I was reading an article a while back and something struck me as odd!
I note there are a few distinct groups of divers withdistinct areas of readiness to dive about them.
The first are the new recreational divers.
They get to the divesite early, eager to dive albeit a bit terrified, they wait around for someone to tell them what to do, put their gear together and chat to each other, trying to ascertain diver experience to see who they can tag along with.
The next group are the somewhat experienced, maybe travelled diver, who often arrives just in time or a little late, races to get their gear ready, or may have already set their gear up the night before and tossed it into the back of their car, ready to just shove their gear onto the boat- This group almost always, have a coffee in hand or looking for the toilet one minute before departure time.
The third group are the somewhat experienced, meaningful divers, carrying twins, sidemount, big cylinders, equal sized stage bottles, drysuit, gloves, rock boots and zippered hood, with a shiteload of stainless steeel double ended clips, hanging off everything! Even carry a couple of spare clips on their crutch strap d ring just in case!
Then their is the fourth group the techies. When I watch "tech divers" plan their dives, they go ever every little detail of the dive. Their equipment is much better than I see somewhat experienced divers use, they have higher quality regulators, that obviously breathe better at depth but also shallower.
I earlier read a great article about the invention of LiquidSkin technology by Mares, you can read the article below.
Prior to the LiquidSkin era, the entire mask skirt was composed of a single type of silicone, which depending on the material thickness – was more or less comfortable. As a compromise, a material with medium-viscosity was used, ensuring the skirt shape has stability and reasonable sealing qualities.
Bi-Silicone technology put an end to this compromise! LiquidSkin utilizes two different types of silicone; a very soft and flexible material where the mask comes into contact with the face (45% softer and 270% more elastic than traditional silicone), and a material that is approximately 30% harder for structural stability.
Both silicone components are tightly fused / molded together. The advantages are tremendous; fit cannot be matched, comfort is unsurpassed, and sealing is unparalleled.
No more red marks or lines around the face, easier equalizing, and less leaking due to mediocre fit. LiquidSkin is truly a revolutionary breakthrough in diving.
The wheel of innovation keeps turning: At first sight, the newly designed X-Vision LiquidSkin is unique and stands apart from the rest. New colors are vibrant and match perfectly with Mares’ fins and snorkels.
When wearing the mask, you will immediately notice the field of vision is 20% wider as a result of improved mask geometry. In terms of comfort, you will find a “shock absorption” in the nose area. Small Lamellae provide soft cushioning, preventing unpleasant marks and discomfort caused by pressure from the frame.
Inside the mask, a drainage system ensures clear sight at the bottom. Our wide, soft head strap with Bi-Silicone insets lend to easy and very secure mask placement. These insets also provide a consistent fit, while the new buckles allow for intuitive and effortless strap adjustments.
The new LiquidSkin is a real "head-turner"; coincidentally, the jury at the most important designer awards, "reddot design award 2013" thought so as well.
Do I become a Dive Pro?
This is a question often pondered by divers, the world over!
Do I stay a diver who simply loves diving, do I complete a couple more courses, because I want to know a bit more or, do I simply go all the way and become a diving professional?
Many, many divers view the ocean as a playground- They love to look at all the pretty, colourful fish, stare at sharks from the security of a metal cage, swim through wrecks, admire the antics of marine mammals or whatever, takes their fancy.
Other divers see the ocean as a workplace, the love has become jaded and the "I come to work in the morning- do my bit, then go home!" syndrome, has set in.
Hopefully, not too many Dive Pros fall into this final category, but it can and does happen! Why?
Probably because the lifestyle was just that, a lifestyle!
For some Dive Pros, not a lot of thought went into the decision making process.
Did you weigh up the options properly?
Was your passion taken advantage of?
Were you given information that sounded, too good to be true?
Did your misguided ambition, overcome the plain sight of day?
The dive brochures never put in photos of Dive Pros filling scores of dive tanks, at the end of the day.
You never see, neck high boxes of dirty, wet, salty dive gear that has to be disinfected, washed and rinsed, ready for tomorrows' dive classes.
Carrying one dive cylinder to be filled is Ok, now double up and carry forty cylinders from the carpark to the tank filling area- separate the nitrox tanks, work out the oxygen contents, mix the gas and at the same time, fill the air tanks. Then when finally you are finished mixing and filling, carry all the dive tanks back up to the carpark and this time, reload the truck.
But hey! This is the reality!
It takes a special type of person to live this life.
Someone who is young, fit, able to multiskill, offload responsibilities to suitably trained people would be right at home here and true, the pay for effort, is not that great. In fact- some places I have visited, it is downright appalling.
That is if the Dive Pros, get paid at all...
When you complete a Dive Pro course with ProDive, all this is explained to you, right at the very start of your induction. You will be required to carry dive tanks, wash dive gear andf complete paperwork, all with a smile on your face, all the time.
We are in the business of making people happy, giving them have a good time.
Our mission statement is "Lets Go Diving!"
Then again, someone has to fill the empty tanks, someone has to wash the gear and someone has to load the truck!
Whilst some dive centres seem to run on the smell of an oily rag- they have a need for plenty of cheap staff, (Trainees, overseas travellers, or even non paid volunteers, working for lessons, etc)
These people are short term gain employees, they are paid no super, no workers compensation, no sick leave, more than likely, paid cash in hand. You get the drift!
Other dive centres run a very professional, schmick, tight handed operation. They can afford to hire good, well trained staff who do wash gear, fill tanks, do paperwork for the Dive Pro-
I haven't come across too many of these!
When you complete your Dive Pro program with ProDive- You will be trained in all aspects of running a successful dive centre including, running the compressor and gas filling station, servicing diving equipment and also retail sales.
You will also be responsible for supervising qualified divers and leading them on pleasure dives. You will dive on weekends and be trained to escort divers on local and intrastate dive getaways. Go on overseas dive trips, be qualified to run the ‘dive deck’ of a dive charter boat plus, teach people to scuba dive safely, on recreational dive courses.
To become an effective Dive Pro you will need diving knowledge. Below is a list of courses, we deem sufficient, for you to become a diving professional.
You will need to undertake Stress and Rescue training combining First Aid and Oxygen Provider, as a must!
Many dives may take place where deeper depths can be achieved, so the Deep Diver Specialty Course is amongst the mix tagged on with being able to navigate underwater correctly. Boating experience is a given, along with diving after dark in the Night or Limited Visibility course.
During the Science of Diving Specialty program, you begin to understand the mechanics of diving, how air changes underwater and what nitrogen does and how to avoid decompression sickness.
Oh! I almost forgot! Enriched Air divers like to dive longer, so the Enriched Air diver training, comes into its own.
Only after completing these courses, accumulating at least one hundred dives,
owning all your dive gear, should you continue on, to become a Dive Pro.
For the majority, the Assistant Instructor course sets the ground work for a great professional aptitude- Don't miss this vital step to becoming a very well trained, competent and professional Dive Pro.
So, after weighing up the options, leaving the security of following the crowd, considering the hard physical work involved, the long hours and the cost of training, not forgetting the loss of weekend leisure time.
Do you still want to become a Dive Pro?
Let's look on the positive side, for a start, you will be extremely well trained.
Your knowledge will be expanded into areas others only dream about, you will have the opportunity to transform peoples' lives. They will remember the trips, the meals, the fun times and they will forever possess a skill, that only you, taught them,
Your social skills, people management skills, time managment, risk analysis and hazard reduction abilities will be heightened. Your safe working situation awareness, will increase and your demeanour towards people, who require your special attention, that you alone possess, wiill be awakened.
The return should, but never will, be equal- But the gratitude will be boundless.
Gratitude doesn't pay the mortgage, doesn't pay the car repair bills either!
You will need to sit down and have a long hard think to yourself, analyse your worth, weigh that up against your ability to work hard and only accept what you believe, is to be fair and equitable, to both parties. Pay particular attention to your needs, wants and desires.
Are you looking to supplement your income, have a sea change or simply disappear over the horizon, to see where your travels take you. Some people do work for gratis, maybe getting cheaper dive travel, new dive gear or extra training in return for labour is your thing, so be it!
What do I love about scuba diving and teaching scuba diving?
The lifestyle definitely!
The long hours don't bother me, I do miss the parties and family events I cannot attend, because I am working, I do love the adventure and excitement of diving different places, I have travelled to over two hundred different countries, dived in six oceans and five seas. I have dived into shipwrecks, under ice, swam with sharks, photographed sea snakes, snorkelled with whales, swam into caves and lived, to tell the tale.
Would I experience all this working in an office, I doubt it!
Ask yourself, will you get to experience the joy of watching someone evercome their fears underwater, will you feel the warm waters lapping your throat as you lay in warm tropical waters, waiting to descend onto sunkem ships that have become living reefs?
You won't! If you don't put down your pen, your newspaper, your hammer, your whatever! Pick up your mobile phone, call Pro-Dive on 02 4389 3483 and start your Dive Pro adventure today!
I hope to see you working, somewhere in the world, sooner than later....
This highly sort after and quality course is designed to train persons with diving experience, in the safe use of SCUBA diving with no decompression, to a maximum depth of 30 metres.
This program is divided into two sections:
First section is the online theory component, comprising of information about, diving In general, the environment, navigation, deeper diving techniques, swimming in a current and perfecting your bouyancy.
The comprehensive on line manuals, contain a wealth of information and well worth the cost alone!
DiveSSI provides you with more information and knowledge development than any Instructor lead lectures or short video can provide, in a limited time period, generally offered.
The second portion is the practical training with a minimum of four hours underwater completing five dives.
The on-line training package includes:
Quick Quiz and Exam (open book)
Upon successfully completing the Adventure diver program you will receive:
SSI International Diver Certification
Diver certification D card
Minimum 15 years old.
Completed and passed the academic section Quick Quizzes.
Have a minimum of 4 hours logged underwater whilst using open circuit equipment.
Have a recognised Open Water Diver certification from a recognised training agency.
Cost of this program is $295
Check out the link to the Adventure diver course and enrol today.
Select Pro-Dive Central Coast as your dive centre and start learning today.
When low visibility and precise navigation are factors, it is useful to be trained in these skills. This is where you should enrol in the next Underwater Navigator course.
Even when you don’t think you need to, sometimes you are mid dive before you realise you need to figure out your bearings.
This helps you see how things will look, as you head back.
Your sense of direction is more likely to be inaccurate than your compass.
Even skilled navigators mess up sometimes, so plan for it!
Should you come up away from the trail line, in a current for example, have your surface signaling devices handy. Ascend to five metres, inflate your SMB to allow the boat crew to easily spot you and monitor your position. This will also provide you with a point of reference for your safety stop.
When we are talking about carrying extra equipment, cannister lights, bail out cylinders, pony bottles, dive computors, lift bags etc, it quite often becomes very confusing for the newer diver, who wants to delve into the world of tek-reational diving.
I want to start with the very basic placement of your stage cylinder. Many times divers put gear where they are told, many don't even think about what could be better for them, especially within the views of streamlining, deployment when required or ease of carrying and general tidiness.
I base all my gear configuration decisions on accessibility, how and when I am going to use that particular piece of equipment and ease of deployment. You also need to realise the need for streamlining, is to reduce drag.
Think about how your equipment placement will affect your diving trim.
The majority of divers, dive with a single cylinder of air, then along comes tekreational diving, now you find yourself carrying not one but two cylinders. Great for dive duration, great for safety, ease of mind as two cylinders are better than one! Right?
The reality is- two cylinders are really heavy, your buoyancy is all over the place and it is hard to get to this piece of equipment on your back- You struggle for a while and look for better solution, when along comes the idea of a smaller stage cylinder.
I have always recommended before anyone gets too involved carrying a twinset- a smaller stage cylinder, should be a right of passage for all divers. Long before they look at tekreational diving.
Smaller in size and weight, more convenient, less cumbersome and still offering the safety feature, you require whilst diving.
When you carry a stage cylinder, it is carried on the diver’s left side. I use the leaner left, richer right analogy.
When you connect up your stage cylinder, I find it easier to attach the lower clip to the BC waist band D-ring and the top clip is fastened at the BC's left shoulder.
Just keep in mind, when you are diving with multiple stage cylinders, some of the cylinders may be trailed. To use this method- clip your stages by only the neck clip of the stage cylinder onto a D-ring, this allows the cylinders to trail behind the diver.
When carried in this position, it is less likely to interfere with the deployment of your long hose, especially important during an air sharing emergency.
When a dive requires two or multiple stages, I carry these all mounted left, with the gases stacked from the leanest to the richest or highest Oxygen content. So much easier when using an underwater scooter.
This again, frees the right hip for light canister placement.
I notice quite a few divers wear their stages on both sides, with the highest oxygen concentration mix, carried on the diver’s right side. Remember "To each their own!"
Exercise caution when clipping on the right side stage. Make certain the stage has not trapped the long hose, ensure the hose can still be easily handed off in an emergency.
Not everyone is 192 cms, have long octopus arms, can hyperextend their fingertips nor, see how their gear looks- I have found the above method to be comfortable, convenient and easy to remember!
By all means listen and discuss how other divers place their equipment, shift, unclip, re-clip.
Practice in shallow water or a pool, if you have access to one.
Take time and get your equipment placement, just right for you!