We continue to teach. All of our pool classes – Open Water Diver, Scuba Skills Update, Perfect Buoyancy, Try Scuba, and more – usually on the second weekend of the month. Saturday night and/or Sunday morning at the great Sun Prairie High School pool. It’s warm (81F in the water), it’s clear…, and a good time to: Get a Scuba Skills Update or work on your skills before that warm water vacation; take that Perfect Buoyancy class to learn and work on perhaps the most important skill in diving; bring you friends to the pool for Try Scuba, the no pressure, have fun tooling around the pool, introductory diving experience; just get back in the water because you love it!
Continuing all winter will be classroom courses taught at the shop on the first Monday of the month – React Right and on the third Monday of the month – Nitrox. Both of these courses are taught in the warm confines our training room at the shop. Relax, have a refreshment, and learn in a laid back atmosphere some new skills and knowledge to continue to make you a more confident and comfortable diver.
Yes, DIVE!!! We have several opportunities to dive this winter without breaking the bank to go to Fiji (although that would be nice). Another in the yearly efforts to get an Ice Dive in will take place on February 1. In the past several years Mother Nature has not been very cooperative with this planning. We need 1) Ice 2) cold weather 3) a lot of equipment and 4) Ice. We have been lacking in 1, 2, and 4 in the last few years. This year…… here’s to the early winter?!
Mall of America – Dive with the Sharks and Sturgeon of the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium on January 25-26. Sign up here. Two dives, one in the salt water tank and the other in the fresh water tank. Open Water Certified and at least 16 years old are the requirements. We’ll have a rental special as you need to bring all gear but tanks (hood and gloves too).
Bonne Terre Mine – We travel to Bonne Terre, MO once again to dive the former mine that is now a billion gallon lake. Stick leads us on another adventure on April 4-6. Sign up here.
Stop out to the shop to talk gear, diving, where to go, what to do or anything that else that you might like to jaw about. This is a time that we retool the shop and take time to recharge our batteries too. Part of that is hanging out with you, an integral part of the MadisonScuba Dive Team. If you were just certified this summer or have been diving with us for years, we love to hear of your adventures, stories, share your photos or just relax getting to know you better. Stop out, the fridge always has something in it for you.
‘Til next time – Let’s get wet.
We have many opportunities to dive locally this summer with MadisonScuba. Most are free, most have a special price for rental gear, most are nearby and all are FUN! Even if you are a warm water only diver, as we get into July, August and September, there are several warmer water opportunities for you!Haigh Quarry Day Trip – This Saturday, July 6, we are going to Haigh Quarry in Kankakee, Illinois. Even Stick hasn’t been there! Known as ‘The Caribbean of the Midwest’, Haigh is a great place for all levels of diver. Split into 3 sections (makes for a nice 3 tank day) – deep (to 75′), middle (40′-55′) and shallow (25′-30′) – the quarry has tons of fresh water fish including perch, bass, walleye, northern, musky and even 4 paddlefish! We’ll leave the Dutch Mill park-n-ride at 7 am and return around 10 pm. Sign up here. Our Tuesday Night Adventure Dive program – Every Tuesday night at a dive site around the Madison area, MadisonScuba hosts a fun dive for any certified diver. Come on out by yourself (you’ll get paired with a buddy) or bring your buddy (or five) to dive some interesting places in Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, or Devil’s Lake. There is always something new to see that you may not see again. Have you seen a sturgeon in Lake Monona? Georgie did on her first dive. Have you seen the Treasure Chest at Second Point? JoAnn and Brian did.
There are several night dives planned along with “The 115th Annual Golf Ball Hunt” in August at Shorewood. You can work on and finish several different specialties while participating in these dives. All of those can count toward your Advanced Open Water diver certification!Instant Dives on Facebook – Like our Facebook page here and get together with divers who want to dive. Post a dive you would like to do or keep in touch and join a dive that ‘just happens’. Got some extra time during the daytime and looking for a dive buddy? We have several avid divers who have night jobs and are open to diving during the daytime during the week. Want to dive Lake Michigan wrecks? Post that too. There are several divers who make trips to Milwaukee and Port Washington quite often.
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!
35 Models of Masks
If you are looking for quality snorkeling equipment as you get ready to escape Wisconsin’s cold and snow, MadisonScuba is the place for you. We have over 35 different models of masks in stock to help you find the one that fits your face. We specialize in Cressi and Tusa masks. Cressi masks are consistently chosen #1 in surveys. Stop in and spend some time with one of our water specialists who will help you find the right mask for you. No matter what your face size/shape, we are confident you will find something that will fit.
We don’t sell them for a reason. Just because your feet are a certain size doesn’t mean the mask they put in that box will fit your face. Also, the new crystal silicon mask skirts on the Cressi masks will blow you away with their softness and ability to seal to your face. Plus, they will last much longer.
Dry Snorkels!After you find that perfect mask, browse our large selection of dry and side draft snorkels in colors to match your mask. We can also help you with fins, skins, defog, mesh carrying bags, and more. Everything to prepare you for your snorkeling getaway.
Where have you been?
Stop in and see us. We’d love to hear about your vacation plans. Feel free to ask about some of the places we have been as you start to plan your next great escape.
Sign up here for the Snorkeling pool class before you go on that trip.
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.
Scuba lessons, scuba certification, beginner diver, what does it all mean?
When just starting out in any activity you seek expertise, knowledge and a teacher that can point you in the right direction down the path to success. Introducing people to scuba through beginning scuba lessons, PADI Open Water Certification, is one of the most satisfying things we do at MadisonScuba.
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
1 – Classroom – Two sessions of learning what scuba diving is all about from the equipment used to basic safety to the skills developed while diving. Both sessions are conveniently held at the shop in Sun Prairie.
2 – Pool – Two sessions of actually putting the lessons you learned in the classroom into practice. In the confines of a pool (the new Sun Prairie High School pool), you learn and practice real diving skills.
3 – Checkouts – Two sessions of actual diving demonstrating your understanding of the lessons you learned in the classroom and pool. These sessions take place in ‘Open’ water – a lake or the ocean – either seasonally here with MadisonScuba or by referral on your vacation in a warm water destination.
Complete these three steps (with MadisonScuba) and you qualify to become a PADI Open Water Diver.
Sign up here for the start of your next adventure!
Let’s get wet!
We have had so many inquiries with those two questions, we are going to create a page on the web site for those recommendations with space for your experiences with the locale or shop.
Do you have a favorite place to dive with a favorite shop/team to dive with? Let us know about it! Send Brian an email, email@example.com, with all the details.Do you know about Scuba Earth? Scuba Earth is a PADI driven web site that is sort of a Facebook for divers. I know, just another social media site that you need to take up your valuable leisure time. The difference with this site and the others is that it is for diving and divers.
Simply go to www.scubaearth.com, sign-up for an account, create your profile and find your buddies.
This allows you to talk diving with others without having to have photos of what someone just ate, what their children are doing today and all of the other stuff that happens on Facebook. Unless of course the aforementioned things pertain to the great dive vacation in Fiji!
You can link your posts to Facebook and Twitter if you like, or not. Search for Madison Scuba and join our crew.
Until next time, let’s get wet!