Fundies location tips?

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edoralive

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Location
Minneapolis
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I would imagine Kona with Mer would have the advantage of ocean conditions. Fundies made me a better diver for sure, but not necessarily a better ocean diver. Maybe this is not a consideration.

have you spoken with any instructors to get their pitch?

Definitely hoping to do more ocean diving than quarry/lake dives in the future, although I've never explored Florida cave country.

Haven't really talked with anyone except someone from Mer's shop! Any suggestions on what to ask about to evaluate their pitch?
 

edoralive

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Take a look at Eight Diving in the Seattle area. Winter is the best time to dive as the water has better visibility. It will be ocean diving, but I’ve never canceled a dive there due to weather. They have great instructors that will stay connected with you after class. I plan on heading over in the spring to upgrade to a tech pass.

Eight Diving would be ideal, as my folks live out on the Puget Sound!
 

Lorenzoid

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To repeat, have you asked Mer what she perceives as the pros and cons of Kona compared with the FL springs (or elsewhere)? I bet she would be glad to discuss it with you in as unbiased a way as possible. Mexico would get you conditions much like Florida, but if you just really like the idea of Mexico, and the cost is okay for you, go for it. If you do Mexico, book some extra days to just have fun after the course, because you class days will be too packed to do much else.

edit: sorry—you posted while I was typing
 

Tracy

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I recommend Florida and Lauren for a few reasons.
It is cheap and easy, you don't get blown out. You can travel down and do the class, for the most part, regardless of weather.
It is cool, but not cold. You can train in your drysuit as you would normally dive in the north, but you can spend hours and hours in the water without getting cold.
Lauren wasn't my fundies instructor, but she was my cave instructor. She is a very patient and fun instructor, I think you would struggle to not enjoy a class with her.

If Tulum is a possibility, both Jon Kieren and Kelvin Davidson are excellent instructors down there. I have done classes with both.
 

jadairiii

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  • Kona, HI with Mer Tanguay
  • Vancouver BC with Jason Cook
  • High Springs, FL with Lauren Fanning
  • LA with Norbert Lee (in April)

Thanks!

I know both Mer and Lauren, both are awesome and great instructors, but personally, High Springs is your best bet, IMHO, almost impossible to get "weather delayed" or blown out, logistics is a cinch......but Kona.....ahhhhh.

I was going to say the only issue is it could be cold, but you're from Minnesota......you would just laugh.
 

PfcAJ

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Depending on your goals, training in an area with a big GUE presence can be helpful for networking and getting “in” with the culture.

You never know who you’ll meet at the shop, have dinner with, or see at the dive site if you’re in a GUE heavy area.
 

rddvet

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I would go with Lauren, Bob Sherwood, Mer, or Mer's other instructor Max Frankel. I took Mer's class with Max and liked it. I will warn you about Mer: she is excellent but she likes very very long days. I'm actually glad my class was with Max because after a certain point my brain shuts off. Florida or Mexcio imo makes the most sense because you can't really get your plans ruined due to weather (it's definitely possible, but least likely). One other option is Kyle Harmon (manager of Extreme Exposure). He's very laid back and he doesn't post alot of his classes. So you can actually call the shop and talk to him and he can set up a class that works with your schedule. Lauren is very nice and excellent. Bob is excellent as well. If you want to travel to Mexico there's also Kelvin and Ivo at Third Dimension Diving. Kelvin is one of my favorite instructors.
 
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