Regulators, Refurbs and Refuelling for the Season…

By Simon Bell, Dive Operations Manager

So it’s that time of year once again – when the bright Spanish sun starts to properly heat up our dive sites, the enquiries for summer PADI courses come flooding in, the new team of Simply Diving staff settle in for the activity-packed season ahead and the neoprene gloves start to be boxed away with the hoods until next winter.

Our next Instructor Training course is less than a month away!

Our next Instructor Training course is less than a month away!

Figure that in with our upcoming busiest PADI Instructor Development Course so far, a total dive centre refurb and expansion, the Holy Week of Semana Santa (Easter for the English-speakers among you) and a predicted influx of even more divers to the Mediterranean following troubles in other popular dive destinations, and it’s pretty safe to say that we here at Simply Diving have our hands well and truly full.

That’s not to say it’s been a winter of thumb-twiddling though…

Invited by Scubapro, we managed to squeeze in a fantastic full week’s diving in a pre-shark attacked Red Sea where we got to try some incredible new equipment that has yet to reach the market. (We can’t deny it. This job has some awesome perks.) The A700 Black Tech regulator, for one, is a beauty to behold and even better to breathe from!

Simply Diving's Scubapro Red Sea Trip involved trying out cool new kit

Simply Diving's Scubapro Red Sea Trip involved trying out cool new kit

On our return to the Costa del Sol, we were invited to become a Scubapro SEA Centre, which was rocking good news for us and all our future divers. I just can’t help feeling a sense of pride to see the SEA Centre badge up next to our gleaming, silver Project AWARE plaque.

Yep, just in case we didn’t have enough to do, we also signed up for the third year in a row as a Project AWARE Eco Partner!

And, of course, we wouldn’t have it any other way…

The highlight of 2011 so far though has to be the tumbling down of walls, the piling up of rubble, the slow coming together of many sleepless nights’ worth of contemplation and, finally, the vision of a brand new dive centre that comes with our long-awaited revamp.

Several weeks’ of head-scratching and a good few days’ of chin-stroking – following a fair few years’ of daydreaming – eventually gave way to the first thumping sounds of heavy hammer on brick… And Project Pimp My Dive Centre had begun!

It’s incredible how in just a couple of short weeks, the newlook Simply Diving is already taking shape. And it’s all the more satisfying knowing that it’s our regular diving staff that are doing all the hard graft.

Another wall comes down to make way for Simply Diving's newlook PADI 5 Star IDC Centre

Another wall comes down to make way for Simply Diving's newlook PADI 5 Star IDC Centre

Yes, construction and teaching scuba may not be the most natural dual-vocations, but if you want to build a dive centre, then who better to do it than the people that will be making it their home over the coming months!

Instructor Duncan has skillfully swapped his regulators for a spirit-level and tape measure. And even Divemaster Peter managed to put down his beloved underwater camera to knock up some shelves.

Who can forget too, the great baptism for our new Divemaster Trainee recruits who were roped into moving a compressor that is as big as a small car, German, and very obstinate. It certainly wasn’t in the job spec, but, we think, a very good insight into life in the diving industry…

So the work carries on and will be complete in just a week or two more. In the meantime, we have to thank our students and divers for bearing with us and our upside down DC. You’ve now become part of our history and we won’t forget you!

But for now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s some grouting to be done…

Our current PADI 5 Star IDC Centre that will soon be twice the size!

Our current PADI 5 Star IDC Centre that will soon be twice the size!