Recreational Diving

As a boy I sat in the first row in front of the TV set when the local TV Station showed some episodes of the adventures of Jauques Coustau. At the time where I started in school I knew that wanted to learn how to dive. What I did not know was that many years had to pass before I got the opportunity to start.

As we all know you have to learn how to crawl before you learn how to walk. During my summer vacations I participated in swimming lessons in the local swimming center. One year I had the opportunity to try out diving here too. You have to imagine a tiny small 10 year old boy with double tanks. I imagine that must have been hilarious to look at, but I didn’t care. Although it was less than 5 minutes in the water I was confirmed in my goal. I still wanted to learn how to dive.

In the mid ‘80es I discovered bicycling. I therefore did not see anything wrong in driving 14 Miles to the next larger city to try out the local dive club here. I have to admit here, that I did not feel welcome in the club, so I dropped it again after a few evenings. But that was not the same as dropping the idea that I wanted to learn how to dive!

At the end of the ‘80es I started my education in Sønderborg in the southern part of Denmark. I soon realized that I had to find a hobby if I were not to melt into all my books. In November the local Dive Club started a new class and I was of course one of the first to join. After a year I was handed over my first certificate, and over the years I’ve take quite a few extra.

My first certificate was given through the Danish Sportdiving Foundation (Dansk Sportsdykker Forbund) and the Certificate was a CMAS **. It was not time to buy some equipment which again was quite a challenge as I did not earn that much money as a student. But I found some gear and I was ready to go. Honestly – the first 3 years I was more a “Pool-diver”. But that changed.

In the mid ‘90es I was drowning in work. I had to do something and again diving should be my alternative to a hectic day. First I took a course and was certified CMAS ***. I then jumped the fence and took a PADI Rescue Diver course and then a Dive Master. Then I flew to Florida and got my PADI OWSI. I was now an instructor

Again I have to admit something. I haven’t done that much education over the years. I simply haven’t had the time and certainly not had the time to do it the way I wanted to do it. I wanted to put far more quality into the teaching than the standards said. Unfortunately SCUBA Diving has become an industry. It is all about money not about the joy of diving. I have kept my certificate and I’m still in teaching status. I have though not practiced as an active instructor for quite some time, but that is not the same as saying I’m not active.

There are many discussions about which organization is best. I try to stay out of that discussion. Basically you need to learn the same whatever organization is teaching. Every organization has its own opinion about how to do things. And I think that is good so. Not everyone learn the same way, and the principals of one organization might suit one student more than the principals of another organization. I haven’t found one doing things better or worse than another. At the end of the day it is just a matter of Letters and abbreviations.

I do now live in Germany. I’m member of a dive club in Dortmund which again is a member of the German Sportdiving Organisation (VDST). It’s about the same as BSAC in England. The Club is working very well and I’ve been accepted with both my CMAS and my PADI certificates. With my CMAS*** certificate I can participate in just about all of the activities of this club.

Recreational Diving is still my preferred hobby. It is the primary activity when I’m on vacation. It leads me to many remote parts of the world. You can read more about my vacations on these pages (see the navigation panel at the top of this page). SCUBA Diving is for me still a way to get away from the everyday stress. At the moment I can’t imagine any other hobby which can do the same for me in such an elegant way. I do therefore intend to continue to Dive many years from now.

Copyright © Fml. Laursen 2015