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  • ATA/BAR Divers | PADI Dry Suit Specialty Diver Courses

    PADI Dry Suit Specialty Diver Course As a courtesy to local diving enthusiasts and potential scuba students, we offer this list of scuba class courses and schedules. These links reflect the latest information available from the noted PADI training facility on each class page. ATA/BAR Divers does not make or accept training class reservations. Please call or visit the respective PADI training facility to sign-up for classes. Prices subject to change —and classes subject to cancellation —without notice.

  • ATA/BAR Divers | PADI Open Water Diver Course

    PADI Open Water Diver Course As a courtesy to local diving enthusiasts and potential scuba students, we offer this list of scuba class courses and schedules. These links reflect the latest information available from the noted PADI training facility on each class page. ATA/BAR Divers does not make or accept training class reservations. Please call or visit the respective PADI training facility to sign-up for classes. Prices subject to change —and classes subject to cancellation —without notice.

  • Destinations | ATA/BAR Divers

    Reviews: Dive Destinations We love to dive and our goal is to share information about dive destinations and operators. The opinions expressed on this website are solely those of us at ATA/BAR DIVERS and do not reflect the opinion of dive operators we may be affiliated with. G&G's Cleawater Paradise Resort Guanaja, Bay Islands, Honduras Bottom Line G & G’s Clearwater Paradise Resort is a full-service dive operation that offers exceptional dining, comfortable accommodations, and unique underwater topographies for experienced divers on the island of Guanaja, Honduras. ​ The Longer Story Good friends own a boat and take you diving with them. Great friends live on an island, cook gourmet meals, own a boat and a secluded home with eight guest rooms, and take you diving with them. You need to meet these great friends you didn’t know you had on the island of Guanaja. [...more...] CoCo View Resort Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras Bottom Line CoCo View Resort is a well-oiled, all-inclusive dive center where nothing is left to chance. The grounds: beautifully manicured. Rooms: spacious and comfortable. Buffets: ample, tasty food at every meal. Shore dives, dive spots, boats, and staff are all exceptional. This place has a loyal following, and for good reason. ​ The Longer Story During the Fall of 2016, a group of eight California divers made their first trip to the revered CoCo View Resort on Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras. A shuttle van transported us about 20 minutes from the Roatan Airport to a small... [...more...] Beyond Diving Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico Bottom Line Every accomplished diver should put cenotes diving on their underwater destination bucket list, and Beyond Diving Dive Center offers exceptional service and support to make your diving-centric stay on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula an enjoyable one. ​ The Longer Story In April 2015, a foursome of ATA/BAR DIVERS couldn’t resist a last-minute trip Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We stayed at the St. Martin Boutique Hotel and transport from the Cancun Airport was handled by Cancun Transfers USA . That was the easy part... [...more...] Horizon Divers Key Largo, Florida Bottom Line Located on US-1 (Overseas Highway) in Key Largo, Horizon Divers is a PADI 5-star IDC offering top-notch training from Open Water Diver to technical diving specialties like PADI Tec 40-50, trimix, rebreather, and advanced wreck. Horizon Divers is a rare find for tec divers in the Keys as its regular boat trips to wrecks offer single location, 2-hour+ gates that allow for plenty of bottom and deco time. ​ Whether you are a recreational diver searching for the next great challenge or a diving professional looking to deepen your skills and course offerings, Horizon Divers has curricula to meet your specific needs. Certified training agency affiliations include SDI, TDI, IANTD, and PADI. ​ Horizon has three boats and offers multi-trip discounts, trimix gas refills, and supports the needs of CCR divers.

  • Don't Forget BWRAF! | ATA/BAR Divers

    BWRAF: A Check Buddies Cannot Skip Bottom Line : Conducting a Buddy Check (also known as a Pre-Dive Safety Check) should never be considered an option for dive buddies. The check can avoid needless problems during a dive and offers familiarity with your buddy's gear in case unusual circumstances occur. What is wrong with this picture?* ​ We have concealed the identity of this veteran diver so he does not suffer deserving embarrassment among his esteemed diving colleagues for failing to complete a Buddy Check! At a top foreign dive destination, this diver was far too excited to get into the water to waste time checking his buddy’s gear and visa-versa. A standard Buddy Check —also known as a Pre-Dive Safety Check —would have caught this issue (*a loose cylinder strap) at the very start using the PADI Buddy Check acronym BWRAF. With a little patience, a Buddy Check can eliminate potential problems before a dive’s start, and the example list is endless: Tangled hoses; no weights; weights not secured; leaking BCD; air valve not turned on; no mask; no fins; octopus dangling, or primary second stage not accessible. On a recent dive trip, an inexperienced diver jumped into the water only to discover her low-pressure inflator (LPI) was inoperable. Rather than calmly inflating her BCD orally, she panicked and kicked-off her fins. Her equally inexperienced dive buddy didn’t know how to make her positively buoyant either and the screams for help quickly followed. A proper Buddy Check would have discovered her LPI hose was not properly attached to the valve and this emergency could have been avoided. And finally, a Buddy Check gives you familiarity with your buddy’s dive equipment, such as BCD and weight pocket releases, and redundant air supply operation—all important information in case of an emergency. (You can learn more about handling emergencies in PADI’s Rescue Diver Course .) Whether you are a veteran or student diver, conducting a proper Buddy Check, be it BWRAF , SEABAG , or BAR , is not optional! If you can’t remember the finer points of the Pre-Dive Safety Check , head over to YouTube where Utila Diver Centre Course Director Andy Phillips shows you how to conduct a thorough Pre-Dive Safety Check . (By using this link , the 14-minute instructional video starts automatically at 5:22, but you are encourage to watch it in its entirety). This video is Part 1 in a series designed for PADI Pros, but any diver can benefit from watching Andy do the IDC skills circuit. Check out more videos from the Utila Dive Centre on their YouTube Channel .

  • ATA/BAR Divers | Divers-at-a-Bar (DaaB)

    Divers-at-a-Bar (DaaB) Photos We are not just divers at a bar, but we can be that too. 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 permission to post the image royalty-free on its website. "DIVE BAR" To get things started, we thought you would enjoy this original artwork by Ray Troll , which is available at the Ray Troll Web Store . The image below ("Dive Bar") is available for purchase in a variety of formats, but make sure to check out the rest of his very unique artwork. Dive Bar © Ray Troll. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

  • ATA/BAR Diver | PADI Enriched Air Diver Specialty Course

    PADI Enriched Air Diver Specialty Course As a courtesy to local diving enthusiasts and potential scuba students, we offer this list of scuba class courses and schedules. These links reflect the latest information available from the noted PADI training facility on each class page. ATA/BAR Divers does not make or accept training class reservations. Please call or visit the respective PADI training facility to sign-up for classes. Prices subject to change —and classes subject to cancellation —without notice.

  • Copy of Indigo Industries TAC Fin | atabardivers

    Do These Fins Even Work? Indigo Industries proves—once again—that a small fin can do big things underwater. Meet the shorter and lighter TAC Non-Military fin. Bottom Line How short and light can a scuba fin go and still maintain a high level of performance? INDIGO INDUSTRIES pushes the envelope and delivers with the TAC Non-Military fins. Bigger is not always better, and a scuba gear company you may not yet know is out to prove that very point by pushing the boundaries of conventional scuba diving equipment with their latest offering: The TAC Non-Military fin . We have written about INDIGO INDUSTRIES and their innovative fin, the Defiant XT, before. If you are not familiar with our backstory on the Defiant XT, please check it out here . Figure 1. Twin Jets (left), Defiant XT (center), and TAC Non-Military (right). Indigo Industries TAC Non-Military Maximum Length: 18.5 inches Maximum Fin Width: 11 inches Centerline Length: 17 inches Weight: 2 lb 2.2 oz each fin with Indigo spring strap Scubapro Twin Jets Maximum Length: 24.75 inches Maximum Fin Width: 10 inches Centerline Length: 24.75 inches Weight: 2 lb 12.5 oz each fin with third-party spring strap Indigo Industries Defiant XT Maximum Length: 20.5 inches Maximum Fin Width: 10 inches Centerline Length: 19 inches Weight: 2 lb 7.5 oz each fin with Indigo spring strap We've been diving the Defiant XT since its introduction to the dive market, and for reasons described elsewhere, we love them. Then came along the TAC... We had to try a pair out. ​ When the TACs arrived, our first impression was "Do these fins even work?" The TAC fins are two inches shorter, one inch wider, and five ounces lighter (per fin) than its older sibling, the Defiant XT. Compared to the venerable Scubapro Twin Jets, the TAC is over six inches shorter and 10.3 oz lighter (per fin). INDIGO INDUSTRIES fins get some interesting looks on the dive boat and underwater, and for good reason: We can't think of another dive fin on the market that casts a similar shadow. Indeed, INDIGO's fins have broken the mold when it comes to what a dive fin can look like while still performing like its larger counterparts. ​ ​ The TAC and Defiant XT perform similarly. Propulsion and maneuverability are comparable. The TAC fin is negatively buoyant but its lighter characteristics were immediately noticeable; a quick modification in body position addressed this difference easily. ​ We found the bottoms of the new TACs to be quite slippery on the boat deck. For this reason, we suggest roughing the bottom up across the boat deck, concrete, asphalt, or some other surface in order to remove the slick sheen. ​ INDIGO's new spring straps worked well. The strap holds the fin firmly in place. ​ Used with a size 14 Henderson 5 mm Molded Sole Gripper Boot , we found the TAC fin pocket to be tight, which is helpful when avoiding unnecessary midfoot flexion. But we could not get the foot pocket to fit a new pair of size 14 ​Henderson 7 mm Quick Dry Aqualock Boots . ​ We will continue diving with the TAC Non-Military fin and look forward to trying out one of INDIGO's latest offerings: The Bionic AF Omin-Directional Carbon Fiber Standard fin . Figure 2. Defiant XT (left) and TAC Non-Military. Figure 3. TAC Non-Military with Indigo spring strap.

  • $4 Wet Notes Pad | ATA/BAR Divers

    $4 Wet Notes Pad The WEATHERMAX All Weather Notepad Works Well Bottom Line If you need to take notes into the water but don't want to spend big money on a custom diver's underwater notepad, consider this under $4 alternative. Need to take notes underwater but don’t want to pay $30 or more for a custom solution designed exclusively for divers? Check out the WeatherMax™ All-Weather Notepad. We recently used this notepad to jot down tec dive gas plans. Wrist slates have been a disappointment in the past; pencil notes can easily smear making important notations illegible. Larger slates and specialized diver notepads are cumbersome and can be overkill. ​ Measuring 6” x 3” the WeatherMax looks like any other pocket-sized notepad except this one works underwater, and it works well. ​ After nearly a dozen deep, long dives, below is what our original gas management plan notes looked like. The notes were made with a regular pencil at the surface. No smearing and a high contrast between paper and pencil marks. Notes can be erased using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser pad. ​ The WeatherMax™ All-Weather Notepad is available at Lowe’s and other retailers for under $4.

  • Magnifying Glass: Bring Your Diving Into Focus | ATA/BAR Divers

    Magnifying Glass: Brings Your Dives Into Focus Bottom Line The eyes of any age diver can benefit from a simple magnifying glass. Macrolife viewing or any life viewing, it doesn't matter! Adding a magnifying glass to your dive kit will bring your underwater adventures into focus. No matter how old your eyes might be, bringing along a magnifying glass on your next dive outing will bring into focus a new dimension of our underwater world. On a trip to Roatan, Honduras, we first noticed this equipment addition on divers of a certain age (60+), but even younger divers can benefit from this inexpensive piece of equipment. Weight of the glass and bolt snap is negligible. In this example, the magnifying glass, bolt snap and split ring can be easily clipped to a BCD D-ring or stowed in a gear pocket. This particular magnifying glass has a plastic handle and a glass lens (to reduce incidental scratches but does increase weight ever-so-slightly). It is wide enough to allow divers to use both eyes to view small creatures. Smaller, circular magnifying glasses might require only one eye. ​ Especially when it comes to macro-life, a magnifying glass can be a benefit to divers of any age!

  • Review: DGX Gears Gauge Reader Masks | ATA/BAR Divers

    Inexpensive & Effective Vision-correcting DGX Gauge Reader Masks Bottom Line 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. Check out the DGX Gears Rio Gauge Reader Mask from Dive Gear Express. UPDATE: Comparing DGX Gears Ren v. Rio gauge reader masks. The time had finally come. Reading instructor slates—let alone the beloved Shearwater Perdix AI (in spite of its big and bright display)—had become too difficult for these 60-something year-old eyes. Similarly-aged dive buddies had nothing good to say about stick-on reader lenses, and custom-built prescription scuba masks seemed unreasonably expensive, so the decision was to just deal with it… until it became impossible to do so. ​ Stumbling upon vision correcting masks at Dive Gear Express ( ) was a fluke. The real shopping mission was to purchase long, double-braided flex hoses. Being a past DGX customer, I felt comfortable with the quality of their gear portfolio and am regularly pleased with pricing, so I examined their mask offerings closely. ​ It didn’t take long to review their line of corrective vision masks and settle in on the DGX Gears Rio Gauge Reader Mask . The term “gauge reader” escaped me until I wore the mask underwater. Just like DGX states, the corrective lenses allow you to “read your SPG but offers clear sight at distances.” In other words, you won't be reading a novel underwater with this lens design, but a glance at a gauge or computer is what they are designed for. Indeed, the corrective portions of the mask lenses have a distinctively low profile, which is contrary to most stick-on lenses that tend to distort distance vision and is a chief complaint among new users. ​ How does the Rio work? Quite well actually. The lenses are all-but-unnoticeable during regular viewing of distant objects. When it’s time to focus on a computer screen, gauge, or recite from instructor slates, a downwards glance brings the formerly fuzzy digits of my Perdix and my backup SPG into crisp focus. Instructional slate reading? I found using a single eye (focusing downward and outward) works best, but that might change with additional use and experience. The mask fit is comfortable for my larger face. And with a price of $49.95 (as of this writing), the mask is a reasonable deal, corrective lenses or not. ​ Get to Know Dive Gear Express ​ If you are not familiar with Dive Gear Express, you should be. DGX offers good products at exceptional price points.* They also have some great “Tek Tips” throughout their site, including on the Rio Gauge Reader Mask product page , where the company discusses how to order the right prescription lenses at length. (Ever wonder if a black dive mask is best? They have a Tek Tip on that too!) Finally, if you are getting out your scrounging up a cigarette lighter, toothpaste or Soft Scrub in anticipation of “prepping” your new DGX mask, think again and review the DGX warning here . Just like the company says, you won’t have any problems with mask fogging with a simple rinse of baby shampoo or other defogging agent before your dive, so no "mask prepping" required . ​ Update: DGX Gears Ren v. DGX Gear Rio Gauge Reader Masks ​ If you visit the DGX vision correcting masks webpage , understand there are two types of masks available for purchase: "vision correcting" masks and "gauge reader" masks. "Gauge reader" masks are discussed here; "vision correcting" masks are more like conventional eyeglasses with their entire lens corrected for vision. 1/1 The descriptions of each gauge reader mask is available on the product webpage. As written by Dive Gear Express, the Ren is designed to fit "narrow and standard faces," while the Rio "fits most medium to wide faces." We purchased both masks for a side-by-side comparison (click images to enlarge view): The Rio fits medium/large faces while the Ren fits smaller/narrower faces The nose pocket on the Ren is smaller than the Rio. Overall width of the masks are similar. Skirting of the Ren is slightly larger than the Rio. Water volume comparison: Rio holds <1/8 cup more than the Ren. Masks straps appear to be identical. Mask buckles look identical. They operate easily allowing for quick adjustments and provide a firm grip of the strap. ​ * ATA/BAR DIVERS are not compensated spokespersons for DGX. We are just happy customers.