Scuba Diving – My Journey To Becoming An Aquanaut

Dive Style 2018

My experience learning to dive.

My name is Simon I am 32 and have wanted to learn to dive for some time but was nervous as it was something completely new to me. I had been driving past the shop for about a year when I decided to pop in and ask the questions about starting.

I wanted to be sure, so I booked 2 try dives.

My first try dive was with Jim Godsell, what an hour, amazing, I was instantly hooked.

The freedom feeling of being underwater was absolutely amazing, being able to stay under water for the first half hour while swimming around the pool blew my mind.

We did some basic skills to grow my confidence in the equipment and my own confidence in the water.

If you are unsure or have always had that niggle and wondered what scuba diving is all about, then a discover scuba is definitely something you need to try.

By the time I came to my second try dive I have already made up my mind,  I booked my self down for the open water course.

This time on the second try dive I am diving with Paul Dows and as a special treat I am given a 1-1 session in the pool. As I had signed up for my course we decided to look at doing some of the parts of the open water skills. Paul explains everything so well and demonstrates everything first before letting me have a go. I didn’t think I would pick up on the technique so fast or maybe Paul us such a chilled teacher and good at explaining everything, so you understand everything so well.

After my second try dive, I pop into the shop to book my course. We go through all the courses and as I already had my own mask and snorkel + fins I could save some money and go with the Basic option. I also paid for the dry suit option as it was a great offer at the time (book the dry suit best option ever).

I am now back at the pool doing my open water every Wednesday with Paul. Unbeknown to me, Paul had asked if he could do my Open Water. Even better was that the normal scheduled course was already covered so I ended up with some great luck and managed to get 1-1 for my entire course!

We worked our way through the lessons, from simple skills to removing / replacing my kit underwater and clearing a flooded my mask underwater.

The last 3 dives we did in a dry suit, so that I had the basic skills ready for the open water part of the course. It was a little bit more trickier than that just using the BCD but nothing I could not handle.

Pool sessions finished, next part was the open water qualifying in Wraysbury Lake with Kelly Peat, our instructor for the weekend.

I’ve never dived to 7 metres before and it took me a little time to equalize my ears on the way down. Kelly was a very relaxed, patient instructor letting me take as much time as I needed took descend to training platform.

The visibility was not great initially, but I felt very safe as I knew my instructor were extremely well trained and were my guardian angels watching over me.

Kelly help me control my breathing, explained why this was important and that calmed me down no end.

It’s a strange but wonderful feeling when you are down at 7 metres. You look up from the platform and can watch your bubbles disappear as they travel to the surface. You look around and you have the odd fish swim up to look around and they are not phased by you sat there bubbling away.

After each dive I felt more and more confident. I definitely look back at all the training I did on my course and the instruction I had in the pool. This training was top quality and gave me all the preparation I needed for the open water dives. Looking back, it is amazing how far I have come along in the past 6 weeks. None of this would have been possible without the brilliant instruction and the fab organisation provided at DiveStyle.

I would highly recommend diving with DiveStyle, the patience the instructors show while teaching me was absolutely amazing and I am so glad I stopped by and booked those try dives.

It wasn’t long after my open water that I booked my Advanced Open Water course and I even got Kelly and Steve as my instructors, brilliant! That was a weekend you don’t want to miss absolutely amazing and visibility in Chepstow was fantastic. Even though I have only done 4 fun dives between my open water and advanced open water I have to say diving at Chepstow is one place I need to visit more.

Pop into the shop and have a chat with Alayne or Neil. These guys can tell you everything you need to know, even if that question sounds stupid in your head, I can guarantee someone has already asked them before.

Couldn’t forget a thank you John Campbell for everything along the way. I’m pretty sure I will be back soon to book many more courses and maybe a holiday J

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