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Once all of the Easter Eggs have been eaten, the Easter holiday period has worked out to be a very busy one for us.  The last two Tuesday nights have been busy with many young people taking the opportunity to dive, having no school the following day.  This included a group of free divers who are getting ready for the new season.   With some of our staff being away on holiday, we have all had to rally round and help out.

Every holiday period we work with South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre, helping them provide a scuba diving experience for young people; ages 8 – 16 years.  This holiday was no exception.  We’ve had a great two weeks, showing many young people the fun of diving.

We also were approached by Grapevine, which is a Billericay based charity that works with adults with learning difficulties.  So last Thursday, 5th April, Gary, Sharon, Julie and Katie and a trailer full of equipment, drove over to Mayflower School in Billericay. Although Gary and Julie have experience working with people with learning disabilities, it was a new experience for Sharon and Katie.  With some of the participants enjoying the water and having a swim, we kitted up the remaining adults for a scuba experience they will all remember.  While this was going on, Gary recognised two of the students from previous events, who were great for giving confidence to the others.

On Saturday, a visit from 4th Canvey Island Sea Scouts had been arranged.  This was their first experience at diving and with 20 scouts, over 2 hours in the deep pool at the Underwater Film Studio, what was first anxious young people, ended up being a great day with everyone enjoying the experience.

If you ask most divers what was their favourite course, the PADI Rescue Course comes quite high up the list.  When we are selling the course, people often ask ‘Am I good enough to complete it?’.  This is a question that often arises amongst PADI Professional staff; when is the best time to do the PADI Rescue Course?  I have always been a stronger believer that all divers should reach this level as a minimum target.  If I am going to dive with someone, I would want them to have the knowledge and confidence to be able to rescue me if the situation arose.  Although this is not in mind with some Centres, it is something that we here at Orca feel strongly about.  So with that in mind, Tuesday 10th April we started our first rescue course of the year with 8 students on the course.  We have a complete cross section of age and experience.  This is shaping up to be a great course with the Instructors looking forward to teaching it.

Looking forward to the rest of the year, the South Coast trip to the SS Oceania is fully booked.  Porthkerris still has space, so if anyone would like to start their dive season soon, please call the Dive Centre for more information.  As posted earlier on this week, we are off to Swanage for the first weekend in August.  We will be finishing off the year up in the Farne Islands.