Whether you learnt to dive close to your home or somewhere warm and exotic on holiday, you may now decide you want to actually go and dive for fun. For so many people, learning to dive can be a lifetime achievement, it would be a huge shame if they never continued. The people you learnt with, may have nothing more to do with diving apart from teaching.
Wherever you live, there will be some scuba diving, somewhere. If you live inland, a long way from the sea, there will usually be a piece of inland water used for diving. This could be a lake or flooded quarry, a river or purpose made scuba diving venue. By searching the internet, you may be able to find a dive centre or dive club in your area.
Here at Atlantic Scuba, we welcome divers of all levels and from all agencies, after all we teach for most of them. When you contact us, we are willing to talk to you about the local diving scene. We organise local shore and boat dives, day trips and even week long dive holidays abroad. We do have a BSAC club as well as being part of a non-agency club. We can offer you a full set of equipment to hire, we can sell you a full set of kit if you want. Having your own kit is very useful, but, it is better to find out if you like the local diving, before spending your money on a set of scuba diving equipment. We will ask you about your diving experience so far, then help you to choose what to do next. Whether that is a dive off of the local beach or at an inland location, it could be a boat dive, or a pool session to review your dive skills. We won’t try to sell you another course until you need or want it. If you learnt abroad somewhere, paying to go on a local dive with a local guide is well worth the money. Technically, you are only qualified to dive in the conditions you learnt in, so if you learnt to dive in the Bahamas, you are not qualified to dive in Norway and vice versa. Although it is accepted that if you learn to dive in inclement conditions like they have in Norway or the U.K., you are usually more than competent to dive in warm tropical waters.
So, do not be concerned about what sort of response you will get, because you learnt in Koh Tao or Sharm el Sheik, we have dived at those places ourselves.
RHIB diving is a very effective and efficient way of scuba diving from a boat. RHIBs are usually much faster than hard boats, they are also more economical. Here are some of the questions we get frequently asked:
How do you get back on?
When stationary, RHIBs usually sit very low in the water, the closer to the stern, the lower they sit. You have to haul yourself in using the ropes and grab handles provided. If you make yourself very buoyant first, it is quite easy, we will always help you if you need it.
Where’s the toilet?
Unfortunately, this is one area RHIBs lose against hard boats. We don’t have one.
How long will we be out?
We rarely do two dives per trip, unless asked. So most trips are just one dive. We normally state 2.5-3 hours for a recreational dive trip. So not too long to wait for the toilet.
If we are doing two dives, what do we do with our kit?
Leave your kit on the boat, just switch cylinders.
What does RO mean?
RO stands for Ropes Off, the time the boat plans to leave the quayside. So get there beforehand to get your kit ready and on the boat before that time.
Where do we put stuff we want to keep dry?
To be honest, your car will be best. The is very little dry storage on a RHIB. We have a dry box to place your car keys but that’s about it.
One of the most common questions we get asked is ‘Where do I start?’
If you are unsure about learning to dive you can complete the ‘Scuba Discovery ‘ session. This involves some basic lessons on the theory side, followed by a sea dive. This is not a qualification course, just a’ taster’ session.
Within the would of Scuba Diving you will always come across acronyms, there has already been one in the first half of this sentence, Scuba – Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. Here are a few more to help you understand what we’re talking about……..
- SDI – Scuba Diving International
- TDI – Technical Diving International
- PADI – Professional Association of Dive Instructors
- PSAI – Professional Scuba Association International
- BSAC – British Sub Aqua Club
- DAN – Diver’s Alert Network
- MCA – Maritime and Coastguard Agency
- RNLI – Royal National Lifeboat Institution
- RYA -Royal Yachting Association
Q. What happens if the weather is not suitable for diving?
A. The weather can affect divers in different ways. Rain can help flatten and waves on the sea but it also brings silt down the rivers, which can then affect visibility. Wind will affect the surface conditions which can churn up shallow waters or make the access to and from a boat too dangerous. To help with this we have access to an indoor heated swimming pool, for all confined water training. For Open Water training, luckily we have 2 coastlines in Cornwall facing opposite ways, so there is usually somewhere not too affected by the wind to dive.
Q. What if the sea is not suitable for diving?
A. This can happen, at any time of the year, a combination of wind and rain can stop us diving in the sea. With this in mind we have permission to dive four local quarries, where we can achieve whatever depth is required for the course, or just to go for a fun dive. The closest it just 8m deep and is extremely sheltered, it can be used for all sorts of training that has no real depth requirement. The next closest quarry is 16m deep, it is suitable for any training that requires courses close to that depth, it is also good for photography and video courses with some nice scenic areas. A little further away we have a 30m deep quarry, this is good for depth progression dives, like that required by the Advanced Open Water. A similar distance away is our deepest quarry, at around 90m deep. Here we can complete any technical diving course that we teach.
Q. How cold does it get?
A. Sea temperatures range from 18 degrees, off the beach in the summer, to 7 degrees in the winter, although it usually remains around 10C for most of the winter. We dive all year round, wetsuits or semi-dry wetsuits can be used in the summer. During the winter we tend to prefer drysuits, water temperature isn’t really an issue it’s getting changed out of wet suits afterwards. Any quarries can be quite cold, dropping to 4 degrees at times, dry suits are a must for winter quarry diving.