University of Wales Bangor Sub-Aqua Club.
This stems mainly from my fascination with fish. Anything that gets me in range with these remarkable creatures sounds like a pretty good idea to me! Scuba diving is certainly the best way to get an insight into the fascinating underwater world.
I gained my P.A.D.I. Open Water Diver qualification in August 1995. (With Shoal Divers; Cheers, Seth!)
Since then I have done little in the way of diving, mainly due to living in London, well away from anywhere suitable, and it was a little impractical for me to go diving there. I did, however manage to get away in January 1996 (it hardly seems over a year ago!), with a friend (unfortunately not a diver himself) to Eilat, Israel, on the Red Sea.
This was the first time I had the experience of diving in an area with Coral reefs, which are, in my view, the most fascinating ecosystem on the earth easily accessible by almost any member of the general public.
While the tropical rainforests are equally diverse, the range of life forms the average visitor will glimpse will tend to be very limited; in addition, the rainforest can be almost impenetrable with many more health hazards such as the biting insects and the oppressive heat and humidity. Only those who cannot swim are barred from it; It requires little physical stamina or effort just to float a few meters above a constantly changing kalaidoscope of colours as the myriads of fish which inhabit these formations swim against a background of equally astonishingly coloured corals of hundreds of different shapes and sizes.
If you ever get the chance to visit an area with coral reefs, it is a must. Make it your next holiday! Don't worry if you can't dive; anyone can snorkel!
I moved to Bangor (in September 1996), in Wales, where I go to University. It's on the sea and has its own diving club (which I naturally joined). I am currently doing a conversion course to gain the B.S.A.C. (British Sub-Aqua Club) Sports Diver qualification, which I still have 3 qualifying dives to do to complete, and i'm now on the Dive Leader Course. I didn't go on a single dive in the first year of university, as a lack of necessary kit of my own prevented me from going (plus, to a certain extent, the idea of the freezing cold water!) But, safely ensconced in a Dry Suit, I should be OK!
Whilst Scuba Diving can never be regarded as a cheap hobby/sport, once the kit has been purchased, given care it will last for many years with occasional servicing and repairs. The only further cost is driving to a dive site, and air refills (only a few pounds (or possibly free if you're in a club)). I know people who do mountain walking/climbing, and they have spent just as much (if not more) than myself on their kit. And another person (who has a link to his homepage on this site!) has spent well over £2,000 on his mountain bike! (And he's a supposedly impecunious student!)
Mares Power Plana SL Fins.
Apeks TX 40 regulator and octopus.
UWATEC 2 guages (depth and SPG). Depth Guage is WAY dodgy - reads about 3m deeper than actual...
Buddy Commando TD BCD.
O'Three dry suit.
One of those nifty super quick release weight belts made by Sea Quest.
Nice big US Divers Knife. Wouldn't do much against a Carcharodon carcharias, I'm sure, but Laminaria, just you try it!!!
Basically, I've got everything I need except a Cylinder. But I can always borrow one of those :).
And here's my newest purchase: An UWATEC Aladin Air Dive computer. NICE piece of kit :)
Hey, Here's me underwater in the Red Sea!!!
Are you a member of or interested in the University of Wales, Bangor Sub-Aqua Club?
Anyone who would like information on the club can send me an e-mail, or, of course, ask me!
email@example.com, or simply Click here to e-mail me!
New training courses usually start in the first semester.