Tag Archives: Scuba

Spotlight – Rescue Dive

Did you know you can become a NAUI-certified Rescue Diver at Catalina Sea Camp? Dive programming at Catalina Sea Camp covers a host of diverse activities and skill sets, both to encourage divers to explore the underwater world around Catalina Island and to educate divers to become better equipped to handle the challenges of this extreme sport.

rescue dive campers

One of the courses that campers enjoy is Rescue Dive. Led by NAUI Dive Instructors here at Sea Camp, the rescue diver course serves to educate campers about first-aid procedures in dive-specific circumstances. The course covers both skin diving and SCUBA diving and ranges from the classroom setting to the water, allowing for campers to apply their training in real-life simulations.

rescue dive matt

Matt Menninger leads the current Rescue Dive course, helping a small group of students learn the ins and outs of rescue diving. The opportunity for divers to learn these skills not only allows for them to be more confident underwater, but also gives them peace of mind when diving with others in all kinds of conditions. Ultimately, Rescue Dive is just one of many great opportunities for campers to stretch their skills to new levels, equipping them to make the most of future adventures, and stay safe in the midst of ever-evolving challenges.

rescue dive card

Have fun, Rescue Divers!

Spotlight – Diving at Catalina Sea Camp

Snorkeling and diving are some of the most awesome experiences campers can immerse themselves in at Catalina Sea Camp. Peach and her dive team are something special to watch. As certified NAUI Dive Masters and Instructors, they offer unique opportunities for campers to encounter nature through adventurous underwater explorations at Sea Camp. She and her team of experienced dive instructors generate excitement and awe through helping campers access a world that is often times completely new to them. Campers often share first-time experiences with their friends, whether it’s the first time they get to touch a sea hare during a snorkel session, or learning how to breathe underwater during Basic SCUBA courses.

dive

For Junior Sea Campers, these programs look like everything from exciting dive-deck demos to opportunities to experiencing these organisms up close and personal on group snorkels. For the Senior Sea Camp programs the curriculum deepens, allowing campers to explore SCUBA through incremental courses that improve dive skills, stress safety, and encourage creativity through photo or video of our underwater world here at Toyon Bay and around the island.

diving

While adventure and education are main focuses for Peach and her team, safety is always at the forefront of courses and activities on the dive deck and in the water. The unique opportunity for campers to practice diving in Toyon’s private bay and have the flexibility to travel across Catalina on our Discovery barge to places like the Avalon Dive Park and Lover’s Cove to see other unique ecosystems is a one-of-a-kind experience for dive students.

Under Pressure

It may not always be noticeable but everything on earth is under pressure. Above the ocean’s surface everything is subject to the air pressure of our atmosphere, which equals about fourteen and a half pounds per square inch, or one atmosphere of pressure.

If that doesn’t seem like much then consider the fact that it is pressing down on every single part of your body at all times. You’ve probably opened a brand new bottle of soda before and noticed how when the seal is cracked there is a familiar hissing sound and the bottle becomes more flexible. This is because sodas are stored under a few atmospheres of pressure to help keep them carbonated or “fizzy”.

fish

That’s only one example of pressure though. Now, consider water weighs a lot more than air. The amount of pressure that most animals in the ocean have to live with is a lot greater than the amount that surface dwellers have to live with. At a depth of only thirty-three feet, the surrounding water pressure is now two atmospheres or double the amount of air pressure at the surface. At this depth there is no need to worry about the pressure being strong enough to do any physical harm but for fish that use a swim bladder, which is a gas filled organ used to maintain buoyancy, the increase in density of their bodies becomes an issue. The deeper you go, the denser you become. The denser you become, the faster you will sink without being able to stop it. Luckily most fish have the ability to deal with this issue before a problem occurs, but for others like the chambered nautilus, maintaining the right depth is crucial for survival. The nautilus uses chambers of gas inside its hard shell and water exchange for buoyancy so unlike many fish, it cannot raise or lower its buoyancy level very quickly if need be.
To witness how pressure exists all around us you can do an experiment for yourself. Try cracking an egg under water and notice how the surrounding water pressure keeps the egg round instead of it falling apart.

Don’t Miss this Summer FUN!

You could be having all this fun!

Registration is Still Open! Hurry before we are full! 

Catalina Sea Camp • One-Week Sessions

Coed Ages 8 – 13

One-Week Session 1:  June 11 – June 17           $1,600 (Waitlist for Female Campers)
One-Week Session 2:  June 18 – June 24           $1,700 (Waitlist for Female Campers)
One-Week Session 3:  June 25 – July 1              $1,700 (Waitlist for Female Campers)

*Please note: Catalina Sea Camp One-Week Sessions run from Saturday to Friday

Space is limited in some sessions.  A NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $200.00 is required to register. Register HERE

Catalina Sea Camp • Three-Week Sessions

Coed Ages 12 – 17

Three-Week Session 71:  July 3 – July 22          $4,400 (Limited Availability for Female Campers)
Three-Week Session 72:  July 24 – August 12   $4,400 

Space is limited in some sessions. NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $200 is required to register. Register HERE

*Please note: Catalina Sea Camp Three-Week Sessions run from Sunday to Friday

Applying and Registration 

For additional information or questions, please contact us.

Phone: 800.645.1423 or 909.625.6194
Fax: 909.625.9977 or 909.625.7305
Catalina Sea Camp • P. O. Box 1360 • Claremont, CA 91711
Email: Sea Camp Registrar
Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM (Lunch 12:30-1:00)

Camp = Adventures in Growing up

In the summer of 1987 a lot was going on. Astronomers at University of California discovered the of birth of a galaxy, Stars camp; Stripes brought the America’s Cup back to home to the US, and I was going to Catalina Sea Camp at Toyon Bay. My main ambition to go to camp was to get my junior certification in SCUBA, the rest was trivial in my young mind. Nevertheless, I was pretty apprehensive about the camp experience, let alone being away from my family. Who knew what to expect? I had friends back home, I was already a big fish in a small pond, and now I had to swim in the open waters of meeting new people? Ugh!

Let’s step back to where it all began. In 1985, my father owned an airplane, a Cessena 182 based out of Oceanside, CA and Ross needed a ride to Mexico. Permission slip in hand, and homework in flight, we took Ross Turner, founder of CIMI camp down to the Sea of Cortez to supervise a 7/8th grade school trip in a small town called Bahia de Los Angeles (unfortunately Guided Discoveries no longer offers this program). Arturo, our guide and owner of the Ridley’s and Leatherback Turtle farm Sanctuary took us by the hand for a tour of night snorkeling and daily nearby island tours. The school kids stayed in a large hostel bunk style. Each kid learned the rudimentary means to hoof 5 gallon buckets of sea water from the ocean to the toilets a 100 yards away, gross. Once, a strong girl came up behind a struggling boy and ripped that bucket from his hands, “woman-handling” 5 gallons to the toilet. Ok.

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We explored multiple islands with marine ecology and inter-tidal zones, along with night dives right off our porch. That particular night snorkeling adventure, we came across a Tiger Eel and various marine species. Arturo, our guide, shared his turtle sanctuary and turtle hatchlings from would be poachers. For a kid, this was unimaginable. We were inundated with knowledge and inspiration. Of course, I was two years younger, while these kids were in 8th grade. I had a few years of growing up before I was old enough to go to sea camp.

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We returned from that trip with a short flight stop to Toyon Bay on Catalina Island’s famous steep runway. Not for the faint hearted! There we met Jean-Michel Cousteau and his wind turbine boat, the Alcyone. We also met Environmental that was there to re-introduce the Bald Eagle to Catalina Island. What an experience! Shark cages on the Alcyone and baby Bald Eagles flying over Catalina. Several months later we were “channel surfing” as we do at home on the tube. National Geographic on assignment was featured on TV and there was the story of Jean-Michel Cousteau and the Bald Eagles, not to mention Kristy’s bright face with Ross and CIMI camp in tow.  They filmed CIMI camp with kids working their masks and snorkles, and I distinctly remember a beautiful arial shot of Toyon Bay and Catalina Island. After an adventure like this, who could resist going to Sea Camp, right?

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At 12 years old, I could barely fit into the scuba equipment, let alone my wetsuit. I was a small guy with big ambitions. Catalina Sea Camp at Toyon Bay was such a big place for my little body. We were engulfed by a small canyon, filled with roaming Buffalo on the soccer field, along with housing, class buildings, and administration around the campus. The place was buzzing with tons of new exploring. We developed a routine, much like school, but it was fun. Eating, classes, and fun campfire story telling filled the voids. The girls were looking pretty- we had a dance night and made best friends forever. The 4th of July we hiked to the side of the hill to watch the fireworks as far as the eye could see on the mainland. One night there was a campfire with a story of E-ot-tsu. Later on in life I only remember that it became later morphed to that with Harry the Killer whale. My least favorite experience turned out to be the nurse. She was the sweetest person, but she ultimately crushed my dreams. My first try at diving I was totally geared up, and Nurse Rachet stopped me cold feet. I had asthma. Although I had a permission slip from my doctor, it didn’t help and they were not about to take the risk. I was told I could not SCUBA at the camp, but I could be in sailing class. My eyes wet and red, I couldn’t believe it. There was nothing worse that someone tearing away at your dreams, at least from my perspective. But, even the worst experiences turn out to be the best stories. It wasn’t until later at camp I became best friends with her daughter that attended the camp at the same time. Today, we are all still very good friends, even nurse Rachet!

Summer Scuba Adventure at Camp


If you want to join these amazing underwater creatures then you will want to check out Catalina Sea Camp scuba diving program. Catalina Sea Camp offers beginners to master diver courses. Check back at the beginning of the year for a full list of all Catalina Sea Camp course descriptions.

Have you never been scuba diving before? If you have always wanted to give it a test then our Try Dive scuba class is for you! Some of our instructors only want to teach this Try Dive class because it is all about having fun while trying a new, mind-blowing experience. The instructors love seeing first time divers with faces lighting up with pure enjoyment. I still remember my first time breathing underwater and I want to share that experience with anyone willing to give something new a try. A course like this is hands-down the best part of being an instructor at Catalina Sea Camp. This class is an ideal choice for our younger campers (12 to 14 years old) as it tends to make campers feel more comfortable for future certification courses. The course is not a certification but an equivalent to a “resort course”. The campers will experience a total of 6 water sessions: 2 skin dives and 4 scuba dives with a maximum depth of 25 feet.

We hope you are ready to give something new and amazing a try at Catalina Sea Camp. Register for camp before December 31st, 2014 and you will save up to $255. Click this link to sign up now: www.catalinaseacamp.org/manage-account/

Happy Diving!

WELCOME TO THE SEA CAMPER BLOG

We would like to thank you for visiting our blog. Catalina Sea Camp is a hands-on marine science program with an emphasis on ocean exploration. Our classes and activities are designed to inspire students toward future success in their academic and personal pursuits. This blog is intended to provide you with up-to-date news and information about our camp programs, as well as current science and ocean happenings. This blog has been created by our staff who have at minimum a Bachelors Degree in Marine Science or related subject. We encourage you to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, and Vine to see even more of our interesting science and ocean information. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or share our blog with others. Please visit www.catalinaseacamp.org for additional information. Happy Reading!

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