That's it - taken the plunge so to speak.
Have signed up with local BSAC club, paid over loads of dosh but all in all a good deal bearing in mind the amount of training, loan of kit etc. I started the training last night and am already quite comfortable with a fair amount of it, just practice, practice, practice now.
Good thing is I haven't got to buy any kit, and in fact am being actively discouraged from doing so apart from a mask which I picked up the other day (good deal on ebay after trying a similar one in a local dive shop for fit and comfort). Only bought that so I can take it on holiday with me - only 2 weeks to go...
Oh and there's the theory hurdle which seems to be pretty straightforward. It's definitely not rocket science is it! Managed an average of the mid 90%'s on the interactive tests on the BSAC site after just genning up on a few books from the library. Should be straightforward once I have the BSAC literature.
Having a ball so far and the girl who was instructing me yesterday rides a 'Busa - nobody said she had to have taste I s'pose. You know what they say though - "BSAC - where the men are men (and so are the women)."
ps - that was a joke by the way - she's very nice really and not at all butch (and her hubbie's bigger than I am!).
pps - Sorry this seems to be turning into a blog, just so fired up about all this stuff.
Originally Posted by nik_the_brief pps - Sorry this seems to be turning into a blog, just so fired up about all this stuff. My first diving thread on VD did too. It ended up with about 27 pages or something stupid in the end IIRC It's a bit like that, diving.
Originally Posted by pajr777 Most of my kit is twelve years old and still going strong. I was gutted that I had to chuck away my old faithful mask this year because the frame was cracked (probably in transit)
So whilst the initial investment is quite steep, if you get decent stuff and LOOK AFTER it then it will last for years and years. Which is why the best advice is to ask lots of questions so you end up making the right buying decisions! Very true. Invest your money wirsely and the kit can last. See above
I expect my regs, jacket and fins to do 10 years.
Just a quick update - it's all going swimmingly (cringe at the very weak pun).
Passed my Ocean Diver exams with flying colours and pool test too so I can bob around generally unsupervised in the scary depths of a 4 meter pool! Bought myself a dirt cheap but well-fitting and watertight neoprene drysuit for under a hundred quid from eBay, a quite new and in great nick Buddy BCD for just over a ton and a few other odds and sods (mask, fins etc.) and am acksherly going out into some cold water tomorrow for the first time to do some open water training. Okay so it's only the local lakes but we all gotta start somewhere.
I had a quick lesson in how to drive my drysuit yesterday - you know the kind of thing, hanging upside down with my feet full of air so I know how to somersault the air back to where it should be. They're a bit fecking warm when you wear then for an hour in a 30 degree pool though eh - I was sweating like a good 'un when I finished. Anyway now I know how to minimise the risk of me polarising to the surface in me suit I can use it in the lake tomorrow. I also have a well fitting semi-dry (thanks Pete) for when it warms up a bit.
I have an abundance of other kit on long term loan from my brother as he's been diving for years which is an added bonus.
Loving every minute of it still. They're a great bunch of people at Canterbury Divers, most of 'em are seriously into wrecks which is good cos there are shedloads of the buggers down here near Dover! Hope to get another few lessons at the lakes over the next month or so (although I'm off on holiday over the easter break which will scupper it a bit) then we're off to Weymouth for the first Bank Holiday weekend where I hope to be signed off as OD so I can start straight onto the Sports Diver course immediately afterwards. Once I've done that I'll be happy to stay as an SD for a couple of years til I've got plenty of dives uner my belt, as they always say you can't buy (or rush) experience.
Only regret is that I didn't start this all years ago...
Nice one :-)
Waheey - this diving larks great innit.
Just got back from the lakes, was windy, cold and pissing down with rain but despite the rain the viz was comparatively decent so I got the chance to get in some proper cold water outside of the local baths!
Had a brilliant time, just a bimble really - no drills, nothing taxing, just stick with the instructor and don't drown. Only 9 degrees but was toasty warm in my manky old drysuit - I presume I right in believing that 'dry' is a comparative term and a bit of a misnomer, my right arm leaks a tiny bit (prolly through the dump valve) so I had \a little water there but fine and dandy everywhere else.
Got out, dried off and changed and the sun came out. Wel you know what they say in the UK - if you don't like the weather just wait ten minutes!
I could seriously get into this.
Just back from Weymuff and it's official that I now have the bug and am expecting that there will be a commensurate drain on my finances over the years now.
Went down with the club for the Bank holiday weekend and did my four qualifying dives (my first 4 in the sea rather than the lake). Brilliant weather all weekend and great viz. Did the un-named dredger just outside Portland harbour followed by the Countess of Erne. Was doing my Ocean Diver dives but did a couple of easy swim throughs, a bit of reeling off and deployed a DSMB too - not bad for my second proper dive. A couple of RIB dives on Sunday around Lulworth Cove and past Durdle Door.
Only one typical noob mistake. Forgot my hood for dive three and was advised that I might get a bit chilly without it. Tested whether or not the advice was accurate by hanging over the edge of the RIB and plunging my head into the sea for a few seconds. It wasn't as bad as I expected so I borrowed a wooly hat to give a little insulation and made the dive anyway. It was absolutely fine throughout the 35 min dive and I came up toasty warm though I reckon that was probably down to the adrenaline of the excitement of one of my first proper dives coupled with the fact that riding my bike through the winter probably acclimatised me to a little chill. Anyway it made a good talking point for the others in the club to rip the piss at the end of the trip meal.
I could have done the necessary drills on the dives, CBL, mask removal and replacement etc. but it would have spoiled the dives so I'll be doing those at the lake this coming weekend at which point I'll be signed off as an Ocean Diver so I can go straight onto the Sports Diver course.
I still think this pastime is the best think since sliced bread and desmodronic valves. Throughout the entire weekend I had a grin like this -->
Ah meant to say earlier - I'm now qualified as an Ocean Diver and have started the Sports Diver course.
Still loving it and not drowned yet so it must be working.