So Saturday comes, and finds us at Robin Hood Watersports for the first half of our PADI Open Water Course – the ‘confined’ element ie done in a pool. Part classroom, part practical, these two days let you get to grips with all the skills you need to complete your Open Water Certification – the second half of which is done in true ‘open water’ at a old quarry at Capernwray near Carnforth.
By the end of the two days, we would have covered (this isn’t an exhaustive list by the way…) :
- How to set up and breakdown your kit
- Breathing underwater
- How to purge your regulator
- Regulator removal and recovery
- Clearing of a half and fully flooded mask
- Sharing air with your buddy via your spare regulator
- Swimming with your buddy while they’re using your spare regulator
- Swimming underwater without a mask
- Fin pivots
- Neutral buoyancy
- Removing your weights whilst at the surface and underwater
- Removing your BCD and putting it back on, both at the surface and underwater
- Safe Ascending and Descending
- plus many other skills and techniques!
My biggest worries were around filling and clearing my mask – or more specifically, breathing underwater with either my mask full of water or indeed, without my mask at all.
We’re lucky enough to be going back to the Maldives in May, and wanted to get our masks, snorkels and fins sorted so off we trotted to Robin Hood Watersports at Heckmondwike.
We’d done a try-dive with a local company here in Morley before our first trip to the Maldives back in 2001, but I got a terrible pain in my ear when descending which put the fear of god in me, so that brought my foray into the world of scuba diving to an abrupt end. Since then I’d been very nervous of trying it again, happy with floating over the deep rather than being ‘in’ it. Mike hadn’t had any problems with the trial, he really enjoyed it in fact, but we’re the type of couple that when we do things, we do them together, so Mike didn’t take it any further.
However, that all changed when we got chatting to Damian and his wife Sally. Within less than half an hour, it became obvious Damian is PASSIONATE about diving – not just doing it, but teaching it – and it’s infectious.