Posts Tagged ‘Diving’

Global Travel with Scuba???

December 11, 2010 2 comments

Everyone that enjoys diving knows that most of the top travel destinations in the world provide fantastic diving opportunities.  The problem with traveling and scuba is like any other equipment-heavy sport.  How to get your equipment from port to port, through customs, onto your diving destination and back again.   Your second option is to rent your equipment once you have reached your travel destination…( please insert your personal horror story here).  So finally Aqua Lung came up with the ultimate solution.  They created a Travel Dive Set that is suitable for almost all diving holiday destinations.  It includes their “Hot Shot” fins modeled after their revolutionary sling shot fin, these light weight travel fins are based on the same power band technology but are lighter, shorter and the super soft foot pocket is made for either boot or foot.  Their Zuma BCD is light weight and portable so that you can easily fold it, roll it and stow it right in your carry-on luggage.  As for a regulator they have added the Micron Travel Regulator to this set.  With its balanced diaphragm first stage  and light weight braided hoses you’ll want to make this regulator a main-stay of your everyday equipment.  To top it all off, it all comes in a carry-on departure bag with the demensions to fit all major airlines acceptable limits as a carry-on and weighs under 7 lbs!  Yes that’s right, all your kit, reg, mask, BCD, Fins and even your precious snorkel can all now fit into your carry-on.

Having had the opportunity to test these products we were amazed at the overall quality and construction of all their Travel Gear.  Way to go Aqua Lung!


What’s PADI scuba diving all about anyway?

November 5, 2010 2 comments

Discover Scuba Diving Bans ResortEver wanted to try scuba diving?  I remember my first experience with diving.  My class consisted of  mates that were almost all in their late twenties to early thirties(think I was 13 at the time) and as I remember they all looked quite awkward sitting in a classroom.  I doubt any of them had set foot in a classroom in some time.   Class that was held every weekend over the course of a few months in a little classroom in the basement of a dive shop located in my home town.  Then finally the time came to get the gear on and give it a try for the first time.  My anticipation grew over the duration of the classroom portion of the course (if you think I’m an impatient person now I could only imagine trying to deal with me as a  13-year-old HA!). As soon as you go under for the first time your surroundings change immediately, everything goes quiet except the sound of your own bubbles and for most people just the feeling of being weightless is enough for them, to keep them coming back for more and more.  In warmer areas the colors in the ocean are like nothing you have ever seen before, vibrant yellows and red with a blue background that seems to go on forever.

Bans Diving Resort Koh Tao

Discover Scuba Diving Course

Most people have heard of the company PADI or Professional Association of Diving Instructors.  It’s the worlds largest Diver Training Organization, which was started about 44 years ago.  There are many different levels of diving, most people think that an Open Water diver is the first level.  However, there are a few levels you can obtain even before this.  You can try a Discover Scuba Diving Course (DSD) or become a PADI Scuba Diver if you are not sure if you’ll enjoy the sport of not.

I never even thought about “trying” diving.  I knew from the minute I saw it on television as a kid that I’d be doing that some day.  But for the individual that maybe just wants to try it once or if you’re not too sure, a DSD is the perfect way to see if your up for this new challenge!  When you sign up for a DSD here’s a very rough idea of what you’ll do.  It’s usually a one day course.  First, you’ll meet your instructor and get a little bit of diving know how and theory (not too fun to do when on a holiday I know, but I promise its worth it).  Then not unlike the certifying diver course (Open Water) you’ll be taken to the pool to get comfortable and confident in your new self-contained breathing apparatus (ok ok for short lets just call it s.c.u.b.a equipment 😉 )  for a swim in the pool with your new equipment.  During the certification course Open Water you may dive on your own with a buddy and you’d go through 20 different skills in the pool but because you’re just there for the day and wanting to “try” diving, you will only be asked to do the minimum 5 skills and gain some confidence and comfort in your scuba equipment.  Some people at this stage get soo excited they just decide “to hell with this!” and take the full course (but that’s another story).

That very afternoon you’ll be taken by your Instructor on your first “ever” dive!  This is an experience you’ll never forget.  Now you might be asking yourself, even though I never took this course to get my diving life started, how do I know this to be true?  Because I see them everyday at the resort coming up from their first dive and asking “WHATS NEXT??!!”

The more you get into diving the more you start to see that it’s chalk full of possibilities.  As soon as you think you have learned all there is to know you find a whole other unexplored avenue to try.  Everything from deep-sea diving, commercial diving, technical diving, being an underwater videographer, being a Divemaster or even teaching!  The possibilities are endless!

So if you’re looking for that new hobby, sport or a whole new career, give diving a try.  It’s a big Ocean out there and who knows where it may take you.

** Next week we’ll take a look at what makes up an Open Water Course.  Until then if you have any comments or questions I invite you to ask us.  Don’t hesitate to contact us.

What IS a Divemaster?

October 30, 2010 Leave a comment

What IS a Divemaster anyway?  As a recreational diver looking to become a professional, what are YOU looking  for? What do you want to achieve or become by the end of your course? What is your personal goal? Other than the fulfillment of the standards given, what do you think you need/want to achieve to be a professional?  PADI‘s simplest definition is that a Divemaster is someone who serves other divers by solving problems, giving advice, lending a hand and making diving more fun!  If that is the case I think I was a Divemaster before even becoming an Adventure Diver..LOL.  We’ll take a look at some of these questions here and we’d love to hear back from you to the question… What IS a Divemaster?

Let’s look at a few of the reasons for people aspiring to reach Divemaster status in the first place.  Becoming a DM is the first stepping stone in becoming a Diving Professional.  It is the course which you spend the most time developing skills and becoming a master of dive theory; leading onwards to Instructor level courses.  There are also divers who do not wish to go on past the level of Divemaster.  They are looking to gain the knowledge and confidence they see in other Divemasters and want to stay at this level.  Whatever the reason you have to become a Divemaster / Dive Professional, you should keep in mind that divers will be looking for a few things from you (which are best explained by PADI’s Divemaster definition).  They expect that you will help them solve their diving problems.  Does this mean the you are there to do everything for them? Well no… they are certified divers and should be able to look after themselves however, maybe they need a little guidance because they’re diving in a new area or they have a question about a different type of equipment or simply for you to be there to supply a little extra confidence in their first dive in a little while.  Does it mean you should be a one-person-show, making everything fun and exciting while out on the dive?  This ones up to you, I do believe that within the Divemaster role it is your responsibility to make things more enjoyable for your divers, I’ll leave it up to you how far you want to take this.  I DO know that if I was to hire you, I’d wanna know that you’d excel in this area.  Having fun with your divers isn’t a must but definately helps to make things more enjoyable.. and you more employable 😉

So what do we have already? A Divemaster is one that is knowledgeable, helpful, fun, has some great advice, what else do we need?… SAFETY!  Yes on most dive trips around the world, you (the Divemaster) or a fellow pro level diver will be the most qualified individual to handle a diving related injury.  You should be up-to-date on your First Aid and safety courses.  A great story, (not at the time… but we look back and smile now)  I was working in the dive shop and a speed boat came racing in, calling ahead saying that they had a diver with some sort of DCI!! We knew it was serious from the tone in the BoatMasters’ voice.  They said they could not help but send this diver back as he insisted he needed to be rushed straight to the hospital!  This diver also happened to be a Medical Doctor, so how could our BoatMaster question that?  At the end of telling us this via cell phone as we waited at the waters’ edge for our speed boat to pull up, the Boat Master told me “I didn’t know what to do but his face looks like hell, it looks like the worst case of mask squeeze I have ever seen”.  As he got off the boat and came up to us he was calm but demanded to be taken directly to the hospital!!  It was the wost (funniest) mask squeeze we have ever seen.  So this is just one instance where at the end of it all everyone was fine and NO I’m not saying that a DM knows more than an MD nor am I saying that a DM is always right.  Just that as a DM you should be able to tell the difference from a mask squeeze from something more serious.

Over all before taking on a Divemaster Course be sure YOU know what you want to get out of it, as there are many avenues to take after you are finished, so make sure you use your time in the program to prepare yourself properly.  We are a BIG school here at Bans and I see tons of Divemasters come through our program every year.  If you are looking to carry on to the Instructor level do your self a favour, 75% IS a pass, but study your notes till your scoring in the 90’s everytime.  Use your time in the IDC to learn how to teach not as a refresher of things you should already know, you’ll be a better diver for it and ultimately a better professional!

Are You Up For Your Next Adventure?

October 28, 2010 Leave a comment
Diver Propulsion Vehicle

Diver Propulsion Vehicle

Have you ever had the want to improve your diving, but aren’t sure if you want to go to the next official level.  What about trying a specialty?  There is a multitude of courses you can take in the Padi system.  Some specialities start from Open Water, others for the Advanced Open Water diverlevel, there are even specialty programs for kids!  After doing your home work and deciding that becoming a Divemaster is maybe not for you, have no fear, you may choose another path. This path leads you to Master Scuba Diver.  This is Padi’s highest rated Non Professional level.  To get there you must be a Recue Diver and have compleated five different Padi specialties.  The average Specialty consists of four dives (some have none, some have up to seven!).  If you think one might be of interest to you but your skeptical about committing your time, then you are able to do the first dive out of the program and go through a few of the objectives to decide if this specialty is right for you.  This program actually has a title of its’ own, it’s called an Adventure Dive. Just like you did if you have been through the Advanced Diver Program, which IS reallyonly five adventure dives!

Padi Specitilty Training

AWARE Fish Identification

As you can see there are many ways to keep learning and experiencing as a diver other than just moving into the next official level.  Have fun with your diving, see if there is an area of you every day “on land” life that translates into the diving realm.  I’d bet you’d be pleasantly surprised with what you discover.  Let’s say you’re an avid photographer, then perhaps Underwater Photography is up your alley OR maybe you’re a true environmentalist at heart then check out the Padi Aware program and so on.

Just keep diving, learn and have fun!