Casino Point DIR Demo - trip report

Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by MHK on July 23, 2001 at 15:41:21:

My observations with respect to this weekends demo are that I'm saddened and disappointed at the status of the dive industry and I'm glad that I'm not part of it..

This is the second demo that we have done at a location that is frequented by new diver's. The first was in Monterey. To say that our lectures were crowded would be an overstatement. In fact, I was told by two people and Terry commented to me that he was also told that instructors were telling their students not to go over and ask questions and not to attend the FREE demo.. Why are they afraid that there students will learn something???

Despite that staunch opposition the days went well. We had many that did in fact come by and that did in fact try our gear configuration and that did in fact get in the water with us.. I'll allow those diver's to share their own view..

But what startled me about the stauts of the weekend, and we need to be candid in our comments, is the VOLUMES of classes that are being churned out by Sport Chalet, and by extension PADI..

To a tee, we followed them right down the mooring while the students sat in the sand, did two quick skills and the dive was over. Do this 4 times, watch the cd-rom and attend a few lectures and you are certified for life..

I don't care what side of the DIR debate you fall on, this crap is absolutely absurd.. There was NO training whatsoever.. It was a damn cookie-cutter, mill operation.. We saw one class we counted 22 students with one instructor and a few DM's.. I made it a point to follow these guys in the water, and to the tee what you had was 22 students on their knees all facing one instructor and three DM's, on their knees behind the students.. They took FOREVER to get off the steps, they snorkled over to the mooring, pulled themselves down the line and then sat on their knees and didn't move at all.. Once the 22nd student fininshed the mask clear they ascended and NEVER moved.. Can anyone tell me how that teaches someone to dive and qualifies them to be certified for life????

We took several people on escorts and made a point of showing proper trim and bouyancy skills.. I also made a point of swimming the escorts over to the cattle mill and it was remarked more than once to me that they way we dive was not shown to them during any prior training..

Special thanks to George Irvine and Pina for flying out and huge kudos to the Mayor ;-) of Catalina Island, Don Lake.. { he's not really the Mayor so calm down], but hell he mind as well be because he knows everyone in town and on a weekend that was rock solid booked he put us up in his house, he was an invaluable resource and we would not have been able to pull it off without his and Brad's efforts.. The Don and Brad moving company is open for business ;-)

John Walker, Terry May, Pat Farina et. al thank you very much.. Also thanks to those that attended and/or just stoped by to introduce themselves...

We've got the Calif. Wreck diver's demo coming up so we need to rest and relax a while before we head into that lear ;-)


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