Challenge yourself!

When was the last time you challenged yourself, within diving or within in your daily life.

We as humans have an urge to explore and challenge. We can look back at some of the great explorers, who discovered new parts of the world, and at scientist who invent new drugs. It is everything from great accomplishments to smaller thing in our daily lives. I can look at family members and friends, who utters statements such as: “I will refrain from eating candy for a month” or “I have to lose 10 pounds”. And I meet friends in the diving community, who wants to beat their own personal limit: “I want to do a dive to 100 + meters” or “this summer I am taking a Cave speciality”.challenged-yourself-msd

Do we have a need to do these things? Not necessarily, some of it benefits us all while other things are just for the pleasure and satisfaction of the individual. So who sets these boundaries for what we must or must not do? It should basically be up to the individual to set the limits.

During my more than 20 years in the diving industry I have sometimes experienced, that some instructors and Divecenter owners have set the boundaries for what students and customers should or should not do. It might be a conscious or unconscious act. For instance when a customer asks about specialities, then the reply has been: “What do you want that for” or “You don’t need that”. I did the same when side mount became mainstream and people started diving with it in open water. Here the response was: “You don’t need that in open water, side mount is intended for narrow passages and caves.” But who was I to decide, whether somebody should take a side mount course or not? The truth is, that we as recreational divers do not have to jump in the water, we do it for the fun of it and to challenge ourselves.

One could pose the argument that it is possible to learn it on your own. But then again just like one, who has driven his car with a small trailer for many years, still needs a certificate when he wants to use a bigger trailer, it does make sense to educate yourself when you broaden you horizon. And I for one think, that there are many reasons for taking a speciality. Some people do it because the divebuddy does it, others do it to try out new equipment, some people do it for the social part of it and some do it to challenge themselves. I personally took my specialities to challenge myself, and this also continued after I became an instructor, where I took Tech courses, courses directed towards buoyancy and Rebreather courses. Perhaps I could have taught myself a part of the curriculum that we went through on the courses, but there is something special about being challenged by others and furthermore getting the background for why we do as we do.

This might be worth taking into consideration, when customers ask about a speciality, regardless of whether it is a Dry Suit speciality, a Boat speciality or something else. Then we as instructors and Divecenter owners should not act as a barrier for students and customers, but rather support each of them in their curiosity and desire to explore.challenged-yourself

When was the last time You challenged yourself?

It’s Not Too Late for Sharks and Rays at CITES CoP17

CITES appeal

Threatened by unregulated international trade, nine species of devil rays, three species of thresher sharks and the silky shark are proposed for listings under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Project AWARE and partner NGOs are on the ground at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to CITES in Johannesburg, South Africa from September 24th to October 5th to help these species receive the protections they deserve.

Drew Richardson, President and CEO, PADI

Drew Richardson, President and CEO, PADI

“Sadly, the possibility that one day there could essentially be no sharks or rays left in the ocean is plausible if things do not change. PADI is proud to support Project AWARE’s shark and ray conservation efforts at CITES and beyond with a $20,000 match*. Please show your support for this important cause.” Drew Richardson, President and CEO, PADI

Support shark and ray conservation with Project AWARE by making a Single Donation or better yet, elevate your commitment by making a Monthly Gift and your donation will be matched* dollar-for-dollar by PADI.

* PADI Match Giving offer valid until 7th October 2016 up to a maximum of US$20,000

Silent Auction Launches on World Tourism Day

Bidding for the annual Project AWARE silent auction is NOW OPEN! 

Project AWARE Silent Auction Prizes 2016

Launching on World Tourism Day, September 27 and running until October 22, Project AWARE is using this international celebration of tourism to raise funds for its critical ocean conservation work and remind the dive community of the importance of ecotourism and responsible travel practices.

Funds raised through the auction will go a long way toward engaging scuba divers in environmental programs and activities such as Project AWARE’s citizen science program, Dive Against Debris™, to support a return to a clean and healthy ocean. The winning bidders will be announced at the 2016 Sport Diver Awards Ceremony by adventurers, explorers and keen Project AWARE supporters Monty Halls and Andy Torbet.

Want to attend the 2016 Sport Diver Awards Ceremony? Grab your ticket today and visit http://www.jumblebee.co.uk/ProjectAWAREAuction2016  to see all the amazing prizes, scuba goodies, holidays & much more to win.

Wherever you are in the world, happy bidding and remember to make a difference for ocean protection every time you dive, travel and more!