Monthly Archives: March 2016

PADI Dive Festival

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Ready for new diving adventures? Greatest Dive Festival in London brought to you by PADI:

– Try Discover Scuba Diving for free

– Learn and develop new diving skills

– Ready for the next diving adventure or to go Pro

– Great offers and discounts on courses, dive kit and clothing

– Raffles and competitions

4 Sundays, 4 themes

3rd April

  • Free Discover Scuba Diving experiences
  • Focus on learning to dive

10th April:

  • Free Discover Scuba Diving experiences
  • Focus on PADI Continued Education courses

17th April:

  • Free Discover Scuba Diving experiences
  • Focus on becoming a PADI Professional

24th April:

  • Free Discover Scuba Diving experiences
  • ReActivate your diving certification or Crossover to PADI
  • Discounts on a range of PADI courses

Join us for a PADI Dive Festival full of fun and adventure!

Get your free tickets via EventBrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/padi-dive-festival-tickets-22275600922  or just drop in. You can also contact London School of Diving on 020 8995 0002 or at info@londonschoolofdiving.co.uk.

Is Your Scuba Gear Ready to Dive?

Just as your car requires regular maintenance to keep it functioning properly, you’ll want to keep up to date on servicing your scuba gear as well – especially if you haven’t been diving with it in a while. As you already know, diving gear is not cheap. So protect your investment by taking proper care and prolonging the life of your gear. Regular maintenance also ensures your gear remains safe to use on each dive.BCD

Follow these quick maintenance tips before heading out on a new diving adventure.

  • Check both your regulator and your BC in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, usually once a year.
  • Inspect cylinders annually and receive a hydrostatic test every three to five years.
  • Examine equipment items like masks, fins, regulator hose and snorkels before a dive to find cracks or tears.
  • Check your wetsuit or drysuit for frays, tears or missing stitches. If repairs are needed, bring your exposure suit to a qualified service technician.
  • Test your drysuit’s inflate and vent valves to ensure the suit holds air properly and that the valves don’t leak.

After you dive, follow these helpful maintenance suggestions to prevent damage to your gear.

  • Rinse gear in fresh, warm water to prevent mildew growth. Use a wetsuit shampoo for your exposure gear.
  • Don’t store your tank when it is either completely full or empty.
  • Pack items like snorkels and fins loosely to keep their shape intact.ScubaTanks-300x213

Keep in mind that different regions sometimes have different requirements when it comes to gear maintenance. Look up the requirements in your region to ensure you’re following proper protocol.

To learn more about maintaining your equipment and the proper steps you should take before and after each dive, take the Equipment Specialist course and take advantage of the Equipment Specialist Touch, which is a new product designed to give divers information on how to both maintain gear and choose the best pieces to buy.

Also, manage and keep track of all your dive gear by adding to your ScubaEarth Gear Locker. You can track purchase and service dates, serial numbers, etc.

ScubaEarth Gear Locker

Refresh your scuba skills before your next trip

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Do you have an exotic trip planned in the coming months and just realized you haven’t been diving in a while? With the new PADI ReActivate  program, you can quickly brush up on knowledge and skills that you acquired in the PADI Open Water Diver course without having to start from scratch.

iPad-ReActivate CoverThe PADI ReActivate program is fully personalized and prescriptive, meaning you’ll only have to cover the areas where your skills and knowledge need refreshing. You’ll be able to review important concepts on your computer (ReActivate Online) or mobile and tablet devices (ReActivate Touch) and work through topics at your own pace.

You’ll interact with dive scenarios and make decisions that test your understanding of important dive safety concepts, dive planning essentials and problem management before going diving with a PADI Professional who will review a few basic safety skills before diving deeper into any skills you specifically want to recap. Just like riding a bike, the skills will come right back to you.

What’s even better is that once you’ve completed both the knowledge and in-water skill refreshers, you’ll even get a replacement certification card with your ReActivate date. Dive shops will appreciate seeing a recent ReActivate date on your certification card as this shows them you’re up to date with your skills and ready to dive into your scuba adventure.

Jump back in today – contact your local PADI Dive Center or Resort for more details, or, download the PADI App to purchase the ReActivate Touch to get started now!

*Your PADI certification does not expire. Participation in PADI ReActivate is not mandatory, but recommended as an easy way to refresh your foundational scuba safety knowledge and skills if you haven’t been diving in a while.  Divers who complete both the knowledge and in-water skill refresher receive a replacement certification card with a “ReActivated thru” date on it.

Meet PADI’s Latest AmbassaDiver Alexandra Baackes

Alex is a PADI diver, world traveler, writer, underwater videographer and all-around adventure seeker. You can follow her travels on her site Alex in Wanderland. Stay tuned for future posts on our blog where Alex will be sharing more dive adventures as PADI’s newest AmbassaDiver.

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Greetings, fellow dive enthusiasts! My name is Alexandra Baackes, and I’m thrilled to be named as the latest PADI AmbassaDiver.

I took my first breath underwater when I was 19 and spending the summer volunteering and backpacking around Southeast Asia. That trip sparked a great love affair with both the ocean and the open road, one that is still continuing on today.

The next year, I moved to Grand Cayman to apprentice for a photographer and underwater videographer, and I spent the summer filming tourists at Stingray City. It was a turning point. An instructor friend taught me my Advanced Open Water on our mutual days off, while the dive school I filmed for invited me to join a Rescue Diver course.

In 2011, I left New York on a one-way ticket to Thailand. I bartended and babysat to make ends meet until I landed a dream job as an underwater videographer. I spent my mornings filming whale sharks and schools of bat fish, and my afternoons editing. I didn’t make much but the rent on my hut – with an oceanfront view – was only $150 a month.

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The more time I spent in the ocean, the more passionately invested I became in its future. At the same moment, my travel blog, Alex in Wanderland, began gaining traction and I realized that I could use it as a platform to share my excitement about diving and my interests in conservation.

I applied for a grant with the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame, an organization I’d learned about by attending local dive shows. I was so humbled when I received the email that I’d won. My love of Southeast Asia – and lure of $150 beach huts – pulled me to do my divemaster course in Indonesia.

The three months I spent on Gili Trawangan were incredible. My course was a challenge, especially as I tried to balance it with my online work. But I look back and I’m proud of what I achieved, like tackling the physics section of my exam, finally learning how to carry tanks over my shoulder and finding a way to work around my phobia of night diving. I left with my PADI Divemaster certification and a million memories, from finally learning to sleep through the mosque’s 5am calls to photographing the Gili Shark Foundation’s first shark release.

One thing I learned over all those years? In diving, we sure love our acronyms! I made up one to describe exactly what my next step, being a PADI AmbassaDiver, means to me.

P – pack and plan – I need to travel! Luckily, I have an exciting year of diving-inspired wanderings ahead.

A – absorb – I’ll always see myself first and foremost as a student. I look forward to continuing my never-ending dive education.

D – discuss – I want to start conversations about conservation.

I – inspire – I hope to do my part to get people diving!

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Today, my blog is a full-time business. It’s a career I couldn’t have imagined when I first zipped up a wetsuit almost six years ago. I do admit to spending more time in front of my laptop than under the sea, but I’ve had the opportunity to do things like dry suit dive in Iceland, night dive with manta rays in Hawaii, and film whale sharks in the Philippines. Even more rewarding, I get a steady stream of comments and emails from readers thanking me for inspiring them to try diving for the first time. I recently received a follow up email from a young woman in France who was finishing up high school when she first started reading my blog and emailed me for words of encouragement on her Open Water Diver course. A few weeks ago, she emailed me again to say she’s hooked – she’s headed to Indonesia to do her instructor course and volunteer on a local reef conservation project.

My philosophy has always been that exposure to diving leads to a personal investment in the future of the oceans. I believe that by taking someone underwater and and educating them on the crisis of our oceans –the fact that without change their children might not have the opportunity to see the things they just did – we can lead that person to make more sustainable choices, big and small. I feel honored to be a part of that chain reaction by inspiring my readers to get out and dive.

And I’m going to dive too! As a professional travel blogger, I live out of a suitcase – and dive bag, of course – and 2016 is going to be no exception. I’ve got exciting plans on the docket, from kicking off the year with some continuing education courses in Thailand to dive-center-hopping up the coast of Brazil to perhaps a weekend liveaboard off the coast of California. One thing I know for sure? It’s going to be a beautiful year to dive.

Will you join me?

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PADI Women’s Dive Day 2016: Plan to Participate!

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Excitement reigns as preparations are underway for PADI Women’s Dive Day 2016, PADI’s second annual celebration of women in diving, taking place on 16 July 2016. This event recognize women’s contributions to diving throughout history and provides special opportunities for more women to enter the sport of diving today.

The groundwork was laid last year when divers from all over the world came together to celebrate PADI’s first Women’s Dive Day – and made history in the process! The occasion brought together more than 6,000 divers from 65 countries on all seven continents – all participating in more than 335 special events. Now, plans are underway to do it all again this year on 16 July 2016 – so don’t miss out on one of the most exciting events of the year!

Female Icons and Legends

Although diving is sometimes erroneously perceived as a “man’s sport”, PADI history is full of female dive icons and legends who paved the way for today’s divers of both genders, with many of those icons participating in last year’s events. For example, shark expert and PADI Course Director Cristina Zenato, who developed the PADI Caribbean Reef Shark Awareness Distinctive Specialty course and started a campaign that resulted in the complete protection for all shark species in the Bahamas, participated by offering a special shark dive for certified women divers and a special Discover Scuba® Diving day for women to give them the opportunity to try scuba diving.

Another iconic participant was Sarah Ward, professional archaeologist and tutor for the Australian Institute of Maritime Archaeology. Sarah, who dives on-the-job around the world and says that without her PADI certifications she wouldn’t be able to do what she loves, participated in the 2015 Women’s Dive Day by teaming up with a local PADI Dive Shop in Australia for a dive on Long Reef in Sydney’s Northern Beaches and an all-day beach barbecue.

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Discover (or Rediscover) Diving at PADI Women’s Dive Day

On 16 July 2016, PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, dive clubs, and other organizations will offer a host female-friendly dives or events, ranging from shark dives to beach cleanups to special speaker engagements. Some PADI Dive Shops will also offer the opportunity to try scuba diving through the PADI Discover Scuba® Diving program. Others will focus on PADI ReActivate™, which gives lapsed divers the opportunity to refresh their scuba skills, rediscover the sport they love and reactivate their dive certifications!

However, while the focus is on women, all are encouraged to get involved. Many events are open to both men and women, so this can be a great opportunity to get together with your friends and family members – regardless of gender – for a fun day of diving!

How to Participate

If you’re a diver who is interested in participating in a PADI Women’s Dive Day event, please contact your local PADI Dive Center or Resort to see if they’re hosting an event – and encourage them to get involved, if they’re not already. Otherwise, you can find an event near you or get more information at padi.com/women-dive.