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Time to tick one off your bucket list!

How many of you out there have wondered in awe at the marvels seen on the blue planet and similar tv series? How many of you have thought to yourself I would love to have a go at scuba diving so I could get a little closer to the underwater action? How many of you have thought to yourselves ‘’ I’m going to have a go at that one day’’?

It has never been easier to have a go………………….so what’s your excuse. I have been diving since I was a young school leaver but had always dreamt of turning it into a profession bút never thought the opportunity would ever crop up. To be honest it never would have all the time I had the mindset of ”I’ll do that one day’’. In the end I just did it and have never looked back since. I love my job and all that it encompasses. So, if I can do it then so can you!

All of our Pools are easily accessible either by public transport or by car and we have schedules to suit even the busiest of timetables so it doesn’t matter how busy you are, if it’s on your bucket list, then you need to give us a call. The oceans cover almost 80% of our planet so there is quite literally a whole new world out there waiting to be discovered. Don’t let time slip by with easy fixes on your bucket list.

The oceanic world is out there waiting to be enjoyed by everyone and it’s just a simple call or email away. Many also think it’s about the money and it is a very elitest sport. Well you couldn’t be more wrong. There are many affordable ways of learning to scuba dive and it is considerably cheaper than a new set of golf clubs or bicycle and what’s more is that the license then lasts a lifetime. You can, with PADI, literally go anywhere in the world and experience the true beauty that our oceans have to offer.

Astronauts use Scuba diving to train to go to the moon and beyond because the weightless feeling you experience whist scuba diving is so similar to the feeling experienced on the space station or face of the moon it allows them the opportunity to practise skills they will need when exploring space. How cool is that? You actually get the chance to feel like a spaceman too!

Age is no excuse either, our youngest students are only 8 years old and our eldest club members are almost 80, still diving regularly. In fact they have just returned from an amazing dive trip to Tanzania where they were still able to experience things they had never experienced before! (see earlier blog about their adventures.)

So, what are you waiting for? Get that ‘bucket list out’ and tick it off. Call us anytime to book your discover scuba diving experience.

Everything You Need to Know About World Turtle Day

Everything You Need to Know About World Turtle Day

The 23rd of May is an important day for divers, environmentalists and animal activists around the world. It’s World Turtle Day! This special day has been created to raise awareness and respect for turtles and tortoises, encouraging people worldwide to take action and care for their environments. World Turtle Day recognises the struggles turtles are experiencing daily and how they are almost on the edge of extinction due to environmental hazards, pollution, and the hunting and harvesting of their eggs.

So, what better way to raise awareness of turtles than by celebrating World Turtle Day and reminding ourselves that there is more we could be doing to protect these wonderful creatures.

How Do People Celebrate World Turtle Day?

World Turtle Day is celebrated globally in many ways. Some people will dress up as turtles, clean beaches, or raise awareness in the classroom through craft projects and education. It is important you do everything you can in your area to promote the protection of turtles. If there are no immediate activities or initiatives being taken in your area, why not coordinate some activities with local aquariums, pet stores or nature groups to raise awareness for turtles and the protection they need?

However you celebrate World Turtle Day, make sure you do it in style and you understand why these incredible creatures need our support, protection and care.

The Environmental Risks Turtles Face Daily

Although many species of turtle are at risk of extinction, none are so acutely in danger as sea turtles. Just as their name suggests, sea turtles live in the sea and spend most of their time cruising around in the water. However, unlike other turtles they cannot retract their heads or legs into their shell, making them more vulnerable.

Sea turtles suffer numerous threats, but they aren’t necessarily from other fish. The main threats sea turtles face are from humans! We use their eggs, meat, skin and shells for food and making money. All parts of the sea turtle are valuable and therefore, they are frequently victims of poaching and overfishing. What’s more, their safe havens on our beaches are being destroyed by global warming and these turtles are finding it increasingly difficult to find a safe place to rest and lay their eggs.

It is difficult to count just how many turtles have been hit by automobiles in the past few years as they cross roads and beaches to find safe places to nest. Beaches that used to provide them an uninterrupted sanctuary are now heaving with people and are situated close to main roads.

Close to Extinction

Many species of turtles are in danger of becoming extinct due to their rapidly dwindling numbers, inability to find suitable breeding environments, and lack of pollutant-free spaces. In light of this awful wake-up call, May 23rd has been dedicated as World Turtle Day.

Founded in 2000 by the American Tortoise Rescue, World Turtle Day focuses on raising awareness of the daily troubles turtles face. As the American Tortoise Rescue co-founder, Susan Tellem declared:

“World Turtle Day was started to increase respect and knowledge for the world’s oldest creatures[…]These gentle animals have been around for about 200 million years, yet they are rapidly disappearing as a result of the exotic food industry, habitat destruction, global warming and the cruel pet trade.”

She adds that the ultimate goal of World Turtle Day, “is to stop the illegal trade in turtles and tortoises around the world.”

And slowly but surely, by raising awareness and educating people about turtles, we are all playing our part in helping this incredible species thrive and flourish.

Find Out More

If you would like to find out more about turtles, click here. Alternatively, if you would like to find out how our team at Oyster Diving are doing their bit to save the environment and educate others about turtles, click here.

We hope that on the 23rd of May you will remember it’s World Turtle Day and you will do everything you can for turtles around the world! If we all work together, we can make a huge difference. 

Who are PADI and what does it stand for?

What is PADI and what does it mean?

This is a question we are frequently asked. PADI stands for the ‘Professional Association of Diving Instructors’.PADI are the world’s largest diving membership and scuba diving training organisation. They were founded in 1966 by John Cronin and Ralph Erickson. They decided to have a diver training course that allowed divers to get in the water as soon as safely possible and to break it down in to several modules.PADI offer scuba courses from beginners to professional level. The PADI Open Water course is the world’s most recognised diving certification. By March 2017 over 25 million people had learn ’t to dive under the PADI centre.There are over 6,300 PADI dive centres worldwide and there are over 136,000 members, most of whom are instructors and divemasters.Certification LevelsChildren:
  • PADI Seal Team (Age 8 and above)
  • PADI Bubble Maker (Age 8 and above)
  • Skin Diver (Snorkelling)
  • Junior Scuba Diver (Age 10 to 14)
  • Scuba Diver – subset of the PADI Open Water Diver course, must dive under the direct supervision of a PADI Professional
  • Junior Open Water Diver (Age 10 to 14)
Adults (aged 15+)
  • Open Water Diver
  • Adventure Diver – exposure to three elective scuba experiences
  • Advanced Open Water Diver – expanded scuba skills through “adventure” dive experience: a “deep” dive (18–30m), an underwater navigation dive and three electives from a large choice
  • Rescue Diver – Basic skills in stress management, self-rescue and buddy rescue for recreational diving.
  • Master Scuba Diver – recognition of selected set of certifications and experience: Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, 5 elective specialties and 50 logged dives.
Recreational specialty courses AWARE Coral Reef Conservation [23]
  • AWARE Fish Identification
  • Boat Diver – Boat terminology, boat diving procedures and etiquette, boat entries and exits, and basic boating safety.
  • Cavern Diver
  • Deep Diver – open water diving to maximum depth of 40 metres (130 ft)
  • Digital Underwater Photographer
  • Diver Propulsion Vehicle (underwater scooter)
  • Drift Diver
  • Dry Suit Diver – introduction to dry suit diving
  • Emergency Oxygen Provider Course
  • Enriched Air Diver – Recreational open circuit diving with Nitrox
  • Equipment Specialist – Routine care and maintenance procedures and scuba equipment storage. Basic repairs and adjustments.
  • Ice Diver
  • Multilevel Diver – plan and execute a multi-level dives.
  • National Geographic Diver
  • Night Diver – buoyancy control by feel, low light communication and buddy skills, entries, exits and navigation in the dark, and handling a dive light.
  • Peak Performance Buoyancy – trim correctly and maintain neutral buoyancy in mid-water.
  • Project AWARE
  • Search and Recovery
  • Rebreather (Semiclosed)
  • Advanced Rebreather
  • Self-Reliant Diver
  • Underwater Naturalist
  • Underwater Navigator – navigation using natural clues and by following compass headings
  • Underwater Photographer
  • Underwater Videographer
  • Wreck Diver
  • Professional certifications
  • Divemaster
  • Assistant Instructor
  • Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI)
  • Specialty Instructor
  • Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT)
  • IDC Staff Instructor
  • Master Instructor
  • PADI Course Director
  • Technical diving
PADI have developed courses for those divers wishing to dive beyond 40 metres (130 feet), use stage decompression, dive in an overhead environment beyond 40 linear metres (130 linear feet), use accelerated decompression or use variable gas mixtures during a dive. Open circuit scuba
  • Discover Tec (non-certification) – a short confined water experience that allows the diver to try out technical diving equipment under supervision.
  • Tec 40 – limited decompression dives to 40 metres (130 feet) using backmount or sidemount cylinders.
  • Tec 45 – diving using air or Nitrox to 45 metres (145 feet) with repetitive accelerated decompression dives using a single decompression cylinder using either backmount or sidemount.
  • Tec 50 – diving using air or Nitrox to 50 metres (165 feet) with accelerated decompression using up to two gases, using backmount or sidemount with up to two decompression cylinders.
  • Tec Trimix 65 – diving using trimix to maximum depth of 65 metres (210 feet) with accelerated decompression using two gases, using backmount or sidemount and two decompression cylinders.
  • Tec Trimix Diver – diving using trimix to 90 metres (300 feet) during training (no limit specified after training) using backmount or sidemount, and more than two cylinders with decompression gas
 Closed circuit rebreather 
  • Tec 40 CCR – no stop or limited decompression dives using a Type T CCR (PADI approved technical CCR) to a maximum depth of 40 metres (130 feet)[51]
  • Tec 60 CCR
  • Tec 100 CCR
  • Tec CCR Qualifier
  • Tec CCR Refresher
Specialities 
  • Tec Gas Blender speciality – blend nitrox and helium-blend breathing gases using one or more blending methods.[52]
  • Tec Sidemount speciality – dive with four sidemount cylinders.[53]
  • Professional certifications [54]
Professional
  • Tec Instructor
  • Tec Deep Instructor
  • Tec Gas Blender Instructor
  • Tec Trimix Instructor
  • Tec Sidemount Instructor
  • Tec 40 CCR Instructor
  • Tec 60 CCR Instructor
  • Tec 100 CCR Instructor
  • Freediving
  • PADI Basic Freediver
  • PADI Freediver
  • PADI Advanced Freediver
  • PADI Master Freediver
At Oyster Diving we offer a full range of PADI courses where local sites and conditions allow us. If you would like to learn to dive or carry on with your underwater adventures please give us a call 0800 699 0243. 

A great week in the diving industry

So after a great weekend teaching children at a school in Oxford to dive last weekend, I thought this week was going to be relatively boring in comparison.This was soooo not the case. On Monday I helped Mark unload all of the dive kit from the weekend and give it a good clean. As the sun was still shining it didn’t take long to dry out.On Tuesday I went to London with Paul where we taught the cast of London’d largest west end shows how to dive. It’s all very hush hush but really exciting! I stayed in London while Paul headed back to the office. Nick and I had had a great night in Soho with some scuba refreshers, open water courses starting and a few trial dives. It was great to see everyone smiling after taking their first breaths underwater.After a late night on Tuesday I was up early and caught the train to London with Paul where we met with a few of our new corporate customers. We also managed to sneak some seafood in on the train….I prefer coral but it was nice to have something to eat from the ocean!Thursday was an office admin day and processing all of the paperwork from the last few days. We took some bookings over the phone (they won’t let me answer the phone yet as they say that I sound like a Teenager Mutant Ninja).On Friday we loaded the vans for the weekend and I helped Mark doing the boring accounts. Saturday and Sunday were awesome…myself, Nick, Melvin, Darren and Rosco travelled to NDAC in Chepstow for our spec saver weekend. Melvin did the Deep Spec and Nick did wreck and peak performance buoyancy. We all stayed in the same hotel on Saturday night and I managed to sip a few salty cocktails….yum!I’m still living the dream and hope to do my PADI instructor course one day.

PADI Open Water Course at Rye St. Antony School, Oxford | Easter 2018

I had a lovely weekend in Oxford and really enjoyed teaching the students and teachers of Rye St. Antony, a lovely private school based in Oxford. They asked us to complete the PADI open water referral for them so that when they went to Honduras on the summer school trip they had the ‘boring’ part of the PADI course already completed.

Saturday 14th April 2018

Mark, our instructor, started the course off by doing some basic theory in one of the classrooms. While he was doing that myself and Scuba Paul, the other instructor were busy placing all of the dive kit by the side of the schools’ outdoor heated pool.

After successfully completing the first knowledge reviews and quizzes the students came down to pool where we showed them how to set up their equipment. It wasn’t long before they were jumping in the pool and started the process of learning to dive. The pool was heated to a balmy 31 degrees and the sun shone for the entire duration of the confined water session.

With the shallow water skills successfully completed and the students familiar with their dive kit, we headed to the 3m deep end of the pool. We finished of the open water diver skills which include d removing and replacing the scuba equipment on the surface and underwater, learning how to become weightless, how to clear water out of the mask and what to do if you are irresponsible enough to run out of air.

After a good 4 hours in the pool we sat on the grass and enjoyed a well-earned packed lunch while soaking some more of the sun’s rays.

For the rest of the afternoon we watched another of the PADI videos and completed section 2 of the theory.

Looking at and hearing the students when they were being collected by their parents you could clearly tell that they had really enjoyed their day, found it interesting and very rewarding. They were clearly looking tired as they had been both mentally and physically challenged. The course continues tomorrow….

Sunday 15th April

A nice leisurely 9.30am start and we resumed our diving course in the classroom. All of the girls commented on how early they went to bed and how well they slept. We find that this is always the case when we teach at schools and parents are always very grateful to us and want to know the magic secret!

After successfully completing sections 3 and 4 and learning about the risks of decompression sickness and how to avoid it, we headed back to the outdoor pool to complete the 200m swim and 10 minute float/treading water. Keeping their heads above water for 10 minutes gave the students enough time to discuss the previous evenings good and bad acts of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.

After some lunch and some dive videos on YouTube showing some of the worlds best dive sites we settled down for the final afternoon session. Having completed section 5 there was quiet in the room while they sat the 50 question multiple choice exam. I am very happy to report that all of them passed with flying colours!

We handed them their log books that contain their referral forms which they’ll need to complete their open water dives.

We find teaching at schools is the most rewarding course we do. Nothing beats looking at the face of youngsters when they take their first breaths underwater, seeing them overcome the challenges and watching them learn about how scuba diving opens up a whole new world for exploration and adventure. We would like to thank David Williams, Head of Science, at Rye St Antony for giving up his time to organise the dive course and allowing us to teach their students. We’d also like to thank all of the students who participated for listening so well and being fun, friendly and interested.

It was a great weekend and we look forward to returning again next year.

PADI SCUBA DIVING AND HOLIDAY CENTRE

0800 699 0243
01273 420790
  07920 516006
info@oysterdiving.com

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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

PADI Trained and Certified