2012. It’s almost over. All we have to look forward to now is a few days of Turkey-filled heaven topped off with a copious amounts of wine as we hurtle towards a boozy end of year celebration.
But before you get so blindingly drunk you forget the past 12 months I just wanted to pass on my sincere thanks to each and every one of you for making 2012 the brilliant year that it has been.
For those who have been around for a while, Aquasport has gone through some tweaks in the past 12 months. At the beginning of the year co-founder Mark Dean took a bit of a back seat to enjoy family life and in the past few months we have welcomed a new face to company in Rob Aldridge.
However, the business has continued to deliver the core aims that were there when we started; to introduce you to the wonderful world of scuba diving, hold your hand during their first formative outings and watch over you as they developed confidence and experience.
And in that we have continued to excel.
This year we have welcomed scores of you into the ‘Aquasport tribe’ and been there to show you what excites us so much about life beneath the waves. At Aquasport diving isn’t so much a way of life, it is our way of life. It is our passion and we have been honoured to share it with you during 2012.
This year has seen others among you grow with experience and training. Whether you fancied wreck diving or underwater photography, deep diving or using enriched air, each of you has developed in some way.
Meanwhile, some have ventured into the world of technical diving and using rebreathers while others have taken the first steps into that world by developing the skills with twin sets and sidemount systems.
Aquasport is in a privileged position to have centre with divers at all levels of experience and willing to share that because it allows us to see the opportunities out there and learn from each other while developing new friendships at the same time.
That is where Club Aquasport and the dive trips to the coast have developed into a winner. More than 200 of you have joined us on at least one trip this year and you have been exposed to some new diving experiences which have proved that we have some of the best diving in the world around our shores.
Now, I appreciate the weather hasn’t always been great but to get the most out of UK diving requires adaptability and an open-minded approach to match. And you guys have shown it in spades. You have laughed in the face of howling winds and tweaked the nose of the pouring rain, all to ensure you have had a good time.
For me, 2012 has been one of the best years at Aquasport.
And it is because of you guys. You have got stuck in and made it fun. You’ve made 2012 race by, seemingly in the blink of an eye. And I would like to thank each and every one of you for making it such a special year.
If I could ask one think of you all, it is to join me in thanking the staff who have been there for you during 2012. That’s the instructors, assistants, divemasters. Ryan in the kit store. Whether teaching your training programmes, taking you diving, running dive trips or simply cleaning up after you, they have all given up their own free time to ensure that you have a good time.
I think it’s fair to say that Aquasport wouldn’t be the family that it is if nor for them. That have my sincere admiration and gratitude and I hope they have yours as well. Although don’t give them all of your love. Save some for me.
As the year ends, we have four Aquasport staff members who have succeeded in their PADI IE in the past few days and they deserve a round of applause for their achievements before they start making more divers.
Finally, I would ask you all to stop for a moment and look at how much you own diving has developed in 2012. To quote the PADI videos I would like to say: “Good Job!”
Now think of the possibilities that lie ahead in 2013. You can be sure that Aquasport will be there for you throughout the nezt 12 months. And with plans under development, they’re going to be packed with opportunities.
Right now, I would just like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Roll on 2013.
Club Aquasport is being SUPERSIZED for for you 2013. As a reward for settling your £60 bi-annual club fees this January we are going to give you £50 of it straight back to go towards your future dive training with us.
Yes, you are reading it right – hand over £60 and we give you £50 of it back.
The gift comes in the form of a training voucher you can use to fund your diver education with an exciting selection of PADI Specialties taking in the fun, the practical and the technical, including some you might never have thought of. Until now.
And, we will do the same in July as well. As offers go, I think you’ll struggle to find anything as generous as that anywhere else.
For full details of the offer read on. → Read more
IT’S getting brrrrr-acing out there in the open water at the moment, there’s no two ways about it. And with the dropping temperatures comes the possibility of a regulator free flow.
You know what it is, the second stage sticks open and out blasts a thunderous roar of air that signals the end of your dive. You’ve all seen one, some of you may even experienced one and you’ve all been trained to handle one – if you can remember that far back to your PADI Open Water Diver Course.
But don’t let that put you off because the winter offers fantastic diving, with some of the best viz you will see all year. And it need not be a hazard if you follow some basic preventative measures.
So to keep you diving safely this winter, we’ve come up with a few handy hints. While we can’t guarantee to prevent a free-flow, following the advice should certainly reduce the likelihood of one.
If you have any concerns about your regs why not have them examined before the cold weather really sets in just to be on the safe side with Aquasport’s Tune and Check service on all types of regulators for only £25.
I know what you are thinking. “We haven’t even opened our Christmas presents or bid farewell to 2012 and Vini is already talking about next year.”
But time waits for no man as they say, and at Aquasport we’re looking forward to an exciting start to 2013. We’re already planning our trips, an exciting range of new courses and some new club initiatives, more on that will come later this month.
To kick start the year we have a great offer for Club Aquasport members: The new Night Diver Try Dive in our heated training pool. It’s designed for those interested in the PADI Night Diver Specialty training programme but who want to know what it will be like diving in the dark.
Meanwhile, for those who want to learn to dive but don’t want to brave the cold waters of the UK this winter, our PADI Open Water referral programme is just the ticket. It allows you to get ready without having to venture from our classroom or 31C heated pool. An ideal winter warmer, the referral programme starts every weekend.
We also have a PADI Rescue Diver programme starting on January 19th. The skills will help you prevent and prepare for diving emergencies. With this qualification you could easily find yourself the most popular buddy on the boat with people wanting to take the plunge with a Rescue Diver. In a recent survey of Aquasport divers’ favourite cert card it proved a popular choice.
For more information on all of these initiatives read on. → Read more
As the year reaches its end on a booze and food-fuelled holiday of excess it’s inevitable we all reminisce about the past 12 months. At Aquasport we’re no different so we are going to salute the Best of 2012.
We’ve welcomed a number of new people into the diving tribe, seen others finally take the step and ‘Go Pro’ to become divemasters and instructors, while others have conquered those aspects of diving they find difficult.
And while the weather hasn’t been all that special sometimes – let’s be honest, if you blinked you missed the summer – we’ve still have some fantastic dive trips around the world this year.
The diving industry has also seen some great innovations in equipment this year which have kept us all intrigued and we have seen some new brands introduced to the centre that have quickly developed a following among our divers and staff.
Read on to find out who ‘Aquasport Salutes’ when it comes to the ‘Best Brand’, ‘Innovation in Gear’, ‘Hottest Course’, ‘Best Trip’, ‘Inspiration of 2012’ and our ‘Special Mention’. → Read more
Free air integrated transmitter when you buy any compatible Suunto dive computer. That’s free…for nothing…without charge…on the house.
No matter which way you say it, this genuinely is an offer you can’t refuse – and we don’t mean the ‘Godfather sends the heavies round to bust your kneecaps’ kind of request you can’t ignore.
This is a £250-kind of offer at Aquasport International courtesy of the guys at Suunto this December.
And being just in time for Christmas it should help you to decide what to put on your list to Santa. → Read more
WHEN two troop carriers were sunk off the coast of Devon with the loss of more than 700 American soldiers during a hush-hush D-Day training exercise details of the tragedy were buried in the archives in a file marked Top Secret.
But an ongoing diving project aimed at documenting the wreck sites is now helping to provide further clues to the World War II tragedy and the preparations for the biggest – and most pivotal – land invasion of the war.
Rich Walker, Director of Technical Training at GUE and the man behind Project Tiger, will be at Aquasport on Monday December 10th at 7pm to chat about the wreck diving research they are doing, its planning, logistics and findings, and reveal the history of disaster that the military tried to hide.
The talk is a real eye-opener and was one of the most popular at the Eurotek diving conference in Brum last month. I expect this to be equally popular among Aquasport club members as it gives a real insight into the hidden history of the wrecks that we can dive off the English coast.
When it comes to what happens to the human body in extreme environments – like scuba diving in cold waters – Dr Neal Pollock knows his stuff. In fact, he probably knows it better than anyone else on the planet.
Which is why we should consider ourselves lucky that he has agreed to present some of his research to Aquasport divers when he is in the UK later this month.
If you want to know his credentials, Dr Pollock is research director at DAN and a research associate in the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology at Duke University Medical Center, he sits on the board of directors of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences and on the editorial board of the journal Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine. Among many other things.
So you can see he is smarter than most of us in the room – put together. And here’s why. → Read more
The country may be gearing up for Christmas but we know there’s is still a lot of diving to be had between now and December 25th and that’s why we have a feature packed month for you.
That said, we do kick off the month with the annual Aquasport Christmas Party. The invites have already gone out via e-mail but in case you haven’t seen them the details are as follow.
The party will be held at the Loundon and Pavilion Suite at Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens on Saturday 1st of December starting at 7pm. Tickets cost £37 for Aquasport Club members and £42 for non-club members. For that you get an welcome drink, three course festive dinner with a late bar and a disco.
The dress code is smart (no jeans) but considering we have seen what you look like when you get of the water, this is the chance for you to impress with what you look like with your glad-rags on.
Hot on the heels of the Christmas do we have an intriguing talk from passionate UK wreck explorer Rich Walker on a D-Day disaster that the military tried to hide and a research project that is throwing up new information about two shipwrecks off the coast of Devon. → Read more
IT’S Monday morning. It’s foggy. You’ve had to put your thick winter coat on for that cold journey to work. And you want to be anywhere but here. Learning to scuba dive in this weather is probably the last thing you’re thinking about right now. But wait.
What if we at Aquasport could promise waters warmer than those surrounding the tropical islands of the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean and much, much warmer than Egypt in November?
What if we told you we could properly prepare you for adventure beneath the waves during that holiday you keep dreaming about?
And what if we said you could do it at your own leisure and all under one roof – in our on-site heated pool and multi-media classrooms – where you can forget about that chilly weather outside?
If you like the sound of that, then you need to read on for full details of Aquasport’s PADI Open Water Diver referral programme. It’s the best way of getting you dive-ready for that next holiday you are dreaming about this foggy morning. → Read more