PADI Diving Experience
OMT's Managing Director, Graeme Johnston, has sailed since he was 3 years old, covering over 500,000 sea miles throughout his leisure and professional career. He now sits at the helm of OMT Training Ltd, having taken on the position when OMT opened it's doors 2 years ago. This means that nowadays most of his sailing consists of going across the Solent on the Red Jet!
So Graeme what made you decide to do a diving course?
I have spent a significant amount of my life on top of the water, where the only diving I did was to check anchors and boat hulls. I then saw a brilliant you tube video of diving in a Loch in Scotland, which really whetted my appetite. Also I was looking for a new hobby but one which did not require me to have the fitness of Mo Farrah!
And why choose Island Divers?
From initial contact with Tom via the phone to popping in to see the guys, nothing is too much trouble. They are a friendly bunch and everyone was very welcoming. I was so confident that I would not feel out of my depth (if you excuse the pun) that I booked two courses with them.
Had you had any previous experience?
I had dived a few times with a tank to check anchors and the like but certainly not with a Buoyancy Control Device (BCD) and dry suit on.
What Course did you pick? Why?
I knew I wanted to do the PADI Open Water course but also had the specific requirement of learning in a dry suit therefore I am also doing my PADI Dry Suit Diver certification at the same time. I don’t really do cold water, and I was hoping that by achieving both courses simultaneously I would not have be exposed to the cold of the Solent!!
What have you learnt so far?
The whole of the training for my course is modular, this means I do only short modules of about an hour or so. So far we have looked at the kit and how to put it together safely, safely donning the BCD, weights and weight systems, removal of mask, the flooding of the mask and lots more.
Did you have any worries or uncertainties about diving?
I was certainly aware that my fitness level is not really that good and as such I do gulp down a lot of air during the exercises. Also I was worried that I was probably going to be the oldest on the course but I was delighted that there are all age groups and all sizes of people learning in the pool with you.
Has there been any aspects of the course you have found hard?
I think the worst bit so far has been the sheer heat of wearing a dry suit in a pool, but hopefully next week will see the last pool season and then it is out into the cold Solent for me!
What are you looking forward to most?
I never took up diving thinking that I would like to dive deep down on wrecks, I have more of an interest in marine life nearer rocky out crops so will probably spend more of my time nearer the surface or into open caves.
Any advice to anyone out there thinking about doing a diving course?
If you are in any doubt then go and have a chat with the guys from Island Divers and they will explain the whole process to you and allay any fears you may have. They also offer trail dives so you can jump straight in and see if you are going to like it. It certainly opened up my eyes to not holding your breath in the water.