Greetings from the Washington DC area

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Carbomb

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Location
Washington DC
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Hello to all,
I just joined the SB and have already learned more about St Thomas, USVI. My wife and I are planning a trip to STT and want to know about the local dive shops and anything else you all can shed some light on.

Warm regards,
CB
 

sasscuba

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Originally from Chicago, Illinois
Welcome CB.
 

DA Aquamaster

Directional Toast
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Splash dive center is located in Alexandria about a half block off Duke Street. I have yet to meet a staff person there who is not a genuinely nice person to deal with. They are the kind of people who remember your name even if you have not been by for a few months. They offer a full range of PADI recreational course and if you are interested in Cavern or intro to Cave Diving Ron Carmichael is the best choice in the area as he actually does it on a regular basis and he offers a couple of certification options including NACD. Spash sells Atomic and Poseiden among other brands

Splash Dive Center

Virgina Scuba is located in Manassas a little south of 66. They are the closest shop to Millbrook Quarry (which is in turn the closest place to dive in Haymarket Virginia, south of 66) and they are the best shop in the area with regard to technical dive equipment selection and overall technical dive training. They are also very people oriented and will also remember who you are and have been known to give me deals I just can't refuse. Mark also offers reg tech and O2 cleaning courses which are not normal dive shop offerred fare. Mark at VA Scuba is also your best bet if you are interested in rebreathers and rebreather training. Jackie is also a very knowledgeable technical diver and staff member you may encounter there and she is a regular on Scubaboard. VA Scuba is also a Mares and Aeries dealers and also sells Poseiden and Zeagle among others.

VA Scuba

The Dive Shop is located on Nutley street a few blocks south of 66 in Fairfax and while I have not spent much money there due to their primarily recreational focus, I noted they have an impressive number of trips and competitive prices posted on the board there.

Sea Ventures is also in downtown Fairfax but I have never been there. The word I have heard is that the owner can be a bit crusty, but take it for what it is - hearsay. They are the local Scubapro dealer and are also a TUSA dealer.

Sea Ventures

They are not really a DC area shop as they are located in Parkville on the north side of Baltimore about a 1/2 mile inside the I-695 beltway, but Divers Den is also very freindly and offers that family/community sort of feel that used to be so common in diving. That's probably because they have pretty much been the heart of diving in the Baltimore area since the 50's. They are very freindly people that will appeal to divers who like to dive any time any place just to get wet. In addition to the normal recreational classes, they occasionally offer a surface supplied diving course that I will probably take next time it is offerred. Diver's Den is the other Scubapro Dealer in the area and are also Poseiden dealers. I'd comment on their service work, but I'm biased.

Divers Den

Adventure Scuba Company is in Chantilly, but I have never been there nor heard much about them. They are I believe Aqualung/Apeks and Atomic dealers.

Adventure Scuba Company

Those are the shops in the area that I know about, hope it helps.

If you are interested in going diving send me a PM, I am off Friday, Saturday and Sunday and if not otherwise booked for a wreck dive somewhere I am open to diving at Millbrook or am open to carpooling to Lake Rawlings for a weekend (a much nicer quarry with better viz, more stuff and permision to use scooters located about 3 hours south of DC in southern Virginia.)
 

DivingPrincessE

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Welcome to the board! Be sure to check out our regional forum http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/mid-atlantic-bottom-feeders/

Do you actually live "in" DC or do in VA or MD (like most people in the area)? I live in VA, and work in DC.

If you live in VA, my LDS is awesome. They have great customer service and classes, plus their prices are way better than other LDSs I've seen. NOVA Dive Center in Sterling, VA (about 40 miles from DC) NoVA Dive Center Intro Page They are a PADI/SDI/TDI shop.

I recently dove in St. Thomas (and Dominica and St. Kitts) and here is a link to my trip report

http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/lesser-antilles/228144-trip-review-st-thomas-dominica-st-kitts.html
 

JJK59

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Just to add to the welcomes....I'm new to the board too. Live in Loudoun County. DivingPrincess is right about NOVA Dive Center. They've been open less than a year...but a nice shop. They're about 1/2 mile from my office, so I go there window shopping a lot.

DA Aquamaster...thanks for the great synopsis. Some things I didn't know. I will chime in on Adventure Scuba in Chantilly. They're a great shop too. Very nice/knowledgeable people...actually nice customers too. When I was picking out some equipment for my son, two customers joined in with their experiences. Anyway, a good shop, lots of equipment choices and he will deal.
Great board....actually I think this is my first post. I hope to cross paths with some of you local folks.
 
OP
Carbomb

Carbomb

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Washington DC
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DivingPrincess, I actually live in Reston, VA and like you work in DC. I read your post about diving with Blue Island. I changed my dive plans and now plan to dive with St Thomas Dive Club. Thanks for the heads up!
I use Sterling Silver Scuba; all retired military like myself...

DA Aquamaster..I also really appreciate the synopsis of our local shops. I had a bad experience with American Water Sports in Falls Church, VA. I took my regulators in for annual check up, they held them for 3 months, charged me $45. each; the next year I took them to another Mares dealer and found that AWS didn't touch them (seal were still intact). I attached their URL so no one in our area makes the same mistake I did. IMHO these guys are dangerous!

Home AWS of VA
 

senior wiskers

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I have a question Have you ever heard of american watersports of virgina. I sent them a regulator and now no one answers phone are they still in business any help is appreceated.
Thanks
Mike
 
OP
Carbomb

Carbomb

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Location
Washington DC
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Mike,
Go there and get your regulator and take it to another shop. I have been following your plight with this dive shop. If you live in the NOVA area, go to VA Scuba or NOVA Dive Center. Stay away from AWS and tell all your friends to also stay away.
My situation could have ended with the death of my wife or myself because this dive shop didn't do the service work on my gear that they were hired to do. Don't let it happen to you.
Regards,
Carbomb
 
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