Instructor Exam Knowledge Development Teaching Presentation

PADI IDC Course Guide
IDC Classroom Presentations
dive theory class presentations

Initially you teach a ‘topic' which we call micro-teaching then you progress to prescriptive teaching (using the PADI prescriptive Lesson Guides) Microteaching Example of a ‘micro teach' on ‘Staying Warm', that if delivered interestingly and confidently will score an overall 5 in the classroom.

When you put your lesson together, don't write a script.  You will lose points if you read something parrot fashion, rather write yourself bullet points and enlarge on them.  This has been written this way in order to show how the lesson would proceed.
Involve your students by getting them to read the whiteboard and asking questions, you will have to ask some to score the points, but don't just leave it at the minimum.
It's important that you don't ‘over teach' a subject.  In other words don't teach to Divemaster standard on your Open Water course.  Just teach what's in the manual.
Avoid teaching negative points, e.g.  “If you don't do this you will die.”  “Take note of what I am saying otherwise you will end up in hospital.” If you have to teach a negative fact turn it around.  e.g.  “Holding your breath while ascending will not do anyone any good however it's easy to avoid the problem, just keep breathing.”
This lesson should take roughly 10 mins. to deliver (less is more, don't waffle)
This lesson assumes that the instructor already knows the group and that Confined Water Module 1 has been completed.  The dive centre is located close to the dive site which is a local beach .
This is not the only way to deliver this or any lesson, it is just one way and is shown as an example only.
All instructional points made are in italics, these are guidance and pointers for the instructor only.
The lesson has been put together using the PADI system.
The first page is a Summary of the Knowledge Development Lesson Plan.  I have added this so that you can see what points need to be hit during your lesson.

Summary of the Knowledge Development Lesson Plan


(Story, tied to a diving situation, relevant to the subject and their level of training, including a local dive site).
(Review each Keypoint – The subject headings)
“By the end of this lesson you will be able to correctly ___________ “

(Why they need to know this related to actual diving circumstances and their current level
from Instructor manual, O/W manual, or make it up)

Open your manuals at page XXX.
Take Notes – Underline important points as we go.
Ask Questions as we go.
If I'm going to fast tell me”.

Diving Story
Local Dive Site Reference
Continuing – education (be specific)
Promoted ownership of related dive equipment, or Dive travel experience
Visual aid 1 using PADI educational material or dive equipment
Visual aid 2 using PADI educational material or dive equipment
Use an appropriate non-diving aid that benefited learning
Frequently (more than 3 times) ask questions of the students
Any reference to other Classroom Modules (be specific)
one       Reference O / W  Video(s) or seen in the manual
of         Reference to Confined Water sessions (be specific)
these    Reference to Open Water sessions (be specific)

State measurable objectives:
(Bullet points from Instructors Manual -  Integrate as appropriate)

Keypoints:        (Keypoints from slide)
“We have now looked at .  .  .”
Objectives:       (Objective(s) from manual / Main Body)
“So you are now able to explain .  .  .”

Value:              (From Introduction)
When and How:           (e.g.  Classroom – Confined water – Open water – After qualifying)

In what skill:                           
Con – Education:
Dive Equipment Ownership or Dive Travel Experience:
Questions ?

Staying Warm
Do you remember when you were a child and you woke up one morning and found that not only did you not have to go to school that day, but it had been snowing!  The only thing you could think of was getting out of bed, put on your boots, your woolly gloves and whatever coat you could find and go out and have fun and make the world's biggest snowman.  Did you still think it was fun after a while when your gloves became soaking wet and your hands became frozen, snow had managed to get inside your boots and your toes were stinging? No, it ceased to be fun.  Why? Because you were cold.  There was only one solution; go and seek warmth.
The same is true in diving.   If you are cold in the water next week when we do our Open Water dive 1 just off the beach here, your thoughts will turn to warm drinks and dry clothes....  Not having fun diving.  
Module 2 overview slide
By the end of this lesson you will be able to explain about staying warm.  When we go diving next weekend in the sea just down the road you may find the water is not as warm as it was a month or so ago.
Therefore, it's important for us to know how to stay warm and keep the ‘fun in' and the ‘cold out' of our dives. Being cold can offer a health threat, it's important to know what suits and accessories to wear when we go diving. 
If you would like to take notes as we go or ask questions please do.  If I am going too fast, tell me. 

State measurable objectives.
Module 2 Staying Warm 1st slide  Visual Aid 1- PADI Educational material
How can you stay warm under water?
What should you do if you begin shivering continuously?

Let's first look at the general types of exposure suits available to us.  
Some of you are going to do alot of diving here in the Gulf of Mexico throughout the year, which is a fantastic place to go diving.  The first thing you will notice is the temperature of the of the Gulf varies drastically and temperatures ranging from upper sixties to mid seventies.
In the late summer you may find temperatures in the eighties.    Not that different to the pool where we did Confined Water Session 1.
Reference to Confined Water Session 1

Question 1
What sort of suit were we using in the pool?
Answer …”3 mm full”

Yes, 3 mm full, and that you will find will be quite sufficient when you are diving in here.  In the late summer some of you may even find that too much, You could consider a full lycra suit, this will not offer any thermal protection, but should you accidentally brush against some corral it will give you some protection against the odd sting.
Amplify the answer and use the correct terminology also ensure the whole class can hear the answer.
Diving Story
I remember a couple of years ago I was diving in Thailand and apart from seeing a fantastic array of fish life and corals the water temperature was eighty plus degrees and fantastic visibility.   I didn't realise just how warm I was getting with so much to look at.  Fortunately I was able to unzip the front of my shortie wetsuit to allow water to flush through and cool me down. 
You'll have noticed when we dived last week in the pool we were all wearing wetsuits some of you had zips at the back of the suit and some of you had zips at the front.  When you go to the Thailand if you intend to use the local dive shops hire equipment you won't know which type of wet suit you will get.  That's just one good reason why before you go you should consider getting your own wet suit.   It always makes you feel that much more comfortable and confident when you are wearing your own equipment.  Apart from the fact you can choose one that fits well and suits your type of diving.     
Promoted ownership of related dive equipment
Later when we go down to the shop I will happy to show you a range of inexpensive shortie wetsuits that will suit the diving you will be doing.
When we do our Open Water dive 1 next weekend just off the beach here.

Question 2
What sort of wet suit do you think we will be using bearing in mind that the local water temperature will be approximately sixty-six degrees.
Local dive site reference an Open Water Session
Answer  “A thicker full wetsuit”
Yes, we will be wearing a 5mm full wet suit.
Amplify the answer and use the correct terminology also ensure the whole class can hear the answer.

Visual Aid 2 - Using a piece of dive equipment
Here is an example of the very wetsuit we will be wearing. 
Firstly you will notice that it has full length arms and legs also the neoprene it's made from is twice as thick as the shortie giving greater thermal protection.  Its normal for a wet suit to allow water in which the body heats up, so a good fit is necessary if it's too lose the water will be flushing through and taking all your body heat with it.  If it's too tight it will be very uncomfortable and restrictive.  So you can see it's important to get the correct fit.  There are semi dry suits, essentially the same as a wet suit, but allowing less water to enter due to the seals on the ankles and cuffs, these again will keep you a little warmer.
Now I know some of you have expressed an interest in diving through the winter in this country.

Question 3
What type of suit should we be considering for winter dives in this country?
Answer  “Dry suit”
Yes, drysuit.  As the name implies a dry suit will keep you dry.   It achieves this by having neck and wrist rubber seals that keep the water out also the boots are built in and form part of the suit.   However, depending upon the temperature of the water you are going to dive in you may need to wear additional thermal protection underneath the suit.  For those of you who want to wear a dry suit at any time or who want to dive in the winter, additional training will be necessary in order to cover the safety aspects of using a drysuit.   In three weeks time I will be running a course from here.  If you would like to discuss the details of the course further or book yourself in, when we break for coffee later I will be happy to discuss the details with you. 
Amplify the answer and use the correct terminology also ensure the whole class can hear the answer.
Continuing Education – Dry Suit Course
In addition to the suits there are one or two other pieces of equipment we should consider using. 

Question 4
Where do we loose most of our body heat?
Answer “Through the head.”
Amplify the answer and use the correct terminology also ensure the whole class can hear the answer.
Through the head.  Therefore if we can keep our heads warm, it will help us stay warmer.  You may want to wear a hood next week on our Open Water dive 1.   Here is an example of the hood you could wear.

Question 5
What else can we wear to help us remain comfortable and help us enjoy our dives? Particularly when diving in cooler waters?
Answer  “Gloves.”
Amplify the answer and use the correct terminology also ensure the whole class can hear the answer, a little praise goes a long way.
Good, well done, Gloves.  There are essentially two types of gloves, and they are wet gloves and you guessed it Dry gloves.  Again I have brought some examples of both along. 
Visual Aid 2 - Using a piece of dive equipment
Although we have already had a 2nd Visual Aid it does no harm to use more as Visual aids help understanding
I have two more things to show you.  One is this very stylish flip flop and the other is this trainer. 
An appropriate non-diving aid that benefited learning

Question 6
If you were going to watch a professional athlete go running which would he be most likely to wear? 
Answer “The trainer”
Amplify the answer and use the correct terminology also ensure the whole class can hear the answer.
That's right, the trainer.  You can clearly see that the properly designed equipment is going to be safer and more efficient, and it's true for diving that using the correct suit for the given diving condition will make the dive more enjoyable and safer.

Module 2 Staying Warm 2nd slide Visual Aid 1  PADI Educational material
So having given consideration to the best equipment to wear for the dives we are doing what should you do if you begin shivering continuously?
Answer “Stop the dive.”
Amplify the answer and use the correct terminology also ensure the whole class can hear the answer.
Yes we must stop the dive.  Remember that continuous shivering is your body's way of warning you that you are loosing too much body heat.   If you fail to take the necessary action, Hypothermia could become a problem.   However, it is easy to avoid.   Should you start shivering continuously during your dive, you and your buddy should make a normal ascent and discontinue the dive, seek warmth and dry clothes.


So you are now able to explain how to stay warm under water and what you should do if you begin to shiver continuously. 
It's important for us to know how to stay warm and keep the fun in and the cold out of our dives.  Being cold can offer a health threat, its important to know what suits to use when we go diving.  
Now you can see how important it is for us to know how to stay warm so that we enjoy our dives.
When and How
We will use what we have learnt today next week when we select the suits that we shall be wearing on our first Open Water dive.    
In what skill
In fact every time we go diving we will have to select the right suit so this skill will be used every time.
Continuing Education
Remember those of you wanting to do winter dives or those who just want to know about using the dry suit the Dry Suit Course will be running in 3 weeks time, please come and see me and I can run through what we will be doing. 
Dive Equipment and Ownership
Also those going to the Caribbean and needing shortie wet suits or those of you just wanting to start putting together your own equipment, we will look at a selection of those for you to consider when we are down in the shop later.  
Are there any Questions.
Prescriptive Teaching
Throughout your IDC you will be expected to conduct classroom presentations.  This is part of the prescriptive  teaching process because you only need explain areas that students are not already familiar with and there will be PADI PowerPoint slideshow presentations, called lesson guides, available to assist you in each of your presentations.

Now watch this 

Bryan Eslava
PADI Course Director
Cell: 251-979-8459


May News Letter

Kid's Dive Camps

PADI Seal Team scuba camp starts in only 3 weeks. Spots are filling up. We can't wait to teach and inspire a whole new group of young people our love for diving. Remember to sign up no later than Sunday (if spots are available) prior to camp beginning on Tues.

Lionfish Removal

The GCLC is partnering with FWC, Guy Harvey Magazine, and many others to host a Lionfish tournament and festival in Downtown Pensacola.
The tournament will take place during the Festival and runs May 15-16, 2015 with the raffle category starting March 1st, 2015. The festival will be held at Plaza de Luna at the end of Palafox St and runs May 16-17, 2015. The Lionfish weigh in will be Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.
The tournament captains meeting will be held at the Oar House on Thursday May 14th at 6:00pm. 1000 S Pace Blvd. - Pensacola, FL.
The festival will feature Lionfish tasting, filet demonstrations, raffles and prizes, family activities and over 40 vendors.
FWC will be showing off their new reef ranger program and there will be lots of sponsor displays. Check out the action and register to win big for bringing in Lionfish. For more tournament and registration information visit our website at www.gulfcoastlionfish.com
You won't want to miss this event.


This computer is all about you. With easy-to-use features, it's the world's first wristwatch-style "smart" personal dive computer with Human Factor Diving.TM
Every dive, and every diver, is unique. That's why a "personal" dive computer needs to be just that -- personal. Not a one-size-fits-all instrument that delivers the same basic computations regardless of whether it's being used by a 25-year-old dive instructor or a 55-year-old novice diver carrying a couple extra pounds around the waist.

Photo by Austin Powell

Freediving Lessons

Harry Houdini could hold his breath for more than three minutes – what about you? Freediving allows adventurers to experience a new underwater world without the bulky scuba equipment. Only the air in your lungs and the fire in your belly keep you going. 
“Living right on the coast, if you’re not on the water or in it, you’re missing out,” says Michael Sumlin, a freediving instructor with Down Under Dive Shop.
Because of the fluidity and freedom without breathing gear, many spearfishers and sightseers prefer freediving. And according to Sumlin, it’s not as intimidating as you might expect. 
“On average, I have people holding their breath for two and a half minutes on the first day. It’s easier than you think once you learn the technique,” he explains. 
Down Under Dive Shop offers events for both beginner and experienced divers.
Call Michael @ 251-609-5266

Poseidon's Playground

First DUDES trip to Poseidons Playground last Sunday! What an amazing experience to see my babies (Lila's dive students) dive the project that they helped inspire! Several of them actually got to see their names on plaques that they can show their future children, friends, etc! We continue to want to add more structures on this ever evolving project and would love your support! Stay tuned for how you can take part with Down Under matching part of the funds!!! ----PADI Master Scuba Instructor Lila Harris

KOAH SPEARGUNS in the house!!! 

Picture They're baaaaaack. Come get your KOAH Gun.  Expected Memorial Day Weekend.  

2015-2016 Group Travel Schedule

Where’s Your Next Scuba Diving Trip?
Every month we will feature a new destination to help you learn about the world’s best places to scuba dive.

Whether you’re dreaming of pristine coral reefs, mysterious wrecks or the best critters for underwater photography, you’ll find the perfect dive trip to quench your desires.

Need help narrowing your options? Check with our travel agents to see what upcoming travel packages are planned or browse the archives of great scuba diving destinations for more information.


September 2015 Key Largo

October 2015 Sea of Cortez La Paz Freediving/Spearfishing/Surf Trip

November 14-21 2015  Roatan Honduras

2016 Schedule

February 2nd Weekend Saturday and Sunday  Florida Manatee Trip

February Third Week Key Largo

March 2nd Weekend Saturday and Sunday  Florida Manatee Trip

April 3rd 2016 Turks and Caicos Live Aboard Trip

Down Under Dive Shop
Visit us on the web: www.downunderdiveshop.com
Call us at the Dive Center: 251-968-DIVE (3483)
Email us today: info@downunderdiveshop.com


Roatan, Honduras Trip November 14-21 2015

November 14th join your friends at Down Under Dive Shop for a fun filled week of diving in beautiful Roatan, Honduras. 

Four decades ago, the creators of Anthony’s Key Resort envisioned a small, tropical hideaway that would allow adventurous travelers the opportunity to experience the beauty of Roatan and the Caribbean as nature intended. Today, the resort still retains an intimacy with its surroundings that are reminiscent of a peaceful island village. Charming, wooden bungalows dot the resort’s palm studded hillside and rim its shimmering lagoon. You can reach the tiny islet on a brief boat ride from the resort’s main grounds, where you'll find more private bungalows and spectacular ocean vistas. While a favorite pastime among guests is lazing in bungalow hammocks, more active visitors can enjoy various water sports on the key’s small beach.
AKR is a PADI 5-Star Instructor Development Dive Resort. As a pioneer in the diving industry for more than 40 years, we are ranked as one of the top dive resorts in the world.

  • Modern fleet of four Pro 48' and seven Pro 42' Custom Dive Boats
  • Dive Equipment Rentals
  • On-site Hyperbaric Chamber and Clinic
  • Full-service Photo Shop
  • PADI Continuing Educational Program
  • Air-conditioned Classroom Facility
  • Convenient dockside equipment storage, fresh-water showers and rinse tanks.
  • Extensive Shore Diving in Lagoon or Front Porch Reef
  • Dolphin Dive and Snorkel opportunities with the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences.

Back at the resort’s main grounds, a restaurant and bar are perched high on a hillside surrounded by towering coconut palms. There, more sweeping views and fiery sunsets are served up alongside delicious tropical fare. Just steps below at the waters edge are the photo, gift, and dive shops, where there is dockage for a fleet of state-of-the-art dive boats. A short walk from there takes visitors to the Roatan Museum and Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences, where guests can participate in educational programs and encounters with marine mammals. More inquisitive guests can join trained naturalists across the lagoon on Bailey’s Key to interact with playful dolphins and observe some of the island’s indigenous plants and animals along the key’s nature trail.
Anthony’s Key Resort’s successful blend of nature, comfort and hospitality, continues to draw return visitors year after year in search of tranquility and adventure.

Package includes:  Resort accommodations, flights from international airport, airport transfers, welcome cocktail, daily meals, under water photo clinic, intro to multi-level computer diving, 3-1 tank boat dives per day, 2-1 tank night boat dives, unlimited shore diving during shop hours, tanks & weights.

Key Standard  $1700 per person Double Occupancy

Hill Standard  $1400 per person Double Occupancy


Free Chromis or Meridian Computer!!!

Get ready to benefit from a great holiday
promotion with SCUBAPRO! 
For the next month, with any purchase of a premium SCUBAPRO regulator AND a premium BC AND a premium octopus or Air2 will receive, absolutely FREE, a Chromis or Meridian Black Tech wristwatch-style dive computer - on SCUBAPRO. That's right, FREE! It's SCUBAPRO's way to wish us a Happy Holiday.
We will be promoting this program starting the week of November 1st.
This offer includes all MK25, MK17, and MK21 regulator combinations, and either the S360 Octopus, the Air 2, or R195 Octopus, and any SCUBAPRO BC except the Pilot or X One BC. The offer is valid from Nov 1, 2014 thru Dec 31, 2014, and cannot be combined with any other offer in the U.S. and its Territories.


Turks and Caicos April 3rd thru April 9th 2016

Turks & Caicos Aggressor
The beautiful Turks and Caicos Aggressor II offers guests a week of thrilling wall diving along the coasts of Providenciales, West Caicos and French Caye.
The sheer walls of Providenciales begin at 40 feet, plunging into the deep blue abyss and include crevasses and ledges that are decorated with huge orange Elephant Ear sponges, Gorgonians, Crimson Rope Sponges and abundant macro life. The tinerary April through December departs from Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. The Turks and Caicos Islands consist of 40 islands and cays, eight of which are inhabited.

The native language is English and the official currency is the US dollar.

Getting There:

Passports and Visa Documentation: The Turks and Caicos islands are a British territory and located 575 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, just below the Bahamas chain and just to the east of Cuba and is island of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti). The major airlines that service Providenciales (PLS) International Airport are: American, Delta, Spirit, Jet Blue and US Airways. Visitors must have a current passport, adequate funds to support themselves, and a return airline ticket. US citizens require a passport that must be valid for 6 months from date of entry. It is the travelers’ responsibility to ensure they have the proper visa to travel into each country on his or her itinerary as well as for re-entry and return to their country. Since regulations vary by country, contact your consulate or embassy of your country for the requirement. Arrival/Boarding/Departure: Guests will be met by a crewmember in uniform at the Providenciales (PLS) International Airport and transferred to the yacht.

Guests may board Saturday between 3 pm - 6 pm. At 6 pm the yacht departs for its night anchorage to prepare for diving Sunday morning. After a full week of diving, the yacht returns to Turtle Cove Marina Friday after lunch. Friday evening the yacht hosts a sunset cocktail party. Turtle Cove Marina has several restaurants where guests can eat. Friday night dinner is not included in the price of the charter. Check-out is Saturday morning at 8 am. Transportation is provided back to the airport Saturday morning.

Diving Environment:
• Sheer walls with health corals, Orange Elephant Ear Sponges, Gray Reef Sharks, Angelfish, Eagle Rays, Horse-eye Jacks, Lobster, Snapper, Garden Eels, Nurse Sharks and lots of macro life.
• All dives are made from the mothership
• Water temperature: 78 - 84F, 25 - 29C
• 3mm wetsuit recommended

Deluxe: $2795
Twin: $2595
USD $45 bed tax paid onboard, airport transfers included in charter rate on day of arrival and departure.

Contact Bryan for reservations:
or text 2519798459

Video doc. http://bcove.me/hs9v7vdy


PADI Open Water Diver Touch is here!!!

Industry leader introduces another industry first to connect more consumers with PADI Dive Centers and Resorts.
Continuing to lead the way in diver education and attract more divers to PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, the PADI organization has launched the next evolution in the PADI Open Water Diver experience: the revolutionary PADI Open Water Diver Touch. An industry first, the Touch fuses state-of-the-art technology with proven PADI instructional design to deliver the excitement and experience of learning to scuba dive to consumers’ iOS and Android tablets.
The Touch is a tablet-based version of the popular PADI Open Water Diver course, integrating the PADI Open Water Diver manual curriculum, learning objectives, video clips, quizzes and Knowledge Reviews into a rich, interactive learning environment. Since the Touch is a tablet-based application, no internet connectivity is required to view course content. So, student divers can conveniently access the knowledge development portion of the course at any time from any location. This increased accessibility makes the PADI Open Water Diver Touch extremely appealing to the ever-growing market of tablet users.
"As consumer behaviors change, the dive industry must change to meet their expectations,” says Drew Richardson, CEO and President of PADI Worldwide.
Mobile devices have had the most rapid acceptance of any technology in history and people expect to do everything — including learn to dive — with them. The new PADI Open Water Diver Touch lets PADI Members give consumers what they want.
PADI organization has also launched the new PADI Library app, currently available for Apple iPad at the iTunes App Store. Consumers downloading this free app receive complimentary access to the PADI Open Water Diver Touch Introduction, which includes a call-to-action encouraging them to contact their PADI Dive Center or Resort to enroll in a course. The PADI Library app will soon be available from the Google Play Store for Android devices as well. Consumers can purchase the complete PADI Open Water Diver Touch from PADI Members.
Want to learn more about the PADI Open Water Diver Touch? Contact us at Down Under Dive Shop @ 251-968-3483.



New X-TEK Sidemount System

X-TEK Sidemount System
SCUBAPRO's modular design and compact independent air cell, developed in coordination with leading side-mount cave divers, provides guaranteed quality and a configuration for every diver's needs. Harness, 12l / 25lb lift wing, 20l/ 45lb lift wing, and cover each sold separately.
  • 1680 DEN Ballistic Nylon outer shell and 420 DEN Nylon inner bladder
  • Compact independent aircell
  • Soft Airnet finished backpack
  • Stainless steel grommets, D-rings and handles
  • New Dump valve, corrugated hose and BPI
  • Bungee and hooks for tank support
  • Fully adjustable, easy to wear and configure
  • Harness includes crotch strap
  • Optional top cover for total streamlining and increased durability.
"Our Sidemount Instructors put quite a few hours in the test models.
The new and improved harness works well and is competitive with other models on the market.  The interchangeable wing is one major function that sets this harness apart from the others.

For details on our sidemount training click here.


Sidemount LT 12

Sidemount LT 20

Sidemount Harness
Sidemount Wing Cover



Gopro Tips

Hey guys and gals,
Everyone has a Gopro because, well let's face it, they kick ass.
The camera is a pretty amazing tool.
Being so small and powerful it let's you capture all those amazing moments.

I have made some really fun movies for clients over the years.

Check out my friend Nadia's YouTube for inspiration

Here are some pro tips I use to guide me.

1)  Shoot Short Shots: A shot is like a sentence—it has a noun and a verb.  Together the noun and verb are what keep the “move” in “movies.”

On your backpacking trip a random video clip of “Bob” is not a shot.  “Bob picks up his pack” is a shot.  “Bob hikes down the trail” is a shot.  To keep your shots short, stop shooting when the action is complete.  “Bob hikes down the trail” is interesting for about 5 seconds unless Bob falls off a cliff.  So once you’ve got the action covered, be done.  We don’t need to see Bob’s back for another 30 seconds as he heads off into the distance. [more on short shots]

2)  Shoot People, Not Scenery: Think about why you’re shooting vacation video in the first place—to remember.

The Empire State Building will probably look exactly the same 10 years from now,  In case it doesn’t, thousands of great photographers have already shot it better than you can.  What makes your vacation video special is that your kids went up the Empire State Building—and your kids are going to look completely different in 10 years.

“But the scenery’s so beautiful” you say.  It is–  in person.  Video of the Grand Canyon looks great in Imax, okay on your 42” flat screen, and like tiny blurry garbage on your iPhone.  Unless you’re shooting Imax, best not to dwell.

Frame a great shot of the kids looking over the railing and that stunning canyon vista will look great too—in the background, where it belongs.

3)  Find the Story: Instead of random shots of the family posing on a boat, find the story of everyone getting together and taking your parents on a cruise. Have your camera ready when you surprise them with the tickets.  Interview your brother, who hates cruises but is coming anyway, armed with Dramamine and wrist-bands because he loves his parents.  Shoot your dad tearing up as he gives a speech to the group at your first big dinner on board

What’s different about your vacation?  Is it the family’s first time out of the country?  Your daughter’s first plane flight?  The Disney vacation you’ve been saving up for for 5 years?  Think before you shoot.  Tell that story.

4) Interview:  Video captures not just what we look like, but how we think.  Which is perfect for that embarrassing wedding video 20 years from now.   Don’t just interview the kids. Interview your spouse, your parents, strangers you meet on the trip.  It’s a great way to capture the emotion of a moment in time.

Your five-year-old will never be 5 again. Ask her open-ended questions about what’s going on.  Let her show you, explain to you, sing to you.

5)  Shoot sparingly. If you shoot just 2 ten-second shots  in each of 8 touring hours a day, that’s almost 3 minutes of footage a day.  A week-long vacation is pushing an Armbrusturian 20 minutes—longer than anyone, including you, will actually watch.  Practice being selective.  Sure you can edit later, but will you?  And even if you do, the shorter and better your footage when you start, the less work it is.

Always start taping a few seconds before the important action begins and continue a bit after it ends, to give yourself room to choose edit points.Get establishing shots--wide-angle views of the location, so that viewers can orient themselves. Pan (slowly and smoothly) if necessary, to encompass the whole scene.From each shot to the next, change both the image size (long shot to closeup) and the camera angle (front view to three-quarter view) to create smoother cuts. It also helps if subjects begin out of view, move into the shot, then exit the frame. This makes closely-matched action unnecessary.In addition to covering the main action, get insert shots to reveal small details (a stone cherub's head, a flower in a Yosemite meadow) and color shots (billboards, swaying willows, reflections on water). These cutaways will help you condense and pace the sequences.Look for natural titles in things like posters, street signs, or the covers of brochures.Don't forget sound. Tape several minutes of ambient sound to help smooth the audio differences among different shots. And if you're in exotic places, pick up tapes or CDs of local music. This can lend a wonderfully authentic quality to your program.

1. Let the location speak for itself!
Show, don't tell. Think of the setting as one of the subjects of your video. You can still be the star, but let the scene have it's camera time, too.

2. Show us your friends.
Video allows for candid moments. Try to capture your fellow travelers being themselves as opposed to herding them in front of notable landmarks and forcing them to say "Cheese!" (Though a little cheesiness never hurt anyone, see the Pro Tip below!) Take a look at Escape byScott Foley for a good example of this.

3. Think in shots.
It's easy to get carried away and film everything you see, but this can make editing a bit of a headache. Have the final video in mind when you're shooting, and be selective. Try to shoot clips that vary in length. It's hard to edit down really long clips.

4. Document the "moments" you want to remember.
Sometimes little things like a bottle of beer sweating in the sun can bring back the strongest memories. Try to notice the little things and give those moments some time in your video. If you watch a performance, there's no need to document the whole thing, just show a moment from it, and that's all you need. Think of your video as a highlight reel!

5. If you're having fun, chances are it's going to be fun to watch!
If you're having a blast on your vacation, taking some video while you're in the midst of your happiness will preserve that time for the future! Sometimes it doesn't hurt to let one of your trusted travel companions to take some video of you, too.

Pro tip: A fun alternative to those classic group vacation shots is what we call a 'fauxtograph', where you tell your subjects you are taking a picture but it's actually a video. Get everyone set up and then see how long you can get them to sit still. Trust us, it's a hoot!


Bryan Eslava


BAJA Spearfishing, Freediving, Surfing, and Kayaking Trip Oct. 2nd thru Oct. 6th 2015

Palapas Ventana Hut logo

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Bienvenidos - Welcome - to Palapas Ventana, the newest and most unique resort in La Ventana Bay in the Sea of Cortez, Baja Mexico. We are located just 35 minutes southeast of La Paz between La Ventana and El Sargento. When you visit us, you will see why Tim and Karon Hatler, the owners, chose this beautiful spot with incredible turquoise water, amazing sunrises and sunsets, and perfect temperatures. Come join us to experience the natural beauty of the Sea of Cortez, friendly Mexican culture, foods with unforgettable flavors, and a time to just "be in the moment".

You'll know you are at Palapas Ventana when you see the palapa roofs of our quaint casitas overlooking the Sea of Cortez and Cerralvo Island. Our beautifully constructed casitas are strategically set amongst native Baja desert plants, including barrel cactus, cardon, elephant tree, palo adan, candelillo, cholla, mesquite, palo verde, and pitaya agria. Each casita is a separate unit with a porch adorned with flower-filled Mexican wooden planters made by a local artisan. Every casita has a fantastic view!

SUP slide

  • 5 days and 4 nights
    • 3 full days of chasing fish in fully equipped 26 foot pangas (Licenses Required) 
    • Filet and freezer services for fish
    • Breakfast and lunch everyday you are at Palapas Ventana...dinners are on your own - there are many good eateries within walking distance.
    • Use of kayaks, bikes, and snorkeling gear
    • Additional days may be added to this package. Contact us for details.
    • Windsurfing and Kite boarding
    • Morning Kayaking
    • Morning Snorkeling
    • Morning Scuba Diving – instruction available
    • Morning Stand Up Paddle Surfing
    • On low wind days - fishing, Spearfishing, and SCUBA trips
    • Tours to La Paz/Todos Santos/San Antonio and El Triunfo/Mira Flores, Santiago, and Santa Rita Springs
    • Small Boat Sailing
    • Bird Watching
    • Hiking
    • Beachcombing
    • Exploring
    • Relaxing

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Specialty Casita
Accommodates up to 4 people
  • King size bed and twin bed
  • Private bathroom w/sink and shower
  • Air conditioning
  • Ceiling fan
  • Purified water dispenser
Fishing Slide
Regular Casita
Accommodates up to 2 people
  • Choice of King size bed or 2 twin beds
  • Air conditioning *NEW for Summer 2008!*
  • Sink
  • Purified water dispenser
  • Shower and bathroom just 25-30 feet from casita
  • Ceiling fan
Free Diver Package Price:
$700 per person double occupancy (plus taxes, transfers and fees)
Includes breakfast, lunch, spearfishing charters, use of kayaks, snorkeling gear, sailboats, and beach support.

Beach Comber Package Price:
$360 per person double occupancy (plus taxes and fees)
Includes breakfast, lunch, use of kayaks, snorkeling gear, and beach support.

Sample Flights (not included) from Pensacola to La Paz Mexico:
$762.40 $134.69 (taxes) = $897.09 
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Conatact Cpt. Micheal Sumlin @ 251-609-5266
or Email westpasser@hotmail.com

Blackbeard's Sail and Dive Adventure November 1st 2014

Blackbeard's Cruises offers Liveaboard scuba diving travel vacations to the Bahamas Out Islands. We offer the Caribbean's largest variety of diving including shark dives, walls, high speed drift dives including the Washing Machine, night dives, blue holes and the beautiful coral reefs of the Exumas ; Sea Park. Our 3 sailboats; Sea Explorer, Morning Star and Pirate's Lady depart Nassau every Saturday for a week of live aboard diving in the Exumas, SW Eleuthera ; Little San Sal in the Central Bahamas. The camaraderie and adventure on our liveaboard dive trips keep divers coming back year after year. Our motto is "Twice the Fun for Half the Price"....you won't get a better bang out of your diving dollar anywhere else!

Dive the Caribbean's largest underwater park, the Exumas Land & Sea Park. Divers can experience deep sea diving on the many beautiful walls. Sharks are a big draw for divers! See Caribbean reef sharks, nurse sharks, even tiger sharks on the sandy banks! Colorful reefs teeming with marine life sit in depths of 15- 80 feet so divers of all levels enjoy the scuba diving we offer on our Bahamas scuba diving vacations!

The central Bahamas were once the hideout of pirates and privateers... now these islands offer spectacular diving in warm, crystal clear waters with deserted beaches as backdrop each week during our adventure travel vacations. Visit Allen's Cay to feed the iguanas or Staniel Cay for the swimming pigs and the Thunderball Grotto.

There is no set itinerary- we go where conditions and weather are the best to offer our divers an adventure of a lifetime! Live-aboards offer the best variety of diving available- dive with sharks at Amberjack Reef, watch eagle rays gracefully glide by the walls, get tumbled around on our high speed drift dive, the Washing Machine or shoot photos of all the great macro and micro shots you'll see in the gin clear water of the Bahamas. Blackbeard's Cruises is recognized by divers as one of the best live aboard experiences available year after year!

Scuba diving travel with us is a breeze! Our all inclusive scuba diving adventure travel vacations are popular with outgoing individuals from all over the world! We supply everything but your personal gear and towels. Blackbeard's Cruises offers top of the line high quality rental gear for those who require it. Our sailboats carry up to 22 passengers in dormitory style bunks. While there isn't a lot of privacy, the fun and adventure more than makes up for it.
Dive Bahamas Reefs Blue Holes Out Islands with Blackbeard├ó€™s Cruises

  • The Charter is $959.00 plus $100 port tax.
  • With this in mind, the amount due will be $1059.00 per person.
  • This fee is nonrefundable once payment is has been sent.

Here are the details:

All Inclusive Scuba Live-Aboard Cruises Offer the Best Adventure at a Bang For Your Buck Price.
·  Up to 19 Dives Per Week
·  All Meals and Snacks
·  All Beverages Including Beer, Wine and Rum Punch!
·  Dormitory Style Cabins Fully Air Conditioned
·  Camaraderie You'll Never Forget and Memories You'll Wish to Relive Over and Over Again!

Sample Flights (not included) searched 1st quarter 2014

Popular Flights from Pensacola to Nassau

  • Airfare from Pensacola to Nassau on AirTran from $377 round trip
  • Airfare from Pensacola to Nassau on US Airways from $390 round trip
  • Airfare from Pensacola to Nassau on Delta from $393 round trip
  • Airfare from Pensacola to Nassau on Northwest from $397 round trip
  • Airfare from Pensacola to Nassau on American from $405 round trip

To sign up call or email Jim Mahan 251-424-7987 email james.mahan@live.com