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.
Congratulation to Nick Pappe, our newest 38th Parallel diver who completed his PADI Open Water certification and Enriched Air Diver (EANx/Nitrox) certification on July 12 at AquaBelle Dive Resort Pohang, Korea. We were able to complete 4 amazing boat dives off Josa-ri (Beach). The water was a warm 20c, plenty of fish and around 6 meters of visibly. Great conditions to learn and enjoy the dives, way to go Nick can’t wait to dive with you again.
PADI Drysuit Specialty diver and PADI Divemaster were the two certifications earned this weekend. There is no doubt that we made the most of a 3 day weekend. For the American’s it was Memorial Day weekend and for the Korean’s it was Buddha’s Birthday. Needless to say the dive shop and hotels at the coast were packed! We got to meet some of our South Korean Facebook Followers and dive with some new friends as well…welcome to the 38th Parallel Divers Club Dave, glad to log some dives with you.
Despite some pretty strong winds the waters on the east coast were amazing. This weekend probably ranked in the top 5 weekends for visibility in the past 5 years. Definitely nice to jump into the water with conditions like this. The ocean was super flat all weekend and little to no surge or current, even at the dive sites.
Since most of us have been steadily knocking out certifications of students we decided to take this weekend for ourselves and make is a calm, lazy fun weekend.Congratulations to Dan on finishing his Divemaster certification (we know this was a long time coming), welcome to the pro ranks! Congrats to Divemaster Jeff on earning his drysuit specialty as well.
We did several beach dives at Namae-ri Beach as well as several boat dives. Our first boat dive was at Steel House. Steel House is a 10m tall structure that rests in 30m of water. Great for buoyancy practice swimming through all the beams. We also dove Concrete Cubes, and just like the name says it was a bunch of concrete open cubes that allow for divers to swim in-between and around. We saw a nice school of smaller sized fish and lost of small growth. West Ridge was another dive site that we were able to log some time onto. This site offered a natural rock formation and minor wall to swim around. A nice dive to see rock formations and small growth, even some nudibranchs.
It would be an understatement to say the shop was packed. Namae Scuba had extra staff on hand and both boats in the water for divers. They also shuttled divers back and forth to the beach for shore diving. There were several clubs diving with 38th Parallel Divers as well as 80+ college girls from the Suwon Women’s college. Most of the girls were doing PADI Open Water Diver with some finishing up Advanced, Rescue and Divermaster. Namae’s resident Course Director was also conducting an IDC (Instructor Development Course) for a few future dive instructors.
Despite all of this going on we can’t say enough how great their staff is. They always make sure to keep us informed on dive conditions and dive times. Namae staff also makes sure we have everything we need and make every attempt to help us work out any minor equipment issues anyone might have. These guys are a great operation indeed…thanks Namae Scuba!
This weekend we took advantage of the 3 day weekend that most of us had and we headed to the East Coast for some fun diving and training. Our newest instructors (George, Larry and Mike) had multiple students and certifications to conduct. We had Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Deep Diver Specialty, Peak Performance Specialty and the AWARE Specialty. This was definitely a great way to kick off our first weekend training event post-IDC. We also linked up with some fun divers and students from Aquatic Frontier’s group who got some of our swag. Thanks guys! It was great diving with all of you as well.
We started Saturday morning off by cooking our divers breakfast making sure to feed the grumbling stomachs and fuel the divers for a busy day. We broke out our cast iron skillet and our Korean portable stove and went to town on some thick cut bacon and eggs… and even some turkey bacon for those health focused people out there. With bellies fed we started into our dive shop orientation and dive briefings for the skills.
Saturday we had excellent warmth and visibility. Saturday finished up Michael’s Peak Performance Buoyancy and half of Mandy’s Advanced Open Water (AOW) and JuJu’s Open Water (OW) courses respectively. Our students had such a great day we were honored with requests to add additional specialties to their trip. Sunday finished up Mandy’s AOW, JuJu’s OW and all but one dive of Michael’s Deep Diver specialty.
Sunday evening after diving we headed into Sacheon beach for some great Pat Bing Su (Red Bean Shaved Ice with fruit and ice cream) and coffee’s. After that nice treat we headed back to the dive shop to start the grill to grill up some cheese burgers and some adult beverages. We finished up an AWARE Specialty at dinner time too. After we were fed and ready to head to bed we met up with some new instructors form the recent (finished that day) graduates of the Korea IDC/IE. We went over to congratulate them and they invited us to have some food and drinks with them. It was a great night to sit around the table with people from all over the world and share this love of diving. Congrats new instructors and thank-you for sharing!
Monday morning came early…we had one last dive to conduct for our Deep Diver Specialty, a 30M dive! We woke up around 7am to fire up the stove and get some food on the skillet (eggs, bacon and hashbrowns). Now that we were fed it was time to gear up to dive briefings and pre-dive checks. Once again we had some great visibility and warm waters this time we had a strong current. For this dive we had all the new instructors, the shop owners, most of the shop workers and even the Course Director go with us. We had a great dive, it was awesome getting a chance to dive with everyone that always makes sure we have great trips…the crew at Namae Dive Shop is amazing! With that dive complete our final student of the weekend finished his Deep Diver Specialty…congrats Michael! You did some great diving this weekend, it is great to see the improvement you have made since our first Scuba Tune-up session, stay wet.
Since we were traveling back on a Monday versus a Sunday we decided to take the scenic route back. We drove through Seorak Mountains and were able to take our time and enjoy the beautiful weather. What an amazing weekend. Thanks again to all of our students that we had as well as the new friends we met from Aquatic Frontier’s group. Hope to see everyone in the water soon!
Most people think that Labor day (beginning of September) signifies the end of the summer…for us (38th Parallel Divers) this marks the beginning of the best diving in Korea. From now thru November-December the water is warmer than any other time of the year. The ocean is generally more clear and better weather. So come join us…check out our Facebook Event page for more details. We have an Open Water course starting shortly (confined water 13-14 Sept / Ocean 20-21 Sept) AND an Advanced Open Water / Specialty Diving weekend 27-28 September.
We will be offering VERY SPECIAL pricing for all our club members for a LIMITED TIME. Any 38th Parallel Diver member will be getting PADI Open Water Diver certification for $395. We will also be offering several specialties at VERY low prices too (Sidemount, Nitrox/Enriched Air, Deep, Wreck, Navigation, Search & Recovery, Night, Gas Blender, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Project AWARE Conservation).
This includes: Required Study Materials, Processing Fees, Pool Training*, Gear Rental, Ocean Training, Transportation to dive site (if local but can schedule a meet-up and ride out), Motel room 1 night, Ocean Day 1 lunch (dinner is on your own), Ocean Day 2 breakfast (lunch/dinner will be at rest area on way back on your own).
So how do you become a member? Easy, simply “LIKE US” on our Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/38thParallelDivers Or click “LIKE” to the right—>
*only exception is that it is based on pool availability, if our local pool isn’t available there would be a cost to use Suwon/Seoul (or other) pool.
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.
It is a great dive trip any time that we are able to dive for 3 days. The traffic coming home isn’t an issue and it seems that we get to relax a bit more during our surface intervals. Having had a Typhoon the week prior and a Tropical Storm at the beginning of our weekend made for some extremely challenging diving and less than ideal conditions; but hey if you can dive here in those conditions then diving everywhere else is a breeze! This is one of the reasons why we LOVE diving in South Korea, best training grounds for enhancing dive skills.
Saturday: Scuba Camp, Samcheok
Sunday: 38th Marine, on the 38th Parallel
Monday: Sacheon Dive Resort, Sacheon Beach