The Dive Season Begins!
The dive season starts off on the right note with the Season Opener party at the shop on Tuesday night, May 14 from 6-8 PM.
Share your dive stories of those great warm water dives from your travel destinations of the past winter, check out the reconfigured shop and classroom set up and pick up the 2013 Summer Dive Schedule.
2013 Summer Dive ScheduleThis summer MadisonScuba has over 20 Tuesday Night Adventure Dives (shore dives) planned along with several boat dives, weekend trips and day trips to area dive locations. Our traditional Advanced Training weekends of June 28 – 30 and September 27 – 29 at Lake Wazee in Black River Falls will have some exciting new twists to them. Pick up the entire summer schedule at this event. sign up online now – The annual Monona Terrace Clean-up Dive, part of the “Take A Stake In The Lakes” project, takes place from 10am – 3 pm. We’ll be making 2 dives – 10am and 1pm – to clean up the garbage from the shore area of Lake Monona. Everything from cans and bottles to chairs and tables from the Monona Terrace are cleaned up each year. Yes, even tires are still found at the bottom of the lake where we bring them up and recycle or throw them away in a proper place. Free gear rental and free air are included for this event. Please reserve yours today by signing up on the website.
Tuesday Night Adventure Dive Rental SpecialWhile the rental rate for a complete set of gear for the Tuesday Night Adventure Dives remains at $35 (what a deal!) a special SEASON PASS is available for $279. This gets you rental equipment for as many of the Tuesday Night Adventure Dives as you want to dive. If you make all of the dives, it’s less than $14 per dive! That’s incredible. This offer is only available until June 1 and is only for the Tuesday Night Adventure Dives.
See you on Tuesday night at the Season Opener.
Let’s get wet!
New Look of the Shop
The shop at MadisonScuba has been in a transformation for the last couple of weeks. We have a new classroom, the pool is gone and the retail space has been enlarged (former classroom space). Bigger brighter displays of BCDs, masks, wet suits and accessories are in place with the finishing touches being completed. Overall, it will function better for all facets of the growing MadisonScuba shop.
We have added Tilos to our in stock brands of gear. They have great mask designs, innovative regular designs and creative fin technology. The price point of their products are very competitive while maintaining a quality product. We are very excited to bring you the Tilos brand. Stop out to check out the selections.
A new shipment of SF-15 X-Pert Zoom Z3 fins has arrived. New colors accents and even a couple of the white and pink sets are in. The staff loves diving the TUSA fins, especially those of us with tired knees. The split fin and 27 degree bend technology gives us great relief without compromising on thrust and control.Several new TUSA masks including the popular Freedom One that uses TUSA’s Freedom Fit technology to fit many shapes of faces, are now in stock.
Lavacore has retooled the fit and sizing of the popular Lavacore undergarment line. We have shipments coming in each week and can special order one or several pieces for you. A great layer to wear under your wetsuit to provide thermal warmth in and out of the water along with making it easier to don your wetsuit.
Stop into the shop this week to check out the new digs and gear. We are open M-Th from 5-9 pm and Sat from 9 am – 4 pm.
Let’s get wet! – Brian
The Ghost Ship Festival has many informative sessions dealing with shipwrecks around the Great Lakes. This year’s festival will document such wrecks as the 300’ wooden bulk carrier Australasia which now lies in 25’ of water just off the beach at Whitefish Dunes State Park in Door County. The New York, a 280’ wooden steamer that foundered in a violent storm on October 1, 1910 in Lake Huron is also the focus of a session. She now lies in 90’ of water in Thunder Bay near Alpena, Michigan.
Lake Michigan Wrecks
“Shipwrecks of Muskegon County Michigan” is a session that deals with five wrecks off the central eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The highlight in this group is the whaleback steamer Henry Cort which lies broken and scattered along the Muskegon north breakwall in 50’ of water. The other ships included in this presentation are the Alpena, Muskegon, Salvor and the LC Woodruff.
The final session of the festival deals with the wreck of the self-unloading barge EMBA. Built as a schooner barge in 1890, she was converted to a self-unloading barge in 1923. In 1932, she was towed out into Lake Michigan off Milwaukee’s North Point and scuttled. She now lies in 170’ of water.
The Ghost Ship Festival exhibition hall opens Friday at 3pm and continues until 5pm. It reopens Saturday morning at 8am until the show closes at 7pm. This is a great place to find t-shirts, information on wreck dive charters and other wreck diving interests. Several marine archeology clubs have information on their groups as well.
With my background as a merchant marine working on ships on the Great Lakes for many years, as well as my time on the Great Lakes serving in the US Coast Guard, and my interest in wrecks and wreck diving, I have found this to be a very informative festival. The $25 ticket price for admission to all the sessions is well worth it. Hope to see you there.
by Andy Pressnell, Divemaster, MadisonScuba
For more information on the festival go to www.ghost-ships.org.
Many of the staff are headed to Chicago this weekend for the ‘Our World Underwater’ trade show. Seminars, trade show floor, gear exhibits and more good old fun will be had. The training and education that we receive each year at this event will enhance your learning experience when you take a class with MadisonScuba.Of course that means that someone has to stay back and staff the shop on Saturday from 9am – 4pm. JoAnn has graciously volunteered to do that this year. So come on in and get some good deals from JoAnn while the others are off getting educated. Snorkelers (or anyone for that matter) – We have a great accessory package sale – mesh backpack bag, neoprene mask strap cover, antifog, and drybox for $29.95. Add a full jumpsuit skin for $25! What a deal!
Until next time, let’s get wet!
Or Plan Your Dive and Dive Your Plan
Remember back to your first certification when your instructor went through the dive tables? Pressure groups … surface intervals … residual nitrogen with all the warnings on the back of the dive table about not staying down too long, diving in cold water, flying after diving, and more.
Or, if you have been certified in the last couple years, you were taught how to use the eRDP.
Oooo… the brain strainLet’s bring back some of those painful memories and perhaps make it more fun this time. How many of you can figure out the ending pressure group after a dive to 60 feet for 45 minutes with a one hour surface interval? And to make it just a little harder, what’s your ANDL for a second dive to 50 feet? By the way, what does ANDL mean?
There was a reason your instructor went through all that information, and probably more than once. It was to help you become a safe diver. Without creating a dive plan that you have verified through a dive table, the eRDP, or a dive computer, you are putting yourself at greater risk for an emergency, injury or worse. It takes only a few minutes to check your tables, or press a couple buttons on your dive computer to make sure the dive you are planning is within acceptable limits.
The most important part of all of this planning is to then dive your plan.
Too many divers simply follow the dive leader with the expectation that they will lead a safe dive. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. That is why it is important for you to check your own dive plan, just like you check your own air.
Use those skills or lose themYour dive tables and eRDP is like anything else; if you don’t use it, you lose it. We have a class scheduled for Tuesday, February 12 starting at 7 pm. Come in and we will review your dive tables or eRDP’s with some sample problems, explain the R.A.T. shuffle, and get you back up to speed on your dive planning. Never tried an eRDP? We have a demo you can try. If you are Nitrox certified, feel free to bring along those tables and we will be happy to review AED, oxygen exposure, and anything else you want to review.
Dive computers tooThat same night we have a dive computer class starting at 6:30. So if you already have a dive computer, but feel you aren’t getting the most out of it, come in and let us help you figure it out.
Dive tables … eRDPs … dive computers. They are all great tools to help you plan safe dives. But, they only work when you know how to use them. Stop into MadisonScuba and let us help you become a safer diver in 2013.