So a relatively unfashionable subject but one which is absolutely crucial to us divers, we all happily kit up, stick a reg in our mouth and go off to explore the underwater realm we all love so much, but how pure is the air in your cylinder.
Here at Scuba Blue we take air purity very seriously and have our air/compressor checked every three months……I have never taken much notice of the specs involved in our “Air Purity” tests but it struck me that I was interested in the CO2 content…… so following the most recent test I spoke to the fab people at Aquatron breathing air systems who do our air testing and discovered that the UK has some of the strictest tests in the world.
With regard to CO2 content ours is a great pass at 440.8 parts per million………in the states you can pass with anything up to 1000 parts per million !!!!
Just for your interest the test involves Aquatron sending me a small “Crack” cylinder which is then filled directly from our compressor, this is then sent back to Aquatron who do their analysis and then send the air purity certificate.
So you can all “Breathe Easy”😂😂 safe in the knowledge that all cylinders filled at Scuba Blue are full of the freshest safest Somerset air …..also the test is done every three months to ensure standards are kept as high as they can be!!!
Scuba Blue take Diver Safety very seriously. Whether it is a course, training session or dive trip, we plan carefully to make sure the activity is successful, safe and, of course, fun. When the opportunity arose to take part in a Diver Safety UK event at PADI’s European headquarters, based in Bristol, we jumped at the opportunity. Brian Scowcroft, Scuba Blue Staff Instructor, represented the team. Inevitably his first report back concerned the quality of lunch provided, but once over that hurdle we got down to discussing the course content.
PADI must be congratulated on bringing together key speakers from all the main organisations involved in making sure diving in the UK is as safe as possible. The event was presented by Mark Spiers, PADI EMEA Vice President for training, sales and field services and showcased industry influencers from:
Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)
Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA)
Health & Safety Executive (HSE)
Divers Alert Network (DAN)
Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)
British Diving Safety Group (BDSG)
Diving Diseases Research Centre (DDRC)
Guest speakers shared the latest best practice and techniques to improve diver and boating safety and were available to chat with through the day.
One highlight was the opportunity to apply for Instructor status for a new speciality, the PADI/RNLI Sea Survivor Diver. This looks like it will be a great addition to the range of specialities Scuba Blue offer. Essentially this course covers the skills, experience and knowledge a relatively new diver needs in order to be a confident and safe diver in the sort of diving we find in the waters around the UK. It includes dive planning and preparation, safety kit to carry or which we find on dive boats, diving in low visibility, gas management, SMB use and more. AS well as knowledge development the student takes part in two open water dives where they can apply and develop their new knowledge. An initial thought is that it would be a fabulous course to offer less experienced divers who might be a bit nervous about actually going out diving in the UK.
As well as the brilliant presentations Brian came back with free stickers, a poster, badge and a keyring….. a Happy Bunny!.
Midge and Brian today represented Scuba Blue at a PADI Affiliate Travel workshop at PADI’s European headquarters, located conveniently for us, in Bristol. The workshop introduced to us the new PADI Travel arm of the PADI world. This is a really exciting venture as it is now one of the world’s biggest dive travel agencies. They offer trips, resorts and liveaboard adventures across the globe and with the sort of prices that can’t be beaten. Watch out for further news from us as we become a PADI Travel affiliate. Will will then be able to offer you an easy way to get everything from advice to actually booking your next dive adventure.
Massive thanks to Brian Scowcroft who has run an amazing Dive Master course, the attention to detail from Brian has been second to none and the catering at his regular DMT meetings and the fun and laughter has become a thing of legend. It has not only been fun but without these guys and the other Scuba Blue TDMs we would not have been anywhere near where we are today, you are all amazing !!.
Thanks also to all the fabulous students we have been able to let all our TDMs loose on …….it adds so much to the course when the practical parts of the course can be completed using real life students rather than simulating situations.
Can’t wait to bring you news of the rest of our terrific TDMs qualifying in the very near future!!! 😀😀😀😀😀
Enjoy finding out about a Scuba Blue dive trip as reported by our very own Divemaster, Carla Cook.
Saturday 12 January saw the first of Scuba Blue’s 2019 dive adventures. Fourteen brave divers took to the chilly waters of Babbacombe in Devon for a great early morning dive. It was so good to see Scuba Blue’s ethos of ‘start diving, keep diving’in full swing with five newly qualified open water divers joining experienced divers for their first sea dive.
Babbacombe is a fantastic location for old and new divers. Just one hour from our home base in Somerset, it is always teeming with life. With a car park right next to the shore and an easy entrance and exit to the sea, makes it a great place to introduce new divers to their first experience. Also for those of us experienced divers who may have overindulged at Christmas, it is a nice way to ease us back in for another fun-filled year of diving.
I have been diving for over three years and have been part of Scuba Blue from the beginning. Last year I started training to be a divemaster so I could share my love of diving with others. I honestly do not think I would have enjoyed the experience as much if I had not done it with Scuba Blue. The team are so knowledgeable, welcoming and passionate; I have made friends for life.
I got to support some of the new divers through their open water courses, so to be able to be part of their first fun dives was extremely rewarding. They were so excited to be able to spot their first crabs, lobsters and other sea life, having animated discussions with us afterwards, helping to identify what they had spotted during the dive. I would highly recommend Great British Marine Animals by Paul Naylor to help with this!
I have to mention Scuba Blue’s very own Mr Bluffield, who is, unfortunately, gaining the unwanted reputation of losing his dive equipment! Thankfully, the dive community are so amazing that within a few hours a fellow diver had found his camera.
It would not be a proper dive day without a trip to a local pub for some food, here we are at Route 16 (other pubs are available).
I cannot wait for Scuba Blue’s next dive adventure, but in the meantime, every Tuesday evening you will find us at a pool in Taunton, ready to welcome the next generation of divers. If you have ever thought you would like to have a go at diving, why not join us? For only £30, you can take part in a try dive and meet the Scuba Blue team. To find out more call 07966 429239 and check out our website at www.scubablue.co.uk and for advice on diving at Babbacombe have a look at this blog article
Scuba Blue loves to help people start diving, but more importantly, we want to keep you diving!
Exciting news from Scuba Blue for 2019. Having spent 8 very happy and successful months working with Fathom Diving, Scuba Blue has acquired its own brand new premises.
We will be operating from West Monkton on the outskirts of Taunton. As far as Scuba Blue members and customers are concerned nothing changes except the location; we have our own compressor, so air is available, a retail arm and of course our training and dive trips will continue to go from strength to strength!!
Work has already started to make the new base a proper Scuba Blue home and we can’t wait to invite you over for our housewarming in the new year.
We would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Kelvin Richards and his amazing Fathom team for the incredible support they have given us in our first 8 months. Through this support, we have been able to build an amazing community of divers and a solid business that is now looking to move to the next level.
More news on the big move very soon but in the meantime stay in touch as usual through Facebook, email or we are always available to chat on 07966 429239. Have a fantastic Christmas and we look forward to diving with you in 2019.
Paul Naylor, author of “Great British Marine Animals”, now in its expanded 3rd Edition, visited Scuba Blue to give a presentation on “Sex and Violence in the Underwater World”! A subject guaranteed to grab the attention of any audience.
The lecture room at Scuba Blue HQ (kindly provided by Fathom Diving) was full for Paul’s talk and it was great to meet people from the dive community across the area. Paul spoke and showed video and photographs for over an hour but afterwards, no one could believe how quickly the time had passed. We would have happily listened to Paul’s tales for much longer. Rather than skim over all the animals we divers see regularly on our UK dive trips Paul chose to focus on a handful of creatures which we then got to know so much better. Who knew that the cute Tompot Blenny could be such a devious little critter! As Midge put it when thanking Paul:
“A huge thank you to author Paul Naylor for an absolutely riveting presentation on the fascinating creatures that inhabit our coastline. The time went SO quickly and I’m sure next time we dive we will all observe creatures with renewed respect and wonder after hearing the amazing facts Paul amusingly delivered !!”
Afterwards, Paul stayed to chat and answer questions as well as selling copies of his book – autographed of course. His book was so popular that he sold every copy he had brought with him. I am confident that Midge will be inviting Paul back to Scuba Blue soon.
The image of the plumose anemone and edible crab is an indication of the quality of images which feature on every page of Great British Marine Animals. To find out more about Paul check out his website at http://www.marinephoto.co.uk If you are a UK diver Paul’s book should be on your bookshelf, or even better, in a waterproof bag with your dive kit so you can find out more about what you have just seen as soon as you leave the water. Also, have a look at Benny The Blenny who is a rarity among marine creatures – he is a regular blogger!
Here is a video made by Tony Reed of Cheap and Cheerful Photography back in the summer. We might be learning inside now winter has arrived but it’s still just as much fun. Why not call Midge at Scuba Blue and come along to join us for a try dive? Like it says, no experience necessary to have the time of your life!
The Scuba Blue Dive Club has got off to a great start. Since its formal launch a few weeks ago membership has grown and we are planning a great programme for 2019…not that 2018 is over yet.
The club offers two levels of membership; the Scuba Blue Dive Club offers advanced notice and priority bookings for UK and overseas dive trips, access to a closed online community where members find buddies, plan informal trips and lift shares as well as talking all things diving. You also get a discount on a training course of your choice. Already we have found some trips filling up just from club members so to make sure you bag your place on our dive trips you need to get in the club. The Scuba Blue Dive Club Plus also offers free lead, air fills or cylinder hire as well as free access to our Tuesday night pool sessions for practise and kit checking. Just making use of the free air fills will more than cover the cost of membership…. so what’s to lose?
We have been using these gloves with our students this year. Being so stretchy and flexible it’s easy to get a great fit…and warm hands. They are so good several members of the dive team have bought them too. Check out our video review of these great scuba gloves