PADI Open Water Diver – With Divecrew’s Charlotte!

As a complete newbie to diving, I can honestly say that before I started working for Divecrew, I had no clue about anything scuba-related.

DC Monthly – September 19

Welcome to DiveCrew’s blog! Here is where you will find your regular blow by blow of bubbles from the team, keep up with what’s been happening, a heads up on what’s coming and some professional insights into the world of diving from products to places and more! 

So a round up of this months happenings; it’s been a busy month at the centre with plenty of courses on, new trips in the line up, school programmes starting, and developments at Guildford as well as a multitude of tall tales from the crew! 

Where to start?

Well since I’m writing this first edition it should only be fitting to start with my point of view and that’s at our implant at the Guildford Spectrum Leisure Centre! If you haven’t heard already we have dropped a new lead line and established a site right in the heart of Guildford! With pools on site and easy access (plenty of of parking, not that we are sour about the recent developments at crowthorne – more on this later!). The implant has been in place for a while now, now permanently staffed, predominantly by yours truly, things have moved from strength to strength. A full shop fit out has been designed, it’s construction and inset has been scheduled for early next month, stay tuned for details on all the diving goodies we will be stocking! But what are those goodies if we have no where to use them I hear you ask! Well! With pools on site we are working with the spectrum to provide you with a fantastic time table of; tune ups, open water, scuba experiences and of course for those who just need to get wet, Splash sessions! We are also working hard on our commercial offerings, completing maintenance in the Guildford Lido and networking with other sites in the local area! There is a coffee shop on site serving big name brand coffee COugh STA, so feel free to pop by and catch up! 

With the new site comes a new area full of new divers to meet and new divers to make! Young and old alike! – please note my attempt at a terrible intro to our schools programme! Well it’s September already and that means back to school, with year on year success of our school diving programmes introducing young students from some of the top schools, we are too! The team delivering everything from seal team missions to young aquanauts, to full open water courses! Those who qualify often go on to join their classmates on trips all over the world! Top educational institutions including Eton College welcoming us for another year, students with an interest in conservation and marine biology taking advantage of this great opportunity, are you doing your bit? Have you got your AWARE specialty? 

While we’re talking about education and courses! we’ve been putting you all through your paces this last month with plenty of newly qualified divers, divers advancing their skills (that includes us too! I completed my rescue early this month and had a fantastic time too!), and divers returning to the water after stretch of staying dry! We are always looking to enhance the experiences of our students and this month saw the first open water students complete their courses at Cromhall, a fantastic dive site, and not just another flooded quarry, it is home to the protected greater crested newt & and a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) with some incredible water quality the visibility is fantastic. If you are curious about the courses we teach (and attend) then stay tuned we will be posting full features on these written by attending students and the instructors conducting them!  

Now here at DiveCrew we like to think of ourselves as a sort of family (an odd one with some strange hobbies and habits granted), nothing demonstrates this more than the Egan’s! Rowan (one of our instructors) put me through my dry suit this month as well as getting a couple of nervous new divers get through their OW but that doesn’t say family until we introduce Lewis his son and also a member of the team who this month achieved his Jr. Master Scuba Diver rating! A phenomenal achievement and the team couldn’t be prouder of the work he has put in, well maybe Rowan could! 

We also welcome and congratulate John Taylor & Rafal Kopacki for reaching the depths of PADI instructors and joining the DiveCrew team of instructors! This is no mean feat with DiveCrew setting extremely high standards for its instructors, far higher than PADI require to pass the course! I don’t want to say too much here, as you should really hear the story of the horses mouth! So look out for that in another blog entry! 

Now teaching is only a part of what we do here at DiveCrew, we put our many skills to use in a variety of other ways too! This month we were in attendance at Swim Serpentine. The event is part of a well known trifecta of sporting events including the London Marathon & London to Brighton Cycle ride. The Swim Serpentine as the name suggests is a swimming event of varying distances’ covering half mile, full mile and 2 miles around a 1 mile course in the serpentine lake, Hyde Park! This has been a regular feature of the DiveCrew calendar for several years, this year saw over 6000 swimmers participate, raising funds for Children with Cancer UK. Our role was two fold, prior to the event we conducted a search & recovery sweep of the entry and exit areas and worm up area of the course. Removing hazards from the water that cause injury to the swimmers. For the event itself we took on the role of rescue divers, poised ready to deploy at a moments notice to any swimmer in destress, working with a huge team of kayakers and first responders. To find out more about what we got up to take  look the dedicated entry in the blog section.

Now I did say we would return to this, as many of you who have visited Crowthorne for course, coffee or concern, will have found that sadly certain parking facilities have been hindered, this has been a frustration for all and completely out of our hands! Local authorities have made the changes in a view to protect the natural beauty, diversity and public access to the local woodlands, something that I think we can all understand as custodians of the underwater world. We just wish they would have asked! Fear not if you are visiting and have concerns over parking just give the centre a call! 

What to expect in from next months DC monthly!

The grand opening of Guildford’s shop fit! 

A round up of the Mystic Malta trip & Farne Islands! 

Another great gear review! 

And much, much more from the team!

Gold Star?

So what is this Gold Star? Divecrew is the UK’s only Gold Star Dive Centre. This was awarded to Divecrew for the work they do in Adaptive Teaching. Divecrew works with veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq that have suffered life changing injuries. PTSD, missing limbs, broken back etc. Using scuba diving as a means of helping rehabilitate, adaptive is about finding ways to certify divers regardless of their physical or mental challenge. Previously PADI, now RAID, different techniques are used to ensure the diver meets all the requirements.

Divecrew Master Instructor Martin has worked with a number of triple amputees and was the instructor using adaptive teaching to certify the worlds first PADI Rescue Diver – triple amputee.

Divecrew have taken years of adaptive teaching experience and also used these skills in the local community. A pilot study of seven Autistic young adults took place despite lots of ‘they cannot do that’ and the usual risk management and health and safety.  Out of the seven students six passed their full open water completing their deep dives right here in the UK.

Divecrew have taught partially sighted, profoundly deaf, MS sufferers, non weight bearing, paraplegic and students with learning challenges.

Martin said, ‘Never under estimate these challenged divers. Instructors do not know best, ask the diver how they think they can achieve mastery of a skill. I worked with one guy who had a through the shoulder amputation. He was strong as an ox. He could tie his shoe laces and his tie one handed. Above all, think outside the box! Most of our pro team are adaptive. Our senior instructors are very experienced in working with challenged divers. It is not some tick box exercise. Our training and techniques makes any instructor much better. This is not about some role play tick in the box’.

Shark Diving

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Martin aka Shark Bite travels to the Red Sea each year on Get Hammered. Diving with oceanic white tip sharks and hammerheads. This trip is very popular and has sold out for the last six years.

The trip is so popular we are now booking and have bookings already for 2020.

Divecrew charters luxury boats, taking the full boat. The boats include everything for the diver plus full air conditioning, en-suite cabins, full board (save beers/wines etc) and up to four dives a day.

Previous encounters included a schools of hammerheads (as many as 24), a pod of 40 dolphins including pups, turtles and even a seahorse.

Martin is our resident shark diving expert and provides all guests with a truly useful ‘Diving with Sharks’ presentation.

It is an amazing experience to be with creatures that have been around for millions of years. True predators and survivors.  The biggest apex predator is only really at risk through man and pollution. Millions of sharks are killed by humans.

If you would like to dive with sharks we are taking deposits for 2020. Call Divecrew 01344 771113.