The nights are drawing in; it’s getting darker earlier, more layers are being put on under our drysuits and we all have that thought in the back of our minds about moving abroad to somewhere warmer. We still have an Open Water weekend planned for the 14th and 15th October at Stoney Cove as well as a weekend in Swanage booked for the 4th and 5th November but the diving season is coming to an end. ‘So what can I do until the weather warms up again?’ I hear you say!
Well, for those of you who have completed the Project AWARE course, you will know that approximately 71% of the planet is covered in water - plenty of space for us to dive and explore! However, there are so many courses available to expand your knowledge about diving without having to get wet. Project AWARE is one of them!
Ask yourself why you started diving. These are some of the responses I’ve often received asking this question. ‘It’s something I have always been interested in, just never got round to doing’, ‘Oh, I saw a programme on television and it looked cool’, ‘I have a friend who did it years ago, told me I should try and thought we could dive together next year on holiday’. This is just a selection of the responses I’ve heard over the years. For me, the most common general reason is that people are interested in doing something new!
The PADI Equipment Specialist course is ideal for divers who are looking to learn a bit more about how their equipment works. We know how to use it all as we learnt that on our Open Water course, but do we know how it works and would we know how to make simple repairs? These are two of the topics covered on this course.
The Emergency Oxygen Provider course links really well with the content taught on the Rescue course, but that isn’t to say you must be a rescue diver to enrol on it. Being able to administer oxygen to a casualty is one of the fundamental steps in dealing with a diver emergency.
The Enriched Air Diver/Nitrox course is aimed at divers who want longer no decompression time or shorter intervals in between dives. Put simply, it allows you to stay down longer and get back in sooner! (The size of your tank remains the same though – so if you are a fast breather and use air quickly, just because you are using Enriched Air doesn’t mean we can make your air last more time!)
The Project Aware and Coral Conservation courses are for divers or non-divers to gain a little bit more of an understanding about how our fragile underwater ecosystem works! You won’t be certified to dive in different conditions, suddenly be prepared to enter a shipwreck or learn techniques to safely dive in a current; but you will enhance your knowledge about the various corals and marine life that you’ve likely seen but not been able to properly identify. Understanding more about the dangers and threats that the oceans face is vital for us to be able to protect the environment for future diving generations. Our next Project AWARE course is on 2 December and if you have done your open water course with us in 2016 or 2017 contact us to book on to this free of charge. All the details can be found here.
The Recompression Chamber Awareness course, run at Whipps Cross Hospital, is another really interesting course to understand a bit more about diving theory and physics. You will complete a dive to 40m and while ‘underwater’, you’ll do some experiments to demonstrate the effects of gas narcosis. The session ends with a presentation from the medical staff to explain the risks, signs and symptoms of decompression sickness ad how the hospital treats divers and other medical conditions in the chamber. Our next scheduled one is on 28 Jan 2018 and you can find out all about it here.
There are lots of courses available to do over the winter and keep dry but still BE a diver! If you aren’t already a member of the club, join and get access to our pool sessions to keep your skills fresh.
Our winter package is now live, all 5 of the above courses are on offer for just £349 with £100 deposit required upfront and then £50 payable prior to each course. This will keep you busy over the winter period. (Until we brave the water early next year)