The arrival of summer and the lifting of some Covid restrictions has finally meant we’ve all been able to get out and about! With no idea how long this new sense of freedom will last, I wasted no time in looking into getting involved with a local dive centre and booking myself onto a few exciting trips.
It’s been so great to get back in the water again after a ridiculously long surface interval of 18 months! To many of us, the ocean and being in the water is our medicine and, for me, not being able to dive for such a long time, really does take it’s toll on every aspect of my life.
"I Cant Remember How to Dive..."
Being a relatively new instructor, I had been quite anxious about spending so long away from the teaching environment. Would I forget how to teach? Would I forget how to perform skills in front of students? Even worse, would I remember how to dive?! I’m relieved to say that it really is just like riding a bike!
I got in contact with a local PADI 5* dive centre, Scuba Shack, and have been joining their weekly pool nights and some of their open water training. For now, I’m simply observing and assisting where I can. Teaching people to dive in the UK is very different to teaching people to dive in Thailand. Rather than packing a PADI Open Water Diver Course into 3 or 4 days, like we could do in Thailand, most courses tend to run over several weeks. Then you have the issue of finding and accessing suitable open water locations, along with the weather. Need I say more?! The weather in the UK can be super unpredictable, even during the summer months, so conducting open water dives in the ocean always involve a risk of being cancelled due to unsuitable environmental conditions. This is a huge shame, because the has some INSANE UK dive sites!
We teach all confined dives within a swimming pool which, I have to confess, is relatively nice. Having come from teaching in Thai waters, it’s kind of a relief not having to worry about rogue boat captains driving full force across dive sites and an equally rogue baby triggerfish biting my students head. The lack of environmental risk and distractions make for pretty smooth skill sessions.
However, there are plenty of inland quarries that have been filled in and are now managed for scuba divers. We are lucky to have a small quarry nearby which suits the requirements needed for training students in Open Water Diver, Advanced Diver and Rescue Diver courses. This visibility here can change quite a bit throughout the year. On a recent dive it was pretty good above 8 metres, maybe about 5 metres vis with about a 14 degrees Celsius surface temp. Below 8 metres, we descended into a very green and dark world! Yes, I know. They can be quite challenging conditions, especially with Open Water Diver students.
If you’re in the West Midlands, a fancy a few dives, give Scuba Shack a call! They have numerous courses for you to embark on from try dives to instructor courses, and specialties to technical, whatever suits your interest. Or, simply drop me a message on Katy Jane Dives – PADI Diving Instructor and I’ll introduce you to them! They are a brilliant and professional school to be a part of and I look forward to joining them on lots more adventures!
Thanks to Scuba Shack for the photos!