As you may have already read on our Facebook page, part of our team left off for a journey around the world. Our first stop is the beautiful island of Mallorca in Spain. Here we will visit every diving school to tell them about our website and supply them with our nice sticker to show everybody that their team and center can be found on rateyourdive.com for a review.
On Monday the 7th August, our team member Maria started her Open Water Diver course at the Dive Center Mallorca. Her diving instructor is Léon.
According to his ratings, he is the best diving instructor on the island so far. So we wanted to check if that is the truth. We booked Maria’s course a few weeks in advance and made sure that Léon
would be her teacher. We were assured that this would be the case, unless something unexpected came up, like illness. As preparation we started with her e-learning course online.
A few days before the beginning, she started to become a little nervous. What calmed her down were the more than 30 positive reviews for her instructor
and the dive center
At first Maria was introduced to the instructor and the other course participants. After a short overview of what would happen during the next days the group got a tour through the facilities of the dive center.
The next step was already diving into the scuba world. One by one the participants received a suitable jacket
and a regulator.
With that in their hands, they walked down to the equipment assembling area. To know how the air gets into their tanks
and what kinds of cylinders there are, Léon showed the group around the compressor
room. With the right tank size for everyone’s needs, they were now taught how to assamble their equipment properly and how to check it afterwards.
After getting a wetsuit
and ABC equipment
the group walked to the pool area, where they practiced a few snorkelling skills first, before learning how to put on the gear and how to do a buddy check
What Maria really liked were the slow introductory things they did with the diving equipment
on the surface. For example, holding onto the pool side and just putting the head underwater while breathing through the regulator for a few minutes. Because Léon das already explained and practiced on land which skills they would do on 1.5m pool depth, everybody knew what would happen next.
The first thing was to kneel down on the floor of the pool and get used to the new breathing experience. Fascinated faces all along the group. Absolute trust to the well-explained equipment. Again Léon showed them nice and slow how to perform each skill, before his assistants and himself went to every diver. They sat down face-to-face to assist with the exercises.
Taking the regulator out of your mouth, dropping and finding it back might sound like it’s a hard thing to do, but actually it’s not.
The thing with the mask
The hardest things to do for Maria, and most of the students, were the mask skills. Every now and then a diver will get water in the mask. Either because of wrinkles on your face when smiling, or due to another diver’s mistake, who might hit your mask with his fins
. In that case you have to know how to get the water out of the mask
. The mask clearing
What keeps some divers from doing it, is the so-called “water-nose-reflex
”. To train that behaviour you will do the “things with the mask” several times during your course.
Back at the dive center
Back from the pool the group was told how to disassemble, clean and put away their equipment so that they would be able to find it by themselves during the next days.
The first day of the course ended after about 4.5 hours and with a whole bunch of new impressions. Maria was impressed by the feeling of underwater breathing, but also a little afraid of the further practice necessary for mask skills.
Knowing about that fear, our team came up with an idea on how to get comfortable with water in the mask. See our blog entry about the second day of the course for more information. 🙂