Just under two years ago my friend started doing some scuba diving intro lessons at a pool not too far from us and I popped along to give it a try. My first week didn’t go all that well as I couldn’t breathe through the apparatus properly and then had a mini panic attack (the concept of breathing underwater is a strange one), but this didn’t stop me. I went back to the same group a few times but I just couldn’t commit to going every single week as I knew it would take me forever to build up my skills underwater and move to complete my PADI qualification.
I decided to look into day courses so I could learn and practice everything in one day and found a diving school about a 45-minute drive away from me. I proceeded to spend hours doing all of my theory work so I could get that signed off before I went in for the practical aspect and back in August 2016 I headed to the London School of Diving in Chiswick on a Saturday for a day course. Everything went well during the day, I didn’t panic and although I still hated taking my mask off underwater I did manage it so everything was signed off and I went on my way.
Photo by Marco Assmann on Unsplash
You have to do four outdoor dives in order to sign off on your PADI which will see you repeat all of the skills you learnt in the pool in a real outdoor situation alongside a little free swimming. The dive school planned this as two dives on a Saturday and two dives on a Sunday so I needed a full weekend that I could commit to doing this and as the type of person I am, I couldn’t book in until November. As the day rolled around I headed to the dive centre to get kitted up with all the gear before heading to Wraysbury near Heathrow.
Now as it was November we had to use a drysuit which is something I’d never used before and made me feel a little like the Michelin man, which when you’re already on the larger size didn’t help with my movement. From the moment I headed into the water, I just didn’t feel comfortable in my suit but also in my skills as a diver. Due to the weather, location and number of people the water in Wraysbury was pretty murky so much so that anything more than a metre or two away was just hazy which led me to feel a little anxious anyway.
Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash
The first time I went down my mask kept filling up with water and no matter how much I cleared it, it just happened again and it caused me to feel very uncomfortable as I basically couldn’t see. It turns out it was caused by the hood I was wearing (another item I’d never worn before) which kept catching on my mask. After trying a few times under the water I was just cold and miserable and knew that at that particular moment it wasn’t for me so I bailed out, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to come back to especially considering I bought some of the equipment.
Reasons why I want to complete my PADI
- To prove to myself that I can do it
I don’t like failing at things and currently, that’s how I feel so I want to complete my PADI just to prove to myself that I can do it.
- To be able to go on dive weekends with my friend
One of my friends is PADI trained and doing further qualifications and a few of my other friends are starting to learn and I’d love to be able to go away with them on little dive weekends.
- To feel comfortable diving when I am away
I’d love to have the option to go diving when I’m on holidays and while having a PADI isn’t always essential when you’re with an instructor I know I’d feel so much more comfortable if I knew what I was doing.
- So it gives me an excuse to buy some pretty fins
I have most of the basic scuba equipment but fins are the one thing I don’t have and Simply Scuba have such an awesome range of them that I’d love to buy a set. I don’t think they’d get enough use out of just snorkelling alone so I’d love to be able to use them diving as well.
Have you ever tried Scuba Diving?