Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

Why people would want to join a dive club came up in conversation over dinner with our NAS JAX Skin and Scuba Dive Club president this weekend. Our dive club welcomes new members enthusiastically, and we need their fresh perspective, enthusiasm for diving, and . We think the dive club is great, so I decided to examine just all the ways a dive club is beneficial to its members. We pondered if Gen X, Y, and Z don’t join service or even social clubs, and why an in-person, live event is more valuable than an online social group.

On my first couple meetings at our dive club, I wasn’t too sure about the benefits. I don’t have a lot of time; I work several jobs, I blog, I sail, and my tiny bit of free time is precious. The “return on investment” has to be pretty high for me to drive an hour away, hang out for two hours, and drive home too late to be able to workout the next morning. “This better be good,” I thought.

The knowledge, information, and experiences I have had access to or have gained are priceless. While I love my online Girls That Scuba and Scuba Accidents and Risk Management groups, what I get out of dive club goes far beyond those online resources.

Here are some of the best reasons to join an in-person dive club:

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

My #1 Reason: Safety

Above all else, joining a dive club means hanging out with people who have lived through thousands of dives. My own dive partner likes to say, “There are old divers, and there are bold divers, but there are no OLD BOLD divers.”

Our dive club’s “first lady” Arvilla and I decided there needed to be an award for safe actions while diving, since that’s a main theme in our club. We were thrilled to award the first “Golden Mask Award” to our current Safety Officer, Chet. The award was made for his quick thinking and adherence to safety while rescuing two tired divers. Chet presents a monthly safety report for our club with examples and personal experiences.

Safety Briefings and Demonstrations

Every month our Safety Officer shares either information about incidents, safety resources, or safety briefings. Keeping safety forefront in everyone’s mind is a really good plan. Having that overriding theme of safety every month is a good way to remind members to think often of their own safety.

Our dive club’s previous Safety Officer, Ben, presented one month on SMB’s – surface marker buoys. It was a review for some and new knowledge for others. When the members in the room have over 30,000 dives’ worth of experience between them; that’s a huge resource bank of knowledge.

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

#2 Social

During a dive club’s business meeting, everyone pays attention. However, the rest of the time! Everyone’s catching up on who dove where, what they saw, and making new friends who all share a common interest; diving!

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

#3 Connections For Dives

The more people you hang out with, who are diving, the more opportunities you get to plan or tag along on really cool dives planned by experienced divers.

While dive clubs usually cannot sponsor dives due to legalities; often dive members plan group dives. I plan at least a dive a quarter. Our dive club members share their plans every month and invite other members.

While you might be reluctant to go dive a foreign country with someone you don’t know; you’re probably more comfortable with someone you’ve listened to for a couple months, met several times, dove with and seen in action stateside.

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

#4 Experience = Stories

The more stories – good and bad – that you hear, the more experience you gain. You gain the ability to predict and prepare.

Our dive club posts our stats every month – these numbers show we have 64 members currently. Our members have completed 30,436 dives. At every meeting, anyone who has dove swings by the display to add their own dives to the totals. Since I’ve become a member, about 50 of those dives are mine!

The number at the bottom might be our most seasoned diver’s own personal number of dives. I know he has somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 dives himself! He’s pictured below – Marshall is in the hat.

Behind those numbers are two framed documents – all our Master Divers, and Centurian Divers.

#5 Recognition

Master Divers are divers recognized by the club for outstanding accomplishments, certifications, civic duties and so on.

Centurian Divers are those who have over 100 dives under their belt.

I can’t wait to see my name on those plaques!

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

#6 Gear Sales and Swaps

Divers sometimes have extra gear. Sometimes it’s something that is now too small or too large, or they’ve downsized or upgraded and they want to sell or swap. Here’s a chance to acquire gear from someone you know. If you have any questions about the gear; you will see them again and can ask them.

Fellow members who know you are more likely to give you a good deal – or just give you gear – when they’ve had a chance to meet you, dive with you, and socialize with you.

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

A couple times a year, someone in our group changes part of their gear or upgrades items. Often, they bring it on a first-come, first-served basis. A diver might upgrade to a smaller, lighter (insert expensive thingy here) and if you are a newer diver; this might be the perfect time to acquire one of these (insert expensive thingy here) at a low cost or even free.

My now favorite dive computer is a Tusa that our dive club secretary Glen brought to a meeting. He had already tested it, and even bought two new batteries for it. I gave him $10, and now it’s my favorite dive gear item!

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

#7 Guest Speakers

Some times, our guest speakers arrive through technology – recently we had an incredible guest speaker from the Coral Restoration Foundation. The amount of knowledge shared was enormous. I’ll share that in another article.

Other times, our guest speakers come in person and bring artifacts, examples, and items to pass around for all to see.

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

#8 Junior Divers

There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing the youngest members of our group learn, experience, and become strong divers.

Above, one of our junior divers receiving an award. How exciting for all of us, how proud for his family, and what an accomplishment and achievement for him.

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

#9 Hold an Officer Position

If you were looking to augment your resume and contribute to the club; one way is to become a dive club officer.

Our dive club has a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and safety officer. Those positions come up for grabs every couple years. It’s a great way to contribute, be more active, and even add a little something to your CV.

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

#10 Recommendations

Recommendations on everything from great dive sites, conscientious dive operators, to quality gear are discussed at meetings.

While you can find a lot of this information online through social media, having someone you actually know and have dove with tell you why they love or hate their new BCD is a lot more personal than a stranger you’ve never met.

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

#11 THE CHRISTMAS PARTY

One of the favorite annual events for our dive club is our dive club Christmas party. It is been held everywhere from the officers club on base to a dog race track.

Sometimes there are games, prizes, and even gifts as well as a delicious dinner.

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

#12 My Favorite – the Dive Report

In our club every month, everyone who dove shares their Dive Report. Current conditions, any unusual events, wildlife sightings, gear information, dive operator reviews, and so much more are shared.

This is all first-person information, with the opportunity to ask in-depth questions and discuss the dive with people you know. What went right and what went wrong can by analyzed by divers with thousands of dives. Advances in technology and equipment are thoroughly examined for pro’s and con’s. The information gained here is invaluable.

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

#13 Website

Our dive club, NAS JAX Skin and Scuba maintains a website with safety information, photo galleries of recent dives, videos of recent dives, and more.

My favorite section of our dive club website is the “Dive Safety” area. If I have a bit of spare time, I like to follow the link to the Divers Alert Network online seminars. They show how much time the lecture will take, so I pick one I can finish in one sitting.

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

#14 Monthly Newsletter

Our monthly newsletter, “Triton’s Call” that features dive report recaps and club news also is available on the website.

It’s fun to contribute photos and write-ups from your own dive trips to be published in the newsletter. Sometimes I look back for details on someone’s dive trip to a place I wish to visit to review dive operator information.

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers
Our annual “in front of the tree” Christmas party shot.

Welcoming and Accepting New Members

If you are in the Jacksonville, Florida area and are interested in our dive club, we would enjoy meeting you at one of our dive club meetings! Our dive club members are devoted to the love of recreational diving, while promoting friendship and safety at all levels of diving. 

Monthly meetings are a great time to learn more about ​diving, socialize, and plan dive trips. Our members are very active in diving Florida Springs, offshore Jacksonville, West Palm Beach and the Florida Keys. Many members plan multiple trips annually out of the country to more exotic dive locations.

Our next meeting will be in Mandarin at The Golden Corral on San Jose Blvd. Meetings are typically the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. with dinner/social hour beginning at 6:00 p.m. Check the Dive Club calendar for exact dates. 

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers
Bill adds his dives to the total number of dives our members have accumulated.

What to Read Next

How To Ruin A Scuba Dive // Subtly Stacking The Deck Against a Fun Dive // Analysis

Danger Signs of an Unsafe Dive Boat

7 Items for Dive Boat Survival – The Prepared Diver

Dive Trip From Havana // Diving the Reefs of Cuba’s North Shore

SCUBA Diving in Cuba // Pristine Reefs on the North Shore

Planning a Legal Trip to Cuba from the US // Travel Restrictions // Rules for Americans

Cuban Pesos // What We Learned About Exchanging Money in Cuba

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

Great Training Resource

My First Aid and CPR annual course simply did not have enough depth and breadth for the possibilities of a dive boat event. So, I highly recommend the Tactical Casualty Care online course from Crisis Medicine. In fact, I learned so much from the training, that I have been writing a lot about the topics and the training, hoping anyone active outdoors will take responsibility and seek out bleeding control training..

For courses through Crisis Medicine, I’m able to offer you a 20% discount; just use my code, “DeepWH” at checkout for the TC2 course.

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

Sunscreen and Reef-Safe Toilitries

When you travel, don’t forget to bring a small backpack or bag for carrying a few items to the pool with you. A dry bag gives you even more flexibility and security.

My Stream2Sea dry bag is the perfect size for all my sunscreen, bathing suit or foundation garments, sunglasses case, a book, and a few other items for excursions to the pool or gym. My discount code “DeepWH” gets you 10% off everything.  Stream2Sea have reef-safe sunscreen, leave-in conditioner, lip balm, shampoo, body wash, and even mask defog! Using my link won’t increase you price, and I might receive a small incentive for introducing you to reef-safe sunscreens and more.

dive club, Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

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