I guess my only regret with diving is that I did not train until 2004.
As many do I initially trained with PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors). My initial training was with EASOD (East Anglian School of Diving) starting in February 2004 and completing May Bank Holiday.
keen to gain as much information and experience as possible I then completed AOW (Advanced Open Water) and Rescue Diver by the end of September 2004. Far too much too quickly in retrospect.
Not to be halted or deterred in November 2004 I began the journey of Dive Master.
The qualification of Dive Master moves you into the professional category within PADI and brings with it a number of responsibilities and costs. Unfortunately the costs I was not fully aware of.
Upon completion of Dive master in 2005 I found myself without a club or centre to train with and use my recently gained skills. Unfortunately EASOD came to an end. My only option was to find a centre who would happily use a Dive Master who they had not trained. Luckily I found a centre in Milton Keynes and worked within the business at weekends as a volunteer, Dive Masters typically do not get paid. This lasted 6 months before my overheads traveling back and forth became unmanageable. A bonus is that I completed AI (Assistant Instructor).
Transfer to BSAC
It was at this time I thought it would be constructive to transfer to BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club) and Splash Divers in Huntingdon.
There were a number of elements and skills which I need to learn and obtain however in general painless. The biggest one for me was starting to undertake dives which required mandatory decompression. PADI teaches zero decompression diving.
Upon completing my crossover to Dive Leader in 2006 I sat quite content for a while.
Small clubs have a tendency to run out of steam and Splash Divers ceased to be. Myself and remaining members moved to SISAC.
Since joining SISAC I have completed some addition SDC (Skill Development Courses) and also OWI (Open water Instructor). I must say the OWI was one of the most intense but enjoyable courses I have done in my diving career. made up of four elements the course puts you through a packed syllabus.
Well, that is me – Alex Barrett. Happy to take students and novices for a dive. You can contact me via the forum.