Want a new dive buddy this holiday season?

Want a new dive buddy this holiday season?  Give your friends and family the gift of scuba with Down Under Dive Shop PADI eLearning® Gift Passes. 
Whether it’s for the holidays, a birthday, wedding, graduation or before they leave on a trip – PADI eLearning Gift Passes are the perfect gifts to get friends and family in the water.
Not only are they festive, but you can add a customized message to the recipient.
customized message to the recipient.

What are you waiting for?  Purchase your  PADI eLearning Gift Passes  online today or visit Down Under Dive Shop.

Christmas Gifts for the Diver on your list.

Down Under Dive Shop has Great Gift Ideas for the diving fanatic in your life.
Like these diving stocking fillers and must have diving gifts for the serious diver.
Here are some Gift Ideas for the Scuba Diving enthusiast.
If they just have everything, the team at Down Under Dive Shop are sure we can help.
Do you need gift ideas  to give this year!!! Buy someone you know a Down Under Shop Gift Voucher.
We can offer Gift Vouchers starting from just $25.00

Check Out these Gift Ideas:
Combo Mask Scrub Defog $6.95
Dry Cases for Smart Phones and Tablets $39 to $59

Deluxe Save a Dive Kit $11.95
XS Multi Prpose Dive Tool $29.95

Super Pencils, Wet Notes and Slates $7.99 to $29
Custom Mask Straps $11.99

JBL and Riffe Spearguns $84-$999.95
Dive Lights $45-$799
Hoodies and Pull Overs
Airfill Cards (10 airfills or Five Nitrox fills) $40
Logbook Protectors $23.95
LAVACORE Shirts and Hoods $25 to $89

Pelican Dry Boxes for just about every gadget $20 and up

3mm full Wetsuits $175 to $310

5mm and up full Wetsuits $310 to $599

Sea and Sea DX2g Camera strobe and Wide Angle Combo $2145 (Includes free Digital Photo Course!)

Scubapro Dive Computers $249 to $1399
and just about anything else the diver on your list could need.


Huge Sale this Saturday and Sunday only!!!

It's time to clear out last year's inventory.

Check out the prices on these package deals while supplies last!

It's our biggest sale ever!
Stop by this Saturday and Sunday for a once in a lifetime sale to get 15% to 50% Off on select gear.
.5mm to 3mm wetsuits (2010 Scubapro and Subgear)
Cammo Suits and Rash Guards (JBL,Riffe,Scubapro, Subgear)
Knighthawk and Seahawks BCDs with Air2
Digital Gauges and Dive Computers.(All Brands)
Dry suits (Waterproof Draco, and Scubapro Evertec)
Twinjet Max Fins (25% Off)
Sea Life and Sea and Sea Cameras (15% Off)
Dive knives (All Brands 15%)
Spearguns and accessories (JBL and Riffe15% off)
Like New Tusa Scooters $899 was $2200
Gloves (All Brands 15% off)
Waterproof Iphone/Android Cases (Pelican 15% Off)
Lights, Strobes, Markers (15% to 50% Off)
Used Regulators Systems $200!
Used BCDs $250!
Used Wetsuits $50
Scuba Tanks (Aluminum 80s $187.50 with Valve and Air Fill Card)
Ocean Reef Full Face Masks with communication (15% off)
Free Air Card with Purchase of $100 gift card ($40 value Great Christmas Gift)
And much more...
These overstocked, discontinued, and clearance products must go this weekend!

Don't forget to check out the new Gopro Hero2 HD video cameras only $299.95!

We will be grilling out and serving refreshments from 2:00 until on Saturday.

Dive Package Deals

All items must be purchased as BCD/Reg/Computer package.

Go Dive Package
Package includes
Drift BCD with BPI
Aruba Regulator with Octo
Spg and XP10 Nitrox Computer



Explorer Package
Package includes
Seahawk BCD with Air2
Spg and Aladin 2G Multigas Computer


Prodiver Package
Package includes
Glidepro BCD
Mk25/A700 Regulator
Galileo Luna Computer


Testing the new PADI Sidemount Diver Course

Testing the new PADI Sidemount Diver Course

Posted in News, Training with tags PADI Sidemount on October 27, 2011 by kattek

By Kelly Rockwood, Training Consultant – PADI Americas

One of the great things about working in the PADI Training Department is the opportunity to help create, review and test new PADI programs. I was lucky enough to be included in formative research we were doing for the new PADI Sidemount Diver course held over the Labor Day holiday in September 2011. Giving up a holiday weekend was a small price to pay to be among a group of people helping test this new equipment configuration.

Jeff Loflin, a respected PADI Course Director and author of the first Sidemount Diver Distinctive Specialty course, led the research as our instructor.

Day One
In the morning, we met in a classroom where our instructor reviewed the development of the PADI Sidemount Diver Course Instructor Guide as it was currently written. The group then discussed a few edits to these standards that they felt would improve the course.
We followed this with information about the specific equipment used for sidemount diving and how it differs from a single cylinder backmount equipment configuration.

After lunch, we had a hands-on practice session configuring our own sidemount equipment before jumping in the pool for skills learning. While trim is important for backmounted diving, it is critical for sidemount diving. It is amazing how even slight adjustments to the cam band (moving it a slight amount either further up or down the cylinder) can dramatically change your profile in the water.

While in confined water, we worked on trim, removing and replacing the cylinders (both underwater and at the surface in the deep end of the pool), switching from one cylinder to another, monitoring our gas use, regulator recovery and clearing, air sharing with our buddy, hovering, deep water entry with one or two cylinders and swimming with one or two cylinders. We also removed one cylinder and adjusted our weighting for a single cylinder sidemount configuration and practiced some skills while wearing only one cylinder. During the debrief at the end of the confined water session, we discussed the Performance Requirements as currently outlined and made suggestions for skills and training that divers taking the program might find beneficial.

Day Two

We were up early to catch a boat to California, USA’s Catalina Island for the open water dives. While confined water sessions are essential for learning and mastering the skills necessary for sidemount diving, diving in the open water brings it all together. As California water is temperate, we also had wet suits, dry suits, hoods and gloves to contend with.

The first dive was challenging because the water had some waves and a slight surface current. Each of us was assigned a different method for donning our sidemount cylinders. I put both cylinders on in the water, while other testers attached their left cylinder first (so they were able to connect a low pressure inflator hose before entering the water), made a deep water entry, then connected the right cylinder in the water. Other entry methods included donning both cylinders and completing a giant stride, back roll or controlled seated entry.

During the dive, we practiced skills previously learned in confined water, like regular recovery and clearing, out-of-air drills (both by switching to our second cylinder and securing an alternate air source from our buddy), hovering for 30 seconds, removing and replacing the cylinders on the surface, monitoring gas supply and switching regulators to maintain similar pressures in each cylinder. We even performed a tired diver tow at the end of the dive. The student divers with no technical diving experience found this first dive challenging, while those who were familiar with handling stage or decompression cylinders found it liberating to be free from the constraints of double cylinders strapped to their backs. Most of us tweaked our equipment configurations during the surface interval.

On the second dive, some of us clipped one or both of our cylinders to a line, lowered the line into the water, got in and then donned our cylinders. Others practiced an entry method different than the one they used during the first dive.

We checked for neutral buoyancy, switched from one cylinder to another, shared air with our buddy while swimming and removed a cylinder in a sandy area beneath the boat to practice swimming with one cylinder. We also swam through and around the kelp and other obstacles to become comfortable with our buoyancy and trim. At the conclusion of the second dive, we unclipped and handed our cylinders to the boat crew or clipped them to a line for retrieval. Those without previous sidemount experience seemed to be much happier at the end of this dive as they had the chance to adjust their gear configuration during the break between dives.

We then practiced a few optional skills not currently included in the outline, like adjusting the cam band for trim while neutrally buoyant and swimming with both cylinders unclipped from the bottom rail and moved in front for ultimate streamlining. Too cool!

Research Conclusions

Based on our research experience, we suggested some revisions to the draft of the PADI Sidemount Diver Course Instructor Guide. Some were slight modifications, others more significant. Personally, I am a total convert to sidemount diving, because it is easy and has multiple options for equipment configurations.


Guess who's back?

Photo by Instructor Shane Anderson
Scientists with the federal government and from 3 Gulf of Mexico states say efforts to find out more about whale sharks, the world's largest fish, are picking up steam.

Biologist Eric Hoffmayer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries service says 2 trips into the Gulf during September resulted in 10 taggings, significantly more than earlier efforts. The tags will provide information on the animals' movements.

In the summer, schools of the harmless animals laze about at the surface, where they can be tagged easily. But as fall approaches, they split off to hang out with schools of tuna that herd baitfish to the surface for an easy meal.

Relatively little is known about whale sharks. Scientists don't have a handle on population numbers, or know much about their breeding and migratory patterns.

Researchers from Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi joined for the September tagging expedition. They were aided in their search by a spotter plane provided by a California-based nonprofit, On the Wings of Care.

On one trip to the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary off Texas, Hoffmayer said the Gulf seethed as whale sharks leaped about, gulping mouthfuls of tiny fish. Screaming seabirds dove to grab some of the bounty.

Photo Josh Blair Oriskany
The scientists had 30 seconds to get photographs, anchor a GPS tag in the thick, sandpaper-like skin of one of the sharks and take a DNA sample.

Hoffmayer said the trips were successful — they tagged five whale sharks on each of two such trips. That's more per day than ever before.

The tags will beam information back to labs to track the sharks whereabouts.

"We pretty much doubled the amount tagged in the northern Gulf in one week," said Hoffmayer, who has studied whale sharks for nearly a decade.

The newly tagged animals range from 15-foot-long juveniles to 35-foot adults.

Photo by Shane Anderson 6 miles off shore
Whale sharks can grow as long as a school bus and are on the World Conservation Union's "red list" of threatened species.

"We're interested in how long they stay here in the Gulf, and where they go in winter," Hoffmayer said.

But to find out requires swimming with the sharks.

Fortunately, they're a docile species. They cruise the gulf sucking into tiny teeth meals of small fish and plankton. They lack the fearsome jaws of Gulf predator species such as the mako, tiger and bull shark.

Getting close to the gentle giants isn't as easy as it seems, even as they glide slowly through the warm waters.

"Though it looks like it's swimming nice and slow, it's a lot faster than we are. We try to put ourselves in front of the animal and let the animal swim to us," Hoffmayer said.

Once their boat was in position near a shark, Jennifer McKinney, a research technician at the University of Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, and Hoffmayer slipped into the water. A photographer went to the head — the spot pattern behind each whale shark's gills is unique. Hoffmayer was in the middle to attach a tag, and McKinney got DNA samples from the tail.

Photo Josh Blair Oriskany
Seven sharks tagged in September have tags that store months of temperature and depth data. They're designed to pop off and rise to the surface — adding a straight-line travel distance from the spot where the fish was tagged — either after a set time or if the shark dives so deep that water pressure would crush the electronics.

Two have "spot tags," designed to transmit an animal's location each time it surfaces. One has both.

The International Foundation for Animal Welfare and World Wildlife Fund provided money for the tags, which cost about $2,000 for spot tags and $3,500 to $4,200 for the pop-off tags.

Two are set to pop off in four months, two in six months and two in eight months, Hoffmayer said.

"Two of the spot tags that we put out have reported," Hoffmayer said. "Both sharks were moving east."

Photo Down Under Diver
In about 12 days, he said, one had moved about 120 miles and the other about 130 miles. One was south of Pensacola, Fla., near an underwater area called the DeSoto Canyon. The other was south of Mississippi.

The trips grew out of a larger effort to tag fish such as tuna and billfish, said Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.

Pausina said a multispecies tagging plan may be ready to submit to NOAA within a few months.


News from Down Under

Congratulations Alexandra Swanson on Earning the 20 Millionth Diver Certification

Alexandra Swanson became the recipient of the 20 millionth PADI certification when she earned her PADI Open Water Diver course certification on 4 September 2011. As a result, she'll be taking a dream dive trip to Queensland, Australia with four nights of accommodation in Cains, Queensland, Australia and a three-night excursion on the live-aboard dive vessel Spirit of Freedom. During her trip, she'll get to visit iconic Great Barrier Reef dive sites like Cod Hole and the Ribbon Reefs.

Additionally, the certifying instructor -- PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer Timmothy Aguon and PADI Five Star Instructor Development Center Micronesia Divers Association in Guam, were also awarded trips for one in celebration of the certification.

With more than 20 million diver certifications issued worldwide since 1966, PADI is The Way the World Learns to Dive®.

PADI eCards Available to Divers Next Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Project Pink Tank

Photo courtesy of Andrew Sallmon

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and marks the launch of Project Pink Tank, which looks at diver health outcomes among breast cancer survivors. The goal is to document and measure potential mental and physical benefits from diving by cancer survivors. The project also looks at the long-term effects of breast cancer therapy on diver behavior and health. The first phase of Project Pink Tank involves a web-based survey of certified breast cancer survivors.
As the number of breast cancer survivors increases, so does the number of them in the dive community. Following recovery from breast cancer, previously certified women often resume diving for exercise and mental relaxation. Ultimately, Project Pink Tank will create a platform for future research and a medical consensus conference focused on diving and general cancer survivorship.The not-for profit Rubicon Foundation, the PADI organization, Duke Dive Medicine and VR Technology are supporting Project Pink Tank. For more information, or if you meet these requirements and would like to participate, visit

New Products
New Product JBL Suits and Tops $84-$300


Tusa Zen Air Computer $350


News from Down Under

Well Divers it's been a pretty awesome week of diving.

Some of the best news is that our beloved Whiskey Wreck is now slightly more uncovered, thanks to Tropical Storm Lee, with depths ranging from 13' t0 15' instead of 9'.

Perdido Pass Jetties weathered the storm a little worse with a large amount of topsoil (from the the flooding)  has dropped viz to a less than favourable 1' to 5' on  most days.  We expect this to clear up over the next few weeks.

Here are some reports from The Dive Boat this past week.

USS Allen: No current, viz: 5 to 10 ft.
Navy Tug: 80 ft viz, JT killed 3 Lionfish, Huge baitball, awesome, 2-3 ft seas.

New Barge': seas 1-2, minimal current, sunny skies, H2O 80°, 60 ft viz, Divemaster JT found a huge octopus and 1 unlucky Lionfish, covered in Black Snapper, Butterfly fish, and Pufferfish.

Navy Dive Tender 14, 40 ft viz.
JT killed 10 lionfish. Divers saw Octopus, huge spiny lobster, a Goliath grouper tons of snapper and more.

Spearfishermen from all over the state are currently competing in the month long Pleasure Island Spearfishing Classic.
Click here to learn more.   Follow the tournament on Facebook.
Shou Outs

Congratulations to one of our newest Openwater Divers, Debbi Liptrot. Great job!

Congratulations to Down Under's Newest Divers - Brian Booker, Mario Narjes, and Robert Kirby all received their Open Water certs today. They brought along John Serta for a DLD just in case they needed someone to feed to the sharks.........

Check out these Sidemount Diver Videos

Lets go to PALAU!

New Product JBL Suits and Tops



Hello Divers,

Well it’s been quite an eventful summer so far. I am happy to report that the Down Under ran more dive charters to date than any of the previous summers.Divers stayed safer than any of the previous seasons by executing responsible dive plans and safe diving practices.

With the help of our "infamous Captain Bert Valle" Aka the Crazy Cuban, we were able to introduce some new reefs into our pretty substantial list of sites. New Barge and Pete's 301 (Named after Pete Holmes' 301st Dive) are two new faves.

We hosted 3 successful Instructor Development Courses with 100% passing. Good Job Team and introduced over 200 new divers to our wonderful underwater world.

We found some new creatures this year including strange new Nudibranchs, Oscillated frog fish, a 100lb Sea Sturgeon, and a Husker's Conger Eel.




Thank you all for making this a spectacular season. Even though the retail center is closed Mondays and Tuesdays after this week, the Down Under will still be running daily. We are just a phone call away.

Please dont forget to check out our upcoming dive vacations:
Palau March 18 (only four spots left!)

Congratulations to all of the newly certified dive leaders!
IDC Staff Instructors: Hugh Headrick & Jim Mahan
PADI Specialty Instructor: Brandon Williams
Divemasters: Cheynne Milan, John Kovalchick, Adventure Steve, and Donnie Breece.