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Winter 1999



47450 Van Dyke · Shelby Twp., Michigan 48317 · (810) 254-7670 · Fax (810) 254-7520

Website: greatlakesdivecenter.com · E-mail: greatlakes@greatlakesdivecenter.com


WE WOULD LIKE TO START OUT THIS NEWSLETTER WITH A HUGE THANK-YOU. This is to all of you for your support and patronage. We will continue to bring you the service that we expect for ourselves, right into the next MILLENNIUM. We will also bring you some of the best equipment and the largest selection we can possibly carry without our building bursting. We will also continue to keep our staff up to date, and remain on the "cutting edge of technology!" Boy, I love those buzz words! To keep you up with new advancements, we have spoken to all the manufacturers of equipment that we carry, and we put together a TRADE-UP, TRADE-IN PROGRAM. This makes the B.C. that doesn't fit quite right, valuable! Or, how about the entry level regulator that you bought when you first were certified, but don't want to give up because it was "just as good." Well, I don't mean to surprise you but, the equipment that is manufactured today is hands down better than in the past. Details for the trade-in program are just too numerous to list here, but are available at the store. So stop in with your old and walk out with the new that will keep you "DIVING INTO THE NEXT MILLENNIUM."

We are continually adding to our inventory, class schedule and your travel options. We are constantly progressing and striving forward to bring you the best of the best! We would like to repeat that Great Lakes Divecenter is now a PADI 5-Star Instructor Development Center. This means we have reached another step in our agency's ladder of educational training. We have started to train instructor and instructor level courses. This puts Great Lakes Divecenter among an elite group of dive training facilities with a directive to give you the best training and service we possibly can.


Where would you be without the collectable Great Lakes Divecenter refrigerator magnet to schedule your next dive from! Well, they're here, and to get yours there's a catch. No, you don't have to make a purchase, but if you do want to see us around with a 2001 calendar, it won't hurt. All you have to do is come in and give us a smile. That's easier than most of the radio contests!

GREAT LAKES DIVECENTER REMAINS COMMITTED TO YOUR SAFETY. In our last newsletter we told you about a tank inspection process called Visual Plus. This is an added procedure that we perform on all aluminum cylinders. Last January we ordered our Visual Plus system. This testing provides a precise means to assess the threaded portion of a tank for occasional cracks that occasionally cannot be seen by standard inspection methods. Since then we have required all aluminum cylinders be inspected with this additional process. Whether it be done by us or another dive store, we require it for all airfills to aluminum tanks. Since we began this inspection process, we have found seven cylinders to have cracks or folds in the neck area. These seven tanks were shipped back to the manufacturer and all seven were replaced with new cylinders. One of those was a brand new cylinder off our floor that had yet gone into service. We were glad to see that the manufacturer agreed with our findings, but alarmed at finding any at all. Prior to using the Visual Plus system, we performed a visual inspection on cylinders using an inspection light and a mirror. Now we feel safer when we fill your tank; safer for us and for all our customers. We have been questioned by a small number of divers that this is a gimmick so we can charge more for a visual inspection. For the safety of all, we feel it is worth it! Not only that, as of late September 1999, Luxfer, a leading manufacturer of aluminum scuba cylinders, is requiring an eddy current type inspection be done on its cylinders. You must remember that the aluminum tank hasn't been around that long and the life expectancy of a high pressure tank is unknown. We are constantly trained in inspection processes, regulator repair and equipment maintenance to keep you, and this sport we enjoy so much, safe.

JOIN THE GROWING RANKS of certified divers! Do it the easy way, with one of Michigan's finest PADI 5 STAR training centers...using the number one educational system in the world today!

JOIN US at Great Lakes Divecenter for an enjoyable, non-strenuous weekday or weekend class. This is scheduled for your convenience, and tailored to enter you into the WORLD OF SCUBA! Your course "Part 1" will allow you to complete your pool and classroom training here at our Training Facility. Your instructor will be friendly, highly

qualified and have years of experience training people to dive safely.

JOIN US AGAIN for your "Part 2". This consists of open water training dives. It may begin with a "refresher" pool session, if necessary, so you are totally at home in the open water environment.

BEFORE YOU JOIN US for Part 1, you will receive a student packet containing your books and a reading and workbook assignment that must be completed prior to class. You will also be supplied with a set of video tapes you will need to view prior to attending the classroom portion of your course. They will help reinforce the information that you've read from the manual, and also compliment the lectures in your classroom portion. A $100.00 non-refundable deposit secures your place in the class, and will have your student packet on the way to you. The remainder of your tuition is due the first day of class.


Books, set of instructional videos, dive table, log book, certification card and wall certificate.

All instructional fees for pool and openwater dives.

Rental gear for your first pool includes: mask, snorkel, fins, tank, jacket style B.C. with auto inflator, regulator with submersible pressure gauge, weight belt and weights, wet suit and wet suit boots. All that is necessary for each student to have is a bathing suit and a towel!!! After completing your first pool session in "Part 1", you will have the knowledge to correctly purchase your personal gear which will be needed for the remainder of your class and your open water dives. This consists of: mask, fins, snorkel & boots. All other equipment supplied for your pool sessions will again be supplied for your "Part 2". If we cannot fit you with a wetsuit from our rentals and you have to rent elsewhere, we will give you a $25 in-store credit that can be used to purchase your own scuba equipment!

OPPORTUNITIES: After earning your PADI Open Water Diver Certification, you are welcome to join us in our constant program of diving activities. You will have the opportunity to explore shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, dive in the local area, or accompany us around the world for excellent diving. All this time you will be in the company of our professional staff, your classmates, or other divers like yourself from all over. During this time you will be experiencing some of the most exciting times of your life!!

ABOUT THE COURSE: The course is staffed by a team of instructors dedicated to diving education in a fun, safe, relaxing manner. To become part of this program you need to be at least 12 years of age, and in reasonably good health with a medical form filled out by your physician. There is a minimal swimming requirement...you simply must feel comfortable in the water. The classroom is used to review and better your understanding of what you have

already learned from your student package (the

manual must be read, videos viewed and assignments


completed prior to your first class session). The format of the classroom is designed for your participation, and totally involves you in many aspects of diving. The pool is to help you relax and have fun in the water using scuba gear. With an instructor always at your side, we have plenty of time to cover all the skills, and gain proficiency in scuba techniques. The open water training dives are in local inland lakes, local quarries or in Florida. During the dives we will be practicing all scuba skills learned in the pool.



THE RESCUE DIVER COURSE FOLLOWS ADVANCED OPEN WATER in PADI's continuing education program. Completing this course will boost your self confidence and capabilities as a diver. The Rescue Diver course will also start you on the path toward becoming a more experienced diver and a better buddy. As a diver, it is beneficial to know that you and your buddy have all the skills needed to safely enjoy every dive you make. It's comforting to know that you can handle the more challenging situations that you may encounter, and that you know what to do should your buddy ever need your assistance. The course consists of two days of classroom and two days of open water sessions. Classroom topics include:

H Self Rescue and Diver Stress

H Diving First Aid

H Emergency Management

H Equipment Considerations

The classroom work will be followed by open water sessions where you will practice some valuable skills that will help you and your buddy in difficult situations. During these sessions you'll practice some skills such as, swimming and non-swimming assists, diver response and underwater problems, first aid procedures for diving injuries, and proper responses to various diving accident situations. This training will only make you a better diver and a better buddy!

ANOTHER COURSE ON OUR CALENDAR...MEDIC FIRST AID. This course is for the diver and non-diver alike. It is also a requirement for Rescue Diver. Medic First Aid combines First Aid and CPR training. This life saving, hands on training will benefit everyone. A course where you should have the training in hopes you never have to use it. Medic First Aid was designed to 'fill the gap' we've had in our PADI continuing education program. When a diver wanted to reach the PADI Rescue Diver level, we had to ensure that they fulfill the required First Aid and CPR courses on their own. The Medic First Aid Certification does just that. This is an 8 hour course taught either in two 4 hour sessions or one 8 hour session. We have tried to make this available to everyone because of its importance. Medic First Aid is available through a PADI training facility and is approved by the U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration. This course covers primary care, secondary surveys and treatment, according to JAMA standards (June 86) and teaches the average citizen to follow the same emergency first aid procedures and priorities used by paramedics and doctors, but at a lay person's level. This course is recommended for you and all your family members. Course dates and times can be found in our calendar of events. Reserve your spot today.

THE DIVEMASTER COURSE IS THE FIRST STEP IN DIVING LEADERSHIP. Divemasters are very important members of the diving community and are extremely valuable to instructors. Divemasters are found in

all facets of the dive industry from assisting instructors with training programs to organizing and leading dives in resort settings. During our Divemaster program, you will refine your diving skills and learn instructor level diving knowledge that is valuable when assisting with courses, and when you have the responsible role of organizing diving activities. During the pool and open water sessions of the divemaster program you will practice and sharpen your diving skills. Also, you will practice leading students and acting as an instructional assistant. Our program also includes advanced training in equipment maintenance and techniques for minor "field" repairs. If you're certified as a Rescue Diver, have 20 logged dives and are 18 years of age, you could be on your way to becoming a PADI Divemaster.



PADI instructors are in great demand today and work in all facets of the diving industry. Many are employed full time at diving resorts, dive stores, or cruise ships throughout the world. Other instructors teach part time and enjoy the rewards of having a really enjoyable weekend job. If you really enjoy diving, you can turn your hobby into an exciting career. Just think about entering the diving industry as a professional PADI scuba instructor. It can open up a new world of opportunities for you. With your instructor certification, you will enjoy diving and travel opportunities that can make your life and the enjoyment of diving more exciting and fulfilling. PADI Divemasters and Assistant Instructors meeting the starting requirements may enter into the Instructor Development Course and then complete your training with the

Instructor Evaluation. Upon passing you will be awarded the esteemed PADI Open Water Instructor certification. Now is the time to join the ranks of the professional diving educators. Requirements for entering the Instructor Development Course: PADI Divemaster or Assistant Instructor certification, 18 years of age, 1 year since your beginning certification and 100 logged dive. CPR and First Aid or PADI Medic First Aid training within the last 2 years. Call for additional information, schedule and details.

IF YOU'RE NOT TOO SURE YOU WANT TO BE AN OPEN WATER INSTRUCTOR, but would like to gain more knowledge and scratch the surface of the realm of teaching, then the PADI Assistant Instructor course is designed for you. This course provides PADI Divemasters, and those certified to leadership levels with other diver training organizations, with additional training as instructional assistant and dive educators. This course builds upon the divemaster's abilities to organize and supervise dive activities while concentrating on developing teaching skills. Through independent study, classroom sessions and practical application, candidates learn to construct effective teaching presentations and conduct PADI programs. With additional training, an Assistant

Instructor can also teach the PADI Medic First Aid and Equipment Specialty courses as well as the D.A.N. Oxygen Provider Course. This is a good way to decide when to further your training to PADI Open Water Instructor.

D.A.N. OXYGEN PROVIDER COURSE IS ADDED TO OUR CURRICULUM. You will now find the Oxygen Provider course on our calendar of events. This course has been structured by Divers Alert Network. It is designed to educate you to better recognize possible dive-related injuries and how to provide emergency oxygen first aid while activating the nearest emergency medical services and/or arranging for evacuation to the nearest available medical facility. The course content is for the novice as well as the diving professional alike and will introduce you to the fundamentals of dive accident recognition, response and management as well as increase your training and further your education. The minimum age requirement is 12 years old. CPR is also a requirement. This is why this course has been conveniently scheduled following the P.A.D.I. Medic First Aid Course. Contact us for more information or to sign up. Remember that with all classes we offer, space is limited.






Michigan diving is great, but to take full advantage of our natural resource, fresh water, and to extend our sometimes referred to as 'seasonal diving', you'll benefit with a drysuit. When the water chills, the algae dies along with the plant life. This just makes the visibility that much better. In your class you will develop your knowledge of drysuits and drysuit accessories. You'll learn maintenance and how to make minor repairs. You will get a chance to learn techniques , first in a controlled, pool environment. Then you go to open water to refine your skills. All this while you learn to plan, organize and conduct safe dives using a drysuit and have fun doing it! By the way, here at Great Lakes Divecenter, we feel

that there are not 4 seasons, but 1 season. That's the dive season!!

TO GIVE YOU MORE TIME UNDERWATER...LOOK INTO NITROX! When we were looking to open our retail store, we said, "We will not do Nitrox!" At that time, the advocates of Nitrox were, what I considered the Yahoo divers, the cavers and the deep wreck divers. Then I attended a 5 day technical conference put on by the technical diving community. The majority of the speakers were not the yahoos I thought they were. They were respected divers in the medical field. Most trained in the specialized area of Hyperbaric medicine. They were saying that air is not the breathing gas of choice for all dives. Nitrox will not extend your depth. In fact, it makes you more aware of your depth and restricts you from going deeper than recommended. What it does do is give you more time underwater. So does a bigger tank, but Nitrox greatly reduces the chances of decompression sickness. Why did you take up diving? To see the beauty underwater. Now you can see the whole feature presentation, not just the previews! With our course the only special equipment you should have is an oxygen analyzer. Your tanks do not have to be cleaned and dedicated. You do not have to have special regulators. On site, we have a state of the art, Undersea Breathing Systems membrane filter. We can determine what percent of oxygen is in the air we fill your tank with. Your tank or regulator is never exposed to 100% pure oxygen. This is a safer way for us to offer fills with Nitrox. If you have any question before you sign up for class, we will be more than happy to show you around. We are proud of every aspect of our store, but the air/nitrox fill equipment is like our monolith. See for yourself.

ICE DOESN'T JUST BELONG IN A GLASS! It's that time of year for the water outside to become hard. I think they call it ice. With that brings out the hardy divers who agree with us that Michigan has only one season. That is the DIVING SEASON! Our Ice Diver Specialty is scheduled for 3 days in February. One classroom session and 3 open water dives. During the classroom session here at our facility you will learn the techniques and procedures used while diving under the ice. Then, during the open water dives, you will experience the unusual clarity of the water due to the settling of the sediment. Included in the course is all the specialized equipment such as line, harnesses and hot chocolate. Also, tank use and airfills. The reason we include tanks and air is that a visual will be done on the tanks we will be using just prior to class to ensure that no water or moisture is in the tank. Advanced Open Water certification

is a prerequisite for this course. To assure us that there will be suitable ice for diving, Jack cannot register until the day of class.

ALL PADI SPECIALTY COURSES ARE DESIGNED TO MAKE YOU A BETTER DIVER. By instruction, planning, organizing and practical applications you will gain experience and confidence to make your diving career more safe and enjoyable. We hope to see you in class soon.


THERE ARE STILL A FEW SPOTS LEFT FOR THE EXOTIC DESTINATION: UTILA, HONDURAS Fifteen miles west of the island of Roatan and just off the mainland coast of Honduras, you will find the island of

UTILA. A short walk down the main street, which is lined with Victorian architecture, you will come to the Utila Lodge. Here you are offered the most personalized and friendly vacation experiences in the Honduran Bay Islands. The lodges 8 air-conditioned rooms will be our home for the week. There is an excellent restaurant-clubhouse built on stilts over water so clear you can watch eagle rays play under the dock while you lunch. A full service dive shop will be at our disposal for the entire week. There are also good beaches, caves, hiking, kayaking and fishing available. While diving you can expect some of the most spectacular encounters the seas have to offer. Bob says that whale shark and dolphin sightings are frequent while the sea mounts walls, caverns and other sea life are a

daily encounter. Large pelagic like blue marlin and sailfish are spotted here more frequently than anywhere else in the islands. Bob also says that if you go with him on this trip and you don't see any of these things, the first round is on him. What a guy! This trip includes round trip airfare, 7 nights lodging, 3 meals per day, 3 boat dives daily, 2 night boat dives, unlimited shore diving, free use of tanks, weights, canoes and kayaks.

FOR A WEEKEND DIVE TRIP...THE 'DAWNLIGHT' IS #1! Capt'n Ray and Crewmate Scott run one of the best liveaboards we've seen in the Great Lakes. We had such a terrific time in the past that we again booked 3

separate weekend trips for the summer 2000. Trip #1 will concentrate diving in and around Tobermory. Diving such wrecks as the 'WETMORE', the 'KING', the 'SWEEPSTAKES', and the new wreck, the 'NIAGRA II'. Tobermory is the diving MECCA of the Great Lakes. Trip #2 and #3 will take you to the wreck of the 'NORTHWIND', a fantastic dive site just south of Manitoulin Island and then continue to more sites along the Northern Passage around Manitoulin Island. Each of these trips includes lodging, food and airfills. There is no better way to spend a dive weekend in Georgian Bay and have Capt'n Ray chauffeur you to your destination while you sleep, wake up to a meal prepared by Scott, dive a great dive site and then feed you again! As you are reading this, we are taking reservations, and the trips are filling fast! A $100 deposit will

hold your spot. Don't wait or you'll be late!


Include weekend dive trips to Macinaw, Alpena and White Fish Point. These will be small groups of 6 or 12 divers only! We are finalizing the hotel/dive packages as you read on. The dates and destinations are on our calendar of events. Take the time to check your schedules and ours. You just might find us underwater together.

CAN YOU MAKE A DIVE AND NOT GET WET? We have reserved a day to take a group of 15 (maximum) divers to experience a controlled Hyperbaric (recompression) chamber dive under the direction of the well trained staff at the Great Lakes Institute of Hyperbaric Medicine in Kalamazoo, MI. The Institute is a division of Bronson Methodist Hospital. Our dive will not only be a learning experience, but will also be used to gather valuable data for the institute by the means of dexterity tests and a comprehension test. Not to worry, there will be no final exam! You will also be shown the effects of pressure on objects such as a piece of wet suit material, an inflated balloon at the surface and at depth, a ping pong ball, etc. We will be escorted to pressure depths greater than 100 feet. Divers are welcome to bring their own dive computers and log books. If time permits, we might tour the monochamber facility with Rod Albrecht, RRT, who is Director of Operations, and is quite knowledgeable on Hyperbaric medicine. He will also answer any questions you might have. Please bring your own cotton sweat suit or other comfortable clothing.



Proper care and maintenance of your equipment is essential in scuba diving. That's why knowing how to store it correctly is a must! Over the winter months, when the diving season has ended for some of us, you'll find dive gear

packed away in the corners of basements and garages. During that time you could be doing irreversible damage to your equipment. Special attention is necessary for every piece of gear. Here are just a few pointers. Let's start out with a good rinsing of everything. While doing this it's a good idea to use some kind of cleanser on your B.C., wetsuit, and all other neoprene products. Don't just use any cleanser though, there are special products made for your B.C. like "B.C. Life" which kills all bacteria that may have started to grow and multiply inside your B.C. You may have remembered to rinse the outside, but forgot the inside. This area is a trap for the nasties!! Make sure your B.C. is partially inflated, whether hanging or laying flat (hanging is the best). For your wetsuit, there is a new solution to that smelly

problem. "Sink the Stink" is a concentrated formula that will take that smell away! When packing your wetsuit

away, you'll want to make sure that it is hung in a position that will cause no creases in the neoprene. Creases cause an area that will compress the gas bubbles in the wetsuit material which will cause it to loose warmth and eventually cause additional wear. Your regulator and gauges need special care also. When was the last time you had them overhauled? Now is a good time to get it done, so you'll be ready for your first dive next spring or that dive trip you are planning. Make sure when storing your regulators that none of the hoses are kinked. For this reason hanging is your best bet. Adding hose protectors and hose wraps will help extend the life of these hoses and make them more visible. Your tank

requires special attention in the diving season and during the off season, too. Tanks should be stood securely with the valve protected. It should be drained down to 300-500 p.s.i. so metal fatigue will not occur. DO NOT DRAIN COMPLETELY!!! Check your hydrostatic dates and V.I.P. stickers to see if service needs to be done on your tanks. When storing your mask, snorkel, and fins there are some considerations that should be taken. Never mix silicone and rubber products, as they aren't compatible and will cause discoloration. Spray your mask and snorkel (silicone only!) with a vegetable grade silicone spray to prolong its shelf life. Fins should be laid down flat or hung by straps, setting them on their tips will cause the fin to bend and eventually ruin them. As always, only store your gear in a clean, dry place. We hope these tips will help keep your gear in excellent condition.

ANOTHER WAY TO KEEP YOUR INVESTMENT IN TOP WORKING order is by attending our EQUIPMENT SPECIALTY COURSE. In this course you will be instructed in the operation and maintenance of scuba equipment. You will learn periodic, recommended and required manufacturers maintenance procedures. This course will not replace the manufacturers required maintenance to maintain the warranty on scuba equipment. This course will include demonstrations of repair procedures. We will also answer any questions on equipment you now own or plan to purchase in the near future. This information alone will help you in your buying decisions so your purchases are for the optimum quality for your dollar. Look for course dates in our calendar.


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