lionfish at columbia shallows
We just completed the final visit of this winter to Cozumel, Mexico, with yet another wonderful group of our Ocean Sports family. This group was unique in that they came from all over: two from Ontario, two from Fort McMurray, one from Cold Lake, and “international flavour” added by two ladies from Minnesota! We also had Leduc and Fort Saskatchewan represented, along with several actual Edmontonians. Great group of people!
Wonderful weather and five great days of diving to some amazing spots: we visited Tormentos, Paradise, Palancar Gardens, Cedral Wall and also Cedral Pass, Columbia Deep and Columbia Shallows, Chankanaab Bolones (where we encountered the Atlantis Submarine!), Punta Tunich and Chankanaab Shallows. Will we ever run out of dive sites here? Unlikely! We also did several shore dives at Villa Blanca including introducing five relatively new divers to the joys of night diving.
As a group we visited several of my favourite restaurants also, including Sorrisi, Casa Denis, Blue Angel Resort, Wet Wendy’s Margarita Bar and this year at El Pique not one but TWO of our hearty participants ate the sopa especial, which is made with cabeza de res, which is, of course, the head of the cow.
hawksbill turtle at columbia shallows
That’s it for trips for this winter; we posted a few more photos at the AtkinsScuba.com page on Facebook. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who participated in the trips this year; you all rock! We had a wonderful time with each and every one of you!
We have three planned for the 2011-2012 winter season, and lots of training in the Edmonton area this summer!
I've got my eye on you, too.
Keeping an eye on our goings-on? Wondering what is new?
We have been busy making plans for spring and summer in Alberta, and for next winter back in Cozumel.
We are teaching two Open Water (pool and classroom sessions) through Ocean Sports in May (weekend program May 13-15) and June (six-week program on Wednesday nights beginning June 15). You can read more about those here.
We are teaching an Enriched Air Nitrox course on May 1 and an Emergency Oxygen Provider course on June 2.
We will be running a Rescue Diver program in May and June; one day for pool sessions and knowledge development and one day for rescue scenarios in open water. Read more about the program here.
We just released dates for three trips to Cozumel, Mexico in winter 2011-2012.
And, we added a photo of two handsome, newly minted instructors receiving their PADI OWSI paperwork to this post.
swim-through at Santa Rosa Wall
Reading week is a big deal when you’re in university, and for the past two years we’ve been honoured to have members of the University of Alberta Scuba Appreciation Club spend their break with us. What a fantastic group we had this year; 16 shining happy faces! We visited several of my favourite sites on the island (of course, I’ve been accused of having them ALL be my favourite): Cedral Shallows and Paso del Cedral, Chankanaab Shallows, Palancar Gardens and Palancar Caves, La Francesa (where some of us did a beautiful dive on the wall there), San Clemente, Paradise (we saw SIX seahorses there), and on our final day, Santa Rosa Wall, which is one of my favourite spots on the planet, and then finished up with a ripping drift dive at Punta Tunich. In between, there were lots (and lots) of shore dives as well as four night dives.
We once again had a wonderful Friday night barbeque next to the pool at Blue Angel and it’s safe to say a great time was had by all! By all reports, next year’s Reading Week trip will be at least half-filled with people who attended this year, and may also include a couple of young Texans who were befriended by the Club!
U of A Scuba Club, February 2011
We posted a few more photos at AtkinsScuba.com’s facebook page.
Next up: Ocean Sports visits Cozumel one more time, in March!
Sailfin Blenny at Paradise Reef
We recently heard from two of our former students that they had gone on to become fully-fledged PADI Open Water Divers! Congratulations to Scott and Karla Alexander; and welcome to the underwater world!
The message from Karla: “Our instructor ‘G’ said that our very first open water dive was the best first open water dive she has ever had… we saw a turtle eating a jelly fish, angel fish, blue ringed sting ray, pink clown fish and so much more!! It was absolutely amazing!! It was one of the best things we have ever done, and we had an awesome time!! :-)”
Again, congratulations, and we look forward to seeing these two underwater sometime soon.
Instructor "G," Scott and Karla
Matthew, Warren and Bernie during Assistant Instructor course, May 2010
Teaching scuba is an awesome way to spend your time. You get to participate in “a-ha” moments, watch people do things that make them nervous and help them grow as people. We take pride in the fact that many of our students are “repeaters” who have worked with us at various points in their progression as divers. Warren McKay and Bernie Cyr are two such students. Warren started with us early in 2009 when he joined us on a trip to Cozumel and completed his Advanced Open Water and several specialty courses. He then went on a trip to Utila with Matthew and completed his Rescue Diver course. Bernie had been on several trips with us to Cozumel starting with our first trip in 2007, and in summer of 2008 he and his wife Debbie completed their Rescue Diver training with Matthew. Warren and Bernie went on to complete their Divemaster training with Matthew, and then in May of 2010, their Assistant Instructor course.
All of this culminated in a trip back to Utila Dive Centre in December 2010/January 2011, where Warren and Bernie successfully completed their Instructor Development Course and the PADI Instructor Examination, becoming full-fledged Open Water Scuba Instructors. They also completed the preparation work to become Master Scuba Diver Trainers.
Congratulations to you both, and welcome to the club!
Bernie Cyr and Warren McKay
Hello, and welcome to Atkins SCUBA!
The heart of our team is Matthew Atkins and Kari Taylor Atkins.
Matthew Atkins is a PADI IDC Staff Instructor and Kari Taylor Atkins is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer. Both are avid divers, extremely safety conscious, and committed to ensuring you get the best training there is. Matthew and Kari became certified divers in 2001 and worked their way up through the training until they ended up each doing a divemaster internship program at Blue Angel Dive Shop in Cozumel, Mexico. Matthew became a divemaster in the spring of 2004, and Kari followed in his footsteps in spring of 2005. The following winter they both went to Utila Dive Centre in Honduras to complete their Instructor Development Course, and in February 2006 they both became PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors.
Matthew and Kari pride themselves on being organized, highly skilled, and delivering on their promises. They look forward to a long and fun-filled relationship with all their scuba contacts!