3 – 6 June 2014
Dives 1 & 2 – Shag Rock
Dives 3 & 4 – Flat Rock
We completed the full-time PADI Open Water Dive Course over four consecutive days, starting on Tuesday 3 June and finishing on Friday 6 June 2014. This is ideal of travellers who want to knock the course over in one go, however Go Dive also offer a large variety of other courses to suit all schedules and training needs.
Day 1: Tuesday was spent in the classroom at Go Dive’s office in Albion, Brisbane. Before the classroom training it’s highly recommended that you read the Open Diver Manual and watch the Open Diver video provided to you when you purchase the course. The time in class was spent reviewing each of the knowledge development sections in the manual, clarifying anything we weren’t sure about, and completing extra in-house tests (as well as the Final Exam) to ensure our theory knowledge was down pat before we even got into the water. Don’t stress about it being a boring day back in the schoolroom – the instructor makes it anything but that, and we felt totally prepared for our day in the pool. Part of the day is also spent in the shop, trying on gear and going through all the products and their features.
Day 2: Wednesday began with a 5:30am start for us as we had to be at the Council pool in Fortitude Valley ready to begin by 7:30am. It wasn’t until we were halfway there that we realised the pool was actually heated, which really made us feel better! As we walked into the pool the sign said the water temperature was a toasty 27 degrees. Just perfect for training! First up we learnt to assemble and disassemble our scuba gear with instructors Beau and Dan. After being a little daunted initially looking at the equipment, you quickly realise just how straightforward everything is, and what once looked like a difficult and stressful process very quickly became second nature. Part of the day is spent doing basic water skills such as treading water and a 200m swim, and then it’s time for the real skills – around 25 of them! The best part of our instruction was that there was no rush to learn – if anybody needed more time or one-on-one instruction, they got it. Their focus was on safety and us being confident with our skills, and it took a huge amount of pressure off, so that by the end of the day, both of us felt more than ready to put our skills into practice in the ocean.
Day 3: Thursday morning we were up bright and early (3:45am!) to get to East Coast Marina, Manly by our start time of 5:30am. The first hour or so was spent preparing the boat and equipment, and going through boating and diving briefings, before we set sail at 6:30am. The boat was Go Dive’s own 13m DiveQuest. It took about an hour and a half to reach our dive site of Shag Rock, just off Stradbroke Island. It was a beautiful sunny day, thankfully the water was nice and calm, and we were absolutely blown away by our experiences in the water. At a depth of just over 10m, we could still look up and see sunlight outlining the boat on the surface, and the time just flew on both our dives with so much to see in between our skills sessions. Our dive times were around 45min, which meant we had plenty of time to get our skills down pat as well as just enjoy the scenery. We finished the day feeling so excited and so proud of ourselves!
Day 4: Friday was the same early start as yesterday, but this time we headed out to Flat Rock with depths of closer to 25m. We were slightly nervous about the thought of diving without seeing the bottom, but again needn’t have worried. As soon as you get in the water your worries just seem to fade away, and at our maximum depth of 18m we were just in awe at what we saw. More Wobbegong Sharks, schools of stingrays, Nemo, and a dolphin cruising by! We were told that seeing dolphins underwater is extremely rare, with one experienced diver having made over 400 dives without seeing one, so we felt truly blessed! Once our two dives were complete, with final skills sessions underwater, we hopped back on board DiveQuest to cheers all around as we were declared PADI certified Open Water Divers.
Completing the Open Water Diver course was such a huge achievement for both of us, and it has definitely started a new addiction! Whole new worlds are now open to us and we couldn’t be more grateful for the instruction given by Go Dive Brisbane. They left us so well prepared for our new adventures underwater, and we couldn’t recommend them enough. We are already looking at the Advanced Open Water Dive Course in a few weeks!