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  • Review: G&G's Clearwater Paradise Resort | ATA/BAR Divers

    Review: G&G's Clearwater Paradise Resort 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. Guanaja is the lesser traveled* sister island of Roatan and Utila , collectively known as the Bay Islands of Honduras . And your new friends? They await you at G & G’s Clearwater Paradise Resort , located on the island’s sparsely populated north side near Mangrove Bight. George and Ginger are the “G and G” at Clearwater Paradise Resort (CPR), a custom-built, three-story, 9,000 square foot home with eight guest rooms that is nestled among lush foliage on a slope not far from the dock that moors your only effective method of island transportation. Our foursome of PADI Pros visited CPR in October 2016. We first learned of this secluded* dive destination during a happenstance meeting with George in 2014 at DEMA , a dive industry trade show. Two years later, our little group arrived without knowing anyone who had visited Guanaja before. Our primary draw to CPR was George himself; an engaging fellow with decades of diving experience who chased his dream to a tiny island where Ginger and he built CPR from scratch. We wanted to go diving with this guy… And dive we certainly did, but the incomparable dive sites around Guanaja is only part of the story. Our flight to Guanaja originated in Roatan where a larger contingent of divers spent the previous week at CoCo View Resort , a fine dive operation in its own right. After a mainland connecting flight aboard an Aerolínea Lanhsa Jetstream 31 twin-turboprop at La Cieba’s Golosón International Airport, we arrived at the tiny Guanaja Airport and were greeted by George and his boat crew who ferried us to CPR in a well-equipped, multipurpose 43-foot Wellcraft Portofino cabin cruiser that can comfortably accommodate deep sea fishing trips or divers alike. It is difficult to categorize CPR. It is unlike any other all-inclusive dive operation at top destinations like Grand Cayman, Bonaire, Roatan or Utila. CPR is akin to a bed and breakfast where you share a home with your hosts. Nature is all around you, so if you don’t like "nature" (i.e. humidity and heat and things that fly and crawl and sometimes nibble and bite—none of which are unique to Guanaja), or stair steps, or dogs, or cats, or hummingbirds, or bats, or geckos, or blue crabs—all of which are prevalent on the property—you might consider other options. During our stay, there was no television and Wi-Fi access was sporadic. The separation between guests, staff and hosts is what you would expect at any B&B. Remember that this place is remote*—there is no pedestrian access to anything, so unless you take up G & G on their offer of a ride into “town” (Mangrove Bight or elsewhere) on a boat to check things out, or commission a waterfall expedition with one of their staff, your universe for the entirety of your stay is the beautifully manicured grounds of CPR… And that was just fine with us! The food was outstanding and was freshly prepared for each meal. There is no buffet; every meal is plated. Snacks after dives were not uncommon. No meal was repeated the entire week. If you wanted more, you need only ask. Special dietary requirements need to be addressed prior to your arrival as there is no corner grocery store for last minute requests. CPR offers a full bar, which is reasonably priced, but alcohol is only available after the last dive of the day. And the bottomless jar of homemade cookies cannot be ignored. Oh, and then there is the diving… New and marginal divers beware! Some destinations may not be suitable for you. But if you are dialed-in with deep dives, buoyancy control, and night diving, you are in for a treat. It is difficult to compare the underwater experiences on Guanaja to its sister islands. While water temperatures mimic Roatan (a steady 84°F in October), Guanaja’s underwater topography is unparalleled with countless canyons, crevices, overhangs, and swim-throughs. Some sites are so convoluted with labyrinths of twists and turns into and out of the reef that you’d swear you were in an endless human-scale maze. Deep dives are not uncommon and might include a visit to the intentionally scuttled Jado Trader on the more populated south side of the island. Our night dive unveiled some unusual creatures rarely seen during the day and a few never seen before by our group. We agreed it was our best night dive experience anywhere. On the heels of Hurricane Matthew, water clarity was spotty at times and the scourge of ocean debris raised its ugly head. It is a heartbreaking reality for many of the world’s top island diving destinations. Floating trash sometimes peppered the water’s surface and its presence posed a distraction at times. The owners and staff are friendly and enjoy doting on guests. Boat crew were right there to help you into and out of the water. They handled tank swaps and gear set-ups. Lunch was served on the boat between two morning dives and an afternoon dive. Food service and bar personnel were great. If you are looking to get away from all-inclusive dive destinations with marginal buffet food and throngs of divers on cramped boats, give George and Ginger your serious consideration. When we are ready to get away again, we will be returning to our new friend’s place, G & G’s Clearwater Paradise Resort! ​ Check out our video of diving at Clearwater Paradise Resort on YouTube . * Lesser traveled , remote and secluded are big terms to experienced travelers and are words thrown around by writers without much regard, so check out Clearwater Paradise Resort on Google Earth and judge for yourself... Lesser traveled, remote, and secluded indeed! It was seldom we encountered another dive boat, or any boat for that matter. Planes flying overhead? Not a single one all week. The underwater din of boat motors was conspicuously absent. ​ This review is solely the opinion of ATA/BAR DIVERS as a product consumer and is provided without compensation, affiliation or consideration of any kind.

  • Snorkel Clip Tips | ATA/BAR Divers

    Keepers: A Student Diver's Guide to Snorkel Clips Bottom Line : As a student diver, consider the design of the snorkel clip (keeper) when you purchase your snorkel and make sure the keeper is compatible with your mask strap. A closed snorkel keeper design (as seen in Image #3) will keep your snorkel where it belongs—on your mask and off the ocean floor. As a new PADI Open Water Diver student, part of your mandatory dive equipment is a snorkel. This article is not a pro or con debate on snorkels but rather an observation of what student divers purchase when it comes to that small little piece of seemingly insignificant plastic attached to your snorkel, the snorkel keeper, also known as the snorkel clip. Those of us at ATA/BAR DIVERS like snorkels, and we like to keep the snorkels we buy. What we frequently see are student divers with snorkels that won’t stay clipped to their mask straps. Two of the biggest problems with snorkel purchases are ill-informed salespeople or the students themselves as they wade through a sea of snorkel options and styles. There are many different keeper designs on the market that can be grouped into two broad categories: Open and Closed Designs. The open design keeper (as seen in Images 2, 4, and 6, above) allows divers to easily slip the keeper onto and off of the mask strap. The closed keeper design (Images 1, 3, and 5) has a loop that stays on the mask strap. The clip depicted in Image 3 is designed to stay on the mask strap and allows the snorkel to be easily removed using an interlocking device. Not surprisingly, a snorkel that easily disconnects from your mask intentionally will also become disconnected unintentionally at the most inopportune times—and this is why we do not recommend open keeper designs similar to those depicted in Images 2, 4, or 6. Image 3 shows the fully-closed keeper design of the Tusa Platina II Hyperdry line of snorkels, which we recommend. This keeper —patented by Tusa as the Comfort Swivel —allows for snorkel swiveling and a quick-disconnect from the mask; it is also available with Hyperdry Elite II snorkels. For more information, visit the Tusa website . Something else to consider is the compatibility of your mask strap with your snorkel. The two are not always made for each other, especially considering the very narrow mask straps seen with today’s new masks. Some straps are only ¾”-wide, which is probably great for mask-wearing comfort, but not so great for supporting the weight of an attached snorkel. Make sure to try on the two together to ensure their symbiotic relationship is sound. Are you in love with your Tusa snorkel with its fully-enclosed Comfort Swivel design but HATE changing the keeper between masks and are too cheap to buy another snorkel for that other mask you own? You can purchase an extra black (TC-507 ) or white (TC-506 ) snorkel adaptor (and other snorkel parts) from Tusa directly at http://tusaparts.mwrc.net/en/category.php?product_category_id=9892 .

  • ATA/BAR Divers | Home

    Garabaldi Damselfish Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California Goliath Grouper Boynton Beach, Florida Coral Wall Guanaja, Honduras Garabaldi Damselfish Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California 1/12 Whether you are a veteran or student diver, here are some tips, tricks, and reviews of scuba-related "stuff." Tips & Reviews Wakatobi 2018 Join ATA/BAR DIVERS as we travel to Indonesia in April 2018 and experience Wakatobi , a world-class dive resort with incomparable service, food and sights. Destinations We enjoy traveling to dive, but not all dive destinations or operators are equal. Read about some of our favorite places to dive here. Videos Enjoy watching a few of our favorite YouTube videos that showcase some of our most favorite diving destinations. ​ATA/BAR DIVERS are American multilingual PADI Pros. We offer instruction and support in English, Korean, Vietnamese, and Hungarian at affiliated dive centers. Training Out of gallery

  • 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.

  • ATA/BAR Diver | PADI Deep Diver Specialty Course

    PADI Deep 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.

  • $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.

  • 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.

  • 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 (https://www.divegearexpress.com/ ) 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.

  • PADI Women's Dive Day 2018 @ Channel Islands | ATA/BAR Divers

    Thanks to our sponsors for making PADI Women's Dive Day 2018 such a huge success! Dive boat Raptor was a sellout and everyone aboard had a great time. Every single WDD diver walked away with at least TWO raffle prizes! Check out our video on YouTube . ​ Mark next year's calendars now! The 2019 PADI Women's Dive Day @ Channel Islands National Park will be held on 20 JULY 2019 . Location and details to follow over the next few months. Stay tuned and keep diving! PADI Women's Dive Day 21 Jul 18 @ Channel Islands National Park All Aboard at 7:00 am Ventura Dive & Sport 1559 Spinnaker Drive Ventura CA 93001 ​ MAKING A DIFFERENCE, ONE BUBBLE AT A TIME ​ Join PADI instructors Gina and Kelly for a chartered three-tank dive aboard the RAPTOR —California’s fastest commercial dive boat. Leaving from the Ventura Harbor , our destination will be Santa Cruz or Anacapa Island. ​ Your $150 PADI Women’s Day ticket includes the following: Commemorative Channel Islands PADI Women’s Dive Day T-shirt Catered breakfast and lunch aboard the Raptor Raffles, prize giveaways before and during our three dives Discussion on our local eco system Champagne, beer, wine and dessert after our dives! Buddy team prizes for the winners of our in-water games Support the advancement of PADI Professional women ​ ​ Everyone is guaranteed at least one prize! Women are invited to bring their gentleman dive buddy. The trip is sold out. To sign up for our standby list, please contact us . Not familiar with diving California's Channel Islands? Checkout out our video here . OUR RAFFLE PRIZE LIST! CHANNEL ISLANDS PADI WOMEN'S DIVE DAY RAFFLE PRIZES [ Contact us to sign up for standby tickets. ] ​ We've had an amazing response from local and international vendors to our first PADI Women’s Dive Day @ Channel Islands National Park . The list of generous businesses continues to grow! Here are our confirmed raffle prize contributors as of 11 July 2018: ​ The Greek Ventura Margarita Villa Beach Break Surf Shop Barefoot Boutique Lost in Socks Island Packers Gear Keeper Scuba Pro Kinetic Fitness Ventura Dive & Sport Studio 8 Fitness Sushi Fresh Ventura bubblebakery San Buenaventura Gyrotonic Trystology Aqua Lung Ventura Swimwear​ Henderson Aquatics Trident Diving Equipment Stahlsac Atomic Aquatics Akona Adventure Gear

  • 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 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 $90 + $5 Flat Rate USA Shipping 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. ​ 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