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7 Metres to 18 Metres

Discussion in 'New to Scuba Diving' started by Karen Simpson, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. Karen Simpson

    Karen Simpson New Member

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    Hi all

    I Passed my Open Water Certificate yesterday along with my 17 year old daughter- there are a couple of things I'm not too comfortable about, not sure if I'm looking for reassurance or advice.

    A couple of things went wrong during my 3rd and 4th dive - I didn't perform Cesa, I was unsure what the instructor was asking me to do so she basically just grabbed me and dragged me to the surface (me breathing through the regulator all the way up) - I later asked if I could do the Cesa again but was told it was OK I had already performed it. I also didn't get the remove and replace weight belt right - got it off OK, but struggled to do the buckle with gloves on - again instructor stepped in and did the buckle. Lastly the weight drop - I was asked to descend to do the weight drop, I was busy 'faffing about with my equipment' so the instructor just undid my buckle and let the weights drop. So all in all 3 skills I feel I didn't complete correctly.

    Despite the above I am now recognised as a Padi Open Water Diver, this is the bit that really worries me, I did the open water dives in a lake with a maximum depth of 7 metres, I could now if so inclined go with my daughter, hire Scuba equipment - jump in the Sea and descend to 18 metres...I've never dived in the Sea before! I'm sure there are big differences between a 7 metre lake dive and a 18 metre sea dive! It seems so strange that for all the Padi rules and safe practices you're allowed to 'officially' do this.

    I tried contacting my local Besac club, but you need to own your own equipment before diving with them - at the moment it's a bit of a stretch to buy all the equipment for both myself and my daughter...so I'm not sure where to go from here, I would hate to give this all up as I really enjoyed the experience - should I hire equipment and try a slightly deeper lake dive with my daughter as my buddy or should I be doing this sort of thing with an experienced instructor?

    Any advice, your own experiences would be greatly appreciated.

    Many Thanks

    Karen
     
  2. Dan Payne

    Dan Payne Active Member

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    Morning Karen.

    Some of the other guys with analog more experience and knowledge will come along with some really good advice.

    As for your confidence and diving in the sea. I would say dive and practice in the lake you did your training if you can or something similar where you feel happy. If there are skills you feel need more work practice them in shallow water to start with.

    If you feel you want expert advice, you could always hide an instructor for the day. Maybe not from where you did you original training though.

    Once you both feel more confident then try something a little more deeper/ challenging.

    If you do t feel happy to do a dive then don't do it u till you feel ready :)
     
  3. Andy Stevenson

    Andy Stevenson Administrator

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    Blimey!

    First, welcome. Second, that sounds like a particularly poor instructor; if someone mentioned to an instructor that they weren't confident with a skill, I'd expect them to sort it out.

    Couple of options.
     
  4. Karen Simpson

    Karen Simpson New Member

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    Thanks Dan

    I think I would be fine doing a bit of a deeper lake dive with my daughter
     
  5. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    Agreed that although yes you could jump straight in and do a 18m sea dive off a boat in a current onto a shipwreck with a camera it wouldn't be wise. Best to slowly work up your experience by building on the skills you already have. You could even practice the weight drop or weightbelt removal/replacement on your own (Only do this is very shallow water though). It's a bit like driving, when learning you may never drive in the dark or in the rain and you certainly won't drive on a motorway but upon passing you can instantly drive at 70mph on a motorway in the rain in the dark.

    But...

    I'd be inclined to go back to your instructor and explain that you feel you missed out on this training experience as they effectively performed the skill for you and they may well take you out for another dive and go over these skills again with you.
     
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  6. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    I'm guessing it was either Divers Cove or Wraysbury where you were diving. If you want someone else to buddy up with you both to provide some form of safety net on your first few dives then i'd be happy to lend a hand.
     
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  7. Karen Simpson

    Karen Simpson New Member

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    That's a very kind offer jb2cool, I may take you up on that, I guess I should give the instructor a chance to go through things again with me - she may be perfectly happy to take me out again and go through things again.
     
  8. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    I would try and give her the chance to come good first before moving on. You paid for training and if you didn't get this training as she did the skills for you then you probably have reasonable grounds for complaint. Keep it civil though and see what she says. Most boys tend to go in too heavy handed and that just makes both parties aggessive.
     
  9. Karen Simpson

    Karen Simpson New Member

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    Good Job I'm a girl !
     
  10. Daniel

    Daniel Active Member
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    I'd say if you have most of the basic foundations of scuba diving down and don't feel confident, a lot of training centres do a thing called a scuba skills update or something like that for people who are qualified and just need to brush up in there skills, Hats of to you for being honest though, where are you based??
     
  11. Karen Simpson

    Karen Simpson New Member

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    I'm not too far from Guildford.

    I guess it's more the fact that I feel I have cheated to some degree - I suppose I have completed these skills in the pool so I know what I should do, it's quite a bit different however trying to refasten your buckle with 5mm gloves on, then again I would hope my buddy would lend a hand and not just sit back and watch me struggle.

    My other point was that I was a bit taken aback that I could if so inclined go from a 7 metre lake to 18 metres in the Sea, I thought Padi would be a little more strict that your Open water dive would have to be at a depth nearer to the 18m limit - Jb2cool though made a very valid point comparing it to passing your test and driving down a Motorway in the snow, towing a caravan, in the dark - wearing sunglasses, whilst listing to Radiohead (We've all done it)
     
  12. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    Not far from me. I work in West Byfleet, live in Bracknell and my sister is over in Elstead so regularly around that neck of the woods.

    If it's of interest, on my open water course the deepest i went was also 7m (Maybe it was on the same playform as you) and the longest dive on the course was 27 minutes. Now on the going to 18m in the sea, yes it is quite different to what you did on the course but the training you were given should be enough to prepare you for that experience in that you should be able to plan and execute that dive in a safe fashion.

    Start small and work your way up, then go on holiday and see some pretty fish.
     
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  13. Sidemount_Stu

    Sidemount_Stu Sidemount & Sane!
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    Another option would be to take some "guided dives" either with a resident Divemaster at your chosen location or with an experienced friend.

    I wouldn't advocate jumping straight in the sea with your daughter to be honest, i think you've expressed enough concern over certain elements of your training that you have genuine reason to doubt if you "really" completed all the skills effectively yourself. As such, i would definitely recommend going back to your original place of training and discussing this with the centre. My gut feeling is, they'll tell you that you did it all to the required standards (anything else and they're admitting a failure to teach to PADI standards, leaving them wide open for formal proceedings) and then go on to offer you (for a price) further training/experience dives to build your confidence.

    Personally, if this is the approach they take, i'd be wary of continuing training with that centre and would be more inclined to look elsewhere, either another PADI club, or maybe even BSAC.

    Don't forget you're supposed to be able to demonstrate "mastery" of each skill, so any situation where you didn't complete it on your own without help on the open water dives, can't be considered to have met the required standards. That's not to say you're not capable of doing so, but just that your instructor should have given you more attempts, and/or more practice, possibly with some more demonstrations from the DM etc before trying again.

    You are right to question the quality of training you recieved and well done for doing so, many would have just taken the certification and buggered off to do whatever they wanted to next, you have been much more responsible and sensible in your approach and i think that should be commended. That type of self-honesty and self-evaluation will actually contribute to you becoming a much more successful diver in the long run.

    Take some more time and training/guidance and make sure you're happy with all of the skills before you proceed further. As with everything, there will be some skills you don't feel as confident in, that's quite normal.... just remember to keep practicing all of the skills, paying particular attention to the ones you like the least, that's the only way you'll get better at them!

    Best of luck, i'm sure you'll do great..... keep us posted, let us know how you get on.... enjoy the journey and welcome to diving! :)
     
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  14. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I can't help thinking that you'd be well advised to seek out a BSAC club which has access to a decent pool.

    I've recently been spending a lot of time in a pool to practice some very specific skills. This pool -- the K2 in Crawley -- is 4 metres deep, which is good for buoyancy skills and the like. I go along to that pool with two clubs. I'm most impressed with the Thursday BSAC club who spend a lot of time with their students, progressing them at the student's speed.

    I do know that BSAC clubs vary widely and they're very much the sum of the parts: the people that make up the club. I'd have no issues with recommending the K2Divers.
     
  15. puddle fish

    puddle fish Well-Known Member

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    It dose sound poor, I would certainly put your concerns in wrtiing to the instructor and see how they respond.The OW is a very basic qualification and your certification is valid to dive conditions simmilar or better than which you trained until you have built up experince so jumping in the sea and desceded to 18m should have been pointed out as requiring a bit more experience or having more experinced divers willing to assist you. Lots of divers learn in shallow quarrys or lovely clear warm water at 18M then come back to the UK and have to build up experince slowly due to the limited visability that may mean sticking to about 10m before going deeper. Having a couple of quided dives at new sites, joining a club, or going on a holiday where the DMs can act as guides. Remember that you as a diver are responsible for mointering your depth and air, but the stress of finidng your way round the site and what to see is poited out for you. Several sites do things for new divers such as kit hire entrance and dive master to assit and take you round (i know Wraysbury does I did my AI with them and my son did his DM with them). There are some lovely shallow dives arround the coast suitible for OW divers the best is Swanage pier as you dont have to worry about tides and if you stick under the peir no SMB is required and its max depth of 6m. Selsey lifeboat station is also 4-6M range but very tide dependent and you do need to use a SMB so best go with a more experinced diver or try Mulberry divers in Selsey as they do Marshalled dives and tours of that area. Even experinced divers that have the odd splash in the winter will have several shallow check out dives build up depth slowly, a bimble or two in the sea at the start of the season before heading out to the deeper wrecks. i also learnt with one son 20 and one 14 so i know how much of a worry being a new diver and a parent as well, take it easy and have fun.
     
  16. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    Pretty poor work by that Instructor, it's what gets PADI a bad name amongst some divers, usually those with little or no first hand experience, but it's sad to hear that the Pay-And-Dive-In (or the other one! :) ) acronym is true in some cases.

    As others have said, try and get some experience. Alternatively, as some have suggested, find a local BSAC club that will train you as an Ocean Diver. My club loans kit to OD trainees and we got through the skills until YOU and WE are confident you've mastered them.

    With a PADI Open Water cert, you can go and do holiday or other recreational dives in the meantime, if you want, but you'll be a lot more confident in your skills after completing the Ocean Diver course.

    Equally, you'll (hopefully) meet a lot of like minded people who you get on with and can go diving with.

    M.
     
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  17. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Slight correction on the above. No need to do Ocean Diver with a BSAC club
    your existing PADI OW cert is fine and all they'd do is go over any element
    you are not happy with and introduce a few new ones.

    The main thing you need now is a mentor, someone to ensure that skills become
    competent rather than a scraped pass. Can do that by paying for a DM etc. but i'd
    join a BSAC club.
     
  18. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    You are right, of course, BSAC recognises PADI OW qualifications.

    My suggestion to train as an OD was that the OP seemed unhappy with her OW training, so probably doesn't really want to go straight onto Sports Diver training, but certainly as a qualified OW diver she should be able to 'fast-track' through the OD course.

    Also, I'm not sure what most clubs do, but we loan kit to OD trainees as part of their training, but not to Sports Diver trainees, so doing OD from 'scratch' (albeit quicker than someone totally new to diving) would (with us anyway) allow access to equipment and diving opportunities too.

    M.
     
  19. Zubar

    Zubar Active Member
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    Well there is an ad in Diver mag by a Sharm based centre that will get you from 0-30m in under a week! That's right boys and girls!
     
  20. Andy Stevenson

    Andy Stevenson Administrator

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    But not necessarily back again...
     
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