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20-04-2005, 08:21   #31
Evil Phil
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Originally Posted by deadly chick
How strong do you need to be at swimming to start diving? It would be great if someone could tell me where to start.
To do the PADI open water you have to be able to swim 200m and then tread water for 10 minutes. You can take as long as you like for the 200m but you're not allowed to rest. I reckon the better your fitness the better your air consumption will be when actually diving.

I also believe you can do a 300m swim with a snorkel but that's unconfirmed.

I don't know what the story is with CFT.
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20-04-2005, 09:23   #32
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CFT *might* be 250m swim and then a further 50m backstroke within a reasonable length of time. Can't remember what it is but if you're able to swim at all you should manage it.

After the swimtest you've to hold your breath with your face in the water for 30 seconds.

As far as I remember this is what it was when I started but things might have changed
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20-04-2005, 11:19   #33
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Originally Posted by Evil Phil
To do the PADI open water you have to ....
1) 200 metre/yard continuous
surface swim and a 10-minute
swim/float without using any
swim aids.
2) 300 metre/yard swim with
mask, snorkel and fin and a
10-minute swim/float without
using any swim aids.
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20-04-2005, 12:32   #34
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CFT is:
(a) Swim 200 metres freestyle without stopping.
(b) Swim 50 metres backstroke without stopping.
(c) With head submerged in the water, hold breath for 30 seconds within 5 minutes of
(a) and (b) above.
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20-04-2005, 12:41   #35
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Originally Posted by Pingu
CFT is:
(b) Swim 50 metres backstroke without stopping.
Floating on your back, use an up-and-down freestyle kick and windmill stroke to propel yourself.......

Last edited by NordicDiver; 20-04-2005 at 13:02.
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14-07-2005, 13:04   #36
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Just when DaveG thought he had seen it all.... The Spiegel Grove flips on everyone!


Florida wreck flipped upright by storm
By Charlotte Boan

The world's largest intentionally sunk ship was unexpectedly found the right way up by divers days after Hurricane Dennis hit the Florida area. The 6,880-tonne former military vessel Spiegel Grove, which sits at 50m, flipped upright as the core of the storm passed over a few hundred miles west of Key Largo.

The wreck's new position is one project directors have wanted since the former US Navy landing ship dock prematurely sunk and rolled over on 17 May 2002. The ship's upside-down bow was left protruding above the water. Three weeks later, a salvage team managed to fully sink the vessel on its starboard side between 20 and 50m, six miles off Key Largo.

Since June 2002 the Spiegel Grove has become one of the most popular wreck dives in the Florida Keys, with up to 75,000 divers visiting the vessel. According to the Reef Environmental Education Foundation, up to 160 different marine species can be found around the 170m-long wreck.

'I'm flabbergasted,' said project director Rob Bleser. 'Nature took its course and put it where it belongs. This will mean a whole new dive for those who have explored it before.'

However, not all were happy about the moving wreck, which was faced with 7m-high waves and extremely fierce currents during the storm.
'It's bad news from my perspective as a resource manager that it moved,' said Billy Causey, superintendent of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. 'We have to figure out why.'

He also added that sanctuary officials would temporarily close the wreck site to divers to analyse its stability and replace lost mooring buoys.
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16-08-2006, 11:53   #37
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Scapa Flow trip report

Scapa Flow trip June 2006

The travel to Scapa from Dublin is a bit awkward, but not something I would let stop me from getting to this fantastic location. We drove to Belfast and got the ferry to Stranraer and then met up with some more of our divers and drove through the day to Scrabster via Glasgow and Inverness. We broke the driving up into 3 sections, with a one hour break each stop, so it made it a lot more manageable. Then we got the ferry to Stromness in the Orkneys, which added another hour and a half. We arrived on Saturday at 20:30, got our dive kit on board the M.V. Sharon Rose and checked into our self-catering apartment. We started diving on the Sunday through to the Friday. Here’s a brief breakdown of the dives:
Koln – 35m
Karlsrure – 25m

Markgraf (battle cruiser) – 45m
F2 – 18m

Konig (battle cruiser) – 41m
Dresden – 33m

Kronprince Wilhelm (battle cruiser) – 36m
Brummer – 35m

James Barrie (Icelandic fishing trawler 40m long) – 43m (tidal)
“Bottle dive” – 19m (scenic, lots of debris from WW1 ships like plates, bottles etc)

Dresden (so good we dived it twice) – 33m
Karlsrure - 25m (were hoping to do the Tarbaka, but there were a few boats on it)

On all dives below 30m we included deep stops, and some of us (myself included) were using 50% nitrox to help offgas from 20m and above for deco. We did a lot of penetration dives, but as the wrecks are nearing 90 years old they are getting fragile, and are liable to collapse, so great care has to be taken. The most memorable were the James Barrie, (a 2 knot current at 43m isn’t funny) partly as it looked very like the trawler from “Perfect Storm”, and the 3 battle cruisers (all inverted). The Dresden was great, as it is quite shallow and reasonably open, so we could penetrate the wreck for most of its length. We had 15-25m viz all week, and mostly flat calm conditions. One day it got up to force 8, but as the Flow is very sheltered, we could still dive. Water temp 10-11 degrees, chilly, but managable.
We were asked at the start of the week to take part in DAN’s Project Dive Exploration, which we did. Essentially they ask you what cert you are, your equipment (OC, SCR, CCR) and gas usage (Air, Nitrox, Trimix) and dive profiles. Then they download your profiles from your Suunto (or they can loan you one for the week if you don’t use one, I use one as my backup so that was ok). This all goes to help DAN understand diver’s habits and profiles to make diving safer. We even got a tour of the local recompression chamber, soon to be upgraded.
All in all it was a fantastic week’s diving, which exceeded our expectations. The local dive shop (Scapa Scuba) even managed to replace a dry suit zip for one of our lads overnight, so none of the dives were missed!
We have all said that we will try to get back next year, time permitting.

I found a plate on the "Bottle Dive", not on a wreck, so it is ok to remove it. The British Admiralty mark is in the centre, dating it to around WWI. Its illegal to take anything from wrecks in Scottish waters, as they are protected by Scottish Heritage and the Reciever of Wreck. While we were there, two divers on another boat (not to be named) were warned not to take anything, as they had been seen diving with a hammer and chisel...After the warning they were spotted coming back with pieces of the wreck, and the skipper radioed ahead to report them. The police were at the pier when they got back and they were arrested. Scottish Heritage were very pi**ed off when two divers were released last year without charge, so it looks like these two will be made an example of! Probably get a fine and/or a sentence. Their complete dive gear can be confiscated too.....

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09-10-2006, 13:12   #38
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Killary/Scubadive West

I just got back from my AOW course with Scubadive West this past weekend, and I can't recommend them highly enough.
The weather was crap and the viz was very poor for Killary by all accounts, but I still had an amazing time, the instructors were lovely and somehow got us through our course in muddy water. Plus, they lent me a dry suit and any other equipment I was missing for nix.
The last day (deep and wreck) was easily the best day of diving I've done so far, I'll definitely be back.

There were a gang of divers down, including a few clubs, so at any given time they were juggling 30 divers, but never lost their friendlyness and everyone came back unscathed.
To top it all off, I had a tiny problem on the last day, and Cillian called to see if I was alright today, great service.
Once I get a car sorted I'll definitely go back for more, brilliant school in a lovely part of the country.
Now, back into Dublin Bay :-(
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21-05-2007, 15:26   #39
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CCR in Tenerife

Just back from a week in Tenerife. I decided at almost the last minute to bring the rebreather. I had already booked dives with better known as Dave and Nikki Carson who used to run a boat out of Malin (or thereabouts).
It was my first time bring the rebreather away, so I was a bit nervous about security etc. No bother in the end, and no baggage charges either!
I got picked up and dropped back from the hotel each day and Nikki even made sambos for lunch! I dived with Dave on all dives (also a RB diver) and saw a load of sting rays, a turtle (at 20m!! ) and an angel shark about 6-6 and a half foot long. Our last dive was a drift for 45mins - we had travelled about a mile and a half in that time!
All in all an excellent bit of diving, and I'll definitely be using them again. is offline  
13-07-2007, 14:56   #40
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Varedero, Cuba

Dived with Barracuda, who opperate the dive centre for the Sandals resort

Good points
1-2 dives per day include in the 'all in' package in the resort
Friendly instructors
Dive sites 5-10mins from shore by boat
Good coral and plenty of fish in 10-20mtr range
Good wrecks in the 15-30mtr range (Russian destroyer!)
28C water

Not so good points..........

The gear.
Fortunately I'd brought everything but weights and tank, nad I'm so glad about that. The equipment is old, and a little worn. Although the staff try to keep things going, it could be a bit frustrating to have to try3-4 tanks to get one at 200bar that held it too! Plenty of other problems with masks, regs etc. I had to advise a relatively inexperinced diver to get the hell out when I noticed a steady leak from his SPG during descent

The boat
Normal boat was big, and fast, and great. Occasionally it doesn't work, and a slower, smaller boat subbed instead, not great. (Though it was the only dive boat I've been on with leather sofas!

A little inclined to make the plan up as they went along

Afternoon dives were usually wreck dives, good diving but at €40 a throw. Typically a half hour out by fast boat, so expensive on the school too.
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