Recently, temple adventures collaborated with Madras club to conduct some fun-filled open water courses. We had around 8 open water students in the batch who were further to be divided into 2 groups. On 22nd of June 2019, the curious ‘soon to be divers’ reported to the dive center at 6.30 am wherein all the paperwork and administrative work were completed, after which they had their breakfast. It was the first day and everyone was really excited about the program. Earlier, the confined pool sessions 1,2 & 3 were conducted in Chennai and also, some video lectures were watched there.
It was 7.45 am when everybody departed from the dive center, heading to the harbor. A small pre-dive briefing took place at the harbor, post which everyone got on the boats and left for the reef!
We reached temple reef at 9:00 am and were in the water by 9.15 am. The first dive took place with a batch of 4 open water students. Skills like pre-dive safety check, clearing a partially flooded mask, recovering a regulator and clearing it were conducted on the first open water dive. Immediately after this, the second batch was taken for performing the same skills.
After successfully completing the first dive, our instructor Aravind Tharunsri gave a small briefing about the first dive and also gave the students an idea about the second dive and what all skills were to be performed.
After completing the second dive successfully and finishing all the skills in 2 batches the lot left for the dive center. The 8 open water students were directly handled by Mr. Aravind with the help of instructor Danny Lhouvum and divemaster John Pier.
Once all the students reached the dive center, everyone learned how to clean their individual scuba gear and the things they needed to do, to take care of the gear. Diving is one part but taking care of scuba equipment is equally important, that’s what the students learned. The day ended with a small debrief and then the students reported to the dive center again at 6:30 pm on day 1 itself, for their knowledge reviews, quizzes and also to learn the recreational dive planner (RDP), the session was conducted by Mr. Aravind again!
The day ended with a lot of learning, diving, and fun. Even in strong ocean conditions, all the students performed really well. It was a hectic day but completely worth it.
On day 2, the students reported to the dive center at 6:30 am for their open water dives 3 & 4. Dive 3 & 4 are really important as it has a very important skill which is CESA (controlled emergency swimming ascent). CESA is a life-saving skill and the most important skill in the open water course.
If you are out of air at a depth of 9 meters, you can perform CESA to ascend safely! Some other skills which were performed in dive 3 were underwater navigation with a compass, mask removal and replacement, oral inflation hovering to name a few.
Even in rough conditions and strong currents all the students successfully completed all the open water dives and also met the entire performance requirement.
All the dives were successfully completed and the students were certified after debriefing and knowledge sharing. They came back to the dive center and finished their last set of exams to officially get certified as an open water divers.
These were some fun-filled days and everybody had fun and learned a lot of things and shared some memorable days diving, learning and experiencing the waters of the Bay of Bengal. It was really fun to associate with madras club and introduce new people to the underwater realm. Open water courses are always fun and interesting as introducing new people to this alien world underwater is really refreshing and satisfying.