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It’s quite normal if you haven’t dived for a while to feel that your skills could be erring on the side of rusty and a refresh might be a good idea.  That’s what I’ve got this morning, a Scuba Review. It’s a three part experience – a quick review of diving theory, some skills in the shallow water and then a normal guided dive. Having passed her Open Water course over a year ago and having not dived since, my student planned to do this review with her local dive centre at home in the pool. However, as time does, it ran away from her and so here she is today enjoying the sun in Sharm instead of the sleet in Slough!

Strangely, and as an instructor you see this all the time, it’s often the way that the people who willingly sign up for regular reviews because they think they are bad divers are actually the most comfortable in the water. Although she hasn’t said anything yet, I can see that she is more than a little apprehensive about getting in. I make a point to start a Scuba Review by ensuring the student realises that this is not a pass or fail course… in fact it is up to me to re-teach anything that cannot be done comfortably until I am happy the student is at “Open Water Diver” standard. This admission normally brings on a large smile and a big sigh of relief as students generally assume they are going to be tested and worry that they can’t remember everything. Today’s’ student is no exception and beams as I add that I wouldn’t be able to remember everything after a year either!

With the theory checked, the water skills are next. Scuba Review can be run many ways, I personally prefer to spend time on the briefing and then in the water I can just show the pre-arranged signal for any given skill. My student is really good, and must have had a very thorough instructor because the skills have certainly all been stuck in her brain somewhere, safe until they had to be used again!

The humble cornet fish

Now for the fun part…the dive. It turns out that my student qualified in the UK so whatever the bay throws at us today it will delight her. As we swim around it’s the cornet fish that take her fancy and she seems entranced as she relaxes in a hover as we watch the two specimens, flirting I suspect, swimming and altering their colourings, from stripes to plain, and plain to stripes.

After the dive, log books completed, my student is now actively looking forward to hitting the water tomorrow. Confidence can be gained in so many ways when diving, and for me it’s always nice to see such a change in someone!

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