QUALIFIED dive instructor John Henvey is all set to take a deep breath as he launches his new recreational dive school based in Ardglass, County Down.
Phennick Diving is literally an underwater business venture which aims to train people up to speed in diving safely. The initial training is from the shore mostly and is in depths of 4-5 metres.
Diving is an increasingly popular past-time and many people indulge in the sport in far flung places such as the Carribean, Mediterranean or the Red Sea ir other tropical climes. John said: “If people learn the basics and become competent and qualified divers at stage one before they go on holiday, they will get much more from their holiday. They will not be wasting expensive and valuable holiday time learning to dive. It makes good sense.
“I am a registered instructor with PADI (the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, an international body). I first learned to dive myself while I was on a holiday in Spain in Lanzarotti in the sea in 2005. I became hooked then on diving and have enjoyed it ever since. I just get a fantastic buzz everytime I go diving.
“Being associated with PADI is important as it ensured I am working to a professional standard, I have professional development backup from the world’s leading scuba dive body, and I have the support of that wider diving community.
“I have just completed a seven month internship programme at Waterworld Dive Centre in Kerry at Castlegregory. I am now a certified open water scuba diving instructor and can operate at a depth of a maximum of 120 feet. During this time I learned a great deal in the theory and practice of diving and I am well experienced in working with beginners and small groups. While working in Kerry I learned how to fill air bottles, check equipment, and look after beginner divers and take people out diving in the open sea.”
If you are coinsidering a holiday in a tropical country, this PADI link explains some benefits about being certificated before your holiday so you can confidently enjoy your dream holiday experience. PADI Holiday Link
John explained that the world below the surface is an amazing place to visit. He said: “When visibility is good you can see for a distance of up to thirty feet along our County Down coast and you see the many fish around as well as other forms of sea life. It is often quite spectactular. You will see old shipwrecks, lobsters creeping around the seabed, and many interesting features. Even at 60 feet depth you could have as much as 30 feet of visibility.
“In the sunnier and tropcal parts of the world, the underwater light is even more spectactular. I actually dive around our coast all year round, conditions permitting. The temperature does not vary all that much from summer rto winter. My instruction classes will be around the Lecale County Down coast and in Strangford Lough. I use areas such as Gunn’s Island in the Lough, St John’s Point, and various safe beaches for beginners. Eventually they progress to diving on sites such as the Water Rock in Killough Bay and along the rocky coast off County Down.
“Diving is very safe. I can take an experienced group of eight divers out on trips, but four is ideal. All divers have to learn basic simple safety rules such as not to penetrate underwater wrecks.
“I hope to be using an indoor pool for the initial training sessions before we progress to going into the sea. Once a novice is comfortable with the equipment and breathing satisfactorily underwater we progress to open water. I can initiate dives from both the shore and from boat.
“People want to dive for many reasons such as a simple challenge, environmental protection, recreation, and education.
“I am in contact with the world of diving and I am tuned in to what is happening generally. There are several professional bodies such as PADI and they are equally all useful. When you qualify you get a plastic card certifying you and this can be shown in PADI centres anywhere in the world. This ensures quality of dive tuition and safety for all.”
John explained that a dive normally lasts around 30 minutes and up to 40 depending on the amount of air in your tank. He uses single 10-12 litre tanks with breathing regulators. Each has a spare regulator attached in case someone has to share a tank in an emergency.
He has opted for using dry suits as opposed to wet suits which means you can literally wear your clothes underneath and go home bone dry!
“I can supply the equipment for beginners,” John said. ” A full kit usually cost in the region of £1500 if you were to buy this yourself. Once someone has decided scuba diving is for them, I can advise on the purchase of equipment too. Basically, you would need a dry suit, two tanks and regulators, flippers, mask, watch, a buoyancy control device, weights, and possibly a knife to start with. But I can supply the use of equipment for start-up and casual divers.
“Usually on a day out diving, a diver will use up one tank in a half hour dive, take a break then have another dive. I do not use rebreather equipment as this is much more expensive, and requires technical maintenance but can take you down to greater depths. Again, the level of supervision and training would be much higher.
“So you can come along on my recreational dive days and enjoy the fun. You never know… only a tenth of the treasure lost at sea has ever been found… it just might be your lucky day!
“I also supply gift vouchers – a dive experience makes a great gift for someone special. It certainly is something very different!
“I’m happy to chat to everyone about diving. It’s a very safe recreational interest. Just contact me at the number or email below!” added John.