It is tough being a diver at the moment. The weather has been lovely here in the south-west of England and lots of people are posting photos from their walks of clear blue water and calm seas.
The conditions have not been as good as they are presently for a few months. But we are at home, our kit is in storage and we're not diving. That's ok - safety is every diver's number one priority and this is just another way of keeping us, our buddies and our families safe so we'll be patient and wait for this moment to pass and go diving with friends again when we can.
That's not to say we can't continue our dive education at the moment - or even begin your education ....
If you haven't already qualified as a diver you can get started with eLearning for just £99 (including free webinars with your Dive Academy instructor).
I recently qualified as a PADI Divemaster and had been looking ahead to completing an Instructor Development Course earlier this month. As a Divemaster (and as an Instructor candidate) you are naturally expected to have high quality scuba diving skills and be able to demonstrate these clearly to students.
We may not be able to use the swimming pool at the moment to practise our skills, but that doesn't mean that we can't keep them as fresh as possible. PADI has a number of videos available demonstrating how to carry out a range of basic skills including mask clearing, regulator recovery and alternate air source use. I'll definitely be re-watching each of these videos so that when we do get back into the pool to practise the skills are fresh in my mind.
If you have your own kit why not pop your BCD and regulator on (without a tank) and remind yourself where everything sits and how to use it?
Of course it's not the same on land as it is in the water but if you practise you'll find that you develop muscle memory which will help once you are back in the pool or sea. It might seem a bit strange to sit in your living room kitted up for a dive and practising in-water skills in front of the TV but you will feel the benefit once we get diving again.
Equally you could even practise many of the basic skills without equipment at all, simply miming the movements. Trainee divemasters do this all the time to learn the essential points of a good demonstration, although it does look a little strange if you do it whilst commuting on public transport (that won't be a problem for most of us at the moment)!
I also have eLearning to complete for my Instructor Development course, so I'm using the extra time I have to do that while finding new ways of practising my skills. I hope you will too and when this is over we can go diving together with confidence that we've done everything we can to be on top of the basics and ready to enjoy some fantastic underwater time.