My name is Alex and I run a busy dive shop and school in Clapham, South London called Diving Leisure London.
When I’m chatting to people about diving I get asked all sorts of questions about the sport itself and also about UK diving.
I’ve decided to write a blog article to try to answer some of those questions.
Where do you dive?
I dive all over the world, The Red Sea, Malta, the Maldives, South Africa. I also dive regularly in the Uk in places like Plymouth, Falmouth, Portland, Scapa Flow as well as inland lakes and anywhere deep enough. You can learn to scuba dive anywhere there is water deep enough. Even as close as Heathrow… Scuba instruction in the UK is usually of a very high standard.
Why scuba dive in the UK?
Apart from exploring wrecks, collecting scallops for dinner and the many other underwater activities, UK diving also offers the opportunity to extend your social group and to have great weekends away where you can enjoy parts of our nation that you don’t usually see.
What do you see?
Lots and lots and lots. Wrecks, including battleships, cargo vessels and submarines. Lots of marine life including, large crabs, dogfish, dolphins, seals etc, and some great underwater topography.
Isn’t UK diving cold?
Yes water temperature in the UK is a bit cooler than other parts of the world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dive in it. It’s like presuming that you can’t go out in the winter. As you would above water , when it’s colder, you wrap up warmer. Drysuits are designed for keeping you warm whilst you scuba dive in cold water and give you the opportunity to dive year round. Scuba diving certification for using a drysuit is only two dives or one additional dive if you do your open water or advanced open water course in a drysuit.
Isn’t it dangerous?
In short, no. Scuba diving is an extremely safe and safety conscious sport. When diving responsibly and within the limits you’re trained problems are unlikely to occur. Even so, you are trained in how to deal with problems, however unlikely they may be.
Bare in mind that unless you’ve had a conversation with a professional diver, the stories you’ve heard are likely to have been dramatized to make them sound more exciting or death defying than they really were…
Isn’t it really hard to control your buoyancy in a drysuit?
I was recently having a chat with I diver who wanted to dive in the UK, but only during the warmer months as he had been led to believe drysuit diving is really difficult. Initially it may be a learning curve, but with proper training, diving in a drysuit can be as much fun and as easy as diving in a wetsuit. Personally if I could I’d always dive in a drysuit…
Is it really worth me doing all these extra scuba courses?
Scuba certification in as many specialities as possible is of great benefit to your diving ability. Scuba training in additional areas helps you gain valuable expertise and to learn directly from a scuba diving instructor. Scuba diving instruction in areas such as wreck, deep, nitrox, peak performance buoyancy and drysuit are great if you’re looking to make the most of UK diving. The rescue diver and divemaster courses are also great for gaining experience.
Where can I learn scuba in London?
Chances are wherever you live in London you’ll be able to find a scuba training school within about 5 miles of where you live, or about half an hours journey time on public transport, all offering a wide range of scuba diving courses. Most offer scuba classes every week.
Diving Leisure London runs all it’s classes in Battersea near to Clapham Junction train station and with Clapham Junction being a hub, it’s quite easy to get to from most parts of London.
What is PADI scuba?
The Professional Association of Diving Instructors is known as PADI. PADI are the largest scuba diving training organization in the world, offering scuba diving classes for all levels of scuba diver.
What scuba diving course should I do?
Which scuba lessons to sign up for is going to depend on your level of training. If you haven’t received any scuba diving training look into doing either a discover scuba diving course, or the open water diver course. A scuba instructor will be able to advise you in which scuba diving lessons to take, depending on what you are looking to get out of diving.
Alex Griffin is an experienced scuba diving instructor who runs Diving Leisure London in
Clapham South West London. Visit his website at: http://www.divingleisurelondon.co.uk