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non-BJJ: SCUBA and Sandwich Isle Divers

Posted Mar 12 2009 3:01pm
aka: What can I do to get my bro to share some diving stories with me?

When I found BJJ, it was great. I’d found something that was healthy and positive, a hobby that was good for me both physically and mentally, and became addicted instantly. Most of us have had a similar experience, where we were immediately hooked and can't wait to get back on the mats.

My brother and his wife had a similar experience with SCUBA diving: they're hooked and can't wait to get out of Alaska and back out to the ocean. I definitely want to give it a shot at some point, if only to get my brother off my back.

Mainly, though, I want to encourage my brother to write, and maybe even get him to start his own blog, tracking his adventures and experiences while diving. [hint]I'd read it[/hint]. So, with that, below is a completely unsolicited endorsement for the dive shop my brother, Randy, and his wife use, written by him. Sounds nice…

A few years ago, my wife and I obtained our open water certifications in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. Sounds awesome. Right? The whole experience was miserable. The weather sucked. The dive shop treated us as if we were a nuisance. I felt awful because I had promised my wife this great adventure, but I had failed miserably. Still, I had the bug and I wanted to dive again. Diving is something I’d wanted to do for a long time and I wasn’t ready to give up.

Eventually, Jo agreed to give it one more shot. This time, we decided to give the Big Island a try and I started searching for a dive shop that would offer a more positive experience. If you look online you will find references to a couple of big shops with good reputations, but I also found a few references to one smaller shop: Sandwich Isle Divers. After our experience with the bigger dive shop, the idea of working with a smaller outfit was appealing. Everything that I read about these guys sounded great so I gave them a call.

A guy named Colton answered the phone, and we talked for a while. I told them about our previous experiences and explained that my wife was on the verge of giving up diving. Even over the phone, I knew we’d found the right place. Colton acknowledged that our experience sounded terrible and promised us a totally different one.

Steve Myklebust and his wife Lara run a shop like no other. Their dive masters are all knowledgeable and very friendly. Steve knows so much about the local marine life that every trip is like a short marine biology class. While they’re a full service dive shop, each trip never has more than 6 divers. Because they only do morning charters, you never feel rushed since they don’t have to hurry back in for afternoon divers. The pace of the dives is relaxed and they encourage us to enjoy our bottom time. When you return to the surface you can pass your gear off to Steve so you don’t have to climb the boat ladder with all that weight. Surface intervals will include light snacks and drinks and might include a bit of whale watching!

Since that first trip, we’ve logged over 60 dives with Sandwich Isle Divers and plan to do many more.

Randy and Jo Zacher
Anchorage, AK
Post from All content copyright ©2006-2009 by Steve Zacher
 This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
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