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SCUBA diving


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#1 Palacegirl

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 04:22 PM

Hello,

after a FANTASTIC holiday in Mozambique I would like to do the PADI open water certificate - I have done a few dives now with the 'discover Scuba' and now would like to do the course, i.e. skills and exam. I am planning on doing the needed dives on a red sea holiday very shortly.

I found Orca diving details via the search on the forum, however, their phone number does not seem to be working anymore - does anybody know if they still exist?

Or any other dive clubs where we could do the above skills training in either Crystal Palace or Streatham pool?

thank you :)
..supporting the triangle and freedom of speech.....

#2 jannism

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 04:29 PM

Some friends of mine are keen SCUBA divers and I'm pretty sure they go to a club at Tooting. I'll find out the details for you and post them.

#3 Palacegirl

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 04:33 PM

thanks a lot!
:D
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#4 jannism

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 04:46 PM

This is their club: Manta Divers.

As well as regular weekly meets in Tooting Lido they also go off on various diving expeditions around the country. Last one they went on was to the Scilly Isles, of which there are pictures in the Gallery section.

Hope this helps.

#5 Ziwa

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 05:10 PM

Palacegirl, you lucky thing diving in Mozambique! I'm a dedicated diver with African attachments but haven't been to Moz ...just hearing about it makes me want to go! Now!

So, on to diving training. In recent years I did some training with London SCUBA who (at the time and probably still) worked out of the pool at the end of the Millenium Bridge (I did DM, my friend did Rescue). They were OK, but I didn't really like their approach somehow. It was all a bit too macho, young adventure houndy (I used to be such a person but now am, ahem, much more serious!), clique-y, and processing lots of students. I also had Big Squid SCUBA http://www.bigsquid.co.uk/ recommended by a bunch of people and I had some very nice conversations with the owner. I've been on their mailing list for several years and am convinced they offer the kind of trip I'm much more interested in - not so much glossy hotels, but more camping on the beach (or also live-aboards) with the focus on the underwater life. I'd just been thinking that I should try to start up with them, now that I live in easier commuting distance of their pools (Clapham and Battersea).

Also, if you happen to want to get training in Africa, I can recommend a dive shop in Tanzania and one in Malawi, that I've sent my students to. It is cheaper to do it overseas (by about half) and a good PADI shop should give you excellent preparation for safe and fun underwater time.

#6 uk72

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 09:22 AM

Have you called Crystal Palace National Sports Centre to see if they still run the PADI course? I did my PADI about 5 years ago and, whilst I decided to do it in Egypt, I did speak to a really helpful guy who ran courses in CP and the training was practically one to one AND it was really reasonable cost wise.

It might be worth trying the main sports centre number 020 8778 0131 to see if they still run them.

#7 Daniel

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 02:06 PM

Hi Palacegirl,

I used Orca Diving to do my PADI a couple of years ago and they were great but i drove past their shop last week (which used to be on Portland Road, S Norwood) I noticed that it has turned into something else.

Not sure whether they have set up somewhere else or just no longer exist.

#8 Ziwa

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 12:53 PM

hi Palacegirl,

I was in the Sports Centre this weekend and noticed an announcement for a SCUBA club in the area that seems to give classes: http://www.lodgescuba.com/temp.htm

Unfortunately their website is under renovation, but they have a tel number and email. The posting in the Sports Centre mentioned classes, but the website says 'if you are an experienced diver contact us'....

I'm looking for classes for my pardner so let me know (perhaps PM me) if you find something that looks good.

#9 Irish_John

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 02:17 AM

Much as I like the idea of you all becoming official 'PADI's' - the irony not being lost on me.. PADI is a good way of gaining a qualification so you can dive on holiday - providing you front up the money (PADI - Put Another Dollar In... or Pay And Die Instantly..) and the documentation they provide is excellent, but I must say the quality of the teaching is patchy to say the least. I did my rescue diver in Chelmsford with a fairly well known club, but I can't think of a single reason to recommend them. Most of my other training was abroad or with the SAA, or BSAC in the UK. Just so happened the Chelmsford club dived more regularly and more interesting sites (there! a recommendation! knew I'd find one!) Ask around, get some advice and choose what you think is best - not necessarily closest! But still, if you can dive in Mozambique with tiger sharks knocking about - you must be doing alright!

Keep us posted as to how you get on.

:)

#10 Ziwa

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 12:20 PM

Although I got all my certs from PADI, I'd agree with Irish John's cynicism. Thing is, however, PADI has a stranglehold on the market with the widest accepted certifications. Because they've divided the certification process into minimally marketable units it allows people to get into diving with a lesser level of initial financial and time investment. (In the long run you do pay much much more for PADI certification). This is good for opening up the opportunities to people, showing them the amazing underwater world, but perhaps bad for the average safety level out there. I think diving is a bit like driving. Good training helps a lot, but becoming a good diver requires taking the responsibility yourself for your training. The certification is a rubberstamp.

Consider this: my employer strongly requests that we do our dive training in the UK (but does not emphasize who gives the certification) on the principle that the difficult conditions of cold, dark, UK waters will train you to handle yourself with confidence anywhere in the world. Having now done some diving here (but being a tropical person by nature), I'd agree that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and if you KNOW you will be a dive gorilla, do at least some training here. If you feel a bit more uncertain, do it under less trying circumstances and work up to UK conditions.

#11 Acorna

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 12:55 PM

I am not a diver, but I do know people who are very serious about it, and who insist that PADI training is not good enough. They are people who believe that BSAC is the only way to go. I haven't googled them, but I do know that they have a club in Norwood somewhere, and one which meets in Sydenham, which is called the Bromley club or similar. If anyone is interested, let me know, and I will ask my friends for details, if it can't be googled easily.

#12 croesus

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 10:54 PM

In 1999, I did PADI open water pool and written segments with Diving Leisure London in Battersea, then did the open water and advanced open water components in the balmy seas of Thailand. Ahhh bliss! Definitely better than a flooded quarry in Bedfordshire.

I've also heard the complaints by BSAC members about PADI being "noddy", but I have to say I thought the training was very well-designed, and at the end I felt completely confident to dive at the level I wanted to e.g. with a group of experienced divers on an organized dive in good water conditions. Most dive "tourists" like me never go further than this. Possibly if I fancied myself as Jacques Cousteau after a PADI course I might come a cropper, but they were pretty carfeful to point out what I was and wasn't skilled to do as a result of my new qualification.

I'd give thumbs-up for Diving Leisure London by the way - I thought they ran the course very well.

#13 Ziwa

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 01:31 PM

This in from Lodge Scuba Academy:
Thanks for your email. We do offer free try dives for everyone in the below
locations & times.
Our regular pool sessions are
Beginner Courses:
Fridays 6.15 - 7.30pm Streatham Leisure Centre
Sundays 9.00 - 11.00am Streatham Leisure Centre
Thursdays 7.30 - 9.00pm New Addington Leisure Centre

For the try dive bring along your swimming stuff and a T-Shirt. There's no
need to book this in advance - just come and meet us by the pool side.
The New Addington pool is 3m deep whereas the one in Streatham is only 2m so
you might want to consider coming to Addington if you are concerned about
the ears.
You will need to answer a medical questionnaire beforehand and if there are
any potential problems we generally advise for everyone to see their doctor
before diving.
If you are interested in any of the courses that we offer come and meet us
in one of the pool sessions and we'll give you more information.

So VN'ers - give diving a try for free! But remember, the real joy of it is being out in the real underwater world - it is amazingly beautiful and gives you a sense of being a priviledged visitor in an alternate reality.

#14 wrdcc01

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 07:53 PM

Hello all, I belong to Bromley BSAC (British Sub-Aqua Club and can recommend the training. It is far in excess of PADI and covers rescue, resus, gas theories etc yearly membership includes unlimited training which you can take at your own pace, we are currently managing one to one and you can take 2 months or two years to go through everything if you want, our instructors won't push as it isn't about money just making sure that all BSAC trained divers stay alive and are part of a social club not a business! Meet every Monday evening at the Bridge sports club between Penge and Catford by Bell Green then beer afterwards at a local club also on Thursday night at Crystal Palace then after at a local in Anerley. Try dives can be arranged with about a weeks notice. Our website can be found from the diving link on my site if anyone is interested. If you happen to pass the Conquering Hero over the weekend I'm always happy to chat club stuff.

Dean

#15 David Kennedy

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 05:42 PM

We're just back from Belize, which was rather jolly, and the vast array of aquatic life we saw just snorkelling has led us to take up SCUBA diving.

We're training with the Croydon BSAC group at the minute. They're a lovely lot and, here's the best bit, the don't meet anywhere near Croydon. Wednesday nights from half eight in the swimming pool to the rear of St Josephs on Beulah Hill and then in the pub by the home for incurables at the top of Crown Lane an hour later. Have a butchers at http://www.croydonbsac.com. They'll lend you the kit to train in (once we're done with it) though they do pester you to buy your own stuff and it's £120 a year to join. They all swear the UK offers some of the best diving in the UK.

You could also ask James for advice in London's greatest dive shop which is in West Norwood, of course; Amphibian Sport, 44a-44b Chapel Rd, West Norwood, London SE27 0UR.
Don't be put off by James's website if you look it up and do tell him to give Margie a hefty discount for this recommendation if you pop in.

We're due to do our first open water dive off Plymouth at Easter. Can't wait.