Monday, May 23, 2011

Discover Scuba Dive

Hey fellow ETD readers. Sorry we've been lacking in posts recently, we've got alot going on, towards the lead up to heading overseas.

Gaffa and I had our last day at our engineering jobs. Gaffa's was a little less eventful than mine. He got Domino's Pizza, and a farewell gift of an Australian flag and a pack of Sydney playing cards. Whereas I had a 3 course italian lunch - including a delicious dessert called 'three minutes of pleasure'... and my colleagues bought me a necklace, matching scarf, beret and gloves set, perfect for the UK summer!

After driving around Sydney like a crazy lady on Friday (as my car was supposed to be fixed by Friday arvo, but wasn't so I had to get a courtesy car from the smash repaireres, but had to get it before my work lunch, so I could leave in time to pick up Gaffa at work and drive to East Maitland in time for another one of Shrimp Dog's famous Weber meals - Thanks Shrimp!!!). Anyway, bottom line, I had a hell of a lot of food on Friday - t'was good. I crashed out on the Shrimp's couch because it hurt too much to sit up, my stomach was so full!

YUM! Pork crackling!!!
Saturday, Shrimp Dog, Gaffa and I enjoyed an amazing dive at Hallifax Park in Nelson Bay. We all had cameras, so we were just enjoying being in our own little underwater world and taking photos at the twin bommies.

Then on Sunday and today (Monday) Gaffa and I were teaching SCUBA. Which brings me to today's post about Discover Scuba Diving or DSD for short.

DSD's are an underwater experience, you're not qualified to dive without an instructor after you complete the experience - you require the PADI Open Water Course to get your licence to dive with a buddy. DSD's are a try dive, like taking a car for a test drive. You get a feel for what scuba diving is like, you learn some basic knowledge, and it basically sets you up for wanting to complete the first certified course or not. If you want that experience to say, "Yeah I've been scuba diving before" then this is what you would do.

On Sunday, I had my first group of DSD's. The maximum number of students is 4 and I had 2 in the morning anad 4 in the afternoon. Today I had another 4 in the morning. You fill out some paperwork, get a briefing from the instructor about the gear you'll be using, and general considerations with diving. Like to never ever hold your breath, how to descent and equialise properly, how to ascent properly, basic hand signals, how to stay buoyant on the surface, how to clear your mask, awareness for the aquatic environment, etc, etc. Enough information for you to have an enjoyable first diving experience with a PADI professional, in a safe environment.

Then this is where the fun begins. We take the group down to the beach (or it can be done in the pool), build your gear for you and set you up in it, ready to explore the underwater world. The DSD's that I completed were done at Shelly Beach, as the majority of the time it has calm conditions, there's lots to see and it's quite shallow, which is great for DSD's.

Once everyone has their gear on, we head down the boat ramp and into the water. This is where you get your first try of breathing underwater. Natural human instinct is to hold your breath, but you don't want to do that! At first it feels abit weird, but once you get use to it, it'll be second nature to you. Once everyone is confortable breathing, we head down to start the dive and explore the underwater world. Based on the air consumption rate of the people in the group, most DSD's last for about 20-30 minutes. In this time you'll be able to get a feel for what it's like to scuba dive and breath underwater. Sometimes it's hard to get people out of the water!!

If you've been thinking about trying scuba diving, and you're not sure if you're ready to do a full-on certification course, then head into your local PADI store and sign up for a Discover Scuba Dive. Or if you're on holidays at a gorgeous tropical location with crystal clear waters, what a great excuse to give scuba diving a try :) If you talk to anyone that scuba dives, you'll get a great idea of how amazing it is... just don't get Gaffa talking about diving, otherwise you'll be there for hours!!!

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