Get Started

themed image
 
    

Payments:

Payment may be made by cash, cheque or card (with PIN).

 


 

Getting Started!

Latest News!

Availability

Appointments may be available:

Monday - Noon - 8pm

Tuesday 8am - 8pm

Wednesday - nil

Thursday / Friday - 8am- 8pm

Saturday - 10am-1pm

 

Planned holidays (so no availability):
13th - 31st July 2017
16th - 24th September 2017

 

So you have decided to learn to dive - great decision!

Firstly you need to decide with which dive school / club you wish to take the plunge. Word of mouth recommendations are great, but I guess we all have a bias towards how we learnt to dive, so how can you make an enlightened choice?

Simply there are two ways to learn to dive:

  • join a dive club e.g. BSAC, SAA

  • enroll on a diving course e.g. PADI

There are pros and cons of each method. 

Most training agencies will organise a 'trial dive' for you. This is a useful way of seeing if you will like scuba diving without investing a lot of time and money in a full course.

 

Joining a club

The British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) is the largest dive club in the world, and its qualifications are recognised around the world. It is split up into lots of local clubs (branches). You basically join a local branch and they will teach you to dive, organise club trips and teaching sessions, as well as provide a lively social club for you to get involved in.

Learning to dive is usually done in a very thorough manner with you not being able to progress on to the next stage until you have mastered the techniques. Some find this too slow for them, others do not like the club hierarchy structure. Others find that this is an ideal way to develop their diving in a safe and organised manner. You need to decide if this is right for you.

 

British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) click here...

 

Sub Aqua Association (SAA) click here...

 

Medical Questionnaire for BSAC / SAA click here... 

Back to Top

 

Enroll on a dive course

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is the largest dive training agency in the world. Its qualifications are recognised throughout the world.

Basically you enroll on a course, pay your money, and usually qualify as a diver several days later. The course consists of a theory module, 4 swimming pool dives, then 4 'open water' dives, usually in a sheltered inland dive site. This is without doubt the fastest way to become a Scuba diver! However some find this too quick and are not ready to fully enjoy scuba diving after only 4 'open water dives'.

However most PADI dive schools have an attached club that allows you to mix with fellow divers and do organised trips etc.

 

Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) click here....

 

Medical Questionnaire for PADI click here...

Back to Top

Another potential advantage of the PADI system is the ability to start your course with one dive school and finish it with another. This is called the referral system, where the theory and swimming pool sessions can be done in the UK, and the open water dives done in the warmer and clearer water abroad. This means that you get the advantage of not wasting valuable days of your holiday doing the more basis aspects of the course, but enjoy the nicer waters of your holiday resort to do the diving.

Back to Top

 

Have a disability?

Do not give up hope of ever going scuba diving! There are specialist instructors who are trained to teach people with disabilities. However there are certain medical problems that would make it extremely dangerous to go diving e.g. epilepsy, but most disabilities may not be a bar to experiencing scuba diving. I would suggest a trial dive first to see how you get on and then book a course with a specialist instructor. For more  information try the Scuba Trust click here....

 

For those with hearing impairment try The Deaf Divers (having had the pleasure of meeting them I can confirm that they are a great bunch !) click here....

 

Local Dive Schools

I have had the pleasure of getting to know many of the local instructors and dive masters from PADI dive schools. Click here... for a map with hyperlinks to their websites.

 

The Adventure is just beginning...

So you are now a qualified scuba diver.... congratulations.

I would recommend that you do not stop your training at this point. You will get far more out of diving by becoming an advanced diver. There are so many types of scuba diving to enjoy and so many places around the world to dive, but you do need to be suitably trained to do this safely.....

You can never stop learning!

Back to Top

Develop Your Diving!

 

Your basic level Scuba qualification is a good start. 

Are you now addicted to scuba diving? Many quickly become enthusiastic scuba divers and want to learn more, dive more and do different types of diving. The list is endless:

  • wreck diving

  • boat diving

  • drift diving

  • reef diving

  • ice diving

  • deep diving

  • etc etc

 

However there are usually different skills to learn, different equipment needed and different hazards to be aware of. It cannot be emphasized enough that further special training is the safest way to enjoy these new activities.

 

Online Dive Resources

1) Online communities

Many dive websites have forums, the best that I have found is Yorkshire Divers - this is packed with lots of diving information and is a great place to meet other divers.  click here...

2) Online diving magazines

There are excellent free downloadable diving magazines:

There are at least 3 monthly magazines available in newsagents, but also with an online presence:

Back to Top

manatee in Crystal River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going Professional!

 

So now you are not only a competent scuba diver, but you feel it is time to help others get into this exhilarating sport. You might even want to 'live the dream' and earn a living from it, or even use this as your ticket to go around the world! There are many opportunities for dive instructors and dive masters both in the UK and around the world. So how do you go about it?

Everything's OK with GavThis website will be devoted to the situation in the UK. There are likely to be different local laws and requirements in other countries. I suspect that you will find the situation in the UK one of the most demanding and highly regulated!

Firstly do you want to make money (Ok earn a little!) from your diving? If not then think about becoming an instructor with a club e.g. BSAC. You will still need to meet high diving standards and organise safe diving for your students, but you will not be 'controlled' by the Diving at Work Regulations (DWR).

Alternatively if you wish to be paid then become a PADI instructor either attached to a dive school or as an independent instructor. If there is a fee-paying student then you will be classified as diving at work and hence 'controlled' by the Diving at Work Regulations (DWR).

Back to Top

 

The Diving at Work Regulations (DWR)

These are the 'laws' that control both industrial / commercial diving e.g. in The North Sea, but also those professionals that are making money from teaching members of the public to Scuba dive. Breach of these laws may lead to prosecution and possibly a prison sentence.

The Health & Safety Executive has a duty to monitor, investigate and prosecute breaches of these regulations. For more information start at the HSE's diving home page click here...

 

If you are still thinking about a career in diving then read the HSE's advice page click here...

 

Then move on to the actual regulations click here...

 

Did you struggle to understand these regulations? You are not alone! Then you may like to purchase the relevant Approved code of practice (ACOP). Although these are not actually part of the regulations they are an easier to understand set of documents explaining how to best comply with the Regulations. click here...

 

Several free downloadable leaflets are also available click here....

 

If you are still reading this then you are probably barking mad! However this is just some of what it takes to be a member of the elite diving instructor fraternity! You will certainly earn my admiration if you get this far, and a special thanks to all my instructors for enduring this so that they could teach me!

Back to Top

 

Medical Requirements

To be a dive master / instructor you need to be fitter and healthier than that required to scuba dive. This is because you have your students' lives in your responsibility and you must be able to assist them if they get into difficulty. For more information see the HSE Medical page.

 

What about the Volunteer?

Firstly are you really a totally unpaid helper? Are you getting free air fills, dive site entrance fees paid? If you are then you are 'at-work' and are 'controlled' by the DWR. Another area of confusion is the trainee dive master - they are paying for the privilege of being there but are they also 'at-work'? Read this letter from Chris Sherman (Chief Inspector of Diving, HSE) click here...

Back to Top

 

What if there is an accident whilst 'at-work'?

Oh dear, but it does sometimes happen. Can you just go home and forget about it? Sadly no. There is more paper work for you to complete! What happens next probably depends on the severity of the accident. If there is a death then the Police and HSE will almost certainly be involved. If it is less severe then it may be your responsibility to notify the HSE. What do you know about RIDDOR?

Blue spotted ray

 

Free Diving

 

Free diving is a developing sport that is becoming very popular with both swimmers and scuba divers. 

There are many skills that are applicable to both free diving and scuba diving that will increase your ability, performance and efficiency underwater.

 

Resources

1) Organisations

AIDA International - The international association for the development of freediving  click here....

The British Freediving Association click here....

2) Books

 

Manual of Freediving by Pelizzari & Tovaglieri click here...

 

'Is the first comprehensive manual that teaches how to hold the breath, stay underwater longer, and descend deeper into the blue. This is the definitive guide, illustrated and up to date, for the aspiring apneist. From theory to practice this manual will accompany the reader in the discovery of a fascinating sport.
It is a manual that should not be missing from the itinerary of any diver (apneist or otherwise) who wishes to improve their techniques of respiration, swimming and diving whilst broadening knowledge and theory.
Dozens of underwater exercises, illustrated with helpful sequences of pictures allow both students and instructors of apnea to follow a simple and effective teaching path.
From the experience of two sportsmen, with years dedicated to competitive and instructive apnea, finally a manual that unites theory with practical experience.'

 

 

 


 

The Last Attempt by Carlos Serra   click here...

 

'While attempting to set a new world record in the extreme sport of freediving, Audrey Maestre dies. Something had gone terribly wrong and despite a massive media attention, many questions remained unanswered. Suspicion fell over her husband, the legendary freediver known as Pipin, prompting his business partner, Carlos Serra, a brother-like friend to Audrey, to promise an investigation to determine responsibilities, if any. But Pipin rejected the motion and that's when the struggle between Serra and Pipin began. THE LAST ATTEMPT is the result of that investigation, and with a surprising conclusion, it comprises the whole story as it actually occurred.'