Diving Dry with DUI & IVS!

It’s DOG Days again this weekend at Dutch Springs, and our friends from DUI are in town with a boatload of their drysuits and gear for divers to test dive.  Team IVS is on site working both on land and in the water with the divers, making sure that everyone is properly fitted, briefed and taken for tour in whatever model or models of DUI drysuits they want to experience.  It’s a really great two-day event that is held annually at different locations around the country, and we are proud to be participate each year as a DUI dealer.

The weekend actually started Friday with a day-long Public Safety Diving program of seminars, equipment & gear displays, and the chance to try some of the DUI PSD offerings.  Plus our friends from DAN were on site to add to the festival, offering diver and instructor level training to the participants.

And the event also marks a special savings offering for all who try DUI – huge savings on new suits, undergarments and accessories, from Indian Valley Scuba and ScubaGearPlus.  Don’t miss the oportunity to take advantage of the savings and the chance to extend your dive season to year round!

We ended up with a total of 252 divers trying out new DUI suits – the biggest turnout yet at Dutch Springs!  Way to go team!

IVS at Beneath the Sea

Every year at this time the dive community in the greater northeast U.S. gathers for a special three day event, the Beneath the Sea show and expo.  Seminars, training opportunities, destinations, dive manufacturers, and of course, everyone;s favorite dive shop, Indian Valley Scuba, is there for all to see.

This is our third year exhibiting at this consumer event, and our biggest yet, with three booths dedicated to bringing the IVS message to the masses.  As the audience continues to take notice, so do the manufacturers – so much in fact, that this year Cochran, Armor, Halcyon, Pterydactyl, and Bottom Crawlers all opted to not have their own booth, but to bring thier products and representatives to staff the IVS booth. 

And this year we had an even more special guest – the new Poseidon Rebreather!!  Indian Valley Scuba is honored to be the only stocking dealer of the Poseidon rebreather in the Northeast US! And, our Puerto Rico IVS location is also the Poseidon dstributor for the entire Carribean region!  Want to dive one?  Call us! 

On Saturday we had 26 members of Team IVS in the booth, spreading the message, sharing the joy, and inviting others to get on board the IVS train.  From training to travel to great gear deals, there was something for everyone at the IVS booths.  This year we released our sixteen page training catalog to a very receptive audience, along with the IVS “sign up / show up” guarantee.  This is our exclusive commitment to program scheduling, where we truly stand behind our word by ensuring that even if only one student signs up for a class, we will run that class!  Crazy? Maybe.  Committed? Yes!!

After the show closed on Saturday evening, our own Frank Gabriel took us out to dinner at a fantabulous Portuguese restaurant right in downtown Newark.  What a treat to see a table of two dozen members of the IVS family laughing, joking, & eating to our hearts content!   And after that dinner, half of us caravaned over to Frank & Isabel’s home where we were treated to dessert, after-dinner libations, and a chance to play in Frank’s ultimate toy room – his garage!  “Drivemaster” Dave West lead us back to our hotel, OK, tried to lead us back, but finally we all made it back to catch a few zzz’s before sunrise.

Sunday morning kicked off to an even stronger start, and the crowd never thinned out.  We were honored to have six of the eight IVS locations represented at the show over the weekend, and were amazed at the number of old friends visiting and new friends made over the two and a half days!  As always, our fresh hot Philadelphia soft pretzels were a hit, and we gave over a thousand of them away during the show!  In addition to our regulars, we especially want to thank Joe Garvin for his continued support, working hard to spread the word about Indian Valley Scuba to so many – it’s great to know we have such a warm place in his heart!

Look for an even bigger presence at next year’s BTS show – we already put our reservations in for four booths!  

Halcyon visits the Quarribean with IVS!

This weekend found us back at Dutch Springs for a rare back-to-back engagement with our friends from Halcyon Manufacturing.  The mission for this weekend was Halcyon Days Product Demo, and demo the product we did.  Backplate systems, wings of all shapes & sizes, new canister lights, and the rest of the entire line of fine Halcyon products were out and available for test-diving in the getting warmer-by-the-minute waters of Dutch Springs.  We enjoyed the company of the great Halcyon team, with renowned underwater explorer and founder of Halcyon and Global Underwater Explorers, Jarrod Jablonski on hand to answer questions, talk product, and provide a great Saturday evening presentation of some of the projects he and his team have recently been involved with.  Jarrod was supported by Ken Charleston and Sonya Tittle.  We were proud to be a part of the demo and honored to be one of the select delaers chosen to represent the Halcyon line.

And while all that demo’ing was going on, we were diving too!  This weekend found us graduating a new flock of PADI / National Geographic Open Water IVS divers, with Philip ‘Batman’ Nelson, Alberto & Chris Zeledon, John Zyskowski and Mike Gelatej joining the IVS family.  And we saw Lauren Halvorsen and Joe Bates working on Advanced Open Water, and Paul Stanton and Holly Germana completing thier Dry Suit Specialty course.  IVS Instructor Ray Graff was our guest chef this weekend as we gave Bev a couple of days off, and he he did a fine job representing the ‘B’ Team in the kitchen!  He even managed reached deep into his tofu recipe book to grill up some vegen burgers for our guests, Jarrod and Sonya! The great news is that Bev will be back in two weeks, so come back out and compare!  

Lead instructor Butch Loggins was assisted this fine weekend by Ray, DM’s Frank Gabriel & Bill Zyskowski, DM candidates Donna Raleigh, Jenna Murray, and Chris Rich, and the usual cast of supporting characters.  This is one of the most beautiful aspects of how the Indian Valley Scuba crew dives, as a ‘village’, with so much support and guidiance for everyone.  No egos, no BS, no conflicts – truly no one dives alone with IVS!

As usual we were joined by a bevy of friends and fellow diversand their families, and the laughter and fun continued all weekend long!  Be sure to mark your calendar to join us again the weekend of July 25-26 when we’ll be demo’ing the Aeris Compumask HUD display!  See you then!

Scuba Dawg Demo Days @ Dutch Springs

This weekend was our first Scuba Dawg Demo days at Dutch Springs, and all we can say is – “WHAT A GREAT IDEA!”  Wow was the enthusiasm fantastic and the eight scooters we took to demo did not get a rest all day either day!  In the water, out of the water, change batteries, back in the water – all day long!!  It is thrilling to see such diver enthusiasm and to be part of divers trying something brand new, and even better, offering them this chance at no cost.

And quite a few divers took advantage of our training special – with a $50 donation to the International Association for Handicapped Divers, they could complete their PADI Diver Propulsion Vehicle specialty for FREE!  There is always a deal to be found at IVS!

It was pretty interesting to note how many other divers came over secretively and asked if we would be there later or on Sunday, because they couldn’t let their current shop see them enjoying our demo.  What an amazingly unbusiness-like attitude so many of the other dive shops have, so possessive of their customers and so unsure of themselves that they are afraid that if the customer talks to another shop – poof! they are gone.  Does the term “if you love something set it free, it it loves you it will come back” mean anything to these dive shops?  Customer loyalty is something you build, not something you create by baffling and BS’ing your customer.  If you are straight up with your customer, truly believe in their best interests, and provide good value with your shop’s product selection and pricing, why would they leave?   That’s what so many other shops miss – they believe they can just keep the customers blinded by denying that other brands or other methods or other shops are out there.  Hey the Soviet Union tried this method with communism, and look what happened when the internet let the people see what the outside world was really like! It’s inevitable that the same thing will occur to a customer the moment they find out they have been treated right or properly informed – they are gone! 

OK, off my soapbox now. 

NJ Wreck Diving on the Venture III

If it’s Wednesday it must be time to go….Diving!  And that we did, heading out to sea today on the Venture III, captained by the always great Ruth and Paul Hepler.  Located in Belmar, NJ, the Venture III is convenient to hundreds of dive sites off the mid-jersey coast.  Our group today included Donna Raleigh, Dave West, Andrew Roebuck, our secret diver who we’ll refer to as “SK”, John Gladowski, and myself.  We headed out and visited three sites today, starting with the Golden Eagle wreck, a fishing vessel that went down in a storm in 1936.  Sitting intact and just a little worn after 70 years under the sea, it is a nice wreck to visit and explore, covered with sponges, mussels and life.  Loads of fish call the Golden Eagle home, so it is always a busy place.

After a short surface interval, thanks in part to the quantity of diveable wrecks in the area and the short distance between them, and also because of the advantages gained by diving with computers, we found ourselves moored to the fisherman’s barge, a rather non-descript 150 ft long steel barge that sank upside down in 78 ft of water.  The viz had really deteriorated in this area, probably down in the 15 ft range, so exploring much off the main wreck was clearly a ‘reel’ challenge.  

Finally, it was time to turn up the heat and put all those spearguns and bug bags we had brought along to good use, so we headed over to one of the many rock piles in the area, and dropped in for our third descent of the day.  Viz was better by a bit, and the water temperature was clearly a tad cooler on this site.  The dive proved productive all around with black sea bass, lobsters and mussels making the final ascent of the day with us, to head home in our coolers!   We’ll be back in two weeks for more of the same!