Feb

3

Give the gift of adventure with a Gulf Coast Divers Cash Card!

Load it with any amount and give it as a Gift Card or use it yourself as your scuba shopping card.  Our Adventure Gift cards were a popular stocking stuffer at Christmas, but y’all came up with another use that we didn’t anticipate.  Divers are buying Adventure Cards and reloading them each payday as a way to save towards a new piece of equipment.  “If I keep the cash, I’ll spend it and regret it.  If I put my extra dollars on my gift card, then it is like I am saving towards my scuba system,”  explained Mike.  Great idea, dude.

The Adventure cards can be used to purchase new gear, training, a dive trip, anything…it is like cash. We know how hard it is to buy for a diver, why not make it easy and let them choose what they want? Or encourage friends and family to come and contribute to your Adventure Card rather than buy you a pair of socks that you are going to return to Target anyway.

Christmas, birthdays, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Arbor Day, Just Because Day…any event is a good time to ask for dive gear.

Nov

25

At Gulf Coast Divers, we’re never content with the status quo… continually expanding and improving every product line. That’s why we suggest these “Essentials” line of accessories. Each is perfectly designed to work with your Atomic product to further enhance your diving enjoyment.
Comfort Swivel Hose
A significant innovation for Atomic Aquatics regulator owners, this unique device eliminates cumbersome binding that some divers experience from their second stage. Available in either mirror-polished stainless steel or lightweight Titanium, the Atomic Aquatics “comfort swivel” increases your comfort on every dive! We can install the lightweight Atomic Aquatics Comfort Swivel in less than 20 minutes. Once you dive with it, you’ll wonder why no one else ever thought of this highly comfortable and useful innovation.
Universal Comfort Swivel Hose
One of the most popular innovations for the Atomic Aquatics regulators is now available to fit other regulator brands. The Universal Comfort Swivel will fit virtually any second stage on the market today. If your regulator uses a standard 9/16″-18 low pressure hose fitting as most do, the Universal Comfort Swivel simply replaces your existing hose assembly. Constructed of chrome plated brass and stainless steel.

Dual-silicone Comfort-fit Mouthpiece
Atomic Aquatics’ engineers and award-winning designers are always listening to diver’s requests for product upgrades and enhancements. One such request was for a mouthpiece that would be both durable and comfortable. The result is the popular dual-silicone mouthpiece that was introduced with the M1 regulator. Made from two types of silicone material, this mouthpiece is incredibly durable, yet easily one of the most comfortable mouthpieces a diver will ever use.

Exhaust Deflector
Since the dawn of diving, divers have sought ways to keep exhaust bubbles away from their field of view. Different designs have offered different solutions. But Atomic Aquatics’s latest design, first introduced with the M1, offers a different and effective solution to bubble interference. This new design, one of several Atomic Aquatics innovations first introduced with the popular M1 model, is constructed from two-tone molded material specially-engineered to steer bubbles away from a diver’s face. Extended areas on both sides provide a wider area of dispersal – perfect for allowing a diver to truly enjoy their dives. This upgrade is a must for photographers. Fits all Atomic second stage models.
M1 Stainless Steel Cave Ring
An important accessory for cave divers, the Atomic Aquatics Cave Ring is designed to work with the M1 regulator. This important tool allows divers to disassemble their regulators underwater during a dive to clean out sand and sediment. Made from stainless steel, the Atomic Aquatics Cave Ring is another innovation that keeps Atomic Aquatics at the top when it comes to diving technology and performance.  This is a popular upgrade for many spearfisherman, too.  It eliminates that 2nd stage hissing caused by the fast flow of water over the inhalation diaphragm while racing your buddy to the bottom.

Deluxe Padded Regulator Bag
You’ve made a wise investment purchasing an Atomic Aquatics regulator. We want to help you protect your regulator so you can enjoy diving with it for years to come. The Regulator Bag is spacious and built for any model Atomic Aquatics regulator.  I have 2 of these bags.  I use one as a photo bag and the other for a regulator bag with enough extra space to accommodate most of my save-a-dive kit items.

Nov

22

Oceanic VT4.0 – Scuba Diving Magazine Gear of the Year

The Oceanic VT4.0 was featured in the most recent issue of Scuba Diving Magazine and was one of only three dive computers in the whole industry to be awarded with ScubaLab’s coveted Testers Choice, Best Buy and Editor’s Choice designations. The VT4.0′s easy to read display and intuitive menu system have been earning it a great reputation since its release. Oceanic’s patented Dual Algorithm was specially pointed out, a feature that separates Oceanic’s dive computers from the rest. Here’s what they had to say about the VT4.0: “Featuring a wide array of user settings at a reasonable price, ­Oceanic’s new VT 4.0 was an easy ­selection for ­Testers’ Choice. The VT4.0 includes a sweet-looking three-axis digital compass, the ability to monitor up to four transmitters, an intuitive interface and easy-to-read data display. Perhaps most impressive was the ability to change decompression ­algorithms — to make it more ­liberal or ­conservative — in a ­compact wrist-mounted package.”

May

26

As instructors we hear the following question almost daily: What piece of equipment should I buy first? I usually respond by asking a few questions to get an idea what kind of diving they expect to do. The equipment demands vary depending on whether the new diver expects to limit their diving to shallow water, deep diving, spearfishing, cavern/ cave diving, beach diving or travel only. Many pieces of equipment are application specific and others can be configured for different diving conditions.

The short answer to the above question is, “everything”. If you want to be a comfortable, confident diver, then you need to learn to dive on your own gear. I don’t know anyone who is learning to dive, so they can go underwater and fiddle with their equipment. Ideally you want to don your system and then forget about it. Your BC and most of the things attached to it are out of sight when you are wearing it. You want to be able to locate important pieces by feel. That means those items need to be in the same spot all the time. It is similar to the comfort level you have when driving your car. Think about the last time you turned your blinkers on: Did you look for the lever first? How about any of the last 100 times you turned them on? Now think of the last time you drove an unfamiliar vehicle. Everytime I drive my wife’s car (which I’ve driven 100’s of times) it feels less comfortable than my truck, because things are in different places, I can never get the seat adjustment perfect, even my perspective on the road and the view in the mirrors is different.

As divers’ we rely on learned, conditioned responses to react to underwater situations, the less you have to think about the “proper” response and the more you develop and rely on muscle memory, the quicker your response time. This comes in handy when reacting to changing conditions such as grabbing your light to get a quick glimpse of a moray dissappearing in a hole, or grabbing your knife to cut monofilament away. These conditioned responses can even contribute to your safety by being able to quickly respond to another divers “out-of-air” signal.

Comfort and performance work together to contribute to relaxed diving. It is critical to have a scuba system that is sized and styled for your body shape. Most of the innovations in BC’s over the past 10 years have addressed the unique demands of female divers. Weight integration in the vests has become the mainstream design in men’s and women’s BC’s. But it originated with ladies seeking a way to get the dive weights off their hips.

I often hear occasional divers say, ” I can’t justify having my own gear because I only dive once or twice a year.” Most dive professionals will respond, “That is why it is more important for you to have your own system!” The more experienced and comfortable a diver, the less important changes in equipment become. Experienced divers can quickly adapt to whatever gear they are wearing. Novice divers spend their precious few dives a year, just trying to relax and get their mind off gear and into the scenery. If you only get the opportunity to make several dives a year, it becomes more important for you to use the same gear everytime, so some degree of familiarity exists. Plus, many divers don’t totally trust unfamiliar rental gear that you don’t know the service history on or who had it in their mouth last. YUCK!

The added bonus…Divers who own their own scuba system dive more often. This may be because they are more comfortable, therefore, enjoy the dives more so seek out more opportunites to dive. It may be because they have the visual reminder of a gear bag in the garage, that is saying “Let’s Get Wet”. Maybe even a little guilty feeling that they spent the money, so I want to get the most out of my investment.

Whatever the reason, our dive charter captains like to see your initials on your gear, not the dive shops rental number. Ask any divemaster and they’ll agree…Divers who dive with their own, properly fitted gear are better divers. Relax and Enjoy your underwater experience.

Call Gulf Coast Divers @ (251) 342-2970 and speak with a system consultant before your next dive excursion.

Mar

5

Regulators waiting on service

Since the sun has peeked-out and warmed us, we have been getting a flood of pre-season service work and calls for excursions.  Don’t get left on the beach because your gear isn’t ready to jump in.  Every dive manufacturer recommends regular service intervals regardless of use.  Just because you didn’t use your gear much last summer does not mean you can skip servicing. Most manufacturers require annual service or 100 dives, which ever comes first.  O-rings go flat, parts corrode,  and rubber dries and cracks, especially if the gear was not stored with care.  All regulators have dynamic parts that require lubrication to work properly.  As regulators sit in storage, these silicone lubricants dry-out, causing o-rings to roll and tear instead of glide…the result…leaks and free flows.   

NOW  is the time to get your regulator in line for it’s tune up. Our “To Be Done” service wall in the repair room is already overflowing with the regulators and BC’s of the divers that are going to make sure the 2011 diving season does not pass them by. Incoming service orders are increasing daily and will only increase as summer approaches. 

You can start by pulling out all of your gear and giving it a comprehensive check. Look for cracking straps and other deteriorating parts. Clean with warm water to dissolve hidden salt crystals and only use cleaning solutions designed for scuba gear.   I recommend “Sink The Stink” or “MiraZyme” for wetsuits, boots and gloves.  Diver’s Choice B/C Cleaner will freshen, clean and condition the inside of your vest.  Also, replace  batteries in computers, lights and camera gear.  Pull all of your tanks out of the garage and check certification dates and inspect valve outlet for debris (ie. dirt dauber nests).  Most divers will drain stale air and refill with fresh air, even if all inspections are current.  Your scuba system is your life support when underwater, so don’t skimp on your safety.

If you have any questions regarding service call 251-342-2970 and ask for service department, you can speak to one of our full-time service technicians, or bring your gear by the store for an estimate.  When you return to pick up your gear bring your swimsuit and towel and dive in our 15′ deep in-store, heated pool for a skills review.  You don’t want to be “that diver” on the boat who sets his system up backwards, up-side down and twisted.