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Discussion in 'Member Introductions' started by Griffalo, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. Griffalo

    Griffalo Active Member

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    I'm a PADI AOW diver with 24 dives to date. These have mainly been in the mediterranean having done my open water and dry suit in Wraysbury apart from two dives in Porthkerris.

    My two sons 16 & 12, completed their OW in Malta last year, we plan to dive in the future with my brother in law who is a PADI rescue diver with hundreds of dives and I realise I need to skill up to take responsibility for two teenagers.

    I have a week of dry suit diving planned for the last week in Feb with the brother in law and having looked through various threads here am thinking of trying the BSAC sport diver before going for the PADI rescue diver.

    I'm based in Reading but spend loads of time up in Shropshire
     
  2. NickPicks

    NickPicks Active Member

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    Welcome.

    I've not done PADI Rescue, but my understanding is that it's broadly similar to BSAC Sports Diver. I'd hope that if you find a decent club, you'd end up doing SD, then carry on diving within the club.
     
  3. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    Welcome to the forum.

    If you can find a good club and do SD you won't need Rescue as it's covered by SD.
     
  4. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Griffalo
    You are a bit ahead of me, I'm PADI OW with only four warm water sea dives and continued practise in a pool in UK - I'm too old to face dry suit diving! Back to Madeira next month.
    Notice that you've moved on to AOW quite quickly; interested in your experiences - I want to keep improving and that's the next logical step and wonder what level of competence I should be looking at before I go for it.
     
  5. Griffalo

    Griffalo Active Member

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    I'm not sure there is an age to be considered too old for a dry suit. If you're going to Madeira next month you're going to have similar water temperatures that I expect to get in Malta in late Feb and I'm going to be using a dry suit. While you do get a slight reduction in freedom you don't get the discomfort of cold, wet, wetsuits which I really hate.

    As far as the AOW goes I personally think it's a good idea to do it sooner rather than later. To my mind it should be called level 2 open water diver rather than advanced. It certainly extends the training you've already got and you will be much better for it, I just think the term "advanced" is pushing it a bit. I did the AOW in Malta last August, it has improved my diving considerably and I would certainly recommend doing it, it's just that I would say I'm now an OK'ish diver rather than advanced.
     
  6. Iain Denham

    Iain Denham Active Member

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    Ive done PADI rescue then joined BSAC and done there cross overs and just completed the DL course so I can say that if your going to join a BSAC club anyway you wont need to do PADI rescue you can do the equivalents "for free" with BSAC.
     
  7. furryman

    furryman hmmmm
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    Another approach would be to do Rescue with PADI (in cold water/drysuit) and then do your BSAC training at Dive Leader level... But my advice would be dive dive dive to get the confidence and experience to get the most out of DL.
    Much depends on the club you join: a good PADI op will knock spots off a poor BSAC club.

    If you give us a clue about the area you live in, then I am sure you will get several hundred opinions about good/bad ways forward and clubs to join.
     
  8. Iain Denham

    Iain Denham Active Member

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    The PADI term for AOW just means that you have advanced from OW to AOW there is no need to read any more into it than that.
     
  9. Griffalo

    Griffalo Active Member

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    I live in Reading and have just made contact with the local club through the BSAC site so we'll see what happens
     
  10. Iain Denham

    Iain Denham Active Member

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    You just need to check what diving they are doing and if they have many ACTIVE instructors if they do and have plenty of diving booked pop along to there club night for a chat and if they have plenty of people there talking diving organising diving and training it would be a good cheap way to progress your skills while going diving.

    Nothing wrong with also just going the "PADI way" if its a good school as stated by @furryman just a bit more expensive and may not have the diving you want to do, I've done both so have a bit of experience of both sides.
     
  11. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I prefer the term Additional Open Water. I too didn't really get the meaning of "Advanced" when I could barely dive. But that was then, and now I'm a couple of hundred dives on and am much better for it.

    @JohnL I know you're not intending to dive in the UK nor in a drysuit . . . but . . . :)

    Diving in a drysuit has made a massive difference to me. I use it all the time, even when diving in warm Med waters. The greatest thing about a drysuit is you never get that flush of cold water no matter what the temperature is. My current drysuit fits me properly and is an absolute pleasure to dive in. I'm sure that diving in Madeira would be improved by diving in a drysuit.

    Oh, and there's one big benefit of a drysuit... They're massively easier to don and doff than a wetsuit as they don't have to be tight. Then there's the convenience of not having to shower as your body wasn't wet...

    Regarding diving in the UK, I find it to be amazing. I love diving all the wrecks, although I do feel guilty at describing it like this given the tragedy that befell the vessel and crew. Whilst we don't tend to have the pretty fish and amazing visibility, we more than make up for interesting locations and changeable conditions. The flora and fauna are seldom boring. Plus there's the varied geology and the history of the wreck or location. I find it exceedingly addictive!

    For diving in UK seas, with the exception of shallow and sheltered waters, you really *need* the AOW level of qualification as you'll be diving in deeper waters - say of the 20 to 30 metre range, in tidal conditions, possibly in the dark, in lower-visibility and where you need to be more self-reliant if you've lost your buddy for whatever reason, and put up an SMB and ascend in control.

    I'll definitely second @furryman's point that a decent PADI club can be better than a lot of BSAC clubs. There is the difference in approach in that PADI is fundamentally a business, but you don't have to take all their courses! In any case, the fact that you're listening to people on here means you're not open-mouthed in admiration of a Dive Master's skills :dummy:
     
  12. Iain Denham

    Iain Denham Active Member

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    @Wibble to be fair to @furryman he did say "Much depends on the club you join: a good PADI op will knock spots off a POOR BSAC club
     
  13. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I know. I also didn't mention that there's far fewer PADI "clubs" around, as opposed to glorified loyalty schemes.

    I "belong" to two PADI clubs - was three, but the company folded. One's a grouping of people who go diving that are loosely associated with the school and who's main objective is to help people to go diving once they've done their training -- nice bunch of people. It's nice to see the relatively newbies being helped on by the more experienced people, but without the formality of "DiveMaster" this and "Follow Me" the other. These have loads of ad-hoc dives and are organised around a FB group. I would expect to see a couple of more technical dives through this group.

    The other is a PADI club that's strongly connected to the dive shop. This is very much a business, but they're diving most of the time (weather permitting). They do organise trips, but there's few ad-hoc trips and not a great deal of diving outside of the club. Pity really as we won't be seeing any of these people at Stoney, NDAC, etc. I do like this club as they're pretty well organised and do things safely, although always within the PADI recreational dive limits.

    Thinking this through a bit more... I also belong to THIS dive club - UKDivers. I like this lot as there's a lot of experience and the opportunity to really improve my diving. Sure, a load of people are taking the piss about this weekend's dive in a muddy puddle called Stoney. Wotever... I'd rather dive in a muddy puddle with a bunch of nice people (one or two excepted :thumb: ) and practice my skills than not dive at all. There's loads of opportunities to dive with this mob, but it does mean saying yes occasionally!
     
  14. Griffalo

    Griffalo Active Member

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    So does anyone have a view on decent dive sites near Reading? I've done Wraysbury, one time the visibility was over 1 metre as well but there has to be something better in the UK. Chepstow looks interesting but the local PADI organisation doesn't seem to go that often
     
  15. NickPicks

    NickPicks Active Member

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    From Reading, NDAC is quite easy to get to, and a few instructors in my club like Cromhall (although I've never tried it), which is about the same distance.

    Alternatively, 2.5 hours to Swanage
     
  16. Iain Denham

    Iain Denham Active Member

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    Stoney Cove?

    *EDIT: ooh yes Swanage would be ideal
     
  17. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    You get good PADI outfits and good BSAC outfits, but similarly you get crap PADI outfits and
    crap BSAC ones, so the only way to look at it is to cancel out those factors and look at the
    course(s) itself.

    Assuming you do the standard course and don't pay extra to include specialties with AOW
    the value is Navigation and a 30m non-deco ticket. The other electives well that depends
    what you pick PPB is good IF you do it. but others like a wreck dive you'd do anyway, nothing special.

    Meanwhile doing BSAC Sport (if you havnt got it already it will have Drysuit) it's now a deco level,
    includes Nitrox, Rescue, First Aid, UK diving techniques, SMB, DSMB, Navigation, Distance lines,
    redundancy etc. Once the course is completed can then do progression to 35m.

    Guess which one prepares you for UK diving :)
     
  18. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    This is the challenge I've had to face. My local dive club is based on the sea and doesn't travel to the inland sites. I guess there's lots of reasons for this, not least the "why" factor, e.g. you don't need to improve your skills. I don't mean that in any hostile way, but I find they're not that bothered at going further, deeper, longer. That, of course, is the limitation of PADI: they don't do tech, just rec.

    I could have accepted the status quo and continued to just dive with them. But I knew I wanted more, so took the opportunity to go diving with some of the people on here over last winter and my diving has improved immeasurably.

    To be really blunt, the standards of some clubs are minimal and they don't actively seek to improve them. I'm not talking about courses where they will meet the standards, I'm talking about the general competence levels: buoyancy, trim, finning, positioning, holding one's stops, not kicking up the silt, etc. i.e. there are no post-dive reviews, no outside-of-training skills development, etc. That's precisely what I got from diving with a lot of the people on here.

    Annoyingly there's few places in the south-east of the UK. Wraysbury and a bunch of other places are shallow and silty. The best IMHO is NDAC followed by Vobster and Stoney. All of which I'd avoid in the summer when there's real diving available.


    I don't suppose you want to go up to Stoney for a bimble on Sunday? Get to meet a few people, names to faces, etc... :)
     
  19. NickPicks

    NickPicks Active Member

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    But probably not for the next few months (the viz report I saw the other day looked like Horlicks!)
     
    Iain Denham likes this.
  20. Griffalo

    Griffalo Active Member

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    I would be interested in Going up to Stoney but my dry suit is in for repair at the moment - torn wrist seal. However in a week or so I should be up for it
     

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