter how many classes you have taken if you are sitting at home talking about it or texting your friends we should dive that’s not getting it done. We have to pen dates on the calendar and commit to going diving. Make it a goal to plan in two trips a year and several weekends for local diving. Setting goals not...
Old dive gear, how old is too old?

Old dive gear, how old is too old?

“Is this scuba gear too old?” That is a question I am frequently asked and there is never one single perfect answer. The reality is that scuba gear does not last forever. Just like that leisure suit in your closet or those pair of Jelly Sandals from the 80’s, they were fashionable then but not so much now.  Obviously its not about fashion but functionality.  Dive equipment has seriously evolved in the last 20 years.  I try to work with everyone and salvage what we can but sometimes it OK to retire that old tired piece of gear. This January the trip to Bonaire showed me that sometimes you just need to upgrade or replace something that is too old. There were divers who used to travel with Buckeye regularly, but life happened and they’ve not been diving for about a decade. In advance of this trip, they pulled out their gear and low and behold, things weren’t working like they used to. Here’ the list of what had to be replaced: • light bulbs in flashlight • missing gasket on the BCD • power inflator • computer failure • Non-weight integrated BCD’s • Bulky Gear It is essential to get into the water prior to a trip.  I don’t mean the week before you leave either.  If you are spending good money on a vacation you need to spend a little time a few months in advance to try your old gear out and see if all systems are solid. Get in the pool with your local dive center or with PDR during a class to check out...