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Hello

Discussion in 'Member Introductions' started by BabyShark, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. BabyShark

    BabyShark New Member

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    Hi there!

    My name is Jonathas and just wanted to say hello - I've just got PADI AOW+EAN certified abroad with just 11 dives, and I know I'm not advanced at all, but I'm quite fascinated in scuba diving. I'm currently looking for a diving club in London, and buddies in the UK, so I can understand better how is diving at home. One of the first things I am planning to do is join a diving club and get a dry suit certification.

    Any advice on dry suit choices are welcome, and also very happy to hear any hints and tips.
     
  2. NickPicks

    NickPicks Active Member

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    Hello.
    Do do do do doo...

    Looking for a dive club in London? Whereabaouts? I've heard nothing but good things about CliDive or HellFins (both are BSAC, but will let you dive with them under your current qualifications, and do a drysuit SDC (skills development course) for you.

    If you particularly want to stick with a PADI organisation, I know one diver who dives with Big Squid in Clapham.
     
  3. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Jonathas - I started diving about four years ago and have over 100 dives, still don't feel advanced! Can't help you with a club as I live in Shropshire.

    I also trained abroad to AOW and wanted to dive in UK - I joined a BSAC club last year and took a Sports Diver qualification, same sort of level as AOW but more geared to UK diving. My Club is active and gives opportunity for further training - so far, I've been on First Aid for Divers, Peak Buoyancy, Oxygen Administration and, in a couple of weeks, Practical Rescue Management. All training is given by volunteers, normally from the club - it's a slower process than PADI for the basic training which suits me and is top quality. Regular club dives and pool nights with the accent on safety at all times with lots of support available when needed.

    The key is to find an active club keen on training. I took a while for me with clubs not returning emails or phone calls, joined one that was going through a difficult time with key training people lost, managed the theory for SD and finished by paying an instructor in Cyprus to complete the required dives. I took a bit of time to assess local clubs when I moved house and I'm very happy with the one I found.

    I found the change from wet suit to dry suit hard work, especially in Dive Centre borrowed suits. Once I got my own, life improved and I now prefer to dive it and take it overseas if the water isn't too warm. You'll get a lot of advice from the forum on dry suits - I ignored it and got a new Seaskin, a lower cost than most and they only sell made-to-measure. The one mistake was to put in a convenience zip - not convenient, never used and leaked when the zip was slightly open
     
  4. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
    UKD Supporter

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    Hi Jonathan,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Definitely find a club. It’s pretty much essential for the early days of diving and will give a structure to your development.

    PADI clubs are ok but tend to be more warm water diving focused and a lot more commercial, generally based around a shop and quick to sell you unnecessary scuba tat, plus countless courses.

    BSAC clubs are quite variable, so need assessing before you commit. BSAC is a longer term option that is cheaper and focussed on UK diving. They aren’t built around a shop, so won’t keep trying to flog you stuff.

    There are other agencies who have active clubs, such as the SAA.


    Big piece of advice = be very careful about buying second hand drysuits. You need to know what you’re looking for. Please ask on here - even if it’s via a PM - before committing as we could save you significant money! Drysuits are pretty much essential for UK diving


    Have fun:)
     
  5. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
    Staff Member

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    Me neither, so they'd be my choice in the Smoke.
     
  6. BabyShark

    BabyShark New Member

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    Thanks for the tips! I’ve already got in touch with Hellfins and Clidive, and will visit them this week. Clidive is going to start an SD course this week so will probably join them and see how it goes. I think the club environment at home that BSAC offers is a very good way to solidify some skills on my own pace, because abroad with PADI, while they deliver courses in tiny bits that can easily fit a short holiday, most of the cases there isn’t enough time to practice more the way I would like (sometimes there is time, but wife wants to do other things too!)

    Btw, I just had my first dive last Sunday on Buckland lake with Mark (who works with a nice PADI center there - thanks to Mark for being a great buddy) and viz was about 1 to 2m because of the algae bloom, kind of shocking at first (I was used to 10 to 15m) but I quickly got comfortable following a rope and did a nice 1h dive in my 5mm wetsuit (Water about 19 to 18C), but I guess any colder or for repeat dives, I really need a dry suit.
     

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