Sunday, August 28, 2011

Open Water Courses by the dozen this week……..before the Summer comes to an end we have lots of people either starting, half way through or finishing their Open Water Courses this week

We said goodbye to Rick and Britt from the Netherlands who had a great time, Elitsa from Bulgaria who had a great dive on the HMS Maori afterwards - along with Phil and Aoife from Ireland who are coming in on Monday for some pleasure dives hopefully at Cirkewwa to enjoy the archways and Madonna Statue then off to Anchor Bay for some variety

Cedrick, Pauke & Eline all started today whilst Kyle, Leighanne, Saki and Robine are halfway through and are continuing tomorrow to finish

Nick and Laura finished their course last week and are now starting their Advanced on the house reef with Navigation after Comino was cancelled – we had Wreck and Boat planned but I am sure we will be able to run another trip soon to continue their course and choice of dives

Luckily we got our new laptops and head phones on time as we have had to run 3 – 4 languages at the same time so the students can fully understand everything and keep up with the course at the same level – awesome to see them all sitting together and learning the same thing

We have also had a few Scuba Divers Certificates this year and hopefully the divers will be able to enjoy diving in their home country or finish the course on their next holiday – Discover Scuba’s were in abundance this summer and lots came back for pleasure dives on the Maori to explore the wreck and see other marine life – hopefully they get the bug and plan a diving course on their next visit…..

I remember my course back in 1999 – so long ago......... and remember doing the theory and pool in Manchester, the following weekend when I was taken to Stoney Cove for the Open Water Dives in February I was adamant I was not going in – it was so cold and everyone was coming out red faced and freezing but I knew it was not for me….. I waited for our holiday in July and did my first 2 dives in Malta then the last 2 in Jamaica later that year……

I progressed steadily through various courses and braved the cold in Stoney Cove and Capernwray in the summer months of course - but grew to like the diving in the UK and all the other destinations I have been lucky enough to visit……as a retired Assistant Instructor I am quite happy contributing my knowledge and experiences verypassionately to new divers and enjoy diving here in Malta when I get the chance….. the Imperial Eagle and Bristol Beaufighter are my goals for this year

This is me on the left as a Divemaster and was assisting Steve Martin on my sister's Advanced Course - the deal was I had to try skiiing the following year which I absolutely loved but never had the chance to do again........I was so glad to get down the biggest slope at the end of the week still in once piece

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sorry there has been no daily blog for a while but as you can imagine we have been pretty busy being the height of summer...... All going extremely well and enjoying each day as it comes !! Today it is 33 degrees with a gentle breeze so keeping the divers in the shade during their briefings, encouraging them to drink plenty of water and hosing the odd diver down.....

Met lots of lovely people over the last few weeks and more still to come as August is soon at an end and we get more of the dive groups visiting in Sept / Oct whilst now it is families, couples and language students

Carlo, Jacques and Aldo are all doing their Divemaster training and hopefully Ivan and Marta will join them after they finish their Rescue Course today with Pau.....

Max and Coral who are already certified are working towards their A. I Course and are in the pool with Alan today to go over skills and fine tune them - when the IDC starts they should be able to demonstrate them naturally and professionally to impress the PADI Examiners and provide our divers with high standards of teaching and making it fun

We are doing Comino again today followed by the HMS Maori - the Rib has been in full swing servicing lots of recreational divers and technical too - tomorrow they are off to the HMS Southwold for the guys who have just completed the GUE Tech 2 Course so all gases have been prepared today and all ready to be analysed - later the boat will go to the X127 and Maori as a double wreck tour for the divers doing Wreck Specialty

Quiz of the week - do you recognise which member of staff this is as a toddler - 1st one to guess will receive a Divewise Mug

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Staff Day

Last Friday we had our annual Staff Day, where we close the centre and the staff get to go diving on whichever dive site they choose. Obviously it has to be on the Maltese archipelago!

Viv took advantage of the centre being closed and stayed home with Jack to have a well earned rest while Alan played boat captain and Sascha was the allocated driver for the day.

This year we went to two dive sites.

The first dive was a local dive site, the Beaufighter.

Darrell took his camera to document the underwater portion of the day, and made sure he got plenty of photos . . . until Steph stole it . . . Then everyone headed off to the Blenheim Bomber . . .

Anne, Aaron and Steve Hill shook the dust off their twin-sets so they could take advantage of making a deco dive.

Ed took his torch so he could hunt for the resident Morey eel

And sure enough we found him . . .

Steph and Ed demonstrated how useful their snorkels are on a 40m dive while doing their safety stop.

After the dives everyone stopped off in Marsascala for a huge lunch followed by a nap in the van on the way back – just because we could!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jr Open Water and Jr Advanced Upgrades

Congradulations to Connor

and William
who have just upgraded to the adult version of their diving certification now they have turned 15.

We have had lots of teenagers coming in over the last couple of weeks to upgrade to the adult version of their certification as they turn 15 and want to reap the benefits of diving deeper.

With a Jr certification the maximum depth limit is shallower than the equivalent adult certification allows you to go. For Jr Open water the maximum depth is 12m, whereas the adult certification allows them to go to 18m. For Jr Advanced the maximum depth is 21m whereas the adult certification allows them to go to 30m.

Some people appear to be unaware that the Jr Open Water and Jr Advanced certification that they trained for when they were in their early teens doesn’t just automatically upgrade to an adult certification when they turn 15. It’s important people know this because insurance companies will not cover you if you dive deeper than what your certification allows so you must have an upgrade before you can dive to the depths the adult certification allows.

The upgrade can be done in one day and consists of a tune up, where they go in the pool with and instructor and go through all the 20 skills they did in their Open water course to make sure they remember how to do all the skills. Then they go out into the sea and do a dive to the relative depth of their new certification with their Instructor. A new pic is then processed and an up-to-date photograph is taken for their adult certification.