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10/06/20
Getting back to scuba diving using social distance rules

Blow is an outline of the procedures Underwater adventures have put in place to keep divers safe while in training and this is followed by guidance for divers just going for fun dives along with all we know about current scuba diving opportunities, which sites and boat operators are working and the procedures they have in place

You can also watch the full Zoom meeting the dive club had on this subject where we discuss the procedures and how we can get back into scuba diving


https://youtu.be/IqSxY16Tu1U


Covid 19 procedure’s for training dives with underwater adventures

These procedures are put in place to limit as much as possible the risk of spreading the virus between divers while on scuba diving courses with underwater adventures. Each member of the dive team should be aware and have a full understanding of the procedures before each course to help make sure all students adhere to the procedures at all times on the course. All students will be given a form which will list the procedures and their responsibilities with regards to reducing the risk of the spread and making sure any tracking needed afterward can be carried out as per the government’s guidelines and common scene.

General onsite procedures.
Everyone is expected to adhere to 2 metre social distancing at all times on the surface where possible. With this in mind, everyone will be split into buddy pairs and you will stay in these buddy pairs throughout the course to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. There will be hand sanitizer on site so that everyone can sanitize their hands whenever you have to touch anything which is not yours i.e. doing up dry suits and helping on your buddies equipment. It is recommended that you bring your own face mask to wear on the surface before and after dives (please remember to dispose of any facemasks and other PPE you use properly to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and any damage to the environment.
We will inform all dive team and students who they will be buddied with before the start of the day of the dives and we ask that you park your cars next to each other to avoid crossing and unnecessary risks from coming in contact with other buddy pairs, we ask that you use the space behind your car to kit up and de-kit after the dive, if you need any spares, please contact shore support who will be in charge of equipment. Please stay in the space behind your car with your equipment unless otherwise told and please do not leave any equipment near the water at any time to avoid unnecessary movement around the site and the risk of others touching your equipment by accident.
They will be no café open at the site and as it is very important that everyone stays hydrated we strongly advise that you bring your own water to the dive site each day and not share it with anyone else if you forget we will have a couple of sealed water bottles for sale which will be wiped down with an antiseptic wipe when being handed over. For tea, coffee, and food, again you will need to provide your own and again we strongly recommend that you do not share with anyone else to avoid the chance of cross-contamination.
Dive site entry fees can be paid using contactless payments at the site but there will be no handing over of cash. If people want to they can transfer the entry fee over to underwater adventures who will then arrange to pay it with the dive schools normal payment thus reducing contact with dive site staff but this must be done at least two days beforehand
You will need to register at the dive site and with underwater adventures shore support when you arrive at the dive site and when you leave as there will be a limited number of people allowed on-site at any one time so we can keep track in case of anyone showing signs of infection.
 
Any paperwork which needs to be filled out other than paperwork for that day's diving must be completed and emailed over to underwater adventures at least two days before the day of diving and the filling in of logbook should be completed off-site, we would suggest the signing of logbooks to be completed after the virus is under control and suggest just making a note of who needs to sign your logbook so it can be completed later. The details from each dive, depth, times, air in, and the like will be emailed out to everyone after the qualifying weekend.
 
Rental equipment
We strongly suggest you use all your own equipment where possible. If you need any school equipment please let us know beforehand of exactly what you need including the size at least two days beforehand, this equipment will then be disinfected and placed in a plastic bag with your name on it to be given to you on the day. When you have finished with the rental equipment, it is to be placed back in the same plastic bag to be picked up by shore support and placed back in the van

Mouthpieces
No primary second stage regulator will have a mouthpiece on them, you can either provide your own or we will provide one for you which you will place on the regulator yourself and then remove at the end of the day. If you have rented a mouthpiece you will be responsible for it and it is down to the renter to remove the mouthpiece and place it in the disinfectant container with the knowledge of the shore support.
Note. If you are renting a set of Regulators but are not on a course you will need to provide your own mouthpiece and you are responsible for putting it on and removing it after use. You can either but direct from underwater adventures at the same time as you submit your rental application or you can purchase Apex Mouthpieces online.

Site briefings
The dive leader will give the briefings as normal with everyone keeping at least 2 metres from everyone. In the event of a large group where not everyone can hear clearly, the group will be split into 2 or 3 smaller groups where everyone can clearly hear the dive briefing/debriefing while still keeping at least 2 metres apart. If the dive team or students can’t hear clearly they must inform the dive leader giving the briefing/debriefing so changes can be made. It is important for everyone’s safety that everyone hears the briefings clearly and understands what to do while keeping 2 metres apart.

Buddy checks
Buddy checks can be completed in the normal set order with the diver themselves checking the equipment with the buddy looking on from 2 metres away. For parts where the buddy needs to touch any equipment, please use the hand sanitizer before and after touching the equipment, the hand sanitizer does help kill the virus for a couple of minutes after application so this will help protect you while you touch other people equipment as well as helping to keep their equipment clean.

In the water
Please keep mask and regulators on while on the surface, only removing the regulator to ask questions. This will allow us to stay at safe distances to our buddies and in the training group while protecting the training group as a whole and staying safe while scuba diving

Buddy skills
navigations on the surface for open water and advanced students.
Both parties will wear facemasks during this as it will not be possible to always stay 2 metres apart while going through this skill in the car park. When doing the navigation skills in the water and on the surface, you will keep your mask on and regulator in at all times. Please also try to avoid breathing downwind of someone with a regulator in and think about the direction the air is heading when you breathe out of a regulator or snorkel.

AAS.
The mouthpiece on the Alternate air source will be disinfected before the dive by the diver who will be using it in the water and that will not be touched by anyone else until this skill is over

Rescue diver course
While we are still waiting on the full guidance from PADI on how to perform the set skills safely pocket masks will be used for ALL rescue breathing and all rescue patients must keep eyes closed to minimize the risk of infections while performing the rescue breathing skill.

Fun dives
With limited spaces at the dive site fun dives with the club on qualifying weekends will be very limited based on spaces available after staff and students and will be offered on a first come first serve basis.

Pool dives
We will be using the Polam pool in Bedford for all courses for the foreseeable future as that pool allows complete control of the pool environment and building area. All pool users are asked to arrive no more than 5 minutes before the start of their pool session so that we can avoid groups mixing int eh entry and viewing areas. All students are asked to arrive wearing their swimming costumes under their main clothes so they are able to get changed at poolside before getting in the pool and the groups will be kept small enough so that the students are able to use the changing rooms after a pool session while keeping the 2 metre social distancing. Hand sanitizer is available at the entry to the pool building, at the poolside for whenever someone needs to touch other equipment or surfaces and there will be hand sanitizer in both of the changing rooms. 
Social distancing rule will still apply while we are in the water and on the surface but obviously are not needed while we are underwater.


 

General procedures for fun diving during Covid 19

Please read the guidance sheet for training with underwater adventures for procedures on how to keep to the social distancing rules while scuba diving as much as is possible.


Inland dive sites
Most dive sites will have their own rules and you must contact each site individually before going to make sure you are aware of the new rules in place, but a general summation is below.
Most sites will expect you to pre-book you dive so that they can limit the number of divers on-site at any one time to allow for social distancing of all divers and staff while the site is open. This currently also involves being a member of the dive site to allow you to pre-book so with Stoney cove and Gildenburgh you will need to be members of their own on-site membership. There are also online book facilities with these dive sites with Stoney coves new app hopefully coming online on Wednesday and Gildenburgh’s booking system going through their website
One of the reasons for only allowing members in is for the track and trace should anyone come down with it afterward. The government systems is not the greats and actually don’t seem to be working at the moment so if someone does come down with Covid 19 the owners of the dive site will not only have a record of who is on-site but also how to contact them through their membership registration.
Gildenburgh opened on Sunday and Stoney cover is planning on opening on Thursday.
Wraysbury is open and they don’t take card payments and you can’t pre-book. You will need to just turn up at the site and they will let you in when there is space. You will also need to bring exact change for the £15 entry fee as you will need to post it through a hole in a payment box and they will not give you change. It is the same for air fills, you will need to plan for them and bring exact change.
Vobster is not yet open to divers but is open to swimming and from tomorrow  (10th June) you will need to book a 2-hour slot for your swim which you must stick to. It looks like they are planning on opening in July
NDAC is Still closed.

While on-site
You will be expected to get changed by your cars and not hang around before or after the dive and depending on the site you might only be allowed the one dive you booked. None of the cafes will be open and neither will the shops to discourage you from hanging around after your dive. This is again so they can limit the number of people on-site at any one time.
You will also be expected to not be our normal sociable selves and stand around chatting on-site with other friends you might have met on site. Basically they just would like to do your dive and leave the site as quickly as comfortable.

Air fills
The guidance from HSE is that they are two ways to fill a tank during social distancing
  1. 72 hours. The diver drops the tank off for a fill at a position and then backs away at least 2m so the operator while wearing PPE, can more in and pick up the tank. The tank is then filled and left to stand for 72 hours so there is no risk of contamination being passed. PPE is changed after each tank. The process is reversed for the pick-up.
  2. The quick fill. 2m distancing rules apply. Once the tank is left the operator will thoroughly disinfect the tank, the tank valve including the threads and the whip including the threads, fill the tank and then pass it back. Due to the risk of water egress into the tank from the cleaning, it is highly recommended that the owner makes sure the valve is dry and realizes some air from the valve before any use to remove as much of the cleaning product as possible.
Obviously, both options will involve payment online or by contactless cards payment system except at Wraysbury as mentioned before.


Boat diving.
Edit 11/06/2020
New guidance from the Government, the important bit for us as divers is;
 
Skippered day-boat hire and skippered day charter hire
Operators should not allow skippered day boat hire or skippered day charter boat hire.
 
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-using-a-boat-inland-and-on-the-coast?fbclid=IwAR20N9yxacQtN8E_erYzz9bQ1iYfNDWBjZ5_22CnacDtrVIM3w1ken0A2wM

Obviously the guidance from the government postpones are getting back to boat diving but when we can in the future the below guidance will then come back into force. Let hope it's not too long.

With boat diving, what we are seeing is a shrinkage of numbers allowed on the boat to allow for social distancing. Most, that are running, have dropped down to a max of 6 per boat and are asking you to stick to your buddy teams to lessen the chance of cross-contamination between groups. Again payment will be made online and you should be bringing your own snacks and drinks.
With this drop in the number of passengers allowed the price will be going up as it will still cost the same to run as before so expect to be paying around 50 % more depending on which boat you go with.
The main issue for club members is that due to our location and the fact that hotels are not an option, we are limited to where we can dive, unfortunately, trips to Cornwall or St Abbs are out with them when they open again as Swanage is close enough for us to do in a day, just about, and I have been looking at Brighton who has already started running trips. If club members are interested in either of these two I can arrange trips down for us but please remember it will be limited numbers.

Shore diving
We can pretty much go shore diving anywhere with a bit of planning and we do have a number of options close enough for the dive club members to do in a day. I will start putting these out for July but please remember to read the underwater adventures training procedures for social distancing while scuba diving and you will also find the procedures for hiring equipment there. 

 
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08/06/20
13 ways to help the Ocean on World Oceans day
On the Worlds ocean day 2020, I thought it would be a good idea to look at ways we can all help protect our Oceans as they are vital to all life on earth and at the moment our oceans are in a bad state and are currently just getting worse but if we all work together and do our little bit we can turn the tide against plastic pollution, ocean acidification, and pollutant runoff which is a great thing for all life on this Earth of ours.

So here are 13 ways we can help so at least one of them should apply to you and if you would like to know more we will be running a Project aware course later this month where we will talk about the effects we are having and go into more detail on how we can all help.

 
  1. Conserve Water
By using less water there is less runoff into the Seas and Oceans. The runoff carries pollutants and sediment out into the Ocean and using less water is better for the environment and your pocket as we have to pay for all the water we use. Although most cleaning products are broken down in the treatment plants most of the base chemical compounds are still in the water and flash out to sea where they make their way into the food chain and water cycle, plus remember, not all water goes through the treatment plants. Remember when David Walliams swam the length of the themes river for charity and was warned then they had opened the sewers due to the amount of water. A WWF investigation found up to 14% of overflows are opened at least once a week.
https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/40-rivers-england-and-wales-polluted-sewage#:~:text=Overflows%20are%20supposed%20to%20happen,at%20least%20once%20a%20month.
The changing weather patterns will also lead to water shortages and increased stress on the environment so by cutting back on the amount of water we use will not only reduce the runoff through the sewers and thus the risk of chemical being flushed out into the oceans but will also help future generations.
Plus, like I mentioned the less water you use the less you have to pay so it’s a win-win.

 
  1. Eat sustainable seafood.
Global fisheries are on the verge of collapse. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), three-quarters of the world’s fisheries are now overexploited, fully exploited, significantly depleted, or recovering from overexploitation. Carry a sustainable seafood card and ask your seafood restaurant or fish market to buy from sustainable fisheries. Look for special terms like "line caught", "diver caught", "sustainably caught" or "sustainably harvested and you can also cut back on the amount of fish and seafood you eat. Switching for having fish once a week instead of twice a week will make a big difference.
Alternatively, you cut fish out altogether as I have. As a scuba diver, I just prefer to see my fish swimming around rather than on a plate. Don’t get me wrong, I love the taste of fish and who doesn’t like fish finger sandwiches with a bit of tomato sauce but you can easily find alternatives in most supermarkets nowadays so it's not as much of an inconvenience as you might think.

 
  1. Buy ocean-friendly products.
Avoid products produced through unsustainable or environmentally harmful methods. For example, avoid cosmetics containing shark squalene and jewelry made of coral or sea turtle shell. These products are directly linked to unsustainable fishing methods and the destruction of entire ecosystems.
There are a number of ocean-friendly products out there and here are a few examples
https://thegreenturtle.co.uk/
https://theecoshopuk.com/
https://www.ethicalsuperstore.com/







 
  1. Reduce energy use.
Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is making our oceans more acidic. One consequence could be the loss of corals on a global scale, as their calcium skeletons are weakened by the increasing acidity of the water. There are many simple ways you can reduce your energy use. Ride a bike, walk or use public transportation. Use high-efficiency appliances in your home. Turn off appliances when they aren’t in use. Turn up your thermostat a few degrees in the summer and down a few degrees in the winter
One really easy way I have found is to use the ECO settings on your washing machine and dishwasher, Yes it takes a little longer to run but it saves water and energy with very little effort on your part, plus again it will save you money.

 
  1. Use reusable plastic products.
Plastic debris in the ocean degrades marine habitats and contributes to the deaths of many marine animals. Because floating plastic often resembles food to many marine birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals, they can choke or starve because their digestive systems get blocked when they eat it. Help prevent these unnecessary deaths—use cloth grocery bags and reusable water bottles.

 
  1. Properly dispose of hazardous materials.
Motor oil and other hazardous materials often end up washing into coastal areas because they aren’t disposed of properly.  This pollutes the water and hurts the overall health of our oceans. Be sure to dispose of hazardous waste in an environmentally safe way. Your local recycling centre should have places for you to dispose of waste chemical and motor oil on-site so check your local government website for its location.

 
  1. Vote responsibly. Contact your representative.
Electing the right public officials is essential to good ocean policy. Do your research and make an informed decision. Exercise your right to vote and stay involved after Election Day. If you have concerns or questions, contact your council or MP.

 
  1. Use less fertilizer.
When fertilizers are used in gardening and agriculture, the excess eventually ends up in the ocean. One result is a “dead zone”—an area with very low levels of oxygen in the water—the size of New Jersey in the Gulf of Mexico during the spring and summer. Since all marine life requires oxygen to live, including fish and shrimp, they must flee the area or die. Many other coastal areas are at risk too. So, use fertilizer sparingly and remember more is usually not better.

 
  1. Be an Ocean-Friendly Pet Owner
Read pet food labels and consider seafood sustainability when choosing a diet for your pet. Never flush cat litter, which can contain pathogens harmful to marine life. Avoid stocking your aquarium with wild-caught saltwater fish, and never release any aquarium fish into the ocean or other bodies of water, a practice that can introduce non-native species harmful to the existing ecosystem.






 
  1. Travel the Ocean Responsibly
Practice responsible boating, kayaking, and other recreational activities on the water. Never throw anything overboard and be aware of marine life in the waters around you. If you are set on taking a cruise for your next holiday, do some research to find the most eco-friendly option. For us Scuba divers, we can normally find a responsible dive boat and on the Underwater Adventures last liveaboard trip we were even given aluminum water bottles to keep so we would use plastic while on the boat.

 
  1. Influence Change in Your Community
Research the ocean policies of public officials before you vote or contact your local representatives to let them know you support marine conservation projects. Consider patronizing restaurants and grocery stores that offer only sustainable seafood and speak up about your concerns if you spot a threatened species on the menu or at the seafood counter.

 
  1. Support Organizations Working to Protect the Ocean
Many institutes and organizations are fighting to protect ocean habitats and marine wildlife. Find a national organization and consider giving financial support or volunteering for hands-on work or advocacy. If you live near the coast, join up with a local branch or group, and get involved in projects close to home.

 
  1. Educate Yourself About Oceans and Marine Life
All life on Earth is connected to the ocean and its inhabitants. The more you learn about the issues facing this vital system, the more you will want to help ensure its health—then share that knowledge to educate and inspire others. With this in mind, Underwater adventures will be running a project aware course over Zoom on the 24th June where we will talk about how we affect the oceans and marine life, the work Project Aware does to protect the oceans, and how you can help with just small changes to the way we live our lives. If you would like more information on the course or would like to know how to sign up please check out the Underwater Adventures Project Aware page by clicking here.
 
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07/06/20
What is the PADI deep diver course

The PADI Deep diver course is the PADI course for those who wish to take their recreational diving a bit deeper than the 30-metre limit set during the PADI advanced open water course and upon completion will allow you to dive down to a maximum of 40 metres. Please note that this is not technical diving and does not allow a diver to go beyond 40 metres and if you would like to do that please follow this link to find out more about technical diving.
The extra depth the PADI deep diver course allows you does open up a lot more wrecks and can allow you to explore the deeper parts of a reef not open to most scuba divers, things like the bottom part of the Thistlegorm wreck in Egypt or the bottom sections of the dom Pedro wreck, the largest wreck in the Mediterranean. The thing to remember about diving deeper though is that it will shorten your bottom time and as such does involve better planning of your dives so that you can make the most of the time you have down at depth.


Why do I need the PADI deep diver course

Do you want to see the big 12” guns on the Battleship Kronprinz Wilhelm which lie on the sea bed at 38m? Maybe you would like to see the Giant Sunfish at Cristal Point in Bali which is at 34 metres? How about the Hammerheads on Elphinstone reef in the Red sea? Or, maybe you would just like to know more about going deeper while feeling safer about your scuba diving. There are hundreds of reasons to do Your PADI deep diver course and none that I can think of for not doing it.



 



What is involved in the PADI deep diver course?

The PADI deep diver course is made up of a dive theory section and 4 open water dive’s. during the theory section, you will learn more about the effects depth have on your body and the added risks involved when you dive deeper. With this in mind, we suggest you also look into completing a dry dive at your local hyperbaric chamber, we run these once a year during the winter months and you can see what a dry dive is like by following this link here.
The 4 open water dives will all be below 18 metres with at least one dive being below 30 metres and on each dive, you will complete set tacks to show you the effects the increased pressure have on the human body as well as basic safety skills including doing an emergency safety stop for 8 minutes while breathing from an alternate air source to simulate what you would need to do should you exceed your no-decompression limit and are low on air. The other skills covered in this course include things you might have covered in your deep dive for the PADI advanced course such as the effects the depth has on colour which can be useful for those who enjoy a bit of underwater photography. You may also get to experience the effect know has gas narcosis which is the impairment divers feel at depth and is commonly also known as the Mantini law which states that for every 10 metres of depth the effect is like downing an extra glass of martini. Although not totally actuate it is a good way of putting across the sort of effect that diving to depth can have on the human body and brain.
Although this course is one of the more challenging of the PADI recreational diving courses it is also one of the most enjoyable and every diver we have taught this course to has said how much they have learned and the increased respect they have for deeper diving.






Who can do the PADI deep diver course?

The PADI Deep diver course is open to anyone over the age of 15 and qualified to at least a PADI adventure diver or PADI advanced open water diver level although because fo the risks involved in this course it is also at the instructor's discretion as to who can take this course so you may have to build your experience up and prove you are capable of completing the course before the instructor will allow you to sign up for this course.


How much does the PADI deep diver course cost?

The normal PADI deep diver course should cost between £160 and £200. With underwater adventures, we charge £199 for Non-club members and just £179 for club members and if you would like to know more about the underwater adventures dive club and the benefits it’s membership include please check out this like here. Because of the nature of this course, we will also tend to run a PADI deep diver course while on one of our foreign dive trips and these will also have a reduction in the price, plus you get to do the emergency safety stop in warmer water then you will typically find around the UK.


How do I sign up for the PADI deep diver course?

You can find out more information and sign up for the next course by dropping us an email here at underwater adventures through the contact us page (click here) or you can find a course through the PADI website here. 

 
You can also find out more about the PADI deep diver course offered by Underwater adventures by following this link Here
 
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07/06/20
What is the PADI Reactivate course?

The PADI Reactivate course is a new course set up by PADI to replace the old scuba review course for those qualified divers who have not dived in a while but who wish to start scuba diving again. During the old scuba review course, you would be taken through all 20 open water skills by a PADI professional while going over the dive theory to help you remember what you learned when you first qualified whereas the PADI reactivate course only has a few required skills which will allow the PADI professional to tailor the reactive course more to your needs and well as having an online theory section for you to complete before the pool sessions to help refresh your memory of the dive theory you learned during the open water course
This flexibility helps you as the diver gets more from the course while building up your confidence before going back into open water and scuba diving again. The other benefit of this course is that once you have completed your PADI reactivate you will be issued with a new PADI certification card with the new date on it for you to show any dive centre to prove you have completed some diving recently and that you won’t need to go through any refresher training again and can start scuba diving straight away.



 



What is involved in  PADI reactivate?

When you sign up for your PADI reactivate course you will be registered with PADI by use of your old PADI number, don’t worry if you have lost your card as we should be able to find your details on the PADI system with just your full name and date of birth. Once you are registered you will receive your access codes direct from PADI so that you can log on through the PADI website and start your dive theory. The Dive theory can be completed on-line or you can download it to your phone or tablet so you can complete it at your leisure even if you don’t have internet access. Once you complete the online theory part of the course there will be a little test and then you will be able to print off a completion certificate which you can then take along to your dive centre for your first pool session. Most dive centre will give you one pool session but here at underwater adventures, we offer you 2 pool sessions to give you extra time to work on your buoyancy so that you feel completely comfortable back in the water.
During the pool session, your PADI professional will take you through a couple of basic skills such as a full mask clear and regulator recovery so that you feel comfortable with them and then work with you to brush up on any areas and skills you don’t feel comfortable with, they will also go through with you the simple things that may have slipped your mind such as hand signal so you can communicate underwater and basic equalization techniques. You will also be given time to just swim around under the water so that you can get used to the balance of the scuba equipment again and then during the second session your PADI professional will be there to go over any questions or skills you still and not sure about and you will be given plenty of time to work on your own on anything you would like to practice in more detail, all the while under the supervision of your PADI professional.
Once you have completed the PADI reactivate course the dive centre will confirm this with padi so that your new PADI card will be sent out to you and this is when you can update your picture, the picture on the back of your PADI card can sometimes not be the best as a lot of the time it was taken straight after you have finished your last dive and so this is an excellent opportunity so you can take this opportunity to have a nice picture on your new card. With this new card, you can dive anywhere in the world up to your normal dive limits without having to waste your valuable holiday time stuck in a classroom or pool and can go straight into enjoying your scuba diving again.


Who should do the PADI reactivate course?

The PADI reactivate course is open to anyone qualified diver but should be used by anyone who has been out of scuba diving for 6 months or more. That being said, if you have only completed your open water course and did no diving after that we suggest a maximum of a 3-month break before doing a PADI reactive. The Best thing to do is to just keep scuba diving when you can and the best way to do that would be to join a local scuba diving club where you will find loads of like-minded people and be given plenty of opportunities to carry on diving. You can find your nearest Underwater adventures dive club by clicking here


How much does it cost?

Prices vary between £80 and £150 for a full PADI reactivate course. Here at underwater adventures, we offer the standard course for just £99 and you can upgrade to include an open water dive for just an extra £50. During the extra open water dive, you will get to go on a dive with a group while under the supervision of a PADI professional to help build your confidence and the PADI professional will keep a close eye on you so that after the dive they can point out any little tips to help you improve your scuba diving.






How do I book on to a PADI reactivate course?

You can drop us an email here at info@underwateradventures.co.uk or through the contact us page, otherwise, you can book directly through the PADI reactivate webpage linked here, but if using this option please remember to add your padi number or full name and date of birth during the check out page.

 
You can find out more about the PADI reactivate course by checking out the underwater adventures reactivate course page by clicking here


What comes next?

The best thing you can do is to keep diving whether here in the UK or abroad and we can help you with that as the underwater adventures dive club run dive trip throughout the year both here in the UK or if you prefer abroad to sunnier climbs and these trip are run throughout the year.

 
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03/06/20
Scuba diving Knots and how to tie them
Knowing how to tie different knots is always hand and can be important in scuba diving, whether it's on a dive boat, attaching a new piece of equipment or sending a sunken bit of treasure to the surface using a lift bag, it is always good to know how to tie the right knot. So, with this in mind below is a step by step guide on how to tie the 4 most common knots in scuba diving and at the bottom is a link to the YouTube video of the online class we ran taking you through how to tie the knots for you to watch. We will be going through the bowline, sheet bend. two half hitch, and the reef knots in a step by step and easy to understand way.

Bowline
(for making a fixed loop at the end of a rope)

1. Make a loop in the line going over the top of the main line with the short end.







2. Take the short end and pass it through the loop so it goes under the nearest edge and over the far edge of the loop.






3. Pass the short end under the main piece of rope.






4. Pass the short end back through the initial loop you made.






5. place your hand in the second loop you made to hold it in place and pinch the short end.







6. Pull both the main piece of rope and the short end away from each other to pull the knot tight and there you have a bowline knot.





Sheet bend
(For joining two ropes together)

1. Make a U bend in the larger piece of rope (if the ropes are the same size then it doesn't matter which rope you use).





2 Put one end of the smaller rope under the bend in the larger rope which you just made.





3. Place the smaller rope around and under the two parts of the U in the larger rope.





4. Place the end of the smaller rope under the part of the smaller rope still in the bend but on top of the larger rope.





5. hold all 4 parts of the rope and pull away from each other to tighten the knot.





Two half Hitch knot
(Used to tie a rope to a solid object i.e. metal pole or a tree)


1. Pass the rope under the object you wish to tie it too.





2. Pass the top over the object and back under itself.





3. Put the end of the rope through the loop you have just made.





4. Pull it tight making sure you have enough rope left for the second half hitch.





5. Pass the rope under itself again.






6. Put the rope over the main line and through the loop you have just made.





7. Pull it tight to lock off the knot.





Reef knot
(For joining two ends of a single line to bind around an object)

In the pictures, we are using two different ropes to make it easier for you to understand but this would normally be used with just a single rope so you can tie it around an Object.

1. Place the rope in your left hand over the rope in your right hand.





2. And then with the same bit of rope put it around the rope in the other hand.





3. Now, place the end which is now in your right hand over the piece of rope in your left hand.





4. The same price of rope goes under and through the loop you have just made in the knot.





5. pull tight to lock off the knot 




If you would like to know more about  the padi search and recovery or the PADI Divemaster course you can find the links below
For the PADI Search and Recovery course  https://www.underwateradventures.co.uk/padi-search-and-recovery
For the PADi Divemaster course  
https://www.underwateradventures.co.uk/PADI-divemaster-course

I hope you found this informative and if you would like to watch the video below

 



 
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30/05/20
British Diving safe Group statement

Below is the statement from the British Diving Safety Group with regards to getting back into diving here in the UK 

Inland Dive Sites

On Tuesday 26 May, a BDSG member provided hosting facilities and chaired an online meeting of the UK Inland Dive Sites (UKIDS). While these dive centres acknowledge they would love to open their waters to divers now, it has to be done in a responsible manner that is safe and sustainable. Common protocols and measures were discussed including how to control the number of divers on the site, parking, booking in, the sharing of facilities, kitting up, surface interval social distancing, etc.

Inland sites now have to put in place specific procedures in order to mitigate risk. Each site will be operating at less than maximum capacity. The key message will be ‘arrive, dive, leave’.

Each inland dive centre will open only when they are satisfied that their physical site logistics, social distancing and infection control will work for all. The site, the staff and the divers. While best practice will be adhered to, procedures will vary from site to site, because each inland dive site has its own unique features.

 

Training

The BDSG COVID-19 team are acutely aware that the commencement of dive training is a priority for many businesses and clubs. It remains vital that any training activity is still conducted in accordance with the relevant national Government guidelines.

 

UKDMC

The UK Diving Medical Committee met over the weekend. The diving doctors are concerned that they do not know how the lungs and heart will recover after COVID-19 infection. Depending on how the lungs heal, it could lead to a risk of pulmonary barotrauma. There is evidence from the Diamond Princess cruise passengers that asymptomatic people had significant changes to their lungs. Coronavirus can also affect heart function, that could lead to immersion pulmonary oedema (IPO).

The UKDMC are currently writing guidelines in plain English (which may include a flow chart) to enable divers to self-assess and be aware of the potential risks.

 

DAN EUROPE

Following discussions at today’s meeting, DAN Europe are now working in partnership with the BDSG to produce specific and enhanced set of guidelines for British divers. This is based on DAN Europe’s current guidance ‘COVID-19 and Diving Activities: 10 Safety Recommendations’. A number of BDSG members are working on these amendments.

 

OTHER DIVING RESOURCES

One of the strengths of the BDSG is that all the diving agencies work together to achieve safe recreational diving for all. The group have therefore agreed that where one agency produces relevant guidelines on a specific topic, that these are shared or signed posted to, by all the agencies.

In the meantime, the BDSG still advocates shallow, progressive shore diving subject to your local devolved Government guidelines. Scottish diving will begin to open up from Friday 29 May 2020. At this point, you will be permitted to travel short distances for exercise in Scotland, i.e. broadly within five miles.





Let's hope things improve and we can get back to scuba diving safely as soon as possible :-)

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29/05/20
Whats so great about scuba diving in the UK?

There are approximately 100,000 active divers in the UK at the moment and although the UK doesn’t have the sunny beaches and tropical water you would find in the Red Sea or on the Great Barrier Reef, thousands of people visit the UK each year to scuba dive. So what is it about scuba diving in the UK that makes it so good?

 



Abundent marine Life

When Most people think about the sea around the UK they think of cold water which is kind of green looking and that can be true in some places but the reason it is a bit green is because it is full of phytoplankton and zooplankton which are the small animals and plants which sustain marine life and because we have cooler water around our coast, it has a lot more nutrients in it so basically we have the perfect conditions around our coast to support huge amount of marine life, from Whales and dolphoins to small sand eels and little Blennies, there is so much to see around our coast you will be truly amazed at what you can find.
As scuba divers we get to see this and so much more. From cool looking Rays (check out the video) through Playful Seals (click here to see) through the most beautiful blue sharks (video of us swimming with the blue sharks). We are so lucky in the country that we have such amazing things right on our door step and the best way to explore it all is to scuba dive and with a nice warm drysuit you can in comfort. If you have never used a drysuit before that’s fine as for most of the dive season a 5 mm wetsuit is perfectly fine to keep you warm, it’s what I use and I do a lot of diving here in the UK.
If you are into your underwater photography then diving in the UK will challenge you with the different light and the plankton in the water but will allow you to take pictures you never thought possible while giving you some truly amazing pictures to show off afterwards.
 
 
Wrecks, Wrecks, and More Wrecks

Rule Britannia and all that, the UK has a long and distinguished history on the wave and with that come so many wrecks and all of them have some sort of history behind them. From the recent like the purpose sunk HMS Scilla just outside of Plymouth harbour to the German high seas fleet which scuttle all of their ships in scarpa Flow after the first world war. There is just so much to see and so much history and to make it even better, that abundant marine life I have just been talking about loves to hang around on wrecks as well so you get two for the price of one. You could be dive the Wreck of the M2 out of Portland, The M2 is a British submarine aircraft carrier from between the two world wars, and all of a sudden you could be surrounded by a big school of herring and cod.
If you are looking for something a bit older there are old 18th century steam ships like the SS Mohegan in south Cornwall  or of you want a bit futher bank, just up the road from there just outside Falmouth there is a sand bank which is made up of 18th century cannons from a group of ships which wrecked themselves they during a storm 300 years ago.
Surfice to say, The UK has some of the best wreck diving in the world and most of it is open up to recreational divers so you don’t have to worry about getting technical and worrying about long decompression stops so it is just like you would find on holiday.
 
 
    



Excellent infrastructure and facilities

Being a first world country you would expect pretty good infrastructure as standard, none of these horrible bumpy dirt roads, a decent café where you are not worrying about hygiene to get a cup of tea and a bacon butty before your dive and good emergency services to help you should anything goes wrong, but what people are surprised by are the really great facilities we have to scuba divers. I’m just going to put this out there first, Dive lifts! We have dive lifts in this country and I have not seen them anywhere else in the world in my 16 years of scuba diving. None of this climbing up ladders after your dive to get back on the boat, we just swim up to the back of the boat and a lift will pick you out of the water with all your dive kit and puts you on board ready for your post dive cup of tea. It’s awesome lol
Other then the diver lifts all of the dive boats have to reach high safety levels and are run by captains with years of experience in the local conditions which you would expect but  on top of this most of the captains used to be fishermen so they know where the best places are to find marine life.
On top of the amazing dive lifts on our dive boats we also have a very safe and well regulated diver training programmes and dive schools and shops which will cater to your every need plus a number of inland lakes where you can practice your scuba diving skills so that you can really enjoy all the great scuba diving the UK has to offer.
All of our dive shops are well stocked with a wide range of equipment and most offer partial pressure blending on your Nitrox fills instead of membrane compressors giving you, the customer, a full range of potential gas mixes instead of the general 30% you will find at most holiday destinations.

If you would like to know more about scuba diving here in the UK you can contact us by Clicking here or you can check out the dive clubs page for more information about the sort of stuff we get up to by following this link 

 
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30/04/20
padi advanced course FAQ's
Once you have learned to scuba dive with the PADI open water course and have maybe done a few fun dives you may starting thinking about what the next step is and how you can move forward to make yourself and better scuba diver with more confidence. you might even have heard about the PADI advanced course from your instructor but you may still have some questions about it so below are a few FAQ'a about the PADI advanced open water diver course.





How is it different from the PADI Open Water Diver Course?
 
During the PADI Open Water Diver Course, you will have learned the critical skills needed for scuba diving during your online dive theory, confined water dives, and open water dives. During your PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course, you will complete 5 Adventure Dives which focuses on a particular activity or skill. This is a more experience-based course with less focus on the dive theory then the PADI open water course so most of your learning will take place in or around the dive site.
 
What should I expect?
 
First of all, you should expect to have a lot of fun while completing your Advanced Open Water Course and expect to become a more skilled and more confident diver.
For each Adventure Dive, you will be required to complete a theory portion – this can be done at home via PADI eLearning or in a classroom setting. You will also need to complete some basic knowledge reviews to ensure you have a sound knowledge of the theory behind each dive. You will then get to enjoy 5 adventure dives where you will get to experience different areas of scuba diving and learn a few new skills in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
 
The Advanced Open Water course is made up of five adventure dives. The Deep Adventure Dive and the Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive are compulsory and will give you some essential skills to become a more competent diver. You also get to choose another three Adventure Dives to help build your skillset.
 




What Adventure Dives should I Choose?
 
As mentioned, the Deep Adventure Dive and the Underwater Navigation Adventure dive are required components of the Advanced Open Water course. The other three Adventure Dives, however, can be any of the 10 PADI Adventure Dives that you can choose from, we have listed the dive you can choose from below. Options range from Digital Underwater Imaging to Peak Performance Buoyancy or Night Diver. The choice really is yours! Get in contact with us and we can chat about which dive you would enjoy the most.
Here is a list of dives you can choose from in your PADI advanced open water course:
Drift diver
DSMB diver
Night diver
S
earch and recovery diver
Wreck diver
Digital underwater photography
Peak performance buoyancy
Enriched air Nitrox diver
Dry suit diver
Boat Diver
Underwater Naturalist
 




How much does the course cost?
 
The PADI Advanced open water course is £299 or £269 for dive club members (click here for more information about dive club membership and its benefits) and we do offer monthly payment options and discounts if you book more then two courses at the same time
 



Why should I take this course?
 
The Advanced Open Water course gives you more experience diving under the supervision of an instructor. You will learn new skills, meet new people and of course go diving! This course is also a great way to sample the different specialties on offer to see what interests you allowing you to make a more informed decision as to which direction you would like to take you scuba diving. Make you will enjoy wreck diving, taking pictures, or just looking at fish, this course gives you the opportunity to try different things so you can see if you like it or not.
 
 
How deep can I dive after the PADI advanced course?
 
The depth limit for a PADI advanced open water diver is 30 metres, but we strongly recommend that you build up over a number of dives to the maximum depth. If depth is your thing it might be an idea to look at the PADI deep diver and enriched air/nitrox course which will set you up nicely to move into the deeper, more technical side of scuba diving.
 
What comes next after the PADI advanced open water course?
 
We recommend that you get some experience under your belt so just go and enjoy a bit of scuba diving and put your newfound skills into practice. Joining a scuba diving club is a really good way to make sure you have lots of opportunities to go scuba diving and you can find out about the underwater adventures dive club by following this link.
 
In terms of which courses you can do next, you have a couple of options, you can move on to your PADI rescue diver course during which you will not only learn to rescue other divers but also a lot about self-rescue and how best to avoid getting into trouble in the first place. The second option is to complete the specialties you tried out on your advanced course or maybe try some different specialties. There are so many out there so no matter what interested you, what makes you think “wow, I’d like to try that” there is a course that will show you the best and safest way of doing it.
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30/04/20
What is the PADI rescue diver course and why should I take this course?
 
 
Scuba divers describe the PADI Rescue Diver course as the most challenging, yet most rewarding course they’ve ever taken. Why? Because you learn to prevent and manage problems in the water and become more confident in your skills as a diver, knowing that you can help others if needed. During the course, you learn to become a better buddy by practicing problem-solving skills until they become second nature. Plus, the course is just fun – it’s serious, but still allows for lots of laughter in between the focused learning.
 
PADI (Junior) Adventure Divers who are at least 12 years old and have completed the Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive may enroll in a Rescue Diver course. You also need to have Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care (CPR and First Aid) training within the past 24 months. You can complete this training during the Rescue Diver course. Your instructor may also offer the PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider specialty diver course at the same time.
Here's 7 reason why you should do your PADI rescue diver course.



 
1. Improve Your Scuba Skills and Confidence Underwater
Divers describe the PADI® Rescue Diver course as the “most challenging, yet most rewarding course” and for good reason. You will learn to become a better buddy by practicing problem-solving skills until they become second nature. These skills will be put to the test, both on top of the water and underneath until you can complete them confidently. With skills and training comes confidence and that’s exactly how the Rescue Diver course will help build your confidence underwater.
 
2. Improve Your Underwater Navigation Skills
Navigation. It’s something that some of us were either able to conquer straight away or we just couldn’t quite get the hang of. During the Rescue Diver Course, your navigation skills will be tested as you learn how to navigate, search, and recover underwater. With plenty of practice throughout the course, your PADI Instructor will make sure you’re capable of navigating through any visibility!
 
3. Being Prepared For Any Emergency Situation
We have all learned about the possible emergencies that can arise from diving. But can you confidently say that you would know what to do in an emergency situation? That’s where the Rescue Diver course comes in. The Rescue Diver course also includes the Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care (CPR and First Aid) training. This training, in conjunction with your Rescue Diver training, will ensure you’re prepared for any medical emergency – on top of the water or underneath.
 
4. It’s Loads of Fun
While the Rescue Diver course is quite serious and focused, it’s also a lot of fun. Your Instructor will keep you on your toes throughout the course as you’re constantly surprised by different rescue scenarios. You can expect lots of laughter in between the focused learning, and of course some diving along the way – which is always fun!
 
5. Advance your search and recovery skills
Part of the Rescue course is learning how to search for lost items using different underwater search patterns.  Increasing your navigation skills underwater is always a good thing as it will increase your comfort in the water and could come in handy the next time you drop something valuable over the side of the boat.



 
6. It’s the Last Course Before the PADI Divemaster Course!
If you’re interested in taking the next step and turning scuba diving into a career, then the PADI Divemaster course might be for you. The Rescue Diver course is the last scuba course that you will need to complete before you start your journey to become an underwater tour guide.  The skills and knowledge learned in your Rescue Diver course will become the foundation of your Divemaster training. Don’t forget – you will also receive a shiny, new black certification card when you complete the PADI Divemaster course!
 
7. It’s Loads of Fun
While the Rescue Diver course is quite serious and focused, it’s also a lot of fun. Your Instructor will keep you on your toes throughout the course as you’re constantly surprised by different rescue scenarios. You can expect lots of laughter in between the focused learning, and of course some diving along the way – which is always fun!
 
What Rescue diver course should I take?
 
While the most widely used and recognized course is the PADI rescue diver course which we offer here at Underwater Adventures (click here for more details) all of the other agencies offer some type of course along with the same guidelines. SSI offers Diver Stress and Rescue, usually completed alongside their React Right course which is their first aid and CPR offering. SDI offers Rescue Diver and NAUI have a Rescue Scuba Diver and Advanced Rescue Diver course available. In the UK, BSAC’s Sports Diver course includes some rescue elements. Others to consider include the GUE Rescue Primer course, as well as CMAS Self-Rescue Diver and Rescue Diver.

 
Whats involved int eh PADI rescue diver course?
 
The PADI Rescue Diver Course begins with theory, which covers everything from the psychology of rescue to accident management. You will even learn how to create your own Emergency Assistance Plan so you can always have one ready wherever and whenever you dive. You can do this portion of the course through online learning or through manual and DVD.
 
The first water skills you practice will review your self-rescue procedures. As I mentioned before, the Rescue Diver course is as much about saving yourself as it is others. Some of these skills will be ones you learned in your initial training, which offers a great way to refresh and develop your skills. You’ll then move on to complete 10 exercises, including assisting a panicked diver at the surface; how to quickly and efficiently search for a missing diver; surfacing an unresponsive diver; helping an unresponsive diver at the surface, and different techniques to respond to a diver from a boat or shore. The course will cover both minor and major emergencies and show a variety of techniques to address them. The course ends with some scenarios to help you put these skills into practice. Although the course is challenging, it’s also quite rewarding and a lot of fun.
 
When you’re considering Rescue, keep in mind that it’s not a professional rating — don’t feel that it’s out of reach for you. The course is flexible and there is no limit on how long it takes you to complete. Some of the skills can be physically challenging, so they may take many attempts to achieve. This is normal, and more practice will only make you better at the skills. Your Instructor will demonstrate various techniques for each skill to suit your physical ability, so you needn’t be a bodybuilder to complete them.
 
Once you obtain the rating, it’s extremely rewarding to know that you’re prepared to help both yourself and other divers in case of an emergency. Remember that although scuba diving has an excellent safety rating, just as in everyday life, accidents can happen. Become the person who can help prevent or deal with accidents, and you’ll become a happier, more confident diver in the process.
 
How do I become a PADI rescue diver?
If you are already a PADI advanced open water diver or the equivalent level from any other agency and have a first-aid certificate valid within two years just drop us a line and we can book you on to the next course. If you are not yet at that level of diver but want to aim to attain this level of a scuba diver, again just get in touch with us here at Underwater adventures and we can help you plan out a route through the courses that work best for you. You can contact us by following this link.
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11/04/20
Scuba diving film to watch during the lockdown

While we are all on lockdown for the foreseeable future I have put together a list of films currently available on either Netflix or Amazon prime with some sort of connection to scuba diving, from documentaries to fiction films that have some scuba diving in them. I have put them into three different categories, scuba diving films, shark movies, and documentaries, and added a review or two from rotten tomatoes to give you an idea about the film to help you with your viewing choice. I have only covered the films which are free to watch on Amazon Prime or Netflix so there are others which you can stream for a fee so films like the Abyss, which is my personal favourite, are not on the list but I would recommend watching if you have the chance. I hope you enjoy the list and stay safe over the coming months.
 

Scuba diving films
                                                   




Into the blue 2 2009 Netflix                                       
A pair of professional divers are hired to find Columbus' hidden treasure.
Reviews. 
Any self-respecting individual who walks into a video store, looks at this title, and decides to rent it deserves to lose their four bucks. Jason McKiernan Filmcritic.com
Gratuitous sex and violence in dumb beach sequel.  Brian Costello, Common Sense Media





 
 Open water 2004 Amazon Prime
 Based on the true story of two scuba divers accidentally stranded in shark-infested waters after their tour boat has left.
 Not a bad film but also not the best by a long way and the based on a true story bit is a little bit of a push, yes they did go scuba diving and the boat left them behind but that’s as close to the truth as you will find in this film but if you want to know why the dive operators are so strict with the accounting procedures for getting back on the boat then this will give you a clue.
Reviews
Open Water is being touted as one of the most frightening films to chomp into your psyche for a long time, but either I'm secretly being fed sedatives or this is a case of good old hype meets collective hysteria.  Will Self London Evening Standard
As it dawns on the couple that they've slipped several links down the food chain, you're right there with them.  Dan Jolin,  Empire Magazine
 
 

Shark films
 


                                                   


Bait 2012 Netflix             
A freak tsunami traps shoppers at a coastal Australian supermarket inside the building - along with 12-foot Great White Sharks.
Reviews.
Carp all you like at how subtext, plausibility and sense have been sacrificed to this film's high concept, but all the stereoscopic slaughter is irresistibly appealing.  Anton Bitel, Sight and Sound
It is all very silly, and more Corman than Spielberg, but entertaining.  Peter Bradshaw, Guardian





Jaws 1975 Netflix            
let face it, this film is everyone favourite shark film. Basically for those who have been under a rock for the past 40 years, a large shark starts eating people off tourist beeches in small-town America and the police chief, marine biologist and a shark fisherman go out to try and catch it
Reviews
It is not only the most realistically terrifying film I've ever gasped through, but it is also extraordinarily well made. Ruth Batchelor, Los Angeles Free Press
 


 

The reef 2010 Netflix    
A great white shark hunts the crew of a capsized sailboat along the Great Barrier Reef.
Reviews.
The Australian tourist industry will hate it but The Reef is an extremely effective watery horror/thriller.  Thomas Caldwell, Cinema Autopsy
Considering what most low-budget shark flicks look like, The Reef is a welcome sight indeed.  Scott Weinberg, FEARnet
 




Jurassic Shark 2012 Amazon Prime         
When an oil company unwittingly unleashes a prehistoric shark from its icy prison, the Jurassic killer maroons a group of thieves and beautiful young female college students on an abandoned island. Basically, the original MEG
There are no reviews to this but this film has an 8% score on rotten tomatoes
 


 

Surrounded 2018 Netflix
A group of friends runs a popular travel vlog that helps fund their adventures. Paige (Gina Vitori), the leader of the group, includes her younger sister, Lindsey (Aubrey Reynolds), for the next scuba diving trip to an isolated cove. But when their plane crashes, the two sisters must use their strength, resourcefulness and immense courage to survive a pack of great white sharks.
Reviews
I couldn’t find this on rotten tomatoes so I’m not sure what that says but it has a 2.8 out of 10 on IMDB so probably a film for people who enjoy cheesy horror rather than if you are looking for something that might ask you to use your brain at some point.
 




47 metres down uncaged 2019 Netflix  
Four teenaged girls scuba diving in a ruined underwater city quickly learns they've entered the territory of the deadliest shark species in the claustrophobic labyrinth of submerged caves.
Reviews
The action is unclear and the menace unconvincing. The tin-eared dialogue - of which there is a shocking amount, for a movie set largely underwater - doesn't help either.  Bilge Ebiri, New York Times
In trying to one-up the first film, Uncaged becomes more cartoonish and unrealistic (granted, not in the league of The Meg), but that also makes it more fun than the downer original.  Mark H. Harris, Black Horror Movies
 
 

Documentary’s
 




Last breath 2019 Netflix              
A deep-sea diver is stranded on the seabed with 5 minutes of oxygen and no hope of rescue. With access to the amazing archives, this is the story of one man's impossible fight for survival.
Reviews
It's affecting stuff -- there are few things more moving than tough men getting emotional.  Ed Potton, Times (UK)
The film is let down by an approach that goes for impact over insight, but Last Breath is a worthy entry to the 'hostile environment' documentary subgenre.  Dan Jolin, Empire Magazine
 




Black fish 2013 Netflix  
A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales.
Reviews
Blackfish is a heart-breaking documentary, forensically constructed by Gabriella Cowperthwaite, about the extreme psychological distress of killer whales kept in captivity and used to entertain crowds at venues such as SeaWorld in Orlando.  Jenny McCartney, Daily Telegraph (UK)
It not only delivers astonishing, suspenseful footage that makes it a legitimate thriller, but also serves up thoughtful meditations about using wild animals for our own entertainment.  David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle
 




Blue Planet and blue plant 2 Netflix       
Don’t really need to say much about these two amazing BBC documentary’s, narrated by the immense presence that is Sir David Attenborough, these two documentary series are a must-watch for all scuba divers. Overall areas of life beneath the surface it is full of wonderful photography and will educate you about the marine environment in an enjoyable yet thought-provoking way
 




Sharkwater extinction 2019 Amazon Prime         
A documentary by Rob Stewart who sadly lost his life diving just before this film was realized about the Shark finning industry and to totally devastating effect it is having on the underwater environment. With some amazing underwater photography, this documentary is sometimes emotional and always very interesting. I highly recommend watching this when you have the chance.
 




Chasing coral 2107 Netflix          
if you have ever wondered why I point keep pointing out that we don’t want the water we scuba dive in to be too warm then this documentary will help explain. This is a great if rather depressing documentary but it does give a little hope towards the end.
 




Misson blue 2014 Netflix             
Another documentary on the state of our ocean although this one being a little older then chasing coral above is a little more optimistic. This one is worth watching for the beautiful underwater photography alone.




 
Deep White 2013 Amazon Prime             
A documentary on scuba diving with sharks, the technics used such as chumming and feeding and the effects this has on the actions of the sharks. I’ve not watched it myself and can’t find any reviews on IMDB or rotten tomatoes for it and it seems to be 50/50 on the Amazon site but at only 43 mins long I will be giving it a go soon.
 
 



Dreamwrecks 2006 Amazon Prime
If you are missing your wreck diving fix then this might help. A series about wreck diving. Not watched it myself apart from the first couple of minutes as I am writing this but if you can put up with the American commentary it does look pretty good. It appears to be about scuba diving and documenting the wrecks used in films around the Caribbean so expect lots of cool wrecks and some nice fish life.
 




Monty Halls dive mysteries 2013 Amazon Prime              
A regular at dive shows and probably the UK’s most famous scuba diver, Monty Halls sues this chance to dive some of the best places in the world and you can watch along and start making plans for your next dive trip. I’ve always enjoyed Monty’s TV programmes and not just because they are about scuba diving but he also has a nice way of talking about a thing and you can really hear his passion for the underwater world come through in programmes like this.
 
Destination Scuba 2018 Amazon Prime 
These are two short episodes of just over 10 minutes each and maybe because I’ve not been in the water for 3 weeks, I really enjoyed these cheaply made short dive trips videos, the short of which you would expect to find on YouTube. It is a little bit along the lines of this is an advert for my dive shop type thing with a little bit of a documentary format thrown in but like I said I enjoyed it and with such a short run time you might as well take a look and see what you think.
 
Well, that’s my list and I know I might have missed a few but there should be enough here to keep you going over the Easter weekend during this lockdown. If you find others, please do comment and let me know and I will be happy to share them with other scuba divers in the future.

 
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26/03/20
04/03/20
Scuba diving myths debunked.


There are a lot of misconceptions out there about scuba diving which does tend to put people off learning this wonderful sport of ours so below are 20 of the most common myths about scuba diving debunked. I hope you enjoy the read and if you have any other questions about scuba diving or learning to scuba dive please feel free to contact us here at Underwater Adventures


1. You can run out of air

We’re starting this list with probably the biggest fear people have about diving. You are relying on your air tank to breathe and that means it is indeed possible to run out of air. If you think about it though it's just the same as driving your car, after a while, you will run out of fuel int eh car if you don’t fill up and the way you avoid that being an inconvenience it to keep an eye on your fuel gauge and it is just the same in scuba diving, just keep an eye on your contents gauge and you should never run out of air while underwater. Plus, the PADI open water course teaches you exactly how to deal with situations like this like how to make a safe ascent using your buddies alternate air source. You will always be diving with a buddy who will be able to supplement your air supply long enough to end the dive and surface safely. We may not be debunking this myth but reassuring you that there are procedures in place that you will learn so you can calmly deal with an ‘out of air’ situation.



                              



2. Sharks are scary

Sharks have a terrible reputation for being the most vicious predators in the sea. Yes, they are at the top of the food chain, but this doesn’t mean they want to tuck into every diver that enters their habitat. In fact, most shark attacks are a case of mistaken identity, for example, surfers that sharks mistake for a tasty seal. It is incredibly rare for divers to be bitten by a shark (the chances are so small in fact nobody has even bothered to work out the percentage for scuba divers but I have found this interesting website which gives you the odds of being bitten around the world so click here to take a look)  Sharks are incredible to watch in their home environment and once you have learned to scuba dive you will start to see just how beautiful and amazing sharks and will end up wanting to scuba dive with them.

3. You need a lot of gear just to learn

Scuba diving does require gear, but you should be lent all the equipment you need to learn included in your first course so that you can learn to scuba dive without having to buy lots of equipment. We do recommend that you buy your own mask, wetsuit, and fins as these are rather personal bit of equipment and finding the right fit is important, especially your wetsuit as this is the thing that will keep you warm, but you don’t have to buy them as they are all included in the PADI open water course offered by Underwater Adventures. 
Once you get certified, you can begin buying your own gear, as your budget allows. Until then, rent your gear. Rental gear is high-quality and well maintained — plus renting gives you the chance to see what brands you prefer. You can see the rental prices by clicking here and as you will see it's not that expensive, which brings us on to the next point.


4. It’s expensive

Getting your PADI Open Water Diver certification is about the same price as having the equivalent amount of time in golf lessons and at least with the PADI open water course will end up with an internationally recognized certification afterward. With this certification, you can dive anywhere in the world up to 18m. This may be the only PADI course you choose to do, or you can go on to higher skill levels. Yes, dive gear can be pricy, but with proper care and storage, it will last year’s even if you are an avid diver. Of course, you can also choose not to buy your own gear to save that outlay but your dive trips may have the added cost of renting gear. If you ask any diver, I bet they’ll tell you that their PADI certification and learning to scuba dive was 100% worth every penny.



                         



5. Scuba diving isn’t exciting (or it’s too exciting)

You get to determine the level of excitement in every dive. You can spend a lifetime of diving in calm water, gliding over beautiful coral reefs and looking at pretty tropical fish — those kinds of peaceful experiences are amazing and the norm. But if you crave action and adventure, scuba diving can deliver that, too. Try diving with sharks in the Galapagos, exploring the passageways of a flooded cave, or entering a sunken World War II battleship. You’ll find a host of advanced training opportunities to suit the kind of diving you want, including cave, wreck, and yes, even heli-diving.one of the best things about scuba diving is that it is fun as you will be doing something you enjoy with people who enjoy it with you, even the courses are fun with courses such as the Zombie apocalypse diver course where not only do you get to play with Zombies underwater but you will get a qualification with it where in your picture you are made up to look like a Zombie, this is a valid certification so you can show it at dive shops around the world to prove you are a diver if you like.

6. You can’t dive if no one you know dives

Diving is one of those amazing sports that brings people together from every walk of life. If you want to dive but your friends/family/partner have no interest, don’t worry! You will always find a dive buddy in the scuba diving community. The underwater adventures dive club is full of people who want to scuba dive all the time so even if you work odd hours you will be able to find a buddy to scuba dive within the dive club, you will never be lonely. Divers love to talk, make friends, compare dives and share their experiences. You could become part of one incredible group of humans.

7. It’s time-consuming

Many people assume that learning something skilled like diving takes a long time. This myth can be debunked because the diving part of a PADI Open Water Diver Course takes as little as 3 days! The majority of your course work can now be done online at your own pace so your theory is almost all out of the way before you even do the practical work. You could be diving in just a few days! That being said it can often better to take your time so you can learn at your own pace and so here at Underwater Adventures we offer flexible learning with unlimited pool sessions so you can learn as quickly or take as much time to learn as you need, we will try our best to fit it around your needs.



                          



8. You must be good at studying and remembering the procedure

Some people worry that they won’t be able to follow or remember all the PADI Dive procedures. PADI dive instructors like those at Underwater Adventures are professional teachers and will walk you through every single step of diving. There are very simple steps to follow before, during and after every dive you do and as you practice them on your first few dives, they will become automatic. It’s not unlike driving a car in the way that you may find it very strange at first, but it very quickly becomes second nature.

9. Diving is only for people who live near the ocean

No matter where you live, chances are there’s a dive shop and a popular dive site somewhere nearby. In many cases, a local lake, spring or quarry is where people learn to dive — and it’s often where divers continue to dive, in addition to taking tropical dive vacations. Scuba diving is not just a sport, it’s a very social activity. So even if your local swimming lake isn’t the Caribbean or Great Barrier Reef, a Bacon Butty, a cup of steaming hot tea, a couple of tanks of air and a few dive buddies can make for a day of fun. 

7. It’s only for super fit people

Anyone from 10 years upwards can learn to dive. If you have a serious condition that you visit your doctor about, you will already know if scuba diving is safe for you or not. If you worry that you may not be fit to dive, visiting your doctor to make sure is the best way to find out. Lung function and cardiac stress tests are recommended for older people or those with asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and COPD who would like to learn to dive. If you are not sure please follow this link to the standard PADI dive health questionnaire.

8. It’s claustrophobic

Claustrophobia or panic attacks are a big fear for some people thinking about diving. In fact, being underwater is actually proven to be one of the most relaxing things you can do. The serenity of floating and swimming and watching marine life is extremely calming. In fact, most people who have the fear of becoming panicky or claustrophobic report completely forgetting about the fear once they are underwater. You must also remember that your dive instructor is a professional and will take care of you every step of the way. You are never left on your own while diving.



                                 



12. Diving is a macho sport

Well, if by macho you mean male-dominated, we admit that this was true when Sea Hunt was still on TV (1958-1961). But fast-forward to this century, and ask Jessica Alba (Into the Blue), Kate Hudson (Fool’s Gold) and Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries) what they love about being underwater. Or ask the countless female instructors, divemasters, boat captains and resort owners who work as scuba divers every day. PADI even runs special events to help encourage more women into the sport like women’s dive day

13. Snorkeling is just as good as scuba diving

 Snorkeling in the ocean and looking down on the reef from above is sort of like looking at fish through the glass of the tanks at an aquarium. It’s fun, but it’s just not the same as being on the reef and seeing all its wonderful, surprising marine life, plus you will get to see so much more when you are actually down with the fish.

14.  I can’t dive. I have (insert name of the medical condition here)

 It is true that some conditions, such as seizure disorders, will keep you out of the water. If you’re worried about diving with your particular medical condition, consult the dive medicine experts at Divers Alert Network (DAN). They can help you better understand the physical demands of diving and how it relates to your health. Call their non-emergency questions line at (+44)-20-70991979 or you can find your local office by following this link.

15. The sea is a scary place

Many people have a fear of the unknown and therefore diving can seem so scary. However, once you are trained and underwater diving you will be so busy looking at all the magical underwater sights, you won’t have time to be scared. Once the unknown becomes something you can’t wait to explore it’s not the unknown anymore is it!

16. You need to be a fantastic swimmer

Of course, as a diver you need to be able to swim, but only basic swimming skills are necessary. You will need to be able to swim 200 metres but there is no time limit so you can go at your own pace and use any stroke you like. It is just to make sure you are comfortable in the water. As a diver, you will be trying to expend as little energy as possible hence using fins to create greater thrust and faster speed with little effort.



                                



17. Diving is only for people who live in the tropics

There are few things that rival the experience of being suspended weightlessly in warm, clear tropical water while floating effortlessly along a colorful coral reef. Unless, of course, it is the experience of drifting through a California kelp bed with a pod of sea lions. Or exploring the amazingly preserved ruins of a world war two shipwrecks off the south coast. Or finding sunken treasures such as old perfume bottle and gold watches on the wreck of the Kyarra, the list goes on and on.
No matter where you are, chances are there's a popular dive site somewhere nearby. Don't believe me? Just ask anyone with the red and white diver down flag on his car. Lakes, quarries, rivers, flooded mineshafts — almost anywhere there's water, you'll find divers. Heck, outside of Abilene, Texas, you can even dive in a flooded underground missile silo. Each of these sites provides its own unique dive experience and a chance to get started in the sport. Not every dive site is for every diver, but scuba diving is not just a sport, it's also a lifestyle and a very social activity. So even if your local swimming hole isn't a world-famous dive site, it is still a get way to spend the day or weekend away.

18. You must dive deep to see anything interesting

One of the first questions non-divers ask scuba divers is, “how deep do you go?” Though some divers love the challenge of deep exploration, most divers stay within 18 metres where the water is warmer, colors are brighter, and your breathing gas lasts longer.

19.  The only good diving is in the tropics

You can dive just about anywhere there’s water, including inland areas such as lakes, quarries, decommissioned mines. Some of the world’s best diving is found in cold-water environments such as British Columbia, Canada, South Africa, and here in the UK. Here in the UK, we have some of the best dive experiences in the world and just to prove it below I have put links to s couple of videos from our dives here in the UK.
Scuba diving with playful seals (Click Here)
Scuba diving in a Local lake with lots of things for scuba divers to explore (Click Here)
Playing with Blue sharks of the coast of Cornwall (Click Here)

20. Learning to dive is difficult/takes a long time

Forty (plus) years ago, learning to scuba dive required weeks of training. Students participated in military-style drills and learned skills that weren’t relevant for recreational diving. Since then:
The world recreational scuba training council (WRSTC) established standards for recreational diving training.
Dive computers simplified dive planning
Students can start their training anytime, anywhere and study at their convenience using digital course materials
You can get scuba certified as little as four days.

Debunked! You have no excuse not to try scuba diving now!
There are lots of preconceived ideas about diving, which is why there are so many scuba diving myths. Hopefully, we’ve given you a little more confidence and taken you one step closer to becoming a PADI certified diver.
If you have any other questions or concerns about diving, we haven’t addressed please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to talk them through with you. Click here for the details on how best to contact us.
 
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26/02/20
Why learn to dive in 2020?

Many people think about learning to scuba dive and it is on so many people's bucket list's it amazing and this is because scuba diving is seen as a sport like so few others out there. The problem is not many people ever get around to it which is such a shame as scuba diving opens up a whole new world to people. I hear so many excuses as to why people don't learn to scuba dive so with that in mind I have put together a list of 10 reasons you should learn to scuba dive in 2020

1. It makes you feel amazing and changes lives 

Learning to dive in itself is such a wonderful experience - the feeling of breathing underwater for the first time, the weightlessness that comes with diving, the pure bliss of the underwater world - all of these amazing things just need to be experienced by all. For many, learning to dive changes their life. It offers adventure, opportunity, friendship and fun like no other sport you’ll come across. 
The best thing is that you don’t have to go far to see some of the best underwater sites our planet has to offer. Both the UK and Europe have some phenomenal dives that your adventure-loving heart won’t want to miss. From whales, dolphins and Basking Sharks off the UK coast to world war two wrecks off the Normandy coast, there is something for everyone.


  


2. Fun for all the Family

Looking for something to do together on holiday? Anyone aged 10 and up can become certified in scuba diving. So if you are looking for something you can do with the family while on holiday that even the sullen teenager will get excited about then scuba diving is the activity for you. You can learn as a family and then go scuba diving and experience awesome things as a family while creating memories together that will last a lifetime.

3. It open to most ages

A great activity for most ages: Anyone aged 10 and up can become fully certified in scuba diving and there are divers who stay active into their 90s. Children as young as 8 years old may join local programs such as Bubblemaker, Seal Team and master seal team courses where they can learn the basic scuba diving skills in safe conditions so they are ready to join you as soon as they are old enough.


  


4. Make good friend with some really great and fun people

Becoming a diver is like joining a worldwide society. It’s amazing how something can connect you to hundreds of thousands of people around the world but diving really does have that capability. It’s written into the laws of diving that it should be a social sport, as you should never dive without a buddy, but it's more than just that. You can show up at a dive centre on the other side of the world and there will be someone to dive with; you will have something in common with that person and you will be able to communicate with them even if there’s a language barrier. Divers come together, no matter where you are.
Plus, with Underwater adventures social club life emphasis, learning to scuba dive with underwater adventures is a sure-fire way of socializing and making new friends for life. Some of our members have even met their partners through the dive club

5. It's Safe while being exciting

With proper skills, training, and equipment, scuba diving can be a safe and easy activity to learn. If you can swim and if you can breathe, then you can dive. Scuba diving is enjoyed by thousands of people around the world every day and is considered a low-risk activity compared to many other outdoor and sporting activities – even such widespread activities as swimming, jogging, and all-terrain vehicle riding have higher reported fatality rates than diving.


  


6. Seeing amazing things underwater.

From amazing coral reef colours through giant Manta rays cruising past you to wrecks that are 100’s of years old, there is something to amaze anyone and the best bit is that as a scuba diver, you are one of the very few people in the world who will get the chance to see it. So whether it’s the wrecks of the German grand sea’s fleet in scarper flow or the giant groups on the great barrier reef, there will be some to make you go “WOW” to see while diving. Plus, you can learn to take pictures so that you can stun your friends with what you have seen. I have added a few links below to some of the videos we have made while scuba diving so you can get an idea of the things you can see when you learn to scuba dive
scuba diving on a wreck (click here)
Scuba diving with Manta Rays in the Maldives (click here)
Playing with seals underwater (click Here)

7. Experience tranquillity and freedom unlike any other.

Most divers agree that while underwater, the noise and stress from daily life just float away. Slow, deep breathing, similar to that of meditative breathing, can help induce a calm and relaxed state while divers enjoy freedom from restrictions such as gravity and weight while supported by the water, add to that the fact that you will be outside in nature with some like-minded friends, scuba diving is a great way to unwind and de-stress.


  


8. You get the chance to travel to some wonderful places.

Scuba diving can open up a whole new side to your holiday planning as once you have learned to scuba dive you will start to hear about some great places to scuba dive that you would never think of taking a holiday to before. So whether it’s a family holiday with a bit of scuba diving on the side or a full-on dive trip arranged through the underwater adventure dive club, by learning to scuba dive you have opened up a whole new world to explore that you probably didn’t even know existed before.

9. Learn to appreciate and preserve marine life 

Many creatures and underwater environments have been rescued and rehabilitated by the efforts of scuba divers. Those who spend time in and love the sea are constantly protecting wildlife by learning about marine life and fighting to preserve and protect it. From beach clean up to raising awareness of the impact or waste and plastic pollution, scuba diving will leave you with a new outlook when it comes to our sea’s and how we treat them.

10. Do Something Different

A diver looks at the weekend as a chance to explore. There is nothing better than getting back into the office on a Monday morning and exchanging stories with your colleagues about your weekend. Telling them about a World War II wreck that you dived, or a seal interaction that you had is fantastic. I know it sure beats the more “normal” weekends that many of my friends have. There are lots of hobbies out there, with plenty of activities to fill your life with. But scuba diving is the best without a doubt. There are other opinions out there about which is the best hobby in the world, but they are wrong!

So if I have whetted your appetite and finally convinced you to learn to scuba dive then get in contact with us by following this link (CLICK HERE) if you would like more information about the PADI open water course (CLICK HERE) and if you are still not sure then why not do a try dive and see if you enjoy it (CLICK HERE)
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21/02/20
How can we divers can reduce the amount of plastic in the Ocean?

 
Every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans. There may now be around 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in the open ocean. Weighing up to 269,000 tons and even with the current focus on Plastic pollution the amount of plastic ending up in our oceans is rising, so what can we do to help?
Recycling isn’t good enough; we must lower the amount of plastic we use. Unfortunately, many types of plastic aren’t recyclable. The familiar triangle only indicates the type of plastic (1-7) and many types can’t be recycled. Typically, numbers 2, 4 and 5 plastics can be recycled, but always check with your local facility. Generally speaking, Styrofoam, cling wrap, plastic bags and plastics with food waste are not recyclable. Recycling also requires a lot of energy as the materials must be transported, processed and remanufactured. Lastly, products made from recycled plastic often aren’t recyclable a second time. So, with this in mind below are a number of ways we can lower the amount of plastic we use in the first place.
  1. Plastic-free packaging.
This is a lot easier then most people think it is, it is just a case of thinking about what you want to buy and looking for the plastic-free options and there are a lot of them about
Little things like toilet rolls which come in plastic packaging can be orders online, companies like www.uk.whogivesacrap.org and https://www.thecheekypanda.co.uk/ offer plastic-free toilet paper delivered to your home in easily recitable packaging. https://www.theplasticfreeshop.co.uk/ has a wide range of plastic-free items for the home from bath towels through to cleaning products. Instead of buying your normal shower gel, why not use soap which can be bought in paper packaging and you can now get your hands-on plastic-free toothbrushes, even big brand companies like Colgate are offering plastic-free toothbrushes https://bit.ly/2SGljJy . All it takes is a little forethought and you will be amazing at how much plastic you can remove from your life.
 
                                                                                     


 
  1. Plastic bottles, cups and food wrapping
During beach cleans one of the most common household plastic items found was bottle caps. Bottle caps are made of a lighter plastic so they tend to float and stay near the surface, where the bottles themselves tend to sink. We do go through a hell of a lot of plastic in this way, from the plastic in our coffee cups to bottles of water when we are outside. This is a little bit more difficult for you to cut out of your life and we will need a bit more help from the companies and worldwide governments to help with this. Yes, you can take a bottle of water out with you but if you are out for a day or it is very warm it is very difficult to take enough water with you so we do need governments to supply more public water fountains so we can refill and shops could advertise refills, they could charge for them a small fee but it would still be cheaper than buying bottled water.
With coffee and teacups we just need to remember to bring our own reusable cups with us, these are easy to find if you don’t already have one and range in price from £5 through to £20 for cups which have thermal properties to keep your tea or coffee warmer for longer, it is just a case of remembering to take it with you. If you are like me this is where things go wrong as I have the memory of a sieve so the way I have worked around it is to keep one at home int eh kitchen and try to remember too that with me but I also keep a clean one in the van for when I forget to bring one with me. Luckily, a lot of companies have started to give away reusable cups as marketing ploys so you can keep an eye out for those and build up a stock of reusable cups just in case you forget as I do.
Plastic food wrapping is probably the hardest one here to limited. Clingfilm (or other brands of plastic wrapping) is not very easily recyclable so it’s not as if we can just make our own sandwiches like mum used to make but we can switch to brown paper bags to put ours sandwiched in or if you prefer a salad, Tupperware boxes are really good, obviously other brands are also available, I have even found that a lot of taking away restaurants deliver their food in hand plastic containers which can easily be washed out and used for lunches or food on the go. So there are ways around it.
If you are picking up food on the go, may I suggest the local sandwich shop as not only do they wrap their food in paper, but you will also be supporting a small local business instead of a large multi-national which is also good for the local environment as they will tend to be using local products?
 

                                                                  


 
  1.  Plastic milk bottles
This is a lot easier nowadays as a number of companies have started offering this service, the good old milkman delivering milk in glass bottles every morning. This went off of fashion in the 90’s and 2000’s but is making a big return as people realize that not only is it better for the environment to use glass bottles for your milk but that you can get so many more products delivered with your milk and thus saving you a trip to the shops on your way back from work. They are a number of companies who offer this and most of the UK is now covered so if you want to find your local company offers milk to your front door a quick google search should give you plenty of options.
 
  1. Plastic bags
Yes, the good old one-use plastic bags which we have all been moving away from since the Government added a tax too and we have been doing a great job of using them less and less but there is another single-use plastic bag we all have in our lives that we need to get rid of, the bin bag. Yes, we may use less bin bags then we used to use shopping bags but it is still plastic which gets thrown away into landfill which can then be broken down into small microplastics which can then work their way into the oceans and then be picked up by marine life and work its way into our food chain. Fortunately, there is an option for us, biodegradable rubbish and composting bags. You can easily find them with a quick google search and you can even find them on places like Amazon (https://amzn.to/2HE0loo) which have a wide range to choose from. You can also find companies like https://kitandkin.com/ which offer smaller bags which are designed for use as nappy bags but can easier be used for cleaning up after fur-babies, or if you can afford to buy in bulk and save money that way why not take a look at the manufacturing companies like this UK based company http://www.biodegradablebag.co.uk/prod3.htm . You see there is always a way around it and all it takes is a little thought and a quick internet search.
 

                                                               


 
  1. Clean-ups
Ok so we have looked at ways for stopping the plastic waste int eh first place but we also need to think about cleaning up the rubbish we have already made. Beach cleans are becoming more and more popular such as with MCS Great British beach clean https://www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch/greatbritishbeachclean or the surfers against swage (SAS) beach cleans where you can help organize your own https://www.sas.org.uk/our-work/beach-cleans/. Divers also have the opportunity to take part in divers against debris dives https://bit.ly/2HIrGpf or as a diver, you can just pick up a bit of plastic rubbish you find while diving.
Underwater adventures itself will be organizing clean-ups with a difference this summer with river clean-ups. The plan is to get the plastic rubbish inland before it has a chance to wash out to sea and if you would like to take part in a clean up please drop us an email at info@underwateradventures.co.uk and we can add you to the mailing list and keep you informed of our cleanups so you to can do your part.

 
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16/02/20
Dive club trips

 
Below are a list of the dive club current dive trips with spaces available and a little bit about the trip but if you would like full details about the trips please contact us and just so you know space go to club members first so if you would like to find out more about the underwater adventures dive club please check out this link.
 
12th-12th April Qualifying weekend
 
The first qualifying weekend of the year at Gildenburgh water where we will be completing the qualifying dives for the courses we run and this weekend we will be doing PADI open water course, PADI advanced open water, and the PADI drysuit course but divers who are not on courses are, as always, welcome to come along for a dive and we will happily find you a buddy if you want one.
 
19th-26th April Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt  £499 plus flights per person
 
With Sharm airport opening up to direct flight from the UK again after 3 years this is the perfect time to pop over for a visit to one of the most popular diving holiday destinations in the world.
We have booked a trip from the 19th-26th April with Camel divers which includes 5 days diving off the local wrecks and reefs plus an extra day diving the Thistlegorm, said to be one of the best wreck dives in the world
out: London Gatwick Sun 19 Apr 2020.
dep 09:40 arr 15:55. TUI Airways
rtn: Sharm El Sheikh Sun 26 Apr 2020.
dep 16:55 arr 21:40. TUI Airways
The price is £499 plus flights and this includes transfer to and from the airport, 7 night B&B accommodation and the camel hotel in Sharm, 5 days diving the local wrecks and reefs plus a day trip out to do two dives on the World famous wreck of the Thistlegorm (check out the video here)
 
2nd May Vobster inland dive site  £22 per diver entry fee
 
Vobster is my personal favorite inland dive site but that is mostly for the warm showers and wrist band payment system which allows you to buy all the tea you want during the day without having to carry a load of change around with you which as a diver can be an issue. It is also a large dive site with many attractions sunk in the lake especially for the divers and these are at different depths which means it’s a great dive site for divers of all levels and qualification.
 
16th 17th May Qualifying weekend
 
The second qualifying weekend of the year which also tends to be one of the busiest with PADI open water and PADI rescue diver courses running plus a few specialties. If there is a specialty course you would like to do please drop us a line and we can see if we can fit it in over this weekend.
 
23rd May Dosthill inland dive site   £15 per diver
 
Dosthill inland dive site is the little sister site to Gildenburgh where we do our qualifying weekends but offers some really good diving with loads of wildlife and some friendly staff. You can check out the videos of some of our previous dives there in the links below.
Diving the wreck of the plane at Dosthill
The fish of Dosthill dive Site
 
6th June Chepstow inland dive site   £20 per diver
 
The National Diving and Activities Centre (NDAC) at Chepstow is always a popular dive site with loads to see and do there plus with a couple of converted transit vans to run you for the carpark down to the water's edge and back again with your kit, it is an easy and relaxing bit of diving with something to see at all the different depths. Plus, with it being at the end of the M4 motorway it is nice and easy for everyone to get to.
 
13th-14th June Swanage dive trip £3 to dive the pier for a day £26-£34 per boat dive depending on the wreck
 
The dive club's first trip to Swanage of the year. We normally head down there as the Shuttle service run Swanage boat charters from the pier to any of the large wrecks just off the coast makes diving easy and fun with great diving for those of all levels. I will be taking a group of children down for their first sea dives under the pier and out to a couple of wrecks but I can also organize some deeper diving for those who want to do it and if anyone is interested I will be running a PADI wreck diver course over this weekend?
 
20th-21st June Qualifying weekend
 
The third qualifying weekend of the year at Gildenburgh and we will be running courses and arranging the normal fun dives.
 
3rd 5th July Plymouth dive trip with In Deep diving £310pp
 
This is a 3-day dive trip offered by In Deep Diving is an absolute steal at just £310 per person for 3 days diving and 3 nights B&B accommodation. The wrecks diving out of Plymouth is some of the best in the world with my personal favorite, the James Egan Lane, a world war 2 liberty ship (click here for a blog post about the history of some of the wrecks you can find out of Plymouth) which was sunk in 1945 just outside Plymouth harbor by a German U-boat.
So this package includes:
• Free on-site car parking
• Six dives from one of our two hard boats
• Six single cylinder air fills or upgrades to Nitrox 32% only £10.00/per day.
• Free Hot drinks & light lunch on-board
• Three nights accommodation at the Mount Batten Watersports centre 20m from the pontoon & the dive centre with Waterside views!
• Cooked or continental breakfast
• Three days full use of the Mount Batten Watersports facilities including of course the bar where you will receive 10% discount!
Spaces on this trip are limited some please let me know if you want to come asap.
 
17th-19th July Pembrokeshire  £48 per day diving plus £130 for the blue shark trip accommodation to be arranged through Trudi
 
Pembrokeshire has some of the best wildlife diving in the UK with the gulf steam bringing warm water and wildlife all the way across the Atlantic from the Caribbean. This is the best place to sea turtles in UK waters along with so much other life. Trudi, who is arranging this trip has also sorted out a chance to go out and spend a day swimming with Blue sharks for those who are interested, the blue shark trip also gives you a chance to spot whales and dolphins. This is also a lovely part of the country with some beautiful scenery.
 
25th-26th July qualifying weekend
 
Another qualifying weekend at Gildenburgh which is open to all club members who wish to come down for a dive or learn something new by taking a new course.
 
1st-2nd August north trip to Capenwary   £17 per day for dive site entry accommodation to be arranged once I know the numbers who would like to join us on this trip.
 
Capenwary is an inland dive site we first visited two years ago and we were amazed by the visibility and wildlife including Sturgeon and Brown Trout just swimming around the entry ramp. We will be spending two days at this dive site as it is a bit of a treck up there but it is worth it for the diving, check out the video here from last years trip to Capenwary.
 
7th-9th August Porthkerris cabin, Cornwall.  £110 each for the 3 nights which includes unlimited shore diving, £60 for 2 boat dives on Celtic cat. Blue Shark trips are £110 each for the day.
 
Porthkerris is a dive site in south Cornwall which we normally visit at the beginning of the year due to the sheltered location and the fact that if the weather blows up, it is an easy drive to the other coast. Last year we got to see basking sharks in the bay and each year they are visited by whales and dolphins. The shore diving is either a kelp forest or one of the two reefs which are just offshore (check out the video here) or you have the option to join the big boat to head offshore and dive the Manicals, a reef system which is covered in jewel anemones giving it a colour as good as if not better then you will find on any tropical reef.
Cornwall as some amazing diving all around eh coast with at this time of the year the water temp is normally around the 20 degrees C mark so it is nice and warm.
We will be staying at the log cabin which is a 200-metre walk from the sea edge and we will be in a little cove surrounded by nature which gives you a very relaxed atmosphere. In the cove is a dive shop, air filling station, and a café so everything we need as divers. Places are limited to just 8 places in the cabin so please don’t hesitate to book your spot.
click here for a video from one of our trips to porthkerris to see what the diving is like
 
15th-16th August qualifying weekend

Another qualifying weekend at Gildenburgh which is open to all club members who wish to come down for a dive or learn something new by taking a new course.
 
21st-24th St Abbs and the Farne Islands

                 The St Abbs area is well known among the diving community as some truly great diving and the Farne Islands is home to a colony of friendly grey seals (check out the video here) who love to come out and play with divers. Simon Turnbull is arranging this trip and I have added a link here to the information sheet about the dive trip he has made up for us. Click here for the information sheet.
 
5th-6th September Swanage   £3 to dive the pier for a day £26-£34 per boat dive depending on the wreck

The dive club final trip to Swanage and on this trip we will be diving some of the deeper wrecks Swanage has to offer. Although we haven’t picked them yet as we will decide what wrecks we would like to do a little closer to the time and when we have an idea of who would like to join us so that we can all help make the decision of what we would like to dive.
 
19th-20th September Qualifying weekend

Second to last qualifying weekend of the year and one which is normally very busy with the people who have tried scuba diving while on holiday and come back and want to learn.
 
17th-18th October qualifying weekend

                Last qualifying of the year (probably) due to the water temp starting to get a little chilly.
 
25th October to 1st November Ibiza dive trip?

                 The details of this trip are yet to be finalized as the flight has not become available yet but the plan is to flight out and catch a bit of sun before the winter sets in and to take part in some of the awesome diving Ibiza has to offer. Before you ask, we will be staying in the north of the island away from all of the big clubs but there is still plenty to do in the evenings and the plan is to stay until Halloween and all get dressed up and going out on our last night for a bit of fun.
The diving in Ibiza itself is excellent with huge amounts of marine life for the Mediterranean like Ibiza, unlike the other Islands, hasn’t depended so much on fishing over the past 50/60 years due to the hippy invasion followed by the party scene being where the Island gets most of its wealth from. Add this to the Mediterranean largest wreck in the Dom Pedro and some great reefs, Ibiza is a hidden gem for scuba divers and well worth a visit. So if you are interested in this trip please let me know and I can keep you informed as to the details when they become available.
 
 
Although this list does cover most weekends through the summer I have left a few free so that we can add other trips when they become available so please also keep an eye on our calendar (click here) which is also a google calendar so you can link it to your own and stay updated.

 
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15/02/20
The different types of scuba diving buddy you’ll come across


Finding a good dive buddy can take time as all divers are different and finding someone with the same style, pace and interests as you can be difficult. Dive buddies come in all shapes and sizes. Some are amazing divers and become lifelong friends, others make you wonder – did this person forge their certification card? The only real way you can find a buddy who works for you is to dive with them so there is a lot of trial and error until you find the dive buddy with whom you work best with but that prefect dive buddy is out there so it is just a case of just keep diving and you will eventually find the buddy who works with you. One way to speed this up is to first know what sort of diver you are so below I have put together a list of the different types of diver out they so that you can work out which type of diver you are and start looking for a similar type of diver as a buddy.

                                                             



The Nature Guide

The Nature Guide has both the PADI Fish Identification and Underwater Naturalist specialty certifications or maybe even some sort of marine biology qualification, and a library of Fish ID books in their car. Throughout the dive s/he will regularly signal for your attention to point out juvenile fish, camouflaged cephalopods, and interesting rock formations. The Nature Guide is an ideal buddy for the photographer/videographer or someone who just loves looking at the fishes.

The Photographer/Videographer

There are pros and cons to having The Photographer/Videographer as your dive buddy. You’ll get great photos of your dive, but your buddy’s attention may be behind the lens a lot of the time. This is why it is good for divers who are into underwater photography to buddy together as you can both take turns in setting up your pictures and then chat about them when you are back on the boat allowing you both to learn for each other's experiences. But, the problem with underwater photographers is that their attention may not always be with their buddy so if you are going to buddy with a photographer or are one yourself, please, please, do try and keep an eye on each other so you don’t get separated.


The Swimmer

Ever have a dive buddy who wanted to explore the entire ocean floor on one dive? If so, you were likely paired up with The Swimmer. This type of buddy tends to run out of air quickly and utilizes a dangerous “same ocean same dive” philosophy. The reason they go through their air so quickly is that they tend to swim at 100 miles per hour trying to see everything. This is not always a bad thing and if the two of you are looking to do the same sort of diving that fine, you’ll probably get to the best bits first just please don’t kick up the bottom before the rest of us have a chance to catch up.

The Slow Poke

The Slow Poke can spend thirty minutes looking at a rock. If it weren’t for the occasional bubbles, you might wonder if a Slow Poke is still alive. This type of buddy isn’t for everyone (they drive Swimmers crazy) but are well-suited for photographers/videographers and Nature Guides. These type of divers tend to also be down for a long time and will get to see the things most of us would never even notice so if you are not one of these divers it can be an idea to let them go first so that you catch up with them when they find something awesome.

The Bragger

No matter where you’ve been diving s/he was there years ago – before other divers ruined it. The Bragger has never peed in their wetsuit ever and can make a three-hour dive on a single tank.

Don’t worry about bringing your compass, The Bragger once gave directions to a dolphin and know where all the cool stuff is. This is probably one of those types of buddy you don’t want to be with unless you are like them and then you will normally get along well with them.


                                                            


Captain Shiny 

Another less-than-ideal dive buddy is Captain Shiny unless you are the patient and meticulous (has to be perfect) type of diver as these two tend to work well together as they will compensate for each other while bringing out the best in each other. These divers are easily distracted by marine life, their camera, shiny objects, etc. You may look up to find Captain Shiny diving right on top of you, or swimming away in the opposite direction. 

The “has to be perfect” diver

This is the type of diver who will spend ages making sure they equipment set up is just right and that they know exactly what the plan is and will dive the plan and be back on the boat at the exact time the plan stated. That is why they work really well with the Captain Shiny diver above.

The Tec Diver

When your dive buddy is a Tec Diver, you never have to worry about forgetting a piece of equipment – the Tec Diver has two backups…of everything. The Tec Diver gives great gear-buying advice and will follow you through any swim-through, no matter how small.

Just be prepared for this buddy to continually tell you why you should try rebreather diving.

The Time Capsule Diver

The opposite of The Tech Diver is The Time Capsule Diver. This diver hasn’t purchased new equipment since they started diving. Their BC leaks, their computer only syncs with their transmitter half the time and their faded wetsuit is one dive away from dissolving into the ocean. This dive buddy typically can afford new gear, but takes pride in diving their original equipment even if it has seen better days. Although the scuba equipment may be old it is normally well looked after, well it has to be otherwise how did it last this long.

The bottom crawler.

This diver is always at the bottom of the group, not normally because they went to be able to say they were the deepest but they normally will end up with that accolade. They will always be spotted below you and as such make it easy for buddies to know where they are, just look down.

The Castaway

You probably won’t know The Castaway is your dive buddy until the dive is almost over. After diligently following them and keeping close contact like good buddies should, The Castaway will turn to you and signal “where’s the boat?” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ At this point, you’ll both be wishing you’d taken the PADI Underwater Navigator specialty.

The Newbie

Being buddied up with a new diver has its pros and cons. Their air consumption might not be great, but their enthusiasm is often contagious. If you get a new diver as your buddy, do your best to be a good role model by staying off the reef and doing regular air checks. Avoid tight swim-throughs, and point out any hazards they might not be aware of (fire coral, titan triggerfish, electric rays, etc).

The Best Type of Dive Buddy?
A PADI Rescue Diver. Who would you rather have as a buddy? An Open Water Diver or a PADI® Rescue Diver?  The Rescue Diver course is “serious fun,” a rewarding way to learn safe diving skills and gain confidence.

Whether you’re a newly certified diver or PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, you can start the Rescue Diver program. You’ll start by learning to identify potential problems before they happen and, working with a PADI Instructor, you’ll role play emergency situations and practice how to respond. Along the way you’ll familiarize yourself with your buddy’s gear so you’ll be better prepared in case of a problem.

Divers who take the PADI Rescue Diver course frequently say it’s the best course they’ve ever taken, and many instructors say Rescue is their favorite class to teach because of the transformation they see in their students. To get started, follow this link or get in contact with us here at Underwater adventures
 
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15/02/20
underwater games for scuba divers

During the winter season, most of us are a little reluctant to venture out to our normal dive sites and let's be honest, swimming around and around in a pool can get a let boring so I have come up with a list of possible underwater games we can play in the pool which will help us keep our scuba diving skills up while still in the nice warm pool while it's raining outside.


                                                           


Egg and Spoon Race
There are a few variations on the spoon race, but the basic premise is balancing an object, egg or probably more practical golf ball on (or under) a spoon and swim as fast as you can without losing it. Another option is to use an upside-down spoon to keep a ping pong ball from escaping to the surface. For an added challenge, divers can try to hand off the egg or ping pong ball to a partner – relay race style.
Underwater darts
We have a number of toy torpedoes which I bring along to every pool night and with these and after fashioning some rings which we could place on the floor of the pool we should be able to sort out an would be an exciting game of darts by throwing the torpedoes through the rings, each of which will be of a different valve.
Obstacle Course
Swimming through a suspended hula hoop is one of the fun activities we do with the children on the master seal team course, and it’s also a great component to an underwater obstacle course. Swimming through a web of bungee cords or crisscrossing PVC pipe can also be a fun challenge. For advanced divers, create a passageway that requires the scuba unit to be removed and push it in front of them. We could set this up at the Polam swim school one evening because that is a private pool with a number of hoops and toys we can use and has a deep end of over 2 metres.


                                                     


Night dive practice
Another one from the children’s master seal team course is the night dive. Again, at the Polam swim school as we can switch the lights off and have a bit of a laugh with our torches in the dark.
Underwater Running
As divers, we like to feel as though we’re one with the fish – gliding along effortlessly and moving with the current. But have you ever tried propelling yourself underwater the same way you do on land? Hand your fins to a buddy and try “running” along the bottom of a pool. It’s even harder (and funnier) than you might imagine. For added hahas, challenge another buddy pair to a race across the pool.

 
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12/02/20
Benefits of joining your local dive club

Your local dive club is basically a group of people who get together regularly, normally over a pint down a pub, and chat about what diving they have done and what dive trips they are planning. There will be a pool nearby where they will complete training dives and for those who want to, there’s normally space to just jump in and wash the cobwebs off or just try out a new bit of equipment. But the main Benefit of your local dive club is that it will be full of people who love and want to go diving and as such, they will be arranging dive trips all over the place which you can join and experience things you never thought you would. 
The fact that you have a lot of really spectacular scuba diving here in the UK is not something most people think about but trust me we do. For a lot of people, scuba diving is something that only happens once a year while on holiday where they will get a couple of dives in with people they don’t know while their other half is off doing something else or just chilling on the beach. While this is all fine and well, it does mean most of these divers miss out on a lot of the really cool stuff diving can offer as they will spend most of those couple of dives trying to remember how to dive as it would have been around a year since they last went diving, and although you can do a PADI reactivate before going away, nothing beats just getting a bit of regular experience under your belt and this is where joining a dive club comes into it own. Not only will you have access to a pool to practice in but a load of other divers to go diving with and dive trips close to home where you can dive regularly.
There is something special about rocking up to a dive site somewhere you have never been before with a few friends and just going for a dive. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, it the company which makes scuba diving in a dive club the most fun. Someone will always bring treats and they will be plenty of tea and coffee floating around along with a bit of banter and this is all before you get to explore this new dive site and the wonders it has to offer.
Dive clubs, like many other social clubs, are about the friendships you make while doing something you enjoy and so with this in mind, below I have listed just some of the benefits of joining your local dive club


                                                                  In the dive club you have lots of friends who don't care who wind swiped you look


Good people who enjoy doing the same things as you.

It seems rather obvious really but a dive club is full of divers and if you enjoy diving you are more then likely going to enjoy being around other people who like diving. You will find all sorts in a dry club, from the old diver in the corner who’s was best mates with “old Jacques Cousteau” himself and has so many stories to tell, through to the young new divers who are still really excited about everything, but most of us are just normal people who are fun to be around and really like diving.

Lot’s of dive trips

There will be so many dive trips going on that you want to join you won’t be able to fit them all in. Most weekends during the summer and Autumn months someone will be arranging a dive trip somewhere and even during the winter months, a few hardy souls will be venturing out for a dive somewhere as long as it not blown out. There are so many things to see around the coast of the UK and even it the weather is a bit ruff on the coast we have loads of inland dive sites to go and explore.

Foreign holidays

There are many awesome places around the world that we all want to dive and while you may to the opportunity to dive some of these with a family holiday, the chances will be rare, and this is one of the reasons we have so many scuba diving holidays abroad. It gives us the chance to dive into the best places and see the best sights underwater. Maybe it's going to dive with Manta rays (click here to see the video) or dive a famous wreck (see the video here) There are so many things to see and why not do it with a group of friends and importantly, divers you trust to dive with rather than some random divers you’ve only met just before the dive on the dive boat. Diving is so much more relaxing when you can do it with someone you know and trust.
As an added bonus, booking in a group will normally mean you’ll get a bit of a discount on the cost of the holiday, although it’ll only be 5 or 10% it’s still better than nothing especially when you think of how much some holidays to exotic locations can coast.

Training to be a better diver.

Your local dive club will either have a training arm or be attached to a dive shop which offers training and extra training after your PADI open water course will not only allow you to dive deeper (deep diver) Longer (enriched air/Nitrox) inside things (wreck diver), or be able to find lost things underwater (search and recovery diver), it will build you confidence and experience. This allows you to be able to enjoy your diving more both here in the UK and abroad.
What you will also find is that learn new skills with people you already know is a lot easier and you will get more out of it because you are more relaxed with them and they will understand you more and be able to tailor their training toward you.
Equipment rental so you don’t need to buy all your stuff straight away


                                                      Everyone loved scuba diving in the Maldives


You’ve just learned to scuba dive and you want to carry on but you don’t have your own equipment. Don’t worry, your local dive club is there to help.

It may not be the coolest and best-looking equipment but it will all work and will keep you diving while you learn what equipment you want and you can take your time in buying what can be rather expensive scuba diving equipment.
Discount’s on stuff.

Whether it’s a discount on a dive trip as mentioned above, a discount on courses run through your club or discounted equipment, being part of a club allow you access to the group discount which is normally offered and although scuba diving isn’t the most expensive hobby once you get the initial out of the way a discount is always a good thing to have.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of joining your local dive club but the most important benefit you will get from joining your local dive club is that you will keep diving. Scuba diving is a wonderful sport that can be both exhilarating and relaxing while giving you the opportunities to see and experience things most people will only ever see in a David Attenborough documentary but so many people fall out of scuba diving because for the perceived lack of opportunity. Don’t be one of those people and let this wonderful chance slip away and follow the link HERE to find your closest underwater adventures dive club.
 
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06/02/20
What’s the difference between PADI and BSAC?


This is a question many UK diver ask when deciding to learn to dive. There are other training organizations out there, but these are the two biggest when learning to dive in the UK. They are many differences between the two but the main difference is that BSAC is a British training agency most made up of volunteers whereas PADI is an international training agency (available in 186 countries) whose instructors are either full or part-time professionals.
But that is a very simplistic way of looking at it so to give you a better understanding so you can make the right choice based on your needs we will have to look into it in more detail and to start with we need to know a little bit more about each agency.

What is PADI?
P.A.D.I. stands for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors and was founded in 1966 with the aim of producing a modular system of diver education that would make scuba diving more accessible. PADI has over 6000 dive centres around the world, and you can walk into any centre, choose a course and off you go. PADI Instructors are paid for their work and can work on a self-employed basis or be employed by a dive centre or resort.
The PADI system is based on starting simple and building up the knowledge step by step while allowing you, the student diver, into the water as soon as possible so that you are able to learn by doing rather than being told how. This system has been built up over the years using the most up to date training theories and methods to allow student divers to get as much as possible out to the course while finding the learning fun and enjoyable so that the student diver retains as much information as possible. 
Being the largest and most recognized scuba diving training agency in the world does have its benefits in that they are able to employ the best teaching theorist and educators to improve their system which is why the basic PADI open water course, the first course you can take to allow you to scuba dive, is always changing and being updated but, the flip side to this is that it is seen as a money-making business and looked down upon by the other smaller training agencies.


                                                           


What is BSAC?
B.S.A.C. stands for the British Sub Aqua Club, and its name is a clear indicator that the organization's prime geographical focus is Britain. They claim to be the home of U.K. diving and were reported to have 27,000 members in 2016, this number has been in steady decline from its height of around 50.000 members in the mid-nineties which has lead BSAC to start changing and adopt a more aggressive marketing strategy and improve the training they provide through their clubs. I said through they clubs as another big difference between PADI and BSAC is that while PADI is based around dive centres and dive shops, the BSAC system is based around a club structure which is a little more informal.
The BSAC training systems started out based on the military diver training which makes sense as it was set up by ex-military divers but this systems has been improved over the years as although this training regime worked fine for military personnel, it wasn’t particularly suited to the standard person on the street who just wanted to see what was under the water. So BSAC dropped things like retrieving a brick from the bottom of the pool blindfolded and starting moving towards getting people in the water sooner (don’t say this out loud but more along the lines of how PADI was teaching) to open up the courses to more people and attract more club members.
This seems to have been working until a downturn in the UK diving market over the past 10 or so years but the BSAC club membership number has been holding steady at just below 30 thousand so they have been doing something right.


                                                      


The differences in the training 
As mentioned above, the basic idea’s between how the two different agencies have been training new divers have been getting closer together and both will teach you how to dive in a competent and safe manner so the real differences int eh training come in how the courses are run and set out. So with PADI, being run by professional divers for the most part, will have set courses you can join running throughout the year and will follow a set pattern as to how there are run and this should be the same course you will complete anywhere you go in the world, with the obvious exceptions of the changes in conditions. Learning to scuba dive in the Maldives is slightly different to learning to scuba dive here in the UK. Because PADI are professional they will also have to stick to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guideline for diving at work so you will find that there is always at least one safety diver int eh water with the instructor and at least one person keeping a watch onshore to help should something happen. Although BSAC don’t have to do this most of the time they will follow the same guideline. Please note, if you come across an operation who doesn’t follow this, no matter which agency they are from, it is probably best to stay clear of them because if they are cutting corners here, where else will they be cutting corners?
BSAC training tends to be a little more ad-hock in that your course will be run when the instructor is available, as this is not his/her job and he/she will have a full-time job elsewhere to pay the bills I’m sure you can understand that they will have to prioritize that over teaching you to dive. 
Because BSAC is mostly voluntary it does explain the other big difference between the two, the price. With a PADI course you will be paying for the staff to teach you to scuba dive as well as all that entails whereas with BSAC, a lot of instructors will be happy with a cup of tea and maybe a couple of biscuits at the end of a dive. So, with the PADI course you will also be paying for your instructor and the rest of the dive team on top of the general course fees that will be incurred. Taking this into to mind, the price difference when you add in your BSAC membership, which you have to buy to be able to go on the course, the price difference between the 2 different course is not that much.
Finally, the difference between what you learn in the course. It’s not that different although the BSAC course does teach you more in the beginner course then you will learn in the PADI course but that difference is made up in the next course. To weigh this off it will take you longer to actually go diving with the BSAC course. The reason PADI give for this is that you will learn a lot more by doing and gaining experience, so by teaching you the basic’s and making sure you are safe to go diving, you can get in the water sooner and then learn at your own pace, whereas BSAC, like to teach you more before you get in the open water which is why the BSAC course takes longer.


                                                             


Other training agencies.
PADI and BSAC are the two biggest by far here in the UK but they are far from the only two, with smaller UK based organizations such as SSA through to larger international training agencies like SSI who are trying to take PADI’s crown as the largest so you will have a big choice when learning to scuba dive. But they will all teach you to scuba dive safely and all of the courses are similar and if you don’t like the agency you are with, you can always crossover to a different agency with normally just a little update on how they complete the skills.
My last bit of advice for when it comes to picking who to dive with is. Don’t base it solely on the price but get to know your instructors and the dive team and pick the people you get along with, cheapest is not always the best but neither is the most expensive, its how much you enjoy it that matters.
 
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04/02/20
The UK’s best wreck dives
 
Wreck diving is a big draw for most divers, every wreck comes with its own fascinating story about how they got there and their history before the fateful events that lead them to becoming the wrecks we so love to dive, plus they tend to become home to some amazing wildlife. So, I have put together this list of my favorite wrecks dive although I should preface this list by saying that I have not dived every wreck with over 40,000 to choose from but here is the list of my personal favorite wreck dive around the UK in no real order as they all have something special about them.


                                                 


 
1. James Eagan Layne, Plymouth
The James Egan Layne, a US liberty ship built in By the Delta Shipbuilding Company of New Orleans, at 400 feet long and weighing just over 7000 tons, liberty ships were the work horses of the allied shipping effort during the second world war as they were easy and very quick to build. During March 1945 she was engaged on a voyage from Barry in Wales to Ghent, loaded with United States Army engineering stores. By the afternoon of 21 March the Layne was about seven miles from the Plymouth Breakwater, just on the edge of one of the most profitable of all the U boat hunting grounds. She must have been spotted very quickly because at 2.35 that same afternoon U-boat 1195 hit the Layne with a torpedo, which sliced a great hole in her side. Her holds quickly flooded as did her engine room, but the Layne was not going to sink without a fight. For nearly eight hours the crew kept the vessel afloat, but the Captain realizing that she was finished set course as best he could for the shore hoping to beach her. He very nearly made it. By now the Layne was taking in water faster than the crew could get rid of it. So at half-past ten that night the ship gently went aground in seventy feet of water, snugly held firm on the sandy bottom of Whitsands Bay. Thankfully there were no casualties, and eventually, most of the cargo was salvaged. In the end, the loss to the war effort was minimal, but the gain to the future generations of scuba divers was to prove considerable. You can read more about her story by clicking here
The James Eagan Layne is suitable for most divers with UK diving experience and can be reached out of Plymouth Harbour onboard one of the many dive boats which operate out of there.


                                                  

 
2. HMS Scylla
One of the last warships to be built at Plymouth, Scylla was laid down at Devonport Dockyard in 1967, and launched in August 1968.After her fitting out she was commissioned on 14 February 1970 and went on service in the Mediterranean where she assisted H.M.S. Penelope in underwater noise trials. In 1976 she was involved in the Cod War in the waters around Iceland, and later saw service on the Biera Patrol, Belize, and as the West Indies Guard Ship. At the outbreak of the Falklands war in 1982 Scylla had just started a major refit. But this had to be put on hold as men and materials were reassigned to the battle-damaged ships. So urgent was their need that parts of the Scylla were ripped out and cannibalized to speed up the repairs. Finally, her refit was finished in December 1984 and she spent the next eight months becoming fully operational before taking part in a major exercise codenamed Autumn Train. Later she was a regular member of the Armilla Patrol in the Persian Gulf escorting British Merchant ships through the Straits of Hormuz at the height of the Iran, Iraq war in 1986 – 88. 
By the beginning of the nineties, Scylla was obsolete, and in 1993 she was decommissioned and left to rust. That would have been the end of the story except for the intervention of a couple of local divers, Nick Murns and John Busby, who thought it would be a great idea to bring the Scylla back to her home port and sink her over in Whitsands Bay near the James Egan Layne so that she would form an artificial reef and add another diving attraction to Plymouth. They formed the Artificial Reef Consortium and drummed up a lot of support and interest but the project got bogged down in the inevitable tangle of red tape. In the end, the National Marine Aquarium came on board, and the Scylla was bought with the assistance of the South West Development Agency for around two hundred thousand pounds. It took over five years to get all the relevant permissions and to make the Scylla ready to sink, and it is a testament to the tenacity of the two local divers and the Aquarium that the project was brought to a successful conclusion. At last on the 27 march 2004 the Scylla was towed out of the Dockyard and around Rame Head for the last time and slowly maneuvered into position to await the final safety checks. Amongst the crowds in the flotilla of small boats and lining the cliffs, was her last Captain, Mike Booth, who had come to say his final farewell.
HMS Scylla, just like the James Eagan Layne, can be reached out of Plymouth and the two wrecks are often dived often after the other. If you would like more information about the HMS Scylla, please check out this link.


                                                  

 
3. The Kyarra
The Kyarra was launched on 2 February 1903, and she proved to be a profitable, successful, luxury liner for the Australian United Steam Navigation Company. The 127m (416ft) long ship also had the capacity to transport 7,164 cubic metres (253,000 cubic feet) of general cargo in her fore deck and aft deck holds. She sailed between Fremantle, Western Australia (where she was registered), and Sydney, New South Wales, carrying both fare-paying passengers and cargo. 
Her life changed on 6 November 1914. Eleven years after she had been launched, the Kyarra was requisitioned and leased in Brisbane by the British Government to be a WWI hospital ship. She became HMAT A55, or “His Majesty's Australian Transports.” HMAT ships were used to transport various Australian Infantry Divisions to their respective overseas destinations. When they were not transporting military personal, HMAT ships would carry goods to Britain and France.
The Kyarra was painted white, and red crosses were added to her hull to indicate that she was a hospital ship. Her job was to transport Australian medical units to Egypt, and we know she carried a major contingent of Queensland nurses on one voyage.
Five months later, in March 1915, the Kyarra was converted yet again. This time, she served as a troopship and helped land ANZAC expeditionary troops in the Dardanelles. She also saw service in the Gallipoli campaign.
In 1917, the Kyarra became a casualty-clearing ship and had a 4.7in quick-firing gun mounted on her stern as a defense against U-boats.
On 4 January 1918, the 6,953-ton Kyarra was decommissioned —the Commonwealth control lease had ended. Captain Albert Donovan took command of her on 19 January 1918 and readied the ship for a return to Britain.
In May 1918, the Kyarra was in London. She was fully loaded with general cargo worth GB£1,500 (about GB£100,000 in today's money), which was bound for Australia. Items included bottles of champagne, red wine, stout and vinegar, bales of silk and cloth, French perfume, rolls of lino, sticks of red sealing wax, medical supplies, cigarettes, silver purses, men's big pocket watches, and ladies gold wrist-watches. She was also carrying 35 civilian passengers. Her captain, William Smith, had orders which stated that the Kyarra should sail to Plymouth and embark about 1,000 war-wounded Australian soldiers and repatriate them.
On 24 May 1918, she left Tilbury in Essex and zigzagged down the Channel heading for Devonport, Devon. It was to be her last voyage as she had been spotted by UB 57, a German U-boat which was patrolling of the UK’s south coast and at sometime early in the morning she was torpedoed at midships. Report of casualties vary from between 4 and 9 people to lose their lives on board but this could have been much worse had she already picked up the war wounded who were supposed to be on their way back home.
 
The Kyarra can be dived out of Portland and Swanage with both ports offering a number of dive boat options but because of where she is situated she must be dived at Slack water and at 30 metres to the seafloor on which she stands you will normally get around 30 mins tops per dive to explore so it is best to plan a few dives on this wreck so that you can get the best out of her. For the treasure hunters out there you can still find perfume bottles and if you are really lucky, maybe a gold watch or two. In terms of wildlife on the wreck, you will tend to find large schools of pollock cruising around the top with the smaller fish in nice and close to the wreck and don’t forget to check out the pipes int eh steam boiler for conger eels of varying sizes.

 
4. SS Mohegan, The Manacles,
The SS Mohegan was a steamer ship built in 1897 and lost when she hit The Manacles reef on 14 October 1898 with the loss of 106 out of 197 on board and her loss lead to a lot of Controversy due to the route she was taking.
There are a number of intriguing mysteries that surround the loss of the steam ship Mohegan on Cornwall’s Manacle Reef in October 1898 that no one, as yet, has managed to satisfactorily explain.
 
The Manacle Reef has sunk many fine ships and claimed many thousands of lives, but the story of the Mohegan is a very sad one for a number of reasons, the first of which is, why was the ship set on a collision course with the reef, and why the captain and crew never seemed to have realised the danger until it was much too late.
 
In those days, ships entering the English Channel from the Atlantic, bound for Falmouth or beyond, may have been at sea for months and unsure of their correct position or compromised by fog or gales. Consequently, as they entered the part of the English Channel where the Lizard Peninsula narrows their safe passage, and if they were just a little too far north, then they could so easily come to grief on the rocky granite cliffs of Cornwall.
 
However, the Mohegan wasn’t entering the channel after months at sea and unsure of her position, neither was there fog or storm — in fact, the evening was dark but clear, with lights onshore clearly visible from seaward, and the ship was not approaching from the west but running down channel, from the east. The Mohegan was outward bound from Gravesend, bound for New York, had already successfully navigated the narrowest, most crowded part of the channel and should have been on a safe course for America. However, it seems that after passing the Eddystone Lighthouse the course was mysteriously changed, in a mistake or a deliberate act, which set the ship on a more northerly, fatal rendezvous with the Manacle Reef.
 
At the court of enquiry, ordered by the British Board of Trade, it was suggested that the known magnetic quality of the Manacle rocks had upset the compass, drawing the ship to its doom, but this legendary theory was dismissed when it was established that the course had been set by the captain and it was the course, not the compass, that was incorrect. The court’s final decision was that ‘After passing the Eddystone lighthouse the wrong course of west-by-north was steered’. However, the court could not offer an explanation as to why the wrong course had been set, and there that mystery remains to this day. You can find out more by following this link.
 
Having been underwater in the English Channel for well over 100 years the wreck is pretty beaten up and lays mostly flatten now but still has a number of really cool points of interest and the marine life to be found there is amazing. You can dive it out of a number of Cornwall’s ports, but I would suggest jumping on one of the boats out of Porthkerris divers who run a very friendly dive centre in its own little cove on the Lizard peninsula.
 
There are many more wrecks out there but these are currently my favourites and as you may have noticed, these are all on the south coast and this is because this is where I do most of my diving due to being a wuss and liking the warmer waters the south coast has to offer but that’s not to say you won’t find great wrecks further north, I mean we have the German grand fleet up in Scarpa Flow which is surely a must at some point for every wreck diver. So, with that in mind just remember there is great wreck diving all around the UK and if you would like to know more about wreck diving and how to do it safely then how about the PADI wreck diver specialty, which is run over two days of diving and will teach you how to safely dive wrecks and help you learn ne skills such as laying out lines so you can always find you way back the entrance you came in, which I’m sure you will agree is a rather important thing. If you would like to learn more about the course then please follow this link.
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03/02/20
Breath-taking Experiences You’ll Have When Learning to Dive


Learning to dive is an incredible experience, and most divers never forget it. Not only is it both challenging and rewarding at the same time, it can also leave you completely breathless. When learning to dive on your PADI Open Water Diver course there are some experiences that completely take your breath away. The list can go on and on, and below I have picked out a few that are worth mentioning.

Disclaimer: You should never *actually* hold your breath while diving. ‘Breath-taking’ in this sense is simply metaphorical.

                                                     

Your first breath underwater

This may seem like a bit of a cliché, but the first time you take a breath and are able to relax under water is an experience like no other. There is no way to explain it, because there is literally no other feeling in the world that can compare. Being able to enjoy the serenity you find under the surface without stopping back up for air is absolutely fantastic.

When you first master your buoyancy

Buoyancy can take you several dives to completely master. Put simply, your buoyancy is what makes you weightless in the water, and this feeling (I believe) can only ever be experienced in outer space. The first time my instructor didn’t have to help me find my buoyancy at the safety stop, I felt absolutely exhilarated. I now love floating around weightless just as much as I love exploring the underwater world.

Mastering that skill you have a problem with.

It doesn’t matter who you are, during your open water course you will come across a skill that you can’t get just right or that you have a problem with, trust me, I have taught hundreds of people to scuba dive in my years as a PADI instructor and everyone has a little problem with at least one skill during the course. It’s nothing to worry about and you and your instructor will take a bit of time and work through the skill until you feel comfortable with it. That feeling though when you finally get it will make you feel like you can conquer anything.

                                                

Overcoming an obstacle

During your studying, quizzes, and open water dives, your instructor prepares you to be a safe diver. By the time you are a PADI certified diver you will be able to handle most obstacles you could come across as a diver, and the first time you realize this is the best feeling in the world!

Seeing that special creature

We all have that one ocean creature that fascinates us, whether it’s a turtle, a shark or a manta ray. For me it was the first time I saw a manta ray.  A little background to this story, I had been diving for 15 years before I first saw one and it was the most unbelievable experience seeing these manta rays at a feeding station and to make it even better a couple of days later we had a really close encounter with them on a night dive ( you can see the video of the event here)
Yours’s may not be a manta ray. It could be a Turtle (click here for the Video)
Your first Shark experience (click here for the Video)
Maybe swimming with dolphin’s (click here for the Video)
These are just some of the amazing things you can see when you learn to scuba dive.

                                                     

Diving your first Wreck

Floating down on top of a wreck is one of the top things people imagine when they think about scuba diving and the first time you do it for real really does take your breath away. All the history and the story behind how and why it got there. Maybe it’s a purposely sunk wreck to make an artificial reef like HMS Scylla or maybe it’s a victim of a warlike the wreck of the US liberty ship the James Egan Lane, every wreck has a history and has a scuba diver you get the chance to visit these wrecks.

So if this has wetted your appetite, why not drop us a line here at Underwater adventures and we can book you on to a course and get you scuba diving?
 
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31/01/20
What’s the difference between the PADI open water course and the PADI advanced open water course?


This is a very commonly asked question among new divers and the simple answer is that the PADI open water course is PADI’s entry-level course which is most divers first step into scuba diving while the PADI advanced open water course is the next primary core course you can take after the completing the open water course and is designed to build up your scuba diving experience while showing you different areas of scuba diving which might interest you, like wreck diving or fish identification.
To go into more detail, we need to understand more about the courses and what’s involved in each of them


The PADI open water course
This course is most people first step in learning to scuba dive, although if you are short of time you may opt for the PADI scuba diver course which is like a lite version of the PADI open water course which allows you to still dive but always with a professional and to a shallower limit (click here for more info about the PADI scuba diver course). The full PADI open water course consists of a dive theory section, confined water or pool sessions and finished off with 4 open water dives where you will demonstrate some of the skills you learned in the confined water/pool sessions to your instructor so that they can then feel confident in signing you off as a PADI open water diver. This certification is a life long qualification which means you don’t have to take this course again but if it has been a while between dives you will probably be asked to complete a PADI reactivate session to go over the dive theory and confined water/pool skills again just to help refresh your memory.
Upon completing your PADI open water course, you will receive and logbook for you to fill in with a record of your dives and a PADI certification card which your picture on it so you can prove you have completed this course. You will also be given your own PADI number so if you should lose this card we should be able to find you on the PADI system and issue you with a new one. This then allows you to scuba dive anywhere in the world in conditions equal to and better than you learned in with a buddy down to a maximum depth of 18 metres. Please don’t go rushing down to 18 metres as soon as you pass as a lot of people do, take your time and slowly build up to deeper diving.


   


The PADI advanced open water course
The PADI Advanced open water diver course is designed to give new or inexperienced divers a chance to build their experience and confidence under the guidance of a PADI instructor while at the same time allowing them to try out different type and areas of diving, so you could do a drift dive for the first time or try out night diving.
On the PADI Advanced Open Water Course, the diver must partake in five different Adventure dives, each of which concentrates on a particular dive skill or activity. Of the five different training dives, you will complete on the advanced open water dive, the Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive and the Deep Adventure Dive are both mandatory.
The Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive helps you practice your navigation skills underwater while diving so that you can safely explore. The Deep Adventure Dive teaches divers to dive to depths between 18-30 metres or 60-100 feet. Both of these mandatory training dives teach you invaluable skills and help advance your diving. 

The remaining three dives, you get to choose what interests you most and learn more about it. Depending on local conditions and dive sites, you can choose your remaining three elective dives from the following list:

PADI Boat Diver
PADI DSMB Diver
PADI Digital Underwater Imaging 
PADI Dive Against Debris (AWARE)
PADI DPV (Diver propulsion vehicle)
PADI Drift Diver
PADI Dry Suit Diver
PADI Enriched Air/Nitrox Diver
PADI Fish ID
PADI Night Diver
PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy
PADI Search & Recovery
PADI Shark Conservation (AWARE)
PADI Underwater Naturalist
PADI Wreck diver

As you can see there is a wide range of dives you can experience to complete your PADI advanced open water course and if you fancy trying something you don’t see here just get in contact with us (click here) and we will see what we can arrange for you.


   


Why Take the Advanced Open Water Course?
There are many reasons why divers choose to take the PADI advanced open water course; you will gain more experience as a diver while under the supervision of an instructor. During the advanced open water course, you can log your dives and develop your capabilities during fun scuba diver training lessons.

The course provides you with a safe space in which to sample different diving specialties, learn new skills, grow in confidence, and try something new to see what interests you the most. If you want to further your diving skills, the advanced open water dive course could be just right for you.


How Long Does the Advanced Course Take?
One of the most common questions we get asked, regarding the PADI advanced open water course, is how long will it take? One of the many great things about this course is that it can typically be completed in just two days, that is if you dedicate yourself to a few hours of study in advance. But if you’re committed and put in the work, you will be able to complete the course in just two days and get on with enjoying what advanced diving has to offer.


What options do I have other than the PADI Advanced open water course?
You don’t have to go straight from completing you PADI open water course straight on to your PADI advanced open water course, in fact, it may be good to just do a couple of fun dives and enjoy a bit of diving with your new found skills, but if you still fancy diving with an instructor and improving your skills but don’t fancy the full PADI advanced open water course you could always go for a shorter one day course such as the Peak performance buoyancy course where we get to spend a couple of dives with you in the open water working on your trims and balance to improve your buoyancy control or, what is always my personal suggestion for people you will be scuba diving here in the UK, the PADI delayed surface marker buoy course where you will get to play around with surface maker buoys and gain some extra experience in deploying them yourself which is a very good skill to have when diving and most boat captains here in the UK insist that there is at least one DSMB per buddy pair if not one each just so that should you drift away from the boat or the reef you are diving, you will be able to be seen from a fair distance away.


   


What comes after the PADI advanced open water course?
Although we have just talked about the options you can take after the open water and before the advanced open water course, I think it might be good to mention the PADI rescue diver course as this is the one that comes after the PADI advanced diver course and this is the level I believe all divers should be aiming for and this course not only teaches you how to help other divers but also how to avoid getting into problems yourself and should you have problems, how best to get out of them, making you a much safer diver and a better buddy to whomever you scuba dive with. If you would like to know more about the PADI rescue diver course, you can check out the course page here or you can contact us through our contact page here.
 
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30/01/20
Scuba diving lessons for children

Scuba diving lessons for children


 
Deciding when to start your child’s diving career and which program to choose can be confusing. There are multiple programs for each age group and not a lot of information available to clarify the differences. So with this blog, I will try to explain the different options for the different age groups which are available for your children to start scuba diving.


                                    


First of all, we will need to understand the age groups into which children are grouped into the PADI system.
7 years and under
Scuba diving is not really for the small children so for children under the age of 8 can’t do any of the scuba diving courses offered by PADI but they can still snorkel which as a great way to build their confidence in the water and we do offer group snorkeling sessions for younger children where they can come along and play around in the pool with a mask snorkel and fin helping them get used to these new bits of equipment.
8 – 10 years of age
Although we can’t take children this young out into open water, we can still introduce them to scuba diving in the pool, first with bubblemaker session and then with the seal team and master seal team courses.
10-12 years of age
At this age we can teach children to scuba dive properly with the junior open water course but although they will complete the same course as everyone else there will be extra depth and standards restrictions because of their young age
12 15 years of age
From the age of 12 to 15, children but don’t have the depth restrictions found with children between the ages of 110 -12 and once they reach the age of 15 it is just a case of contacting PADI to upgrade their card to the full standard PADI open water qualification without having to do any more training.
 
So, a little about the courses.

Snorkeling experience
The Children’s snorkeling experience is open to anyone of any age as long as they can swim and are comfortable in the water. During these sessions, we will start off by getting the children into the water and making sure they are comfortable while showing them how to use their breathing to float. We will then put the fins on and show them how to fin properly before finding the right fitting masks and putting them on with the snorkel and playing a few games designed to show them how do thing like clear their snorkels of water without taking their faces out of the water and how to dunk dive to pick something up from under the water. At the end of the session, each child receives a special certificate to show off to their friends at school. To find out more about these sessions, please feel free to contact us by clicking here.

                                                             
    
Bubblemaker experience
The PADI bubblemaker experience is just like a Discover scuba diving session for those over the age of 10 in that it gives children from the age of 8 the chance to have a go at scuba diving and see if they like but unlike the Discover scuba diving session, the Bubblemaker is designed to be a lot more fun with the focus being on games and just playing around under the supervision of a PADI instructor rather then the skills you would try in the DSD session.
The idea behind this is that the younger children will have plenty of time to learn these skills when they move on to either the seal team course or wait a little bit and do the adult courses so this allows us to have a lot more fun all the while allowing the children to learn how to balance the equipment on their backs while swimming around and how buoyancy works so they are not floating around on the surface on laying to the bottom of the pool. If you would like more information about this course, please check out the bubblemaker page by clicking here

                                                                       

Seal team course

The PADI seal team course is the next step for children between the ages of 8 and 10 who have decided they like scuba diving. The course is made up of 5 hour-long sessions and during each session, the children will learn a different skill, from how to tell their instructor how much air they have left using hand signals through to how to make a safe ascent using their buddies alternate air source. These skills are normally taught in session one of the open water course, but we spread them out so that the younger children have a chance to practice the skills and really commit them to memory and also have lots of fun while doing it. This course sets them up for the full APDI open water course when they are old enough by teaching them the basic concepts they will come across in the full course. You can find out more about the PADI seal team course by clicking here.

                                                                   



Master seal team course
The PADI Master Seal team course is probably one of the most fun courses to run and it is made up of 10 sessions, all completely different, just experiencing all the different types of diving. From Wreck diving where we set up an obstacle course underwater for the children to a night dive where we give them torches and switch the light of in the pool to simulate a night dive. The object of this course is to build confidence in the younger children so they are as ready as they can be when they move on to the full Junior open water course. You can find out more about the PADI master seal team course here.



Junior open water diver

The PADI junior open water course is exactly the same as the full open water course except it is for children under the age of 15 which means there are some extra restrictions on what and where they can dive, such as those under the age of 13 have extra depth limits and those under the age of 15 must dive with an adult diver but other than that it is the same course and qualification. Once a child reached the age of 15 it is then just a case of applying to PADI for the standard PADI card instead of the junior one and they are good to go.
I know it all sounds amazing and the best thing is that you can learn to dive with your child if you don’t know already and thus giving you both an experience you can share together for years to come. If you would like to know more about your child learning to scuba dive, please check out the link to the PADI open water course here or you can contact us here.

 
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29/01/20
30 AWESOME SCUBA DIVING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
30 AWESOME SCUBA DIVING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS


With so many new dive coming thought the underwater adventures scuba diving school we thought it would be a good idea to make a list of our best tips for new divers for you to take a look though. If you can think of any more or have other questions to ask us, please feel free to contact us here at Underwater Adventures.

1. When choosing your dive school, safety should be your number one concern. Before you go, check out online reviews to see if other divers write about consistent issues like disorganization, missed safety briefings, or faulty equipment. A safe dive school maintains a low student to instructor ratio and communicates clearly with its students.

2. Learn about different scuba diving agencies to find out which one is best for you. The two biggest are PADI and SSI but you can also find BSAC here in the UK.

3. Before you go underwater, always check your dive equipment. Warning signs of faulty equipment include strange smelling/tasting air, and a jumping needle on your air gauge when you take a breath out of your regulator, your regulator free-flowing for no reason. Make sure all your equipment is working properly and fits well.


                                                                       


4. One of the most common mishaps while diving is having your regulator, you know, the device that you use to breathe underwater, knocked out of your mouth. Though this is rarely serious, it can cause divers of all levels a lot of stress. Practice reaching towards your lower back and recovering your regulator into your mouth and clearing it (just like your instructor taught you) until it becomes second nature.

5. Avoid diving with an underwater camera for your first few dives, even if the school allows it. New divers tend to get distracted with playing with the buttons, often causing them to ascend without realizing or get into other stressful situation that can cause problems if you are not paying attention

6. Take seasickness pills ahead of time if you’re prone to getting seasickness. Even if you are not prone to seasick or are just not sure, take one just in case as it is better to take one before you start feeling ill rather then being stuck on a boat for hours whilst feeling rough.

7. Never be afraid to ask your guide or instructor questions, no matter how silly they might seem. Remember, everyone started as a beginner once, and it’s better to dive with confidence instead of confusion.


                                                                          


8. Don’t dive with a sinus infection or a cold, as it will be dangerous (if not impossible) to equalize.

9. Planning a dive holiday? Remember about the risks of flying and diving before you hit the runway, it is normally best to allow over 24 hours between your last dive and getting on the airplane.

10. If you have open wounds, avoid diving or make sure that you the wounds covered – especially around coral reefs, where the skin is more prone to infection. Wear a wetsuit or protect the wound with gauze and waterproof tape.

11. Did you know that your body processes liquids more efficiently while at neutral buoyancy? This is why while diving, you’ll have to pee more than usual. Please remember to drink lots of water all the time between dives. I have seen so many days diving lots because people allowed themselves to become dehydrated. Dehydration is also a big factor when it comes to DCI and it is easily avoidable just by drinking plenty of water.

12. Know the signs and symptoms of gas narcosis, especially before attempting any deep dives. This is not just the signs in yourself but also in your buddy. If you would like to learn more gas narcosis, you can always try doing a Dry Dive at a recompression chamber where you get to experience a dive to 40 or 50 metres int eh safety of a hospital and under the watchful eyes of medical professionals, Underwater adventures run yearly trips for dry dive and you can check out the video to see what it is like by clicking here.


                                                                       


13. Many diving accidents are preventable and caused solely by panic. In fact, a report by Scuba Diving Magazine tells us that over 20% of diver deaths are due to panic. With a level head, you can work your way out of any diving issue. Practice self-calming methods like meditation and breathing techniques to help you cope with any diving challenges that may arise. Visualization is a great practice for walking through possible challenges and thinking through how you can overcome them. If something is not right, Stop, take a nice slow deep breath and then think about what to do, don’t rush in.

14. The most important thing to remember is, always keep breathing. Never, ever hold your breath.

15. if you are on a guided dive always stay close to your guide and follow his or her directions – even if other divers stray from the pack. It will make you feel more comfortable and it makes your guide's job so much easier and they will thank you for it afterward. Don't forget even if you are on a guided dive you are still diving with your buddy so keep an eye on where they are at all times as well.

16. If you are not diving with a guide, make sure you plan your dive beforehand and let someone know who will be on the surface what your dive plan is and always, always stick close to your buddy.

17. Beginner scuba divers often don’t realize how much air they consume and tend to breathe more than advanced divers. Always keep an eye on your gauge and let your buddy/guide know when you’re low. Don’t be shy to tell your buddy/guide you are low on air, it’s totally normal and far less embarrassing (not to mention dangerous) to finish your dive early than running out and having an emergency.


                                                                    


18. Constantly communicate with your buddy. Ask them if they are OK and point out any incredible things that you see.

19. Never poke or chase sea life. Not only is this better for the environment, but many sea creatures can be aggressive or poisonous. The look-but-don’t-touch policy is in the best interest of everyone underwater.

20. Diving can be a clumsy sport, especially when navigating around other divers and the reef — that’s just what happens when you strap on fins and a metal tank to your body! Give other divers enough space to move around without banging into you. Likewise, hover a good distance above the reef until you’ve perfected neutral buoyancy.

21. It’s easy to be mesmerized by what exists below you. Look up and out into the blue every once in a while. Many times, it’s where the larger sea creatures or schools of fish will be hanging out.

22. Do you know what to do if you see a shark? For one, don’t panic or bolt to the surface. Keep breathing and follow your guide’s instructions. If you’re diving with a buddy and you are too frightened to continue, end the dive as normal. Sharks are generally harmless and swim past divers every single day without incident.

23. If you need to grab another diver’s attention, make noise by banging lightly against your tank with a tank banger or butt of your dive knife if you don’t have a tank banker. Another way to make noise underwater is to make an “O” shape with one hand and clap the top of it with your other which will make a sound that will travel well through water.


                                                                   


24. There’s nothing more comforting than a snug wetsuit that conforms to your body. It’s worth it to invest in a wetsuit for the water temperature that you’ll be diving in the most. Speak to your instructor or local dive shop as they will be able to give you the best information about the wet wetsuit for you.

25. When choosing a mask, tilt your head down, place the mask against your face, and inhale. Then, let go of the mask with your hands. If the mask stays on your face, then it’s a good fit. Try ever mask on in the dive shop so that you are able to make the best decision about the best mask for you. Before diving, sweep your hair away from your face (including facial hair) and rub in sunscreen to prevent leaks.

26. Different scuba diving brands tend to fit different body types better. To see what works for you, rent or borrow equipment before buying so that you get the most opportunities to find out what you want and what works for you. Don’t rush in to buy dive equipment before you know what you want otherwise you are likely to end up replacing it anyway a year or so down the line.

27. Take care of your equipment by rinsing it with fresh water after a dive, hanging it to dry, and keeping it out of the sun. Salt, sand, and sun are harsh elements that can deform equipment if left unchecked. A good idea to help you understand how better to look after you nice new scuba diving equipment is to complete the PADI equipment specialty course which will teach you all about how to look after your equipment and goes into more detail about how it works. find out more about the PADI equipment specialty course here

28. You might not always wear the same amount of weights depending on your wetsuit thickness and even water temperature. If you’re not sure how many to wear, consult a guide before you go and always perform a buoyancy check when either your equipment or location changes. Even professional divers do this as it only takes a couple of seconds and can save messing around on a whole dive and missing out on the cool stuff.

29. Keep your skills fresh! Try to dive at least every few months. Practice, practice, practice. The more often you go, the better diver you will become. Join a dive club that runs regular dive trips as not only will this keep you diving but you’ll get to meet and learn from a load of other experienced scuba divers.

30. There’s so much to see around the world. From macro life to sharks to Technicolor coral reefs to caves to wrecks to kelp forests, the visuals that exist underwater are truly unlike anything on earth. Create a scuba diving bucket list of places to dive to keep you motivated to dive more.


Bonus tip for making it all the way to the end


31. Did you know there’s a huge scuba diving community out there? Scuba diving is an easy way to make friends all around the globe. Join the Underwater adventures dive club on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to meet up with other underwater addicts or get in contact with us to find out about joining the dive club and coming with us on a few dive trips. Still not convinced. Check out our YouTube channel for videos from some of the dive trips we have been on all around the world.
 
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28/01/20
20 thing you need to know about learning to scuba dive
20 thing you need to know about learning to scuba dive
  1. Is it safe?
Yes, well as safe as any other sporting activity and much safer than some others. Unlike most other sports, the first part of your training is mostly how to deal with a problem which might occur while you are scuba diving and you get to practice these skills in the safety of a swimming pool before moving on to the real thing. Generally speaking, as long as you keep an eye on your depth and the amount of air you have left you should be fine, plus you should always be diving with a buddy who is there to help you out should any problems arise.

              

 
  1. Can anyone learn to scuba dive?
Pretty much yes. The minimum age to complete the full PADI open water course is 10 but children can start in the swimming pool from the age of 8 with the PADI bubblemaker program and there is no upper age limit. So as long as you are relatively fit with no major medical problems, you can learn to scuba dive.
 
  1. Is it hard to learn how to scuba dive?
No, the course is designed to be open to all and as long as you pick a good scuba diving instructor who doesn’t rush you, it should be easy and fun. The way the course is worked out is to allow you to learn with small steps and to give you time to feel comfortable with each skill before moving on to the next one.
 
  1. Can I have a go first to see if I like it?
Yes, you can with the PADI Discover scuba diving program or something similar offered by one of the other training agencies. The idea behind the Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) program is to give anyone who has never scuba dived before a chance to try it out and see if they like it. The Session involves a safety briefing and a rundown of how the equipment works before getting in the water for your first time breathing underwater, it’s amazing being able to breathe underwater. Once you are comfortable with that you will be given the chance to have a swim around and you will be shown a couple of basic skills like how to get water out of your mask without having to come to the surface. If you would like to book a discover scuba diving sessions with underwater adventures, please click here.
 
  1. How much does it cost?
Scuba diving can be an expensive sport, but it doesn’t always have to be, just take your time with courses and use hire equipment until you have time to buy your own. With most open water courses the equipment is included along with air fills and PADI fees, When picking a course it’s probably best to steer clear of places which offer prices that don’t include all the PADI fees or you have to book into another part of the course like the open water dives so that you can complete it at an extra expense.
Generally speaking, you should be looking between £550 and £650 for a full PADI open water course which is a really good price for what you are getting as these courses are normally made up of at least 30 hours of course time with a high ratio of highly trained scuba diving professionals to students on each course plus at the end, you receive a qualification which can last you a lifetime and open up a whole new world. If you come across a dive centres whose price is a lot below this its probably a really good idea to ask yourself why it's so cheap before signing on to learn to scuba dive with them.
 
  1. How long will your Open Water Course take?
The minimum PADI standards state that the course should take at least 30 hours and should include at least 5 pool sessions and 4 open water dives plus the dive theory section of the course. With the new PADI online system you can complete the dive theory part of the course online or by downloading it to your phone or tablet allowing you to complete this part of the course anywhere and in your own time, so no more stuck in a boring classroom.
Please remember that these are the minimum standards and it is much better for you as the student if you get as much time as you need to learn these skills which is why at places like underwater adventures you get unlimited pool session included with the course which lets you learn at your own pace so the course can take as long as you need or be finished in time for your upcoming holiday.

              
 
  1. Can I do my open water course here in the UK?
Of course, you can and it is much better to learn here in the UK rather than using up some of your hard-earned holiday learning to scuba dive while aboard, plus the UK has some of the best scuba diving around, from scuba diving with grey seal common seal (check out our video here) to some of the best wrecks including the German Grand Fleet which scuttled itself after the end of the first world war.
There is another option as well which is the PADI referral system where you complete the dive theory and pool sessions here in the UK and are given a referral form which you can take with you on holiday and give it to a dive centre over there so that you can complete your open water dives while on holiday limiting the amount of holiday time you spend on the course. You can contact underwater adventures to find out more about this option by clicking here.
 
  1. Is it cold?
It can be if you dive in the winter but that is the same everywhere. As long as you are wearing the right clothes you should be fine. It’s just like Skiing, you are up there on a snowy mountain but because you have the right clothing on you feel fine.
 
  1. Which agency should I learn with?
There are a number of different scuba diving training agencies out there from BSAC to SSI but let’s face it, the one everyone knows is PADI and that’s because it’s the biggest and most widespread training agency out there. To be honest, most of the training is really similar because PADI found a good way of teaching people and everyone else copied it to some extent so it doesn’t really matter if you go with a different agency, it’s just that PADI is the biggest and most widely recognized in the world.
 
 
  1. What’s involved in the training?
As we have already mentioned above, the course is split into 3 basic parts, and this is the same no matter which agency you learn with. You have the dive theory where you learn how things work and the affects things like the pressure has on us. The confined/pool sessions where you learn the safety skills and basic control you need to be able to scuba dive and the open water dives where you practice these skills in the open water under the close watchful eye of your instructor.
 
  1. Do I need to be able to swim?
Yes, but it’s more of just to make sure you are comfortable in the water. For the PADI open water course, you will need to complete 200 metres although you can use any stroke and there is no time limit and be able to tread water/float in the water without an aid for 10 minutes
 
 
  1. I want to learn to scuba dive with my partner, is that OK?
That’s perfectly fine, you can learn together and then travel the world scuba diving together sharing the adventure and the memories together.
 
  1. Can my children learn to scuba dive as well?
Yes, children from the age of 10 onwards can learn to scuba dive and be issued with the Junior open water certificates which they can up-grade through PADI without having to take another course when they turn 15. Younger children from the age of 8 can take part in bubblemaker and seal team programs which teach them the basic scuba diving skills in the safety of the pool without any open water dives.
 
 
  1. I’m nervous, is that OK?
A lot of people are a little nervous when they first start to learn to scuba dive and that’s fine, just speak to your instructor beforehand and they will help you either by talking through the things you are nervous about or maybe by even giving you a couple of personal one 2 one sessions to help show you there is nothing to worry about.
 
  1. I have a medical condition, can I still learn to scuba dive?
For the most part, yes although we will need you to be signed off by a doctor before going into the water. As long as the medical condition is under control, most of the time they will be able to sign you off to scuba dive. You can download the PADI medical form by clicking on this link
 
 
  1. I have a disability, can I still scuba dive?
Of course, you can just speak to your local dive school or PADI themselves if you don’t know where your local dive school is, and they will be able to work with you to teach you how to scuba dive. There are even a number of charities here in the UK whose sole purpose is to help disabled people learn how to scuba dive. Check out this link to the scuba trust here.

         
 
  1. Do I have to own my own equipment?
No, your basic equipment should be included in the price when you book on to your PADI open water course. Once you have learned to scuba dive you may want to look at getting your own equipment and although the most popular place to do this is on e-Bay, we would strongly advise that you get any equipment bought off e-bay serviced before you use it. The best option is to just buy one bit at a time and not to rush into buying the full kit straight away so that you learn what equipment you like and what you actually want so that the equipment you do end up buying lasts you for years of scuba diving fun.
 
 
  1. I’m afraid of being eaten by sharks
Most Sharks are so scared of humans that they will swim away as soon as you enter the water, such that after a while of scuba diving you will actually start going on scuba diving trips to try and see sharks as you will learn that they have been given a really bad rap by the media and films like Jaws and that they are in fact some of the coolest and most beautiful creatures on the planet.
Another way to look at it is that nearly all shark attacks on humans, around 80 in the whole world each year, happen to people on the surface and that the very rare time scuba divers are attacked it is always while spearfishing. So, if you don’t want to be any part of the already incredibly small chance of a shark attack, the best thing you can do is learn to scuba dive, or never ever go in the water.
 
  1. Is it fun?
Yes, Yes, a million times yes. Scuba diving is really fun and yet still one of the most relaxing sport you can do. What other sport gives you the chance to not only travel the world but gives you the chance to see things no other human being who doesn’t scuba dive can. 71% of the world is covered in water and as a scuba diver, you get to visit it unlike anyone else.
 
 
  1. What comes after your Open Water Course?
More scuba diving. Once you have learned to scuba dive the most important thing for you to do is keep scuba diving. Like any other skill, you need to practice it especially when you have only just learned the skill. So once you have learned to scuba dive find a local dive club and join so that you get the chance to carry on scuba diving and practicing those skills.
 
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27/01/20
What is the PADI open water course?
What is the PADI open water course?

                                                                         

The PADI open water course is the entry-level scuba diving course offered by PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and is the most widely taught and recognized scuba diving course in the world with PADI dive centres teaching people to scuba dive with this course in pretty much every country in the world, 183 out of 195 countries, and in 26 different languages. So, if you want to learn to scuba dive, this is the way to do it.
The PADI open water course is designed to give new scuba divers the basic knowledge to scuba dive safely while keeping it fun and relaxing by using the most up to date teaching technics and educational theory which is why the PADI system has been copied by pretty every other training agency out there.
The PADI open water course is made up of three parts, dive theory, confined/pool sessions, and open water dives. During the dive theory section of the course, a student will learn how scuba diving equipment works, why we have set rules for how long we can stay underwater and how deep we can go and how best to protect the marine environment so we don’t damage it for future scuba divers in the generations to come. The Dive theory can be completed in two ways, either in classroom sessions with your instructor or online. Here at underwater adventures, we have switched to the online theory as it offers a lot more flexibility for our open water students as you can download it and complete it at times to suit you but don’t worry, if you get stuck there is always one of our instructors available at the end of a phone to explain any parts you are not sure about.
The second part of the PADI open water course is the confined/pool sessions which as the name suggests, takes place in either a pool or an open water area with pool-like conditions. These will normally number 5 hours of pool time which in the minimum PADI standard but again, here at Underwater adventures we like to use modern teaching techniques and we understand that people learn in different ways and at different speeds which is way as part of the course we offer here at Underwater adventures, you get unlimited pool session over the dive session so you can learn at your own pace and we will never rush you. We will give you time to learn how to control your buoyancy before moving on to focus of the safety skills so that when you do pass the course and go diving anywhere in the world, you will be diving like a veteran diver instead of a newbie and you can truly enjoy your scuba diving experience. The wat we see it, if you were learning to ride a bike, you would learn how to balance the bike first so that you are stable before moving on to any other skills so why should be scuba diving be any different to any other skill set.
Once you have become comfortable with your buoyancy skills, we will move on to some emergency drills so you understand not to panic if you run low on air (which you should never do as you have a set of gauges on your hip telling you how much air you have left) and what to do if you get entangled, the answer to both of these involve your buddy which is why PADI divers always dive in a buddy pair. We will also go through together with you on how to deal with things like your mask getting some water in and how to check for proper weighting so that you can skink with a wetsuit on.
The final part of the PADI open water course is four open water dives. You will have the option of diving in a specialist scuba diving lake just south of Peterborough or joining one of the dive clubs trips to either Lanzarote or the south coast of the UK to complete these dives. During the dives you will go through a few of the skills you have learned in the pool/confined water sessions such as mask removal and replacement and regulator recovery while showing off your awesome buoyancy control and you will be asked to demonstrate a couple of safety drills, more so you know you can do them in the open water should a problem arise. You will also get to swim around and explore the underwater environment, checking out wrecks and looking for marine life such, from different fish species to crustaceans and invertebrates. The main point behind these open water dives is to give you confidence in your own abilities to scuba dive so that once you are finished, you can go off into the scuba diving world and enjoy this amazing sport anywhere in the world. 

What is the requirement to start a PADI open water course?

                                                                                    

As long as you can swim and are comfortable in the water with no major health issues, you should be fine to sign on to a PADI open water course. The course requires you to be able to swim at least 200 metres in any stoke with no time limit and be able to float/tread water for 10 minutes. If you feel you may struggle with this, we can point you in the direction of a number of swimming schools which can help any age of potential scuba diver to improve their swimming skills. Check out the link HERE.
You will need to fill in a basic medical form along with other standard PADI forms before you start your course and I have placed a link HERE to the PADI medical form for you to take a look at. Even if you answer yes to any of the questions, you will just need to have your own GP to sign you off as fit to dive which you can also do with this form.
Other then this, all you will need to book on to a PADI open water course is a swimming costume, towel and a sense of adventure. 

How much does it cost to learn to scuba dive?

                                                                              

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. So if you go with the cheapest you will often find hidden costs somewhere down the line or you will find yourself on a course with a number of short cuts and being rushed through the skills so they can get the next bunch of students through the door. The normal cost of an open water course here in the UK is between £500 and £600 all in and for that you should get access to everything you need to learn safely and in a relaxed atmosphere. If you find somewhere cheap, I strongly suggest you give it a miss as they are cutting corners somewhere.

What can I do once I have my PADI open water certificate?

                                                                       

You can scuba dive pretty much anywhere and see so much awesome stuff. 
The PADI standards state that after you have received your PADI open water certification you can dive anywhere in conditions equal to or better than you learned with a buddy down to a depth of 18 metres. So, if you learn here in the UK, you are better placed then most to be able to enjoy scuba diving around the world and with the cooler water and stronger currents here in the UK then you will find in most holiday destinations, you will be well prepared to jump in and go for a dive when you are on Holiday. We also have some amazing diving here in the UK Suah as diving amazing wrecks (click here for a video) or getting to play with some amazing wildlife such as Grey seals (click here for the Video)

How do I book on to a PADI open water course?

                                                                                     

Just by giving your local PADI dive centre a call or dropping them an email. We are based in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and Cambridge so if you are in that area why not give us a call on 07805045867 or drop us an email at info@underwateradventures.co.uk . Alternatively, you can check out the PADI website for your local dive centre by clicking here.

What’s next after your PADI open water course?

                                                                                        

With 71% of the earth covered in water, the world is your oyster. Once you have learned how to scuba dive you have the chance to see things most others only dream about, but completing your PADI open water course is just the first step with loads of other courses you can take which will open new areas of scuba diving to you. Love Wrecks and their history? How about a wreck diving course that will show you how to safely enter a wreck? Love Fish and taking pictures? Why not try the digital underwater photography course and learn how to take better pictures while underwater which you can then show off to your friends?
Basically, once you have your PADI open water certification there is so much it opens up for you and you can spend the rest of your life scuba diving and still never see it all. So, don’t what, book on to your PADI open water course today by clicking here.
 
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04/10/19
What is the difference between a PADI master scuba diver and a PADI Divemaster?
What is the difference between a PADI master scuba diver and a PADI Divemaster?

This is probably one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to the higher levels of the PADI qualifications tree and the simplest answer is the PADI Divemaster is a professional qualification and is a sperate course on its own whereas the PADI Master scuba diver is a rating which you can apply for once you have enough experience and qualifications but is not an actual course. 
But let’s go into a little more detail about the differences and to do that the first thing we should do is look at the individual courses themselves.


                                        padi divemaster v padi master scuba diver          padi divemaster vpadi master scuba diver


The PADI master scuba diver rating.

The PADI master scuba
 diver rating is the highest non-professional level you can reach in PADI recreational scuba diving and means you have completed at least 50 dives, you are a PADI rescue diver and a first aider and you have completed five different PADI specialties, which means you have loads of experience although I have heard some people saying that 50 dives aren’t that many, the fact is to have completed all of those courses you more than likely have done way more than 50 dives and it is just used as a base figure, no one who has ever come to me for the master scuba diver rating is ever anywhere near the 50 dive mark is normally well over a 100 dives by the time they have completed the rescue diver course and five specialty courses.
The PADI master scuba diver rating is designed to give people who are not interested in becoming a professional or going down the tech diving route, something to aim for. I know through underwater adventures that a lot of divers like this and like having goals to aim for which is why we have set up, with PADI, extra levels of Master scuba diver with master scuba diver bronze, silver, gold and platinum which are levels beyond your standard master scuba diver rating and helps give experienced scuba divers who have no interested in technical or professional scuba diving something to aim for and challenge themselves with and to find out more about the underwater adventures master scuba diver challenge you can click here. 

                                        padi divemaster v padi master scuba diver      divemaster courses vs master scuba diver    


The PADI Divemaster course

The PADI Divemaster course is the first step on the professional ladder for those who wish to take their scuba diving to the next step and start introducing new people to the wonders of scuba diving. The course itself can be done in two ways, either the fast route where you will be fast-tracked through the course, ticking all the boxes needed to pass so that you can get it done properly and have the “black card” to show off to your friends but with this you won’t actually get to do any real divemaster stuff and will probably never work as a divemaster anywhere other than with the dive company through which you learned. The second way is a much longer process taking anywhere between 6 to 12 months where you will be taught all the skills and information you need to pass the course but also you will be mentored by your instructor through a number of dive courses with real students so you can learn the in and outs of being a divemaster, how to deal with students and how to overcome all sorts of problems, from something as simple as a blown O-ring to how to build up and bring confidence to student who is a little worried about their first open water dive.
The PADI divemaster is basically the Instructors righthand-man on a dive course and as such you will normally end up team teaching with an instructor so that you can both work better together as a team to make sure the students feel comfortable and enjoy themselves through a course and let me tell you there is nothing better then taking a worried non-diver with fear in their eyes through their first pool dive all the way to completing their PADI open water course with huge smiles and thanking you for taking through their journey into the underwater world and opening up the rest of the planet to them, just gives me goosebumps just writing that.
The PADI Divemaster course is also the first step to becoming a PADI instructor and if you are thinking of using your scuba diving to travel I would Strongly suggest becoming an instructor and possible even a Master Scuba Diver Trainer before you go as that will massively increase your employment prospects while traveling. The reason I mention this now is that it ties in nicely with this blog in that PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainers (also known as MSDT’s) are able to teach the courses needed for someone to become a PADI Master Scuba Diver which is where we started this Blog.

                                        padi divemaster v a padi master scuba diver          padi divemaster v padi master scuba diver

So, what is the Difference?

So, what is the difference between a PADI Divemaster and a PADI Master Scuba Diver? Well, its as simple as the PADI Divemaster is a Professional diver with more knowledge of dive theory and excellent skill base and the PADI master scuba diver is a very experienced non-professional scuba diver who just wants to enjoy their scuba diving without taking things too seriously and without the responsibility of looking after new students.

I hope this has been of help to you and that you underwater it better but if you would like more advice about where to take your scuba diving career, be the professional or non-professional route, please feel free to contact us here at underwater adventures for free and impartial advice and you can find our contact details by clicking here.
 
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01/10/19
Reef safe sun protection for your scuba diving holidays.
Reef safe sun protection for your scuba diving holidays.
 
We all know that we need to put on some form of protection from the Sun while scuba diving, even here in the UK we run the risk of sunburn while we are out on a boat between dives and although our dry suits and wetsuits protect most of us, our hand and face can be at particular risk of sunburn during a day out scuba diving. So it makes sense to use a sun cream while we are on the dive boat or chilling onshore between dives and I know I always keep some sun cream in the van. But something we are only just starting to think about is what are these chemicals we are putting on our skin to protect ourselves doing to the environment and the delicate ecosystems we enjoy visiting during our scuba diving trips.

      

I know what you are thinking. It’s only a small bit of cream and the oceans are so vast, but what we must remember is that there are so many of us suing the water know that it soon builds up.

Say you have 15 divers on a boat using sun cream, and then look at a place like Sharm El Sheik which has around 50 boats heading out a day, that’s 750 people where sun cream going into the water each day just from that one location and doing that one sport. If you expand that to look at it globally and include all other sports like surfing, kayaking, and snorkeling, plus add all the people who just go to the beach for a day’s fun, you have thousands upon thousands of people going into the sea with sun cream on each day, 365 days a year. That’s a lot of sun cream and the chemicals its made up from, being washed into the ocean each day and these levels soon build up.
But what can we do? We can’t go without sun protection!
It’s actually quite simple. We just need to start using reef-safe sun creams. The sun creams which protect us but don’t contain harmful chemicals, and let’s face it, putting less harmful chemicals into our own body systems is a good idea anyway.

OK, so what do we need to avoid if possible?

The big one is Oxybenzone, which has been shown to increase coral bleaching, (click here for an interesting video on its effect ) but we also need to look out for Titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide Nanoparticle which, when introduced into the ocean can change into hydrogen peroxide, you know, that stuff you use to bleach your hair blond. At least we used to but now we use a chemical that isn’t so damaging to our hair and if hydrogen peroxide does that to our hair, just imagine what it's doing to the reef life. I must be clear here, with these we are looking at the Nanoparticle titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide which you will find in clear sprays, uncoated titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide which is safe for reefs as it doesn’t change into hydrogen peroxide in the water, just because life’s not confusing enough anyway.
We should also avoid Octinoxate, Butylparaben, 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor. A recent study shows that these chemicals which are commonly found in sun creams do cause significate damage to reef systems (click here for a link to the paper)
Unfortunately, those chemicals do seem to be in most of today’s sun creams but there is a populist movement away from these chemicals and towards reef-safe sun creams with place like Hawaii looking at banning sun creams which aren’t reef safe altogether and you can do your part too just by making sure you buy reef-safe sun creams and encouraging others to do the same. If we stop buying the stuff that’s damaging the environment we love to visit while scuba diving, the companies will stop making it, people power at its best ????
 
Here are some links to help you find reef-safe sun creams ready for your next holiday


Badger Sunscreen SPF 30         

Lovera Natural sunscreen SPF 30           

Jasons Natural sunbrella sunscreen SPF 20      

Bio Solis Melt-on Sun Cream - SPF 30 (100ml)       

Although we want to protect the reefs and all the fishes we also want to look after ourselves, so if you do spend a lot of time outside like us scuba divers do and you find something you are not sure about on your skin, please don't just shrug it off, follow this link for some more information from the NHS.
                                                                                    Click here 
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23/09/19
What is the PADI advanced open water course
What is the PADI advanced open water course?

The PADI advanced open water course is your next step once you have completed the PADI open water course and is designed to build your confidence in your scuba diving ability through experience by allowing you to complete five different types of diving while under the guidance of your PADI professional. During the course, you will work on your underwater navigation and dive deeper than you have ever done before and through this course, even more of the underwater world will be opened up for you.

At the start of your PADI advanced open water course you, with your instructor, will choose 3 different dives to complete which will depend on what you want and what you find interesting so that your course is designed for you and not just some generic course in to which you are expected to fit in. With your PADI instructor, you will discuss your interested and where you would like your scuba diving to head and your PADI instructor will direct you to the best dives to help you achieve your scuba diving goals.

I say you will choose 3 dives’, that’s because you will be asked to complete two based course dives to help build your experience and confidence. These are the underwater navigation dive and the PADI deep dive, which every PADI advanced open water diver needs to complete.

The core dives for your advanced course.

The two core dives for the PADI advanced open water course are the underwater navigation dive and the deep dive. The reason these dives are included in your course as core dives is to help you first build up your confidence in your ability to navigate underwater, a skill I’m sure you understand is rather important as being able to find your way underwater will not only help you find the coolest wrecks and interesting marine life while scuba diving but also help you find your way back to shore or the boat from which you are diving. You will also be asked to complete a deep dive, don’t worry, you don’t have to go really deep, just past 18 metres and this is just so you can experience what it is like to scuba dive deeper then you have been before.

What will you do during the navigation dive?

The navigation dive on your PADI advanced open water course is a step up from the navigation you completed as part of your PADI open water course where you used your compass to navigate a reciprocal heading in a straight line and did a bit of natural navigation on dive 4. During this dive  you will be shown and then asked to navigate a square using your compass, which obviously is a little more complex then then a straight line but will show you how to navigate to a number of different sites using the compass which, trust me, will be very handy in your scuba diving future. You will be then asked to navigate using both a compass and natural navigation, a planned dive. This way you gain the experience of leading a dive to a set location, finding it and making your way back but all the while under the guidance of a PADI professional.

What will you do on your Deep dive?

During your deep dive, you will dive past 18 metres, which is the depth limit of a PADI open water diver. You and your PADI professional will pick a site which allows to you see something interesting at a depth below 18 metres so you can have a good look around and while you are down there you will compare dive computers and depth gauges with your PADI instructor and any other divers on your course so you can make a note of any discrepancies between the readings. The point of this is to show that not all computers and gauges will give you the exact same reading and that you should always go with the most conservative reading for your dive.

                                                  padi advanced course, enjoy scuba diving

Your other 3 adventure dives.

For your 3 other adventure dives to complete your PADI advanced open water course, you have a huge range to choose from. PADI has 30 different specialties and over 20 different distinctive specialties. With such a large choice it can seem a little daunting but that is why your PADI instructor is there to guide you so that you pick the courses that are best for you and what you want to do. Below we have listed the most popular ones but please take a look at the list on our website (click here) or on the PADI website (click here) for a full list of the courses you can choose from.

                                                  PADI advanced course wreck diver specialty dive

PADI wreck diver

Here in the UK we are so fortunate to have some of the best wreck diving in the world and most of these wrecks have really interesting histories, from diving first and second world war wreck’s through more modern ship’s which ended up becoming wrecks through misadventure through to what’s left of the wreck from the 17and 18 hundreds where the main markers are the old cannon’s. Because of this wreck diving is one of the most popular types of scuba diving in the UK and the PADI wreck diver course will teach you how to safely dive a wreck and penetrate it to have a look around inside. Choosing the PADI wreck diver as one of your dives on your advanced course is a great way to see if this is something you would be interested in by giving you a taste of what is involved in scuba diving on a wreck.

                                                  padi advanced course UK underwater photography dive

PADI underwater photographer

Underwater Photography is a skill which takes years to master but can result in some truly impressive pictures. Here in the UK, you will find different skills are needed to get the best shots due to the differing light you find in temperate waters and the increased amount of Zooplankton in the water column. Because of this we do have a lot more marine life then you will find in tropical waters and the life we have is unbelievably interesting so it is worth your while like to take underwater pictures here in the UK as well as in tropical waters and you will get a great basis for these skill’s with the PADI Underwater Photographer course and choosing this dive in your PADI advanced course will help you to decide if this is something you might be interested in.

                                                  padi advanced course delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB) course

PADI Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB)

The PADI delayed surface marker buoy course is probably one of the most important courses you will ever do as being able to signal to people on the surface where you are when you are underwater, make scuba diving so much safer. With this course, you will learn the safety considerations that you must think about when using a DSMB and how to send one up from whatever depth while neutrally buoyant. You will have covered the use of surface marker buoys in your PADI open water course and this course will take it one step further which is why I always recommend that my advanced open water students take this as one of their electives on the PADI Advanced open water course.

                                                 PADI advanced course buoyancy control

PADI peak performance Buoyancy

If you have done your PADI open water course and learned to scuba dive with us here at Underwater Adventures, you will know how important your buoyancy is which is why we spend so much time working on it during your open water course. The PADI peak performance course can help you take it one step further allowing you a couple of extra open water dives with a PADI professional to work on fine-tuning those buoyancy skills and work on your trim underwater. If you just want a little tune-up on your skill’s then why not pick this dive as one of your elective dives during your PADI advanced open water course so that you will get one dive with a PADI professional who will watch you dive through a little bit of a natural obstacle course where you will need to change depth’s and directions a number of times so they can then give you pointers on how to improve with just a few little changes to your scuba diving technic.

                                                 PADI advanced course dry suit diver

PADI dry suit diver

A popular one here in the UK due to the perceived cold water, although the sea temp on the south coast is very similar to what you will find in Tenerife and Lanzarote during the summer month. Although I dive in a wetsuit and I am warm enough when diving here in the UK I can understand how a lot of people want to use a dry suit and its advantages. Choosing the Drysuit dive during your PADI advanced open water course will give you a chance to see if you like diving in a dry suit and if it is the way forward for you.

                                                  PADI search and recovery diver course

PADI search and recovery

The dream of every scuba diver is to one day happen across a sunken treasure chest full of gold doubloons so that you never have to work a day again in your life and can spend your time scuba diving instead, but ever thought about how you would get the sunken treasure chest to the surface? That’s one of the things covered in the PADI search and recovery course and let’s face it if you did find a sunken treasure you would want to know how to get it to the surface without losing it. Admittedly, this is kind of an extreme scenario but I’m using it to show you just how much skill’s like this could come in handy, plus it is one of the most enjoyable and fun PADI specialty courses we run so why not find out more about it by choosing it as one of your electives during your PADI advanced open water course?

                                                  PADi advanced course night diver

PADI Night Diver

Things change when you scuba dive at night, the day time fish find somewhere safe to sleep and all the nocturnal fish come out to hunt and feed, and with the limited visibility of just your torch beam, it puts a whole different look on the dive site you may have dived a hundred times in daylight. The PADI night diver course goes over the skills and considerations you need to think about when diving at night and you can check it out and see if you like it first by choosing it as one of your electives on your PADI advanced open water course.  
 
So, if any of this has whetted your appetite for taking your scuba diving to the next level and signing up for your PADI advanced open water course, then why not contact us and book on your next course?

 
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04/09/19
Scuba Diving in Bedford
Scuba diving in Bedford
 
Underwater adventures is a scuba diving club with meeting in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, and Cambridgeshire and on Thursday evenings we have our Bedford club night at the Park Pub just after our pool session at the Robinson swimming pool which starts at 7:30 pm and is free to members. The Bedford club nights are a chance for club members and anyone who might be interested in scuba diving to come along for a drink and a chat with likeminded people.
The Bedford pool sessions at the Robinson swimming pool, just outside of Bedford park and with ample free parking for the first 2 hours, are a chance for dive club members to practice their skills or maybe try a bit of new equipment they have bought, don’t worry if you don’t have all of your own equipment as the dive club can provide that for you to practice with and the hire of this equipment is included in the membership fee.
We also have use of the Polam swim school pool on Lansdown Road in Bedford which we use for children’s scuba diving classes and for those people who can’t make the Thursday evenings, giving us the flexibility to fit scuba diving classes around your needs.
After the pool sessions at the Robinson pool in Bedford we head down to the Park pub, which is just down the road from the Robinson pool where we meet up with club members who have not been to the pool for a drink and a chat plus maybe a bit of food from their lovely menu which always goes down well after a bit of scuba diving. Here we have the chance to chat about the dive trips we have just been on, the dive trips we have planned and just scuba diving in general, plus this is a great place for new members or people who are thinking of joining the club, to meet up and get to know each other. Don’t worry if you don’t already know how to scuba dive as we will be happy to talk to you about that as well.


                              
 
Learning to scuba dive in Bedford
 
Learning to scuba dive in Bedford couldn’t be easier with our new on-line dive theory, local swimming pool in the centre of the town and specialist scuba diving lake just up the A1 motorway. Booking on your PADI open water course couldn’t be simpler, just clicking on this link to pay online or you can contact us through our Contact page. So why not book on to the PADI open water course today and learn to scuba dive?
The PADI open water course is the most wildly known scuba diving course in the world teaching thousands of new scuba divers each year both here in the UK and all around the world. Some people only think of scuba diving as a warm water sport to be done when on Holiday, but nothing could be further from the truth. The waters around the UK are full of the most wonderful wildlife, check out this video taken from one of our trips to scuba dive with the grey seals of the Farne Islands, and hundreds of years of historic wrecks to explore. We also have several inland training lakes where you can not only learn to scuba dive throughout the year but also gives you a safe place to practice your scuba diving skills.
The PADI open water course offered by Underwater adventures uses the most advanced learning materials with the PADI open water touch which can be completed online in your own time or downloaded to a tablet or phone and completed when is convenient for you, so none of this being stuck in a classroom for hours which is what you will find in other more old fashioned scuba diving schools. We also offer unlimited pool sessions so that you can learn at your own pace without being rushed through the core skills by your instructor who has to get you through the confined water part of the course in under 5 hours, with us you can take the time you need and learn at your own pace without the time pressure offered by other scuba diving schools so if you need 10 or 12 hours to feel comfortable in the water with the new equipment and skills you can, just take as long as you need.
Finally, when you feel ready you can move on to your 4 open water dives which will take place at a specialist scuba diving lake just outside Whittlesea, Cambridgeshire, which has a number of purposely sunken wrecks for you to explore and load of different fish for you to see while completing your scuba diving course. At the end of this, congratulations, you are now a PADI open water scuba diver, you will be awarded the PADI open water scuba divers’ grade which will allow you to scuba dive anywhere in the world to a maximum depth of 18 metres.
Once you have completed this grade you can move up through the scuba diving ratings with the PADI advanced open water diver, the PADI rescue diver to the highest non- professional rating, the PADI master scuba diver or if you prefer you can start to make your way down the professional route with the PADI Divemaster course, an intensive course designed to build your scuba diving knowledge and skill levels to where you can then help teach others to scuba dive, or if you prefer you can just stay at the open water scuba diver level and just enjoy scuba diving for a while and make all your friends jealous of all your stories from the trips you have been on and the awesome things you have seen and experienced

                              
 
About underwater adventures dive club

The underwater adventures dive club was set up in 2008 as a place for like-minded scuba divers to meet up and go scuba diving with none of the politics you often find at other clubs, we are a friendly and social group where everyone is made to feel welcome which is why we have a higher than average percentage of female club members as the underwater adventures dive club doesn’t feel like the “old men’s club” you’ll find elsewhere. We also don’t care who you have learned to scuba dive with before, be it BSAC, SSI, NAUI, SAA, CMAS, we don’t care as everyone is welcome at the underwater adventures dive club
The dive club was formed on the idea of not being tied to a shop so there is no pressure to sell dive equipment to you that you don’t need just because it is in stock but we do have a deal with a dive shop so that you get a discount when buying equipment although you can shop around for the best deal and because we don’t gain anything from it we will always give you unbiased advice when it comes to buying new dive equipment. Another benefit to this is that the dive club members have all different sorts of equipment of their own, not just one or two brands which come from one shop so there is lots of experience for you to draw on when buying dive equipment and if you ask nicely they might even let you try it so you can feel what it is like before you buy the dive equipment.
The club itself has 3 meeting nights, Tuesday’s at the Orange tree pub in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, Wednesday’s at the Red Bull pub in Cambridge and Thursday’s at the Park Pub in Bedford and as a member you are welcome at all of them so even if you can’t make one of the nights you can always come along to another night, in fact, we actually encourage it as it gives you a chance to meet the other members and get to know them before going on a dive trip with them.
Has well as the dive club meeting we have pool nights in Cambridge, the obvious dive club trips and dive club socials which are evens for the members to get together for special events.

                              
 
Dive club socials

The underwater adventures dive club run’s social events throughout the year to give club members a chance to socialize outside of scuba diving and give any non-diving partners a chance to meet your fellow divers. Apart from the obvious Christmas party at the end of the year, we arrange trips to comedy nights, the Cambridge and Bedford beers festivals and even paintballing and other random stuff like that just to help build friendships between the club members and scuba diving is always better with friends.

                              
 
Dive club trips

We run dive trips all around the UK as well as a number of foreign trips each year. To give you an idea this year we have run dive trips around the UK from St Abbs in Scotland to Porthkerris in Cornwall for a total of 14 dive trips in the UK this year and we have already run dive trips to Lanzarote and Ibiza with trips planned to Malta and the Maldives coming up plus a trip to Brussels just before Christmas to dive at Nemo 33 and Todi for a bit of warm water diving plus the world-famous Christmas market where you can pick up last-minute gift ideas for Christmas.
We will also sometimes run dive courses on these dive trips so that you have the chance to learn things like deep diving in the warmer water rather then having to practice emergency safety stops here in the UK, you can do it in the waters of the Red Sea or the Indian Ocean.
For next year we are already planning trips to the Caribbean and the Red Sea with more to come. If this sounds like the sort of thing that would appeal to you why not come along and join the underwater adventures dive club?

                              
 
How to join the dive club and the benefits that include

Joining the underwater adventures dive club couldn’t be easier. It’s just £9.50 a month paid by standing order so that you have full control over the payments and for that you get full access to the dive club pool nights, club nights, social events and dive trips plus you will receive discounts at our partner dive store (Planet scuba) or recommendations from us as to what dive equipment to buy and our advice is always impartial as we don’t sell the dive equipment ourselves and so don’t make any money from it, we will only recommend dive equipment we like.
To join you can check out the dive club page linked here or contact us directly from our contact us page by clicking here or just download the forms, bring them along to the next club night and say Hi.

Dive club benefits

Dive club membership form

Dive club standing order form

 
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10/08/19
Scuba diving in Cambridge

Scuba diving in Cambridge


 
Underwater adventures dive is a PADI based dive club with club night in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire with club nights at the Red Bull pub, Barton Road in Cambridge running every Wednesday night from 8 pm for club members and anyone interested in scuba diving coming down for a chat over a drink and maybe one of the Red bull’s lovely pizzas. We have Sunday evening pool nights at the Aweswim pool just south of Cambridge. Underwater adventures also run dive trips all around the UK as well as numinous trip abroad each year and have a very active social scene.
The underwater adventures dive club has been teaching the residents of Cambridge to scuba dive since 2015, first at the pool at Bourn Golf club and now at the pool at Aweswim swimming club around 10 minutes south of Cambridge.
Now we have moved to this new pool we will have the flexibility to run Children’s scuba diving courses during the school holiday’s as well as offering private weekday courses for those who are in more of a limited time scale when learning to scuba dive before heading off on holidays.
Underwater adventures offer a full range of PADI scuba diving courses from the discover scuba diving program, where you can try scuba diving for the first time and see if it’s the sport for you, all the way through to professional level courses such as the PADI Divemaster course.



                                          



Learning to scuba dive in Cambridge.
Learning to scuba dive in Cambridge couldn’t be easier with our new on-line dive theory, local swimming pool just south of Cambridge and specialist scuba diving lake just up the A1 motorway. Booking on your PADI open water course couldn’t be more simple, just clicking on this link to pay online or you can contact us through our Contact page. So why not book on to the PADI open water course today and learn to scuba dive?
The PADI open water course is the most wildly known scuba diving course in the world teaching thousands of new scuba divers each year both here in the UK and all around the world. Some people only think of scuba diving as a warm water sport to be done when on Holiday, but nothing could be further from the truth. The waters around the UK are full of the most wonderful wildlife and hundreds of years of historic wrecks to explore. We also have several inland training lakes where you can not only learn to scuba dive throughout the year but also gives you a safe place to practice your scuba diving skills.
The PADI open water course offered by Underwater adventures uses the most advanced learning materials with the PADI open water touch which can be completed online in your own time or downloaded to a tablet or phone and completed when is convenient for you, so none of this being stuck in a classroom for hours which is what you will find in other, more old fashioned scuba diving schools. We also offer unlimited pool sessions so that you can learn at your own pace without being rushed through the core skills by your instructor who has to get you through the confined water part of the course in under 5 hours, with us you can take the time you need and learn at your own pace without the time pressure offered by other scuba diving schools so if you need 10 or 12 hours to feel comfortable in the water with the new equipment you can, just take as long as you need.
Finally, when you feel ready you can move on to your 4 open water dives which will take place at a specialist scuba diving lake just outside Whittlesea, Cambridgeshire, which has a number of purposely sunken wrecks for you to explore and load of different fish for you to see while completing your scuba diving course. At the end of this, congratulations, you are now a scuba diver, you will be awarded the PADI open water scuba divers’ grade which will allow you to scuba dive anywhere in the world to a maximum depth of 18 metres.
Once you have completed this grade you can move up through the scuba diving ratings with the PADI advanced open water diver, the PADI rescue diver to the highest non- professional rating, the PADI master scuba diver or if you prefer you can start to make your way down the professional route with the PADI Divemaster course, an intensive course designed to build your scuba diving knowledge and skill levels to where you can then help teach others to scuba dive, or if you prefer you can just stay at the open water scuba diver level and just enjoy scuba diving for a while and make all your friends jealous of all your stories from the trips you have been on and the awesome things you have seen.


                                      


Dive club meetings
We have dive club meetings every Wednesday evening at the Red Bull pub, Barton road in Cambridge from 8 pm where we chat about upcoming events over a drink and some of the pubs, very tasty pizzas. The club nights are open to everyone who would like to come along, whether you are an experienced diver, or you have never done it before but might like to give it a go. Why not just pop along and join us for a drink and a chat so we will be happy to tell you all about the dive club, what we get up to and how you can join us?
We are an open dive club and welcome members from all training agencies, we don’t care who you learned to scuba dive with, whether its BSAC, SSI, NAUI, SSA, we don’t care and you will be made to feel welcome at our club.
We are normally at the big table in the corner by the fireplace but depending on how many of us turn up that night we might move up to the private room upstairs so if you want to find us you can either give Steve a call on the number on the Contact Us page or ask at the bar and the staff will be happy to point you in our direction.


                                             

 
Dive club events in Cambridge
Has a dive club we also run social events throughout the year as a chance to meet each other and bring our non-scuba diving other half’s along to enjoy getting to meet each other in a non-scuba diving related capacity. Because we also have another dive club around the area, Bedford and Hitchin, these social events allow everyone from all of the different area’s of the dive club to meet up and allow us all to get to know each other before going off for a weekend away on a scuba diving trip.
We have run social nights to the Cambridge comedy festival and the Cambridge beer festival is always a good night out and is very popular with the club members, so from these yearly special events to a night out at a curry house, we will always find something fun and interesting to do on our social nights. We are always looking for other interesting things to do on our social nights so if you have any ideas for us, please feel free to make suggestions for any social night out.


                                       

 
Dive club trips
Scuba diving trips are an important part of any scuba diving club, obviously, and as such, we run dive trips throughout the year all around the UK and abroad. This year (2019) we have organized 16 UK dive trips including dive trips to 3 different locations around the UK to scuba dive with seals which are always fun and engaging, just like little underwater puppies, and 5 Foreign dive trips including a liveaboard to the Maldives in November and you can check out some of the videos from these trips on our YouTube channel.
You can check out the events calendar by clicking here, it is also a google calendar so you can link it to your phone and always keep updated with eh latest events and dive trips.
Because we are such a large dive club, both geographically and in number of scuba divers, all of these trips are full of club members you will have meet during the year at club nights and social events so that you will always feel like you are joining a weekend away in the UK with friends or you will be going on holiday to somewhere nice with a group of fun people you already know and get along with which is one of the main benefits of joining a scuba diving club, getting to enjoy your hobby with like-minded friends who you know you get along with.


                                        

 
How to join the dive club
Joining the underwater adventures dive club couldn’t be easier. It’s just £9.50 a month paid by standing order so that you have full control over the payments and for that you get full access to the dive club pool nights, club nights, social events and dive trips plus you will receive discounts at our partner dive store (Planet scuba) or recommendations from us as to what dive equipment to buy and our advice is always impartial as we don’t sell the dive equipment ourselves and so don’t make any money from it, we will only recommend dive equipment we like.
To join you can check out the dive club page linked here or contact us directly from our contact us page by clicking here or just download the forms, bring them along to the next club night and say Hi.

Dive club membership form

Dive club standing order form

 
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14/06/19
What is the PADI rescue diver course?
What is the PADI rescue diver course?




Scuba divers describe the PADI Rescue Diver course as the most challenging, yet most rewarding course they’ve ever taken. Why? Because you learn to prevent and manage problems in the water, becoming more confident in your skills as a diver, knowing that you can help others if needed.

The PADI rescue diver course is the third core course is the PADI system and the highest-level scuba diver you can reach before deciding if you which you move down the professional or tech routes or to stay as non-professional and aim for your master scuba diver award. The PADI rescue diver course is designed to allow you to learn a wide range of rescue skills, both for yourself and to help rescue other divers, through some basic skill practice in a real environment followed by a lot of scenario practice where you will be able to use the skill’s you have learned in this course and your previous courses to, along with your fellow students, deal with a number of set problems that may occur during your time on the course, so you must be ready to deal with anything that might happen at any time, stay alert.

The PADI rescue diver course is said by those who complete it to be one of the most enjoyable courses they have done while still being incredibly challenging and when asked, a new PADI rescue diver will tell you that it is a very worthwhile course and they would recommend it to anyone thinking of taking the course.



    



How long is the PADI rescue diver course?

The PADI standards state that the PADI rescue diver course should be at least two open water sessions and the minimum recommended time the course should take is at least 25 hours including the dive theory part of the course so if someone offers you a course that is less then any of these please stay well away.
During the Underwater adventures PADI rescue diver course, on top of the two open water sessions and dive theory parts of the course we offer at least one but normally two or three extra hours in the pool beforehand so that you can refresh the basic self-rescue skill’s you learned in the PADI open water course and start to get comfortable with the new rescue skill’s you will learn on this course before you go to open water. While at the open water site you will spend full days on site going over the skills in a real scuba diving environment and dealing with any and all the scenarios your instructors have planned for you. These scenarios can be anything for dealing with a lot of divers to someone having a small cut on their hand, so you should be prepared for anything to happen.



    



What happens during the PADI rescue diver course?

As mentioned above, you will start with your dive theory and pool sessions. The dive theory is completed online with the support of your instructor if you need it. This way you can fit it in around your life, maybe complete a section on the train commute to work, or just by doing a little bit each night once the children have gone to bed. The idea is to make it as easy for your, the student, to fit it around your life as possible all the while you will have the support of your instructor who is just a phone call away anytime you should need it. 
The pool sessions take place at the deep pool in Bedford, where the 4-metre depth gives us plenty of room to work and practice in. First of all, you will practice the basic self-rescue skill’s you learned in your PADI open water course such as cramp removal and tired diver tows, before moving on to learn the best way to raise an unconscious diver from the bottom while keeping yourself safe. You will also practice skill’s like how to perform rescue breaths int eh water on a non-breathing diver and how to deal with a panicking diver among other things and you will be given plenty of time to practice these skills.
During the open water weekend, you will start with simple things like doing a site risk assessment, the thing most divers do every time they go to a dive site but don’t even think about. This time we will get you to write it down and go through it with your course mates and instructors so you have a chance to really think about any risks you might come across and how to minimize them. You will also come up with a plan of what to do in an emergency, if you are at an inland site, what to the procedures already in place if this goes wrong, if you are on a boat, what are the rules of the boat and how do they deal with something happening?
You will then be given time in the water to practice the skills you learned in the pool and maybe learn a few new ones, all the while staying alert for any emergency scenario that might happen, just in case your instructors have something planned for you. This will be the makeup of your two full days at the site and the scenarios will test all of the skills you have learned and give you a chance to practice them in different ways but I can’t go into more detail as that might ruin the surprise.




    




How much does the PADI rescue diver course cost?

The PADI rescue diver course is a very in-depth course which can run over a number of weeks but is still very reasonable at just £499 per person and if you are a member of the dive club it is just £449, plus we do offer monthly payment options if you prefer? If you would like to find out more about joining the Underwater Adventures dive club, please follow this link (CLICK HERE)


What’s the Minimum age for the PADI rescue diver course?

The minimum age for the full PADI rescue diver is 15 but divers from the age of 12 can complete the Junior rescue diver course as long as the instructor feels the diver is strong enough and mentally capable of completing the course requirements.


Do I need a first aid certificate?

Yes, you will need a first aid certificate from a course you have taken within the past two years and you will need to keep your first aid certificate valid with only a 2-year window between first aid courses. 
Most standard first aid certificates are OK for this, just check with your instructor beforehand but we suggest the EFR primary and secondary care course, not only because it is the one we offer but also because it covers a number of things scuba diving related that you won’t normally find on a standard first aid course. You can find out more about the first aid courses we offer by following this link (CLICK HERE)
 



     
  


What’s next after the PADI rescue diver course?

Once you have completed the PADI rescue diver course you can then decide to move on to the PADI Divemaster course, which is the first level of professional scuba diving PADI offer and is the gateway to a career in recreational scuba diving. You also have the option to move into technical scuba diving with rebreathers (one of the oldest forms of diving and has been around before SCUBA systems were invented) or trimix gas blends and extended range scuba diving.
The more technical side of things will allow you to explore deeper and stay under for longer but this does also increase the risks you are taking which is why most people don’t head down this route but it can open up the possibilities for you to explore cave systems no one has ever entered before or dive a sunken wreck no other divers have dived and no other human being has ever seen since it sank.
With the PADI Divemaster course, you learn the basics of looking after students as they learn to scuba dive and move through their scuba diving careers. This also opens up the opportunity for you to progress to instructor level and then up through the instructor levels possibly even aiming for PADI course director, which is the highest level in the PADI system and is the level at which you are teaching new PADI instructors.
Of course, you can still stay at the very respectable level of PADI Rescue diver and once you have reached this level you can look into doing a few specialties in areas of scuba diving that interest you such as Photography or marine ecology and with 5 specialties and once you have completed 50 dives you can apply to become a PADI master scuba diver, which is the highest non-professional level in the PADI recreational system. At underwater adventures we have found this option is very popular, so much so that we have agreed with PADI to extend this and add a couple of extra levels to master scuba diver for those people who have reached this goal but still would like something to aim for without going in to technical or professional diving and you can read more about those options which are only open the member of the underwater adventures dive club by following the link here (CLICK HERE)

If you would like to find out when the next rescue diver course and would like to sign up please contact us by following this link (CLICK HERE)



 
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19/04/19
How do I learn to scuba dive
How do I learn to scuba dive?

Learning to scuba dive is a dream for most people and it really is rather easy to learn. The PADI open water course, which is the most wildly recognized and most used entry level scuba diving course, is made up of three-part (dive theory, pool sessions, and 4 open water dives) and can be completed over the space of a few weeks. You can learn to scuba dive anywhere in the world and with our PADI open water course, we can tailor it to be flexible and fit around your needs and time restrictions. If you are not sure about learning to scuba dive here in the UK can do have the option of a PADI referral which is where you complete the first two parts of the course here in the UK and then finish the course with your open water dives while on holiday somewhere hot but I will talk about that a little later

What does learning to scuba dive involve?

The PADI open water course is designed to teach you in a step by step process using some of the latest teaching techniques making it fun and enjoyable so you learn without feeling like you are learning. The first part of the course is the dive theory where you will learn about the effects water pressure might have on you and the air you are breathing, how your equipment works and the basic safety rules you need to follow. This is followed by a series of pool session where you learn the basic dive skills you need to scuba dive safely and be able to enjoy your scuba diving experiences while  third part of the course is where you will be taken to an open water dive site and actually do 4 open water dives under the close eye of your instructor and dive team. Once you have completed these 3 stages of your course you will be qualified as a full PADI open water diver and be able to scuba dive anywhere in the world.

                               learning to scuba dive with the padi open water course

Dive theory

You have a lot of new and exciting equipment to use and ideas to understand and this part of the course is where we start introducing you to these new things. Designed by teaching professionals and constantly improved over the past 50+ years, there is a reason the PADI open water course is the way the world learns to scuba dive and with the introduction of the new online dive theory products, you can start your course in the comfort of your own home and in your own time. You can fit it around your work and home life, be it on your commute to work or while waiting for the children to come out of school. You can make it fit around your needs. 
If you prefer we do also offer 1-2-1 dive theory session with one of our instructors where we will arrange a date and time for one of our instructors to come round to your home and go through it with you at your own pace once you have completed the home study part of the course which uses books and DVDs to take you step by step through the theory.
The materials themselves are made up of 5 chapters each covering a different topic and at the end of each of these chapters is a knowledge review, a small self-assessment if you like, where you can check to make sure you have understood everything and then at the end of the five chapters is the final test, but don’t worry too much about it as it is just going over the stuff you have just read and tested yourself within the knowledge reviews and even if you don’t pass, one of our PADI instructors will go over the things you didn’t quite understand and make sure you are comfortable with it before letting you re-sit the test.

Pool sessions

During the pool sessions, called confined water in the PADI materials, you will start in shallow water which you can stand up in where you will go through the equipment you will be using and take your first breath underwater and yes you will sound a little like Darth Vader when breathing through your regulator (the bit you put in your mouth to breath) on the surface. You will then go for a swim to start to get a feel for the equipment and breathing underwater so that you feel comfortable with it and then to finish your first session you will be shown the first couple of skills such as how to clear your mask underwater and how to take your regulator out and put it back in underwater.
During your subsequent pool sessions, you will be given the chance to develop your buoyancy skills so you don’t bounce along the bottom of the pool and have the chance to practice all of the safety skills. Now with most other dive schools you come across you will only have 5 pool sessions to learn these skill’s but here at underwater adventures we offer unlimited weekly pool sessions so that you can learn at your own pace and have plenty of time to practice the skills you have learned so that you are completely comfortable with them before you move on to your next skill and if you like to can go back over skills you are not sure about during the next couple of weeks. We want you to be the best divers you can be, which is why we give you all the support and time you need to learn.

PADI Referral

This is the point in the PADI system where if you don’t fancy completing your PADI open water course here in the UK you can finish the course while on holiday abroad in a nice warm country. Although the UK does have a lot to offer scuba divers, it is not for everyone and this option does give you the chance to get the bulk of the course out of the way here in the UK so that you are not wasting any of your valuable holidays stuck in classrooms or swimming pools when you can be out diving amazing reefs.
With the referral system, we will take you through the first two parts of your course and sign the certificates to show you have completed them which you will then take with you to your holiday destination and give them to the dive centre over there. They will then give you a quick pool session just in case it has been a while since your last pool session and to give you and the instructor a chance to get to know each other before taking you out to sea for your 4 open water dives over two days. This is a great option for those of you who will only scuba dive when on holiday but the main drawback to this is that it often works out a lot more expensive as you are having to pay two different dive centres. This option doesn’t exclude you from scuba diving in the UK though as even if you have taken this option we are happy to have to join our dive club when you get back and ease you in to scuba diving in the UK and teach you the extra skills you may need such as how to dive in a dry suit or use a delayed surface marker buoy.

Open water dives

The final part of your course is your 4 open water dives. This will take place over a weekend, or two if you prefer, and you will complete 2 dives a day. During these dives you will demonstrate a few of the skills you have mastered in the pool mostly just to confirm to yourself that you can do them anywhere, and you will have a nice little swim around and enjoy the fish and marine life you see, all while under the close eye of your instructor and the dive team who are there to guide you and make sure you are safe and relaxed.
At underwater adventures, we use a specialist scuba diving lake where has been cleared on dangers, stocked fish loads of different fish and even had a few wrecks especially sunken for you to investigate including a London double Decker bus and a jet airplane which you can sit in the cockpit of. It is a friendly site with loads of other divers for you to chat to, a fully stocked dive shop and a cafe for the obligatory bacon butty and cup of tea after the dive.
Once you have completed your forth open water dive you will be a fully qualified PADI open water diver who is confident and relaxed enough to scuba dive anywhere in the world and explore some truly amazing places while on holiday or you can join the underwater adventures dive club which will give you access to all of our dive trips around the UK and aboard plus you’ll get to meet some great people who love diving and will be able to guide you through any area of scuba diving you wish to pursue.

                                   learning to scuba dive in the uk

 What’s next?

Learning to scuba dive opens up a whole new world for you with many different things and places to explore, be your interests in a wreck, of which we have loads around the UK coast, or wildlife, either just seeing them or taking pictures of them. The most important thing to do once you have learned to scuba dive is to keep diving.
As a new scuba diver you can take the option of starting some specialty courses to learn more about an area that interests you or you can take the option most other divers do which is the PADI advanced open water course where you will experience 5 different areas of diving, from wreck diving to search and recovery diving, so that you can better get an idea of what sort of diving appeals you to. Or you can just carry on as an open water diver and join dive trips to explore your new skills and all the cool things most other people never will get a chance to.
If you are still not sure if scuba diving is for you then why not do a taster session beforehand? This is just an hour long pool session where we will take you through the basics of scuba diving and give you a chance to try it out. The PADI version of this is called Discover Scuba Diving and we run these sessions monthly at out pools.
If you still have questions about learning to scuba dive we also have an FAQ’s page which you can check out by clicking here.
So if you have whetted your appetite for scuba diving and would like to book on a course or you just have some questions which weren’t covered in the FAQs page please feel free to give Steve a call on 07805045867 or drop us an email at info@underwateradventures.co.uk


 
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16/04/19
Learning to scuba dive, FAQ’s
Learning to scuba dive, FAQ’s 

 

Having spent the past 15 years as a scuba diving instructor, 11 of which running underwater adventures, I have been asked every scuba diving related question you can think of, so to help you with deciding if you want to learn to scuba dive I thought I would write out a list of the top frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) I have been asked in all of my years in teaching people of all ages to learn to scuba dive. 


                   learn to scuba dive with underwater adventures



How long does it take to learn to scuba dive? 

The standard PADI open water course consists of dive theory, 5 confined water (pool) dives and 4 open water dives and it is the same with most other training agency’s including SSI and BSAC courses and these should take you at least a week to complete the full course although you might find shorter courses in holiday resorts which can last as little as 3 days. 

At underwater adventures, we want you to learn to scuba dive at your own pace so instead of limiting you to just 5 confined (pool) dives, we offer you unlimited access to our pool sessions so if you feel you need longer to learn a skills you can take your time and only move on when you feel ready. We have found that this leads to more confident and relaxed divers who enjoy their first few dive a lot more. We do obviously charge a little more for this but we feel you will enjoy it more and make you a better diver; this leads me on to my next FAQ 

How much does it cost to learn to scuba dive? 

The standard price as of writing this here in the UK is around £500 for the full PADI open water course and as I mentioned above we do charge a little more at £549 due to us offering the unlimited confined water (pool) sessions. The price will vary from country to country with the dive centres in tropical holiday spots tending to be the cheapest option due to the high numbers of students they allow on each course, the more people on each course the cheaper it is to run the course, but you will still be looking at around £300-£350 in these holiday resorts. If you find one that is much cheaper than this I would strongly recommend you ask yourself why it is that much cheaper as in scuba diving, as in most things, you get what you pay for and going with the cheapest is not always the best idea. 

How deep can you scuba dive down too? 

The deepest scuba dive ever was in Egypt in 2005 by Ahmed Gabr who got down to 332.35 metres. This dive took him over 14 hours to complete due to the amount of time he had to spend decompressing on his way back up but most of us will never go anywhere near that depth as we are mostly all recreational divers. 

The PADI recreational dive limits, I’m using PADI as that is the agency I teach with so I know the most about but most agencies are the same or at least very close, are for an open water diver (entry level) 18 metre’s which increases to 30 metre’s once you complete your advanced open water course and then it goes up to the maximum recreational limit of 40 metre’s with the deep diver course.  

These are the recreational diver limits and you can go deeper if you wish by completing technical diving courses which slowly build up your limited with time and experience as the deeper you go the more things can go wrong so you want to be as prepared as possible before going really deep. 

The thing I always tell my students who ask me this is that most of the cool fish and stuff like that tend to be around the 15-25 metre range so sticking with those depth means you will be able to see most things and not miss out on too much. 

How long will my air last? 

This is one of those “how long is a piece of string” questions as it will depend on a number of different factors such as how much experience you have, how relaxed you are, how deep you plan to dive to, how much work you have to put in any currents there are, and a whole range of other things. Generally speaking, all thing being considered, a relaxed, experienced diver with good trim who is staying around the 20-metre mark will stay down for around an hour. But Like I said, there are a number of factors that will affect your air consumption and one of the best things you can do is learn to scuba dive properly, with proper weighting and good buoyancy control and you will find that you will be able to stay under the water for as long as you need for the dive you are planning. 

Which agency should I learn to scuba dive with? 

PADI, SSI, CMAS, BSAC, NAUI, SDI, SSA, PDA, It’s like alphabet soup when you look at all the names of the different training agencies you can learn to scuba dive with and it can seem a little daunting to choose the right training agency to go with but in all honesty, they will all teach you to scuba dive safely and they will all cover the same basic skill’s during the course, just with some of the extra skill’s within the course is slightly different. 

Obviously, the larger agencies such as PADI and SSI are better known around the world but even the smaller agencies are recognized in most countries, although the dive centre you go with may have to do a little research to check the limits a qualification from a smaller agency has. So ultimately it doesn’t highly matter which agency you go with, what really matters is that the dive centre teaching you sticks to the standards and the instructors who are teaching you do a good job and make you feel comfortable so it is important to do a bit of research before booking looking for good recommendations for divers who have done courses with them before. 

Do I need to be able to swim? 

Yes, but you don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer, you just need to be comfortable in the water so you don’t panic when you are in water too deep to stand in. For the PADI open water course, you do need to be able to swim 200 metres but there is no time limit and you don’t have to do a certain type of stoke while swimming, you can doggy paddle if you like and take an hour to complete it. As I said, it is more about making sure you are comfortable in the water while you learn to scuba dive. 

If you can’t swim already or would like to improve we do have a number of contacts at swim schools who can help you and we are happy to put you in contact with them.  

Can my children learn to scuba dive? 

We can start children’s scuba diving courses from the age of 8 with the PADI Bubblemaker, PADI Seal Team, and PADI master seal team courses which are designed to get children accustomed to scuba diving in the safety of a swimming pool before they are old enough to move up to the full PADI junior open water course at the age of 10. From the age of 10 to 12 there are limits on what children can do with their open water qualification like only being able to go to 12 metres rather than the 18 metres you can with the full PADI open water course for safety reasons but it is great to get children into the water early in life as they learn so quickly at this age and from my point of view, children are a pleasure to teach. 

                                



I have a medical condition, can I still learn to scuba dive? 

I have added a link
here to the padi medical statement so you can take a look through it and if you tick yes to any of these questions you will need to speak to a scuba diving doctor before we can allow you in the water but generally, as long as the medical issue to under control, there is not normally a reason why you can scuba dive with most medical condition. But do read through the PADI medical statement first and if you have any questions please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to put you in contact with a specialist scuba diving doctor who will be able to help you. 

Do I have to have all my own equipment before I learn to scuba dive? 

Generally speaking, No. Like most dive centres we offer rental equipment for the course which is included in the price of the course although we don’t hire out wetsuit boots as here in the UK it is very hard to get them completely dry between dives so if you are sharing wet boots nasty things can spread. Some dive centre may ask you to buy your own mask, snorkel, and fins but this is the exception to the rule as most dive centre will be able to provide you with everything you need. 

Once you have learned to scuba dive you may wish to start investing in your own equipment which is fine but I would suggest starting slow and just picking up a few basics to start with so that you have time to dive with other equipment and learn more about it before buying the big things as it can start to get expensive and you don’t want to rush out and buy a load of kit only to find out it doesn’t feel right for you or you decide to want to move into another type of scuba dive where you need slightly different kit setups like underwater photography or wreck penetrations.  

I’m afraid of being eaten by sharks 

This is probably one of the most asked questions I get, or at least something similar. Don’t worry, despite what Hollywood is telling you, sharks have no interest in eating a scuba diving. We are covered in think rubber and have a large lump of steal on our backs which makes us not very tasty and a lot of hard work for any shark big enough to take a bite. In fact, once you have started scuba diving you are the one most likely to be chasing sharks just so you can get a good picture of them to show everyone just how cool sharks are. 

I’m nervous about scuba diving, is that a problem? 

Have a few nerves is totally normal, you are about to breath underwater which is something you have never done before. So don’t worry if you are a bit nervous before you start to scuba dive as this is to be expected and as such, your instructor will be ready for it and take their time with you to make you feel comfortable in the water and won’t push you to do anything you are not ready for. If you are really nervous about scuba diving then why not do a discover scuba diving session first, where we will take you in the pool with the equipment so you can have a go and see if you like it before signing up to the full course?

So why not take the plunge and contact us to book you try dive or full PADI open water course
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14/03/19
Childrens Scuba Diving
Introduce your children to the underwater world.


If your child like the water, they will love scuba diving. It opens up a whole new world for them, a world of amazing wildlife, sunken treasure, and stories of adventure and we at underwater can offer several different options to introduce them to scuba diving, from children’s parties to try dives and the best bit is, Scuba diving is open to anyone aged 8 and over.


padi scuba dive childrens course   children scuba diving bubblemaker courses


Children’s parties.

The 
perfect way to celebrate a birthday or any other events with a two-hour pool party where the children will get to try out snorkeling and scuba diving followed by cake, scuba diving themed obviously. We can offer these parties on weekend afternoons for up to 12 children with the session lasting for two hours.
During the children’s 
party, the children will be split into two groups which will allow us to keep a close eye, even on the larger groups. The first group of children will be given the opportunity to learn about the scuba diving equipment and then try out scuba diving equipment and have a little play around under the water all the while under a watchful eye of a PADI professional. While this is happening the second group of children will be shown how to snorkel properly and duck dive under the water to get a closer look at some fish.
Any children’s party would not be complete without cake and at the end of the 
session, each child will receive a scuba diving themed cupcake made by the professionals at Katiebelle Cakes, a local, fully insured and registered specialist cake maker.


padi seal course scuba diving courses for children   padi master seal team course for children


Children’s try scuba diving sessions 

There are two options for this, and these depend on age. For children from the ages of 8 to 10 years old we offer the PADI Bubblemaker experience, and for children 10 year and old we can offer the full try scuba diving experience. The only real difference is that during the try scuba diving experience for older children we go over more of the basic scuba diving skills to help prepare them for the full PADI open water course which is the next step after the try dive 
whereas the PADI Bubblemaker session is more about just having fun and getting used to the equipment. Don’t worry if you have two children either side of 10 years old through as we are very happy to take both of them into the Bubblemaker session so that they can make their way through scuba diving together.

If you would like to know what the children get up to during these sessions, please click here to take a look at some of the filming one of our groups did as a bit of fun.

What’s Next.

If your child really enjoys their scuba diving experience they can then either move on to the full PADI Open Water diver course where they will learn to scuba dive or if they are still a little on the young side they can take part in the PADI seal team and PADI master seal program’s which are design to prepare children between the ages of 8 and 10 for the full open water course giving them loads of in water time to learn about buoyancy and equipment control whilst learning the basic scuba diving skills like mask clearing and regulator recovery.
 
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24/02/19
dive club trip to Ibiza
Dive trip to Ibiza
 
We are arranging a dive trip to Ibiza for May of this year as a little warm-up for the dive season. Ibiza is one of those “hardly known” gems in the scuba diving world with some great diving just over a couple of hours flight from the UK. It also boasts the largest wreck in the Mediterranean called the Dom Pedro, a giant container ship which is just outside the port of Ibiza town along with some lovely reefs and swim-throughs. To top it all off, Ibiza some the best fish life I have seen in the Mediterranean.


    learn to scuba dive with underwater adventures       learn to scuba dive with underwater adventures


We will be staying in Es Cana, a town to the north of Ibiza so we are far enough away from the party places so that we won’t be kept up to all hours but there is still a number of bars and restaurants in walking distance to have s good time in the evenings. Es Cana is also close to the dive centre which is situated on a lovely golden sand beach with a couple of cafes nearby for Lunch on your breaks between diving.
The scuba diving in Ibiza is, as I mentioned, some of the best all-round scuba diving in the Med, with great wrecks and reefs but the thing I most enjoy about scuba diving in Ibiza is the amount and size of the fish. As we all know the biggest problem with scuba diving in the Mediterranean is the overfishing, but this hasn’t happened around Ibiza so whenever I have been there before I have always found huge numbers of fish including large fish which is so rare in the Mediterranean these days. Plus, if you needed another reason to join us on this trip, the government there introduced marine reserves around the Island so the health and diversity in the waters around Ibiza has improved from what was already good levels.


   learn to scuba dive with a padi dive club in hertfordhsire, bedford and cambridge        learn to scuba dive with a padi dive club in hertfordhsire, bedford and cambridge


The Dive clubs trip is being arranged by Stuart so if you would like to book on the dive trip or to find out more details about scuba diving in Ibiza please contact Stuart on Stuart@underwateradventures.co.uk
The plan for the dive trip is to Fly out of Stansted airport on the evening of the 9th May and fly home again on the evening of the 16th May giving everyone plenty of time to explore the amazing underwater world that can be found just offshore of Ibiza.
The package includes all transfers, accommodation and a 10 boat dive pack with tanks and weights all for only £619 per person, plus flights. We will also have a rest day in the middle of the dive trip so you can explore the Island if you like or just book a couple of extra dives with Punta dive, the dive company we will be scuba diving with. There will also be an option for a night dive or two if you like so you can check out the Ibiza nightlife, under the water as well as on top of it.


learn to scuba dive with a padi dive club in hertfordhsire, bedford and cambridge       learn to scuba dive with a padi dive club in hertfordhsire, bedford and cambridge


We will just need a £100 deposit to book your place and we suggest you book your flights as soon as possible as the longer you leave it the more they will cost.
This is such a great deal to do some amazing scuba diving on an Island not normally known for scuba diving but has some really cool treasures hidden just under the surface and this trip will give you a chance to see a side of Ibiza very few scuba divers get to see.

 
here are a few videos I've found on Youtube to give you an idea of what the diving is like starting with my personal favorite, the lighthouse reef
 
If you would like more information on this trip, please contact Stuart at stuart@underwateradventures.co.uk

 
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22/02/19
Rekindle your love for scuba diving
Rekindle your love for scuba diving


 
For some people, learning to scuba dive is the first step in a part-time or full-time scuba career. For others, scuba diving is an activity they are passionate about but haven’t enjoyed for some time. Whether you don’t dive very often due to limited free time, a bad experience, or total burnout, here are a few tips to help you (or a dive buddy) rekindle their love of scuba diving.



       


 
Remember Why You Fell in Love with Scuba Diving

What attracted you to diving in the first place? Was it the chance to travel? See interesting creatures? Meet new people? Explore historic Wrecks? Remind yourself what it was that left you grinning from ear to ear after your early dives. Whatever it was we have a way you can find it again at your local Underwater Adventures dive club.
Go for a fun dive – It’s common for scuba diving professionals to dive every weekend, but rarely dive just for fun. Teaching scuba is very rewarding, but it’s also a big responsibility. Many instructors and divemasters can reignite their passion for diving by taking time out to fun dive, shoot underwater images, or visit an exotic destination they have never seen before
Try something new – Both recreational divers and PADI Pros can benefit from trying something new: a new dive site, or a new diving skill. Night diving, rebreather diving, and free diving are just a few options.
Go diving with someone new – As any PADI Pro can attest, there’s nothing like experiencing the underwater world with someone for the first time. If you’re not a PADI Pro, discover how rewarding this feeling can be. Show people your
favourite underwater nooks and crannies and introduce them to the local marine life. As part of the underwater adventures dive club, there is always someone new to dive with
 
If you have young people in your life, find out if they’re interested in learning to scuba dive, We have PADI Bubblemaker, seal team and master seal team course for children from the age of 8 years old, and once they reach the age of 10 they can start to complete their full PADI open water course and then join you on some of the dive club trips.
 
Put Scuba Diving on Your Calendar
If you’re like most people, if something isn’t scheduled in your mobile device, it isn’t really happening. The underwater adventures dive club hosts regular diving trips both here in the UK and aboard and with our websites Google calendar, you can link straight to the Calendar on your phone so that you are always kept up to date as to when the next dive or social event is happening.
 
Share your plans with others by posting to social media, telling co-workers and family members, “I’m going diving this weekend.” By sharing your plans with others, even non-divers, you’re more likely to stay committed. If you don’t go, what will you say Monday morning when asked, “how was your dive?”
 
Just say, “Yes”

If you’ve been diving for a while, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut: scuba diving the same sites or saying “no” to activities you’re unfamiliar with. Try saying “yes” to the next three diving opportunities that come your way whether it’s taking part in a beach clean-up, posing for an underwater photo, or planning a trip to a new dive site. The experiences may reinforce things you knew to be true, or you might just find a new passion or friend.



    



Set a Goal, Choose a Reward

Runners have marathons, cyclists have centuries, divers have their logbook. Tally up all the hours you’ve spent diving and find out if you’re close to a milestone. Imagine the look on someone’s face when you say, “I’ve spent a month underwater.”
If you’re not close to a week or month of time logged underwater, that’s okay, aim for 100 dives and plan something special for when you reach your goal. It could be an outing with all your dive buddies along the way, or a gear purchase to commemorate your accomplishment.
If you’re not into bragging rights, here are a few alternative goals:
Find a female friend and commit to participating in PADI Women’s Dive Day 2019 (20 July 2019) and plan a fun day together.
Commit to taking 12 great underwater photos you can use to make a calendar and give it as a gift to your friends.
Do Something Nice for Yourself
If the list of things you don’t like about diving has gotten longer than the list of things that you DO like, consider how a few small changes can improve your enjoyment of diving immensely. The right gear can go a long way to making diving more comfortable and enjoyable.
Upgrading to spring straps on your fins can make getting in and out of the water surprisingly easier.
If you find you’re often cold after diving, don’t tough it out, get a new wetsuit or try diving a dry suit.
Feeling in a photography rut? Try macro photography or switch to video.

Nervous about getting back in the water?

If it’s been a few years since you last went diving, or if your initial scuba class didn’t give you the confidence to continue diving, try PADI ReActivate. ReActivate is designed to help
divers gain confidence before jumping back into the water.

– First, you’ll review key safety procedures and basic scuba concepts at your convenience using a desktop or mobile device. You can move quickly through topics that are familiar, and spend more time reviewing things you may have forgotten.
 
– Then you’ll jump in a pool with a PADI Professional for two pool sessions designed to build your confidence and help you remember the basic skills you learned in your open water course

ReActivate also includes a new certification card with your ReActivated date on it.
Not sure if ReActivate is right for you? Read the Top 7 Signs You Need a Scuba Refresher
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10/02/19
Is it time to refresh your scuba diving skills?
Do you Need a little scuba diving refresher course?

Sure, you have a certification card, but that doesn’t always mean you’re feeling ready to dive. If it has been a while since your last dive, you may be in need of a PADI ReActivate scuba refresher program. Here are Five signs to look for.


You can’t find your C-card.

Sure, we can call PADI to confirm you’re certified, but if you can’t find the card, that’s a sign that perhaps too much time has passed since your last scuba dive so it might be time to do your PADI reactivate

   PADI reactivate, scuba diving near me,      learn to scuba dive near you with the padi open water course or padi reactivate


You finally have a vacation planned and you want to dive.

You could spend precious time at your holiday destination catching up on skills — or you could do that work here in the UK with us at one of our pools in Bedfordshire or just outside Cambridge which would saving you wasting some of your valuable holiday time that you’ve paid a lot of money for stuck in a classroom and pool doing a refresher course

Six to 12 months have elapsed since your last dive.

 “When is the last time you were in the water?” will be one of the first questions you are asked when looking to book a bit of scuba diving anywhere in the world (if they don’t ask you this you might want to look for a different dive centre) and if you answer more then 6 months you will probably be asked to do some sort of refresher training before they let you in the open water as it’s not just your safety they need to consider but also the safety of those you will be scuba diving with

The thought of putting your gear together makes you nervous.

If you’re struggling to remember just how the scuba diving equipment goes together, keep in mind that the divemaster can assist you — but it might also be time for a refresher course. Plus, you will feel more confident in the water while scuba diving if you are confident in your own scuba diving equipment

padi reactivate, the best way to get back into scuba diving hear you    learn to scuba dive with the padi open water course


You can’t remember when your last dive was.

If your last dive was more than a decade ago, you may need more than just a refresher course. As with any skill, the longer you go without scuba diving the more you will forget so if you are not regularly scuba diving you might need the PADI reactivate and just think about how much more comfortable you will feel in the water having spent some time beforehand going over the basic theory and skills with a PADI professional.
Remember, Scuba diving is meant to be fun and relaxing and you will find it so much more enjoyable if you are comfortable in your own scuba diving skills
Once you have done your PADI Reactivate, why not think about joining the Underwater adventures dive club so that you can keep diving all year round, even during the winter we head off to warmer place so we can keep diving and some of them are not too far away such as Aquarium scuba diving or very deep scuba diving pools like Nemo 33 and enclosed scuba diving lakes like Todi. You can see the videos from these trips through the links below to our YouTube channel


Aquarium scuba diving
Nemo 33
Todi
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31/12/18
Maldives Liveabaord dive trip 2019
Maldives liveaboard 2019

For the Underwater adventures dive club’s big trip next year we’re literately off to paradise with a dive trip to the Maldives to check out the best diving this Island nation in the Indian Ocean has to offer.
We will be flying out on the 15th November to Male before catching a seaplane transfer to the island where we will be picking up our amazing liveaboard ship which will be our home for the following week while we scuba dive some amazing coral gardens and dive deep down drop-offs and into currents to find the abundance of sharks and other pelagics which call the Maldives home.
We are hoping to see manta rays and whale sharks along with the reef sharks and hammerhead congregations which some of these Island are known for.


padi scuba diving trip to Maldives  Scuba diving in the Maldives with whale sharks

Itinerary includes;

DEPART FROM LONDON – HEATHROW                   21:30 15/11/2019             ARRIVE AT COLOMBO INTERNATIONAL 12:45 16/11/2019     Baggage allowance of 30kgs per person  
SRI LANKAN AIRLINES UL504 ECONOMY

DEPART FROM COLOMBO INTERNATIONAL          13:35 16/11/2019             ARRIVE AT MALE INTERNATIONAL            14:30 16/11/2019       
SRI LANKAN AIRLINES UL115 ECONOMY

•             7 nights onboard Emperor Voyager for 20 people in 8 x lower deck and 4 upper 
deck shared cabins with 3 meals a day, afternoon snacks, unlimited drinking water, tea & coffee, 6 days diving with a total of 17 dives (inc 1 night dive), guide, tanks & weights, free Nitrox, 1 BBQ dinner on uninhabited island (weather allowing), Male city tour (on request), all local taxes.

•             Return airport transfers.

•             ATOL (once flights are booked) and full financial protection.

Not included: Diving equipment, alcohol, soft drinks & juices, crew gratuities. 

 The trip we are doing is the ‘Best of the Maldives’

Rasdhoo Atoll:                   Hammerhead Dive, Beautiful Reef with Pelagics

North Ari Atoll:                  Grey Reef Sharks, Maaya Thila Night Dive, Multiple Manta Cleaning Stations

South Ari Atoll:                  Whale Sharks, Beautiful Pinnacles

South Male Atoll:             Grey Reef Sharks, Eagle Rays, Other Pelagics, Beautiful Macro Wreck.

Vaavu Atoll:                        Beautiful channels with magical soft corals and pelagic delights. Action packed night dive with Nurse Sharks and others.

North Male Atoll:             Beautiful Pinnacles.
DEPART FROM MALE – INTERNATIONAL                 09:25  23/11/2019             ARRIVE AT COLOMBO INTERNATIONAL  11:20 23/11/2019
SRI LANKAN AIRLINES UL102 ECONOMY

 DEPART FROM COLOMBO INTERNATIONAL          13:05 23/11/2019             ARRIVE AT LONDON – HEATHROW            20:00 23/11/2019
SRI LANKAN AIRLINES UL503 ECONOMY

The cost for this once in a lifetime trip is just £2385 for club members and £2495 for non-members. (if you would like to join the underwater adventures dive click and take advantage of this trip discount which is almost a years dive club subscriptions anyway please click here for details)

To confirm your booking we will need £100 deposit now with another £400 to be paid in February with the remainder due 12 weeks before we go. If you would like more details of this trip or you would like to book your place, please contact Steve at underwater adventures on 07805045867 or use the contact us page by clicking here.


scuba diving in the Maldives with eagle rays  scuba diving in the Maldives with sea turtles
 
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13/11/18
The dive club's end of season trip to Cyprus
Dive trip to Cyprus
 
This Year the Underwater Adventures end of Season dive trip was to Cyprus to dive the wreck of the Zenobia which is said by many to be one of the best wreck dives in the world and it didn’t disappoint.

               the underwater adventures padi scuba diving club

Our trip didn’t start off brilliantly with a delayed flight and a mix up with the transfers from the airport to our accommodation in Pissouri which lead to a bit of fun sorting out taxis for all 14 of us at 01:00 after a really long day but fortunately, that was the only thing to go wrong on what turned out to be a great holiday.
Out first days diving was spent doing a couple of shore dive at Cynthiana, a lovely little bay a short car ride from our accommodation, a couple of shallow dives just so everyone can get used to the conditions and how everything was working. The next days we had a bit further of a drive to the other side of the Island for another couple of lovely dives, this time a little deeper around the Island of St Georges which was surrounded by loads of life.

Our third 
day's dive was our first on the wreck of the Zenobia, the main reason we had traveled here. The boat ride was at most a 10-minute boat ride out from Larnaca and it was a big boat which was good seeing as we were sharing it with 4 other groups but good planning by our guides meant we dived the wreck without the hassle of being surrounded by the other groups.

               scuba diving the wreck of the Zenobia

First impressions of the wreck were literally “WOW”. This is truly an impressive wreck. Laying on its side in just over 40 metres of water and with its highest point at around 16 metres, you can see it as soon as you enter the water. We dropped down on to the stern section by the prop and made our way around the stern to check out the loading ramps and it was all full of life, and maybe a few too many divers.
Our second dive of the day was on the bow of the wreck from where we headed in through the cafeteria and on through a 
hallway to end up just above the cargo decks. Two excellent dives enjoyed by everyone.

Our penultimate days diving we went out of Limassol to dive two especially sunken wrecks put there in 2015 to attract more divers to the Island. These were the wrecks of the Costandis, a Russian trawler, and the Lady Thetis, a German Pleasure boat, both just over 20 metres in length and sitting in just over 20 metres of water and on our first dive we came across a very large grouper, proof that the Mediterranean still does have large fish.
You can check out the videos of these wreck dives by clicking on the links below (don’t forget to like and subscribe to our YouTube channel while you are there.
Video of the wreck dive on the Constandis
Video of the wreck dive on the Lady Thetis
 
               scuba diver exploring the wreck of the zenobia


For our final day's scuba diving, we were back at the Wreck of the Zenobia. Again the boat was busy but because the wreck is so large it seemed like we had the place to ourselves most of the time. Has a bonus on our first dive we came across a turtle who gave us the pleasure of a swim by at the end of our first dive.
Check out the Video of the Turtle here

Our second dive of the day and our last dive of the holiday was a penetration of the lift shaft and down into the cargo bay and to be honest, if I tried to explain what it was like here I wouldn’t be able to do it justice so please just take a look at these two videos from that one dive and enjoy the immenseness of the Zenobia Wreck 


Through the lift shaft
Into the hold



A big thank you to everyone who made the trip so enjoyable :-)


 
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07/11/18
Playing with Blue shark's in Cornwall
Swimming with blue sharks off the coast of Cornwall.

At the beginning of August 2018 a few of us from the dive club, we were limited by numbers allowed on the boat, headed down to Penzance in Cornwall for a very special day out.

We were on a large Rib with Charles Hood Shark adventures and we were lucky enough to have the man himself with us, a famous author and marine life advocate, it was a please to have his company and knowledge on this trip. Where were we going, I hear you ask? About 20 miles out to swim with blue sharks and boy1 were we in for a treat.

We had traveled down the night before to be fresh for the day’s activities and we all meet up at Penzance boat club to load our equipment and launch the RIB. The journey out only took around an hour, but it didn’t seem like it as we were joined along to way at different times by pods of dolphins either crossing our path or ride the bow waves as they love to do.

Once we had reached the spot the captain had decided would be best for blue shark activity, he started out the chum and “O my God” did it smell. I know that’s what is needed to attract the blue sharks, but it really doesn’t do your stomach any good. I was really glad I had taken the sea sickness tablets. The chum may have smell rank, but it did the job and within 5 minutes the first blue shark turned up and she was gorgeous, 5-foot-long at least and something I didn’t know about them is they have a gold tint to their noses and pectoral fins, which you could really make out the bright English summer sunlight.

                              

After around 20 minutes of allowing the shark to get comfortable around the boat I was the first in, the captain said to get in the water gently which I planned to do but unfortunately, I lost my balance putting on a fin and landed in the water with a big enough splash to have scared anything away. I climbed back out and went to the back of the Que and waited for the blue shark to return. Fortunately, it did within a couple of minutes and Simon was next to jump in the water. You can water the video of Simon in the water by clicking the link below

Simon with the blue sharks.

 With Simon in the water a second blue shark made an appearance, this one slightly bigger then the first and they both loved the smell coming from the rotting
fish which slowly being released into the water. The second shark was a little more wary and kept her distance for a while.
After Simon
hadstart to chill it was Sonia’s turn in the with the blue sharks. She was a little more cautious which is understandable when you are getting in the water with sharks given their portrayal in Films and Media but after a couple of minutes, she started to relax and really enjoy it. You can watch her video by clicking the link below.

Sonia in the water with blue sharks


Next, it was my turn and “wow” it was worth the wait and I had the added bonus of having the second shark come in close to the Rib while I was in the water. What an amazing experience and it is something I would suggest that if you ever have the opportunity to swim with these amazing fish you jump on it and it will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Click here to watch the video I took while in the water.

We rotated in and out of the water for the next couple of hours and the sharks stayed with us all day until it was time to head back to shore, all of us with beaming smiles, buzzing from such an amazing experience.

                              
 
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07/11/18
22 things your scuba instructor didn't tell you
22 things your Scuba diving instructor didn't tell you (but probably wanted to...) 
 

                               Underwater adventures padi scuba diving club in hertfordshire



1) Everyone pees in their wetsuit – everyone, eventually (except your instructor of course!)

 

2) Yes, you have tan lines on your neck and hands from your suit but as long as that’s all that people can see when you are back at work it’ll look like you’ve been on Holiday, and don’t worry, those odd lines on your face will disappear in time but you wouldn’t get them if you didn’t overtighten your mask.

 

3) Waterproof makeup was intended to withstand a good cry and not scuba diving in a cold lake in the middle of England.

 

4) The person on the boat flashing the most certification cards and the newest equipment is usually that biggest **** on board.

 

5) You will be buddied with them, and they will be a nightmare.

 

6) Going on your first open water dive is scary, but it’s OK, your instructor and the rest of the dive team are there for you and they have done this a lot of times before and know what they are doing, well, most of the time anyway.

 

7) ‘This is my favourite site,' translates as ‘we come here ALL THE TIME because it’s close and easy.’

 

8) You won’t always see the shark/barracuda/scary marine inhabitant approach; but when it does have your camera ready otherwise, we won’t believe you.


                              padi, learn scuba diving in stevenage


 
9) I do love night diving, but please don’t point your torch in my face when talking to me.

 
10) You should do the deep/navigation/DSMB course just so that I can have a break and do something different.


11) if you touch the wildlife you will be in my bad books for a very long time!
 

12) No, I don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend.

 

13) ‘The last time I was here I saw a whale shark.’ translates as ‘I’ve scuba dived here hundreds of times, and my mate on the other dive boat new some who once said he saw a whale shark here.’

 

14) You are going to, at some point, flood a dive camera, drop a flashlight, get blisters from your fins, buy a leaky mask, it happens.

 

15) Diving is not for everyone; some people should remain on land yet some slip through the cracks, and…

 

16) See point five.

 
                              padi scuba diving in the uk



17) If you do not listen to dive briefings and then mess up because of it, or repeatedly ask questions whose answers were in the briefing, then I will be very tempted to turn your air off.

 

18) Interfering in my dive course will get you thrown back in the water without your wetsuit; at least in my evil fantasies.

 

19) At some point you are going to have ear issues; equalization problems, ear infections, and burst eardrums are in your future.



20) The only way to guarantee you'll see a shark is to leave your camera on the dive boat.

 

21) Fish really are attracted to shiny jewellery.

 

22) I don’t care about your video clip from the last dive, but I will happily come to the bar and watch it if the beers are on you.

                              
 
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31/10/18
Dive Show 2018 at the NEC Birmingham
Dive show 2018

This weekend a few of the dive club members headed up to the Dive Show at the NEC in Birmingham to check out the latest equipment, check out the latest deals on scuba diving trip’s and to catch up with some old friends.

We arrived around 10 am to avoid the first big rush which often happens at events like this but arrived early enough to take full advantage of our discounted tickets we got through the 2 for 1 offered by PADI to PADI instructors. Even though it had been moved to a new hall inside the NEC it was still very busy with a very good atmosphere.


                                      


Just inside the main door we ran into our friends from Lanzarote 
dive centre where we often head to early in the year to get a start on the dive course we run while it’s still cold here in the UK, plus it is also home to the museum of the Atlantic, a rather special experience for scuba divers with a number of sculptures specially placed in a protected bay at a shallow enough depth for every level of scuba diver to appreciate (click here to check out the video from our last trip there). It’s always nice to get a little bit of warm water diving in at the beginning of the year.

Has we headed around the show checking out the stall’s and seeing what they had to offer on our way run to the UK diving zone we ran in to a few of the instructors from New horizon’s 
dive centre in Macclesfield where I had staffed a PADI IDC (instructor development course) earlier on this year with Steve Prior as course director.

After a quick catch-up with them, we made it over to the UK diving section to check out new scuba diving locations for next year and came across a very good deal for a trip to dive St Abb’s just over the board in Scotland. I’ve been there before and the scuba diving is great but it has been a few years since I’ve had a chance to get up there but with one of the dive club’s members having moved up to Yorkshire recently, he has agreed to arrange a dive club trip to dive there for the whole club and it will give everyone a chance to pop up and visit him.

A Quick stop for refreshments at the bar we headed around the far side of the dive show where we ran into the guys from London hyperbaric at Whipps Cross hospital where we go to for our yearly dry dive, a dive in a recompression chamber to experience what is like to scuba dive down to 40metres and the effects it has on your mind and body but while in the safety of a controlled hospital environment.



                                   



Next stop was the holiday’s part of the Dive Show where we found so many places to go diving and so many ideas for Future trips, so many cool things to go and see which are only open to scuba divers, we are so lucky in this sport. We also stopped off to have a quick chat with Holly from Diverse Travel through whom we are arranging next year’s scuba diving trip to the Maldives, keep an eye open for details on that coming soon.

All in all, it was a great day out and I really enjoyed catching up with others in the scuba diving industry which I don’t get to do that often as they live all around the world.
 
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24/05/18
Red Sea Live-aboard dive trip
Red Sea liveaboard dive trip

I recently attended a dive holiday with Underwater Adventures dive club.  We went to Egypt and stayed on a liveaboard with a company called Blue O'Two.  This was my third time visiting Egypt for diving but my first time on a liveaboard.  I had my reservations at first, will there be enough space for all the passengers, will there be enough food (I don't like to be hungry) and will I constantly be seasick and ruin my dive experience.  All of those reservations quickly disappeared.  From the moment we stepped onto the dive boat to the moment we departed, the experience was amazing.  The Blue O'Two staff were fantastic.  They could not have done any more for us.  We had a huge variety of food and there was certainly no shortage of it. The chefs were extremely accommodating to those with special dietary requirements and we were even able to get a birthday cake or two. 
 
                                                            
 
The guides were professional and friendly.  The staff were extremely helpful and knowledgeable.  Our kit was always prepped and ready to use and the dive sites that we visited were beautiful. We started the trip with a couple of check out dives at one of the 'closer to shore' dive sites they offer and finished the day with a night dive. Although this was an easy site that Blue O'Two used for check out dives, it was still some great scuba diving with loads of sea life. Overnight we headed out to Brother's reef and our search for the big pelagic fish began.  We were certainly not disappointed with plenty of large fish cruising along in the currents, and after hanging out in the blue for a bit we were treated to our first Thresher Shark, what an amazing experience!  After a dive on Big Brother, we headed over to Little Brother and some of the team dived one of the wrecks there.  The current was a little strong and made for a bit of hard work, but it was still a nice wreck dive.
 
The next morning we woke up on Daedelus Reef and experienced some more great diving in the currents and yet more sharks with Thresher, Hammerhead and Grey Reef sharks all spotted out in the blue.  We also had the pleasure of a visit from a group of dolphins and a few of us got to go out on the RIBs with a guide to follow the dolphins and watch them play around in the water around the dive boat.  We also had a number of Oceanic White Tip sharks cruising around under the boat which gave us some great opportunities for photos and video footage

Click here for a link to the YouTube page and check out some of our videos

 
The next day we headed up to Elphinstone Reef. This is one of the most beautiful reefs in the Red Sea. Unfortunately, because we had been so spoilt on the previous reefs with all the sharks and dolphins, even such an amazing reef as this seemed a bit of a come down, so after two dives here, we headed back towards the shore and one of the bays which is famous for the giant green turtles and resident dugongs.  This was a great dive to end the day with huge stingrays and green turtles in the seagrass, happily eating away, allowing us to get close and enjoy the experience of being with such amazing animals.  That evening the boat took us back to the Brother Islands where we had another great day scuba diving in the currents with yet more Thresher and Grey Reef Sharks.  Another two dives done and more memories made.  It was then time to head back to shore for our last night in Egypt where we treated ourselves to a lovely meal and maybe one or two cocktails as we talked about the scuba diving we had done and the amazing things we had seen and experienced.
 
                                                         
                                                                 
All in all, this was certainly the best dive holiday I have ever been on and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has not yet experienced a liveaboard. 

Blog Post by Kerry Louw,
Dive Club member

 

 

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23/05/18
Dive trip to Buckland Lake
Dive trip to Buckland Lake,
 
Just south of the Dartford crossing is Buckland Nature reserve which is home to southern scuba, a small dive centre on a big lake and last Sunday a number of the dive club’s members headed down there to check out what the scuba diving was like in the lake.
With the 
centre opening at 10 am it was a relatively late start for us, which I think was appreciated by most of us heading down there on a Sunday Morning, and bot, what a lovely day we picked. There were only around 6 other divers there for the day which was good as even with the group from underwater adventures dive club, there was plenty of room in the small kitting up area for everyone.

                                                                 

We split into two groups with the first group arriving a little earlier for breakfast and being able to get in the water around 10:30 am. The Viz was pretty good at around 4
metres and the surface temp around 13 degrees which is not bad for this time of year especially with the cold winter we had. Once in they headed west and followed the ropes around some of the sunken wrecks specially placed int eh lake for us to take a look around. Just as they finished their scuba dive, the second group went in and this time they went east to look for the fabled Great White Shark this lake is famous for. We found just after we jumped in and despite being covered in growth, you could still make out the shape of the plastic Shark. They carried on around to the large boat wreck and airplane on that side of the lake. Even with the water warming up nicely most of the fish life we still resting at the bottom as they do over winter, so we didn’t get to see much fish life but the wrecks and the good viz ability made up for that.

                                                                      

For the second dives of the day, the two groups swapped directions. So, after a lovely cup of tea and a bit of a sit in the sun enjoying the weather, we jumped in for out second scuba dives. The Viz was just as good as the first dives and there is a lot of really interesting wrecks in the lake which I’m sure will be made all the better when the fish wake up and come and join us for our scuba dives. This is a really nice setup and being so close and easy to get too, I’m sure we will be popping down there again for another scuba dive at some point this year.

                                                         
 
If you would like to know more about scuba diving with the underwater adventures dive club, please click here.

 
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16/05/18
Dive Club Trip to Porthkerris
Dive club trip to Porthkerris, Cornwall
 
Last weekend 8 members of the dive club headed down to Porthkerris in Cornwall for a weekends diving with Porthkerris divers and the wonderful facilities they have on offer.
On Friday 11th May we set off just after 9 am with the plan to stop at Vobster Quay inland dive site for a couple of scuba dives to help break up the long journey. Vobster is a well set out dive site with excellent facilities and although the water temp dropped down to single figures below 10 metres it was still a bearable 11 degrees in the shallows which is not bad for this time of year and with viz of between 3 and 4 metres, it was a really pleasant couple of scuba dives and a good chance to wash off the cobwebs from the winter season for those who’ve not dived in a while.
That evening we arrived at Porthkerris, at least most of us didn’t as without phone signals a few of us had a little trouble finding the log cabin we were staying in. The log cabin itself is a nice set up with plenty of room for all 8 of us and a log burner in the corner of the living room to add to the comfort. After a lovely meal of chili and jackets prepared by Steve and washed down with a couple of beers, we all had a relatively early night to be ready for the next morning’s diving.

                                                                                                   

Saturday arrived and with 5 scuba divers booked to head out on the Celtic Kitten, one of the dive boats which launch from the cove and the remaining 3 scuba divers choosing to start the day scuba diving the local reef, we were up bright and early and with a nice fry up inside of us we headed down the 200 metres to the beach from which we would be diving.
The visibility on both dives down to around 3 metres with the plankton bloom starting, it took a little while to get settled but the water was calm and there was loads of life both on the reef and the wreck on which the dive boat had dropped the scuba divers on top off. With both dives done it was time for refills at the air filling station and a bite of lunch and with the café and air filling station both just off the beach, the set up here for scuba divers is excellent.
With both scuba divers and the dive tanks refilled, it was time for the second dive of the day. Everyone was diving as two groups off the beach this time with the plan to swim around the rocks to the Drawna reef, keeping an eye out for all the local fish life with finger crossed we might come across some of the giant cuttlefish which come in close this time of year to breed. We saw loads of life including some beautiful jellies and loads of fish but unfortunately, no cuttlefish this time. With the scuba diving finished for the day, 8 happy divers headed back up to the log cabin for a chat about everything we had seen over another lovely meal and a couple of beers.

                                                                    

Sunday arrived with some lovely looking sun outside and after breakfast, we headed down to the beach for another days diving. Although the diving was really good the biggest talking point was the 3 basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) which came in close to the shore. The second largest fish in the sea, this is truly an amazing experience. These gentle giants which can reach up to 8 metres in length are a sight to behold and the UK coastline is one of the best places in the world to see them and swim with them. All in all, this topped off a great weekends scuba diving with a great bunch of people. I would just like to take this chance to thank all my dive buddies on this trip for making it memorable.

                                                                                    
 
If you would like to learn more about the underwater adventures scuba diving club please click here
 
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10/05/18
Swanage scuba diving Trip
Swanage scuba diving trip

Over the May Day Bank Holiday, we headed down to Swanage in Dorset to run a couple of courses and to give some of the newest dive club members some UK sea diving experience and boy, did we pick a lovely weekend for it.
Most of us headed down Friday after work with only one of our group braving the very early start to head down Saturday morning and we all made it to the pier in time to park there with it’s reduced car parking spaces due to the works going on to the pier, which to be honest I was a little concerned about as it might have affected the viz under the pier where we were planning on completing most of our training dives. Fortunately, a quick look over the side of the pier gave us a very pleasant surprise with what looks like pretty amazing visibility in the water. 
This weekend we would be starting off with a trip out on the Mary Jo with skipper Brian to dive the Wreck of the Fleur De Lyes, a nice shallow wreck just across the bay from Swanage Pier. With air fills done and all our scuba diving equipment loaded on the dive boat we headed off on the 5-minute dive boat trip and kitted up on the way. Giant stride entries from the divers lift we proceeded down the shot line for the first of both our PADI junior advanced open water dives for the first dive of their course, the wreck dive.



The Fleur De Lyes isn’t the biggest of wrecks but in 14
metres of water, it is a nice introduction to wreck diving and UK sea diving. The viz was better than expected at between 4 and 6 metres and although it’s still early in the season, we still found plenty of fish life heading around the shelter of the wreck. A comfortable 25 minutes later and with a full inspection of the wreck later we were back on the dive boat with hot drink’s in our hands and chatting about all the cool things we had seen in the surprisingly good visibility.
The rest of the day was spent under the pier completing the peak performance buoyancy and DSMB dives of the PADI junior advanced open water course and going through the basic skills of the PADI Rescue diver’s skill’s including lifts of unconscious divers from underwater and kit stripping while giving rescue breathes to an uncurious, non-breathing diver.



Once we had finished our dives and all of the skills for the PADI junior advanced open water diver and PADI rescue divers course we got changed and headed down the pub to debrief over a well-deserved drink before heading back to our hotel to shower and get changed and head out for dinner and by this time, we were all very hungry, funny how a day in the sea can bring on an appetite lol.
Sunday was an early start to make sure we got on the pier and after a quick chat with some of the members of Stevenage SSA who were also down there running courses we got in the water under the pier again to finish off the PADI rescue diver skill’s and do the PADI junior advanced open water Navigation dive as we wanted to get these dive completed before our last boat dive of the weekend, which was again from Mary jo but this time was a drift dive which gave the boys a chance the demonstrate their newly acquired DSMB skill’s while experiencing a nice gentle (relatively speaking for that area) drift dive, the easiest type of dive as you just lay there and let the current move you along and give you a great view of everything as you float by. 



We finished the weekend with some rescue scenarios for the guys doing their PADI rescue diver course. Unfortunately, we trained them so well they stopped most of the problems before they started, keeping a very close eye on everyone so not one of the dive team got lost without the new PADI rescue divers know exactly where to find them, great work guys but it would have been more fun if you’d let us get lost LOL.
We ended the day with a bunch of very happy, and well-tanned, scuba divers, and two new PADI junior advanced open water divers and two new PADI rescue divers.

Well done guys :-)

If you would like to know more about our trips or courses, please contact us by clicking here.
 
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09/05/18
Dive trip to Cyprus
Dive trip to Cyprus
 
For this year’s end of season trip, we have arranged to go to Cyprus from 5th to the 12th October. Has a club we’ve not been there before and although Cyprus is not renowned for its scuba diving it is home to a world-famous wreck, the roll on roll off ferry, Zenobia. With depth’s ranging from 16 to 42 metres and great viability, this is a wreck which all levels of scuba diver can dive, from open water through to divemaster. This wreck offers the opportunity, for those qualified with the wreck diver specialty, to take a look inside the car decks at the 104 lorry’s that went down with the ship
Cyprus is also home to a number of marine protected areas where sea life can grow in safety and help repair the damage caused by overfishing so commonly found in the Mediterranean, so along with a world-famous wreck, Cyprus offers a lot for your all scuba divers.

    

Our trip is flying out from Gatwick on the 5th October and once there we will be picked up by the dive center and taken to our apartments where we will be given the chance to settle in before starting the first of our 5 days of scuba diving the next morning. Our scuba diving package includes 2 days diving the wreck of the Zenobia so that we have a great chance to get to know the wreck and appreciate it in all its splendor. We will have the option to add extra scuba dive if we wish and do a night dive, but we can arrange that for those once we are over there.

  

Cyprus has a lot to offer above the water as well. With thousands of years of history to explore along with thriving shopping area’s and some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean so it is a great please to bring your non-diving partner or if you just want a day off during our week there.
Has this is an off-season dive trip we have managed to get a really good deal with this dive trip coming in at just £389 plus flight for dive club members and only £429 plus flights for non-club members plus we can offer extra discounts for your non-diving partners. If you would like more details about this trip, please follow this link to the contact us page and drop us a message or give us a call and we can send you over all the details.

           

 
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27/04/18
Master Scuba Diver Challenge
Master Scuba Diver Challenge
 
A number of the dive club members have asked “what can we do once we’ve reached master scuba diver level?” The normal response is to move into Tech diving or start on the professional ladder with the Divemaster course, but some people don’t want to take these routes and are happy at the high level of PADI Master scuba diver but would still like some sort of challenge to give themselves something to aim for has their scuba diving career progresses. With this in mind and having spoken to PADI, we have come up with the master scuba diver challenge.
This is open to Master Scuba Divers within the underwater adventures dive club and is a way of pushing yourselves a little further and giving you goals to aim for. It is made up of 4 extra level’s, each level having its own goals and rewards which come from both the club and PADI directly.
Each person who completes a master scuba diver level will have their name placed on a special plaque to show date and level achieved plus receive special recognition at a special dive club awards night on top of the awards specific to each level listed below.

                                                                  
 
Bronze Master Scuba Diver Level
            To reach this level of Master Scuba Diver you will need to show that you have completed 250 dives and attained 10 specialty ratings. Upon reaching this level you will receive a personalized bronze trophy from the dive club and a special certificate from PADI plus an article posted on the website and across social media about your achievement.

                                               
 
Silver Master Scuba Diver Level
            To reach this level of Master Scuba Diver you will need to have completed 400 dives and attained 12 PADI specialty ratings. Upon reaching this level you will receive a personalized silver trophy from the dive club and a special certificate from PADI plus an article posted on the website and across social media about your achievement, plus two free specialty courses to help you on your way to the next level.

                                                                
 
Gold Master Scuba Diver Level
            To reach this level of Master Scuba Diver you will need to have completed 650 dives and attained 15 PADI specialty ratings. Upon reaching this level you will receive a personalized Gold trophy from the dive club and a special certificate from PADI plus an article posted on the website and across social media about your achievement, plus you will receive free club membership for life.

                                                                
 
Platinum Master Scuba Diver Level
            To reach this level of Master Scuba Diver you will need to have completed 1000 dives and attained 20 PADI specialty ratings. Upon reaching this level you will receive a personalized Gold trophy from the dive club and a special certificate from PADI plus an article posted on the website and across social media about your achievement, plus you will receive a free Divemaster course should you wish to take it.

 
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08/04/18
Swanage early season scuba diving club trip report
Swanage Scuba Diving Trip - 01/04/18


The first dive club trip of the season to Swanage took place on the 1st April. Five of us (Steve Groves, Jamie, Josh, Stephan and myself) began a 3-hour journey down to the south coast at the crack of dawn. Anticipating a busy day and previous experience queueing at the pier we were surprised to find we were the only ones. We had a bit of time to kill before we could gain access to the pier and get ready so it was a good chance for a chat a quick dive briefing and orientation of the days diving. Being April the air temperature was only 7 Degrees. We all anticipated a cold days scuba diving. Our main focus would be to keep ourselves as warm as possible, as only one of the group was in a drysuit.


                                                


Eventually, someone finally arrived to let us onto the pier. Time to get ready for our first scuba dive ‘Fleur de Lys’. We got our gear together, tanks filled and boarded the dive boat looking forward to a cold but good days scuba diving. The ‘Fleur de Lys’ was only a short dive boat ride, we kitted up ready to go. We buddied up and got into the water in pairs, straight down the shot line to the wreck. At first, the temperature of the water doesn’t seem to have an effect but with a bottom temperature of 7 degrees and scuba diving in a 5mm wetsuit you soon start to feel it.


                   


This wasn’t too much a concern though for now and we descended to 10metres. At the wreck, the visibility was not great at <1m. Luckily we’d packed our torches which would assist us navigating the wreck. Even with torches, we had to stay close our buddies as the visibility was that bad and paired with a swirling undercurrent we were blown about quite a bit. We had to take control of our buoyancy and close contact at all times. After about 15mins in the water Jamie signaled to me he was cold I was the same. We agreed to continue the dive for a little while. Battling the current, cold and poor visibility we decided to end the scuba dive after 23mins. With the conditions, it was very easy to lose each other which is what happened. As Jamie was preparing to deploy his DSMB we were separated. So the thing for us to do would be to look for one minute then meet on the surface. That’s what we did, a slow ascent with a 3-minute safety stop. As happens I surfaced first a fair distance from the boat, no problem I just signaled to the boat and they picked me up. Getting out the water was easy as the boat is fitted with a lift. Once on the boat, it was time to warm up. After a minute I saw Jamie’s DSMB and he surfaced and boarded the boat. Followed closely by the other 3 scuba divers. We were all offered a selection of hot drinks to warm up and discussed the events of the dive we’d just done. Based on everyone’s responses it was clear we were all very cold. During the short trip back to shore Jamie decided that he did not want to do the second dive. This was quickly followed by the rest of us unanimously agreeing that was the sensible option based on the facts. We arrived at the pier quickly and it was time to get dry and warm as quickly as possible. We paid the captain and decided what we were going to do next. Once we were dressed some of the group decided to go get some food before the long journey home, while others got a head start on the journey home.


Written by
Phil 
Denmen
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31/03/18
What is the PADI rescue diver course?
What is the PADI rescue diver course?


I’ve been asked a number of times over the past couple of month about the PADI rescue diver course, what’s it about, what will I learn, why should I take this course. So, I thought I’d write a little blog about the PADI rescue diver course to try and answer some of these questions.
The PADI rescue diver course is said by most who take it to be the most challenging but also the most enjoyable of the PADI core courses. It will push you to think about and how best to deal with problems before they happen and how best to avoid them in the first place. Through a number of scenarios which will take place over a weekend, you will be asked to deal with situations that you might come across on any day while scuba diving, from a missing diver to something as simple as a diver going into the water having forgotten something they need to complete their scuba dive like a weight belt or forgetting to turn their air on fully. Simple things but you will learn that even a simple thing can cause problems later on in a dive.



     


 
But the PADI rescue divers course is more than just scenario practice. You will start the course with the PADI Rescue diver online theory, the codes for this will be sent to you as soon as you sign up for the course, so you can get started straight away. The PADI rescue dive online theory will take you through how to recognize problems before they happen, the stressors you might be able to see in a person before they dive which might lead to that scuba diver having problems on the dive, you’ll be surprised at how little changes in how a person is acting can show you that this person is not comfortable and a little stressed and even a little bit of stress can lead to perceptual narrowing causing a scuba diver to focus one little thing thus allowing a scuba diver to miss other things that might be going wrong.
You will learn that it is OK to say that you don’t want to dive. Be it at this location, in this weather or because you’re just not feeling right today.
On top of the phycology of scuba diving, the PADI rescue diver theory will take you through the most common problems people will come across with their scuba diving equipment which can lead to problems on a dive and it will talk about how important it can be to have something as simple as a spares box, how having access to a new fin strap or a cable tie can solve a problem that is stressing a diver out and by solving this problem for them now will save possible extra problems later in a dive.


                                          


 
Also, during the PADI rescue diver online theory you will be guided through how best to deal with problems once they have happened in a safe and calm manner. Like how to deal with someone who is panicking both on the surface and underwater. This part of the course we will also go over in the Deep swimming pool at the Robinson Swimming pool in Bedford which is deep enough to actually practice the safety skills before we go into open water, and this is where the fun begins. You, along with the rest of the students on your course will get to practice the basic safety skills using fun games designed to help you learn. By using games and making it fun, we use the latest teaching theory on how to reinforce skill learning in a way that is easy for your mind to recall when it needs to allow you to act faster and better in a situation.
The basic skills we go over in the pool will be gone over again when we go to open water to help refresh your mind and again reinforce these actions in your mind.

 
                                        


Once at the open water site, you will be put in change as safety divers for the weekend. You will be asked to do a risk assessment of the site so that you and your fellow students start to think clearly about what might go wrong. You will be shown how to use our emergency O2 kit which is always stowed in the van in case of a diving emergency, you will be asked to complete an emergency assistance plan so that you know what you will do in 
an emergency, and you will be asked to keep an eye on everyone just in case something “Goes Wrong”. The dive team have a list of scenarios we can use to test your response. The important thing is to act and to do so with a clear mind. The scenarios could be anything, from a missing diver to someone having a heart attack (which is actually the most common reason behind deaths in scuba diving in this country) and how you deal with these scenarios will be assessed by the dive team so that at the end of the weekends we will all sit down for a chat about what we did. This allows you to think about everything that has happened and how you have dealt with it and most importantly, what you might do differently to make it easier should you ever be in a similar situation again. It’s this reflection at the end of the weekend which helps you reinforce everything you have learned and makes you the best PADI rescue diver you can be.
 
So if you would like to take your scuba diving to the next level and become a PADI rescue diver, give us a call on 07805045867 or drop us an email by clicking here.

 
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28/03/18
What is the PADI advanced open water course?
What is the PADI advanced open water course?



I keep getting asked what is the PADI advanced open water course and why should people take it? Basically, the PADI advanced open water course is the next step to take once you have learned to scuba dive with the PADI open water course. It allows you to gain more experience and confidence under the supervision of a PADI professional to help you move your scuba diving skills forward. The course is made up of the first dive of any 5 specialty courses so that you get to experience different types of scuba dive which will hopefully help you find areas that you are interested in, from fish identification, though underwater photography to wreck diving, there are so many different things you can do with you scuba diving and the PADI advanced course will help you find the things you really enjoy.



       


During the scuba course, you will complete 5 dives, a deep dive, a navigation dive, and 3 of your own choice from any of the specialty courses we offer. We would normally suggest including the wreck diver course as wrecks hold a lot of interest for most scuba divers and the PADI DSMB course where you will learn to send up a large inflatable maker buoy so that everyone can see where you are, which when scuba diving in a big ocean is probably a really good thing, but the choice is yours.


        


The two required scuba dives, the deep dive, and the navigation dive, are on the course so that you can experience deeper diving then you can with the PADI open water course while your instructor can take you through some of the safety aspects of scuba diving deeper and its effect on you and your scuba diving equipment, and with the navigation dive you will work on your natural navigation and how to use the compass to navigate something other than the straight line you did on your PADI open water course. All the time building your confidence and improving your scuba diving skills.


        


We run these PADI advanced open water courses most qualifying weekends at Gildenburgh water in Cambridgeshire and we also run 
special advanced weekends at the coast so that we can add dives such as PADI boat diver and the PADI drift diver course and we have one of these weekends coming up at the beginning of May, where we will be heading down to Swanage in Dorset for a weekend of scuba diving. So if you would like more details of this PADI advanced open water course or any of our PADI courses, please feel free to contact us anytime by clicking here.
 
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17/03/18
An early season scuba diving trip to Stoney Cove
An early season scuba diving trip to Stoney Cove

As a suitable antidote to the club trip to Lanzarote at the end of February beginning of March, Steve Groves and myself thought a bracing scuba diving trip to Stoney Cove near Leicester would be in order, for some strange reason there were no other takers in the dive club, then we realised that we had chosen "Mothering Sunday" so assumed that all the other club members were being dutiful children and the icy water was not a factor.
 
 I don't know, the youngsters today (Gratuitous old G*T comment)
 
We arrived at 7:10 after a misty journey up and virtually drove straight in with plenty of parking available, and cheery staff to welcome us in. With reported visibility of 4-6 meters and 5 degrees water temperature, Steve and I were happy that we could show the dive club flag amongst the training scuba schools in wetsuits, free divers in swimming costumes with their rubber ducks, and the weighed down tec divers. We were wanting to practice our dry suit skills, in particular with many layers of insulation, this proved to be a suitable challenge for the day.


 
Using the wonderfully heated changing rooms we were ready to scuba dive before the schools had finished their briefing, however, a false start dealing with the effect of the low temperature on regulators, even low temp rated ones, meant that we had to fine tune our buoyancy skills in pretty murky water. Keeping a constant depth with no datum other than your buddy and a dive computer was an educational experience but one we had experienced before and we descended down to 18 m, our computers registered 4.7 C. Steve reckoned he saw the Viscount cockpit but I was a bit preoccupied as I found a combination of balancing squeeze with depth and the detrimental effect of the squeeze on my insulation added another variable by needing more air in the suit than on previous scuba dives, but then that was why we were there! Eventually, the Bacon Cobs beckoned, and we enthusiastically ended the dive.


 
Having achieved our objective, it was felt the second scuba dive would be a shallow one with some exploration for both of us, we chose to go round the quarry in a clockwise direction going no deeper than 8 m. Our first encounter was the Nautilus submarine where we had to wait at imaginary traffic lights to lets dozens of youngers in wetsuits pass by, the trip had to include a visit to the monster, I had to hold Steve's hand as he was terrified. Visibility did improve as we moved away from the student activity areas, the highlight of the scuba dive came for me as we reached the "Gresham" a genuine Elizabethan wreck. This wreck is being held at Stony Cove for preservation purposes and is fascinating for anyone who has visited the Mary Rose exhibition in Portsmouth Dockyard. This scuba dive lasted 36 minutes and I left the water with over 100Bar in my tank, a real achievement for me and combined with my 50th dive made for a memorable day for me.


 
In conclusion, an enjoyable day for both Steve and I, the challenge being, in part, the weather and temperature but all the more satisfying because of that, we learnt and experienced new things not least the" third scuba dive" which was in "Nemo’s Bar" where the fire was burning, and good food and drink was experienced. Well, we needed somewhere to update our logbooks!
 
 
 
Simon

 
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16/03/18
Why should you choose to do your PADI open water course with underwater adventures?
Why should you choose to do your PADI open water course with underwater adventures?

The PADI open water course is the world most widely used and recognized entry-level course in the world, you have even probably heard people talking about “getting their PADI” in relation to learning to scuba dive, well this is the course they are talking about. PADI is one of the largest teaching organizations in the world, teaching thousands of scuba divers year with the latest teaching techniques and teaching philosophies and innovations, leading the way in how people learn to scuba dive for over 50 years.

     

The PADI open water course is designed to get you in the water and learn through experience as soon as possible with the first pool session available as a “Discover Scuba Diving” try dive before you’ve even signed up to the full course do that you can see if you enjoy it before signing up to the full PADI open water course for only £45 per person and if you sign up to the PADI open water course once you have completed your Discover Scuba Diving session, the cost of the session is deducted from the cost of the full course.

   

The full PADI open water course is made up of three sections, the dive theory part where you learn the how’s and why's of scuba diving giving you an understanding of how scuba diving works. The confined water section where you will become familiar with the equipment and learn the skills you need to become a confidence scuba diver and the four open water dives where you will experience the thrills and excitement of scuba diving while under the guidance of our highly trained and experienced dive team.

   


The main difference between underwater adventures and most other scuba diving schools is that we focus on the Students learning experience, which is why our dive theory can either be completed online at your own pace or in a one to one session with one of our instructors and it is also why we offer unlimited sessions in any of our swimming pools located in Cambridge, Bedfordshire, and Hertfordshire. This allows you to learn to scuba dive at your own pace. If you want to can learn to scuba dive in a couple of weeks or a few months. We want you to have the best learning experience as possible, so you will never be pushed to learn quicker then you feel comfortable. It is important for us for you to learn to scuba dive at your own pace. Even with our open water dives, which take place at a specialist scuba diving lake just south of Peterborough, are completed with a maximum group size of four students and at least two PADI professionals on each dive.

   

Because we fit the PADI open water course around your needs and requirements and because we are as flexible as possible, you can start and finish your PADI open water course whenever you like and take as long as you like to finish. It is all about you and your learning experience.
So why should you learn to scuba dive with us? Because we will endeavor to give you the best scuba diving education as possible while allowing you to learn to scuba dive at your own pace in a fun and friendly environment.

If you would like to book your PADI open water course or would like more information about the PADI open water course, the Dive club, or any of the other PADI course we run? Please contact us by clicking here.
 
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09/03/18
Scuba diving Trip to Porthkerris
Scuba diving trip to Porthkerris, Cornwall.

Over the weekend of the 11th-13th May, we have our annual scuba diving trip to Porthkerris. This is a lovely setting with the log cabin we will be staying in only a couple of hundred metres from the beach with some excellent scuba diving on the reefs just offshore.

      


Porthkerris is a little cover on the lizard in Cornwall which has been set up for scuba divers. It has the log cabin accommodation which we will be staying in along with a clean air filling station, café, and dive shop just off the beach, so it has everything we need for a great weekends scuba diving. Because the reefs run from shallow to 20+ metres and with access to the manacles Marine Conservation Zone, MCZ, dive site offshore through one to the two dive boats available which lunch from the beach, the scuba diving is open to all levels of scuba diver, from PADI open water diver all the way up to those with the PADI deep diver qualification and as always with our club trips, we are open to scuba divers from all agencies, including BSAC, SSI, TDI, and SSA.

   


The plan for our scuba diving trip is to head down on Friday 11th May so that we are ready to jump in the water first thing Saturday morning and get as many dives in as possible. The good thing about scuba diving in Cornwall is that if the weather is bad in one place we can normally take a short drive over to the other coast and still get some great dives in there. On Saturday night and after a load of great dives we will normally head out to one of the amazing restaurant’s in the area for a nice meal and a couple of drinks while we chat about the great scuba diving we have done and the cool fish we have seen. On Sunday we can get another dive or two in before heading home. On the way home, we have been thinking about stopping off at Babbacombe Beach in Devon for a dive and maybe a bit of an underwater beach clean to work towards our PADI divers against Debris scuba divers award.

If you would like some more information about this trip or any of the other trips or courses, we run please click here
 
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08/03/18
Our first Scuba diving trip in the UK
Sea scuba diving in the UK

The 1st April is the first UK sea scuba diving trip of the year with our trip down to Swanage for a bit of wreck diving on the Betsy Anna and a couple of dives under the pier. We may also pop out for a drift dive later in the afternoon depending on how good the weather is to us.
With a depth of 23 metres, the wreck dive on the Betsy Anna is only open to PADI advanced open water divers ( or BSAC and SSI equivalent ) or those of a higher scuba diving qualification, but the rest of the planned scuba diving is open to all levels including PADI open water divers.

A little more about the Betsy Anna

The Betsy Anna was an 880-ton steel steamer, built on the banks of the river Tyne in 1892. She struck Prawle Point in Devon in October 1926 but was re-floated and taken under tow towards Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, for major repairs. She sank, in her current position, after beginning to take on water and breaking her tow. She is lying upright in 24m of water, approximately 5 miles East of Swanage. The top of the bow section, in around 18 metres as the bow collapsed backward, so now stands 4m high pointing upwards.


   


Scuba diving Swanage pier

Swanage Pier is the perfect introductory to scuba diving in the water around the UK coast. It is shallow with easy access and loads of life. You would start the scuba dive by kitting up on the pier and heading down the steps straight into the sea water. It is well sheltered so it is easy to put on your fins before swimming on your back to the pier itself where you will drop down into around 2.5 meters of water. It is easy to navigate as you will just stay under the pier itself where you will find a selection of fish include different types of wrasse, with the odd pollock cursing around the schools of white fish and if you look closer in to the small nooks and crannies, you’ll stand a good chance of seeing Tompot Blenny’s and groups of shrimps.
With a max depth of 5 metres out towards the end of the pier and the relatively sheltered conditions in the bay, this is a great first experience for anyone new to scuba diving in the UK.
     

If you would like to know more about this scuba diving trip or any of the others we have planned throughout the year, please feel free to contact us by clicking here. 
 
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29/12/17
Underwater Adventures Dive Club Christmas party
For this year's Underwater Adventures dive club Christmas party we headed down to London for a cruise up and down the river on board MV Jewel of London for a few drinks, a bit of dancing all while taking in the amazing views London has to offer over the Christmas period.
The dress code was smart, so with all of us in our best clothes, we meet up at a pub just up from the embarkation point for a quick drink before heading down to the river to board our boat for the night. We found our table, got a couple of drinks in and we didn't have to wait long for the food to be served which was good although lacking in turkey for a Christmas meal, but that's just my point of view as everyone else really enjoyed it. Bellies full and drinks topped up we proceeded to dance the night away while enjoying the lights of London.

The boat docked at 12 pm and for those of us who wanted to carry on we had the option of free entry into the Opal nightclub just down the embankment and although most of us headed home and intrepid 6 of us headed down to the club for another couple of hours of dancing, with the odd Jager bomb thrown in for good measure, before heading back home to North Herts in the early hours of the morning. A great time was had by all and it is something we would definitely consider arranging again.








The Underwater adventures scuba diving club does a whole lot more than just scuba dive as we believe the social side of club membership is just as important as the scuba diving because it adds tot he scuba diving experience to scuba dive with people who are your friends. So if you would like to learn more about our scuba diving club and how to join, please click here 
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29/12/17
Diving El Gouna, Egypt
On the 24th November, 14 of us jetted off to El Gouna in Egypt to work on our suntans ready for Christmas and maybe get a little diving in as we had heard it's not too bad around this area, and boy, were we in for a treat. The Flight from Gatwick to Hurghada allowed us to catch up with the sleep we had lost due tot eh early start so we were ready to explore El Gouna once we had arrived as none of us had visited this place before  and it is a lovely little tourist town with a load of bars and restaurants within a couple of minutes walk from our hotel. A lovely meal was had followed by an early night so we would be ready for the following day's scuba diving. The next morning we were picked up and taken to the dive centre where we filled in the necessary paperwork and got our kit onto the dive boat, ready to check out what the water off El Gouna had to offer and boy, were we in for a treat.





Not only did we enjoy the beautifully clear, warm water, amazing coral and fish life but as you can see from above, we were treated to a visit from a pod of Dolphins. To be honest, the place we were diving was called dolphin house should we had an idea but having the chance to scuba dive with these amazing animals is an experience of a lifetime and yet another reason, if you needed one, to learn to scuba dive. It was such an amazing experience and if you follow the link below you can see what it was like as I luckily had my camera on and catch the whole event.

Underwater Adventures Dive Club YouTube channel 

Amazing as that was it wasn't the only thing we saw on that trip with a number of the Girls spotting a very large Eagle ray in the blue, unfortunately, no video of this one, and a hugh amount of amazing coral which fortunately had not been badly effected by the coral bleaching a lot of the other parts of the red sea had experience over the past couple of years and because el gouna is a little off the beaten track we were treated to laods of fish life, from humphead wrasse bigger then a scuba diver to amazingly beutifully coloured nudibranch not much bigger than your little finger nail. Plus we also did a trip to scuba dive the Thistlegorm wreck, one of the world most famous wrecks, a wreck very popular with scuba divers from all over the world due to the ease of penetration and the huge amount of supplies still in its hold, from motorbikes to artillery shells.



With the amazing scuba diving with a friendly and fun group of people, all in all, it was a get week away with the added bonus of all of us having a great sun suntan for Christmas and if you would like to take a look at some of the pictures taken by the others who came on the trip please check out the album on our facebook page

Underwater adventures Facebook Picture album

And if you fancy joining us on one of our other scuba diving trips please keep an eye on our events calendar and our facebook page for further information, FYI we do have a scuba diving trip to Lanzarote at the End of February ;-)
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13/11/17
Scuba Diving in November?
Diving in November? When the question was put to the group as to who wanted to visit Stoney Cove on Saturday 11th November there was silence. Traditionally the month when people start to hang up their dive kit there was only Simon (who the week before had completed his Dry suit course) who volunteered. Being a November Dive Simon and myself decided that Stoney Cove couldn’t possibly be that busy so we agreed to meet at 9 am. After all, with the numerous divers who are going into hibernation for the winter months, we would probably even get down to the waterfront car park – Wrong!

That Saturday morning as we traveled through the rain we began to question what we were doing. 7 am on a cold Saturday morning and we are driving towards a cold quarry to jump into the equally cold water. As we arrived at Stoney Cove we were pleasantly surprised. The rain that we had been driving through had passed and we were greeted by a glistening lake. Although we had to park on the top carpark due to the number of visitors it didn’t dampen our spirits! After lugging our kit down to the waterside we rewarded ourselves with Bacon Sandwiches and copious amounts of Tea. The plan was to swim down to the Wessex Helicopter and then navigate out to the Stangarth, then moving to the left-hand side of the quarry swim past the Belinda and then onto the Tug Boat defiant. All good in theory, however, our bearing was slightly off and after leaving the Wessex Helicopter we reached the Belinda (Probably need to brush up on my navigation skills!!). We then swam to the left-hand side of the quarry visiting the blockhouse and a Nautilus that was engulfed in a shoal of Fish. 





After refueling on yet more Tea and food, we decided to Try again. This time to make sure we reached the Stangarth we decided to follow the anchor chain, within a matter of minutes we found the Chain and was swimming out into the centre of the quarry. As we swam a looming structure began to appear out of the murk, we had finally found the Stangarth! After swimming around the ship we navigated to the Belinda and then the Tug Boat Defiant. This time upon ascending to the shallows we were greeted by an extremely aggressive Cray Fish and a large Pike that just floated in the water; wearily watching us as we made our way to the exit.

All in all two fantastic dives with a water temperature of 14 degrees and 7 meters visibility– Not bad for this time of year!! I wouldn’t recommend it in a wetsuit however for those Drysuit divers out there the question is ‘Will you be joining us at Stoney Cove for another dive on the 17th November?’

Will
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07/11/17
PADI drysuit course at Gildenburgh
PADI Drysuit course.

On Thursday evening and a couple of the club members came along to the pool night that we have every Thursday evening at the Robinson Pool, Bedford, with their nice and shiny new drysuit's ready to start the practical part of their PADI dry suit course. After a bit of time complaining about how hot they were at the side of the pool, it was time to jump in and try out their drysuits for the first time. This is always a little bit of a tense moment when you wonder if you will actually be dry and what do you know, both of them were. After a little play around with their weight's and a buoyancy check, it was time to go for a play around underwater to learn about how diving in a drysuit differs from scuba diving in a wetsuit. After they had got comfortable in their drysuit's it was time for some safety skill and how to act should something not go right with the drysuit whilst scuba diving. All done and all happy with their new drysuits it was time to move to open water.





Sunday the 5th November came around and it was a beautiful day with the sun coming out and hardly any other divers around, plus at this time of year, the temperature in the water was much warmer than the air temperature. Jo and Simon under the guidance of Derek and Stuart put their kit on and went for their first open water dives in their drysuits. just a nice little bibble around the training platform's to work on their buoyancy with their new piece of equipment and a chance to perform a couple of safety skill's which their learned int he pool. Half an hour later and has everyone was getting out of the water after the first dive the general consensus was "how warm are we". 
After a bit of time on the surface for a nice cup of tea, while the cylinders were filled, it was time for dive two. this time a trip around the eastern side of the lake to look for fish in the sunken forest. 40 mins later and everyone was back on shore having completed all the necessary skill's and more importantly, feeling a lot more confident in their drysuits, plus everyone was still warm even given the time of year. Another cup of tea during the debrief before heading home with two new and very happy PADI drysuit divers. 



 
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01/11/17
Emergency First Responce First Aid Course
On the 17th November, we will be running an Emergency first response primary and secondary care first aid course at the Willian village hall, Hertfordshire. Although this is primarily for scuba divers, the course is the same as we would give to the general public going over exactly the same skill's as you would find on a general First Aid Course and is open to everyone.
Has with all of our course's, we will make it fun and enjoyable as well as educational as we believe that you will learn more if you are having fun at the same time so why not come along and learn something that just might save someone's life while having a fun evening out.



The course will start 7:00 pm on Friday 17th November and if you would like to book on the course please let us know beforehand so we can provide you with the training manual so you can have a look through and familiarize yourself with it beforehand, allowing you to get the most out of the course on the night. The cost of this course is £25 to a member of Underwater Adventures or £55 to non-members and for this price, you get your own training manual which you will get to keep, the Full first aid course and full certification from emergency First Response upon completion of the course.
 

If you would like to join us on This course, Please contact by clicking here and dropping us a message


 
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30/10/17
Scuba Diving Nemo 33

Dive trip to NEMO 33, Belgium.

On the 16th December, we are off to Nemo 33 in Brussel's, a specially built 33-metre deep scuba diving pool with swim-throughs and air pockets at 10-metre's where you can surface and chat to your friends in an experience you won't find anywhere else in the world, and with a water temperature of 33 degree's Celsius, the perfect place to warm you up.

Scuba Diving Nemo 33


We are planning two dives while we are there with a break for lunch at the facilities lovely on-site Thai restaurant between our two dives and for those who are interested we will be staying overnight in Brussels so that we can visit the world-famous Christmas market on Sunday.
This Scuba diving trip is open to all levels as long as you keep to your certified depth during your dive and it is an amazing experience which will give you something to brag to the family about over Christmas dinnerPADI deep diver course
 

If you fancy joining us on this trip please feel free to contact us anytime by clicking here.


 
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30/09/17
Charity fun day in aid of the RNLI
On the 30th September at Gildenburgh water, a Scuba Diving site just south of Peterborough, BRoW4 held a charity event in aid of the RNLI, a charity very close to all divers hearts and Underwater Adventures were happy to send a team along to take part. 


The event had bouncy castles and stalls all around the dive site and a competition for scuba divers where we could test our scuba diving skill's while having loads of fun. Team Underwater adventures were made up, from left to right, Kirstie, Steph, Steve, Heather, and Simon and I am so proud of how well they all did in coming first in the competition even though we were a diver down in only having 5 diver's in our team.

The event's included an underwater navigation test, an underwater treasure hunt, an Underwater Photography competition and an Underwater Pool game on a pool table at 6 metres (Please click here to watch a video of the underwater pool game) which was won comfortably by Steph and Kirstie.

Despite the poor Viz underwater on the day both teams did really well in both the underwater navigation and the underwater treasure hunt and were the only team to complete both task's to the full but unfortunately due to the poor viz the underwater photography didn't so so well otherwise we would have had a load of pictures to show you on here.

The day was a success, raising money for a worthy cause in the RNLI as well as allowing everyone to have loads of fun while doing it and I would like to say a huge well done to team Underwater Adventures for coming first and showing how good our scuba diving skills are.

The Winners with the huge banana we won for kicking arse at Underwater pool.
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10/04/17
Red Sea Liveaboard
In April 2018 we will be heading the Egypt for a red sea liveaboard diving the best the red sea has
to offer. The trip includes flights, transfers, Egyptian visa with a guide to help us through immigration
plus all the diving, food and drink while on this amazing vessel. The cost of the trip
is £1328 and if you are a member of the underwater adventures dive club you will getting a refund
of at least £70 of the full price once the trip is over, dropping the overall price to just £1258.



Itinerary Highlights:
 
Brother Islands
The northernmost part of Egypt's offshore marine park is made up of two islands 60km away from the coast and 140km south of Hurghada. The larger island (complete with a lighthouse from 1883) is 400 metres long with a spectacular plateau on the south-east corner which is dotted with coral mountains and famous for thresher and grey reef shark sightings. The western side of the island has two impressive wrecks which both lie almost vertical on the side of the reef. The most spectacular are the Numidia, a large cargo steamer which sank in 1901 and now lies on the tip of the island between 10 and 80 metres covered in soft corals and frequented by large pelagic predators. The smaller wreck of the Aida (sitting between 30 and 65 metres) was a lighthouse authority supply vessel which sank in bad weather in 1957.
The smaller island, whilst only a little over 200 metres long, hosts an incredible concentration and variety of marine life. There is a pristine fan coral forest, a massive collection of hard and soft corals and compelling overhangs to explore. The highlight is the fish life; with regular seasonal sightings of hammerhead, thresher, grey reef, and oceanic whitetip sharks.

Daedalus
This huge tear-drop shaped reef rises from the seabed in the middle of the Red Sea, 80km offshore and more than 300km south of Hurghada. Easily recognized by its zebra-striped lighthouse, this reef offers some of the most amazing dives in the Red Sea. The sheer walls are covered in over-grown hard coral formations and a variety of reef fish. Napoleon wrasses and turtles are often cruising by, but make sure you keep your eyes open in the blue! Daedalus is one of those places where anything can happen... oceanic whitetip, grey reef, and thresher sharks are often sighted, but Daedalus is most famous for its scalloped hammerhead sharks which can often be seen in large schools out in the blue during the summer months. The sheer size of this reef means that you can do several dives here and never get bored!

Elphinstone Reef
A Red Sea legend; a finger-shaped reef, with north and south plateaus covered in hard and soft corals, unpredictable and exciting this truly is an awesome reef where hammerhead sharks are regularly spotted in the summer and oceanic whitetip sharks often congregate in large numbers during late autumn.
 
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08/02/17
PADI Adventure Diver
The PADI adventure diver course is based on the completion of 3 adventure dives from the following, night dive, surface maker buoy dive, wreck dive, deep dive, navigation dive, naturalist dive and the peak performance buoyancy dive. These dives will take place over one day at the openwater site. Once you have chosen your 3 scuba dives you will receive your Padi adventures in diving pack for you to complete the relavent chapters to the dive you will be doing. 
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19/03/15
New Website
We are very excited to announce the launch of our brand new website.  We've spent time putting together the information on the website to help better inform our customers about us and what we provide. We hope you find it useful and informative.  Have a look through the website and feel free to let us know your thoughts, we hope you like it as much as we do.  If you have any questions about us or what we provide, then please do get in touch.

This website was designed and created for us by Fluid Studios in Hertfordshire. Find them at www.fluidstudiosltd.com.
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