The Underwater Archaelogical Society of BC (UASBC) Underwater Explorer Speaker Series
The USABC is hosting some incredible speakers this year!
All talks start at 7:30 and are located at the Vancouver Maritime Museum - 1905 Ogden St., Vancouver
- February 27: Dr. Chris Harvey-Clarke, marine biologist and Roy Mulder, uw photographer, HMS Raleigh: this Royal Navy cruiser was wrecked at Forteau Bay, Labrador on August 8, 1922 with a loss of 11 sailors. Chris and Roy were part of a team in the summer of 2012 to dive and document this dynamic and rarely visited wreck site
- March 27: Tom Bell, hard hat diver, Heritage Hard Hat Diving: an illustrated history of hard hat diving in BC and displays of hard hat equipment
- April 24: Heather Pringle, National Geographic author, Vikings and the Dorset, archaeological evidence of a second Viking site in North America http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/10/121019-viking-outpost-second-new-canada-science-sutherland/
- May 29: Glen Dennison, dive author, Diving Howe Sound Reefs & Islands: a photo journey and book signing http://divinghowesound.yolasite.com/
- June 26: Mark Atherton, sonar expert, Echoes and Images: an illustrated review of the how and what of Side-Scan and Scanning Sonar Operations and a book signing http://echoesandimages.com/
- September 25: Lee Newman, uw photographer, Cave Diving in Tulum: explorations of one of the world’s largest cenotes
- October 30: Keith Bossons Shipwreck Diving in Ontario: photos from a 2 week dive trip to the premiere shipwrecks in Ontario
- November 27: Bruce Partridge, rebreather designer, Rebreathers - Diving’s next frontier: the past and the future of rebreathers in recreational diving
Vancouver Aquarium Divers Weekend - January 19 and 20, 2013
This 14th annual celebration of diving will engage divers and non-divers alike. Featuring compelling diving demonstrations, exhibits and conversations, Divers’ Weekend will inspire visitors to further explore the oceans, exchange ideas and expand their horizons.
Divers’ Weekend 2013 will feature events including:
- Diving Seminar Series including 10 fascinating talks over two days highlighting featuring the themes of Exploration and Conservation (see schedule below);
- Diving demonstrations by the Canadian Coast Guard, RCMP and Royal Canadian Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal dive teams;
- Exhibits by diving clubs, organizations and businesses, including hands-on opportunities with Aquatica camera housings and products and Aqua Lung dive gear;
- Demonstration dives featuring vintage hard hat dive suit;
- Fun gallery activities for the kids.
Certified divers receive 50 percent off admission or 10 percent off Aquarium membership with a valid certification card.
Look out for the following presentations!
Explore Your Own Backyard: Three Great Vancouver Shore Dives!
Presented by Lee Newman, Diver and photographer
January 19 @ 1:00 pm at the Vancouver Aquarium Divers Weekend
Technical Diving - Explore More!
Presented by Greg McCracken, Technical Diver Instructor Trainer, Owner - Ocean Quest Dive Centre
January 19 @ 4:00 pm at the Vancouver Aquarium Divers Weekend
Photo by Lee Newman
Two Big Milestones Reached this Month!
Ocean Quest is celebrating its 15th year in business!
When we first started Ocean Quest, we wanted to create a different type of dive centre. We wanted to build our reputation as being experts in diver training, for always looking out for the best interest of our customers and by building a fun and personable atmosphere around the shop.
We are proud of the many achievements we have made over the years. Some of which include:
- Achieved the PADI Career Development Centre rating making Ocean Quest one of only two PADI Career Development Centre's in Canada.
- Partnered with Capilano University to conduct the 8 month, full-time, Professional Scuba Dive Instructor program. This unique program attracts students from across Canada to become the worlds best scuba instructors! Graduates are working throughout BC and around the world!
- Earned the Diver Acquisition Award from PADI rating Ocean Quest as one of the top 3 dive centres in Canada for entry level training.
- Earned the PADI TecRec designation. Ocean Quest is the leader in diver training including technical diving. Our technical diving courses offer the progressive up to date training in both backmount or sidemount configuration.
- Ocean Quest expanded! As many know, Ocean Quest expanded a little over two years ago. This has allowed us to provide better service and a larger equipment selection for our customers. In addition, we have hosted several guest speaker nights on a variety of topics.
We would like to thank you for your loyalty and friendship and look forward to serving your for many years to come!
Greg and Deirdre accept Diver Aquisition Award from PADI
Greg McCracken celebrates his 20th year as a PADI Instructor!
Greg completed his Instructor training with PADI Canada in December 1992 and hasn't looked back since. He has had many adventures since earning his instructor rating, including meeting his wife Deirdre (who is a PADI Master Instructor), travelling throughout Central America and Mexico and together with Deirdre, starting Ocean Quest.
Some of Greg's achievements include:
- Earned PADI Course Director rating in 1997. PADI Course Director is the highest instructor rating available through PADI. Only PADI Course Directors can train instructors, specialty instructors and IDC Staff Instructors.
- Earned Technical Instructor Trainer rating in early 2000's.
- Earned several Certificates of Excellence from PADI.
- Earned Platinum Course Director rating several times. The Platinum Award is earned by less than 50 - 60 Course Directors each year.
- Conduced the first ever DSAT Tec 45 and the first ever TMX 50 programs in the world!
- Issued close to1800 instructor level certifications and over 3500 certifications at all levels.
How To Choose a Dive Computer - by Greg McCracken
Most computers do the same thing. There are some little features that may make one different than the other, for example, back lighting capability, some will have additional hardware you can purchase to upload data to your computer, etc. The common features of all computers are; they calculate your depth, bottom time and dive table/no decompression time. They also have ascent rate indicators, log your dives and they almost all have the ability to input Nitrox blends.
Essentially there are two differences between computer models and manufactures. They are the computers configuration and what dive table algorithm the computer uses. A third feature to look for is the customer service provided by the supplier.
Configuration has to do with its display (is it easy to read), its size (watch style vs. "puck" style) and how easy is it to access the various functions (dive plan mode, dive log mode, set nitrox mixtures, etc.).
The algorithm is related to which dive table it has integrated. Of course most divers are familiar with the PADI dive tables as this is what they learn when they first start diving. The PADI dive tables were created by DSAT (Diving Science and Technology) which is a sister company of PADI. To this day, they are the only dive table tested for recreational diving. Other common algorithms you will see are known as Buhlmann Z16 and RGBM (Reduced Gradient Bubble Model). Both of these algorithms were primarily tested and used for decompression diving. When comparing the DSAT algorithm with the other two algorithms, you will notice that the DSAT actually gives you more time underwater, especially at deeper depths (around 100 ft/30 m.). Believe it or not, I think this is actually a good thing. The problem I see with the decompression based algorithms is that they are overly conservative (due to the fact that they are based on decompression not no-decompression diving). There are many draw backs to the conservative algorithms. First they do not give you as much dive time (the idea of a computer is to give you more dive time - within safe limits), they often put you into false decompression meaning they may require you to do long decompression stops when they are actually not necessary. If you do not or can not (based on your air supply) meet their decompression obligations, they are prone to lock out and will not allow you to dive again for 24 hours. They also typically becoming increasingly more conservative for repetitive dives as they have a slower gas wash out tissue. I can give you specific examples of this at the shop.
The brand of computers we recommend for most divers would be from Oceanic or its sister company Aeris as they have a range of computers that differ in their price, features and configuration. They also give you the best options for algorithm, in fact, they are the only manufacturer that uses the DSAT algorithm. Oceanic computers also give you the choice to use the more conservative Buhlmann algorithm as well. Personally, I think the DSAT algorithm is the one to use for recreational diving as it is well tested and gives you more dive time. The local Oceanic distributor also has excellent service (as do we!) should you ever have a warranty issue.
Another style of computers to consider are from a company called Liquivision. Liquivision computers (Xen, Kaon, Lynx and XEO) use OLED display which make them incredibly easy to see underwater. They are also feature rich and untilize tap technology which makes them very intuitive to use. Liquivision computers also allow frimware updates which means you can update your computer anytime Liquivision puts out a new software upgrade. Without question, Liquivision computers are one of the most innovative on the market and get a big thumbs up from me.
A note about air integrated computers: If you choose an air integrated computer, we strongly recommend that you also have a back up analog pressure gauge. The reason for this is if your computer ever fails underwater, you will lose all of your information including your air pressure. This leaves you with only one safe option, go to the surface. If you have an analog pressure gauge and your computer fails, you will still surface, however, you can rely on your buddy's information to determine information such as depth and time, you can do a long safety stop as necessary, you may even be able to complete repetitive dives.
A note about purchasing used computers or buying on-line: Used computers as well as computers purchased on-line do not come with a manufactures warranty. Although computers are very reliable, they can still fail due to a warranty malfunction. We are able to efficiently support any warranty problems with computers purchased through the Ocean Quest. If a used or on-line purchased computer fails, you will have no service or support.
Ocean Quest is having a Mid Summer Clear Out Sale! Used Drysuit from $300 and used regulators from $350. Brand new back inflate weight integrated BCD's from $220.00 (60% off!). Many more great deals! Click here for more information!
- Sidemount Diving Hits Vancouver, BC!
- Sidemount Diving with Jeff Loflin July 12 and 13!
- Shoot Like a Pro with Jett and Kathryn Britnell
- Greg McCracken will talk about "Living the Dream" at the Vancouver Aquarium Divers Weekend
- Go Pro Night January 12 at Ocean Quest!
- Recompression Tour and Talk with Dr. Harrison, Diving Physician @ VGH - Dec. 12
- Tuwanek Dive Day - December 10
- DSAT Wreck Penetraton Course - August 15!
- Ocean Quest Earns PADI Acquisition Award
- Free Presentation with Jett Britnell this Thursday