Look! Scuba Diver’s Portal to the Underwater World

Look! Scuba Diver’s Portal to the Underwater World

Are you one of those people who is interested in diving but don’t know how to begin with? If your answer is a yes, then the SSI Open Water Diver Course is just what you need to officially start your emprises underwater!


What is the Portal to the Underwater World?

The Open Water Diver Course is a globally-recognized certification program. It is the basic step to take out of all the SSI-offered scuba diving courses if you are just starting off. The program equips you with the fundamental concepts, knowledge and training required to dive autonomously in a submerged environment.

Look! Scuba Diver’s Portal to the Underwater World


How to Get Through the Portal?

Are there any requirements in signing up to this course? Like most of the courses out there, definitely, there are prerequisites to comply. But don’t sweat it out, the SSI Open Water Diver course only has a few things for you to check on. You must be at least 10 years old to participate, provided you are capable of swimming a depth of 200 meters and can adequately float or tread without the use of any swimming aids for duration of 10 minutes.

Look! Scuba Diver’s Portal to the Underwater World


What to Expect Once Inside?

Diving underwater is like opening a door to a whole new world of adventures and discoveries. To prepare you to dive safely and comfortably as you experience thrilling things, the Open Water Diver Course consists of a theory class, pool training, and open sea dives. During the program, principles and techniques about Open Water will be taught as well as the skills and experience needed during dive through interactive pool trainings and open sea sessions.

Now that you’ve caught a glimpse of the portal to the underwater world, are you ready to go through it and fully experience the wonders it has to offer?

Look! Scuba Diver’s Portal to the Underwater World


Just Breathe Better Underwater

Sharks: Serial Killers of the Seven Seas?

Sharks: Serial Killers of the Seven Seas?

Only a few dwellers of the deep strike as much fear and fascination as the shark.  For decades, sharks have been the rebels of the seven seas thanks to sensationalized stories and stereotyping from movies and novels. The classic picture painted by the minds of seafarers has had the sea monster feared rather than revered giving their rep an injustice.  Let’s set the record straight and dive in to find out if sharks are truly the grim reapers that they are or are they just misunderstood?


The Non-Human Diet

The mere thought of sharks killing people can make an exciting blockbuster, but contrary to popular belief the sea creature is on a non-human diet. They attack humans due to poor water visibility and the urge to take exploratory rites.  They mistake humans from their usual prey, which in most cases, fish or seals. Once they realize it’s not their usual diet, they’ll just leave you alone.

Sharks: Serial Killers of the Seven Seas?


Victims or Suspects?

We humans flatter ourselves by thinking sharks lurk by the waters as we get our tan or while we playfully splash water in our bikinis. To be honest, they’re not that interested. In the year 2016, only four shark-related deaths have been reported. This is nothing compared to how sharks are killed by the millions. A “shark attack” would only end up with a few hundred stitches or a loose leg or arm. I wish could say the same for this sea creature. Sharks don’t get that lucky when it comes to being stalked and hunted by their most formidable predator. They get finned then thrown overboard to drown, bleed to death or get eaten by other sharks.  

Sharks: Serial Killers of the Seven Seas?


Or Cops?

Being the apex predators that they are, sharks brings the marine ecosystem into full-circle by keeping the fish populations in check. Fishes then would overgraze and destroy large sections of the oceans. The marine realm would be in complete chaos. Sharks are keepers of the peace and order underwater. They sustain species diversity by eliminating the weak and the sick as is with keeping the equilibrium in the food chain.

Sharks: Serial Killers of the Seven Seas?


Silver Bullet Solution

Virtually see the creature with new eyes as the SSI Shark Ecology activity-rich course gets you geared up with new, as well as traditional techniques, for categorizing sharks, understanding behavior, and unraveling the secrecies its evolution. Explore universal shark populations and consider shark-human interactions and their influence on history and culture. These creatures are rapidly becoming endangered, and some are on the verge of extinction. If sharks were to vanish from the world’s oceans, the environmental consequences would be colossal. Our actions have directly, and indirectly, caused this injury; it is now up to us save them. Divers associate sharks with death because of sensationalized stories passed on over the years. Let’s not forget that the ocean is their natural habitat. We are only uninvited guests. Is it really fair to give them a bad rep?

Sharks: Serial Killers of the Seven Seas?


Just Breathe Better Underwater

Start Your Diving Journey in Style!

Start Your Diving Journey in Style!

Gill Divers are calling to all aspiring divers out there to come join the ever growing Diving Community. With Scuba Schools International (SSI) having one of the highest standards for training, we are motivated not only to provide you with an unforgettable experience but to also help train you to be the best diver you can!

Every experienced diver knows that a fun and successful dive is the one you enjoy most in comfort! From getting uneven tan lines and getting too cold, all divers do not want to have a bad experience. Hence, with your best interests in our minds, we would like to extend our current promotion to you!

With any SSI Open Water Diver Course sign up, you will be entitled to a discount on either the SEAC WarmGuard or Seac SunGuard!

You just need to top-up from only $40 to get your rashguard that will keep you protected and in style on your diving journey!

GET GEAR DISCOUNT2
GET GEAR DISCOUNT

What’s next after I’m Open Water Certified?

SSI Dive Courses

What's next? I'm now Open Water Diver certified!

For many, the Open Water Diver Certification is seen as a bucket list item. After mustering up the courage, setting aside the time and money to achieve this Open Water Diver Certification, education in scuba diving kind of halted there. Not knowing what's next or what courses seem worth while to take definitely could be one of the reason for many Open Water Divers to press pause in their scuba diving education.

Every agency has plenty of scuba diving specialty programs and continuing education scuba diving courses for every diver, no matter fresh or seasoned. Here are some of those I, personally recommend every diver to take if they have not done so!

SSI Dive Courses

To use SSI Deep Diving Specialty Course as an example of how it can benefit you as a diver. This Scuba Diving Specialty Course will teach you the essential details you have to consider when it comes to diving deeper than 30 meters. The Specialty Course covers what is Deep Diving, gas management and safety pointers when diving deeper is concern and how to properly manage the hazards deep diving might pose. The Specialty Course is structured progressively, so not to worry!

Heard of Nitrox? Simply put, diving with a cylinder that has a higher content of Oxygen and lower content of Nitrogen. SSI Enriched Air Nitrox covers the benefits divers can enjoy when using Nitrox and how you can mitigate certain risks that Nitrox pose to you underwater. Not to mention, new toys such as an Oxygen analyser and Nitrox compatible dive computer will be covered in class!

Diver, Diver, are you ok? Sounds familiar? If yes, a rescue diver program must have been conducted during the same trip as you! Don't be fooled or scarred but what you saw, SSI Diver Stress and Rescue Specialty Diving Course is not a hardcore, punishment course. In fact, this course is way more than that! It exposes you at a very entry level, the life of a dive professional - taking of others!

SSI Diver Stress and Rescue Specialty Course educates you on various rescue techniques and skills - self-aid and buddy rescues! It also focuses a lot on decision making, thought process and organisation. Making you a valuable asset in any dive group and trip!

Want to fine tune your buoyancy control further? SSI Perfect Buoyancy Specialty Course is definitely for you! Getting the optimal weighting with your scuba diving equipment and getting your breathing optimised, this specialty course definitely will prove fruitful to you as a diver, in almost all aspect. Be it sneaking up to macros or hovering during your safety stop, SSI Perfect Buoyancy will help you improve your buoyancy control, making dives even more effortless and enjoyable!

What's the difference between Scuba Diving Specialty Courses and Continuing Education Scuba Diving Courses, you may ask. Well, to be honest, its just the naming, every course you take after your Open Water is a form of Continuing Education Scuba Diving Course and some of these courses actually trains you in a particular area, hence Specialty is used.

Some of the more popular ones include Deep Diving, Night Diving, Enriched Air Nitrox, Wreck Diving, Search and Recovery, Perfect Buoyancy and Rescue Diver.

With so many Scuba Diving Specialty Courses, lying head, just awaiting for you to take them up and enrich yourself with knowledge and skills, we know its hard to choose between all of them. Fret not, SSI has bundles for you to take up these specialties courses.

Just drop us an email or call @+65 6734 9373  to find out more! Or even better, head down to Gill Divers, to interact with our friendly staff and see how we can structure these courses to suit your needs!

We are located at 37 Hongkong Street! You won't miss us!

SSI Night and Limited Visibility is another fruitful scuba diving specialty course that you should take! Teaching you diving in a totally different environment, SSI Night and Limited Visibility covers how diving in limited visibility (this includes low light!) can be safe and yet enjoyable, signals you and your buddy can use to communicate when interesting marine life become active at night.

SSI Night and Limited Visibility

Last but not least, SSI Search and Recovery Specialty Diving Course! Again, new toys - reels and spools and more! SSI Search and Recovery equips you with various search techniques that will allow you to search almost any object, big or small. Recovery techniques will also be taught during this course, such as how to recover an object with the help of a lift bag when it is too heavy for you to swim up with it.

SSI Search and Recovery Dive Specialty Course

SSI XR Programs and why should you take it?

SSI XR

SSI Extended Range (XR) Line

Heard of Technical Diving or Tec/Tek Diving? If not, here's a short summary of what it is and why you should take it.

Technical Diving has been around for a couple of years with the community evolving together with the education and equipment that supports it. Scuba Schools International (SSI) also has a technical diving line, otherwise known as SSI XR - XR an acronym for Extended Range!

Technical Diving
SSI XR

SSI XR Line offers a huge variety of Technical Diving Courses, ranging from entry levels to professional levels. These courses progressively trains a diver from a recreational scuba diving background to become more and more proficient in the requirements of a Technical Diver.

Through SSI Extended Range (XR) Line, divers learn more in-depth about Technical Diving and what it offers, with further Technical Diving Courses offering even more knowledge and dive planning with regards to the use of different gas mixes and equipment.

Technical Diving

SSI Extended Range (XR) Foundations offers a simple in-water workshop that exposes interested divers to what Technical Diving can offer, Philosophy, Knowledge, Skills and Equipment. Moving forward, SSI Extended Range Nitrox Diving and SSI Extended Range provides training in conducting safe and controlled decompression diving with the use of Air, Trimix and Hyperoxic Gas Mixes. This is also where divers develop a higher level of thinking with regards to organisation, dive planning and task-loading.

For Wreck and Cave lovers, not to worry, you are not forgotten! SSI XR Line has Technical Diving Wreck and Cave programs such as SSI Advanced Wreck and Technical Wreck for wreck lovers, and SSI Cavern Diving, SSI Cave Diving and SSI Full Cave Diving where you will learn proper and safe dive planning and execution procedures to keep your Wreck and Cavern/Cave penetration safe, controlled and always enjoyable.

SSI XR Overhead Courses

Some common myths about Technical Diving that some people may have heard of would include Technical Diving suited for the "courageous and macho" or egoists! Some may even say that Technical Diving is for those who have a wealth of experience in diving, or only those who are very clear on what they are doing underwater.

Here's my thoughts on Technical Diving: it definitely requires a higher level of understanding as compared to recreational diving, the thought process into dive planning, organization, task-loading and safety is a lot more demanding and more extensive. But then again, if you don't allow people to try Technical Diving, no one will be able to achieve this higher level of scuba diving. Be it focusing towards Technical Diving, or just wanting to try this type of diving, I strongly encourage all divers to take up some form of Technical Diving courses to get themselves more acquainted, which ultimately leads to safer and more organised dives.

So to summarise, here are some reasons as to why everyone should take up and learn some form of Technical Diving:

  1. Changes your perspective towards diving, with regards to making it safer and more organised.You will be more prepared by fine-tuning your organisation skills to keep yourself and the dive boat always ready to handle emergencies or contingencies. Becoming even more calm underwater will develop alongside with your thought process, making you almost the hardest person to become panicky underwater.
  2. Increases your ability and perspective towards task-loading.Technical Diving will train you in being able to handle multiple requirements at the same (or at least teaches you how compartmentalise all the things you need or want to do by prioritising them). Hovering while deploying a SMB and communicating with your buddies is the simplest of an example.
  3. Extends your knowledge and skills towards scuba diving.You learn more about the science of scuba diving, from Physiology, Psychology to the Environment and even Decompression Theory! You also learn skills and problem solving techniques which can be used during recreational dives as well!
  4. Gives you an excuse to try and buy new toys!As the equipment used in Technical Diving is different from recreational scuba diving, you'll learn about these gears, the philosophy behind their design and have a go at them!
  5. You will definitely learn something from Technical Diving that is applicable to your daily life and in recreational scuba diving.Be it becoming a more organised person, someone who is more ready to tackle a problem or emergency, someone that is more confident of themselves underwater or even someone that is more capable to task-load themselves and yet remain calm under pressure, Technical Diving offers a this opportunity to grow as a person and as a diver!

So why wait? Contact us @ +65 6734 9373 or visit us at our store at 37 Hongkong Street!

5 Reasons Why Bintan is the Perfect Dive Spot for your Open Water Diver Course

So you are thinking to finally sign up for your Open Water Diver course? I’m sure you have been thinking about this for a while and deciding on where to complete your first course is a major area for thought. With so many places to dive, prices to compare and other options to consider, you are probably thinking that selecting where to do your course is not easy.
Worry not, it is actually easier than you thought. We’ve narrowed down the top dive spots in Asia and here’s one of our best picks for beginner divers – Bintan, Indonesia. Bintan is the largest island in the province of Riau, lining up with a coast of 105 km and is located just south of Singapore.
Bintan is one of Asia’s best learn-to-dive destinations as it provides a great deal in terms of accessibility, ease, visibility, value for money, and of course, quality and experience.
Not convinced? Here’s why you should take your Open Water Diver Course in Bintan and why you need to do it real soon.

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1.Get worry-free access and transportation when diving in Bintan

Bintan diving is good for short travels especially if you are coming from Singapore. A 45-minute ferry boat ride is usually the best access option through Bandar Bentan Ferry Telani Ferry Terminal, though air travel option is also offered. Due to its close proximity from Singapore, we think Bintan is the best place for a short diving getaway. Now you can already forget the hassle of long hours travel just to get under the water.

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2.Bintan diving is good for beginners and unexperienced divers

Since you are just about to take up your Open Water Diver Course, I understand that you want it easy and basic but still with a worthwhile first-time diving experience. The best part is that the areas and dive sites around Bintan are mostly shallow, making them perfect for those who are not yet confident in the waters. And the water visibility? It is crystal clear with with an average of 5 to 10m for most of its dive sites.

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3.Year-round diving in Bintan

No need to take a week-long vacation away from the hustle of urban life because diving in Bintan is available year-round. Yes, you’ve heard it right! Now you can just pick the most convenient weekend for your open sea dive and without knowing it, you are already a certified diver over the weekend. Beginners can enjoy it year-round although during the months December to February, the water currents are a bit challenging but still manageable. Trust me, that’s not really to worry about.

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4.Bintan is home for a variety of marine life

We know how it feels doing it the first time. For first-time divers and students, it is just normal to expect a picture-perfect experience. If you have chosen to take your Open Water Diver course in Bintan, you can get lucky to witness vibrant fishes, eye-catching corals and spell-binding reefs. With more than 10 dive sites just around Bintan, a variety of marine life will surely surprise you. Some require a keen eye as Bintan is known for macro-life. Anemones, Clownfishes, and Nudibranches are abundant, among others.

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5.Value for money at its best

The fun doesn’t stop there. Bintan is not only known for diving, but for a lot of exciting activities you can never miss.
Accomodations in Bintan, like Bintan Agro Beach Resort, provide picturesque shorelines and white-sand beaches for the perfect weekend getaway. It also provides amazing facilities and activities like sea sports, golf, kayaking, snorkeling, and their popular oceanic spa. So go ahead and take the relaxation you always deserve after a deep dive.

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Truly, with Bintan’s untouched beaches and dive spots, your Open Water Dive will be an experience you will never forget. Though you can explore other new dive destinations later on, still, you will never get to forget the first time you witnessed the enthralling world of the sea.
And yes, if you are thinking to take the first step to your scuba adventure, go start it today.
What else are you waiting for?
Get on the adventure that you’ve always wanted. After all, scuba diving is more than just an activity. It is a lifestyle. And all the things you are considering to get started are solved for you – easy access, flexibility of diving schedule, beginner-friendliness, and value for money.
It only takes a action today.

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Note: Photo credits to due owners

TIOMAN SEASON 2016

 

Tioman island is reopening its doors to divers from March 2016.  After a whole season of rest and recovery, the beautiful Tioman island is ready to be our favourite dive destination from Singapore!  Located in the Malaysian East coast in Pahang, Tioman is the home to a wide variety of marine life and a popular dive destination for a long time.  With a wide variety of dive sites to choose from all over the island, it is no surprise.

Starting from the first week of March, we run weekly trips to Tioman for Open Water, Advanced, Rescue and Leisure divers.  So, no matter your certification level, there would be something for you!  Even if you’re not a diver, and would like to simply come along with us to accompany your friends, and have a relaxing beach holiday, you’re also more than welcome.

Be prepared for a whole new 2016 season of beautiful corals, pufferfishes, clownfishes and turtles.  Spaces are limited each week, so reserve them fast!

 

DIVEMASTERS IRL

After reading about what the divemaster course is, some of you might be thinking: Damn, that sounds tough, so why should I do it? How will being a DM help me?

We asked the same questions to our existing divemasters at Gill Divers and here're some of the answers we've got!

Why did you want to be a divemaster?

Kat: "To teach/pass down and guide newbies diving techniques and safety rules that i know and learnt."

Qin En: "I love diving, but what I love even more is sharing the joy of diving with my friends. Every time I bring them to a Discover Scuba or Discover Local Diving, they will always return from the trips wanting to go on the next dive trip (and start their OWD). It's an incredible feeling to bring someone into another world altogether, and being a DM offers me the opportunity to do so smile emoticon"

Jian Ming: "I wanna become a dm so that I can be more credible when telling my friends about the joy of diving!"

Steph: "I wanted to be a DM to share my diving experiences with fellow/new divers. Also because I remember how mind blown I was when I did my first dive, I wanted to be a part of future fellow divers' first dive experiences too, and hopefully make it super memorable and kick ass as well."

Jay: "I want to guide others during the first dive experience, to reduce the fear and panic they might have."

Zuoying: "Many have asked why I decided to take up the DM course, but why not? Apart from being inspired by dive professionals I came across thus far, I see the DM course as a challenge for myself. I think every divemaster serves different role, and for me, I hope I am the DM which get to help weaker students slowly gain confidence in water.

Being someone who had irrational fear for deep blue, extremely low water confidence and couldn’t swim very well, taking up dive courses was a breakthrough for me, and truthfully it was the best decisions I’ve made for myself.

I still remember I struggled during my very first pool session, then I was being such a liability during my OW course. There were many times I told myself maybe I was never meant to be a diver, maybe I should just stop at OW. Despite being an extremely difficult student, the dive pros I have crossed path with thus far were very encouraging. And, this inspires me. Gradually, I gained more confidence through more dives and with encouragement from people around me, I become more comfortable in water.

And if I could do it, I wish to be in a position to inspire others too. The ones who have irrational fear the deep blue, the ones who find doing mask-clearing challenging, the ones who thought they will never make it – I want to be their DM, tell them my experience and cheer them on because I was in their exact positions slightly more than a year ago."

How have you grown since taking the divemaster course?

Jian Ming: "Becoming a dm has exposed me to many things that I have never done before. Best of all, it helped a lot in increasing my confidence when doing things that I am not familiar with."

Steph: "Taking the dm course has helped me become a calmer and more confident person both in my dive and personal/work life."

Jay: "Personally, my dive techniques have improved, safety management, understanding risk better and planning for contingencies - knowing what are possible cock-ups might arise and how to solve them."

Zuoying: "I have definitely grown since I signed up for the DM course, gaining valuable knowledge pertaining to diving and assuming the responsibilities of a DM. Apart from dive techniques which I have to constantly take note and improve on, I guess I learnt to be more aware of little details in my surrounding. I’ve learnt to be more empathetic."

We've got a variety of answers, but one thing's for sure: No one regretted their choice.

Start your divemaster journey today! Talk any of the crew for more details!

INTRODUCING: THE SEAC X- 5M

The Seac X -5M is an absolute bargain in terms of comfort and efficiency.  The compact and functional breather  has high performance, and is a darling when trying to pack for travelling due to the high-flex braided hose.  The regulator is also Nitrox compatible up to the recreational limits of 40%.

 

First stage

The position of the first-stage port provides for kink-free routing of hoses.  Being a balanced piston, it delivers excellent performance with sturdy reliability.

Materials: Shiny chrome-plated brass

HP outlets: 2

LP outlets: 4

Second stage

Balanced membrane regulator.  The second stage is lightweight, providing for less jaw fatigue.  However, it does not compromise on performance.  Good airflow allowing for comfortable breathing.  A membrane block safety system guarantees perfect functioning and stability at all phases.  The second stage lever also has an asymmetric design to allow for maximum opening of the valve and deep water performance.

Materials: Ultralight technopolymers

THE DIVEMASTER COURSE

Have you ever wanted to do something life-changing, something out of the norm, take a break from your routine daily life yet serve a greater purpose?
Perhaps, you might want to consider taking up the PADI divemaster course.  People take up the course for a multitude of reasons, from spreading the word of conservation to a means to escape their daily routine.  Whatever it may be, it starts with a common point: a passion for diving.

A recent article outlined the meaning of passion and how people view it.  It says that passion may not be the thing you do everyday, that people have a rosy view when speaking of that word.  Yet, little see the amount of hard work put behind the word passion.  It may not be easy, but it ultimately is rewarding, and the PADI divemaster course is one of such things (assuming you love diving).

The divemaster course is the first step towards being a dive professional (and the final one for some).  Working closely with a dive instructor, you expand your knowledge of diving and hone your skills.  It trains and develops your leadership abilities, ultimately qualifying you to supervise dive activities and assist instructors with student divers.

Requirements:

  • 18 years old
  • PADI Rescue diver certification
  • Emergency First Responser certification (or equivalent within the past 2 years)
  • Proof of approx. 60 logged dives by the end of the course

The course allows you to work closely with a dive instructor, developing a mentor-apprentice relationship instead of a teacher-student one.  Over the course of the divemaster journey, you learn both dive theory and practical skills.  Most importantly, during the on-job training, you interact with current students and watch people take their first step towards the underwater world.  How much more joy can one get?

Want to find out more? Simply drop us an email/give us a call and we’re happy to tell you more about the course.  You can even join in one of our DM Orientation sessions if you’d like to hear more about it in person from one of our instructors.  These DM sessions run once a month and are free for all! The next session is on the 11th of February 2016. Simply click here or give us a call to RSVP.

 

STAYING WARM UNDERWATER

Among other key factors, keeping warm is one of the top secrets to keeping your dives more enjoyable.


Ever felt that no matter how much you wear, you still feel cold to the core when you’re diving? Once you stop moving, the cold seeps in through the thick pancake layers of neoprene, past your skin and into your bones.  Yeap, I know how that feels.  There are better lasting (and more hygienic) ways to keeping warm other than constantly having to pee in your wetsuit- that by the way, is a myth, and only leaves you feeling even colder afterward.

First up, there could be something wrong with your wetsuit? Maybe it is the wrong size and doesn’t trap water enough.  Maybe it is the wrong thickness.  Maybe everything was right, until you realise that the wetsuit if 10 years old, or that you forgot to zip up- it does happen.  Wetsuits and seals do wear out, and it is definitely worth it to invest in a good one and have them replaced every couple of years.  Getting cold during a dive is dangerous, it increases your risk to DCS, and hypothermia.  Most importantly, it takes the fun out of diving!  How the wetsuit works is providing a layer of insulation between your body and the water, hence reducing the rate of heat loss via direct contact.  That is only possible due to the neoprene bubbles, which wear out over time.

Another piece of equipment, that’s ugly yet incredibly useful- THE HOOD.  Your head loses 20-40% of the heat, and keeping your head warm keeps the rest of the body warm.  This is real, not just an urban legend.  Even when blood flow is restricted to the rest of the body when you’re cold, the blood flow to the brain still functions at full capacity to keep you alive.  Blood flows, heat follows- yeah, you get the point.  Just as how blood flows to your head all the time, whilst in diving, it also flows to your legs.  Your legs are the ones driving you around, propelling you forward kick after kick.  Covering your legs would help you feel much warmer than covering any other part of the body (other than your head of course).

Another advice would be to always start your dive warm. Its always better to start the dive a little too warm than a little too cool.  So, instead of squandering that body heat whilst on the dive boat, start preserving it.  A little like charging your heat battery before the dive.  If its windy where you dive, a nice little trick is to drape on a raincoat to block it all off.

If you know you get cold easy, don’t go to the deep waters for the sake of diving deep!  Obviously don’t give up on deep diving altogether, some of the best sites/wrecks in the world are past 30m.  However, a reef looks pretty much the same at 15m and 30m, in fact you probably see more when you’re shallower.  It keeps you warm, and you gain more dive time, win-win.  Don’t go deep diving just so you can tell people that you’ve been to 40m- it doesn’t impress anyone if its accompanied by your purple fingers and frozen body.

Ultimately, everyone is different.  One can dive in a rashguard and feel fine, another might freeze even with a 3mm full wetsuit.  Take some time to figure out how cold you get in different waters, and never over-estimate yourself!  Once you manage to stay warm, its one more item off your mind, and you can concentrate on the 5 million other things when diving.

INTRODUCING: THE SEAC P-SYNCHRO

The Seac P-synchro is a perfect combination of reliability and simplicity in a piston regulator.  Tests conducted by RINA- the Italian certification board as confirmed excellent performance with low exertion.  The regulator is also Nitrox compatible to 40%.

First stage

The first stage features a balanced piston, with excellent performance with sturdy reliability.

Materials: Shiny chrome plated brass

HP outlets: 1
LP outlets: 4.

Second stage

The membrane block safety system in the second stage also ensures perfect functioning and stability during all phases.  The second stage lever has an asymmetric design that allows maximum opening of the valve and improves deep water performance.  The oval-shaped design also allows a greater surface to facilitate the exhaling phase.

Materials: Ultralight technopolymers

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES

Ernest-Superhero

If you have been to Gill Divers within the past year and a half, you have probably encountered Ernest in the shop or on a dive trip. He joined us in January 2013 and has been a pretty permanent fixture of Gill since then. He just passed the PADI Instructor Examinations yesterday, and is now a certified Scuba Instructor. And dang, it just warms the cockles of my heart.

Why? Well, his success just fortifies in my mind at least, that what we do here, is good - with regards to accepting young adults into our fold, guiding and training them. It is not always easy, and sometimes, we get into trouble for it! But after all, this is what the diving business is all about; Transforming lives!

A little background about Ernest, he joined us while he was still schooling, in fact, he did an internship with us as part of his curriculum. And while many of our crew start while in college, Ernest started a tad earlier than most at 17, and hence illustrates the change in sharper relief. at least to me.

The first time he really struck me personally was the first time we dived together. I was guiding in Hantu and he was clocking dives to start his Divemaster course. And though I was not scheduled to train him, he struck me then as someone I personally wanted to train. He never spoke a lot to me, perhaps I intimidate, but his non-verbal communication was telling me he was eager to improve his technique. He was attentive, helpful, above and below the water, you could say Ernest impressed me with his earnestness! He had a really good attitude towards learning, and he started his PADI Divemaster training some time later.

A year later at Hantu doing the PADI IDC, a little wiser, a little fatter

A year later at Hantu doing the PADI IDC, a little wiser, a little fatter.

And the training itself. The counselling, the scoldings, the explaining, the pushing, the mentoring, they all add up and change a person, because being a dive professional requires having a certain attitude about things. The PADI Divemaster course is the ONLY course we can hold certifications back for because of a poor attitude, and we do! And it works well.

I have seen divemaster trainees in their late teens and with bad attitudes have an 180 degree change in their behaviour thanks to our instructors. The best I ever saw was a 18 year old Divemaster Trainee get whipped into shape by a 22 year old instructor. It is as if they mature overnight! Great stuff, this diving business!

And that is the reason why Gill Divers has always been welcoming of young adults, despite criticism. I myself had my 21st birthday in the shop and a few months afterwards found me on the path to being a dive professional. I was part-studying, part-working and diving and I was far from the ideal employee. With next to nothing skills in answering phone calls when I started, I definitely chased away my fair share of business back then. But such is life; we win some we lose some. What makes it all worth the while in the end is the lives that you do touch and change.

And it is my sincerest hope that we can give more chances, more opportunities to young people like Ernest, to let diving transform them. Because it can and will, to those that let it.

So here's the unabashed plug for young adults or late teens even: Come join us! Come start the journey to becoming a PADI Divemaster or if you have more time, join our DMA Program. It is hard work and a lot of effort, but diving is so fun and beautiful. You get to meet such amazing people along the way, the experience can be deeply stirring.

And to Ernest, and all the other shiny new dive pros, including the ones that have been training the others: What you have achieved so far, it is something you can be really proud of. Well done! If you stay open and never stop learning, this amazing edge that you have will be taking you places someday!

~Respect the Ocean~

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