5 REASONS YOU SHOULD TAKE YOUR PADI OPEN WATER COURSE THIS SEASON
To say that the diving conditions in Northumberland are epic would be an understatement. The dive season brings lots of westerly winds which makes for flat calm seas and great viz.
Pair this with sunshine topside and great banter from your diving team, having a day out diving is a great way to spend your weekend.
There's never been a better time to take your PADI Open Water Course.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I TAKE THE PADI OPEN WATER COURSE?
The PADI Open Water Course is your beginner's license and access to amazing adventures all over the world. You'll be qualified to dive to 18m with a buddy, you'll feel confident and capable as you explore reefs and meet incredible marine life.
At The Fifth Point, your learn to dive adventure starts in our in-house training tank. You'll jump in with your instructor for 1:1 training (or with your buddy if they're joining, but there'll be no big groups of people you don't know).
During these 6 sessions, you'll learn the basics of scuba diving and build your confidence as you master all the skills you need. The sessions are planned on your schedule - you can pick and choose when you want to jump in so it can fit around the other commitments in your life. You'll also dive into one of our big pool sessions down the road at Astley High School (usually on Tuesday evenings).
As soon as you're feeling confident, you'll head out to explore the beautiful dive sites that Northumberland has to offer. They're teeming with marine life all year round, but there's something even more special about diving in the summer.
Here's 5 reasons you should take your PADI Open Water Course at this time of year...
#1 THE VISIBILITY IS AT ITS BEST
We love diving all year round, but if you take your PADI Open Water Course when the diving season is in full flow, you'll get to experience the best diving conditions the North East has to offer.
We weather watch like hawks... to the point of obsession. The weather has a massive impact on diving conditions and of all the variables, it's the wind we watch most closely. (If you'd like to know why and how we try and predict the conditions, check out this video on our YouTube channel)
All our divers start to get excited at the end of Spring when we see big blocks of westerly winds heading our way. This means that the sea will be flattened by the wind coming off the land, and if it stays like that for a few weeks, it means that the viz settles down and we start having some cracking dives!
We'll never have the crystal clear 30m viz of the Red Sea or tropics, but diving at The Farnes when the viz is 15m and you can see the seals playing all around you is mindblowing.
#2 THE WATER IS WARMER
There's no denying that the North Sea is chilly.
The coldest water we've experienced is 5°c, one snowy January morning.
Diving in these kinds of temperatures is not for the faint-hearted and definitely requires some serious gear to stay warm.
If you were to take the PADI Open Water Course in the summer however, you'll experience balmy water temps in Northumberland of up to 15°c.
At these temperatures, diving in one of our thick wetsuits is lovely (although it can be a bit sweaty to put on!)
If you're one of those people who gets cold easily, even on the sunniest days, you might want to consider learning in a drysuit when you take your PADI Open Water Course. This will take you to the next level of warmth and has the added bonus of being completely dry after your dive - no struggling underneath a dryrobe to get changed, you'll be wearing normal(ish) clothes underneath!
#3 THE DIVE CENTRE IS AT ITS MOST ACTIVE
Because Northumberland weather can often ruin the diving fun in the winter, The Fifth Point is most active between April and October. During these months we're out diving every weekend, sometimes weekdays too to make the most of the epic conditions!
This means that once you take your PADI Open Water Course, there's plenty of opportunities to put your new certification to good use. As a qualified diver, you'll be able to join the Submerge Scuba Subscription.
It's the most cost-effective way to get out diving regularly with the team. Think of it like a gym membership but for scuba diving.
It includes guided dives, tank sessions, big pool sessions and all your equipment rental each month. Plus you get discounts on training, kit and first dibs on all our trips!
#4 YOU CAN HELP CLEAR THE MARINE DEBRIS LEFT BY TOURISTS
The messy problem of marine debris is an issue we battle all year round, but we've definitely noticed a trend in the summer months.
Every dive we do at The Fifth Point is a dive against debris and you'll be able to get involved with our surveys once you take your PADI Open Water Course.
On every single dive, we remove litter from the water and create surveys to submit to PADI AWARE. Not only does this help provide evidence for the charity to push for changes in policy and infrastructure at government level, but it also helps us identify hotspots and problem areas on a local level. You can see all our survey results on the PADI AWARE debris map (just zoom in to the North East)
Northumberland is becoming increasingly popular with tourists. There are more people than ever visiting our beautiful beaches and stunning coastlines. Unfortunately, not everyone is responsible during their time near the water.
In the summer, we find spikes in our data that show increased levels of "touristy" debris - things like discarded clothing, food packaging and plastic bags. These items pose a real threat to the health of our local reefs and marine life so we need all hands on deck to do our bit to protect what we love.
#5 GET SET FOR ADVENTURES ABROAD AND ON YOUR DOORSTEP
Once you take your PADI Open Water Course, you open up a whole world of underwater adventures. With the conditions so good for diving in Northumberland during the season, it would be crazy not to make the most of it.
But what if you want to continue warm water adventures all year round?
Winter diving in the UK is not for everyone, but that doesn't mean your time underwater is cut short when it starts to get chilly here.
As a PADI Open Water Diver, you'll be qualified to dive anywhere in the world. Once you take your PADI Open Water Course, kiss goodbye to holidays lounging around the pool or city breaks - you'll be looking for diving holidays instead!
If the water back home gets too cold, or you just fancy a trip away, you'll be able to dive amazing destinations all over the globe. You'll also be able to join the holiday adventures we organise at The Fifth Point too!
READY TO TAKE YOUR PADI OPEN WATER COURSE?
We think you'll love learning to dive in Northumberland. Even though the team has dived in lots of tropical destinations, they still think there's something incredibly special about UK diving - it's why our co-founders left paradise to set up The Fifth Point in Blyth!
If you're ready to take the plunge, come and take your PADI Open Water Course with us. You'll become a confident diver who has a passion for protecting the ocean - whether that's at home or abroad!