How to apply for a job in a dive center?

Why do you want a job in a dive center?

Before entering into details and tips on how to apply for a job, think about why you want to apply for it. For the newbies in the industry, just became a Dive Master or recently went through the instructor certification process, applying for a first job is always a challenge. The oldies tend more to follow the touristic seasons and switch employees at the end of the season.

Regardless where you rank yourself, below you will find some valuable advise to have your application stick out.

Some background

Most dive center owners will confirm that the hiring process is a long and frustrating one. Whenever we announce an open position, regardless of the media we post it at, we receive plenty of applications that by far do not meet the requirements. We take the ethics to reply to all of them, but believe it, it is time consuming and seen the high volume, we may overlook the prefect candidate. Most of the dive centers will disregard the resumes that do not match the criteria without notification. So if you want your CV not to end up on the pile, just continue reading…

What to do when you apply?

Get prepared

Each dive center has it’s own identity, message, size, approach, … When applying for a job, do at least some lookup on what the center stands for. The information you can use is immense: website, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Google Plus, Instagram,… quite often provides you all the information:

  • The size of the operation, understand a small family-run center is not the same as a center that is part of a group or a big player
  • The customer focus, who are their customers, what languages do they support or teach in
  • The type of activities offered (guided dives, boat or shore dives, courses, shop, …)

Select your target employer

Once you have the info on the center, validate your competences, experience and expectations to find the match. Be aware that having worked in the industry for more then 15 years, have been promoting dive center at dive shows or having been a lead instructor on a live-aboard may be a perfect fit for big organisations but can be a show stopper for smaller centers, regardless of what you are looking for.

Wanting to change your work environment or trying to extend your experience in a different type of operation, be ready to motivate your application in the guiding letter or email to your resume.

Have a good resume

Keep your resume simple,  ideally one page, maximum two. Double check your  contact details to make sure they are correct!
Only include work experience prior to becoming a dive instructor if it is relevant to the center where you apply. Centers will welcome experience in the tourist industry, dealing with customers or any commercial luggage ; having worked as  a carpenter or IT expert may not have any value for your future employer.
The center is not interested in the number of dives you did (as an instructor we expect you to know how to dive) but we are interested in the number of certifications done and for what courses. It is important for the center to see you are competent in teaching all levels of diving.

A good resume must include:

  • Contact details (including social media like FaceBook and Instagram)
  • Your date of birth
  • Current location
  • Where and when you did your instructor course
  • Your instructor number
  • What specialties you are certified for as instructor
  • What have you been teaching (number of certs per course)
  • What languages you speak and can teach in
  • What other (relevant) qualifications and (relevant) skills you have

Include a recent picture of your whole person, not just the face. Mention if you have tattoos, some centers are sensitive to it!

Guiding letter or email

Clearly state your motivation for the application and be clear about your expectations. A center looking for staff to cover the season may not be interesting if you are looking for a long time job or reverse.

As sales is important in the dive industry you might highlight your experience in this matter. A dive center is not a charity organisation and we all expect our staff to sell courses and excursion. Note social media is key to the dive center business, so be ready to motivate customers to leave a TripAdvisor or Facebook  reviews and tag you and the dive shop in their Facebook and Instagram posts.
You must be able and willing to take your students back to the dive shop and make them want to buy that logbook, T-Shirt or mask strap!

How the center (should) react on your application?

As always respect comes from both sides. As such a center should always reply to a suitable application, whether your application is accepted or not. Note the center will have a look at all application, definitely if they are in hiring state. Besides your resume and application, they will decide who they will be talking to.

Your Facebook and Instagram

The social media offers the centers (as well as all companies hiring new employees) a rich source of background information. If you posted only pictures of drunken parties, only pictures of your dog or  pictures you touching marine life, the center will find out and will use it to weight your application.

References

If you provide references, the center might contact the people. Therefor make sure the people you use as a reference are aware you mention them in your application.

The interview and the decision

If you pass the selection process, the center will invite your for an interview. We understand the business is worldwide, so be ready to setup a video call for the interview. If you know upfront internet connectivity is an issue in your area, tell it in your application (if not it might sound as an excuse).

If you do get a reply, react back promptly. Never answer “I have to think about it”, or “I need some time to take a decision”….. By the time you decide, the position may already be filled….

Some final thoughts

Know the diving industry is fun to work in, it’s all about passion.  Just have a look at our blog Working in the industry. Don’t expect to become a millionaire working as an instructor or a dive master. If you want to earn big money, forget the diving sector and go back to or stay at your nine to five, well-paid, secure job.
Good luck in your job hunt. And if you ever want to come and work for us, you know what to do 😊

 

Divers and Ears: a question of equalizing

Equalizing your ears is one of the first skills that new divers learn and that we practice on every single dive. While building up dives, equalization becomes almost instinctive for many divers. For some divers equalizing remains difficult, frustrating and even painful.

Let’s have a look into the process, the techniques and what can make equalizing problematic.

The anatomy of the human ear

Without going in too many details, the human ear can be segmented in 3 major parts: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear.

The outer ear is at the surface filled with air. When being submerged, our outer ear fills with water and does not cause any issues. The inner ear is filled with body fluids. As a liquid is almost non-compressible, the inner does seldom cause an issue when diving. The middle ear is a dead air space filled with air. When diving the air in the middle ear is getting compressed and puts the ear drum and the inner soft tissues under pressure. It are these pressure changes you experience during scuba diving. As we descend, the surrounding pressure increases, while the pressure in your middle ear remains the same. The imbalance can cause extreme discomfort.

Through equalization we re-balance the pressure in our middle ear by increasing or decreasing the gas pressure in order to match the pressure at depth. We do this though the Eustachian tube which connects the middle ear with our nose.

Inner Ear

The Eustachian tube

The Eustachian tube makes the connection between our middle ear and our nose. As we are breathing gas at depth, our nose contains air at the same pressure as the environment. The Eustachian tube is made of and surrounded by soft tissue. You can look at it as a balloon. When the pressure in the balloon is higher that the surrounding pressure, the excess air will easily come out. This is what typically happens when you are ascending during the dive. When descending, the balloon holds gas at a lower pressure, pushing the sides to each other thus blocking air flowing into it. In order to equalize the pressure, you must force the sites to open up and let air flow into the balloon.

Equalization techniques

The Valsalva Maneuver is the most common method and the one you probably learned during your certification. This involves pinching your nose and blowing gently (like blowing your nose in a handkerchief), thereby forcing air to move along the Eustachian tubes and into your middle ear. The excess pressure from the lower part of the Eustachian tube is forced open and allows air to flow in the middle ear. It is effective as long as you use it in a timely fashion. However, if you wait until discomfort occurs to try equalizing this way, it often doesn’t work. If the outside pressure becomes too great, the Eustachian cushions become “locked” shut – and no amount of air will open them. Instead, if you blow too hard, you risk causing damage to your inner ear tissues.

An alternative is to try pinching your nose and swallowing (a method known as the Toynbee Maneuver), or moving your jaw as if you’re about to yawn. These techniques use the throat muscles rather than air pressure to open the Eustachian cushion and are usually more effective if the valves are already locked shut. Of course, the easiest way to avoid this problem in the first place is to equalize before the pressure becomes too great, i.e. every meter of your descent, or before experiencing discomfort.

Checklist for effective equalization

  • Listen for the “pop”
    Before going for a dive, make sure that when you swallow you hear a “pop” in both ears. This tells you both Eustachian tubes are opening.
  • Take  it slowly
    Never continue to dive if you feel pain in your ears. Take it slow and attempt to equalize. Don’t let your buddy or your dive guide put you under pressure.
  • Start early
    Before the dive, begin gently equalizing your ears every few minutes. Chewing gum seems to help because it makes you swallow often.
  • Equalize at the surface
    Pre-pressurizing at the surface helps most divers get past the critical first few meter of descent. It may also inflate your Eustachian tubes so they are slightly bigger. Although not proven to be the most efficient,  it’s worth trying it out to see if it helps you.
  • Descend feet first
    Studies have shown a Valsalva Maneuver requires 50 percent more force when you’re in a head-down position than head-up.
  • Look up
    Extending your neck tends to open your Eustachian tubes.
  • Use a descent line
    Pulling yourself down an anchor line helps control your descent rate. It also helps you stop your descent if you feel pressure.
  • Stay ahead
    Equalize often, trying to maintain a slight positive pressure in your middle ears. Don’t wait until you feel pressure or pain.
  • Stop if it hurts
    Your Eustachian tubes are probably locked shut by pressure differential. Ascend a little bit and try equalizing again.
  • Avoid milk
    Some foods, including milk, can increase your mucus production.
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol
    Both tobacco smoke and alcohol irritate your mucus membranes, promoting more mucus that can block your Eustachian tubes.
  • Keep your mask clear
    Water up your nose can irritate your mucus membranes, which then produce more of the stuff that clogs.

 

Refresh your diving skills

Why would I need a scuba refresh?

Everybody has experienced it. You are on a diving excursion and one of your fellow divers is not at the level expected. It typically starts with the preparation of the dive kit. It takes ages to get prepared, requires the full attention of the dive centre staff and the person is obviously very nervous. Once ready, limited attention is given to the dive briefing. You now upfront this is going to be a hard one.

Having a good up to date knowledge and practice, handling of dive gear and understanding of diving procedures is key to fully enjoy your dives. Nevertheless we see divers in our centre regularly that are lacking at least one of these as they have not been diving for a while, regardless of the reasons, or do not feel confident. Besides the fact these divers increase the risks when taking them diving, they typically spoil the dives of the regular divers.

The same quite often applies for active divers that decided recently to make major changes to their dive equipment. Not sure how to use the new equipment or lacking practice with it, they easily shift the focus to the new kit as opposed to the diving while being under water.

When you recognize yourself in any of the above statement, it might be wise to talk to the dive centre and agree on a refresher course.

What’s in it for me?

Get back into it

Over time unused scuba knowledge fades. We as dive centre expect certified divers to safely plan and execute dives in accordance with their qualification. Planning a dive, controlling your bottom time, master your buoyancy and performing a correct safety stop are key to any dive. Understanding in-water safety procedures such as correct buddy procedures and what to do in case of diver separation are mandatory to conduct dives in a safe and controlled manner. During a refresher course we will go through all the steps of a dive and help to bring you back up to speed on all these aspects.

Understand and manage your own dive gear

Most dive centres require certified divers to assemble and disassemble their own dive gear, check and adjust your weights and make sure all is functioning correctly. A lot of attention on getting your dive equipment sorted out is given during the refresher session in order for you to fully master it.

Refreshing skills and routine

Any dive professional is ready to help you rehears the required scuba skills. Believe us, quite often small, forgotten things can cause major issues during a dive, ruining the dive for everybody. Sometimes they can even cause dangerous situations. Doing a refresher course allows you to rehears all the required skills thus reducing the risks of major issues afterwards. After the skill rehearsal you will start thinking as a diver again!

For the diver having changed his dive gear, these sessions allow you to build confidence in the use of your newly acquired gear while practicing with your instructor. He will be happy to help you out with any issue and even demonstrate how to use the equipment correctly.

Practice in a controlled environment

Scuba diving is not risk free and if something goes wrong, there is a risk attached. It’s critical for the safety of you and your dive buddy to know what to do if you find yourself in a low-on-air emergency situation. Strangely though, certified divers rarely practice these skills. Running through the skills under the supervision of an instructor allows you to practice them in a safe, risk-free environment so that they become more instinctive in the unlikely event something does go wrong.

Build confidence

As a certified diver you understand that being stressed for a dive is not the best option. When not having been diving for a while or you made some major changes in your dive gear, you will get nervous as you get closer to hitting the water. The higher your heart-rate gets, the more the stress will build up. This will have a negative impact not only on your air consumption, but might cause you not to react correctly on events during the dive. Practicing in a confined and controlled environment under the direct guidance of a pro will give you the confidence required and reduce the pre-dive stress. You will be able to fully enjoy the dive and reduce the risks for you and your fellow divers.

Get to know your guides

Quite often the pros assisting you during the refresher course are also the divers that will guide the dives. Getting to know each other and building report during the refresher course will help for the real dives. In addition these pros have tons of dives and know the environment you will be diving in by heart. Enjoy the refresher course to gather valuable information and get fully prepared to discover the underwater world at 100%.

Some final thoughts

All divers learn during their basic diving course, regardless from the agency, that a refresher is required when you did not dive for somewhere between 6 to 12 months. Experience teaches us that the person asking for a refresher course is often the least needing it. Quite some divers over estimate themselves and are confident a refresher course or even just a refresher dive is not required. Once they come into the centre and are requested to start preparing their gear we know how late it is. Please think twice before joining a dive and be critical on yourself, it will increase the safety for yourself, your fellow divers and your guides.

Regardless of the recommendations of the dive associations, each diver should make a critical evaluation of his ability to manage a dive end-to-end. Some divers may need some assistance to safely re-enter the water way sooner as others. The recommendations are just a rule of thumb but each should in the first place do an honest self-assessment. Believe us, as dive professionals we will not judge anybody requesting assistance to re-enter, just the opposite. At the end it is all about making sure dives are fun and enjoyable and can be conducted in the safest way possible.

Where is my buddy?

The buddy system

As recreational divers we learned it is advised to always dive with a buddy. Diving with a buddy makes diving more fun, safer and is in some countries even a legal requirement. The idea behind it is based on the fact that with two it is easier and less stressful to manage difficult situations or emergencies during the dive. We also learned the correct functioning of the buddy system is a mutual responsibility.

Despite our training, incidents of divers becoming separated are not unusual. Whether consciously or by accident, divers can end up alone underwater during various phases of a dive and sometimes it results in potentially dangerous situations.

The buddy system described

“The buddy system is the situation which occurs when two divers of similar interest and equal experience and ability share a dive, continuously monitoring each other throughout the entry, the dive and the exit, and remaining within such distance that they could render immediate assistance to each other if required.”

—  Definition by Bob Halstead, Line dancing and the buddy system

From the definition we learn that the divers within a buddy team share similar experience, interest and skills and they monitor each other throughout the dive. When an emergency occurs they are ready to help each other in order to avoid major issue.

A good buddy team agree on a dive planning, roles during the dive, signals to be used and a realistic objective prior to the dive. Each buddy members familiarizes with and checks his partners dive equipment in order to be able to deal with unforeseen events such as an out-of-air scenario.

When diving in a group, the group leader should make sure all divers are aware of their buddy and that the group dive plan matches the plans of the individual buddy teams. It is good practice for a dive leader to re-emphasis each diver’s responsibility for his buddy team.

Why does it go wrong?

Divers become separated for many reasons. Dive buddies are dealing with things that absorb their attention, and as a result fail to properly monitor each other. When divers are only focused on their underwater task like underwater photography, a separation from their buddy system is likely. Despite a good agreement prior to the dive, environmental conditions, visibility, equipment problems and diver attitude can all lead to separated buddies.

Buddy Separation Procedure

Stop, Think and Act

Stop swimming and remain where you are. Panic is your worst adviser. Look around for about 1 minute to see if you can find your buddy. Do this by rotating 360° slowly. Things to look for are bubbles (remember, only humans make bubbles under water), unusual colours under water (yellow fins, dive lights, …). While doing your search, make sure your buddy can see you. Slowly moving your own diving torch up and down will make you more visible for your buddy. Also making a sound (banging your knife on your tank for example) will give him some idea of direction.

Ascend, Safety Stop, Surface.

After you spend a minute of looking for your buddy, your next step is to ascend slowly to the depth of about 5m. When you reach the 5m, deploy your surface marker buoy (SMB) to help your buddy who may already be at the surface know where you are while doing your safety stop. If you do not have an SMB (which should not be the case as an SMB is a standard equipment for each diver) you might consider skipping your safety stop.
Also during your safety stop, keep looking out for your buddy doing slow 360° surveys.

Surface – Bubbles

When you reach the surface, look for nearby bubbles and look below you. Call out to your buddy several times. If you and your buddy had a dive plan, your buddy will be doing the same procedure as you and will appear at the surface close to where you are. If water conditions are not favorable return to the dive boat and report your missing buddy.

Return to the dive boat or shore.

In your dive plan with your buddy, you would know how long to wait at the surface, if the time exceeds that limit (it should only be a couple of minutes), make your way back to the dive boat and report your buddy as missing.

How to prevent buddy separation?

The buddy system is important in recreational diving and when it fails risks are imminent. Following guidelines can help to avoid losing your buddy:

  • Include buddy separation risks when planning dives, and make certain that the dive objective, the used equipment and the dive conditions do not increase the risk of separation.
  • Remember the dive begins once you step in the water. As such you both go down together!
  • When diving in a group, don’t assume that everyone is looking out for each another. Each diver should have a buddy and conscientiously monitor that person.
  • Avoid dive plans that are inherent in buddies to separate. In case of a Search and Recovery for example, make sure buddies can communicate using a line when distance between them increases.
  • Distraction leads to separation. In case it’s part of the dive objective (e.g. one is doing underwater photography) the non-acting buddy will stay in close contact.
  • When one diver leads and the other follows, the “lead” diver should never assume that the “follower” is following. Maintain visual or body contact throughout the dive.
  • Don’t assume the dive has ended once you reach the safety stop. It doesn’t end until all divers are out of the water.

 

What you need to know about Angel Sharks.

Angel Shark, also called Squatina Squatina is one of the rare species you find in the waters of Gran Canaria. Angel sharks tend to live in shallow temperate waters. That is why we only see them in winter time.

Their body is covered with black, brown, reddish, grey or greenish sandpaper-like skin. Some even look almost completely white, some have dark splotches and white spots scattered on the back side of the body. Specific coloration provides ideal camouflage on the sandy floor. Angel shark has flat body and large pectoral fins. The underside of an angel shark is usually smooth and white.

Angel Sharks grow to an average of 1,5m long and weigh an average of 35kgs. However some large species of Angel Sharks, like the Japanese Angel Shark, grow to 2m in length. Angel sharks live between 25 and 35 years and reach maturity at 10-12 years old.

They eat flatfishes, skates, crustaceans or mollusks. They spend the day hidden in the sand and rocks of the ocean bed. As such, they are hard to spot. Only a trained eye can see their shape in the sand. As fish swim by, the angel shark bursts up and surprises the prey, catching it in its trap-like jaws. Angels sharks have nine rows of teeth on the top of their jaw and ten rows of teeth on the bottom jaw with a center space that contains no teeth, perfect for catching and eating their prey.

Human related attacks are very rare. Angel shark will attack humans only when provoked. So if you see one, enjoy it but give them their space.

Angel sharks are listed as critically endangered. Since they lie on the bottom of the sea, they are not intentionally being caught but they often get caught in the bottom fishing nets. That is why Scuba Sur is participating in the angel shark project
dark angel shark white angel shark.

Being hooked up….

As divers we have a passion for being under water, so the term “being hooked on” can be looked at in a positive way. Despite this, and being under water often, “being hooked on” has a very negative meaning to us.
In the recent months we see an increasing amount of marine life suffering from fishing hooks and lines. Recently, diving a wonderful volcanic reef close to the shore we discovered a giant stingray. We expected it to take off as soon as we came closer, but it did not. It was hardly moving and was clearly exhausted. We discovered it was hooked on a line which was entangled in the reef. Apparently (or that is what we concluded) it was caught on a fishing hook but the line snapped. Dragging the line along, it got entangled. The poor animal tried desperately getting loose and finally gave up by lack of energy and probably close to starvation. As we were unable to remove the hook, we cut the line as close to the hook as possible and let it swim off. We hope it survives and regains its full energy despite the hook still being in. Of course we cleaned up the fishing line before continuing in our dive.

Being hooked on...
Late last week we had another close encounter. Diving on our Artificial Reef, a 24m dive, we discovered a beautiful sea turtle lying quietly on the seabed. Swimming over we noticed the turtle was not moving. Getting closer we spotted a thick fishing line with some very heavy weights on (about 1.5 kg). The line ran immediately towards the turtle. Following the line we discovered a giant fishing hook going straight to the neck of the turtle. It could not have been death for a long time as the body decomposition did not yet start. Apparently it got caught by the hook and the line snapped taking all the weight down. Due to the weight the poor animal was unable to surface for air and suffocated. A tragic end for a very nice and protected sea creature…
We can tell about many more of these events but I guess you all get the point. We understand everybody wants to make a living but seen the cruelty we are confronted with on a regular basis we are wondering if there are not more environmental friendly ways to do game fishing. If nothing changes, more species will be endangered for disappearing and at the end everyone will loose.
So next time you are being hooked on, think twice and think about the collateral damage it might cause.

Think twice when you state diving is expensive

People think that diving and getting a diving license costs a lot of money…. Correct ? Hmm, I don´t think so.
Let´s compare it with getting a car driving license. After all, what is the difference ? You take it once and then it is valid for the rest of your life all over the world.
In most cases, you pay an average of 50€ per hour for the practical driving lessons and then you need to add about 200€ for the theoretical sessions plus an examination fee of +/- 150€. You easily need some 20 hours of practice so the final bill will add up to +/- 1350€. I know this is an average and there are cheaper/more expensive options but we have to have some point of reference !
Once you have your driving license, you have to keep practicing. So you need a car ! Of course there is the mum-and-dad-car but they need it (of course) whenever you want it. Better to get your own one…. A new one is much too expensive so you opt for a second-hand one. You want a nice, cool and reliable car so you spend at least 4000€. And then you need a yearly insurance (average 400€ ?), you pay yearly taxes, you need fuel (average 1€ per liter),……. Got the picture ?

Now let’s look at a scuba diving license. On average you pay about 400€. This includes the theory, the practical sessions and the examination/certification fee. If you really want to become a good diver, you spend at least 12 hours in the water. So you pay roughly 25€ per hour.
Once you have your diving license, you have to keep practicing. So you need your own gear ! OK, nothing fancy because diving is expensive, isn´t it. Let’s buy everything second hand. If you are really lucky, you can have a wetsuit, BCD, regulator, mask, snorkel, fins, weights and tank for +/- 1000€.
And then you need a yearly insurance (average 50€ ?) and you need to fill your tank (average 5€ per filling). No taxes !
But you can of course opt to rent everything from the dive center. Why should you spend over 1000€ if you can rent full equipment for +/- 10€ per dive ?
Now I hear you think…. Wait a minute ! I need to pay +/- 40€ per dive all equipment included ! That is right but have you ever thought what this price includes ? It includes the transport to and from the dive site (whether it be by car and/or boat), the equipment hire, the tank filling, the salary of the driver/captain, the salary of the guide, the depreciation, maintenance and insurance of the car/boat, maintenance of the diving equipment and compressor, rent of storage room/shop, electricity, water (you do want a clean wetsuit !), liability insurance, availability of decompression chamber, office supplies (computer, printer, website, internet, telephone,…….) and I am sure I am forgetting many other things.
So please think twice stating diving and getting a diving license is expensive….

10 Things That Change When You Start Scuba Diving

start-diving

 

After the completion of your diving training and subsequently preparing for your first dive, there is a sense of nervousness and excitement. But within minutes of jumping into the ‘deep blue’, that anxiety seems to cease and you are overwhelmed with a sense of tranquility and peace. The idea that you are experiencing a whole new world within our own – a place of undiscovered adventures.

All those who have not attempted to scuba dive cannot even begin to fathom the sheer beauty. But when entering this new world, we are put out of our comfort zone and have to adapt to the new surroundings. As such, scuba divers tend to pick up a few new habits and behaviors. Below we have listed 10 things that change when you start scuba diving and we believe that if you have been diving before, more than a few of them will apply to you!

1. You Use Scuba Diving Hand Signals in Everyday Situations

Due to the fact that verbal communication is nearly impossible when scuba diving, the use of hand signals are imperative for divers’ communication. Especially when starting off and you are paired with a dive buddy, you will often develop hand signals for common communication. So what happens after the dive and you and your buddy head back to the real world? The dynamic completely changes when you are out together. The great thing is, when you are put in a situation where you need get a message across from a distance or in a noisy place, you can communicate via these very hand signals. From being at a concert and wanting to see if your buddy wants some food or a drink to camping in the outback and trying to find wood for a fire these hand signals give a great new avenue for getting a message to each other.

The more experience you acquire with diving, the larger your repertoire of hand signals becomes. In fact, it is not uncommon for divers to use the “hold” sign in their daily life, only to have your dive buddy respond back by giving the same signal. When you can communicate with someone on that level, it leaves them with a smile on their face.

2. You Obsess About the Condition of Your Ears

One of the most important skills you acquire whilst scuba diving is having the ability to equalize your ears. You would be able to tell if a mate is preparing for a dive as he most probably will be pinching his nose and breathing out to check if his ears are working in between each bite whilst out for lunch.

With ear woes being the most common reason for someone to pull out of a dive, is it any wonder why people who regularly go scuba diving are obsessed with the condition of their ears? Anything that could affect them from the external world they will usually be wary of. This can stem from air conditioning being on too high, going out for dinner with a friend that has a cat they are allergic too or even cancelling going to the footy because the mate you are going with has a cold.

3. Dive Gear Begins to Accumulate in the Spare Bedroom

If you have made the ‘dive’ already into becoming a scuba diving fanatic then over time your gear will begin to multiply. Even though you know exactly what equipment you have at home, sometimes the idea of having a different variation or model of the same piece is too good to refuse. When first starting diving it’s all about getting your first kit to call your own, but much like car enthusiasts and fashionistas, modding your scuba set for different types of dives is a part of the fun.

There is a day for most scuba divers in which they go into the room with their scuba stash and realize as they can no longer easily find the item they are looking for!

4. You Become a Conservationist

When you start diving regularly and return to the world below you begin to feel a deep connection to it. Most people who take up scuba diving, even if they have only been exposed to it for a short duration, will begin to respect and want to preserve the environment around them. The longer you dive, the more you learn about the underwater world – it is hard to deny that many of the underwater ecosystems and coral reefs are in real danger.

It is much easier to ignore a problem when you are not physically exposed to it. This means that for many non-divers, they haven’t actually seen a damaged reef or noticed changes to the ecosystem. it is hard to fully comprehend the magnitude and severity of the situation. As such, divers will usually pick up trash on the beach if they walk past it or remove fishing lines and other debris from the reef. Most importantly, scuba divers usually become more vocal about their environmental thoughts to all their friends. Even though it is a real shame that the there is a decline in underwater ecosystems, having divers educate others in a positive and constructive way is a huge plus and wonderful consequence of taking up diving,

5. Your Vacation and Weekend Plans Change

If you do become a serious diver you will notice that quite a lot of your holiday time is dedicated towards the pursuit of diving, so much so that your trips tend to revolve around where your next diving destination will be. I mean, why would you go to Las Vegas for a week when you could go to Hawaii and live in a beach front hut for a fraction of the price? Although there are perils that can come with a diving holiday such as seasickness and food poisoning, these issues are far outweighed by the remote locations and surreal dive destinations that a scuba diving enthusiast searches for.

In fact, for people that fall in love with scuba diving a lot of free time goes to planning and dreaming about these outings. Whilst cars around you are stuck in traffic, you will probably be reminiscing on a previous dive or curiously thinking about where to go for your next dive. Getting drunk on a Friday night and going clubbing becomes a lot less appealing when the prospect of waking up for a sunrise dive is around the corner. This may sound crazy to those that are not scuba diving fanatics, but trust me, it’s true!

6. You Comfortably Discuss Bodily Functions with Strangers

When you are with your scuba diving buddies it is not uncommon to have some funny but somewhat disturbing (for an outsider) conversations about diving issues. Discussing how you go to the bathroom while on a dive or situations where you needed to get rid of pee from your wetsuit underwater may not be your normal coffee conversation but it makes for a great chat as well as a somewhat educational experience.

On the topic of education, divers will very commonly educate themselves by themselves, on the go, and the team they go out diving with overall. Often divers will discuss most physical conditions from ear health to indigestion on a boat prior to a dive, sometimes with divers they have just met.

7. You Become Part of a Diverse Club of (Usually) Like-Minded Individuals

The passion of scuba diving brings people together from completely different backgrounds. As a diver you meet people from all walks of life ranging from different ethnic groups to people employed in a wide variety of career; divers will be exposed to people that they might otherwise have never associated with. It is actually not that uncommon for a retired lawyer to discuss life and share stories with a barista and actually find out they have more of a connection than they would have initially thought. Sometimes these odd pairings can actually lead to fruitful lifelong friendships, on the basis of their strong connection to this singular hobby!

8. Your Retirement Plans Change

If scuba diving does become a lifelong passion, then inevitably your retirement plans will change. That house with the white picket fence and tire swing hanging from the tree sounded like a fantastic retirement plan until you picked up that scuba diving gear. Now, you will be looking to retire with a completely different set of expectations. Being near one of your favorite dive sites or accumulating enough financial resources to allow you to visit dive sites regularly will go into your retirement planning process.

If you absolutely love diving then it would not being surprising to sometimes be thinking of escaping to a tropical island and call it home ‘once and for all’ when you have finished your working career. In fact, you may decide to become a dive instructor yourself and live in paradise for the rest of your days!

9. You Become Annoyed by the Misrepresentations of Diving in the Media

Once you start scuba diving you will definitely see a discrepancy between how the media represents the diving industry and what it is like to actually do underwater scuba diving. Especially in the entertainment industry, you may watch a TV show and at its end, be thinking to yourself: A real trained scuba diver would never do that! Or, sharks don’t actually attack people under water like that!

And if you are watching that movie with a non-diving buddy, you will definitely want to be setting the facts straight! “Why wasn’t his dive buddy with him, it was his first dive?” Your mate will probably turn and around be like “who cares, it’s only a movie”, but to yourself you will be thinking, I care, yes, I care.

10. You Become an Ambassador for the Sport

When you start scuba diving regularly it will become one of the milestone experiences of your life. It becomes ingrained as a part of your identity – as though you yourself become one of the denizens in the underwater world. You will want to tell your friends and the people you meet all about your dives and how they are missing out on one of the greatest experiences on the planet!
Stories of adventures and close calls, unbelievable creatures that you encounter and weirdly beautiful locations and reefs you have seen. You will truly become an ambassador for the sport!

 

Blog article written with the help of our diving buddies. Credits to Yada Anekitmongkol and Aquability (Melborn/Australia)

Gran Canaria – a great diving destination

Gran Canaria is located in the centre of the Canarian archipelago. The round island – so called because of its circular shape – is 47 km across and covers an area of 1,560 sq km. Its highest peak, Pozo de Las Nieves (1,949m above sea level), is situated right in the centre of the island.
Gran Canaria belongs to an area of the Atlantic Ocean, known as Macaronesia. The nearest point on the African coast is approximately 210 km (131 miles) away, while Cádiz, the closest port on the European continent, lies about 1250 km (781 miles) north of Gran Canaria.
Gran Canaria, which is the third largest island of the Canaries, boasts 236 km of coast with sandy beaches, predominantly concentrated in the southeast. This is where you’ll find the famous beaches of Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas with its amazing sand dunes. Cliffs dominate the south western and western coasts, whereas the coastline of the north and northeast offers more diverse pleasures, including a wide variety of beaches and coves. The mountainous center of the island features a few high peaks and many gorges radiating out towards the sea.
Due to the geological formation of the interior of the island, the landscapes of the interior are very different from those of the coast, originating many and varied ecosystems on the island. Being of volcanic origin, the island’s orography has a conical shape that is split in two by the ravines of Tirajana and Agaete, representing the main line of division that separates the enormous contrasts of the North and the South.

North and South – two different faces
Gran Canaria is lying in a north to a south ocean current. Also the dominant winds go from north to south. The north of the island has a very rough coastline and is frequently subject to waves and wind. Thanks to the main wind direction, the north has a more moderate climate than the south and has nice green hill tops. Most of the economic activities are to be found in the north.
In the south, due to the absence of the dominant northern winds, waves and rain, is very dry with only a few hours of rain per year. Most of the touristic centers are concentrated to the nice and sunny beaches. Between the beaches you will find nice cliffs that makes the coastline very attractive. Thanks to the protection of the high mountains in the centre of the island the temperatures in the south are substantially higher than in the north (up to 10° difference).
Diving in the south is great all year round. Thanks to its nice climate it is very rare diving is not possible due to weather conditions.
So next time you consider diving holiday, have a look at the South of Gran Canaria. It is definitely worth looking at.