So it all began with a re activate following a request to go diving on the south coast in 2015. I’d been told about a relatively new local dive club called Divemania which had started up with some very experienced PADI instructors. As sure as night follows day, It then followed that I did quite a few courses, some dive trips with the club and had started to think I could become a dive instructor.
It started off with the Divemaster course and I really enjoyed getting to grips with all the things that this involved. Helping out new divers and being a support to the instructors gives a real sense of commitment to being a part of someone's dive journey. I then decided to do the PADI Assistant instructor course which opened up the world of teaching brand new divers during a Discover Scuba Diving or Bubblemaker session from the age of 8 upwards. I could also teach Peak Performance Buoyancy to help fellow divers find that sweet spot of control and neutral buoyancy. I had thought about waiting...
So far I’ve written about preparing for the approaching dive season, kit maintenance and cold water diving. Let’s take a look into the Scuba crystal bubble and see what your diving future holds!
Between the DiveMania arranged trips, Blue O Two (our Live-aboard travel partner) and the Padi Travel Network we have the ability to get you and your buddies access to the most amazing dive locations on our planet. Even if your jetting off on a family holiday and it’s a bit of a tight fit to squeeze in some dive time, we may have a contact who can help you enjoy the local dive scene.
To get the most from them and your dive holiday take a look at their prices and see if it’s worth taking all of your own kit, some of your kit or renting it from the dive operator. Balance this with your luggage allowance, suitcase space and the amount of diving you’ll be doing as lugging all of your kit for one dive may not be the best option.
Whilst diving you may wish to hire a dive guide or explore the dive site y...
Following on from my previous blogs about looking after equipment and basic tools and a save a dive kit, this time I’d like to chat cold water diving specifically here in the UK. It’s a fact in the UK that at the start of the season the open water can be bit chilly and take many months to get close to double figures.
You can of course dive in a wetsuit but why not make it warmer for yourself and get trained in a drysuit. It will help keep you warmer, dryer and could extend your dive time and make it more fun than it already is, especially with DiveMania! More information about our Drysuit course can be found here.
A dry suit seals you off from the water and keeps you comfortable, even in surprisingly cold water. Becoming a dry suit diver allows you to expand your boundaries and dive more places, more often. Learn which dry suit is right for you, how to take care of your dry suit, and practice:
Putting on and taking off your dry suit with minimal assistance
So you are ready to dive and the ‘O’ ring in the first stage is leaking, the hose from the first stage is loose and there’s a hole in your dry suit! You ask your buddies if anyone can or has anything to help and get a blank look - Surely someone can/has?
It may or may not surprise you to hear that most divers purchase the kit to do a dive, but forget to invest in the basics in equipment or training that allow them to keep it going! It’s easy really as there are dedicated dive tools or you can use a range of open ended spanners to adjust hoses and a range of about 8 to 15 mm should do for most jobs.
A set of Allen keys, 4mm to 8m normally and a set of scuba ‘O’ rings in a container. Add a few cable ties, a bit of super strong duct tape, some silicone grease and you’re able to deal with most basic pre/post dive let me downs. There is a crossover from cycling’s basic repair tools to scuba tools that may assist in your purchasing choice, so check the common sizes required for your hoses...
Heads up divers! The traditional scuba season starts in March (even though we at DiveMania Scuba dive all year round) and now is a good time to check your kit for wear and tear to make sure it’s fit for the new season.
What can you do?
Drysuits - check overall condition of the suit but pay extra attention to the seals around the neck, wrists and boots for obvious tears and breaks in the seal that may turn it into a wetsuit. If you have any doubts about the integrity of the seals of inflators, bring them along to the pool and try it in a controlled environment first. A single session at our pool is £15 so its great value to join our club and there are lots of other benefits too, check out what membership includes here.
Regs - An annual service is a must, remember this is your life support equipment, talk to us and we can arrange this for you with our service partners and also remember if you're an active PADI professional here in the UK, it’s a requirement under HSE rules that your k...
Passport, Credit card, PADI card and Euro spends – all done and ready for the 0400am meet at the collection point outside the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch.
I lost count how many times i set and checked that the alarm was on so i didn’t miss the coach pick up time, how much stick would I get from Frenchy and others for that !!!!
It was a dark & damp start with varying degrees of slumber which made the 4.15 depart easy for the trip to the Eurotunnel at Folkestone, via Maidstone for the Kent connection collection. After a short stop for the obligatory coffee and breakfast bun, it was all systems go for the 35 mins travel to France to begin the 2nd leg to Nemo33 in Brussels, Belgium.
Now the first thing that springs to mind for me when you mention Belgium is chocolate, waffles and fruit beer, not the one time 10 year record holding deepest indoor pool in the world with a, you’ve guessed it – a 33 metre deep fresh water vertical shaft to prac...