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Some years ago, my children showed some interest in learning to scuba dive, but were too young at the time. So when in 2002 we decided on a family holiday to Grand Bahama, it seemed the ideal time to learn, they were now both 11 and 14 and old enough to do a PADI Open Water Course.
As a family, we were introduced to the staff at Aqualand Divers who made us feel extremely welcome with customary cups of tea and helpful information on what was the best course of action for us to take. It was agreed that a Referral Course would be ideal for us (this meant that all the classroom and confined water work would be done in the Aqualand classroom and at Bramston swimming pool and the Open Water part of the course would be completed in the Bahamas).
We had about five weeks to complete this course which was a bit of a challenge for the Aqualand team of instructors. A "Try Dive" was firstly organised to make sure that we were all ready for what was to come. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and were made to feel comfortable and at ease with the equipment. We were given lots of encouragement and expert teaching all through the confined water part of the course with Aqualand.
Once in the Bahamas it became very apparent from the remarks made at the PADI dive centre that we had indeed been very well taught and the Instructor was impressed by our natural abilities which made learning to dive easier.
Since that time, we have progressed with Aqualand Divers onto our Advanced Open Water Course. I have also accompanied with Aqualand other trainees on organised trips to the Red Sea.
|Helen, South Woodham Ferrers|
|I was looking on the Internet for scuba courses for both my husband and I in the area of Chelmsford when I found out about Aqualand Divers and another local dive centre. We decided to drive that evening to these two dive centres. |
The other dive centre felt very much like the equivalent of a PC World of scuba diving, where the staff would give you a shoe shine if it meant you'd buy something from their shop! We thought, at the time, that this could be normal for such a noble sport that requires such expensive apparatus.
We then made our move to Aqualand Divers...
Passed the slightly disorganised stock, we knew, after five minutes spent chatting with Bob Taylor, the owner, that we had just found true professionals of recreational - and technical - scuba diving with a real passion for the art equal to none.
We both went for a try-dive where the team made us feel very comfortable and safe. Two weeks later we started our open water course with them. It went really well and I found it really rewarding: Probably the best thing I've done in my life! I am currently getting ready for my advanced open water, and possibly going this year on one holiday in the Red Sea organised by the Aqualand team.
Aqualand Divers have also given me expert advice on several occasions. They took into account which type of diving I intend to do, and helped me choosing which equipment would suit me rather focusing on how much they would make from the sale.
I must also say that, although I'm a freshly qualified diver, on the few occasions the Aqualand instructors and I went to a dive training facility, I was even able to spot the bad practice in the technique of some divers from other schools. That's how thorough and professionally students must get trained at Aqualand Divers!
I first became familiar and fascinated with scuba diving whilst on a family holiday in Cyprus in 1999.
Through the Scuba Nape diving school in Cyprus, between 1999 and 2003, I made eight dives, learning the basic techniques required for the safe continuance of the sport, gaining the appropriate certificates and diplomas.
In 2004, my wife Joan suggested I needed a diving qualification. So under the staff at aqualand's direction and tutorage, I undertook an Open Water course, which I passed, gaining a PADI licence in May 2004, before my last trip to Cyprus in July of that year.
During 2005, they I undertook the advanced open water course, which I passed in July 2005.
In September 2005 I travelled to the Egyptian resort of Hurghada on the Red Sea, for a week of exceptional diving with eleven other colleagues and friends.
At the present time, I am studying an "enriched air course" (Nitrox), which I am thoroughly enjoying, in readiness for another trip to Hurghada in March 2006.
I would like to thank my instructor and all my diving colleagues, for all their expertise, knowledge, help, friendship and support during my training.
Dayna and I would like to thank you for your kindness and help with our equipment etc. This card is sent with kind thoughts,
Lesley & Dayna
| Many thanks for taking us through the open water diver qualification.|
Your attention to detail was undisputable throughout which I am sure will make us all think about our diving on every occasion we go down and to treat our dives with the seriousness they deserve.
Whilst I have no doubt there will be odd things we forget and will need brushing up on, I am certain on every dive we will remember that "Our instructor told us to do that" and we will appreciate what and why you told us so.
On a personal note thank you and Phil for proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks and for putting up with an old duffer like me!