Maddie our Showroom Sales Assistant and Kristine from our Dispatch department went to Leyland Leisure Centre on Wednesday to get first-hand experience of diving.
Chorley British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) runs Try-Dives so people can "experience the thrill of diving under the supervision of an experienced instructor in a swimming pool". During the Try-Dive, they teach a few basic diving skills so you can plunge underwater and experience weightlessness.
Maddie explained that the instructors introduced she and Kristine to some basic hand signals and they had a short discussion about safe diving techniques. Because the underwater world is a silent one, hand signals are key, they're your only way to communicate. Then in the shallow end of the pool they became familiar with the scuba equipment also learning how it felt to wear the gear. This included getting a demonstration of a buoyancy control device (BCD) and having the opportunity to try it themselves. Maddie and Kristine then progressed to breathing from a regulator underwater, then learning how to remove and recover the regulator below the surface. They then learned how to breathe from an alternate regulator provided by another diver. And like Holly our newly PADI qualified diver, they vividly remember learning to partially flood and clear a mask of water. this was after learning how to properly fit and demist a mask.
Maddie said "It's funny you should ask because all the divers here at Northern Diver and the BSAC instructors all said ear equalising would be the most useful part of it, and it was! I think it's because it's the most versatile skill. Once you learn to equalise your ears for diving, you can equalise anywhere. This will come in really handy for travelling on aeroplanes when your ears pop with the altitude changes." The reason you get an explanation of ear clearing is to ensure that when underwater your depth progression is safe and comfortable.
However, that wasn't her favourite part of the experience. Maddie and Kristine both said the feeling of weightlessness in the water was amazing. Both letting the rest of our team know "they had some serious fun whilst underwater".
"The great thing about the BSAC group was that the Try-Dive went at our pace. We were there for a couple of hours and only tried swimming underwater once we were comfortable enough to. From there, once we'd built up our confidence and enjoyed the feeling of weightlessness, we were able to learn basic skills like somersaults and barrel rolls. It was amazing fun, I wish we'd taken an underwater camera so we could have had a better record of it."
Chorley British Sub-Aqua Club say each Try-Dive lasts about 50 minutes including the tuition. They ensure that each scuba dive in the pool takes place with a BSAC qualified instructor so you get maximum enjoyment from your first dive. Working at Northern Diver, we, of course, had Maddie and Kristine go in our wetsuits, but you don't need to - all you'd need to go for a Try-Dive yourself is a swimming costume or shorts and a T-shirt that you're happy to wear in the water.
"We loved it!" exclaimed Maddie. "Not only will we definitely go again but I'd encourage lots of people to give it a go".
Kristine added "Chorley BSAC group only take small groups or people on their own for Try-Dives so it was really good. It made us feel really looked after and safe".
Chorley British Sub-Aqua Club give you the option to pay for a single Try Dive or purchase a bundle of 3 sessions giving you lots of options to explore and enjoy the underwater world - and see if it's for you. Chorley British Sub-Aqua Club offer Try Dives and Snorkel Courses at Leyland Leisure Centre Pool (Lancastergate, Leyland PR25 2EX) on Wednesday evenings. To book or for more information, check out their website