PADI DIVING SOCIETY NEWS
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!