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  • Buy: Dusol DUSLATE MINI | ATA/BAR Divers

    A Better Dive Slate. Meet the DUSLATE® MINI e-Slate. Sold here. Ships from California USA. The DUSLATE® MINI electronic writing board is an updated solution to traditional—and oftentimes ineffective—underwater writing slates. To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key. Bottom Line Designed for quick communications between divers, the Dusol DUSLATE mini is a sleek and slender electronic replacement for traditional diver writing devices that can be bulky, difficult to read, and nearly impossible to erase underwater. BUY NOW Black Friday Sale thru December 1! Is it just us or do all divers have a dusty bag full of dive gear disappointments ? You know what we mean—all the trinkets and tchotchkes purchased in hopes of transforming our future dive experiences into something beyond magical. ​ For you, maybe it was the latest cutting device, light, fin set, gear keeper or mesh bag that you couldn't do without. In our case, our disappointment bag is rife with underwhelming underwater communications devices: Flat slates, wrist slates, booklets, waterproof note pads; even a tube designed to "talk" into your buddy's ear while submerged! Thankfully, we were recently introduced to the DUSLATE MINI—the world's first electronic writing board for diving . ​ To use the DUSLATE MINI , just start writing on the screen. Anything pointy—like a fingernail—will do, but is best to use the included stylus. To delete the screen, the stylus must contact the round erase button. This function makes sure your screen is not accidentally erased. ​ The DUSLATE MINI is great for quick and simple communications underwater. It is so simple to use that during a recent Open Water training dive, one of our students grabbed the DUSLATE MINI and wrote a question she had without any instruction on how to use it. The black screen generates green writing, which is actually more visible underwater than it is out of water. Check out the YouTube videos of the DUSLATE in action. The DUSLATE MINI will not replace all other underwater notes though. For instance, a comprehensive backup dive plan should still be recorded on a separate slate or notepad. ​ The DUSLATE MINI runs on a standard 3-volt CR1632 Lithium coin battery (~$4.50 for Duracell CR1632 on Amazon.com ), is rated to 197 feet (60 meters), and has a two-year warranty from date of sale. Your DUSLATE MINI includes an orange neoprene case to protect your e-slate while out of the water. For additional products details, see information boxes below. CLICK to Buy DUSLATE MINI $85 + Free Flat Rate USA Shipping Black Friday Sale thru December 1 Designed and manufactured in Russia, the DUSLATE MINI is a relative newcomer to the dive market. It can be purchased directly from the manufacturer , but with international shipping charges, the price for the DUSLATE MINI is at least $100 US. ​ ATA/BAR Divers works directly with manufacturer Dusol to sell the DUSLATE MINI direct to divers in the United States for $90 . The flat rate shipping charge of $5 is for USPS Priority Mail® service to all 50 states and U.S. territories that regularly receive Priority Mail® service. BLACK FRIDAY SALE: $85.00 + FREE USA SHIPPING THRU DECEMBER 1! ​ Whether you are a dive instructor, Divemaster, dive guide or traditional dive buddy, we think the DUSLATE MINI will make a great addition to your dive kit. ​ INTERNATIONAL DIVERS For divers outside of the United States, there are two options for shipping internationally: Please contact us directly—using the form below—for an international shipping quote. For accuracy, please include the complete shipping address including postal code. Complete your purchase using eBay to access their Global Shipping Program. Product Info Description Electronic Writing Board for Diving Product Model: DM2019X Manufacturer: Dusol Country of Origin: Russia Website: http://www.duslate.com Size & Weight Approximate Measurements Overall Size: 5-3/8" x 4" Screen Size: 2-3/4" x 3-3/4" Thickness: 0.3" overall 0.5" at battery compartment Weight: 3.4 oz Components Includes DUSLATE MINI, stylus, stylus coil, case, battery & product info Battery type: 3V CR1632 Lithium Maximum Depth: 197 feet (60 m) Warranty: 2 year from date of sale Contact Us About the DUSLATE MINI Submit We will be in contact shortly about the DUSLATE MINI

  • Scuba Tips & Reviews | ATA/BAR Divers | California

    DUSLATE mini On Sale Here the world's first underwater electronic dive slate GO

  • Toxic Effects of Sunscreen on Coral | ATA/BAR Divers

    Toxic Sunscreens: Impact on Coral Reefs & Other Sea Life Bottom Line Protect yourself from the sun by wearing SPF-rated clothing to decrease the need for sunscreen use. Protect coral reefs and other sea life by avoiding sunscreen products with the active ingredient oxybenzone (benzophenone-3) and a host of other potentially harmful chemicals. Educate fellow divers and students on the impact of sunscreens on the underwater environment. Be a role model and use only sunscreens that are free from harmful ingredients identified by independent researchers. Sunscreens marked “reef safe” may not be! Read the contents label. Use sunscreens that contain non-nano titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. The Problem As open water divers, we find ourselves in the sun a lot, and the regular application of sunscreen has become part of our dive day regimen. But sophisticated sunscreen consumers we were not. Our sunscreen buying “research” started and ended when we found a sale at our favorite big-box retailer. Over the years, sloshing mask water and sweaty brows contaminated our eyeballs with sunscreen lotion applied to our face. The results were anything from stinging eyes to dilated pupils and outright episodes of temporary blindness. Our search for tear-free sun protection made us realize that some of our favorite sunscreen brands actually harm the very coral we dive to enjoy. We clearly had missed the news: Research has shown that Oxybenzone (Benzophenone3) and other common sunscreen ingredients adversely impact the growth of coral, and there is a growing effort to ban sunscreens containing these harmful ingredients. ​ Community Action MEXICO. Along Mexico’s Riviera Maya, aquatic eco-nature parks like Xcaret and Xel-Há confiscate sunscreens from inbound visitors containing ingredients like: Octocrylene Benzophenone Butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane Hexyldecanol cetyl dimethicone methylparaben polyethylene Propylparaben, and Butylcarbamate ​ The park replaces harmful chemical sunscreens with a “biodegradable sunscreen” considered more ecologically friendly. ​ U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS. Sunscreens containing oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene are now banned, according to the Los Angeles Times . ​ BONAIRE. Look for this diving mecca to ban sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate on January 1, 2021 . The Bonaire Island Council approved this measure during a 2018 meeting, according to InfoBonaire . ​ HAWAII. In 2021, Hawaii will prohibit sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. Back in May 2018, the state legislature sent Senate Bill 2571 to the governor for signature. ​ KEY WEST. In Florida, the Key West City Commission voted to ban sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. Read the New York Times story. ​ THAILAND. The country of Thailand has banned sunscreens containing xybenzone, octinoxate, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor or butylparaben. Read the Bankok Post story. ​ PALAU. In 2020, the country of Palau will be the first nation to ban sunscreens deemed caustic to reefs. Palau is considered one of the world's top diving destinations. Read the New York Times article here . ​ AMERICAN NATIONAL PARKS. The National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, published a flyer called Protect Yourself, Protect Your Reef! that outlines the harmful effects of certain chemical sunscreen active ingredients on coral reefs. ​ How You Can Help If you are a diver, dive instructor, or just an adventurous, above-water sun worshiper, become an informed sunscreen consumer. SPREAD THE WORD! You have the chance to educate friends, family, fellow divers and dive operators about this important topic. Start reading sunscreen labels. If the active ingredients have unpronounceable, chemical-sounding names, there is a good chance you could be adversely impacting coral reefs. ​ Look for sunscreens that use active ingredients like non-nano titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. We have had good luck with no-tear face protection during dives using the following brands: ​ Raw Elements Caribbean Solutions Tropical Sands Kinesys Zinc Ointment ​ The Research We will not rewrite the empirical research conducted on this topic; rather, we will point you to solid links on the harm chemical sunscreens can do to our oceans. Please take our warning: SOME SUNSCREENS THAT CLAIM TO REEF SAFE ARE NOT! Some sunscreen manufacturers have gone so far as to fund junk science studies in an effort to debunk scientific research. ​ Downs C.A., Kramarsky-Winter E., Segal R., et al. (2016.) Toxicopathological Effects of the Sunscreen UV Filter,Oxybenzone (Benzophenone3), on Coral Planulae and Cultured Primary Cells and Its Environmental Contamination in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 70(2), 265-288. doi:10.1007/s00244-015-0227-7 [See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26487337 ] Environmental Working Group. (2017.) The Trouble with Sunscreen Chemicals. Retrieved June 3, 2018. [See https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/the-trouble-with-sunscreen-chemicals/] ChemSec SIN List. (2018.) International Chemical Secretariat’s SIN (Substitute It Now) listing for Oxybenzone. Retrieved June 3, 2018. [See http://sinlist.chemsec.org/chemical/131-57-7] ​ Danovaro, R., Bongiorni, L., Corinaldesi, C., Giovannelli, D., Damiani, E., Astolfi, P., … Pusceddu, A. (2008). Sunscreens Cause Coral Bleaching by Promoting Viral Infections. Environmental Health Perspectives, 116(4), 441–447. doi:10.1289/ehp.10966 [See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2291018/ ] Haereticus Environmental Laboratory. (20 Oct. 2015). New Scientific Study Finds Coral Reefs Under Attack from Chemical in Sunscreen Lotions. (Press release). [See http://www.haereticus-lab.org/story_content/ecotox-sunscreen-lotion.pdf] Zafar, H., Ali, A., Ali, J. S., Haq, I. U., & Zia, M. (2016). Effect of ZnO Nanoparticles on Brassica nigra Seedlings and Stem Explants: Growth Dynamics and Antioxidative Response. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7, 535. doi:10.3389/fpls.2016.00535 [See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27148347 ] Zamoiski RD, Cahoon EK, Freedman M, Linet MS. 2015. Self-reported sunscreen use and urinary benzophenone-3 concentrations in the United States: NHANES 2003-2006 and 2009-2012. Environmental Research. 142(Oct): 563-567. [See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26298557 ] ​ Links Ban Toxic Sunscreens National Ocean Service Skincare Chemicals and Coral Reefs ​ Updated 15 November 2021 "A Harmful Mix." Time Magazine Infographic on Oxybenzone.

  • Contact | ATA/BAR Divers

    Contact ATA/BAR Divers kelly@atabardivers.com Tel: +1.805.765.1866 Success! Message received at ATA/BAR Divers. Send

  • SCUBA*tag | atabardivers

    SCUBA*tag is a rugged, 1.5-inch (38mm) anodized red aluminum tag featuring your name (or nickname) on the front side in large letters along with your full name, date of birth (DOB), contact information (phone and email), medical conditions, and emergency contact information on the reverse side. The SCUBA*tag can be affixed to any dive equipment with its stainless steel split ring. Order one SCUBA*tag and get a second, identical SCUBA*tag for free for only $XX.XX! SCUBA*tag Sections The SCUBA*tag has the following assigned sections. When you order your SCUBA*tag , you will be asked to complete each of the defined sections. To order your own SCUBA*tag, please: Review the below information for an explanation of each section of the SCUBA*tag . Complete the online form with information for each section of the SCUBA*tag . Pay for your SCUBA*tags using the convenient PayPal links where you will also let us know where to send your tags. If you are ordering SCUBA*tags in a name other than your own, please note this in your PayPal payment. ​ Customized sections for the SCUBA*tag are also available. Please contact us for special pricing and details. Nickname This is the name that will be displayed in large letters on side 1 of the SCUBA*tag . This side is designed to be facing outward on your worn equipment so that dive crew and dive buddies can recognize you no matter how much dive equipment you have on. Full Name This is the name that will be imprinted on the back side (side 2) of your SCUBA*tag . Date of Birth Engraved on side 2 of the SCUBA*tag , your birthdate (DOB) will be formatted in the day-month-year format, i.e., 25-Dec-1981. Contact Information This section is for your contact information. Typically it includes phone number (in international format, i.e,. +1-213.555.1212 for US numbers) and email address, but any information can be printed in this area up to *** characters. Medical Information The medical information section of your SCUBA*tag can contain any relevant information that might be helpful to dive crew, your dive buddy, or first responders. This section can contain up to *** characters. Emergency Contact The last section of your SCUBA*tag is intended for contact information in case of an emergency. Usually, this will include the name of your emergency contact and their phone number. This section can contain up to ** characters. Order Your Scuba*tags today! One order includes two (2) SCUBA*tags Nickname Full Name Contact Info DOB Medical Info Emergency Contact Comments Submit Request Thank you for your SCUBA*tag information! To complete your order, please make sure to submit payment, below.

  • PADI & HSA Scuba Training | ATA/BAR Divers

    PADI & HSA Scuba Training Members of ATA/BAR Divers are certified diving professionals (instructors/divemasters) with PADI (Professional Association of Scuba Diving Instructors) and HSA (Handicapped Scuba Association). We offer instruction in the area of Ventura County, California, in association with our partner dive shop operators. Our PADI Professionals offer instruction in English and Korean. 한국어에 능통합니다. ​ Our typical course offerings include the following: ​ PADI Open Water Diver PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Handicapped Scuba Association multilevel diver certification (based upon in-water abilities) PADI Enriched Air Diver PADI Night Diver PADI Deep Diver PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy PADI Underwater Navigator PADI ReActivate™ Scuba Refresher Course PADI Search & Recovery Diver PADI Dry Suit Diver PADI Drift Diver PADI Rescue Diver Emergency First Response® (First Aid/CPR) Instruction We pride ourselves in thorough instruction at all levels. Scuba training should never be a speed learning course, but that is what it has become at many dive locations around the world. We are committed to making you a successful and safe diver, and we take our time to make sure you get the most from our courses. We expect you make a similar time commitment of your time, preparation and attention. ​ For example, in a typical Open Water Diver course, plan on spending up to four hours in the classroom, up to 10 hours in the pool, and two full days (up to six open water dives) diving the beautiful Channel Islands. If this level of commitment is not compatible with your schedule, we suggest you seek training elsewhere. ​ Read what our former students have to say about their learning experiences with instructors affiliated with ATA/BAR Divers. To find out about upcoming courses, please contact us .

  • Going Pro | ATA/BAR Divers

    Going Pro: The Road to PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) Have you considered becoming a PADI scuba professional? Becoming a PADI Pro is not a difficult process so long as you prepare yourself properly. If you think you can “wing it,” or take shortcuts to proper preparation, you might be sorely disappointed. In 2015, a few of us at ATA/BAR DIVERS took the challenge and became PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors . We are not going to discuss what the IDC or IE is or what it was like; instead we offer a list of resources we found particularly useful in our successful completion of the PADI scuba instructor curriculum. Study Groups We believe that a key to your future success with the IDC and IE is finding like-minded divers with common goals. Forming an IDC study group was a crucial component to our eventual success. We studied individually for months and spent several weekends together in our study group reviewing material and discussing formulas. Steve Prior We do not know Mr. Prior, but we feel like we do—he’s been “in our lives” for well over a year. Steve is a Platinum Course Director with PADI, and his YouTube postings are literally a buffet for your scuba knowledge-starved brain. He makes confusing subject matter like dive physics and physiology incredibly simple. We highly suggest you subscribe to his YouTube channel—you might want to consider attending his IDC too. If Egypt isn’t around the corner for you, Mr. Prior also offers IDC preparatory distance learning if you need additional help before you tackle your IDC. Utila Dive Centre Another treasure-trove of online learning resides on the Utila Dive Centre’s YouTube channel . Andy Phillips, the late course director at Utila Dive Centre, has a multi-part series on the PADI Divemaster and Instructor “24 skills circuit,” among other excellent training videos. As part of the IDC and IE, you must be able to demonstrate all 24 required skills, and this is a great way to hone these necessary instructional techniques. Scuba Nashville Having a problem with your dive tables? Check out Scuba Nashville’s YouTube video series and you will be up-to-speed on complex RDP use in no time at all. A great resource. IDC-Guide.com This site is supported by a number of IDCs, some of which have already been mentioned here. Some very good study materials and sample IDC tests. Instructor Development Course As assistant instructors, we needed to complete OWSI training (OWSI is a subcomponent of IDC, but referred to as “IDC” here—click here for a full explanation if you need clarification) to be eligible to sit for the PADI Instructor Examination (IE). Our IDC instructor was PADI Course Director Perry Boyer. (Visit Perry’s Facebook page, RUADiver, here .) Perry brought all of the PADI concepts into focus. He oozes enthusiasm for diving and the greater scuba industry. The OWSI class was conducted over five consecutive days with classroom, confined water, and open water sessions lasting over 13 hours (not including homework) on most days. Although the class was grueling at times, our journey to the IE at PADI world headquarters in Rancho Santa Margarita would not have been as successful without his expert tutelage. We could not offer a more positive endorsement for Captain Perry Boyer.

  • Equipment Reviews | ATA/BAR Divers

    Scuba Equipment Reviews We love to dive, and our goal is to share information about scuba diving equipment. The opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the founding members of ATA/BAR Divers and do not reflect the opinion of dive operators we may be affiliated with. Our orientation is a positive one that promotes the good things in diving; we do not dwell on the bad. But occasionally, our experience may be less-than-acceptable with a product or service—and we will share that with our readers. Experiences can be different depending on the divers involved. We offer you our opinions on our experiences; we do not offer a forum to voice differing opinions on our postings. We welcome you to post differing opinions at other sites. Product Review: TAC Non-Military Fin Do these fins even work? That was our first impression of the TAC fins when they showed up at the door. It is smaller and lighter than any fin you've experienced. Product Review: Defiant XT Fin The Defiant XT provides a booted foot with a solid platform to work with. With its comfortable but firm foot pocket grasp, my foot and the Defiant become one. Product Review: The $5 Flashlight Sold by dozens of eBay retailers and frequently labeled "Shallow Light," how does this $5 US flashlight hold up under real diving conditions? We tested it out. Review: DGX Rio Gauge Reader Mask If you are grappling with the close-up vision limitations of being a mature diver, there is an inexpensive and effective solution for your older eyes underwater. Cheap & Easy Image Editing Try GIMP! A free and easy software fix for your underwater digital images is just a download away. Review: Olympus TG-4 Camera Looking for a low-cost digital video and still camera with exceptional features to chronicle your underwater experiences? Your search might be over with the TG-4. Product Review: Scurfa Watches The Scurfa Diver One is a reasonably priced, solid, classic dive watch that will turn heads on your next boat trip. Product Review: Dryrobe ® Dryrobe® : A solution to changing out of cold, wet gear when few privacy options are available. Product Review: $4 Wet Notes Pad Check out this inexpensive solution to taking important notes underwater. Avoid paying $30 or more for products designed and customized for divers. Review & For Sale: DUSLATE mini Designed for quick communications between divers, the Dusol DUSLATE mini is the world's first electronic writing board ("e-slate") for diving.

  • About | ATA/BAR Divers

    About | Terms of Use | Feedback from Students | Join Us WHO IS ATABARDIVERS.COM? Thank you for visiting atabardivers.com , the official website of ATA/BAR DIVERS . We are an informal group of American multilingual PADI dive professionals. We offer instruction and support in English and Korean (한국어에 능통합니다) at affiliated dive centers in Southern California. ATA/BAR DIVERS does not offer membership but we do offer advice , educational and travel opportunities ; we also share experiences and camaraderie within the greater diving community. Our name is a fun play on diving terms. While we have been known to be "Divers-at-a-Bar" after some of our underwater adventures (for post-dive briefing purposes, of course!), this is not our focus. Our name reflects important concepts in diving: (1) “ata” (atmospheres absolute) and, (2) “bar” (a metric unit of pressure roughly equivalent to one atmosphere). We do not condone drinking alcoholic beverages before or while diving, but we do like to have fun. AUDIENCE ATA/BAR DIVERS target audience are mature, mid- and post-career professionals who are experienced in—and passionate about—our underwater world. While we like children (and even have a few of our own), our dive experiences are not always family-friendly. For this reason, unless specifically noted, our dive outings do not include those divers under the age of 21 years. We are not tec-divers, but we are experienced divers. For the greater good of the group, you should be an experienced diver too. If you are not already certified as an Advanced Open Water Diver , please consider this important training before you travel with us so you can keep up with our escapades. AFFILIATION As PADI Pros, the founding members of atabardivers.com hold the PADI professional designation of Assistant Instructor or Open Water Scuba Instructor . We are also Emergency First Response instructors. We hope to see you in a scuba or EFR class soon! We offer instruction in English, Hungarian, and Korean. GOALS & OPINIONS We love to dive, and our goal is to share information about scuba diving, from equipment and training to dive destinations and operators. The opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the founding members of atabardivers.com and do not reflect the opinion of dive operators we may be affiliated with. Our orientation is a positive one that promotes the good things in diving; we do not dwell on the bad. But occasionally, our experience may be less-than-acceptable with a product or a service—and we will share that with our readers. Experiences can be different depending on the divers involved. We offer you our opinions on our experiences; we do not offer a forum to voice differing opinions on our postings. We welcome you to post differing opinions at other sites. IMAGERY & TERMS OF USE Unless otherwise noted, the images or videos posted on this site are copyrighted by atabardivers.com and cannot be used or transmitted without the express written permission of atabardivers.com. DIVERS-AT-A-BAR (DaaB) PHOTOS We dare our diving colleagues to send us their best “Divers-at-a Bar ” (DaaB) photos. To be a eligible for posting on our site, the photo must depict: (1) Divers of drinking age, (2) In a bar, and (3) Wearing dive gear [and other appropriate clothing, of course]. Minimally acceptable “dive gear” is a mask and snorkel, but the more dive gear worn the better! Please include details of the photograph including date, location, and participating diver names. By submitting DaaB imagery, you certify you are the copyright holder of the image and grant atabardivers.com permission to post the image royalty-free on its website. FEEDBACK FROM OUR STUDENTS What former scuba students have said about the training provided by the PADI Pros associated with ATA/BAR DIVERS : ​ Maui was great. It was beautiful and a lot of fun. [My husband] and I went diving it was amazing. We encountered beautiful colored fish along with baby turtles. Also, I stayed off [the] sea bottom [!] Thank you for the hard love. I couldn't have done it without you ❤ and tell your husband I remember to turn on my air lol. I enjoyed your class and learned a lot would not change a thing. Anyone that takes your class will learn alot and enjoy 😉 diving for life. ​ . . . ​ I just wanted to take a minute to express my gratitude for the incredible experience I had while attending your open water course and getting my diver certification. You both were not only professional in the delivery of instruction but extended yourselves by providing a high level of patience and personalized attention to each student. I would highly recommend both of you to anyone interested in pursuing diving... I think you are all awesome people and instructors and I look forward to not only the next dive but the opportunity to advance to the next level. ​ . . . ​ Wow, I had such a wonderful time, honestly don't think I could have experienced my scuba with a better couple of instructors. So glad to call you both my personal teachers. ​ . . . ​ We had a great experience in the classroom, covering the book material and in the pool. You made the pool time enjoyable and gave us the confidence and skills to feel comfortable on the boat. On the boat you made us feel comfortable and confident as we performed out requirements. We had a great experience and really enjoyed working with you, you all were super helpful and upbeat. My son and I are planning on continuing our dive education. ​ . . . ​ OMG! Thank you both. It’s rare to have such an experience with such people! I hope that every bubble that is exhaled and floats gently to the sun, from your students, brings you satisfaction and happiness – I know that we will think of you – and the kindness and love we felt – with every bubble and exhale :-) thank you. ​ . . . ​ Thank you so much for all the time you spent teaching me how to dive. This has been the most amazing experience and I am so thankful to have had you as my teacher! Your humor and positive vibes truly put the cherry on top of this whole learning process. You're an amazing teacher. Thank you, thank you, thank you! ​ . . . ​ Thank you so much for last weekend. It was a fantastic experience, and I learned a great deal from you... I can't wait to get back in the water and thank you again for helping make this experience so [cool]. ​ . . . ​ Thank you for all you did these past weeks. You not only taught us well, you made it fun! I enjoyed your sense of humor, it's twisted like mine! Your stories of your experiences we're great also... Being the Old Guard of the bunch, you made me feel very comfortable and at ease. I am sure our paths will cross in the near future. ​ . . . ​ I just received your recent Diver Roll Call email and it compelled me to reach back out to you. I started my scuba journey by attending your open water course about a year ago, last July. Since then, I've done about 11 more dives and also got my Advanced Open Water certification while abroad in Indonesia. Having started my diving in the Channel Islands, it really surprised me how different tropical/warm water diving was and really helped build an appreciation for the training I had and the conditions for which I learned (e.g. colder water, strong currents, lower visibility). So first of all, I just wanted to thank you again for the awesome instruction... Anyways, long story short, I don't think I would have had nearly as good of a time on my trip if I didn't have the training that you provided. My friend, who was certified in Northern California, had a less than ideal Open Water training, and it actually showed as he did not seem nearly as comfortable or confident in the water. After sharing our stories, it was evident that I received the higher quality training. So thank you for that and I apologize for waiting a year to share that with you! ​ . . . ​ Thank you both so much for the wonderful experience. You both have made the learning experience far greater than I could have ever imagined. You both have shown me a wonderful world I have never known fully about, so I just want to thank you both so much for everything. Wonderful, wonderful experience... ​ ​ JOIN US Would you like to join the atabardivers.com email list or join one of our classes? Please contact us . We will send you an occasional email about upcoming events and posts. We communicate fluently in Korean. 한국어에 능통합니다. ​

  • Review: Fortress Clothing | ATA/BAR Divers

    Fortress Clothing® Xsssss Bottom Line Xxxxxxx During an airing of ABC’s Shark Tank , our attention was drawn to a pitch on Episode 10, Season 11 when a video played of a man plunging himself into an ice hole . What was most intriguing was how quickly he claimed to recover from that bone-chilling experience. ​ The man taking the icy dip through a frozen lake hole wore apparel from Fortress Clothing®, a Utah-based company whose slogan is Warm to the Core™. Fortress Clothing describes itself as “… an outdoor clothing brand that keeps your core warm, even when you’re wet,” (https://fortressclothing.com/about/ ) and claims “we found a way to keep you warm even when wet” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeqeVFDRHyA ). As divers, our immediate thought was if this clothing line had an application in the underwater environment. The Fortress Clothing website focuses on outdoor enthusiasts, snow sport athletes, industrial workers, public safety, military personnel & preppers. What about the diving sector? We reached out to the company and corresponded with Dale Lewis, President of Fortress All Weather Gear. According to Dale, the company has a number of drysuit divers using Classic (½-inch insulation) Fortress Clothing apparel as undergarments and have reported “great success.” We had to find out for ourselves. Without much delay, our first Fortress apparel arrived. For our first boat dive outing, we tried the Base Pro 1/4 Zip as a surface interval warm-up top for the wetsuit diver and the Base Pro Crew as undergarment top for the drysuit diver. For those not familiar with Southern California diving: It can be an uncomfortable experience, with ocean temperatures dipping into the low 50s in wintertime. Depending on air temperature, it is not unusual for there to be little respite from the cold. Scuba parkas provide little relief for wetsuit divers during surface intervals and dry suit undergarments are known to quickly become uncomfortable with the smallest of seal leaks. Here are how are tests turned out: Wetsuit Test With water temperatures hovering at 57°F and air temperature in the mid-60s, warming up between dives with a wetsuit is usually a challenge. After exiting the water, our male divers stripped his 7/8 mm wetsuit down to the waist. The Base Pro 1/4 Zip was pulled on and it immediately began warming the chest, stomach, back, and arms. During the standard 60-minute surface interval, core temperatures returned to normal—which was a pleasantly unique experience. The only wish was to try out the Fortress gloves to make chilly hands warmer! The collar design on the Base Pro 1/4 Zip makes it impractical for use under a wetsuit. The long sleeves defeat the internal dams built in the arms of most semidry wetsuits. A vest might make for a good insulating layer for wetsuit divers. Drysuit Test Used as the only undergarment top with the Waterproof D1 Hybrid, the Base Pro Crew proved to handle a leaky neck seal wonderfully. The outer portion of the top was wet to the touch, but the water wicked away from the inside leaving the diver dry and warm. She was not aware of the neck leak until after the dive when it was evident the outer portion of the top was wet. On a second boat trip, the diver used the same configuration, but this time, a much larger slug of water—about a cup—entered the neck seal. The diver felt the water enter her drysuit but her skin stayed dry throughout the dive. This is not like most drysuit undergarments that get wet and cold with any type of leak. Other characteristics: Buoyancy & Fit Fortress Clothing items have slight positive buoyancy. When fully saturated, the Base Pro Crew floated at the surface of a freshwater pool. Adding one pound caused the top to sink. As a drysuit undergarment, the diver added one pound to her weights to compensate for the Base Pro Crew buoyant characteristics in ocean water. ​ The Fortress apparel sizing chart was accurate for us. Drysuits like the Waterproof D-1 are loose-fitting and less-snug undergarments work acceptably, but if you wear a neoprene drysuit, you might want to consider going a size smaller in tops to ensure a snug fit under an equally snug overgarment. Next Tests In cold water (<60°F): Wear the Classic Vest under a wetsuit to see if the vest enhances core warmth retention and/or shortens surface interval recovery time. In tepid water (~75°F): Wear the Classic Vest over a long sleeve rash guard (no wetsuit) to determine if the vest enhances core warmth retention and/or shortens surface interval recovery time.