COVID-19

Andark COVID-19 Statement Updated 21/03/2020

BUSINESS AS USUAL at ANDARK SHOP this weekend, however we are monitoring government advice in this rapidly changing situation.  We ask all customers coming in to respect social distancing.

ANDARK LAKE is open for Swimmers & Divers, the Café will be operating a ‘Take Away’ Service only. 

Forthcoming Diving Courses – there will be no charge to change/alter dates or courses, suggestion is at present would be to re-book after 1st week in June, but this date might move forwards.

All Junior Courses, Scuba Parties or other specialist courses we will operate FOC change of dates or have a gift voucher to be used in the shop.

 Please do not ring the shop about any changes, as the shop staff will not be able to deal with your query and our office staff as working remotely. Please send an email to both:- June@andark.co.uk & Miriam@andark.co.uk.   Our admin Staff will endeavour to contact anyone booked on courses up until the end of April in next couple of weeks.  However, we are also experiencing Staff shortages due to Staff caring for a family member or children now off school.

Servicing 

All servicing and workshop jobs must be paid for within 3mths start date. We are happy to hold onto the item until you are happy to collect once it is paid for. Any items not paid for after 3 months will be disposed off or sold on to cover service costs.

Courses
If you have booked a course with us and are unable to attend or it is now cancelled, we are happy move the date free of charge later on in the year or receive a credit note from us to use or course, products or servicing, We are unable to refund any course fees at present. 

Andark COVID-19 Statement Updated 18/03/2020

At present, in line with the governments guidelines we are remaining open. We would ask only those who are in good health or not in the ‘high risk category’ to visit.

As well as our normal cleaning procedures we have taken extra measures in order to try and prevent any contamination or spread on COVID-19.

We have also increased the frequency of our cleaning regime at all of our facilities this includes, Andark shop, pool and the Andark Lake facility.

Below are the links to the government guidelines regarding COVID-19 and from the diving industry federations and training organisations.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance

DAN EUROPE https://bit.ly/2Ue6oG8

BSAC https://bit.ly/3d45Ued

Public Health England (PHE) recommends that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19:

  1. cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
  2. put used tissues in the bin straight away
  3. wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. See hand washing guidance
  4. try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  5. clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  6. do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Please keep an eye on our website and social media channels for updates as the situation evolves.

For our Evening sessions and courses, nothing is cancelled at present. However if you are self isolating due to having symptoms or unable to attend. We will reschedule your session or course at no extra cost on future dates in the year that are listed on our website/course programme.

At present our retail store and online shop are business as usual, subject to product availability and delivery. So please feel free to come into store or shop online!

Lastly, we would ask all our students and visitors to both the Andark Shop/Pool and Lake facilities to not attend if they have any symptoms or are in any of the the ‘high risk’ groups.

Link below on the guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK

https://bit.ly/3d80uyM

Andark DiveMaster Scholarship 2020!

Learn to be a professional diver. It’s free!

Scholarship Structure 2020

Pre-requisites

  • Min 18 years old
  • Pass an HSE Diving Medical
  • Pass a DBS check
  • Some previous diving experience would be an advantage

Basic information

The Scholarship will commence in June 2020 for a period of three months.  The Students will be based at Andark Diving in Lower Swanwick, Southampton.  There will also be a requirement to work at remote locations, transport will be provided to and from these locations.

The hours are from 8.30 to 17.30 when working Monday to Friday and 7.30 to 16.30 when working Saturday and Sunday.  It will be necessary to work some Saturdays until 18.30. Days will be arranged over a flexible five day week.  It will be necessary to work one evening session each week.  Due to the nature of the business, it will be necessary to work most Saturdays and Sundays.

For people with little or no diving experience, training will be provided before the start of the Scholarship. However, this will require a time commitment of up to 15 days between April and June, depending on the amount of training necessary.  Most training will take place at weekends and over Easter.

Materials and Equipment

All necessary diving equipment and training materials will be provided, on loan, by Andark. Suunto will provide the trainees with a dive computer, on loan.  On successful completion of the programme ownership of the computer will be transferred to the trainee.

Overview

The students will be trained to PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Divemaster level.  This is the first professional level in PADI. There are four prerequisite courses: Open Water Diver,  Advanced Open Water Diver, Emergency First Responder (1st aid) and Rescue Diver.  All necessary courses will be provided by Andark.

Certification will depend on the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete the academic and practical requirements of each of the above courses.  The objective will be to start Divemaster training as soon as possible.

There are two further elements to the scholarship; working directly and indirectly with divers under training.  This will necessitate acquiring competence in a number of tasks and skills detailed in appendix 1.

Students will be required to keep a log.  It will have three sections:

  •  A weekly video log: Recording the week’s actives
  •  A skills workbook:  Recording competence in the tasks in appendix 1
  • A diving log:   Recording dives completed.

Methods of Instruction

The diving courses will be conducted and assessed by PADI accredited diving instructors.  Other training will be carried out by experienced members of staff.  In this area skills or tasks must be satisfactorily completed five times under supervision before competence can be agreed.

Workload

Each of the diving courses has an associated video, manual and related Knowledge Reviews.  The manual must be read, the Knowledge Reviews completed and the video viewed, in the students own time, before the start of each course.   Exceptionally the Divemaster Knowledge Reviews may be completed during that course. 

Divemaster candidates must read The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving.

A monthly video log will be produced by each Scholar using elements from the weekly video logs.

Assessment

Each diving course is assessed by:

  • Knowledge Reviews, open book;
  • Multiple choice exam, closed book and;
  • By skill competence. 
  • Exceptionally the Advanced Open Water is assessed by Knowledge, Reviews and skill competence.
  • Other skills and tasks will be assessed by Andark staff.

Mentors – Monitoring

Each Scholar will have an assigned Andark diving instructor as a mentor.

Progress will be reviewed weekly by the Diving Training Administrator and the Scholars to ensure that the programme is being delivered as planned.

Assignments

Rescue Diver students must prepare an emergency assistance plan for a dive site.

Divemaster candidates must prepare an emergency assistance plan for a dive site.  They must also complete a mapping project for a designated dive site.

Insurance

Trainees will be covered by Andarks Employers Liability Insurance.

Note

Most of the work undertaken during this Scholarship will involve diving and supporting novice and certified divers under training.  Nonetheless, in common with all employment, there are continual and somewhat boring tasks which must be completed.  Applicants must have the ability to cope with this.

How to apply

We request applicants produce a personal statement, either written or as a short video (less than 5 minutes) that explains the following, and send it, along with a CV, to steve@andark.co.uk before 28th February 2020:

  • Who you are
  • Your interests
  • Why you would make a good PADI Divemaster
  • Any previous diving experience you have

Hope to see you here!

Andark DiveMaster Scholarship 2020

Learn to be a professional diver. It’s free!

Andark Diving and Suunto launch their 2020 Diver Training Scholarship.

Andark Diving the UK’s premier diver training company and Suunto, the multinational sports computer giant are inviting young people to apply for this exciting challenge.

Suunto D5 Dive Computer
Suunto D5 Dive Computer

Now entering its sixth year the scholarship offers the opportunity for people with little or no previous diving experience to be trained to be a PADI Divemaster. The qualification is the first professional level in PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) organisation and has worldwide recognition. Before starting the Divemaster training students must gain 4 related diving qualifications. All necessary training materials and equipment will be provided by Andark.

The Scholarship runs from June until September and is based in Lower Swanwick. The Scholars are involved in all aspects of Diver training. Whilst developing their own skills they will be helping both novice and experienced divers develop theirs.

Although based at Andark, Scholars will be diving at several locations along the South Coast. Steve Cook Diver Training Manager said ‘We are now inviting young people to apply for the 2020 Scholarship. The closing date for applications is 28th February and there will be an assessment day in early March. The Scholarship doesn’t formally start until June; however, the successful applicants will be invited to take part in courses from Easter on. The only cost to scholars is the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) medical. This is a legal requirement for all divers at work. The fee is £100.

Learn to dive

Andark and Suunto provide all the necessary training equipment and materials. UK and Ireland SUUNTO Manager Ryan Crawford said. ‘Suunto are the leading suppliers of diving and other sports computers. We introduce the Scholars to dive computers and demonstrate the vast improvements in diver safety they have produced. We also provide them with a state-of-the-art dive computer at the start of the scholarship.

Michael Ambrose, manager, Andark Diver Training Lake

Michael Ambrose now the manager at Andark Diver Training Lake said ‘After graduating from Southampton University with a degree in Geography I successfully applied for the scholarship in 2016. I had no previous diving experience nor any intention of working in this business. From the very first diving course, I was working on I was introduced to students as one of the team. None the less, for some considerable time all the tasks I was given were very closely supervised. Any underwater interaction with students was a long way off’.

Michael added. ‘However, like everything, there are boring bits, like cleaning and checking equipment on a wet Monday morning after a busy weekend. But overall it was a great three months.’

Andy Goddard, Andark’s Founder and Director said, Why do we run the scholarship? Enlightened self-interest, SCUBA diving is very much a minority sport and is often unfairly seen a dangerous. ‘The Scholarship helps to spread a more positive view and dispel many of the negative myths.’

Andy added. ‘With our onsite classrooms, heated swimming pool and purpose-built diver training lake Andark is the ideal place to get an introduction to the diving world. Ordinarily, this training, with equipment and materials would cost around £2000. Add in the dive computer and were looking at the best part of £3000. Looks like an irresistible offer!

Scholarship Structure 2020

Pre-requisites

  • 18 years old
  • Pass an HSE Diving Medical
  • Pass a DBS check
  • Some previous diving experience would be an advantage

Basic information

The Scholarship will commence in June 2020 for a period of three months.  The Students will be based at Andark Diving in Lower Swanwick, Southampton.  There will also be a requirement to work at remote locations, transport will be provided to and from these locations.

The hours are from 8.30 to 17.30 when working Monday to Friday and 7.30 to 16.30 when working Saturday and Sunday.  It will be necessary to work some Saturdays until 18.30. Days will be arranged over a flexible five day week.  It will be necessary to work one evening session each week.  Due to the nature of the business, it will be necessary to work most Saturdays and Sundays.

For people with little or no diving experience, training will be provided before the start of the Scholarship. However, this will require a time commitment of up to 15 days between April and June, depending on the amount of training necessary.  Most training will take place at weekends and over Easter.

Materials and Equipment

All necessary diving equipment and training materials will be provided, on loan, by Andark. Suunto will provide the trainees with a dive computer, on loan.  On successful completion of the programme ownership of the computer will be transferred to the trainee.

Overview

The students will be trained to PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Divemaster level.  This is the first professional level in PADI. There are four prerequisite courses: Open Water Diver,  Advanced Open Water Diver, Emergency First Responder (1st aid) and Rescue Diver.  All necessary courses will be provided by Andark.

Certification will depend on the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete the academic and practical requirements of each of the above courses.  The objective will be to start Divemaster training as soon as possible.

There are two further elements to the scholarship; working directly and indirectly with divers under training.  This will necessitate acquiring competence in a number of tasks and skills detailed in appendix 1.

Students will be required to keep a log.  It will have three sections:

  •  A weekly video log: Recording the week’s actives
  •  A skills workbook:  Recording competence in the tasks in appendix 1
  • A diving log:   Recording dives completed.

Methods of Instruction

The diving courses will be conducted and assessed by PADI accredited diving instructors.  Other training will be carried out by experienced members of staff.  In this area skills or tasks must be satisfactorily completed five times under supervision before competence can be agreed.

Workload

Each of the diving courses has an associated video, manual and related Knowledge Reviews.  The manual must be read, the Knowledge Reviews completed and the video viewed, in the students own time, before the start of each course.   Exceptionally the Divemaster Knowledge Reviews may be completed during that course. 

Divemaster candidates must read The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving.

A monthly video log will be produced by each Scholar using elements from the weekly video logs.

Assessment

Each diving course is assessed by:

  • Knowledge Reviews, open book;
  • Multiple choice exam, closed book and;
  • By skill competence. 
  • Exceptionally the Advanced Open Water is assessed by Knowledge, Reviews and skill competence.
  • Other skills and tasks will be assessed by Andark staff.

Mentors – Monitoring

Each Scholar will have an assigned Andark diving instructor as a mentor.

Progress will be reviewed weekly by the Diving Training Administrator and the Scholars to ensure that the programme is being delivered as planned.

Assignments

Rescue Diver students must prepare an emergency assistance plan for a dive site.

Divemaster candidates must prepare an emergency assistance plan for a dive site.  They must also complete a mapping project for a designated dive site.

Insurance

Trainees will be covered by Andarks Employers Liability Insurance.

Note

Most of the work undertaken during this Scholarship will involve diving and supporting novice and certified divers under training.  Nonetheless, in common with all employment, there are continual and somewhat boring tasks which must be completed.  Applicants must have the ability to cope with this.

How to apply

We request applicants produce a personal statement, either written or as a short video (less than 5 minutes) that explains the following, and send it, along with a CV, to steve@andark.co.uk before 28th February 2020:

  • Who you are
  • Your interests
  • Why you would make a good PADI Divemaster
  • Any previous diving experience you have

Hope to see you here!

PADI Dive Master Program Experience

We asked Steve, one of our brilliant PADI IDC Staff Instructor’s, and Pavel Lavrinovic, who has just become a Dive Master, to chat and share with us a bit of Pavel’s journey on this 6 months Dive Master Program.

Steve: Well Pavel, congratulations on completing your Dive Master Program, but for everybody out there reading this post, can you tell them what started your own journey achieving your Dive Master. Where did it all start?

Pavel: It all started three years ago when I came into Andark, straight after my trip to Cuba, where I enjoyed Scuba Diving. So I wanted to progress.

Steve: Why did you decide to do your Dive Master qualification?

Pavel: I was looking for some work, a job not in the office, basically, and as much as possible, close to extremes.
So I was looking for Hiking, Climbing, or Scuba Diving, and I tried all of these, and I enjoyed Scuba Diving the most. It was something that melted my heart. I was where I should be.
Cuba was a bit of a strange experience. It was very beautiful but very unsafe. When I came into the UK, I enjoyed the correct systematical way of how things were done here. Very good for my brain, because my brain works systematically.

Steve: So what has your experience been like learning to be a Dive Master with us at Andark?

Pavel: The good part, in the beginning, was who would be my mentor. I met Steve, and I met a couple of other guys. Their experience was important to me. I wanted to work with people who have 10 or 20 years of diving.
I really did appreciate all the benefits that I got from Andark. I could come to dive every time I had spare time, come any other day, join any single course I wanted to join. So it was really really great, to begin with.
That must have taken me half of the year and it was intensive, which was the good part. It was what I was looking for.

Steve: As part of achieving your Dive Master qualification, you also obtained the PADI Master Scuba Diver rating which only about 5% of all divers actually go on to achieve. It’s often called in PADI circles “Ninja level” of training. So how did you feel about achieving that?

Pavel: I am actually a bit cool about that because it was all systematically. Smart in the way it was showed to me.

Steve: Can you tell us what you enjoyed the most? What was the best thing about the program?

Pavel: I would say, I really do love from my side, I just love being underwater, because I find it a bit extreme, and it feels really cool. I feel like I’m in the place I should be, actually, and another good thing which I got going through the Dive Master is the feeling of being helpful.

I was doing what I was supposed to do and helping people also.

Steve: Your Dive Master Program led you to other career options. So, can you share with us the last couple of days and the two weeks before that, what were you doing?

Pavel: I am interested in all opportunities. I am trying to catch up with everything that the Dive Industry offers. I finished last week my two-weeks course in Inshore Commercial Diving (HSE Scuba) and last week I finished by OPITO safety diver training.

Steve: How did you like that training? Did you enjoy that?

Pavel: Yeah! Plenty of examples, plenty of rescue scenarios that will stick with you, and it gave us plenty of thoughts and practice, and that was good.

Steve: You are training to be a Rescue Diver for what?

Pavel: For the scenario of a helicopter crashing into the water, offshore. Helicopter Underwater Escape Training Safety Diver.

Steve: What are you hoping to do next year? Anything special you want to try?

Pavel: Hum… I would like to start my AI (Assistant Instructor) in June or July. It is quite a short course and then I’ll go for Instructors.

Steve: It’s going to be a hard task when it comes to doing your Instructor Training

Pavel: I hope so. It should be intensive.

Steve: What about Diving? Is there any place in the world you fancy going diving?

Pavel: I fancy going to Mother Russia. I really would like to do Ice Diving, Cave Diving, some Deep Diving probably, and Wreck Diving. All extremes, somehow, attracts me.

If you liked or have any other questions about Pavel’s story, please let us know down in the comments.

5 Reasons why you should learn to dive before going on Holiday

You’ve decided to go on an amazing holiday overseas for an unforgettable trip and thought about learning to dive there. I’m going to tell you five reasons why you shouldn’t.

  1. Get the most out of it

When you plan a Holiday, you get expectations, you spend money, and you want to relax and enjoy all you can of the place you’re going to and the time you’ll have there. What happens is, the Open Water Scuba Diving – the first official step to Scuba Diving – is a serious and technical course you have to take in order to dive safely in the open seas and it takes 4 practical days to do so, plus the time you have to study the theory before making the actual course. Now, imagine if you take four days out of your holidays just for a course, when you could be actually diving, tanning, drinking or eating.

Learning to Scuba Dive on a Holiday trip won’t allow you to get the most out of the trip and neither the course unless you are spending enough time, and 4 days won’t make any difference for your whole Holiday.

  2. Learn in your language and culture

When you go outside your country you can’t be 100% sure, you’re going to have a native English speaker giving the course, which means you can miss some of the talk and details when you could have someone helping who fully understand your doubts, your culture and the specifications of where you live, so you won’t just be able to dive in your Holidays, but also when you get back home.

Here in the UK the water temperature, depth and visibility are different from other places in the world that you might be going for your Holidays, and diving doesn’t have to be an occasional hobby, but a sport you do when you can/want, and someone that understands the weather in the UK can probably understand what you’ll go through, whats the best equipment, and tips, and to be honest, after diving here, you’ll be qualified to dive anywhere, and then, when you go for a Holiday you’ll be more prepared and knowledgeable about what you’re interested in, what you want to explore and discover.

3.  Guarantee

As I said earlier, the Open Water Course it’s the first official course you take to learn diving. There are different places you can go to learn, but it’s imperative to look for a place that is PADI certified, as PADI is one of the safest and recognised curricula in the world and is a certification for life. So, you’ve got to make sure; you are taking this course in a trustworthy place.

Many places and hotels have their own courses, but they are not worldwide certification like PADI, which means you’ll be only certified to dive there, no other place will recognise it.

4. Financial Plan

Instead of getting a surprise spending on your Holiday or an extra spend, you can actually plan your diving course previously to the Holiday and organise your finance to do it first, knowing exactly how much everything costs, if you want to buy something or wait for a most appropriate moment, what you’ll need for the course.

We get many clients that went diving on a Holiday that wasn’t part of the plan and actually paid way more they would if they had done in here because they didn’t know if diving was for them, so they paid an expensive course for the whole family to try diving and then realised that they did like diving, but would take too many days to complete it during their trip, and they end it up doing here, regretting of the one they paid that wasn’t valid for anything and more expensive than ours, and also that they missed their chance to dive into an amazing . So, if you can plan your trip the best way possible and go prepared for almost everything and just worry about enjoying your time, better.

If you don’t know if diving is for you, there are safe and not expansive ways to try it first, before getting into it with all. For example, we have the Try Dive sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays evenings that were made especially for that, with professional and experienced instructors.

5. Pressure

Last but not least, you won’t have a pressure to buy and do things you are not ready and prepared for yet. As we know that some places take their students to learn diving in places they are still not comfortable with or ready for. When you take the course, you’ll learn that you are responsible to say no, to say you’re not feeling ok, something is wrong, or that you need something, and learning that in a place that won’t judge you for it, but will respect you, without any pressure, will give you more confidence to say “no” anywhere, if you need.

*”But should I Scuba Dive on my Holiday Trip?”
DEFINITELY! Scuba Dive is so much fun! And if you are going somewhere on the beach, you’ll be seeing just half of the place if you don’t go diving. Scuba Diving is the way to meet the underwater world, which is an entirely different world from what we have, full of creatures. So, it’s totally worth doing it.

If you want to give Scuba Diving a try, you can do a session we call “Try Dive“. The “Try Dive” session, as the name suggests, it’s just a taste of what Scuba Dive is, since pretty much everything you’ll do are things you’ve never done before, it’s an entry-level way, to test it if is for you, not having to invest, until you are sure. You don’t get a certification for this one.

Then, if you do like it and decide to invest in a course, we have the PADI Open Water Course, which is a 4-day course built to develop your knowledge and skills underwater, so you can dive safely. The PADI Open Water is a lifetime certification, recognised worldwide, which means you can dive any place in the world.

Andark Spring Sale Event

Are you ready for the Season ahead?

We all know that we are now entering to the best and most wanted Season of the year. The sun is out, birds are singing and the water looks more and more attractive. I don’t know about you, but all I want to do is enjoy the most of it, especially on outdoor activities,  getting exercise, taking some natural vitamin D (if you know what I mean) and just appreciating the great weather and contact with nature, to be honest.

Now, maybe you already have the whole season planned, dinghy sailing with your friends or scuba diving with your family on Holidays, but maybe you don’t. Maybe you already have great hobbies and activities that you love doing, or maybe you want to start something new but you’re not quite sure what you would like to do. So that’s why I wanted to write something for both of you.

Here at Andark, we don’t only sell diving and water sports equipment, we actually want to give people new experiences and open a whole new world for them, and we do that through our experience of more than 40 years now, also selling great products of the best brands available on the market so people can appreciate their above water or underwater moments, protected, safe and comfortable. Not only that, but we also have Scuba Diving Trainings from beginners to professional, certified by PADI, which means our students are certified for life and are able to scuba dive in any place in the world! Pretty cool, isn’t it?

So I would love to invite you over and introduce you to the watersports and underwater world, but if you are experienced, I know you want the best, and you want it from someone that understands what you’re looking for, so I would like to invite you too. Especially this weekend, we are having a BIG Sale Event at our store, starting on the 18th of May at 9am and ending on the 20th of May at 5pm, and it will be the perfect time to start something new or to buy that thing you’ll need for the season ahead. We have a massive selection of products for Sailing, Scuba Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling, if it is on the water, you name it.

I really hope you come, and I’ll leave a video below for you to see what you can expect.

Cheers,

 

 

  

Days and Times:

FRIDAY 18TH MAY 9AM – 7PM

SATURDAY 19TH MAY 9AM – 5:30PM

SUNDAY 20TH MAY 9:30AM – 5PM

PADI Instructor Exam

We had a great weekend at the PADI IE with all 3 candidates passing with flying colours maintaining our 100% pass rate.

Looking forward to the next IDC especially now that Government sponsored Student Loans are available to assist with the IDC and IE costs along with a Level 3 NVQ in Dive Business Management.

PADI instructor ExamPADI instructor Exam

Michael Ambrose last week of his scholarship

The last few weeks of the scholarship were a lot of fun, with lots to do.

In the last few weeks of the scholarship we were as busy as ever. I completed the Full Face Mask speciality, which included using a full face mask in the Andark pool first, followed by Andark Lake. This was quite an experience, and it was strange being able to breathe through your nose and communicate with the surface underwater! I also completed the PADI Deep speciality, which involved planning and diving three dives at the National Diving & Activity Centre in Chepstow. I really enjoyed this, it is eerie and breathtaking at such depth and it’s great to now be able to dive to 40m as it opens up more dive sites and new adventures.It was sad to say goodbye to many great new friends as the scholarship drew to a close. We had a ‘goodbye’ meal which was lovely. This won’t, however, be a final goodbye, I’ll continue to go back to Andark to take advantage of the great facilities, great shop and most importantly see the great people! I’m extremely thankful to everyone at Andark for such a brilliant summer, I learnt a lot and had an excellent time!

Michael Ambrose Blog from Week 8 of his Scholarship

Last weekend was a busy one at Andark, with a large PADI Open Water course, a PADI Advanced Open Water course, a PADI Rescue Course and some PADI specialities such as Peak Performance Buoyancy and PADI Drysuit diver all training at Andark Lake. I was assisting on the Open Water course, which is always good fun as it’s great to take people into open water for the first time. It was brilliant to see the lake so busy and so many people having an enjoyable weekend of diving. During the week I did the PADI Enriched Air Diver speciality, which was done over one evening. The speciality was a hands on experience- we analysed nitrox cylinders, planned dives using different mixes and learnt about how to use our Suunto dive computers when diving with nitrox. Having completed the speciality I’m now able to get nitrox fills and dive with nitrox- which I am looking forward to doing soon!

Sophie’s Blog from Visiting Suunto

Suunto Blog

We visited Suunto UK in Alton on Wednesday to find out all about their dive computers. We had a tour of the office, workshop and warehouse then a presentation from Matt and Ryan showing us how Suunto all began. They showed us the range of products that Suunto make from the Zoop to the Eon and an overview of their specs. Next into the workshop to have a go at battery changes on a range of computers. We got to watch an Eon Steel be dismantled and put back together again which was interesting to see all of the components laid out. Later we had a presentation on Suunto’s sister companies, Finnsub that make wings and a company that makes rechargeable LED dive torches.

We were incredibly grateful to be given a Suunto Eon Steel dive computer laser engraved with our names on. An amazing piece of technology that I’ve had fun testing out. We also got a backpack full of great things – a spork, dry bags, hat, polo shirt, stickers, and FogCity for our masks. Thank you very much to Matt and Ryan for a great day and our amazing gifts.