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#4231 - 05/12/01 05:15 PM WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
My advice after just completing my 8 wk class and not doing my OW check outs was because our instructor placed us in what, I felt, were some of the worst diving conditions to newbies - do not sign up with ANY agency per se until you go talk to several instructors until you find one that you WOULD trust your life with. My 'gut feeling' from day one was not good with my instructor, and when it came to check outs I walked away from the dive site. Visibility was less than 5 ft, there was no dive boat or hand line, it was shore entry, vis was so poor it appeared to be a cave dive - Dive Masters were NOT escorting dive students out the the floating flags at 23 ft depth. Dive Masters were being seperated from divers under water - total chaos. BOTTOM LINE - go chat with an instructor and find all this out up front - if your not at ease with he/she - find a NEW instructor or agency! Good luck

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#4232 - 05/12/01 05:27 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
Toothpickman Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/08/01
Posts: 116
I hate to be the one to tell you this, but the majority of freshwater lake dives (at least in my area) have those conditions, shore entry, low visibility, and yes there is the threat of seperation, but if that happens you do you 360 turn and head up. My agancy/instructors were not new either, their store had been established for nearly 25 years at the time and they had several more years than that of experience. Not all dive spots are 100ft visibility, and great sea life. I agree that if you do not feel comfortable with the instructor do NOT go diving, until you find one you are comfortable with, but I also want to point out that those conditions are not that uncommon in many parts of the world, and that many divers, new and old dive in them


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#4233 - 05/13/01 04:40 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
...then fresh water lake diving insn't for me...I got into this to dive in Florida like conditions, were 50 ft and better vis is often the case. I have, and never HAD, any intention of lake diving due to that reason, and reason of cold water conditions and the need for hoods, gloves, etc. I want to dive in waters that are 60 degrees or better and have much better vis than this. Problem is, agencies ASSUME that just because you want to take a course up here and get certified for when you DO go south, that you plan, would or want to dive in waters with lake-like conditions...I don't and never had.

I sport caved for 10 yrs and have been in some of the tighted and freikest caves there are; but I never one felt that my life was being jeapordized the way I felt at that dive. That lake was nothing more than a 'mud hole' - period. Thats why this sport has a high drop out rate...other instructors warned me about this 8 wks ago, and said "Why is he taking you guys there - thats the worst place he could take new aspiring divers. No wonder less than 10% of the students in SCUBA stay into the sport, and 75% drop out before the 25 dive mark."


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#4234 - 05/13/01 05:03 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
newbi2scuba Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/16/01
Posts: 26
Loc: Martinez, GA, USA
You should check into having a referral to do the OW check out in Florida, if you have completed all other aspects. I have seen this advertised as an option with some organizations. Hope you can complete the course out that way.

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#4235 - 05/13/01 05:46 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scubagrl Offline
avid diver

Registered: 01/20/01
Posts: 11
Loc: Milwaukee, WI USA
I agree with newbi...get a referral if you can! When I decided to get my PADI O/W cert (I live in Milw, WI), I found out where my certifying agency was going to be doing their O/W dives--in a dark, cold quarry! No thank you! So I did the classroom and poolwork here, and the next trip I took to the Caribbean I took my referral and did the open water dives there. Good luck, and happy diving!

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#4236 - 05/13/01 06:48 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
daver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/09/01
Posts: 34
Loc: Overland Park, KS USA
Whats your problem with lake diving? The instructor can't help that the lake your in is a piece of crap, but they could find another lake. And if the viz was really 5 ft, i don't think they would take uncertified divers in it, unless the dive instrutor is a piece of crap.

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#4237 - 05/14/01 12:05 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
Well daver,
they did just that yesterday...one 16 yr old girl panicked during her mask flooding skills and walked away from it...31 people were to dive...after the first 12 got done with that cove, you couldn't see their fins where they were standing in 2 ft of water...

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#4238 - 05/13/01 01:22 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
daver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/09/01
Posts: 34
Loc: Overland Park, KS USA
Sounds like the instructor is a piece of crap then.

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#4239 - 05/14/01 02:59 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
As of Sunday, here’s the way things went…is this the way checkouts are supposed to go? Here’s the way it shook out…

One-diver ruptures an eardrum Saturday – instructor says, “She must have had an ear infection going on prior to this dive. Instructor then applies alcohol to students ear – naturally, student screams from pain.

One diver experiencing vertigo after the dive with ear equalization problems during the dive.

My dive buddy is experiencing the following all at once:

*Inflator on BC not working properly
*He is so over weighted that he is literally crawling on his hands and knees
*His weight belt is around his ankles
*He has lost his Dive Master escort
*He has lost his dive buddy
*Visibility is almost zero
*His dive buddy’s OCTO is encrusted with sand/mud prior to the dive from dragging it around during the dive

This is pretty scary stuff. And, this is what we KNOW of…since we both aborted the dive and didn’t go Sunday.


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#4240 - 05/14/01 10:54 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
daver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/09/01
Posts: 34
Loc: Overland Park, KS USA
Defintatly not a good dive instructor. You should definately find another dive shop in your area, and report them to whatever organization they are "certified" through. I'm lake diving this weekend with an excellent instructor. I plan to enjoy it. Hope you have more enjoyable experinces in the future.

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#4241 - 05/14/01 01:42 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
Narcosis Offline
avid diver

Registered: 04/29/01
Posts: 8
scuba1066,
Dont give up diving Lakes because of 1 bad dive. You will be missing out on some of the best diving there is. I have dove over a couple hundred dives in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River on shipwrecks with vis from 20-75ft. Majority of the time its around 50ft thanks to the population of Zebra Mussels. There's nothing like it, I love doing research on ships that I plan on diving so that when you end up on top of them all this knowledge starts running through your head about how it went down, the lives that were lost, the artifacts that were left behind. I dive Key Largo and Grand Caymans every year and there is no way that wrecks or reefs in warm water could keep me away from cold water wreck diving. Oh one other thing 1000 Islands area of the St. Lawrence reaches 73-75f in the summer months.
So dont give up, you'll be missing out. I do have a question for you, I dont know wether I read it right or not but why would 5 foot vis be a problem for someone who has been diving caves for 10 years or why would you need to take another scuba course?

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#4242 - 05/14/01 04:54 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
No,
I was a caver, NOT a cave DIVER! It just scarde me to think that our 1st dive EVER is a real environment was going to be in such poor visibility - coupled with mask flooding and clearing in such conditions.

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#4243 - 05/14/01 04:57 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
We have contacted the YMCA is Georgia about obtaining a 'Universal Referral' since our instructor said that he cannot give us one unless we were to go OUT OF TOWN to do our check out dives.

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#4244 - 05/14/01 06:43 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
SGHOWE Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/04/01
Posts: 81
Loc: Ashton, Maryland, USA
Your instructor is FULL OF ***! There is no rule anywhere that I know of that says you can only get a refferal if you are going out of town. On the refferal forms for PADI (and I would guess all of the other agencies) the portion that your original instructor fills out has nothing whatsoever to do with where you are doing your certifying dives. If it had anything to do with them you wouldn't need to have a letter of refferal. Tell this liar to cut the shit and give you a refferal letter. Or you could play his game and tell him that you have a trip planned somewhere

[This message has been edited by EricF (edited 05-16-2001).]


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#4245 - 05/15/01 06:03 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
I tried that - he said that I would have to be in FLA. and the dive agancy would then have to call him for the Universal Referral...I said "Yeah, I'm gonna buy a plane ticket, fly to FLA, book hotel reservations, and THEN have them call you? I don't think so." YMCA called today to say that they have received my request and the Director has been spoken to about it and "they are working on it." No reply as to IF they WILL or WILL NOT comply. Can't tell you how this has soured me from the entire SCUBA industry so far - total lack or respect for MY rights as a diver to abort ANY dive, for ANY reason, ANY day or ANY time...totally unprofessional of this firm Aqua Hutt Divers in Scotia, NY. BEWARE!!

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#4246 - 05/15/01 06:27 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
daver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/09/01
Posts: 34
Loc: Overland Park, KS USA
That place sounds like a real piece of crap, never go there again and find another dive shop

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#4247 - 05/16/01 02:59 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
Thanks juts what I am doing - going to a DIR and PADI agency that came highly recommended to me in Brooklyn, NY called Scuba Devine as soon as I get my Universal Referral...thanks all...

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#4248 - 05/16/01 07:30 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
If it were me, I'd consider writing a properly worded letter to the agency (PADI, NAUI, or whoever) certified this instructor explaining why you are not happy with the situation. Sounds like this person needs to be held accountable to the standards set forth by that agency.

Be sure to include his certification number along with just the facts (aka, keep the emotion to a minimum) and aim the letter more towards informing them and letting them take the appropriate action, rather than asking to have his ticket yanked.

Oh, and be sure to CC: both the shop, the shop's director of teaching, and the instructor.

--Mike


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#4249 - 05/16/01 06:14 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
Toothpickman Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/08/01
Posts: 116
I hate to tell you all this, but the majority of lakes here, in the midwest do NOT have good visibility. New divers ARE certified in them for the reason that is where they will be diving. It is NOT that the instructor is bad. Maybe not so many people are up for diving, but those that are, practice safe diving, and are good divers. If you want very clear diving, you have to go to the ocean, and that is good and well, but it is NOT the only place to dive. Sorry if you don't like lake diving, but some of us do. And depending on the time of year you are going diving 5 ft visibility is not uncommon, and does not mean the lake is "a piece of crap" as daver has deemed

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#4250 - 05/17/01 01:13 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
jmsdiver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 169
Loc: USA
According to the information set forth here, I would say that this instructor didn't have his logistics worked out very well. This instructor should be held accountable to the standards set forth by his certifying agency. I agree with TexasMike about writing a carefully worded detailed account of what transpired and send a copy to the agency, the store, and others that may need to be informed about this.

I have to agree with the fact that one must feel at ease with their instructor and the addtional staff (i.e. other instructors and divemasters/dive cons) that may be assisting. The creation of that ease is done in the first few minutes/sessions/meetings that on has with that instructor. First impressions go a long way. But, one still needs to research and ask questions (i.e. may I see your instructor certification? How long have you been teaching? etc). One has to be accountable for their actions. Also, one needs to trust their lives to that instructor. I look at people and ask: would I trust this person tending my line while ice diving? If the answer is no, then it's no.

I have been diving in the midwest since 1988 and just love it. I can't afford to go to the carribbean or where ever just to do a warm water dive every year. I love diving, I love the serenity and peacefulness, and there's a world of opportunities in my backyard. Lake Superior (or any of the Great Lakes) offer a myriad of shipwrecks to explore; it's just an awesome experience to drift down upon a majestic steel or wooden testament to human diligence, history, and sacrafice. The water is cold (36 on a recent dive), the vis is 50 feet or better, and surface conditions can change during the dive. On the flip side, I also dive in a quarry that has 5 feet of vis on a good day. With vis conditions like that, it gives one a chance to practice skills and test the comfort level.

I don't think that people dismiss scuba in the numbers that have been posted because of their initial in-water experience; most people dismiss scuba because of their experience with the store and instructing staff. Customer service, upbeat personalities, and true concern for others goes a long ways in keeping divers diving.

I hope that your diving experiences continue and that you will revisit local lake diving. There's an adventure waiting for you in your backyard.

[This message has been edited by jmsdiver (edited 05-17-2001).]


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#4251 - 05/17/01 09:20 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
quote:
Originally posted by jmsdiver:
I don't think that people dismiss scuba in the numbers that have been posted because of their initial in-water experience; most people dismiss scuba because of their experience with the store and instructing staff. Customer service, upbeat personalities, and true concern for others goes a long ways in keeping divers diving.

Well said!!! Bravo!!

This is exactly why I brave almost an hour of horrible Dallas traffic to patronize Sand & Sea Scuba (near LBJ & Greenville Ave.) when there is a dive shop within 10 minutes of my house.

--TexasMike


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#4252 - 05/25/01 08:00 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
Chris Johnson Offline
new diver

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 2
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
My wife had a bad experience with our ow instructor that our dive shop handled to our total satisfaction. The instructor in question didn't seem to want to be patient with my wife. My wife was maybe 15 minutes (that's right, 15 MINUTES) behind the rest of the class in getting comfortable snorkeling. The instructor pulled her aside and asked her if she was sure she wanted to dive. She (the instructor, a female, so no chauvinism issues should have been the cause), then proceeded to tell my wife that many women sit on the boat while the husband dives. The instructor then had my wife sit at the side of the pool while the rest of us worked on skills. I didn't do anything because I thought the instructor was going to work with my wife one on one. Not so! My wife just had to sit there, watching, while the rest of us finished. Then the instructor had to hurry off to go to a football game.

Needless to say, we were furious. We complained to the dive shop and they got another instructor to work with my wife one on one in a private pool. He was great! It took several sessions for my wife to regain her confidence, but he was very patient and helpful. That first lousy instructor almost ruined her diving life before it started. Well, my wife was certified by the good instructor, and now we are going to Little Cayman in August. She has also been Nitrox certified. By the way, I haven't seen the bad instructor since, so I assume they don't use her anymore. The good instructor seems to be in the shop every time we go there, so I think he won preferred status .


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#4253 - 06/13/01 03:13 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
As of this time, the YMCA headquarters in Goergia has failed to supply me with my UNIVERSAL REFERRAL. I was contacted by the instructor - and was told by him that even IF they did give it to me - he would still have the final word on whether I was certified or not, even if doing my Check Outs with another agency. Needless to say, I am very disappointed and disgusted with this agency - I may just go to FLA this Fall, and do a 2-day PADI course there and do my Check Outs while there and be done with this fiasco.

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#4254 - 06/13/01 07:53 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
NINman Offline
new diver

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 4
Sorry to hear about your mis-fortune with Aqua Hutt Divers in Scotia. I live about 25miles north of there. Archie of Stewart & Bergun instructed me and we had our open water check out in the Sacadaga Lake, which isn't the best lake to dive in, just last weekend. We had two groups one had 4 students and 2 assistant instructors and the other group had 3 students and 1 assistant instructor. We dived by a spill way and only went as deep as 25 feet at most. We had a great time. I am right now looking for some gear and I was going to give Aqua Hutt a call to see if they would compate in prices, but now I think I will skip over that dive shop. Once you get certified and if you would like to go diving some time just shoot me an email. Later.

Brad
ninman_ny@yahoo.com


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#4255 - 06/14/01 03:54 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
jmsdiver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 169
Loc: USA
That's really bizzare with the YMCA. They sit on the RSTC along with several other organizations to develop industry standards in an effort to keep Big Brother out of the industry. The RSTC decided it would be of great benefit to recognize other agencies referrals because the training standards are the same for the entry level scuba course. Many agencies have subscribed to this philosophy. I think the YMCA chapter you are dealing with is being bullheaded and it's unfortunate that you have to experience this.

I wish the best for you as you enter the underwater realm


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#4256 - 06/16/01 02:50 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
...as of June 16, NO Universal Referral from YMCA yet....more calls into them - again!

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#4257 - 06/19/01 02:28 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
...As of June 18th, Instructor says he has my Referral info to give me next week when filled out - but, my final info from my check out dives from another agency still get forwarded to him, and he will be the final issuing person who approves or declines my certification in the end. Sound right or wrong? Can't say I'm impressed with the way that the YMCA has handled this entire matter.

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#4258 - 06/20/01 02:25 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
jmsdiver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 169
Loc: USA
Seems to me that the individual doing the check out dives should be the one saying yeah or neigh, not the guy back in your hometown. So, that doesn't sound right to me. Let us know how it pans out...would like to see another new diver out there...

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#4259 - 06/27/01 04:01 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
Thanks....we'll know the outcome in about 24 hrs!

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#4260 - 06/27/01 01:24 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
As of 6/27 - no return phone calls or e-mails from Aqua Hutt Divers and two calls into the YMCA's headquarters in GA requesting that THEY fax me the Universal Referral slip....

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#4261 - 06/27/01 01:33 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
6/28 Aqua Hutt Divers has blocked all e-mail correspondance from me and is not returning any calls.

They are as follows:

AQUA HUTT DIVERS
SCOTIA, NY

aquahut@aol.com

You be the Judge! You want to do business with a firm like this?


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#4262 - 06/27/01 09:21 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
I wouldn't. But here's an idea....

Contact the Better Business Bureau. Once they take your complaint, they contact the business you are calling about and ask for a response and resolution to the problem. If the shop doesn't come through, then they get placed on the BBB's black list.

Also, have you tried going there in person and speaking directly to the owner/head dude?

[This message has been edited by TexasMike (edited 06-27-2001).]


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#4263 - 06/28/01 03:18 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
All,
I received a call from the YMCA and the Instructor today - the YMCA says that they WILL get him to issue the Referral - or he'll face administrative action by them - he called me today and told me to come in tonight as he 'had something for me.' When I got there, he offered me a $200 check and said 'Take it, get the hell out of my shop, and there will be NO referral from me to you."

I said, "I can't do that - I can't be bought...I mastered the course material, made every class, passed the written exam, and I am NOT going to take this $200 in lieu of my Referral slip. He said, "You'll never get it from me."

The saga continues - I have ANOTHER call into the YMCA, and am going to take this individual to Small Claims Court AND file a complaint with the BBB and the NYS Attorney General's Office.

ALL scuba friends - be careful - avoid this shop AQUA HUTT DIVERS in Scotia, NY like the plague......he said that "Your Internet postings are affecting my business!" They ought to!

The POWER of the Internet is a very effective force - and thats why we NEED Mail Order SCUBA shops - they keep local dive shops honest!

In good diving...


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#4264 - 06/29/01 09:16 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
Anonymous
Unregistered


jmsdiver, that u fin boy?

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#4265 - 06/30/01 01:36 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
Looks like AQUA HUTT DIVEERS of Scotia, NY has closed their doors and is out of business. I continue to speak to YMCA concerning getting my referral.

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#4266 - 07/03/01 06:37 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
7/3 YMCA Director Tek Clark says "There is nothing more they can do - their Instructors are NOT YMCA employees or sub-contracted by the YMCA, and if he will not issue the referral, they can't themselves..so, bottom line is, I'm out $200 and 8 wks of hard work and a 93% score on my final written exam, and will have to take a PADI, NAUI or SSI course all over again. STAY AWAY from YMCA certs and go with a reputable firm! PADI is good!

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#4267 - 07/09/01 05:10 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
Hal Offline
avid diver

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 11
Loc: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA USA
Come to California!!!!!! I'll take you to a place that looks like a lake( easy entry ) and all that....But when you put your face in the water, there is a beautiful kelp forest and fish everywhere...clear water it's about 65 degrees at the surface so if you wanna dive California ....let me know, You could get a refferal for the training you have completed and I'll finish you off out here in California Hal

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#4268 - 07/12/01 05:11 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
Hal,
Thanks - I would - but YMCA has told me that they cannot FORCE the Instructor to give me the referral - so, NO referral and NO refund...now I have to take a 8 wk PADI course ALL over again!

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#4269 - 07/12/01 09:47 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
You can't talk to the training director at a more reputable shop and explain your situation? I'm thinking that if allowed, you could probably fast track in just a day or two by just taking the quizzes/exams, an hour or two in the pool demonstrating the confined water skills, and then your o/w dives.

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#4270 - 07/16/01 02:46 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
TexasMike - well, thats what I an trying to do now, so we'll see....an out of town shop offered that option, but that means 4 night of hotel expenses, vacation time off from work and $250 as well....

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#4271 - 07/16/01 08:36 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
4 nights? I was thinking more along doing it in 2 days...day 1 being the quizzes and pool, day 2 being the o/w dives. And most likely this would be just you and the instructor doing all of this, no other students "in the water" with you.

In my opinion, you should be able to do all of the o/w check outs in just 2 dives, depth and air consumption depending.

It might be the case that this be some "private" instruction. Perhaps strike a deal with the dive shop that if they provide you a good price for your situation to accomodate a "faster track" than 4 days, you will return later to buy large amounts of gear.


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#4272 - 07/17/01 08:29 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
munch_5150 Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/16/01
Posts: 32
Loc: Stamford, CT USA
Mike - do you think you could crank out all of the checkouts in 2 dives? Shouldn't there be 4? I guess the skills aren't that difficult to get into 2 dives. I agree with you though... 4 nights?

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#4273 - 07/19/01 04:00 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
munch_5150,
Well, originally our checkouts were to be over 2 days, 2 dives per day, being:

Dive I: Mask flooding clearing
Reg removal and clearing

Dive 2: Buddy Breathing
Buddy breathing ascent

Dive 3: Compass Navigation

Dive 4: Recreation dive

2 dives per day for 2 days...


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#4274 - 07/30/01 04:58 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
Hi,
Things looking up....found a place in Key Largo that my friend recommended, called 'Its a Dive Key Largo' and they said, come down, in 2 days and $210 you'll be PADI certified. Guess what? I'm planning the trip soon, especially with Southwestern Air's $99 round-trip air fares! Ha! War on YMCA!

and...DIR rules, of course!


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#4275 - 09/08/01 05:14 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
Anonymous
Unregistered


I just finished my O/W cert dives and my wife had problems at first w/ her first decent, because of Claustrophobia (first time she had the wetsuit on) this was also in a quarry w/ limited vis. The instructor was very helpful and surfaced and explained how this was normal and would help to get below water due to the bodys compression and the wetsuit fitting better. She did take his advice and all is well. After that first dive, the second went w/o a hitch. If you instructor is acting as you described (like an a**), I would ditch him in place of a better dive shop. Dont give up clear water diving all togather.......

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#4276 - 10/14/01 10:57 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
landfish Offline
just got here

Registered: 10/14/01
Posts: 1
Loc: landing nj usa
scuba,i am sorry to hear you had a bad experience.it sounds like you are not to far away from where i live which is nw jersey.may i suggest you dealing with elite divers in rockaway NJ.there are many many good insturctors and dive shops out there i am sure. it is just to bad you are dealing with a bad one at this time.the people at elite would never take anyone into a dangerous situation i am 100% certain of that.we did our ow and 3 of the aow dives class's at dutch springs pa. which i beleive is the premier dive training spot on the east coast.most people you meet in diving are very cool people and will help you in anyway.please don't let one bad experience chase you away!

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#4277 - 10/29/01 10:31 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
Anonymous
Unregistered


The instructor should have been upfront with you about the conditions, but 5 ft viz is not necessarily unsafe. I routinely bring students into very limited visability, but special care has to be taken and limit it to at best 2 students at a time. If the student is unconfortable, have them try another day when viz may be better. I remember an AOW class that I had to do the deep dives with 1 - 2 feet of viz, I had to complete multiple one on one dives, the students got through it and infact thanked me for the experience, to experience under supervison what can happen on any dive where there are silt conditions with a careless diver near you. A good instructor should plan for the worst and be glad when conditions are better than expected.. I never assume I can get my entire class in the water at once... I carry multiple gas mixes to minimize my nitrogen loading as to not endanger myself.. Training in conditions other than optimal can build confidence and forces the diver to learn skills to a higher degree.. I can't tell you how many warm water divers I see that cant navigate to save their life, they are so use to unlimited viz the never learn the basics.. Where I teach, and dive... Off LI NY if you cant navigate to get back to the anchor line you are endangering yourself. You now have to employ safety skills that are not taught in OW such as shooting a bag to the surface for an ascent line (free ascents are definately a no no). COld water isn't that bad either, the dives can still be enjoyable, off ny even in August below 100 ft its at best low 40s with the proper protection its no big deal. 2 weeks ago I dove in a quarry where the bottom temp was between 36 and 38 and logged several hours underwater, I enjoyed myself and never got cold, proper protection is a must...


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#4278 - 01/03/02 06:58 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
Hi,
As of Fall 2001 YMCA failed to discipline instructor and neither would issue us the Universal Referral card. Instructor did offer me a $200 refund instead of the Universal Referral - which I flatly refused to accept. Attorney General's Office said they could not assist me in that he DID offer me a refund and they couldn't force him to comply. Its now Jan 2002 and my New Years Resolution is to get certified this year - something I have been told will now require me to repeat my entire OW course and another $200. Live and learn, but I'd avoid Aqua Hutt Divers, Scotia, NY if I were you.
-mju

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#4279 - 01/04/02 05:53 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
TexasMike Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 301
mju---

Once you get your cert, be sure to look me up if you ever make it down to my neck of the woods. I'd enjoy having you as a dive buddy.

--TM


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#4280 - 01/05/02 06:52 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
Mel Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 73
Loc: Irvine, CA USA
Thank you for the post, Mike. I appreciate it.
Mel

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#4281 - 01/13/02 09:56 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
Hi,
I am currently taking my OW course over again, sicne I can't get the referral from the YMCA, so I'll have to repeat the course again, spend another $200 and move on...

Thanks for all the help, everyone!


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#4282 - 01/13/02 03:33 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
Jordandk Offline
new diver

Registered: 01/13/02
Posts: 2
I JUST GOT MY OPEN WATER CERTIFICATION IN AUGUST I WENT TO ORLANDO DIVE AND SNORKLE TOURS. PERSONALLY THEY DID NOT KNOW HOW TO TEACH DIVING. FOR MY FIRST DIVE AFTER LEARNING IN THE POOL THEY BROUGHT ME TO A PLACE CALLED BLUE SPRINGS. BLUE SPRINGS IS A CAVE THAT HAS A FIVE MILE AN HOUR CURRENT COMING OUT OF IT. THAT WAS STUPID BUT I TOLD THEM THAT MY BC WOULDN T FILL UP AND THEY SAID IT WAS FINE BUT IT WAS BROKEN. THEY ALSO DIDN T MAKE SURE WE KNEW HOW TO WADE IN THE WATER SO SINCE MY BC DIDN T FILL I WAS SINKING. AND I ALSO RUPTURED AN EAR DRUM BECAUSE WAS UNABLE TO EQUALLIZE AGAINST THE CURRENT I WENT TROUGH A TANK OF AIR TRYING TO GET DOWN. AND THEY SAID I HAD TO RE TAKE THE CHECK OUT DIVE THE NEXT DAY AT THE SAME PLACE. I TOLD THEM I COULDN T DO IT TODAY WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I WILL BE ABLE TO DO IT TOMORROW. SO I WENT TO A PLACE CALLED RAINBOW RIVER. THAT WAS THE COOLEST DIVE. BUT I WOULDN T SUGEST GOING TO ORLANDO DIVE AND SNORKLE TOURS. THEY ARE NOT WORTH THE MONEY TIME OR RUPTUING AN EAR DRUM OVER

[ 01-13-2002: Message edited by: Jordandk ]


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#4283 - 01/15/02 10:25 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thats terrible - take care of that ear and next time, 'listen' to you gut and don't dive if it 'feel's wrong. Remember, ANY diver ahs the right to 'thumb' (cancel) ANY dive, at ANY time, for ANY reason! Better to walk away and return when conditions are better, you feel better physically or mentaly...remember, this IS supposed to be fun! Better to return another day that get seriously hurt or killed.

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#4284 - 03/12/02 06:41 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
3-12-02 Update...
Outcome: Have to retake the OW 1 course all over again, chose an SSI agency and in 7 wks will be finished and certified.

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