Open Water Diving Course at Rye St Antony

PADI Diving Course at Rye St. Antony School, Oxford April 2017

Day 1

We are really pleased to be back at Rye St. Antony for the second year to teach our PADI open water referral course. The school is planning a trip to Honduras next year and some of the students have already planned their summer holidays where they will be able to explore the underwater world.

I was introduced to the students who all seemed really keen and were excited to get started. As a testament to the school the students are all very polite, have fun personalities and were keen to learn. Teaching children is one of my favourite courses as they have so much potential in front of them and plenty of time to achieve it. One of the students had a note from their GP explaining that they can suffer from anxiety. I explained to her parent that this shouldn’t be a problem; it just meant that we paid close attention to her and gave her lots of reassurance. I also explained that if she really struggled she was welcome to come to one of our other courses if she needed more time to get comfy in the water.

The two day course kicked off at 10am with a few introductory videos and a chat about the fascinating world of diving and how easy it is to learn.

After the student record files were completed we kicked off with Section 1 of the theory. This involved watching a video and going through the knowledge reviews. Section 1 talks about how pressure can affect divers and what steps to take to adapt to these changes. It then explains about buoyancy and how to control it and how to become weightless while under water. Students are introduced to the scuba equipment, what it does and how to use it.

After a quick review of the questions we moved on to Section 2 which teaches about how colour and sound changes in water, how to swim underwater correctly, why water temperature has a greater effect on your warmth and how to avoid getting cold, the buddy system and managing your air supply.

After lunch sat on the grass next to the heated outdoor pool we started to set up our equipment. The girls learnt how to use it and make pre-dive safety checks. After the 200m swim and 10 minute treading water we donned our equipment in the pool. We spent the first hour in the shallow end of the pool getting comfortable using the equipment, becoming familiar with it and starting some basic skills like how to clear the scuba regulator, how to clear the water from inside the mask while underwater, how to avoid out of air situations and how to use the alternate air source if you are stupid enough to run out of air. Once the students looked comfortable we had a swim to the deep end of the pool and continued some skills such as buoyancy control.

After a couple of hours we climbed out of the water and took our equipment apart.

The following morning we completed sections 3-5 of the theory and the girls all successfully completed the 50 multiple choice questions in the final exam. This left plenty of time to return back to the pool to complete the remaining skills.

After setting up our equipment and making our buddy checks we entered the water doing a giant stride entry. As we descended to the deep end we practiced equalising our ears. The skills also included things like free flowing air, taking our equipment off and putting it back on, the controlled emergency swimming ascent, taking our masks off and putting them back on again underwater and some more buoyancy control skills.

After successfully completing the theory and pool skills I completed the students open water referral forms in their log books.  This allows the students to complete the open water qualifying dives at any PADI dive centre around the world. We are also looking at running a school diving holiday to somewhere warm in the next year or so.

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