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  • ATA/BAR Divers | Training

    Training As a courtesy to Ventura County diving enthusiasts and potential scuba students, we offer this list of PADI scuba training providers and schedules, where available. The links below 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. VENTURA DIVE & SPORT 1559 Spinnaker Dr, Suite 108 Ventura, CA 93001 (805) 650-6500 PADI Open Water Diver Course * 5-8 days Always wanted to take scuba diving lessons? This is where it starts. Get certified by PADI – the world’s most popular and widely recognized scuba training organization. Emergency First Response * 1 day Are you ready to handle an emergency? Learn first aid, CPR and how to operate an AED. Be prepared to give the necessary aid to a family member, dive buddy or co-workers, before Emergency Medical Services arrive. PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course * 2-4 days Build confidence and expand your scuba skills. Try out different specialties while gaining important experience under the supervision of your PADI Instructor. PADI Rescue Diver Course * 5-7 days Considered by many divers to be the most challenging, yet most rewarding, course they’ve ever taken. Learn to prevent and manage in-water problems and become more confident in your skills as a diver. PADI Enriched Air Specialty * 1 day The Enriched Air Diver course is popular because enriched air nitrox gives you more no decompression time, especially on repetitive scuba dives. PADI Divemaster Course * 2-3 weeks Deep Diver Specialty Course * 2-4 days Do you feel confined by the 18 metres/60 feet limit of Open Water certification? Learn to scuba dive with confidence at depths down to 40 metres/130 feet. Dry Suit Diver Specialty Course * 2-4 days Do wet suits keep you cooler (and wetter) than what you'd prefer? Want to extend dives and lengthen your diving season? Try going dry! A dry suit seals you off from the water and keeps you comfortable, even in surprisingly cold water. Take the first step in becoming a PADI Pro and do what you love to do as a career. Scuba divers look up to divemasters because they are leaders who mentor and motivate others.

  • Be a Visible Diver | ATA/BAR Divers

    Be a Standout Diver: Wear an SMB on Your Head! Being conspicuous while scuba diving is rarely a bad thing, yet the majority of exposure gear is black, dark gray or midnight blue—colors that all-but disappear into the ocean’s background. Without help from color or light, keeping track of divers is already a difficult task. When it comes to differentiating divers, without some sort of visible queue, everyone in your dive group looks far too similar to discern who’s who at a glance. If you dive active waters and you wander too far from your diver down marker, that standard black dive hood or beanie is nearly impossible to see at the surface. Think about solving these visibility problems by “wearing” a surface marker buoy (SMB) on your head! ​ Several companies market high-visibility dive hoods and beanies in different styles that will serve you well in nearly any water temperature. With hi-viz colors like yellow, orange and lime green, with some designs that include SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) reflective material, you will definitely be a standout diver while on or under the water. ​ PROMATE Ardent 3mm Beanie ​ BEAVER 7mm Glow-Flex Semi-Dry Hi-Viz Hood ​ SEAREQ Little Red Diving Hood (7mm and 3mm) ​ WATERPROOF H1 5/10 H.V. Hood ​ LOMO 5mm Hi Vis Yellow Hood ​ HENDERSON SAR Swimmer Fire Fleece Hood ​ PROMATE Ardent 3mm Beanie HENDERSON SAR Swimmer Fire Fleece Hood BEAVER Glow-Flex Semi-Dry Hi-Viz Hood LOMO 5mm Hi Vis Yellow Hood WATERPROOF H1 H.V. Hood SEAREQ Little Red Diving Hood

  • Bad Gas: Contaminated Air Fills | ATA/BAR Divers

    A Case of Bad Gas? Bottom Line : While it is not common, the risk of breathing contaminated air from a scuba tank is a real threat to divers, especially when air fills are done by a source whose reputation is unknown or questionable. Because some contaminants are impossible to detect on your own, technology is required to insure the air you breathe is as fresh as a morning breeze. The stank seemed so obvious to one diver. This was clearly a case of some bad gas, and all of the warning signs were there: A rickety scuba shack belching a hazy plume of exhaust from a cranky, gas-powered air compressor in a country where standards, testing and inspections for compressed air quality were most likely inconvenient suggestions. His buddy sampled the same suspect air from the equally suspicious aluminum 80 tank with a prolonged whiff and declared, “I don’t smell anything.” Great. Now what? Civilization as we knew it was 500 miles away and so were—as is described by PADI—any “reputable scuba air sources” for compressed gas.[1] Here was our problem: How do we know that the gas we are about to breath at depth is free of contaminants? The truth is we can’t know without some technological help. There are several possible impurities in compressed air. Passing the so-called “sniff test” (a nose check for any odor from the tank air) or a "taste test" (a sort of flavor check of your air—there should be none) has important but limited screening values as one of the most insidious contaminants in a scuba cylinder is invisible to all of our senses. ​ According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Carbon monoxide (CO) [is] an odorless, colorless gas, which can cause sudden illness and death... [It] is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned. [2] ​ What makes CO so toxic is that it essentially replaces oxygen in the bloodstream at a rate of 240-to-1, and “[t]he net effect is the reduction in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.”[3] According to the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center: ​ CO is the deadliest of the toxic gases commonly found in compressed air. [4] ​ An acceptable level of CO at sea level can prove deadly at recreational diving depths because of Dalton’s law of partial pressures.[5] But that begs this question: What is an “acceptable level” of CO? The short answer is not much, simply because our CO tolerance is very low considering the very small amounts we are regularly exposed to. How small, you ask? Well, measurements of CO are in parts per million (ppm), where one molecule of CO is detected among 999,999 molecules of other gases, or 0.0001%. The average global concentration of outdoor CO levels is somewhere between 0.04 ppm and 0.12 ppm (0.000004% to 0.000012%).[6], [7] The Compressed Gas Association, Inc. (CGA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) established a standard for—believe it or not—air. The standard known as ANSI/CGA G-7.1-2011 requires that the compressed air in scuba tanks have 10 ppm or less of CO, or .001%. Even at recreational diving’s maximum operating depth of 130 feet/40 meters (about 5 bar/ata), the partial pressure of CO (PCO) of 10 ppm would be at an acceptable level of .005%, or equivalent to 50 ppm of CO in surface air. ​ Table 1 gives examples of scientific research on the effects of CO and the related levels for symptoms that range from a headache and nausea to unconsciousness and eminent death. A contaminated tank containing 800 ppm of CO might not immediately present symptoms at the surface, but at a depth of 99 feet/30 meters (4 bar/ata), the same tank of air could prove deadly within 30 minutes (0.08% x 4 bar/ata = PCO 0.32 bar/ata, or equal to breathing 3,200 ppm [0.32%] of CO in surface air). ​ PORTABLE SOLUTIONS Meanwhile, back at that desolate dive destination with that funky tank of gas… What do we do? Luckily, there are solutions available to analyze tanks for CO on the go. Here are a few options that might be worthy of consideration depending on your future dive itinerary. Prices range from $7.95 to $420.00: ​ DE-OX SAFE Carbon Monoxide Analyzer DE-OX CO is able to test a tank fill for carbon monoxide content in any breathable gas mix, including air, or it can be connected to a gas or diesel compressor for in-line continuous monitoring. POCKET CO SCUBA In addition to being a general purpose CO detector, Pocket CO SCUBA has been configured to allow easy detection of extremely low levels of CO in SCUBA tanks, down to 2 ppm. DIVENAV COOTWO The world’s first dual gas (oxygen and CO) analyzer and data logger. Programmable via smartphone. Compatible with existing My Nitroxbuddy smartphone app. CO-PRO™ A one-day use device that detects the presence of CO in breathing air. Tear open the packet and fill included balloon with tank air. If the air is contaminated by CO, the sensor button in the balloon will change color. [At the time of this writing, this website was inactive. Visit the manufacturer's site .] ​ SENSORCON CO DETECTOR FOR SCUBA TANKS Kit includes the waterproof Carbon Monoxide Inspector, carrying case, yoke adapter and male and female connectors for sampling air or CO. OxyCheq Expedition CO Analyzer w/ Alarm Expedition Carbon Monoxide Analyzer with alarm and carrying case. The alarm will sound when the level of CO reached 10 ppm (+/- 1ppm). ​ NUVAIR PRO CO ANALYZER Fast response compact water resistant container. Range of 0-50 ppm. Alarm goes off at 10 ppm CO (BC flow adapter sold separately.) ​ DIVENAV monOX DELUXE Carbon monoxide detector for scuba divers. Smartphone controllable. Available at ​ Footnotes [1] PADI Open Water Diver Manual (2013, p. 191). [2] [3] Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. [4] [5] Discussed in detail in PADI’s Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving (2008, pp. 4-32, 33). [6] Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [7] World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe. ​ This page is provided for informational purposes only. It is solely the opinion of ATA/BAR DIVERS and is provided without compensation, affiliation or consideration of any kind. No endorsement of, or professional experience with, any equipment profiled on this page should be inferred or implied. Amazon Associates links go to support this site. Table 1. Effects of Carbon Monoxide. Figure 1. De-Ox Safe CO Detector Figure 2. Pocket CO SCUBA Figure 3. DiveNav COOTWO Figure 4. CO-PRO™ Figure 5. Sensorcon SCUBA CO Detector Figure 6. OxyCheq Expedition Figure 7. Nuvair Pro CO Figure 8. DiveNav monOx DELUXE.

  • 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.

  • Traveling with Dive Gear or Not? | ATA/BAR Divers

    Traveling with Dive Gear... or Not? Bottom Line : There are three types of dive travelers: The PACKERS , The RENTERS , and The LIGHTWEIGHTS . What kind of a dive traveler are you? Those of us here at ATA/BAR Divers frequently travel for the sole purpose of diving. And, with rare exception, we are typically accompanied by mature, experience divers on our underwater world excursions. All of our diving friends own their own gear, but not all travel with their regular dive gear—the equipment they dive with in local waters. Over the years, we have unofficially divided our traveling diver friends into three groups: ​ THE PACKERS : Divers who bring all gear except tank and weights to dive destinations. THE RENTERS : Divers who rent nearly all necessary equipment at the destination. THE LIGHTWEIGHTS : Divers who own and pack a separate set of travel gear—dive equipment that is marketed for its compact style and light weight (see Image 1). ​ Full Disclosure: As this article was written by self-proclaimed PACKERS, it should come as no surprise that the mindsets of the RENTERS and the LIGHTWEIGHTS escape us, even though their justifications seem sound: Neither group wants to hassle with toting around large and heavy dive equipment bags. We get it, but let’s take a deeper (admittedly with a bit of tongue in cheek) look at each groups’ mindset and justifications: ​ THE RENTERS We love our own dive gear but hate packing it on trips. We have too much other stuff to take and would hate getting stuck paying overweight or extra baggage fees. Rental gear isn’t that bad. We would rather pay money for rental gear than extra airline baggage fees. We are afraid our expensive gear will get stolen while traveling. Infection, illness, injury (see Image 2) or even death from ill-fitting equipment, a malfunctioning dive computer, poorly maintained regulators, or BCDs that don’t hold air? Not a big deal. At least we aren’t schlepping gear through airports and into taxi cabs or rental cars. ​ THE LIGHTWEIGHTS ​ We love dive gear. The more we have, the better we feel about ourselves. Money is no object. Dive travel gear (see Image 1) shows we are uber-cool even though we only get to use the set-up once or twice a year. The equipment isn’t as comfortable as our regular gear, but the bloody feet and sore gums show we can have fun in spite of pain and discomfort. If my travel gear gets stolen, I’ve got insurance and another gear set waiting for me at home. ​ THE PACKERS We can pack everything we need in a lightweight dive gear bag and make the 50-pound limit for checked baggage on most commercial flights with plenty of room to spare for toiletries, sunscreen and clothing (see Image 3 and 4). We know our own gear. We maintain it. We feel more comfortable and safer in it. Why spend extra money on lightweight travel gear or rental gear that we’ll rarely use? Rental gear can be sketchy at times. We don’t know its condition or how its maintained. Did the last renter have a lung infection or a skin condition? They might not have my size. Will the Indonesian-based dive resort have size 15 booties and a XXXL suit? It is not unusual to dive four or more times a day when traveling. Dive trips without your own gear is like running a marathon in someone else’s shoes. Who would do that? (Oh, that’s right. Some of our diving friends would!) ​ ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS Temperature Matters . If you are headed for a cold destination, that 7 mm wetsuit or drysuit will probably make that single 50-pound bag weight limit a tough goal to meet. Similarly, if you’ve got a huge camera rig or rebreather, you’re already used to paying extra fees for that megalodon-size Pelican case. But if you’re destination is warm waters with a full or shorty 3 mm suit, hitting your weight target shouldn’t be a problem. ​ Renter Wounds . Too often we have seen injuries from ill-fitting equipment, like what is shown in Image 2, the beaten toes of one colleague who suffered through a week’s worth of diving with ill-fitting full-foot fins. In hindsight, this self-proclaimed RENTER is now a PACKER convert! ​ Get Into the Right Bag . Not all bags are made equally. Choose and use wisely. Pack with a strategy. Some things to consider: ​ Branded vs. Unmarked Bags . Some divers opt for a plain vanilla bag to stow their gear, avoiding prominently labeled dive gear bags for fear of increasing the likelihood of theft. Roller Bag or No Wheels . a 50-pound bag can be a good choice unless your destination requires lots of walking and forging crowded sidewalks, dirt, gravel, or cobblestone pathways. Two roller bags (one dive bag and one carry-on bag) can prove to be unwieldy, even across smooth surfaces. Many roller bags convert to a backpack with shoulder straps, but if one of your two carry-on bags are a backpack, your packing strategy might be in jeopardy. Lock vs. Unlocked . Consider locking your checked baggage with a TSA-approved lock. It’s not a foolproof method to avoid pilferage, but doing nothing is likely a worse idea. Carry-on Decisions . We carry-on our most expensive gear, such as regulators, computers, lights, and cameras. If you decide to carry aboard a BCD, make sure to check your dive knife, line cutters and/or shears. Confirm that airlines will accept loose batteries in carry-on. If not, check it. Padded regulator bags make a great option for carrying on gear (see Image 5 and 6). Pack Strategically . Lightweight gear bags, like the 10.5-pound Aqualung Traveler 1600 (see Video 1) are light for a reason: They lack impact protection seen in competing travel bags that come with padded sides. With this in mind, some strategic packing is suggested: Pack fins as instructed. They will add side protection to your gear. Place exposure suit at the bottom. It will provide impact protection and cushioning on the uneven, rigid back side of the bag. Pack durables along the rigid base and along the sides of bag. This adds additional protection. Pack less-durable items (BCD, mask, toiletries, etc.) in the middle and sandwich with clothing. Top off equipment with a light pillow and cinch with supplied straps. The cover of the bag offers zero impact protection—a pillow offers a great topper to your dive gear and you get to sleep with your own pillow. How perfect is that? Image 1. A typical dive gear travel package set. Image 2. Damaged toes from a week of diving with rental fins. Image 3. Strategic packing using the Aqualung Traveler 1600. Image 4. Topping off gear with a pillow and straps. Image 5. Padded regulator bag for carry-on containing expensive/fragile gear. Image 6. Aqualung Legend padded regulator bag: Perfect for carry-on gear. Video 1. Aqualung Traveler 1600 dive bag review by

  • ATA/BAR Divers | Divemaster Courses

    PADI Divemaster 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.

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