Happy New Year so lets look back over 2018 with our year in review. 2018 was a special year for us as we celebrated our fifth birthday in November with us issuing over 350 certifications and we passed a total of 1500 certifications as well.
Here is a brief tour of what we were up to in 2018 and we hope it gives you an idea of what to expect from DiveMania Scuba if you want to learn to dive, continue your dive education, fun dive or join our ever growing dive team by going professional, we are biased but if Carlsberg did dive centres and clubs...
January saw the first of two visits to the Chamber at Whipps Cross for the PADI Recompression Chamber Awareness Specialty and you can see all the pictures from that day here. Its always great fun so if this course is of interest to you then get in touch to find out when we will be running it in 2019 as we will be running it soon.
February we were at the Studios at a weekend for a change as we ran the DiveMania Scuba Buoyancy Challenge. A great turnout saw members competing for the coveted trophy and it was a great social event too. Congratulations to Niina who won the event and the trophy!
March was mainly spent getting prepared as we looked forward to April for the start of the dive season but we did do a beach clean up as part of our Project AWARE activities.
Loads of people were attending our pool sessions which we have twice weekly on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons at Impulse Leisure, Blackshots Lane and 3 times a month at The Underwater Studios in Basildon. These sessions are free to members and membership is just £99 per year. Click here for all the benefits of joining the club.
April was a busy month as we had our first trip of the year to Brighton to dive with Channel Diver. All the pictures are here and if you want to join us in 2019 we have three dives already planned in April, June and September and spaces are still available. All of our events can be found on our Facebook page here or on the calendar here.
Our first open water weekend also took place and we congratulated Andrew, Josh, Lucy, Tim, Dean, Gary, Ben, Kelly, Wayne, Asif, Sakib, Sue, Paul, Julie and Russ passing a variety of courses with us during the weekend and you can read all about that and see pictures here. We also congratulated Divemaster Charlie on becoming a Discover Scuba Diving Leader and Lesley, Tim and Ajaz became Equipment Specialists as well.
No Open Water weekend in May as we headed to Plymouth for another visit to our friends at In Deep Diving for another weekend of great diving and fun. Pictures are here and we look forward to going back in 2019 for a bumper trip that sees us take out two boats this year. Unfortuately we don't have any spaces left for this one but if of interest let us know and we can put you on standby in case anyone drops out. We also had some exciting news as David was accepted for the PADI Course Director Training Course.
More exciting news in June as we found out that David and Rebecca were expecting their first child. It was another busy month with Open Water Training followed by diving out of Dover as we really started to ramp up the dive schedule especially as the weather was starting to look fantastic and so it would stay with us throughout the season.
Gary, Hitesh, Surf, Gok, Lucy, Dan, George, Christian and Ajaz all passed various courses with us that month and Mark, Alfie and Brad notched up their 50th dives to gain their Master Scuba Diver rating. All the photos from that weekend can be found here
So that took us into July with not one but two Open Water Weekends! Our first was at Stoney Cove as usual while our second saw us at Buckland Lake and it was the turn of the kids as we held our Junior Open Water weekend there.
That month saw Josh, Ben, Michelle, Russell, Ryan, Harry, Lucy, Gary, Tara, Hitesh, Surf, Gok, Russ, Julie, Emma, Russel J, Michayla, Daniel F, Charlie and Danny all pass a variety of courses with us. These were not the only congratulations as David passed the PADI CDTC and became a Course Director.
Amongst all this we also celebrated Kacy's 10th birthday with a party at the pool for her and her friends. She's now old enough to become a Junior Open Water Diver and we look forward to her doing that this year. We also had another dy trip to Brighton as well and you can read all about that day here.
Another training break during August as we ran two trips but we did see Asif get his Master Scuba Diver Certification during this month getting his 50th dive during our Chepstow Trip which was our first trip of the month and photos can be found here.
If you like the sound of this then book on to our day trip to Swanage for 2019 and all the details are here.
A really busy September saw us back in Open Water twice again, another visit to the Chamber and two more trips. Our first Open Water trip saw us congratulate Debbie, Jamie, Lewis, Andie, Jo, Alessandro, Gill, Paul and Matt for various courses and our second visit to Buckland Lake last year to conduct our Rescue Diver course where Gary, Hazel, Lesley, Alessandro and Spencer all became PADI Rescue Divers. On dry ground Dan, Steve, Michelle, Gary, Tim, Emma, Gill, Anna and Ian all undertook a dry dive to 40m to gain their Recompression Chamber Awareness Specialty. Our very own Charlotte also got her Enriched Air Diver Certification in preparation for our Egypt trip in October.
Our first trip of the month saw us head 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 the news of a bumper birth rate in 2018, 2019 promises to be another one. Pictures from this can be found here and details of this years trip here.
Our second trip of the month right at the end of September saw us venture even further North up to Scapa Flow and another trip report can be found here. This trip was highly anticipated and everyone who went thoroughly enjoyed it and we hope to repeat it again.
October was another bumper month of certifications both home and abroad as we held our penultimate training weekend of the year and we also had courses running on our Egypt trip. In total we had 42 course certifications and you can read them in our October congratulations here.
After that it was then off to Egypt for our annual live aboard trip with Blue O Two. We had a full complement on the boat for what was another amazing trip. We congratulated Sakib, Alessandro and our very own Lesley for becoming PADI Master Scuba Divers too. Take a look at the fantastic trip photos here. We have two liveaboards in 2019, we are off to the Maldives in April and back to Egypt in October and these are proving so popular we have already sold out for our 2020 trip.
So back to reality in November and we had our final Open Water weekend of the year. A much quieter affair as our last weekend is more aimed at fun diving but we still had a few congratulations with Tony, Vlad and Dan passing course with us.
This month also saw us celebrate our fifth birthday with a couple of very special offers.
The first was Rescue and EFR for £250 and the other was our winter package deals where you could get 25% off one dry course, 33% off two or 50% off three or more. Both deals have now expired but if you email us from this link to show you have read all the way down to here we will let you or a friend take advantage of them.
So that brings us lastly but no means least into December and of course our Christmas party and our now infamous DiveMania Scuba Pool Olympics. 40 of you joined us for our Christmas party and we would like to thank you for doing so, we will definitely get more spaces available for this year.
The honour of winning the Olympic trophy this year went to Paul's team of Daniel, Ben, Maddie, Rosie and Alfie so congratulations to them.
And finally, there was one other thing to happen in December as we celebrated the arrival of baby James Kendrick-White who was born on the 17th. We can't wait until 2026 when we can do his PADI Bubblemaker for his 8th birthday.
So we hope you enjoyed diving with us in 2018 and we can't wait to see you all in 2019 for more of the same. So three words to sign us off as usual.
Until next time...