Sidemount Confined Water Training

Jeff hoveringThis past weekend we conducted the Sidemount Confined Water training at one of our favorite pools, the Suwon World Cup Pool.  This pool is setup for some great dive training.  If you haven’t been here it is a 5m deep 50m x 50m pool.  It has several hula hoops at varying depths for buoyancy practice as well as mirrors for each diver to self-correct and fine tune skills.

Our  day started out with a drive through the Korean summer vacation traffic…and there was PLENTY of it.  It took nearly double the time to get to the Suwon pool because Koreans were off enjoying their vacations.  Once we arrived at the pool we went over equipment setup and tank rigging.  This is one of the most important parts of the course, no instructor should over look this portion.  Everything minute you spend on setup will greatly pay off during the dive.  I would recommend that instructors compliment their instruction with some sort of video that explains various setups and use.  The one that I like so far is Jill Heinerth’s Sidemount Scuba Diving.

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 20.52.31Once our equipment was setup and prepped for entry we went over an orientation brief to explain entry methods, weighting and brief the skills for the day.  With the briefings out of the way we pushed off the entry point and verified weighting and descended down to check out Jeff’s trim.  This is another critical place that instructors can’t take too lightly and where students will greatly benefit…GET THEIR TRIM RIGHT!  Spend the time to ensure equipment is setup correctly and streamlined.  This may be difficult if the student is useing loaner/rental gear but it is still important.  It is CRITICAL if the student is diving their own gear, this will be a great starting point for them to take note of.  Rarely will a diver again get so much personal attention to work out kinks and perfect their trim in the water.  Once Jeff’s gear was adjusted he knocked out skill after skill and we were able to surprise Jeff with multiple simulated emergencies as well.  Great job today Jeff! We definitely earned those Chili’s meals.

It wasn’t only the divers that got some fun in today…our shore support (wives) decided to tour the Suwon castle and downtown area while we were in the pool.  One more reason that we like this pool, lots to do for divers and non-divers alike.

If you are not familiar with the Suwon World Cup pool here is some information:

Confined Water Training

Scuba Cleanup

What did you accomplish this weekend? Katie and Dan did some confined water training and have begun their journey to becoming PADI Open Water Divers.  Dan and Katie tackled their Knowledge Reviews, Quizzes and Final Exam like champs, both scoring exceptionally high on all…well done guys!  With the book work out of the way they were fitted for equipment for their Confined Water Training.

Saturday was filled with hands-on learning and practice.  Dan and Katie did excellent once again knocking out skill after skill.  Hardly any skill proved difficult for this couple, once again well done guys!

Sunday morning began with a more thorough cleaning of dive gear to rinse off and clean everything.  We can’t say enough how important this step is…clean well maintained gear is critical in scuba diving.  Not only will it make your gear more reliable it means less service repair bills during annual or manufacturer recommended servicing.

Dry Suit Confined Water Training

There is not much that can prepare a diver for the feeling of their first drysuit dive.  This is true whether it is in a pool or in the ocean.  The closest feeling would be to put your hand into a plastic bag and put it in the kitchen sink or bathtub.  No matter how many times we describe this to new students they are always amazed at the initial feeling (as we were).

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 13.44.35This past weekend we got in the pool to do some PADI Drysuit Specialty Diver training.  Once introductions & paperwork were done we watched a few videos on drysuit repair and care.  Next we tried on equipment and went over gear setup and donning/doffing the drysuit.  We conducted final kit checks and got into our drysuits for a short drive to the pool.

At the pool we went over the required skills as well as some additional skills that are always good to keep well oiled. Jeff did an excellent job in the pool and we are looking forward to getting in the ocean.

New Students

preparing for mask clearing

preparing for mask clearing

Yesterday we had the privilege of working with two new divers and helping to refresh another diver’s skills.  Carel worked late into the night making sure the divers had all their knowledge reviews and quizzes completed the night prior.  Saturday morning we all met that the Suwon World Cup Pool, I had the pleasure of meeting Ian, Crystal and Peter.  Since we were early we all took the time to introduce ourselves and get to know each other.  We went over what the students could expect from the day as well as what would happen at the ocean during training.

As we were checking in with the pool staff we met a friend of ours (the pool manager) who recently finished his PRISM2 training!  We were ecstatic to hear that there we new PRISM2 divers in the area because up until now there was hardly any PRISM2 divers in the area.  He was kind enough to open up their shop and show us all the new PRISM2’s!!  It was great to see the new electronics, new Petrel and new HUD on the unit.

Although the day was long everyone had a great time and really learned a lot.  Each diver drastically improved from their first descent.  At the end of the day we were able to have some fun and play underwater basketball and swim through some hoops.  Being at the Suwon pool sure makes for some fun diving due to 5m depths and a large area to swim around.  Thanks again Ian, Crystal and Peter, we look forward to seeing you at the ocean and welcome you to our diving club!!

IDC Day 6 – Final Confined Water Tasks

Group Pic Final Confined Water

0700 – Wake-Up
0800 – Breakfast (perhaps one day, haha)
0900 – Pool (Graded Confined Water Presentations: Open Water Diver and Rescue Diver)
1200 – lunch (at Chili’s finally)
1300 – (Remainder of IDC Presentations)
1700 – Complete

So today we started out the day a bit sluggish but ready to finish out the confined water portion and final presentations. Mainly because we knew we had a day off (Friday) from any diving evaluation. Everyone’s presentations went excellent, definitely improving upon the first ones. It would be nice to go home and sleep in our own beds for a night before we go to Open Water.

At this point I believe each of us (I definitely can) appreciate the process of the IDC. Prior to the IDC whether it was watching other instructors or in preparation for this IDC I thought oh wow this is easy, just read the slates, do the skills that I know and keep divers safe…easy cheesy right? Kind of…only not really (yet). Despite being extremely confident and competent in the water when you have students in front of you it is different, now add the fact that you have someone deciding your fate looking for the smallest details in presentation, problem solving and control. At this point you think anything except perfect skills is a “problem” and you do-it-again. I am sure each former instructor candidate will be able to relate to this. Only a few more presentations for Open Water and we can finally call ourselves….oh wait we still have to do that damn examination thing…

As you approach the end of your IDC you feel more and more like a real instructor and you become excited at the fact that the IDC is almost over hoever every once in a while you remember that you still have the Instructor Examination (IE) to complete. At the IE you have to do it all again but with a new (and more intimidating) evaluator and you better not mess up cause you only have 2 days, 2 tries (on some stuff) and that’s IT. You do NOT want to be a recycle … (I know some of you will know that word…and yes it was from the evil school, if you don’t know what I am talking about no worries you didn’t really miss anything).

Today was the first day where we didn’t have to do a Rescue at the end of the pool session so we were able to quickly get out and prepare ourselves for some much needed comfort foods from Chili’s. Not sure that was such a great idea because the sleep monster would eventually creep up on all of us in the class room and tried to put us each in a food coma.

lunch_CW_lastday

Once we all started coming out of the food coma we were able to focus on the last 2 presentations on Open Water and several workshops. This was a great transition into Open Water diving in the IDC. Finally the presentations are complete we are able to pack up and relax for a day as we pack and drive out to the East Coast, Sacheon Beach to be exact. Stay tuned for Tomorrow’s post.

Video for Aquatic Frontier


Diving was cancelled on the east coast due to “poor weather” so we came back last night. We decided to help out our friends over at Aquatic Frontier and make use of some down time. We linked up with them at the Camp Hovey Pool in Area 1. They were conducting Confined Water training for some new scuba divers and they also had skills demonstrations for Divemaster Candidates.

Aquatic Frontier has come a long way since we took our first course with them a few years ago; since then they have expanded services from Recreational only to now offering Technical Diving (PADI DSAT TecRec 40, 45 and 50) as well as Assistant Instructor courses and setting up Instructor Courses (IDCs) and arranging for Instructor Exams (IEs). They also recently acquired the Busan Aquarium Shark Diving from Scuba in Korea.

We were glad to help them out and showcase them in action.