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What’s New?

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.

Whew!

February 2011 – Reading Week Trip Report

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

Congratulations to two new OWSIs!

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

January 2011 Trip Report

Columbia Shallows

We just finished the first trip of 2011, with a fantastic group of people from Ocean Sports in Edmonton, Alberta visiting Cozumel, Mexico. 2011 marks our 5th year of bringing groups here; when you like something as much as we like Cozumel, you just have to share!

We had 15 participants on this trip, 13 divers (8 repeaters) and 2 not-yet divers. The weather cooperated, dive conditions were great, and we visited some of my favourite dive sites once more… Dalila, Chankanaab Shallows, Palancar Gardens, Yucab, Columbia Deep and Columbia Shallows, Santa Rosa, Paradise, Cedral, and Villa Blanca Wall. Oh, and lots and lots of shore diving right in front of Blue Angel Resort.

As usual, we shared some of our favourite local restaurants with our friends from Edmonton, enjoying dinners at Casa Denis, Sorrisi, El Pique and Parilla Mission. We also had a lot of fun at a Friday night poolside barbeque at the Blue Angel Resort. It was nice to relax and chat, after all that underwater time.

We posted a few photos at AtkinsScuba.com’s facebook page.

Next up: the University of Alberta Scuba Appreciation Club hits Cozumel in February!

-kari

Fun dive indeed!

A friend had a friend on the island for a few days, who is leaving today. So, yesterday we decided to go diving, just a little fun trip with the three of us plus Matthew as the divemaster. We headed out shortly after lunch and as we were on our way to the first site, lo and behold, a pod of dolphins! If you read my blog, you’ll know I LOVE DOLPHINS! Awesome start! We went to Yucab Wall for a great first dive and then during our surface interval – Whoa! The dolphins again. This time Desiree and I slid into the water and snorkeled with them for a few minutes… as I entered the water there were five of them right in front of me. Amazing. Wow, Whoa and Woot!

The second dive had a long way to go to match that, but it did not disappoint. We were at Chankanaab Shallows, one of my favourites, and saw “the usual.” Several HUGE crabs and oodles of little things: spotted drums, jawfish (one of which was brooding eggs in his mouth), pike blennies, a gazillion silversides, and four sightings of the reclusive peppermint basslet (one of my favourites).

All in all, a great dive day!

-kari

November 2010 Trip Report

November brought the final group for 2010 from Ocean Sports in Edmonton, Alberta, to Cozumel, Mexico.

Chankanaab Shallows

This was a small but lively group of eight divers; three were repeaters from previous trips, two were students of ours, and three were brand new to us. All had a wonderful time! Despite two days of port closure (no diving) we managed to visit some of MY favourite sites (although I have been accused of saying each site is my favourite upon surfacing from a dive): Dalila, Chankanaab Shallows, Palancar Horseshoe, Yucab, Las Palmas, Santa Rosa and a wonderful, octopus-filled night dive at Paradise Reef.

In addition to the diving, we also had a few courses, completing Emergency Oxygen Provider and Enriched Air Diver classes, as well as finishing up two Rescue Diver certifications. It was a busy and productive week!

We posted a few photos at AtkinsScuba.com’s facebook page.

We now await the next group who will arrive in January. There are still a few spaces left in the trip planned for March: see the Dive Travel page for more details!

-kari

January 2011 COZUMEL TRIP

The November group from Ocean Sports is here in Cozumel RIGHT NOW (full report on their trip next week). We’re closing the January trip shortly and want you to have one last chance to sign up!

Join us at Blue Angel Resort in Cozumel: Check-in Sunday, January 16 and Check-out Sunday, January 23, 2011 (Cost is $749 USD per person, based on double occupancy).

Full details available under Dive Travel!

Questions? email atkinsscuba@gmail.com

DEMA Show 2010

For years we’ve been hearing about the annual DEMA Show (Diving Equipment and Marketing Association) and this year we decided to see what all the hubub was about. What an action packed weekend.

There were hundreds of seminars to choose from; the hard part was deciding where to focus. Over the three days, we attended sessions that provided information about the general state of affairs in the PADI diving community over the past few years, PADI eLearning, becoming a PADI Course Director, the Dancer Fleet in Indonesia and the Aggressor Fleet, resort sales training, pricing workshop, DAN seminars on Diving Fatalities and on Unseen Hazards in Diving, risk management for instructors, and Matthew attended the IDC Staff Instructor update. Whew. A lot of information. At the IDC Staff Update Matthew received some great information about changes that are coming to the divemaster program in 2011; you’ll hear more about that in the future, and if you have questions do not hesitate to ask!

Anna, Ned and Paul, with Kari (experiencing a highlight moment!!!)

In addition to the seminars, there was an exhibition – dive shops, manufacturers, travel, gear, everything you could think of. The highlight of the show for me was the New World Publications booth, where I met some of my fish-nerd heroes. Paul Humann and Ned and Anna DeLoach manned the booth, and if you know me, you know that I have every book those people have put out. What an honour to meet them all! While there, I picked up the new “Reef Environmental Education Foundation‘s Beginning Course on Reef Fish ID”; we’ll be using that as training materials in upcoming AWARE Fish ID classes.

While on the exhibit floor, we did a little shopping getting ourselves some new SeaCure mouthpieces (molded to an individual mouth), a new mask or two, compass, lift bag, and most exciting, we ordered a couple of “Nautilis Lifeline” devices. They’re a GPS radio for divers, by a company out of Vancouver area. Very cool.

We also did some scouting for possible locations for future dive trips; keep your eyes and ears open for updates on that.

In amongst all the seminars and shopping, we also attended the DEMA Awards Party. We had a fantastic time! We met some great people, and we rocked our chicken hats.

DEMA Awards Party 2010

We’re in Cozumel!

Congratulations to Cheri and Curtis on their Open Water Scuba Diver certification! November 2010

The migration south is complete for this year, and we’re now up and running in Cozumel, Mexico. Matthew is busy working at Blue Angel Resort as an Instructor and Divemaster, so if you’re in the area stop by to visit!

We recently had two of our students from Edmonton arrive to complete their Open Water Scuba Diver course. Here they are with some friends (who did a Discover Scuba Diving experience with Matthew) wet and happy!

We also visited the east side of the island last week to help with the turtle release. You can read about that adventure in Kari’s blog.

We hope to see you this winter in sunny Mexico!

Welcome

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!