Rebreather Association International Divers (RAID) have announced the appointment of Paul Toomer as Director of Diver Training.
Paul is a force of nature in the diving world and his unique approach is legendary. It is no surprise that since he became a Pro in 1997 Paul has reached the pinnacle of two of the World’s leading diver training agencies; teaching divers, instructors and instructor trainers.
Paul turned tech in 2000. After a decade of teaching rebreather and technical courses, he was headhunted by Scuba Schools International, where he worked with some great people as SSI’s Director of Training.
“I had an incredible time at SSI and I wish them well with the new merger”, stated Paul Toomer.“I just want to do something different and I relish challenges. Joining RAID is hugely exciting because we have so much potential. We are looking outside the diving industry to source ideas on how to kick it up a level. I have just read an article in a surf publication and found it inspirational. The magazine piece discussed how the ‘suits’ (big business) had sucked the life out of the sport and the way the ‘salts’ (the surfers) were trying to regain control. The parallel with the diving industry is striking. People would rather not pay to be lectured to; they pay to have fun. I see RAID as the vehicle to do this through its comprehensive online training system. Divers want ‘state of the art’ training where they have total control through a transparent online system, at whatever time or location is convenient for them.
“Divers training with RAID (www.diveraid.com) benefit from the most advanced online system in the World. RAID quickly adapts to new developments and diver requirements creating programmes for the latest innovations in equipment, such as the Poseidon SE7EN rebreather. The agency has some of the most advanced training and proactive QA systems I have ever seen. I am impressed by founder Barry Coleman and the exciting techniques he has developed for training divers, both in and out of the water. RAID has a future like no other.
“A good friend of mine once said, ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result’. I believe RAID provides the solid base for the excitement and adventure to grow in diving. It is the ideal vehicle to bring the ‘rock and roll’ back into our incredible sport.”
Barry Coleman, founder of RAID, stated, “I am excited to have Paul on board as a major stakeholder. His enthusiasm and adventurous nature coupled with a solid business head is needed by our sport. Ironically in its attempt to be more ‘professional’, diving seems have moved away from the free spirit that defined it. Paul has always refused to be constrained by diving ‘suits’.
Paul views life as one big adventure. It is obvious to anyone who meets him that he eats, sleeps and breathes diving. But you can also see that he never forgets his professional attitude to training divers. When you combine this ethos with a relevant knowledge base, plus an understanding of the modern business environment, you have the personification of what is needed to drag the dive industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century.”
Get a FREE undersuit when you buy a trilaminate drysuit from Scubapro
IT’S TRILAMINATE TIME!
SCUBAPRO is launching its 2024 drysuit promotion:
With the purchase of a trilaminate drysuit EVERTECH DRY BREATHABLE or DEFINITION DRY, SCUBAPRO gives you the matching K2 EXTREME undersuit (GBP 345) for free.
If that’s not a reason to start drysuit diving, because in our climate it’s drysuit season all year round! So don’t miss out – the promotion is valid until May 31, 2024 at participating SCUBAPRO retailers and in participating regions.
All information at https://scubapro.johnsonoutdoors.com/eu/en-gb/free-k2.
Diving with Frogfish in Costa Rica: A Hidden Gem Underwater
In the vast and vibrant underwater world of Costa Rica, there’s a peculiar creature that often goes unnoticed but holds a special place in the hearts of divers: the frogfish. This enigmatic and somewhat odd-looking species is a master of camouflage and a marvel of marine life. Diving with frogfish in Costa Rica is not just a dive; it’s an adventurous treasure hunt that rewards the patient and observant with unforgettable encounters. Let’s dive into the world of frogfish and discover what makes these creatures so fascinating and where you can find them in Costa Rica.
The Mystique of Frogfish
Frogfish belong to the family Antennariidae, a group of marine fish known for their incredible ability to blend into their surroundings. They can be found in a variety of colors, including yellow, pink, red, green, black, and white, and they often have unique spots and textures that mimic the coral and sponges around them. This camouflage isn’t just for show; it’s a critical survival tactic that helps them ambush prey and avoid predators.
One of the most remarkable features of the frogfish is its modified dorsal fin, which has evolved into a luring appendage called an esca. The frogfish uses this esca to mimic prey, such as small fish or crustaceans, enticing unsuspecting victims close enough to be engulfed by its surprisingly large mouth in a fraction of a second. This method of hunting is a fascinating spectacle that few divers forget once witnessed.
Where to Find Frogfish in Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is dotted with dive sites that offer the chance to encounter these intriguing creatures. Bat Islands (Islas Murciélagos), Catalina Islands (Islas Catalinas), and the area around the Gulf of Papagayo are renowned for their rich marine life, including frogfish. These sites vary in depth and conditions, catering to both novice and experienced divers.
The key to spotting frogfish is to dive with a knowledgeable guide who can point out these master camouflagers hiding in plain sight. They’re often found perched on rocky outcroppings, nestled within coral, or even hiding among debris, perfectly mimicking their surroundings.
Diving Tips for Spotting Frogfish
Go Slow: The secret to spotting frogfish is to move slowly and scan carefully. Their camouflage is so effective that they can be right in front of you without being noticed.
Look for Details: Pay attention to the small details. A slightly different texture or an out-of-place color can be the clue you need.
Dive with Local Experts: Local dive guides have an eagle eye for spotting wildlife, including frogfish. Their expertise can significantly increase your chances of an encounter.
Practice Buoyancy Control: Good buoyancy control is essential not just for safety and coral preservation but also for getting a closer look without disturbing these delicate creatures.
Be Patient: Patience is key. Frogfish aren’t known for their speed, and sometimes staying in one spot and observing can yield the best sightings.
Conservation and Respect
While the excitement of spotting a frogfish can be thrilling, it’s crucial to approach all marine life with respect and care. Maintain a safe distance, resist the urge to touch or provoke, and take only photos, leaving behind nothing but bubbles. Remember, the health of the reef and its inhabitants ensures future divers can enjoy these incredible encounters as much as you do.
Join the Adventure
Diving with frogfish in Costa Rica is just one of the many underwater adventures that await in this biodiverse paradise. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or taking your first plunge, the waters here offer an unparalleled experience filled with wonders at every turn. Beyond the thrill of the hunt for frogfish, you’ll be treated to a world teeming with incredible marine life, majestic rays, playful dolphins, and so much more.
So, gear up, dive in, and let the mysteries of Costa Rica’s underwater realm unfold before your eyes. With every dive, you’re not just exploring the ocean; you’re embarking on an adventure that highlights the beauty, complexity, and fragility of our marine ecosystems. And who knows? Your next dive might just be the one where you come face-to-face with the elusive and captivating frogfish. Join us at Rocket Frog Divers for the dive of a lifetime, where the marvels of the ocean are waiting to be discovered.
About the Author: Jonathan Rowe
Are you looking to make a splash online? As a seasoned diver and digital marketer, I specialize in crafting bespoke websites and innovative marketing strategies for dive shops worldwide. With my expertise, your business will not only be seen but also remembered.
From deep-sea to digital depths, I navigate the complex waters of web development and online marketing, ensuring your dive shop stands out in the vast ocean of the internet. Contact Scuba Dive Marketing for more information.
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