Princess Treatment

Who doesn't like being treated like a Princess?

Princess Treatment is a part of every "first time divers" experience with GirlDiver. And that's FIRST TIME with GIRLDIVER...not necessarily first time diving. We've treated doctors, lawyers, firefighters, cops and special forces soldiers to Princess Treatment. And now, we're willing to share our secret with the larger dive world, in hopes that instructors everywhere will serve their clientele in the same manner we serve ours.

First, we have the diver lie in "Relaxation Pose #1" (see previous blog entry), then once the diver is fully relaxed, we don their fins upon their feet, just like Cinderella's glass slippers.

Princess Pose.

So if you're at a dive site, and you hear my distinct voice say, "Ok Princess, lie down..." you'll know someone is about to receive the royal treatment offered exclusively by GirlDiver.

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Relaxation Pose #1 - Outside of PADI Teaching Standards?

Ok, I admit it. I've gone beyond the normal scope of what's taught in the PADI Open Water Certification course. And I feel terrible.

One of the reasons I'm a PADI Instructor, and I stick by PADI, is because I believe that a solid system of education, with very little fluctuation between instructors is vital to creating a safe, solid scuba program. PADI achieves this with their standardized instructional outline which keeps instructors from deviating too far from the scope of the materials.

But I did it. I have added skills, not required or even TAUGHT by PADI to my Open Water Scuba Classes.

Relaxation Pose #1: After entering the water, prior to donning fins, divers are to lie back on their fully inflated BCD, releasing any tension in their neck, and allow themselves to float and relax on the surface of the water. Divers may use this skill anytime they have made a long surface hike to the waters edge, are a bit nervous before a dive or simply want a moment to relax and become one with the water. CAUTION: This skill should be used in moderation on days when the sun is high in the sky. Floating aimlessly about in the ocean with only your face exposed to the sky can lead to moderate to severe sunburn. (But...after you try'll WISH you could float around the water for a day)

Ok, I think that the powers that be at PADI will forgive this one. And, if any of them are in the area and would like the FULL "GirlDiver, New Student, First Time in the Water Treatment", I'll be happy to give them both the Relaxation Pose #1...and Princess Treatment.

Watch out PADI Instructors, this may become a required skill if that happens. :)

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Another Tradition Broken

A typical PADI Open Water course holds four dives over the course of two days. Or...two dives per day. But in typical GirlDiver fashion, we've asked WHY??

Oh, we're not talking about breaking standards and completing all four dives in one day...that would wear US out. We've looked at the comfort level of students doing surface intervals in sub-fifty degree temperatures in wetsuits and's just not fun.

And I'm at the point with GirlDiver that "if it's not fun, we're not doing it."

I certainly can't take the winter off and refuse to instruct would be divers wanting the GirlDiver there MUST be an easier way.

Enter the "dive a day" program. We're going to test out holding one dive per day over the course of two weekends. This way divers arrive in a dry wetsuit, do one dive, then strip the cold wetsuit off and exchange it for warm clothing. Rain, sleet, hail or'll not get in our way this year.

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Getting Certified On Vacation

We've entered the chillier parts of the year, when the thought of entering the Puget Sound may not be the most entertaining thing you can think of on the weekend.

(Fact: The Puget Sound stays relatively close to the same temperature year's the surface interval between dives that chills you...)

However, thousands of people still NEED to get certified in order to visit the reef below on their mid-winter escapes. What's the answer?

PADI (and other certification agencies as well) offers "Tropical Referral" diving courses. In these courses, you do your classroom and pool work at home with your local instructor, then they give you a referral form and a contact in your vacation destination to complete the Open Water portion of the certification. Basically, you learn what you need to before you go...then you take your "test" in the warm water.

This is an ideal way to become certified if you don't like the cold. As an instructor, I'm not going to lie. I'm a girl first...scuba diver second. I don't like cold. While I teach year round here, I'm not going to tell you I smile when scraping ice off the windshield to head to a dive. My winter dives are usually later in the day to give the earth the maximum amount of warm up time available.

At GirlDiver, we LOVE Tropical Referrals...and someday hope to have a network of travel agents and wedding planners to enable us to do exclusively Referral and class based courses from November through February. However, this year, we're still growing that program, so we'll be at the waters edge at least two weekends per month.

In a tent, with a heater. Dreaming of palm trees.

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Erika gets certified!!

Erika, who enjoys muscle powered sports like cycling and running, decides to take up scuba diving. Wanting one on one coaching, she opts for a private class and gets an amazing underwater experience to go along. Um...she's addicted now. Welcome to GirlDiver Erika!

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Prima GirlDiver Cindy Ross

Cindy, founder of GirlDiver, is our lead instructor. She finds her passion in teaching and enabling others to overcome obstacles and reach new goals through scuba diving. When not diving, Cindy enjoys spending time with her two children and two grandchildren. She also enjoys rock climbing, river rafting and unstructured days exploring the Northwest.

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