As you know I am very enthusiastic about Scuba diving. Since this is my back-to-school year anyway and scuba diving only adds to my oceanography knowledge, I wanted to join a dive school and advance my scuba skills. Here in Southampton there are two options when joining a dive club. Both University of Southampton and Solent University (also Soton based) have their own student dive societies. Luckily they both take in students from the other schools. I chose to join the latter. Solent University’s Solent Sub-aqua is now my society !
In the UK the dive schools work together with the british dive association BSAC; as opposed to the more international orientated PADI or SSI. BSAC is British and BSAC certification can only be obtained in the UK. The certification is compatible with PADI – a must for me as I am a PADI certified diver already. Although I am certainly not a fan of each country setting up its own dive agency (why!!? just why?), I am progressively starting to think more positively about BSAC.
BSAC appears to focus more on theory and certainly makes an effort to incorporate every dive related aspect necessary to dive independently in their training. Including boat handling and chart consultation.
So what about me this year?
I am now a PADI Advanced open water diver. Me being me – I had a plan of progressing with Rescue diver and then follow the padi pro track to divemaster, instructor etc.
BSAC doesn’t follow this chart (doesn’t follow my plans).
I think I should start with two separate specialties before taking on any full courses; nitrox and dry suit. Dry suit is necessary for these cold cold Channel waters! After the specialties I hope to start with Dive Leader. Don’t know if that’s possible though?
The most important thing is to see diving as my off time and make it as relaxing as possible. Molly and Rachel are joining me, so it’ll be good (: