Taking on the challenge of the PADI Divemaster Course is not everyone’s cup of tea but for those that accomplish the first PADI Professional accreditation the hard work is more than worthwhile. To share in the infectious joy of a student completing a PADI course or to help someone overcome the skill that has become their nemesis is an awesome feeling that cannot be explained.
PADI Divemasters are the support structure of any PADI Dive Centre. They assist PADI Instructors by supervising students, sorting out equipment logistics and helping to demonstrate skills as well as independently running PADI programs. They are also masters of fun, excitement and enthusiasm, reassuring and encouraging students through the most nerve wracking diving skills and experiences. It is these skills that make a great PADI Divemaster. During the PADI Divemaster Course you will overcome your weaknesses and improve your own areas of expertise.
Do you think you’re up for the challenge of learning new skills, increasing your understanding of dive theory and becoming an all round great dive leader? It takes guts, determination and a thirst for learning more about Scuba.
The downside to becoming a PADI Divemaster is the amount of time that you need to spend in the Dive Centre with Katy, Darren and your Instructor but no pain, no gain. We understand that this could be hard so we assure you we’ll make your training as fun as possible!
Being a PADI Divemaster also opens doors to working abroad as a Dive Guide, enabling you to swap your office for the beach. Where would you rather work?
So if you want a new challenge in 2012 consider becoming a PADI Professional and contact Katy to discuss schedules and course details. What are you waiting for…
Matt Roberts’ account of his experience of Shark Feeding as the winner of the Bruce Sharkey Photography Competition.
“Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the towers
Not a creature was stirring
Not even a mouse… Apart from the Sharks that is!
Driving through the deserted grounds of Alton towers, we pulled onto the entrance to Sharkbait Reef, eagerly awaiting the arrival of Mrs Claus (Lucy Handel). Lucy popped her head around the corner and an instant ‘kid at Christmas’ smile appeared on mine and Zoe’s face. We were taken on a very exclusive guided tour of the Sea Life aquarium. To see the various fish and creatures the aquarium had on show. This privacy gave the chance to see the displays in all their glory without the usual hustle and bustle, much akin to the shopping this time of year.
After the disappointment of not being able to make the tour earlier in the year it really did seem like Christmas had come early.
After pressing my nose against the glass of every tank I could find, we were beckoned up to the feeding platform of the ocean tank. The rays and sharks had already begun to circle knowing that feeding time was fast approaching. We were giving a brief on feeding techniques and dietary requirements, donned a pair of gloves and dived in (not literally, although very tempting).
The rays were up first, once they sensed the food enter the water they circled the feeding area over and over. Slapping their fins on the side of the tank as they swam past, as if to say ‘more please’. Not deterred by the bullish presence of Xena, the rays led by Larry’s effervescent grin, soon gobbled up all we had to offer.
We then had the pleasure of feeding Xena the warrior Leopard shark (personal favourite). She has been trained to feed at a feeding board. The board is held in the water and the food is presented just in front of it ready for her to engulf it with a huge slurp. Although controlled and relaxed, you could feel the raw power as her eager nose bumped into the board.
Finally it was the turn of the Blacktip and Bonnethead sharks. Their extremely hesitant and cautious nature was evident throughout the entire time while we were viewing the Ocean tank from above, but none more so than when we attempted to feed them. The rays had made their way across to the feeding area and were keen to indulge further. The sharks only managed to feed on a small number of passes as the attention from the rays seemed to really dissuade them, almost to the point they seemed fearful. Another example of how media hype and tall stories has vastly exaggerated the reputation of these truly superlative creatures, and their apparent thirst for blood.
A truly unforgettable experience, for Zoe and I. Thank you to Lucy Handel at Sea Life and Katy Bloor at Sub-mission for making is possible.
The day’s events struck a nerve as any encounter of this kind should. It reaffirmed the need to care for and support these delicate creatures and our fragile ocean to ensure aquariums are not the only place to gaze in wonderment at the beauty the oceans have to offer.
As so, training for my next fundraising event is imminent (providing the doctor allows it). I hope to complete an Olympic Triathlon late 2012. That’s a 1.5k swim, 38k bike, followed by a 10k run. Anyone wishing to join me or sponsor me call in the Sub-mission shop for details.”
So 2011 is over. I feel like I’ve watched the year rush by like a dog with its head out of the car window, tongue hanging out, enjoying the wind going past my face. It’s been a pretty epic year, even if just for the fact that after so long together Darren finally proposed to me. Okay, so it may have been heat stroke but I wasn’t going to let the opportunity pass me by.
I thought I would share with you a few of my highlights from 2011 and maybe you could let me know what your highlights have been.
Firstly, I think that Darren and I getting through the application criteria and then being accepted onto the PADI Course Director programs must be the biggest event of the year for me. Not only did we succeed in reaching the pinnacle of the PADI ladder but we both had a fantastic time along the way and met some awesome people who we will keep in touch with for years to come. It was exciting and terrifying at the same time but our hard work and experience made it bearable.
The Fin4Finning was a great success in July and I am so proud of everyone’s determination to not only complete the distance but to raise money and awareness for Sharks. It was a brilliant idea of Ian and Jenny Ratcliffe and with over £4,000 raised made is a worthwhile event that will hopefully be bigger, better and harder in 2012.
We have taught some absolutely fantastic Instructor Candidates this year so we must congratulate Jenny, Yvonne, Ian, Nick and Paul on their achievements. We then had to say bon voyage to Jenny and Ian who are now enjoying life in Brunei.
The Dive Centre has hosted some pretty awesome guest speakers, which have been a hit with Sub-Mission Club members. Mark Powell, Paul Duxfield, Rory Golden, Dr Jules, Lucy Handel and Maria Munn gave us plenty of food for thought and offered some real inspiration to many of you.
I have loved the relaunch of Project AWARE, the new mission statement and focus area’s. The ability to interact with the website and it’s social media feel are a winner in my eyes and it’s great to get recognition for Sub-Mission’s efforts with news articles being posted on the front page about ‘Bag Free for a Week’, Fin4Finning and the arrival of Finn. 2011 also welcomed Bruce Sharkey who has proven to be a tricky, mischievous little shark who is hoping to do continue to create a stir in 2012.
A few other mentions; Congratulations to Phill who proposed to Lauren underwater back in January. Congratulations to Kieran for plucking up the courage to ask Sonia to marry you and we’re sorry we ruined your romantic Jacuzzi evening on the liveaboard!
Well done Matt for your half marathon and the fantastic fund raising that you managed to pull off.
All of the Instructors will agree with me that we have once again had an action packed year and we’ve laughed all the way to the water (and underwater at times too). There are too many students to mention here, (although I do remember every single one) but you’ve all been fantastic. You’ve worked hard, over come difficulties and then gone and had some bloody good dives after your courses. Well done to all of you who completed the Master Scuba Diver Challenge last year, a major achievement and recognition of your Scuba Diving expertise and experience.
It’s a great time to make plans for diving in 2012 and we hope that you will join us for more laughs, more adventures and more fun this year!
2012’s schedule is now online for you if you want to start planning next year’s dates, courses or how you’ll manage to get onto the Master Scuba Diver Roll of Honour Board.
Check out our online schedule by following this link. All of the usual courses are there, with a few extra exciting programs we’ve added for 2012. The PADI Rescue Diver Dates are filling up quickly already, so get your name down early for that. Also, check out the Project AWARE specialty dates, so if you enjoyed the PADI Coral Reef Conservation Specialty, you’ll love this program.
One of the more exciting new courses is the PADI Self Reliant Diver, which you’ll see now has dates that you can sign up for. The first PADI Self Reliant Diver course starts on the 18th January; it’s looking really popular so don’t miss out.
The schedule also includes PADI Multilevel Specialty dates, PADI Equipment Specialty and PADI Night Diver Specialty dates.
Take a look and contact Katy if you need any further information regarding any of the dates or courses. Or take a look at the Shop online and you can book your course now.
Ho, ho, ho! We’re nearly there!
Today’s celebration of Advent is an offer on the Sherwood Mag 4 mask, which we are offering out to you today for 30% off! That brings the price down from £44.95 to £31.46.
These masks are a normal mask with a very clever design to help you read your gauges underwater. Incorporated into the mask is a small reading lens at the bottom with a prescription of +1.75 so that you can see your computer, your depth and your air. This is great for people who usually wear reading glasses, or who struggle to read in low light conditions.
We also have the Sherwood Mag 4 in a range of colours in stock; Blue, Black, Clear, Pink and Black with black silicone.
Okay, so the yesterdays post was just a little bit of fun but here is a real Advent Special Offer. Today we are offering the Northern Diver Flectalon Undersuits for just £65
We have the 100 gram, 200 gram and 300 gram undersuits all in the offer today. These undersuits are ideal for all seasons of diving, especially if you opt for the 300gm. They will keep you lovely and warm underneath your drysuit or one of the schools if you don’t own your own.
The 100 gm suits are perfect for those that don’t really feel the cold or those that dive in the warmer months. The 200gm suits are an ideal option as a middle weight, or those diving an extended season but not in the very depths of winter.
Please come into the Dive Centre to check out what we’ve got and to grab yourself a bargain.
Today’s Advent Special is inspired by my Christmas gift last year of shadowing a zoo keeper for the day. Today we are offering you the opportunity to become a shop keeper for the day. You’ll be awarded a certificate after the day to show your achievement as well as have your photo taken as a way to remember the occasion.
You’ll have the opportunity to interact with real divers, observe their behaviour and if needed the real shop keeper will be on hand to help you all day.
This is a limited offer so remember, there are only 365 days in a year, spaces will go quickly so book yours now!
I hope that you all had a fantastic weekend and have been enjoying the snow! Today’s celebration of the 19th Day of Advent is a great stocking filler idea.
We are offering 40% off several of our knives, such as the Titanium KN80T knife or the Titanium Leg Knife, which are usually £59.95 but today are £35.97!
This is a superb knife and an essential piece of kit, especially if your New Years Resolution is to do more coastal diving! Being Titanium, it is lightweight and less likely to rust that stainless steel. Not only that but you could impress all your family with that famous line from Crocodile Dundee! We also have some small BCD knives at £10 available too though, so why not pop into the Dive Centre today for a look.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Please be advised that due to the ice and the slope of the car park outside the Dive Centre, conditions are slippy and dangerous. Please do not park on either ours or Richer Sounds car park, use the adjacent streets instead. If you have cylinders for refill please leave them in your car, come in and let us know and we’ll help you with them.
Many Thanks, Katy x
Happy shopping today if you are braving the Christmas Crowds. For those of you who are super organised and have a relaxed day ahead of you, why not pop into the Dive Centre to take us up on Advent Deal 17! Just take care on the car park.
Today we are offering 10% discount on any of the Underwater Kinetics Diving Torches. Underwater Kinetics have been making torches for years and they have some trusted favourites in the range like the C4 Dive Torch and C8 Dive Torch, as well as the super cool SL3 Dive Torch.
We have a range of different options in store such as Xenon torches or bright white LED torches. If you want a big, pistol grip torch or something small to fit inside your pocket, we have something to suit everyone.
Enjoy your saturday!