Where is my logbook?

“Where is my logbook?”

Is this the first question you ask yourself when you are preparing to go diving? As a PADI Pro, perhaps it’s the first question your customers ask themselves after the meet and greet? Despite putting them in a ‘safe place’, our logbooks and certification cards have a tendency to disappear – especially after a long break from diving over the winter or between holidays.

To help avoid frantic searches, here’s 5 tips to help you – and your customers – keep hold of this essential diving accessory:

#1 – Logbook Binders

PADI training logbooks have three punch-holes for a reason: so that they can be stored safely in the PADI logbook binder. Get your students into the good habit of using the binder for storing their logbook and a pen so they are ready to log their dives at any time. Plus, in the front and back are spaces to store certification cards and the RDP.

2 – Logbook Pages and Card Holders

More experienced divers (including PADI Pros) who want to log their recreational dives can also add the red logbook or refill pages to the logbook binder (which also comes with three punch holes for this purpose). If you need more storage for certification cards you can get vinyl card holders, keeping everything tidy and safe in one place.

#3 – PADI eCards

Another possibility is to get an eCard. With an electronic certification card (eCard) on their mobile device, students can easily have their certification verified by any PADI Instructor or PADI Dive Center they are planning to dive with.

PADI eCards are stored in the PADI App so your students won’t need to worry about losing or forgetting their plastic certification card, and will be prepared for any impromptu diving opportunities whilst travelling.

PADI Open Water Diver students get an eCard for free for 30 days, after which time they can easily purchase one should they wish to. Renewed PADI Pros get pro-level eCards included as part of their membership benefits.

#4 – Digital Logbooks

Don’t forget, there’s also the option to log dives digitally via the PADI App and ScubaEarth. Just download the PADI App and show your student how easy it is to log their PADI Open Water Diver training dives, and recreational dives – straight from their mobile device.

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#5 – Keep Diving!

But the best tip is… don’t have a break! Keep diving! Don’t give your logbook the chance to disappear into the depths of your cupboards. Give your divers the opportunity to join you for fun dives, continued education or diving holidays. Keep them involved with socials and local events. You could even run a “logbook of the year” competition! No more lost logbooks for you and your divers!

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Order PADI sales products and training materials 24/7, 365 days a year by using the PADI e-Shop via the PADI Pros’ Site, or contact your local Sales Consultant at [email protected] or +44 (0) 117 3007234 during business hours.

July & August Winners for PADI Member Recognition: Fins Scuba and Eddie Venter

Every day – from around the world – divers send PADI a steady stream of correspondence complimenting PADI Dive Centers and Resorts for outstanding customer service, and commending PADI Divemasters and Instructors for their professionalism and leadership abilities.

Each month, the PADI Member Recognition Committee reviews these submissions and selects one PADI Dive Center or Resort Member and one PADI Professional Member to be recognized as a global winner, an achievement which also features on the home page of the PADI Pros’ Site.

PADI EMEA is proud to announce that PADI Members from within the Europe, Middle East and Africa region were selected as global winners during July and August.

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During the month of July, Fins Scuba (S-7891, UK) was chosen as the Diver Education Center of the Month. Their achievement follows a nomination by Gemma at Galaxsea Divers who had received this praise from one of their customers:

“Today I met one of your customers called Luke from the university who has trained through you. Luke popped in as he is home for the holidays and wanted to check out his local diving centre. I had a lovely chat with Luke and felt I should email you to let you know how highly Luke thinks of you. He had so much positive things to say about his experience with you which was wonderful.  I wanted to email you to let you know that Luke highly recommended you and had all good things to say.”

During the month of August, Eddie Venter (PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, South Africa) was selected as Diver Education Leader of the Month after being given the following recommendation from Ruan van Biljon:

eddie“This letter demonstrates my appreciation to one of the best PADI Instructors I have ever had. With his dedication to teaching others to dive and the level of professionalism that I received throughout my DM training I would recommend him to anyone that asks me for a PADI Instructor.

Learning to dive is rewarding as well as challenging, however with the flexible structure offered by Eddie I was able to complete the classroom and pool sessions easily as well as all the hands on work experience with new students, based around our work commitments.

With the amazing service that Eddie has provided us as well as the level of professionalism, I have already started looking for work as a DM”

Congratulations to both Fins Scuba and Eddie Venter for this exceptional achievement and for their professionalism and dedication to diver training and customer satisfaction!

Want to nomination someone for a future award? If you have experienced outstanding service, or have received praise from a customer and would like to nominate a PADI Member for the PADI Member Recognition awards, please send your nominations to [email protected].

My Top 3 EMEA Dives – Part 1: Million Hope Wreck (Guest blog by Alexandra Dimitriou-Engeler)

“So what’s your favorite dive site?” asked a freshly scuba addicted student yesterday.
“Ummm… That’s a really hard question!” I’d replied.
He looked puzzled, “Why?”

Why indeed. I am a PADI Instructor, as are many of you. I am sure you get asked about your favorite dive site all of the time too – don’t you? What is your answer? How do you choose? How is it possible to remember every amazing experience underwater and then pick only one? It is almost always impossible. Diving is incredible in so many ways. You can enjoy a wreck dive as much as a wildlife dive, but we love them each for very different reasons.

So I thought I would write about my top 3 dive sites in this three-part blog series. Surely I can narrow it down to 3!

Dive Site 1: Million Hope Wreck

Location: Nabq Sharm El Sheikh
Description: Wreck
Length: 130 meters
Depth: 0-30 meters

Million Hope

This wreck has it all. It’s huge, it’s in shallow water, it’s covered in coral and teeming with life. This wreck is rarely dived due to its proximity to the shore line, and notoriously choppy waters make it hard to get there. However, if you are lucky enough to dive it you will be in for a real treat. It took me three trips to Egypt and many attempts by RIB before we had the right conditions to dive the Million Hope Wreck!

Why I love it…

Some of the ship is still visible above the surface but the majority is underwater. The shallow depth makes this wreck one of the most colourful and vibrant wrecks that I have ever seen. The traffic of fish was thick and the nudibranch were out in force. Beautiful.

It’s a big wreck! It is possible to get round it in one dive, although the use of nitrox to extend bottom time will make it a lot easier. This wreck sank in 1996 whilst heading for Cyprus. It was carrying fertilizer high in phosphates; the cargo had to be removed following an algae bloom, but there is still lots to see. The cranes that lie on the bottom create overhangs and there is even a Caterpillar crane at 22 meters; a bizarre addition to the dive that’s covered in colourful soft corals. The rotten seat and flooded controls are contrasted by the many scorpion, lion and glassfish that have made their home there.

Million Hope Wreck

White broccoli coral hangs from the ship’s stern but unfortunately the prop and rudder have been removed, leaving a void that the coral struggles to fill. It is one of the places on this ship that makes you feel very, very small! The hull is covered by enormous fire sponges and pajama slugs, as well as there being numerous starfish and pipefish clinging to it. There is a rotary telephone and a toilet seat in the sand surrounded by raspberry coral. There are penetration points everywhere; crew quarters, illuminated by various portholes; a work room complete with spanners on wall hooks, and where a piece of cloth still tied around an old radiator reminds us that this was a working ship.

You can also see the two boilers and twin six-cylinder engines before going up to make your safety stop. My “safety stop” lasted for more than 15 minutes! It was so beautiful between 3 and 5 meters that I could have stayed there forever.  The Million hope is a photographer’s dream – so full of natural light. The contrast of this huge rusty beast next to the multi-colored coral is one of the most breathtaking things I have ever seen.

Million Hope Wreck

If you’ve enjoyed this article, watch this space for Part 2 next week!


Alexandra DimitriouAlexandra Dimitriou-Engeler is a PADI Dive Center owner in Agia Napa, Cyprus. She became a diver in 1992 and received her bachelor’s degree in Oceanography at Plymouth University in 2003. Her love of the ocean has always been her driving force, and this has led to the natural progression of becoming a diving instructor in 2005. She is currently a PADI staff instructor and owner of Scuba Monkey Ltd and is writing a series of guest blogs for PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa.

First PADI Instructor Examination in Gozo has 100% Pass Rate!

On the 19th and 20th September 2015, the first ever PADI Instructor Examination was conducted in Gozo. With candidates from Bubbles Dive Centre (Gozo) and Reefers and Wreckers (UK), it proved a great success with a 100% pass rate!

Congratulations to all of the new PADI Instructors, and many thanks to the Course Directors and Dive Centre owners who helped to arrange the event.

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Using Instagram to Promote Your Dive Business

instagram-banner-webIf your social media activities are limited to Facebook, consider adding an Instagram account. The popular photo sharing app is easy to use and can help expose your business to a new demographic. Use Instagram to upload recent scuba class photos, your favorite underwater pics or marine life, and save time by automatically publishing your Instagram posts to your Facebook page.

Here are a few more good reasons to try Instagram:

  • Instagram users tend to be younger than the average Facebook user, they are also 25% more likely to earn a high income.
  • Instagram recently hit 300 million active monthly users – surpassing Twitter.
  • The best reason? Instagram will actually show your posts to all your followers (unlike Facebook).

Still not convinced? Check out this article.

Ready to get started?

  1. Sign up for an Instagram account and choose a username that represents your business and is easy for customers to remember, spell and search for.
  2. Add a profile photo (use your logo if possible) and a link to your website. Your profile image will appear as a small circle approx 150 x 150 pixels.
  3. Link your account to Facebook and/or other social networks.
  4. Each time you upload a photo, you’ll have the option to share to Facebook or whatever other social networks you’ve linked. You can also choose not to share on social and the photo will post only to Instagram.

Posting to Instagram

You can take a photo using your device’s camera, or use a picture already saved to your phone. If using a photo from your gallery, remember that Instagram sizes photos to perfect squares. Horizontal (landscape) photos be cropped.

Instagram best practices

Interact! Just like Facebook, you can receive notifications when customers interact with your account. For example, you can receive an alert when:

      • A user likes or comments on one of your photos.
      • A user @mentions you in a comment.
      • When your photo is posted to the Popular page.
      • When your account is tagged in another user’s photo

To receive notifications: click on the Settings wheel while viewing your profile. Scroll down and select Push Notification Settings. You can also edit your Share Settings from the options panel. To change the way you receive notifications from Instagram, exit the app hashtagsand access the Settings location. From there, find Instagram in the Notification Center and configure your app preferences.

Use tags such as #photooftheday #tbt #scuba #scubadiving. There’s no need to overboard with hastags, two or three are ideal. Tag your best scuba diving images #PADI and you could be our featured photo of the day. See recent favorites at: paditv on Instagram.

Include a location in your post, it can increase engagement by 79%.

Grow your followers
Search hashtags, location and Photos of You to find others’ posts about your business. Attract new followers by liking and commenting on their images.

Add Videos
You can record and post video clips from the Instagram app. To record video, press the camera button and and choose the video recorder option on the right. You can film one long video (or splice several short clips together). To create multiple clips, lift your finger off the record button. If you aren’t happy with a previous clip, delete it by pressing the delete arrow.

Looking for Instagram Inspiration?

If you’ve created your Instagram account but aren’t sure what to post, start following some of these dive shop and dive industry accounts to get ideas.

PADI on Instagram[email protected] (Georgia)
Orvil Clark (Oahu)
Dive in Ecuador
Project AWARE
Force E (Florida)
Sidey the Shark (Maldives)
SD Expeditions (San Diego, CA)
PADI

Check out the Instagram for Business blog for examples of how brands use Instagram.

Want more help?
If you’re just starting out in the world of Instagram or want to improve on your existing successes, book onto a PADI Business Academy to learn more about harnessing the power of online marketing, or, speak to your PADI Regional Manager.

Training Insights… EFR: Who else can you offer Emergency First Response courses to?

shutterstock_284644667Ask any of your customers (divers or non-divers) if they would know what to do if one of their friends or family had a medical emergency, and have the confidence to feel prepared. None of us like to think that we couldn’t help.

Emergency First Response (EFR) courses are a great way to get the non-diving friends and family of your existing customers involved in your dive centre, and act as an ice-breaker for introducing them to your dive crew and buddies.

Three Ideas for Broadening your Audience…

  • DSC02513Parents are keen to understand how they can be prepared to help their kids in times of need – why not offer the Care for Children course just for them?
  • In many countries, CPR and First Aid training is being introduced earlier into school curriculums. Try approaching your local school to offer training to your divers’ children, other children and even teachers! The Emergency First Response system has all the tools to keep kids engaged in the training – just check to make sure your schedule is suitable for the age and attention span of a younger audience.
  • shutterstock_228031189Good health may deteriorate as we get older and being prepared for potential emergencies can provide a welcome reassurance. Those who have already retired may find themselves with some extra time on their hands… perfect for completing and maintain their CPR and First Aid training.

If you’ve not harnessed the potential of EFR then get started today. For information on the training requirements for EFR courses, please contact [email protected].

Interviews with Dive Industry Leaders – Martin Pedersen

PADI Regional Manager Jonas Samuelsson talking to Martin Pedersen, OceanAdventures, about his passion for diving, environmental issues and his new shop in Kolding, Denmark.

Open water - MartinTell us how you got involved in diving?

Well I guess the passion for the sea started at a very young age. Though they’re where no divers in my family, my grandfather was an old fisherman. I have spend countless of hours on a little boat in “Lillebælt”, just staring at the sea and waiting on what wonders my grandfathers net was bringing up from the depth. These hidden secrets grew on me with my age, the unexplored had too be explored. I blew first bubbles at the local evening school for young kids. This day I still remember the feeling, I guess all divers remember their first bubbles and what an experience that was, well I surely still do and wow what a feeling! That truly kick started the whole thing and my love for the sea and ocean grew only stronger by the day.

LE dykkereWhat fascinate you so much with diving?

Diving is a passion, a lifestyle, a way of thinking and not only the sport that it is recognized as. I love my family, but I really love the ocean too. When I say it’s a lifestyle, a passion, I mean it all goes hand in hand, diving is for every one, when you think you have tried it all, seen it all, experienced it all, the ocean just keeps on surprising in wonderful ways. A normal dive, at you local divespot, you have done maybe 500 times before, but that one day it just blows you away with a new and unexpected experience, you totally forget time, forget all the bills you need to pay, the complaints form the boss. At that unique moment you feel at special connection, and its not at connection to WIFI or a mobile phone, it’s a connection to the ocean and at the same time you realize what at small brick you are in the big puzzle called mother nature. That is what I call ocean love and that is my fascination.

DM træningYou are active in creating public awareness for protecting our lakes and oceans. Tell us more please.

My company was founded on ideals to teach and educate the public about the unknown and unexplored seas around Denmark. Based in Kolding with the narrow strait of Lillebælt in the backyard, it became my playground and base of operation. The whole concept was the get people aware of our seas and introducing them in a eco-friendly way. What we did, was we made a lot of educational events, funded by different organizations, and then we went out to public schools, government institutions, kindergaardens, public areas, shopping streets etc and created an event called ‘Feel the Ocean’. The goal was simple, to give the ocean a voice. But what we did was even better; we influenced a whole young generation in a city. We made them taste, feel, smell, see and explore what we had with us from the sea and educated them in a new way, where there was no limits, test or exams. And of course the best of it all, I was telling people about my love for the ocean.

MP undervisningYou been working as a diving instructor in Asia for many years, but then returned to Denmark to open up a dive shop. Tell us about it please.

Yes correct I spend 4 years I Asia, working, teaching and truly getting into the dive industry. Most of the 4 years I spend on a little island in Thailand called Koh Tao. Those years helped me when I opened the dive shop I have today. After 4 years I had the insight and tools for opening a small dive shop I Kolding. After barely 2 years, I had to move to a bigger shop. During a period of five years I went from being a small PADI Divecenter to one of Denmark’s leading PADI 5-Star IDC center’s.

What is your favorite dive in Denmark?

Jonas, this is a trick question, I’m not gonna tell you my secret spot, that’s a well kept secret only few know of, but I can tell you of a dive I really love. There is a small island located in the middle of Lillebælt and this place is absolutely beautiful in all its features and gives you a pretty good idea if what a unique place Lillebælt is.

DSCN7767You just moved the location of your dive shop. What’s the benefit of the new one?

Yep correct we just moved into the new shop, which gave us a more professional look and taking diving with our clients to a whole new level. I wanted to offer something different. So after many chats with my staff, countless questionnaires from student, the course was set – we had to create a new platform for inspiration, education and guidance, all under one roof. So we created that in our new center and hopefully this will bear fruit in time.

Any favorite dives you still dream off?

Well where there is water, there are adventures to be explored. I think my personal list is as long as any other diver in the world. Let’s call it a bucket list, taking one dive at the time.

MP FormidlerWhat’s your future goal in the diving industry?

2016 is gonna be a very exiting year for both my company and me personal. Hopefully, I see in the future, me becoming a CD, so please cross a finger or two for me and to make our new dive center a great success.

Any tips for our readers who is dreaming of becoming a diving instructor and opening their own diving center?

Do it, if you have a dream and driven by passion, then do it. Be aware of all hard work, but I’m sure that as long as you remember where it all started and share your passion with others you will succeed.

 Thanks for the time. You are a great role model for all divers. 

New PADI Freediver program set to launch November 2015

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As PADI prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016, the organization is expanding beyond scuba diving to offer training in one of the fastest growing dive industry segments – freediving. Continuing the core business practice of delivering first in class instructional courses, the PADI Freediver program will debut in November at DEMA Show 2015 in Orlando, Florida, USA.

“The PADI Freediver program provides PADI Members with additional revenue generating opportunities by allowing them to expand their course offerings and reach a younger demographic,” says Mark Spiers, Vice President, Sales, Field Services, Marketing & Business Development at PADI EMEA. “PADI Freediver will also allow PADI Retail and Resort members to increase their equipment sales through a whole new category of product offerings”.

The PADI Freediver program is complete with student materials and instructional tools that follow the PADI educational philosophy, which makes it easy for qualified PADI Professionals to quickly start teaching. The course will feature quality, tablet-based training materials so students can access PADI Freediver Touch from the convenience of their tablets with or without an internet connection.  Like all PADI courses, the program was bred from first-hand experience as industry experts and competitive freedivers played a critical role in its development.

For more information regarding the PADI Freediver program, contact your PADI regional manager or sales consultant.

The New Online Processing Center is Now Live

The new Online Processing Center is now live and can be accessed via the PADI Pros Site and the PADI Pros’ Site Lite.

The new center has been developed using PADI Member feedback to ensure a more user friendly experience. The responsive design ensures it can be easily accessed from your mobile or tablet.

Some of the exciting enhancements to the Online Processing Center include:

  • Reorganization and simplified navigation.
  • Mobile optimization of all screens.
  • Simplified language and wording throughout the portal.
  • Downloadable reports for digital products in each status.
  • Digital codes scoreboard for a quick reference of your available codes.
  • Integrated tooltips to provide descriptions of each section or application.
  • Improved filtering and sorting options of digital code data.
  • Drop-down menu of languages.

The revised Online Processing Center has launched in multiple languages including English, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.

Please note: the old PIC Online application has now been retired, and all online certifications will need to be processed via the new Online Processing Center.

If you have any additional questions, please contact PADI Training or Customer Services.

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Training Insights… EFR: Do you think EFR won’t work in your business?

RDOnLn0310_0635If you don’t think that teaching Emergency First Response (EFR) courses is possible within your business because of scheduling or location restrictions, try these tips to help integrate the program into your course offerings:

  • Start or finish each day with an hour or two of EFR. This can either give you a gentle start to the day until everyone has woken up and is ready to dive, or a chance to wind down and have fun at the end the day.
  • Introduce the skills one at a time, throughout the PADI Rescue Diver course. They can be done in almost any location: at the dive site, on the boat, in the dive centre – anywhere you have some floor space and, for some skills, a mannequin available.
  • EFR courses can be run in the evenings or on days where diving is stopped due to weather conditions. You can schedule the EFR course for a particular day so that it’s in the diary – but explain that you may do it earlier if weather conditions make it hard to dive, and remain flexible to teaching opportunities for the EFR sessions.

If you’ve not harnessed the potential of EFR then get started today. For information on the training requirements for EFR courses, please contact [email protected].