Happy New Year so lets look back over 2019 with our year in review. Another great year as we celebrated our sixth birthday in November, issued another 310 certifications and we are looking forward to breaking through the 2000 certifications in 2020 with only 144 to go!
Here is a brief recap of what we were up to in 2019 and we hope it gives you an idea of what to expect from DiveMania Scuba. As we are a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre with our resident PADI Course Director we can offer courses from Discover Scuba Diver for complete beginners all the way to PADI IDC Staff Instructor if you aspire to reach the top of the PADI Professional Ladder.
January saw Graham, Tim, Mark and Alfie complete their PADI Divemaster Courses and we ran our Project AWARE course too.
February saw us make another trip to Nemo33 in Brussels. 29 of us made the trip across the channel driving in convoy to the worlds 2nd deepest pool at 33m. 2 great dives and a meal followed by a great social night out in Brussels and then some sightseeing on the Sunday while most of us nursed some sore heads. Back in the UK saw our winter course schedule continue with the PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider and PADI Enriched Air Diver courses both running.
March was mainly spent getting prepared as we looked forward to April for the traditional start of the dive season. We were also glad to be back at the Underwater Studios after they had been unavailable for use during filming of the sequel to 47 metres down! If you would like to join us at the Studios or any of our pool sessions then ask us about membership which is only £99 per year and the benefits can be found here.
We also had more winter courses as we went back to the Recompression Chamber for the Recompression Chamber Awareness Specialty, ran Emergency O2 Provider again and the Coral Reef Conservation Course also took place. It also saw us open our Romford classroom giving us flexibility to run courses around times to suit our customers and this also facilitated our upgrade to PADI 5 Star IDC Centre status.
An amazing April as we started the season with a nice leisurely dive in Brighton followed by our 10 day live aboard trip to the Maldives and some great pictures from that trip can be found here.
David conducted our first professional courses beyond Assistant Instructor as Martin and Barry both became PADI IDC Staff Instructors and our winter courses came to an end with Equipment Specialist and another Enriched Air Nitrox course running.
May saw us back in Open Water for training and trips as we finished our first crop of Rescue Diver students and we had our first training weekend of the year too as we headed off to Stoney Cove. We also ran our Emergency First Response course for the Rescue Divers that needed it.
We also had another long weekend in Plymouth with 21 divers taking two boats to see the famous sites on offer. Why not join us as we return in 2020 and take a look at the pictures from the weekend here?
Another Brighton dive in June as we dived the City of Brisbane at 27m followed by a nice gentle drift dive and we took our training weekends on the road as we visited Gildenburgh at Whittlesey and we were local diving too for some more courses.
July saw us congratulate Paul as he became a PADI IDC Staff Instructor and Nirusha who became an Open Water Scuba Instructor. We were local for our open water weekend as we attended Buckland Lake in Kent and we were also back in the classroom for another Coral Reef Conservation course too.
An exciting August for us as we started our first Instructor Development Course with David teaching Jamie and Steve as they aimed for the PADI Instructor Examination in September.
We also had our day trip to Swanage where we did a two tank dive with Divers Down and dived The Aeolian Sky followed by the Black Hawk Drift. We were fearing the worst with the weather as it was a bank holiday weekend but it was very kind to us and it was tanned faces all round.
The end of the month saw us back at Stoney Cove for our second open water weekend there of the season with plenty of certifications being achieved. We also had plenty of use of the classroom as the IDC was ongoing and we also ran Nitrox, Emergency First Response and Project AWARE courses too.
As we entered September we had our annual trip to the Farne Islands to look forward to but ahead of that we attended the PADI Instructor Examination as Steve and Jamie passed with flying colours to become our first Open Water Scuba Instructors taught by David and giving him a perfect start to his record as a Course Director.
No training weekend in September but we did have our trip to the Farne Islands and another days diving out of Brighton planned which was unfortunately cancelled due to the weather.
We therefore headed North for our annual trip to the Farne Islands to dive with Seals. This is always a popular trip and once again the Seals didn't disappoint with loads of interaction taking place as usual. We are going back again in 2020 and details can be found here.
October saw us back to Open Water as we continued our tour of inland sites this time going West to Radstock and visiting Vobster Quay. We also had a day at Gildenburgh too for our Rescue Divers to get certified too. Our second live aboard trip of the year to Egypt departed on the 31 October so that took us into November.
A full boat for Egypt for our Simply the Best itinerary taking in Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone had a few cancellations due to the collapse of Thomas Cook which meant rearranged flights for the 18 who still went who were rewarded with some of the most amazing shark encounters experienced on our Egypt trips to date with Hammerheads, Oceanics, Silkies, Grey Reef and Thresher shark sightings taking place.
November also saw us visit Chepstow taking the number of inland sites visited in 2019 to 5 with a sixth planned for December for our Santa Dive!
So December arrived and as we looked forward to Christmas we were not quite finished! We had our Christmas party, Scuba Olympics and our Santa dive as we visited St Andrews Lake in Kent and threw in a couple of courses too! Pictures from our Christmas party can be viewed here and we had as good a time as the pictures show.
Our last pool session of the year saw our Scuba Olympics take place with Steve's team beating Barry for the coveted trophy and bragging rights and we also had quite a few brave divers taking to St Andrews Lakes for the Santa dive.
Amongst all this we had Sakib, Tracey and Paul complete their Divemaster course and ran another pro course as Selena became an Enriched Air Diver Specialty Instructor.
So all in all a busy 2019 and lots more to come in 2020 as we have loads planned and spaces available for trips to Swanage and Malta in April, Selsey in June, Plymouth in July, Farnes in September and Egypt in October with more being planned so contact us if you would like to book on to any of these.
So we hope you enjoyed diving with us in 2019 and we can't wait to see you all in 2020 for more of the same. So three words to sign us off as usual.
Until next time...