Friday, May 29, 2009

Why we're worth it! - Doing it by the book...

Often when customers come to us, they are surprised when we ask for log books and proof of certification. Then their eyes really go wide when we arrange their first dive as a check dive. It seems as though we are in an elite group of centres that really do things by the book.

In return, we are often surprised to see divers with depths logged far beyond their certification should allow and we even have to persuade some people to take their Deep course in order to do dives that others have allowed them to do despite being unqualified.

This might seem very strict, but we believe that not only is it a required standard - its also a massively beneficial action for the center, the divers and for diving as a community.

All divers who are new to us go on a check dive first - whether they are Open Water students or experienced instructors. Far more than judging anyone's skill in the water - we feel check dives are excellent for checking your weighting and thermal protection is sufficient for our local environment. Nobody wants to get to a dive site and find they are too cold to enjoy the views. It is also the customer’s time to check that they are happy with us and make sure their equipment is functioning well. All this is in the aim of all dives after this running smoothly for you because the proper preparation was done.

Not that check dives have to be boring! Our house reef is teeming with life! Octopus, Cuttlefish, bream and morays! I can't think of a nicer place to start your dives!

When we check your log book, it lets us know what kind of diving you are comfortable with, so that we can pick the best sites to suit you during your stay with us. Log books are also a pleasant diary of all your fun experiences in the past. They are scribbled with the emails of new found friends and little tips and hints to make your future diving better - when log books are not kept regularly, you don't do yourself justice of proving your experience - and this could end up limiting the range of sites you might visit. So always remember to enjoy filing in your log.

As far as Deep dives go - the Deep Course is really a must! - Its great to extend your range - but why do it without proper training and knowledge to keep you safe?! The second major issue is that your insurances only cover you to your certification depth - if you have a problem deeper than your cert allows - no insurance! And nobody wants that!

Casualties in diving are no good for anyone - it gives diving a bad reputation which can mean that legal implications drive costs up for you the diver. Keeping our community safe and sound on dives is beneficial to all involved.

Beyond all of that, the Deep course, like so many of our specialties, is fantastic fun and really adds to your enjoyment of your stay here.

When it comes to safety - we believe you're worth doing everything properly!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Making Advances...

Wow, we seem to have so many people coming to us taking the Advanced Open Water course recently. I started to think about why it's so popular... Some people take it straight after their Open Water course (we actually have a combo package price for the two courses together), while others wait a while before stepping up to the next level. It all depends on comfort and personal preference I guess.

Either way, its a great course that really gives a lot back to divers who take it. If you go for it straight after the Open Water, its a great way to continue your diving in the safety of an Instructors watch, seeing new sites and learning new skills. It's also great for taking a taster of different diving courses and skills, finding out which areas will interest and excite you, helping you to choose your path in diving.

For those who come to the course with a bit more experience, it can open up new areas in diving that they might not have thought about before. The Advanced course is really a smorges-board of skills. Your take 5 different Adventure Dives - one must be a Deep Diver Adventure, and one must be a Navigation Adventure. Then you can choose 3 others from a huge list of PADI Specialties. These dives also count as the first dive of the full Specialty if you decide to go for the whole course! Efficient, eh?

Plus there's the added bonus of extending your diving depth to 30m, opening up new sites to you that perhaps you couldn't visit before!

No wonder everyone's taking this course! Its the obvious choice!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happy Snappers

Sarah is off to Cirkewwa with Wiveca and Lars today, who are taking their Advanced Open Water course this week. Today they are going to be taking their Underwater Photography adventure dive, learning how to dive safely while taking photos and how to get fantastic shots with vivid colours and sharp accuracy underwater - not an easy task when the fish are fast moving and shy!

Luckily, they are in good hands. Sarah and Howard from the Divewise permanent staff make up Shawshot Productions, who produce some of the fantastic shots and video footage that Divewise use to promote the beautiful aquatic world around Malta.

Digital Underwater Photography is the full extended specialty that relates to the adventure that Wiveca and Lars will take today. Although the specialty focuses on underwater shots, its likely to improve a newcomers surface photos too! You can learn theory and practice to frame subjects better, get more natural looking poses out of your models and get just the right light.

If your passion is for diving, then this course is perfect to make sure that your happy memories come back in focus, with plenty of tone and style!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Night Swimming...

Today has a peaceful hush about it. People are taking it easy and conserving their engery. But as the sun starts to slowly set over the bays of St Julians, a quiet buzz will begin. Tonight we are Night Diving and the whole day looks forward to that moment! New divers will kits up in the dusk light, perhaps a little anxious, but also excited. If you thought that going underwater revealed a whole new world, then going underwater at night changes that world yet again.

The eerie but calm experience of floating in the darkness, viewing only where your torch light extends - its possible to dream you are in space, or maybe even in a horror movie! The shafts of light searching through the black seem like something from an alien space ship. Though we move slowly and breathe in a relaxed manner, no-on can deny the loud thump of their heart beat as they wait for the next surprise to dart under the beam of the lamp...

We will see creatures that hide away in the daytime, now boldly gliding out in the open - Cuttlefish, Octopus and Moray Eels. The fish that we saw in the day will also seem new to us, displaying different behaviours. The lack of sun hides some things from us, but now against the dark, we can easily see the pin-prick reflections of tiny eyes amongst the rocks - shrimp and crabs.

While Paceville thumps with noise and bustle, we will be silent stealthy creatures (except for the sound of bubbles) and go night swimming...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mellow Monday

So another week begins... although with Divewise open 7 days a week, the days just seem to blur in to one continuous run of fun. Big Al and the Landshark Dive Club are just packing up and say how fast their week in the sun has passed. In the meantime, new students are just signing in and getting ready for Advanced Open Water and specialty courses - (Buy one Get one Free online!).

Nev and Howard are getting busy in their handy-men role, while Sarah is spring cleaning our rental equipment and changing over the suits to match the rising temperatures that Summer brings...

A lot of people are worrying what the world-wide credit crunch will mean to their summer holidays and their spare cash for pleasure activities such as Scuba Diving. Here at Divewise, we have put together lots of special deals like our Advance Payment Discount Scheme to save divers money so that they can continue with their passion for the sport, even if the purse strings are a little tighter. Remember that you can sacrifice the odd beer, or maybe buy less magazines, but never give up the things that bring you happiness in life!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Wooo A Hoooo!

Ahaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Rob has passed his PADI Instructor Exam! Congratulations Rob! This is a real milestone in any diver's career. Rob has come all the way from entry level diving at Open Water, through the recreational levels and then on to Divemaster and Asisstant Instructor - Now as an Open Water Scuba instructor (OWSI), Rob will be able to introduce people to the wonderful underwater world.

Because Rob is also taking his Specialty Instructor Courses, he can also have the fun of giving specialties and adventures to more advanced divers, giving them new skills and exciting experiences. No doubt he'll achieve his Master Scuba Diver Trainer status in no time!

We're just waiting for all our customers to get back from Dives at Um el Farood (Zurrieq) and the Maori, so we can all get together in celebrating Rob's fantastic achievement!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Big Catch Up

My how time flies when you're having fishy-style fun. All that time underwater leaves a blog lagging once in a while. So lets get you up to speed on the last week or so of events.

Rob Randal has continued ploughing into his Instructor Development Course under Alan's tutelage, with Danny and Lucy assisting as naughty students and bodies. Its surprising how much a 'bod-deady' can laugh. Robs skills have sharpened perfectly in time for his Instructor Examinations, taking place just as we type this blog out to you all. This week he has also completed his EFR Instructor, now an essential requirement for those wishing to become PADI Open Water Instructors.

The two parties of proudly crazy Dutchmen stayed with us until May 11th and enjoyed all the best sites of the island - The P29, The Rozi, Um el Faroud, Gozo Blue Hole, The Inland Sea and much more, as well as a fantastic night out at Cianco's for kareoke and cake in celebration of Turu's Birthday. Lucy offered her singing talents in return for a rid in Turu's shiny red Triumph - the only way to travel!

With Neville now returned from his trip to Australia and Thailand, his friends Georgie and Leggie visited to complete their Advanced Open Water Course, extending their diving depth to 30m!- well done those people! They treated themselves to PADI's limited edition Project A.W.A.R.E cards for their PICs - what a nice way to celebrate their achievement and also protect the Marine Environment! Later in the week, customers Ozcan and Dominique also started their Advanced Open Water courses and are enjoying those still.

Marco Heibener also joined us for plenty of leisurely afternoon dives once his language classes were over by lunch. He has really impressed us with his skills as a diver. Likely to remembered as the lad with the lamp - as each visit you could hear Marco declare 'My lamp, my Lamp' to remind us that his torch was still in safe storage in the office!

New faces have been dropping in to Discover Scuba Diving on the House reef - we've had newcomers from as far abroad as Lithuania, Ireland and Brazil! Luckily the in house staff speak a variety of languages between them and we can always work a way to teach through any language barrier!

Gary, our Sun-worshiping staff member finally decided that the water was warm enough to get back in for the Summer! Could it be something to do with the fact that his friends from Austria are here to dive?? Today he is out to Gozo with Big Al and crew from Britain, a lively bunch of return customers that we're always happy to see! As are Colm and Owen, the Irish contingent who are considering their Tec Deep Diver Course with our sister company Techwise this week...

Thurs 7th May 09

The Dutch crews have just headed out with returning Tec Staff Leo to meet with the formidable Imperial Eagle. Natalie and Lara are tuning up their dive skills with Sarah, ready to get back in for a great summer season of diving in Malta, while Christian continues his pleasure dives with Alex. The wind is down, the temperature is climbing and everyone is starting to feel the summer buzz…
We’re in Scuba-Heaven… where are you?!?!

Wed 6th May 09

Happy Birthday Turu – what a guy – working on his birthday. Having said that, if work is diving in the beautiful Coral Cave and Inland Sea at Gozo … well who could resist? A great international mix included Dutch, Italian, British and French – with everybody equally enjoying the sights.

A little bit of swell in the Blue Hole didn’t stop anyone from discovering this amazing site. Rino and Laurie lit up the walls of the passage out to sea, and Christian viewed the corals from under the waves while our land-based passenger, Arleen, viewed the spectacular rock formations from a boat ride along the surface.

Tues 5th May 09

Rob tidied up the final stages of this Dive Master course in time to start his ICD coming up soon. Today was a bit of continuing education, acting as Dive Master on SMB Specialist – one of the many different specialty skills that you can add to your diving for safer, more enjoyable dives.

Eugene and Jane all the way from Lithuania dropped in on the house reef for a Discover SCUBA Diving experience that they both enjoyed very much, floating past Bream, Wrasse and Damsel fish.

Mon 4th May 09

Peter, Therese went out pleasure diving, while Christian completed his Advanced Open Water course – Congratulations, Christian. We hope you enjoy using your new skills and extended depth range!

Joe brought his girlfriend Bianca to share his passion for the underwater world. After a successful Discover Scuba Diving experience, the couple were able to enjoy a guided tour of the house reef together that same day. This really is a fantastic sport to share with your loved ones. Nothing can beat the feeling of exploring this new world together.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fri 1st May 09

Lucy and Alan take a quiet day to check out Lucy for continuing her Tec Deep Diver course. Unfortunately for Lucy, a little harness slippage during transit left her twinset floating 4 inches off her back and Lucy floating inverted like a human balloon! Unfortunate for Lucy… amusing as hell for Alan and the Rebreather boys Paul Toomer and Al Rogers.

Still, glitches ironed out – the check dive went fine and revenge was a dish best served cold, as Lucy stuck her tongue out to the rebreathers passing by and sent Al Rogers into a buoyancy bungle! The lovely thing about rebreathers is the air space in the loop makes laughter completely audible!

Sat 2nd May 09

The Tec and Rebreather courses crews head off to Cirkewwa for Tec dives 8, 9, 10, and continuing rebreather drills. Of course no deep dive or complicated drill could possibly be as scary as escorting Lucy on her first day driving in Harry, the biggest of the Divewise trucks. And no amount of sunshine could turn you as red as Lucy was when she was overtaken by a TRACTOR on a hill! Grapple those gears, Girly!

At least Lucy finally found the dive site… which is more than can be said for Mr Paul Toomer and the ever elusive P29!

Back at base, Gavin, Michael and Peter are busting through Confined Dives 1, 2 & 3 for their Open Water Course! Well done guys!

Sun 3rd May 09

Sunday brought even warmer sunshine and clear blue skies on the way to Gozo for the finishing dives of Lucy’s Tec Deep Diver and Al Rogers’ Rebreather Part One. ON the same trip, Rob guided Peter, Nura and Angie on some great dives through the Blue Hole and the Inland Sea

Both courses ended in success and a few giggles… a hood swapping exercise ended in Alan unwittingly adopting Lucy’s ‘Think Pink’ Attitude from the inside of her hood lining! Not that Alan minded the pink rinse in his hair… but Viv might not be as happy!

The inland sea is incredibly impressive, and to view it on the ascent from 50 m made it all the more incredible to behold. We are so lucky to be diving at sites that easily make the voting list for a new 7 Wonders of the World!

The graduates were celebrated over a well-earned and hastily devoured curry at the Emperor of India – just one of the many excellent places to dine out in St Julian’s and Paceville.

They weren’t the only success stories of the day. Francesca, Jonathan Helen and Stephen completed Open Water Dive 4 and are already booked in for their Advanced Open Water too!

Tues 28th April 09

Unusually, the 28th was a no-diving day, with the waves whipped up.
Lucy, our new summer staff member arrived at mid-day with a shock of fuscia pink hair and set about viewing apartments with Gary, one of our seasoned and seasonal crew.

Wed 29th April 09

With the weather settled down once more, Sarah and Lucy took customers Therese and Max for a pleasant pleasure pootle day at Cirkewwa. Sarah spotted the first Sea Hare of the season while they headed for the ‘Amphoras’ (Latin for the ancient vessels that carried wine and other goods).

The second dive of the day took them to the Arch or Cirkewwa, with some slightly loony limbo dancing under the arch by Lucy, and a great spotting by Sarah, who found a Moray and a cuttlefish on their travels.

Meanwhile, Daniel was continuing his deep diver course…

Thurs 30th April 09

Sara and Lucy went out to Gozo to take four young Dutch men for their first ever SCUBA Diving experience – imagine your Discover SCUBA Dive in the tranquil waters of Mgarr ix-Xini! Beats the local swimming pool any day! And there’s always time for a Tony’s ice-cream extravaganza on the journey home…

Just because we started the blog yesterday, doesn't mean our activities only stretch that far The next few posts will cover all that we've done in the last coupe of weeks and get you all up to date.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Oh Brave New World!

You might have recognised the quote from the Tempest by William Shakespeare - the perfect words to celebrate a new discovery and passion in life. Though we certainly don't want any Tempests around the beautiful island of Malta, Divewise would love to help you make an amazing new discovery and perhaps find that new passion you've been seeking.

Why not step into a Brave New World underwater with Divewise today?!

Divewise is the Premier 5 Star PADI IDC Centre on the isle of Malta. We provide recreational diving and course, and professional level training. We have full equipment hire available for rent or sale and also organise diving trips to Gozo and Comino. We also provide Technical Scuba and Rebreather diving, both for recreational and for training - DSAT, IANTD, TDI and Paul Toomer Rebreather Diving all offered through our sister company Techwise (

The brave new world might also be the internet - as Divewise are feeling their way into cyberspace to bring you frequent updates, stories and more.

We'd love to hear from you and you can get in touch at our official website,, through Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and more - become our friend, subscribe and recieve all the latest news as soon as it hits the cyber-waves!