The Ladies of IVS show their stuff at Dutch Springs

This weekend marked our third checkout dive weekend of the season at Dutch Springs. Yes, our third time there already this season, starting right on opening day this year.

So you ask, is Dutch ready to dive already….no friggin’ way – it is 45 degrees in the water! But does that stop our divers from jumping in? Nope!

This weekend’s class was an all-girls outing, with Briana Reinoso, Kaitlyn Ott, Deanna Kuik, and Cathryn Hardin all needing to get those pesky checkout dives completed before they headed to more exotic locations later this month. So they all opted to take the Drysuit class in conjunction with their Open Water program, and they dove dry all weekend long. I am still amazed that they wanted to do this, let alone come out and complete six dives with us, and still ready to go for more!

Saturday was perfect, sunny, warm, calm……very alluring to come and dive into the pretty pond!  We got our three dives and the ladies did nothing short of fantastic.  The drysuit training paid off in spades as they were comfortable on each dive in the mid 40 degree water. Sunday came along and boy what a difference a night can make…….it was raining like a son of a gun, cold, dreary, and overcast, but did that deter our divers?  Well, heck yes, it really sucked!  But we had a job to do, and we did it, getting in not only three more dives, but actually then a fourth dive to explore the wreck known as the Silver Comet.

Another great weekend, lots of smiles, and four new divers welcomed into the IVS family – perfect!

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A little rain can’t keep the divers away!

Another weekend and another great chance to get wet in a local way, at Dutch Springs, of course!  It was another checkout weekend and Dueling Drysuits Demo day at the local quaribbean, and it started off as one fine looking weekend for sure!

Saturday we had about 35 IVS divers in the camp, and Sunday found the total for the weekend up over 50!  How cool is it to have so many of our diving family stop by, get a dive or two in with old friends, make new ones, grab a burger, and plan the next dive trip!  And we made even more new friends as the popularity of the Dueling Drysuits demo program continues to grow!

Saturday’s weather was perfect, and with grille-mistress Donna Raleigh in charge, no one went hungry or unsatisfied around the food table.  On Sunday we have Jerry Melissen take over the grille meister duties, and again, the bellies were filled, the smiles were wide, and the IAHD-Americas contribution jar was nicely filled!!  Thank you everyone for supporting our cause. 

Sunday morning the rain came down…and down…and down…….what a torrential storm we experienced.  Lord knows how much rain we got, but we sure got it in a hurry!  But what comes after the rain – you guessed it, a beautiful sunny afternoon to cap a great weekend of diving!

Congratulations to Meghan Grant, Mike Weiderhold, Wyatt & Chuck Brumm, and Paul Haverfield, on completing their National Geographic Open Water certifications! And Rich Seier, who completed his Advanced Open Water & Drysuit Specialty certifications! Wow!

Lehigh Valley Sportsfest Discovers Scuba!

 

This weekend, for the first time in the twelve year history of the Lehigh Valley Sportsfest, participants had the opportunity to discover the magic of scuba diving.  This event, held each year in the Allentown area since 1997, has steadily grown in size and scope, with nearly 10,000 competitors and 100,000 spectators gathering this year at the festival.

This annual festival of sports and games, started with 16 events as the Allentown Sportsfest, and has grown now to over 100 different events, changing it’s name to the Lehigh Valley Sportsfest to more accurately reflect the regional involvmenet.  Indian Valley Scuba, and the International Association for Handicapped Divers, was asked by the Sportsfest founders to bring a Discover Scuba program to this years event.  We set up the IVS rolling DSD show at Cedar Beach Park, a massive pool/park/nature area, right near the center of the city of Allentown. 

On Saturday, they were lined up and waiting as we pulled the truck & trailer into the pool area.  By the end of the afternoon, over 45 divers had been briefed, geared up, and taken on tours, culminating in some basic skills training, paving the way for our next wave of certified divers!  Channel 69 News was there sharing the event with their viewers, and IVS-staffers Mike Gusenko, Ray Graff, Brad Creveling,  Barb White and Dave Valaika had their hands full, running non-stop without a break until finally closing the pool down at 7:00.  After that it was back to the shop, filling tanks, and getting ready for tomorrow!

Sunday was as beautiful a day as Saturday, with even larger crowds, more fun and another 55 divers getting wet and blowing bubbles for the very first time.  Lin Gusenko, Leslie & Carlie Adams, Butch Loggins, and Katie Chin joined the crew today, making it an even more fun event – what a great bunch of folks we had on both sides of the Discover Scuba program today.  By the end of the weekend we had taken over 110 divers in, went through nearly 90 tanks of air, and planted more than our fair share of smiles across the Lehigh Valley.

Look for us to be back next year! 

St. Louis Indian Valley Scuba prepares for Grand Opening!

 

Indian Valley Scuba’s St. Louis dive center is getting ready for a Memorial Day Grand Opening! 

Charles St. Amant spent the last week in Harleysville working with the staff and getting his final training completed before he and his wife Cherie open their doors at IVS-St. Louis later this month.  Charles worked with Indian Valley Scuba’s IT-guru Csaba Lorinczy putting the final touches on his POS system, completed the design and pre-build of his gas filling & blending system with Bob Stitzinger, and worked through the last details of retail and training inventory with Bev Loggins.  An amazingly busy week, but super productive!

This weekend we find Rich Peterson, Ray Graff, Bob Stitzinger and myself headed west for our 14 hour, 900 mile drive to the Kennerly Street store location.  Our mission: to complete the final build-out and fit-out of the store with Charles & Cherie.  Packed in the trucks with us were the gas compressor, cascade bottles, fill system, retail displays, service tools and retail inventory that in just a few short days will transform an empty storefront into a fully operating dive center, ready to serve the needs of the St. Louis market.

Charles has already secured exclusive contracts with three area YMCA’s and class registrations are coming in daily.  The first open water classes will start in early June, and run monthly after that.  Of course each class will have the opportunity to join IVS in Key Largo for their checkouts, or head out for a weekend at Mermet Springs, just a short ride east from the shop.  

So after a thirteen hour ride, we arrive in St. Louis all fired up and ready to go!  Charles opens up and we begin unloading, tanks, compressor, fixtures, furniture and everything else needed to turn an empty space into a dive center!  Rich, Bob, Ray & Dave put in a solid 14 hour day, knocking off just in time to secure some local quality cigars and wines, and gather around the pool for a thorough debriefing!  Meanwhile while the crew relaxed, Keri Stinchcomb spent a few hours in the shop working to restore the luster to the floors and tiles, and her work was shining bright by the end of the night.

Tuesday morning dawns bright & blue for the crew, and after a well-deserved nights rest, we head over to the jobsite early!  Well most of the crew, that is, with slowpoke Rich nursing the post-wine affect from the evening before!  Today IVS-St. Louis Divemaster Mike Landers joined the crew and we kicked butt all day, finishing the compressor installation & gas filling system, building cabinets, desktops, counters, workbenches, storage racks -you name it, it got built today!  By the end of another long day the store was ready to be filled with product, and Charles & Cherie will spend the next week putting the finishing touches on the set up and inventory.  The Harleysville gang packed up their tools and trucks, and made the long journey back east.

We’re all excited about bringing the IVS magic to the St. Louis area, and watching Team IVS grow in the midwest.  The official opening is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, and from there it should be nothing but upward and onward for this latest addition to the IVS family.  

Starting the dive season off right – Key Largo, IVS-style

 

Who says winters need to be long and cold in the northeast?  They certainly don’t need to be when you have Indian Valley Scuba in your neighborhood!   We love to dive and we love to travel, so it goes hand in hand that we love to travel to dive!  

This weekend saw 29 IVS divers head south to sunny Key Largo, where we enjoyed 14 dives on the reefs – yes that’s right, 14 dives in three days!  Lots of great reefs, shallow wrecks, deep & exciting wrecks such as the Duane and Spiegel Grove, and two night dives!  What an exciting way to avoid the big snow storm that  headed east this weekend.

With instructors Butch Loggins, Bill Zyskowski, Csaba Lorinczy and IVS-South Instructor & Spiegel Grove tour guide extradinaire Dave Hartman, plus Assistant Instructor Felix Gryn, and DM’s Rich Peterson and John Glodowski, our team heralded 8 new divers into the Indian Valley Scuba family – Lyn, DJ & Jessica Swartley, Cindy Eisenhauer, Cynthia Spitalny, Alex & Wendy Lepore, and Stephanie Rees all earned their PADI National Geographic Open Water Diver certifications, along with Peak Performance Buoyancy, Coral Reef Conservation, and Boat Diver specialty certifications.   Congratulations to each of them!

Additionally, we had Keith & Nate Beaver, along with Jim Swartley, completing their Nitrox cert’s.  Rounding out Team IVS for the weekend was Sylvia & Niki Lorinczy, Jim Dahlberg, Brian Montague, Tim Brown, Rob Lunny, and DAN Auction Winner Sharon Gill from Connecticut.  Sharon was the successful bidder on one of the Key Largo trips that IVS donated to Divers Alert Network as part of their annual fundraising auction.  Welcome to the family, Sharon!

The weekend found us with three great days of weather sandwiched in between two lousy weeks of Florida winter weather, so once again the scuba gods were smiling on us!   And a very special congratulations to Ms Niki Lorinczy, who single-handedly took home the coveted “A.D.D.” award!  That’s ” All Dives with Dave!”  Three days, 14 dives, almost twelve hours of bottom time.   Way to go girl!

The only sad news from this weekend was with Dave still nursing his cracked vertebrae & broken ribs (see the Boot Show blog entry!) there was no break-dancing allowed!  Don’t worry, he’ll be back…with a vengeance!

Do you hear the Quarribbean music playing our tune?

 

It’s that time again, time to visit our favorite local water-filled hole, Dutch Springs!  And we did it this weekend, in spite of hurricane/tropical storm Hannah raining on our parade!  We were hammered by the weather today with up to 6 inches of rain falling in the area, but did that slow us down?  Not one bit!

The IVS crew sailed into the eye of the storm, without a moment’s hesitation, cause we heard the call of the quarry (and also cause we didn’t hear the call of Key Largo or some other palm-tree filled place this weekend!).  Our team headed in early on Friday to set up the road show tent and secure our space for the weekend, and we are glad they did, cause it was hopping there!!  Amazing with the weather how busy it was at Dutch this weekend.  Our gang showed up bright and early, with the typical myriad of classes to complete, fun dives to take, great barbecue to enjoy, and friends to meet.  All good!

Our own Ray Graff and Richie Kessler manned the grill this weekend, and although the’re not Beverly, it sure beats cold cereal for lunch!  Realistically, both Ray & Richie are great on the grill, and no one walked away hungry.

As usual there were lots of revelations this weekend, but perhaps the most telling was Julia Tate, remarking when our own Aussie staffer Rob Tenille slipped off his drysuit  – “wow, you are completely dry!’.  Hmmmm, did we miss something here in our open water class, Ms. Julia????  Wetsuit, drysuit…..I’m sure there was a difference there!

We want to welcome Tom & Crystal Colleran, Rob, Don & Janet Filson, Ian Matthews, and the lovely Ms. Julia as our newest PADI National Geographic Open Water Divers!  Way to go team!   And as always, not only did our divers complete their open water certifications, they also earned the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy and Coral Reef Conservation specialties.

We also want to congratulate Art Poontang & Steve Holak as our newest PADI Advanced Open Water divers.  Nice job guys!

Overall we had 32 members of the IVS dive family out with us over the weekend, and it just keeps getting better, with several new faces joining us from North Jersey and New York, and more of our local divers making the switch to the IVS brand of Kool-Aid.  We’re all about diving, training & having a great, safe time while doing it, and it shows in every one of gatherings!  We’ll be back in two weeks to dip our toes into the near-balmy waters here again – hope to see you there!

 

 

DSD comes to New Life School

Another day, another batch of new scuba enthusiasts!  Today we visited the New Life School in Schwenksville, PA for our third annual Discover Scuba Diving program.  This alternative school for youths age 12-19 is one of our favorite stops on the DSD tour, where we get to help turn a lot of energy in a positive direction.  Director Dan Novak tells us this is one of the most looked-forward to events of the summer season for the young men enrolled in the schools’s program.  Team IVS included Csaba Lorinczy, Steve Clem, Ray Graff, Maureen Gribb, Chris Rich & Tom Brennan, bringing a lot of collective experience into the mix to provide a great experience for the young men.

Phase one is a classroom session, with the students viewing the PADI Discover Scuba Diving video, followed with a detailed gear discussion and Q&A session.  Then, it’s off to the pool, for gear fitting and a snorkeling session to get everyone comfortable.  Finally, the scuba units are put on, and the class gets a great session of diving, learning some basic scuba skills, and most importantly, having FUN!

Want to join in our our DSD activities? Call Bev at the shop and see where the IVS Scuba Tour Bus is scheduled to travel to next!  Be part of the team and share what we  love so much with others.