Saturday, April 30, 2011

And Another IDC Begins . . .

The sun is shining and another Instructor Development Course is dawning. Darrell and the other candidates will be having their orientation for the start of the IDC this afternoon to get the paperwork done and to break them in gently before all the hard work starts early tomorrow! Good Luck to all of them and I’ll be keeping you updated on how they are getting on.

The Open Water Course, Deep Speciality, DSD’s and check divers are all exploring the house reef and are then all off to the Maori for a pleasure dive today.

More DSD Fun!

We have just got a shiny new Gas booster for the compressor which will make our gas use more efficient.

Nev’s basins are looking very smart now they have been painted with some form of easy clean paint they will be up and running soon so long as Nev doesn’t keep getting distracted by all these people wanting to learn to dive!

He and Sinni were busy with more Discover Scuba Divers today, which gave Nev plenty of time oppertunities to crack more bad jokes and fool around.Don't get me wrong Sinni's no better . . .

First they went to play in the Westin Hotels pool along with a Bubblemaker course. Then it was into the sea for some proper diving . . .

I think some of them were a bit too relaxed about it . . .

Then some high fives

and pats on the back for doing such a good job . . .

Friday, April 29, 2011

Waves So High You Could Catch a Fish!

The Finnish group have been great all week. They said goodbye the other night and headed home, possibly to better weather! However we did’t have time to rest. Big Al Hewits group arrived from Manchester the following day for some Scuba diving madness. Darryl Kattenhorn also arrived in time for the for the May IDC which starts on Monday.

Our boat diving programme came to a halt while the weather has been bad. It’s been so rough the ropes holding the boat keep snapping. Jason Sarah and Alan had fun re-securing it with Jason flying around inside the boat and Alan and Sarah slipping and sliding on the side while they’re tied the lines. Alan was even lucky enough to catch a fish in one of the waves! (obviously i didnt have the camera at this point!). They finally got the boat secure again . . .

Luckily the sea is starting to calm down again now and the sun has been shining today so the boat’s been freed from its confines.

Some of Ken’s group were feeling a bit rough after a late night celebrating the other night. One of which was still determined to dive much to the delight of the rest of the group who got to watch him suffering and breakfast that morning. Lucky for him he seemed to have acquired the ability to recover rather quickly.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Discover Scuba Diver Course (DSD)

You’re on holiday and you decide you want to give diving a go.

You meet your instructor and they say, “So you want to do a DSD?”

Hang on . . . say what? I want to try diving, I don’t want to do anything technical, what is this strange “DSD” I’ve never heard of it!

All this funny lingo that divers use can be very confusing in the beginning. Nearly every person who enquires about diving asks what is a DSD? Given we have so many happening at the moment I thought I’d explain . . .

For a lot of divers their first underwater experience came with doing a Discover Scuba Diver course (DSD) which is essentially a try dive.

In PADI’s Discover Scuba Diver course you have a briefing which introduces you to the equipment and explains what happens to your body when you go diving . . .

you get used to how the equipment feels and where everything goes . . .

then its off to the pool to get used to breathing underwater

Once you’re relaxed you will do some skills with your instructor

Then it’s off for your first dive on one of the Maltese reefs . . .

PADI’s Discover Scuba Diver does two things. It allows you to give diving a go without committing to a full beginner level course before you even know if you like it. However the wonderful thing about the Discover Scuba Diver course is that if you find you really enjoyed the experience and you successfully complete the 4 skills in the pool before your dive you will get a certificate that lets you go diving to 12m with an instructor anywhere in the world.

If you liked it so much you want to get the full licence to go diving which will last the rest of your life then the DSD course also credits towards your beginner level course so you get money off because you have already completed the first part of the course.

So the DSD gives you the chance to try diving in a safe environment and it also gives you the option to carry on diving if you find yourself hooked on it!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

So Thats What a Force 7 Wave Looks Like . . .

Anne Japan has been introducing yet more Japanese to the underwater world and they are loving every minute of their Open Water course.

The check dives yesterday afternoon had to be cancled unfortunately due to the bad weather on the house reef and the bad traffic which meant that they couldn’t get to an alternative dive site easily. However the divers that went out in the morning got to get plenty of diving in at Cirkewwa and Gozo.
Today all Instructors are go! (Apart from Sinni who has the day off) There is a force 7 wind so the waves are hammering the house reef. The boat seems to be coping well. Our 30 morning divers are heading off to the calmer waters up at Cirkewwa.

New Boat Diving Programme

We are starting a new boat diving programme for this summer. It has been running the last two days and has so far been very successful.

We will be providing ‘quick diving trips’ to local dive sites such as the Maori, Beaufighter, Imperial Eagle, Devils reef and Scot Craig by boat. So there’s no need to worry about carrying heavy gear at rough or slippery entry and exit points, simply put your gear on, roll in and enjoy your dive.

If you are one of those divers who actually breathes air on the dive then diving in this way will maximise your bottom time on the site as you don’t need to worry about wasting air swimming to and from the site to the shore. So the quick diving trip programme will give you the option of a much more relaxed style of diving.

Why not give it a go next time your here?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nothing Will Stop Mori, James and James Getting in the Water . . .

It’s been a hectic morning with the Finnish invasion here bright and early to get ready for a day on the boat. They are off for some spectacular dives in Comino.

Mori, James and James were meant to be off for some diving in Zurrieq this morning however they encountered a number of obstacles. First a coach had crashed (can just see the coach over the top of the wall!)
so they had to wait in traffic . . .

And wait . . .

And wait . . .

When they got there the conditions weren’t favourable so in the end they went to the X127 instead.

Mori then discovered he’d packed two left feet!

But got in the water anyway and got some more of his advanced course done, while James completed his Deep Speciality so it was his job to plan their dive. James Mclaren also went to do his final Open water dive. He completed the dive with a perfect hover, which shows the time he spent practicing yesterday has really paid off.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Somebody Stop That Finnish Girl!

The weather's been a bit gloomy today . . . I feel Jack anticipated this . .

Nev and Howard have still been working hard on the basins and they are starting to look rather smart.

JC’s group are all leaving today. They had one last celebration in Huggins last night and gave a very grateful Pau a lot of leftover food to eat through. Hope to see you guys again soon!

After having gained some experience as an open water diver, Mori is continuing his diver education by doing his advanced course with us. He went to the Maori today to do his wreck dive with Anne. They went there on the boat so it was also his first experience diving off a boat.

For the last few days I’ve been trying to get a photo of our Finnish Assistant Instructor, Sinni. She only works here in her free time and I've got the impression she hates having her photo taken . . .

If anyone could catch her it would be much appreciated!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dave Mallard and the X127

We’ve had a Finnish invasion today. 16 divers from Finland have been here doing their check dives on the house reef with Howard, Sini (who is Finnish) and Pau, before a good week of diving.

After doing a DSD the other day James has decided to continue his training and become an Open Water diver so he spent all of yesterday in the classroom getting through all the theory as the pool and house reef where a little rough for his safety, this morning he has been in the pool for his confined and this afternoon he is off for his second open water dive.

Dave Mallard is off to visit his beloved X127 today. He has spent a lot of his life researching this wreck and it took him at least 10 years to discover its true name. Divers formerly named it the Corelita.

The water lighter played a vital role in WW1 and WW2 transporting troops, horses, water etc to and from an island they used as a base when the allies were attacking Turkey in an attempt to knock them out of the war.

It was then converted to fuel lighter to supply the submarines with fuel at the submarine base on Manoel Island in WW2. It was there that it got bombed and sunk. It now sits on a 20deg slope in Valletta harbour.

He is trying to clear out the accumulating sediment in the wreck. Progress is somewhat hindered by the fact that it’s quite small so only one diver can get inside the wreck at a time and its rather dark in there so you’re never quite sure what you are bashing the spade against when filling the bucket with sediment. From his last dive there he worked out he was removing about 6 buckets per dive. So it’s going to take a lot of dives to get most of the sediment out!