Sport Diver - - Contents -

Si­mon Chance talks about the im­por­tance of plan­ning (and then com­mit­ting to) dives in the year ahead, the lat­est MSDS, plus news from Project AWARE.

Reg­u­lar read­ers of this col­umn will know my guilty secret; be­ing rather desk-bound by my var­i­ous of­fice du­ties in sup­port of PADI mem­bers and divers, I have con­sid­er­able em­pa­thy with all those who may dive more of­ten in sto­ries and dreams! As is so of­ten the case - es­pe­cially at this time in the cal­en­dar when year-end re­port­ing, New Year plan­ning and other such ex­i­gen­cies eat deeply into the dwin­dling time avail­able - those dives that were be­ing cog­i­tated upon back in Jan­uary may have started to ap­pear fur­ther away on the hori­zon than ever. Even with good for­ward plan­ning, it’s all too easy to be “shuf­fled” out of div­ing win­dows which had looked eas­ily avail­able from a way off, whether by fi­nances, or by other busi­ness and per­sonal com­mit­ments. Div­ing, how­ever, of­fers an op­por­tu­nity to get away from ev­ery­thing that’s hap­pen­ing top­side, and just con­cen­trate on buoy­ancy, breathing and per­haps the odd ben­thic dweller for a while; as such, it’s the per­fect an­ti­dote to these shore-based scares, so it’s fair to say that tak­ing any op­por­tu­nity for a dip will most likely im­prove per­for­mance when it’s back-to-the-of­fice time. Since the ma­jor­ity of reg­u­lar Sport Diver read­ers will be liv­ing in the UK and Ire­land (and those abroad are largely coastal-based, as I un­der­stand it), we’re all for­tu­nate in that home-based div­ing is avail­able to save us hav­ing to spend for­tunes on travel if “Brexit” is trim­ming our fis­cal fin­ger­nails at present. Just be­cause div­ing is con­ve­niently avail­able, how­ever, doesn’t mean it’s nec­es­sar­ily easy to ob­tain, so the best way to en­sure ones gills get wet is to plan ahead, avoid­ing the folly of as­sum­ing that past op­por­tu­ni­ties will present them­selves when the time comes (even in the face of con­tra-in­di­ca­tions from past ex­pe­ri­ence). So why am I writ­ing this self-ev­i­dent stuff? Well, I am sure it will be no sur­prise to learn that it is by way of pub­licly chid­ing my­self, yet again, for ig­nor­ing my own good advice, and al­low­ing 2016 to have been an­other, rather woe­ful, div­ing drought. Once again, there­fore, I’m now look­ing for­ward to some qual­ity time with a few brochures to sort out 2017. If you’re in the same boat - or not, so to speak - and also find your­self hav­ing missed out on some “down time” this year, I heartily rec­om­mend visit­ing your lo­cal PADI cen­tre, and ask­ing to whet your ap­petite; Christ­mas hints also work!

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