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Oyster Diving | PADI Scuba Diving Blog

All the latest news about scuba diving, travel and PADI training courses from Oyster Diving.

What Is The Diving at Wraysbury Like?

Diving at Wraysbury Diving Review

 

You'll often hear really mixed reviews by divers from Wraysbury. From a training and practice perspective it is superb. The sometimes challenging temperatures of the UK and reduced visibility compared to blue water diving means that divers have to learn quickly to become good.

We often see that when our students then go on holiday they are much more relaxed and controlled then similar new divers that learnt in the clear.

The dive centre itself is basic but has everything you need; changing facilities, a café, air refills and plenty of room to set your kit up. A few more facilities such as improved toilets and hot showers wouldn't go a miss but it doesn't really detract from the overall experience.

Particularly on weekends there is generally a good buzz around the place from all of the other divers around and plenty of banter can be heard in the background.

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Do I need to do a scuba diving refresher course?

When do I have to do a Scuba Diving Refresher Course?

 

The answer is really down to the discretion of the Dive centre you are planning on visiting. Some dive centres say 6 months others say 12. In some parts of the world they don’t care! PADI’s official answer is after several months.

The true answer is if you need it. For example if you went diving would you remember how to control your buoyancy, clear a mask, know the out-of-air procedures and can you even remember how to set up your equipment? It also depends on how confident you feel, you could be fine with the above skills but sometimes just jumping in the water to practice these skills in a shallow water environment can do wonders for you mentally and avoid a panic situation.

Under the PADI system you can do a scuba refresher, sometimes called a ReActivate or Scuba Review, in a pool or in open water but I would say the majority of dive centres do these in confined water less than 5m. 

At Oyster Diving we run the PADI ReActivate course. This takes you through equipment set up and the most important skills to build your safety and confidence. There are also some other skills that are down to you and your instructor, for example if there is something you wish to practice i.e. may be something you learned in the Rescue Diver course then you have time to practice these. There is also some online learning to go through the key points of diving that you learn’t during your open water course.

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Oyster Diving's Dates 2018

SCUBA DIVING DATES 2018 

  

The dates below do not include Tuesday evenings in Soho where we teach every week from 9th January to 18th December 2018.

 

January

 

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Top 10 Tips to Becoming a Good Scuba Diver

Here are our top 10 Tips to Make You a Great Scuba Diver

  1. Continue your diving education

    Many people think that once you’ve completed the open water course then that’s it. The PADI system of continuing education is designed to keep diving fun and improve your skills. Our favourite courses are Advanced Open Water, Enriched Air (Nitrox), Deep Specialty Course, Rescue Diver and Divemaster.

  2. Practice, practice and more practice

    There’s no denying it, the more you dive the better diver you will become. As well as diving on holiday consider joining us in the pool or there are some great dive sites in the UK and if you dive in a dry suit you never need to get cold.

  3. Own your own equipment

    Owning your own equipment means that you become more familiar with it. This makes you more comfortable and know how to adjust it to suit your needs. E.g. how much air to add to your BCD to make you neutrally buoyant or how to efficiently breath from your regulators.

  4. Buoyancy control

    If you can control your buoyancy then you will be more in control and ultimately be more comfortable, confident and your air will last longer. Consider the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy course or just practice hovering on your safety stop.

  5. Keep fit

    Fit divers tend to become less exerted and can control their breathing better. They are also less likely to suffer from Decompression Sickness.

  6. Dive in different conditions

    Have a go at diving in different types of conditions such as fresh water & salt water, drift dives, different temperatures and using different exposure suits. This will make you a more accomplished diver.

  7. Be responsible

    Don’t rely on your dive guide to make sure you are safe. Make yourself responsible for checking your air, your depth and no decompression sickness.

  8. Look after your buddy

    Stay nice and close to each other, monitor each others air and NDL and also base your dive on the conservative side. Swim nice and slowly and check they are okay from time to time.

  9. Learn how to deploy a surface marker buoy

    It’s really easy for the boat to lose site of you, particularly on a drift dive. An SMB is a basic piece of kit that often gets overlooked. Don’t try to learn to use it on an actual dive, either do an SMB course first of practice somewhere shallow first.

  10. Don’t be an idiot!

    This may sound obvious but you’d be surprised by the number of divers who go deeper than there qualified depth, drink too much alcohol the night before, don’t drink enough water and become overly confident. If you are unfamiliar with a dive site then use a dive guide and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are not sure about something on the dive briefing.

 

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Review of TUSA Solla Fins

Review of TUSA Solla Fins

TUSA Solla Full Foot Fins Review

 

As all round warm water fins these have long been a favourite for our instructors and divemasters. The soft rubber foot pocket means they are really comfortable compared to similar fins, this means reduced blisters and less chance of leg cramps.

They are suitable for wearing in the pool and tropical open water dives to destinations such as the Caribbean, Maldives and Thailand. We recommend these fins for our open water students who are completing their open water dives somewhere nice and warm. They get to use and become familiar with their fins in the pool and can also use them for snorkelling when not diving.

The main benefits to the TUSA Solla Fins are:

·       The ForcElast and Angled Blade Design technology ensures that this fin delivers great performance

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Scuba Diving on Super Yachts May Leave You in Hot Water

Super Yacht Owners May be Left in Hot Water

Ever since Jacques Cousteau invented the aqua lung and shared his incredible adventures with a worldwide TV audience, scuba diving has been a favourite pastime among yacht owners and their guests.

Many  yachts are equipped with various amounts of recreational scuba diving equipment these days. Some have just a few bits for taking to the nearest dive centre on a nearby island, to others that are fully equipped with a fully operational dive centre that includes compressors, on board instructors and the latest sets of kit. Some even have their own submarines that can reach the deepest ocean depths.

Paul Allen has famously used his yachts for the exploration of lost historical wrecks including the Japanese WWII battleship the Musashi and USS Indianapolis.

In 2019 new legislation is coming in to force that means that Yachts that offer offshore diving and have their own compressors must now adhere to stricter maritime regulations to help ensure the safety of crew, guests and divers. These guidelines include:

Compressors, Membranes, Diving Cylinders, their associated pipe work and pressure components are manufactured in accordance with an appropriate recognised National or International standard and suitable for the intended service conditions.

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Top 10 Tips for Learning to Scuba Dive

Top 10 Tips for Learning to Scuba Dive

 

1.       Learn with a reputable company

Just like when you went to school, there are some good ones and others not so good.  Read reviews and read about their facilities before you decide.

2.       Don’t go for the cheapest!

Like most things in life you get what you pay for. If you opt for the cheapest diving course then the chances are there will be large class sizes, poor facilities and you’ll spend less time in the water.

3.       Get your own mask and snorkel

This is the least expensive and most compact piece of diving equipment. Hire masks tend to leak a lot and it will ruin your dive

4.       Practice, practice, practice

Like most sports you can only continue to improve if you practice.  Once you’ve qualified then don’t leave it too long before you jump back in the water. A good idea is to join a friendly dive club and practice buoyancy control.

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We're Looking for New Members!

We’re Looking for New Members 

 

 

Are you a keen diver? Do you love exploring new diving locations while visiting various countries? Well, you’re in luck because here at Oyster Diving we are looking for new members.  
We are a multi-award winning PADI Scuba Diving School with an unrivalled reputation and an interest in all things diving. We always enjoy meeting like-minded people who share the same passions and interests as we do and we could really do with some fresh faces joining our vibrant team of divers.  

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Should I do the Full Open Water Course in the UK or the Referral?

Should I do the PADI Open Water Referral or Full course?

 

Great news, you’ve decided to join thousands of lucky people and become a qualified scuba diver.  Being a qualified diver means you’ll see amazing things that non-divers never get to witness such as strange species, colourful coral reefs and the feeling of being weightless.

The PADI open water course is your first level of diving qualification and is accepted at over 15,000 dive centres around the world. Once qualified you can dive to a maximum depth of 18m or 12m if you’re under 13.

 

There are 3 parts to the PADI open water course:

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Top 7 Scintillating Shark Facts You Didn’t Know

Sharks, for the most part, get a pretty bad rep due to their terrifying appearance and killer instincts. However, as many are now aware, sharks do not intentionally eat humans, in fact, sharks don’t even like the taste of us because of our salt percentage! 

 

Anyway, enough about bad-mouthing sharks, we’re here today to divulge some of the most startling and interesting shark facts for you. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and take a look at our 7 shark facts! 

 

7. Size Doesn’t Matter 

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The Top 5 Diving Holidays for the Super Rich

Diving holidays are arguably one of the best ways to get away from the mundanity of working life. What better feeling is there then leaving your job to fly to a place of tranquil beauty and scintillating scenery and of course, diving! 

 

Understandably, it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint where to go for your diving holiday, as there are so many incredible places around the world. For this list however, we’re focusing on 5 of the most expensive resorts currently on offer across the globe.  Be warned, this list is not for those on a budget! We have hand-picked only the best hotels, beaches, diving locations and overall experiences from around the world, so that you can see what a truly phenomenal diving holiday really looks like. 

 

So, without further ado, here are the 5 most expensive diving holidays money can buy! 

 

Caribbean Diving

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Scuba Diving Butler Service

Diving Butler Service

As the UK’s premier PADI Scuba Diving and Travel Centre one of our offerings is a dive butler service. We can provide equipment, Instructors, dive guides and equipment to locations around the world.

Our unique knowledge of dive sites around the world is 2nd to none. We have 100’s years of experience amongst the team (yet we are still not that old) and have dived all four corners of the globe.

Previous customers have included Royalty, rock stars, business leaders and sports stars. We work with a number of leading high end specialist travel companies on a consultancy basis as well as providing their customers with expert dive training, equipment sales and consultancy to ensure they go to the best locations for their experience level and marine wish list.

Our Butler service is ideal for those who are safety conscious, would like well-travelled and experienced divemasters and instructors. From setting up your equipment, doing your safety checks, guiding you or even improving your diving skills, our Scuba Butler service is our ultimate package to make the underwater part of your holiday give you confidence, safety and providing fantastic memories of the world’s best dive sites.

If you are interested in having your own Dive Butler then please do not hesitate to call 0800 699 0243 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Scuba Diving for Super Yachts

Scuba Diving for Super Yachts

Scuba Diving for Super Yachts

 

There are many dive centres around the world who would like to break in to the Super Yacht market, mainly as they see it as an easy ticket to earn large amounts of money relatively easily.

Unsurprisingly to those who are already involved in the super yacht industry then this isn’t the case. Like all people the wealthy like to get value for money, which means that they can afford to be demanding, be particular, be time sensitive and easy to deal with. This often means many hours of work, last minute changes, turning things around at a moment’s notice and flexibility. This goes against the philosophy of many of the worlds dive centre owners.

Many dive centres also only know about their own region and market. So would a dive centre in the Netherlands know that in the Caribbean you probably need a totally different type of diving compressor to accommodate the high humidity, would a dive centre in parts of the Caribbean and Asia know how to regularly test purity, cylinders and service regulators?

At Oyster Diving we believe we offer a complete solution for manufacturers and owners of Super Yachts. Our services include equipment installation from high end compressors, Nitrox and technical diving abilities, scuba equipment, underwater scooters, servicing, air testing, cylinder testing, training yacht crew to dive, training owners and their guests to dive, providing safety divers, vetting local dive centres and scoping out new dive locations.

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Top 10 BCD's for Scuba Diving

Top 10 BCD's for Scuba Diving

Top 10 BCD’s for Scuba Diving

 

Owning your own BCD (buoyancy control device) is normally one of the last pieces of scuba diving equipment that divers choose to purchase. In my opinion owning your own BCD shouldn’t be overlooked.

It can make your dive much more comfortable than an ill-fitting hire BCD and the familiarity you can gain makes it much safer. For example instinctively knowing where the dump valves are, how long to press the inflate/deflate button, how to drop the integrated weight pockets and where the releases are.

Through diving many different types of scuba BCD’s and feedback from our team of professional instructors we have complied our list of top 10 recreational BCD’s for 2017:

1.       Aqua Lung Axiom i3

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Blue Voyager Maldives Review

Blue Voyager Maldives Review - July 2017

 

This is the first time I've visited Blue Voyager since the owner Blueotwo relocated it from the Red Sea to the Maldives.

 

There it was considered to be one of the finest liveaboards available. Since its arrival in the Maldives Blueotwo have administered a complete refurbishment. Not only has it been given a more Maldivian feel but there is even more room for the 26 passengers to enjoy.

 

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Review of Galapagos Master

I have been diving on various liveaboards around the for over 15 years. My liveaboard diving holiday destinations include the Red Sea, Maldives,  Djibouti, Sudan, Cayman Islands and Australia. I have been on over 20 different boats with varying levels of comfort. 

 

The Galapagos Master is a large steel hull ship. It is stable in the water and has plenty of space to accommodate the 16 guests and 11 crew.

 

All of the diving is done by Zodiac. They are in good condition and are more spacious then others I have been on. They also have a ladder so you don't need to do a seal like entry after each dive.

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Tips and Advice for liveaboard scuba diving holidays to the Galapagos

If you're not pushed for time then a one day stop over in Guayaquil allows you to lose some of the jet lag before you reach the Galapagos

 

Take one or two warm tops such as a hoodie or sweatshirt as the evenings and after dives can be a bit breezy

 

What to wear underwater? Most of our group either had a 7mm or a two piece wetsuit. You could bring a dry suit but the faff of getting in/out of it up to 4 times per day and the threat of tearing a seal means that it probably isn't worth it. We were there in July and the thick wetsuit option was fine. Several of the group had Bare 7mm Reactive wetsuits and these proved easy to put on and take off and lived up to their reputation as the worlds warmest wetsuit. A hood is useful and gloves are fine but can restrict you taking photos. 

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Oyster Diving heads to the Galapagos for scuba holiday of a lifetime

Oyster Diving heads to the Galapagos for scuba holiday of a lifetime

Oyster Diving heads to the Galapagos for scuba holiday of a lifetime

10-19th July 2017

 

The dirty dozen divers met at Heathrow for a few hours in the business lounge where we made full use of their facilities including the free bar and buffet. We boarded our Avianca flight to Guayaquil in Ecuador via Bogota. Not the best airline I've been on but certainly not the worst. 

 

We arrived in Ecuador at 10am in the morning having had various amounts of sleep on the plane and made the short transfer to the Macaw Hostel, which to be honest is more of a simple boutique hotel rather than a dodgy hostel as the name suggests. The owners and staff were really friendly, helpful and made us feel really welcome. The owner gave some of the group a talk on making chocolate followed by a tasting which was gratefully received. The rooms were clean and the aircon worked a treat to counter the tropical heat, we all agreed that we'd rather stay here than at the Hilton around the corner.

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The World’s 7 Most Unique Diving Locations

Here at Oyster Diving, we love discovering new dive locations. Diving in serene waters full of various fish and colourful corals never gets old. But sometimes, we like to discover diving locations that are a little further off the beaten track (so to speak). That’s why, we have decided to explore some of the most unique diving locations in the world. This article lists some of our favourites for you to explore! Read on to find out more.

Bonne Terre Mine, Missouri

Hidden in Missouri, Bonne Terre Mine is one of the most popular diving adventures in America and it’s easy to see why. Underwater pillars, archways and ceilings stretch for miles in all directions, mapping out this stunning submerged mine.

This stunning diving location originated in 1961 when nearly 100 years of mining ceased. The world’s largest lead mine was all mined out, the pumps were turned off and the water trickled in to fill the void. Fully submerged, this mine has year-round 100ft visibility and is one of the most unique diving locations in the world.

Silfra Fissure – Iceland

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The Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle


Here at Oyster Diving, we are just as fascinated as everyone else with the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. This strange region, that lies in the North Atlantic Ocean, is often referred to as the Devil’s Triangle. The Triangle has been the presumed cause of dozens of mind-boggling disappearances of ships and planes.

The earliest suggestion of unusual disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle appeared in a September 17, 1950 article published in The Miami Herald by Edward Van Winkle Jones. From that moment on, lives continued being lost in the area, with ships and planes going down and mysteriously disappearing forever. The disappearances have been attributed to various things, including paranormal activity and extra-terrestrial beings.

Let’s look at some of the most common explanations for these mysterious disappearances.

Paranormal Explanations

Many people have assumed that the Bermuda Triangle is explained by numerous paranormal events. Some think that paranormal explanation is that technology from the mythical lost continent of Atlantis had been leftover and was somehow connected to the Atlantis story.

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Oyster Luxury Travel and Diving: S.E. London & Kent, Soho Central London, Brighton & Hove, Surrey & Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Our main facility is at Marshall Street Leisure Centre, 15 Marshall St, Soho, London W1F 7EL

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