Have we failed you and have you failed yourselves?

A question I get asked quite often is “what`s the temperature like or what`s the visibility like”? There have been numerous times when we answer the question but with mutterings of hostile intentions.

After making a decision recently to change my current in-date training agency to another and starting the theory for the crossover I came across a simple, innocuous question which got me thinking about the heading for this blog!

The question was simply about choosing a wetsuit. You choose the wetsuit according to the temperature at the bottom of the area you dive in and not the surface temperature. Simple yes! But a simple question that gets answered incorrectly and leads to a diver having insufficient exposure protection which in turn leads to potential hypothermia and therefore a decompression sickness risk and thus no longer avails themselves to your services or anyone else.

Years ago when I was a young training leadership candidate, the dive sites were always full. Weekend after weekend there were divers in the water both new and regular divers. Admittedly there were less adventure sports available then for people to spread their time around but the reason I keep coming back to, is quality of training was a lot better then. Evening classes over weeks, weekends spent honing skills in the pool made us confident, comfortable and want to dive because of the very factors I have just mentioned. We had made an investment and boy were we going to cash in on it.

It was an age ago and times have changed, technology reared its head, globalization took over and we no longer have the time to do a 6 week open water class. However, most of the divers I did those classes with are still actively diving today as my peers in the industry or those that now do it purely as a form of escape from the world of one atmosphere. I can name quite a few of our clients that dive every monthly sharing trip and sometimes weekly on the fast boats. The common denominator still being quality of training. They still dive, ride bikes, jump out of perfectly good aircraft and have time to carry on with their lives so where are we missing the boat and thus why did you miss the boat!

We got caught up in the world going crazy, learn to dive now, courses completed in 2 days and a host of advertising gimmicks designed to get you into the dive centre and in reality straight out again as you do not feel confident and peer pressure takes its toll because your dive guide spent 20 minutes with you on the surface to get you down while everyone waited. We became and are “cash cows”. Spend more time on payment details than on the reason we got involved in the 1st place – to share our love of the underwater world with others.

Doing courses is not a way to part you with your money (ok it is) but it is a very important reminder to us as to why we wanted to learn. It took a very simple question to bring me back and I hope some of what is written here will help you do the same!

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