Chappati’s in Chepstow

Hang on a minute….but you are diving club, not a food club.  Very true, but we do like a good curry and drinks after a great day diving and boy was this weekend great fun!

The weather was perfect and the water was a lovely 10 degrees.

Woahhhh 10 degrees, “I brush my teeth in water warmer than that,” I hear you say.  Well, yes 10 degrees is on the cool side, but not when you wear thermals and remember to zip your dry suit up before diving in…hey H*

* (name intentionally left short…as I am sure other bits of him were too after that cold call…get it ‘cold call’).

Anyhoo moving on, it was a good lesson for us all and one of the reasons we go to the National Diving and Activity Centre in Chepstow…. practice, practice, practice so we can dive safe and have fun.

(and stay DRY and WARM, sorry was that #toosoon?”)

There were 17 of us club members who went down for the Saturday, with some staying over and others joining to make up 14 for the Sunday sessions.

The weather was so good on the Saturday that many of us managed to get in 3 dives in before 5pm closing, with vis (visibility) between 5-6m and some members managing to get 3 dives in again on Sunday too.

On Saturday night 12 of us went out to our now usual ‘curry hang out’ at the Sitar Balti, in Chepstow. 

The training this weekend was, as always, excellent with many of our trainees, me included, taking to the club’s group email when we got home thanking and singing our praises for all our instructors – for their time, knowledge shared and most of all patience with us newbies.

For me, this weekend was about completing my second level in BSAC training, called Sports Diver. 

You know when everything just lines up perfectly, the weather, the dry suit zip (sorry H), the theory, the practical training sessions in the New Malden Pool (Thursday nights 8pm #unashamedplug) and the great 1-2-1 teaching/mentoring given by Elaine…that was this weekend and one I will always remember! I passed my navigation, found everything I was meant to ‘en route’, I did my dive leading, DSMB deployment (google it) I did my surface cover (logging divers in and out, on the pontoon in the lovely sunshine #burnthead) and had fun exploring the different vehicles and objects NDAC have placed around the old Slate Quarry. (I had previously passed Rescue, Controlled Buoyant Lift and other skills on our previous training sessions)#

I’m so glad that members of the KESAC club were out promoting the club on Kingston High Street when I walked by and encouraged me to have a go at SCUBA again (*I had undergone a bad training course 15 years ago on holiday). 

I badly needed a challenge in my life from the mundane, test myself and in the process found a great load of friends who encourage, support and have fun with.

Kingston and Elmbridge Sub Aqua Club prides itself on its programme of club training events, lead by Elaine, our Training Officer, and a band of fantastic club volunteer trainers who have many years and hours underwater. 

These club training events occur throughout the year and are free in that they are part of your diver qualifications, the teachers don’t ask for payment and the only costs you have as all divers have are for entrance costs to the National Dive and Activity Centre, your tank fills and accommodation if you are staying down over night.

The club currently has diving courses running for Ocean, Sports and Dive Leader qualification levels with opportunities for club members actively encouraged to move on to become instructors themselves one day and pass on what they have learnt.  We also have also recently run boat handling, O2 administration (as in Oxygen, not how to use your mobile), rescue management, first aid and so many more short courses. (These courses are all run by highly trained club volunteers with the only cost is for the training course materials between £35 – £40 and club equipment provided while training)

BSAC is the most affordable way to learn to dive and being a club there is always dive trips abroad and in the UK to go on.   Why take up your time on holiday learning, when you can learn in the UK in a safe, affordable and unpressurised environment of a club?

Organise a Try Dive today! (you have nothing to loose and everything to gain!)