As divers, we’re learning ALL of the time and courses are a great way for you to keep on top of learning, set new goals and overcome new challenges. Apart from the core courses such as Open Water, Rescue etc there are specialty courses to get involved with! They’re sort of like mini courses that you take to become more educated and better at something. Some specialties are best grouped with others because they relate to each other and some are more stand-alone ones. I've grouped the environmental specs as they all weave into one another!
It should be noted all specs include a donation to PADI AWARE on your behalf and full kit hire.
Be an eco-warrior
Dive Against Debris
Dive Against Debris is a SUPER important course to all divers. Learning who, what, where, when and why debris ends up in the Ocean concerns us all. On this course, we teach all about the 5 w’s, how you can make a positive difference and how to log debris properly.
Nic is so passionate about this that she has even created a series of videos to aid your learning and a question e-learning sheet that she personally gives you feedback on.
After we arm you with the info to make change, we will bounce into the tank to practise buoyancy and trim. Once you're happy, it’s pool time where we actually run through a debris removal procedure! Then it's time for a shore dive so you can show off how epic you are, extra cool diver points if ya collect something cool!
Jodene checking out for Debris around the Lobster Pot!
The PADI AWARE course is a dry, interactive, classroom based spec for both divers and non-divers where you’re introduced to being an Ocean hero. We love this so much because it's aimed at ANYONE who is passionate about the Ocean. This course will teach you how you can make a difference both above and below the water to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. There are a cheeky 10 tips to help you in starting your journey.
Divers making a difference, logging their debris finds!
Just like the PADI AWARE course, there is no need for you to be a Diver to participate in this class. You will learn all about the Corals that we explore. Lemme tell ya, Nic’s a pro!
A Lot of people holiday dive, descending to have a poke around the colourful ecosystems but don't really understand nor have any respect for them. This course aims to give you a little scientific background paired with help on how you can improve your diving practises to better sustain the Oceans unreal habitats.
Dead Man's Finger soft Coral at Eyemouth looking stunning
A key feature of learning about our fantastic underwater ecosystems is implementing change so that we can create action ourselves. Proper trim and buoyancy is a HUGE factor in protecting underwater ecosystems. Lying in that flat (ish) position is not only most comfortable but prevents drag and smashing around.
We will spend a session at the centre showing you how to adjust your equipment for maximum optimisation to prevent flailing and uncomfort plus hop in our training tank for a trim and buoyancy workshop. You’re then ready for 2 shore dives exploring the Big Blue, focusing in on your trim with a few lil activities!
Subs member Sean happy as larry in great trim!
Learn more specifically about the ecosystems that we explore on the Northumberland coastline and how to interact passively and responsibly with them. We will have a chillaxed classroom style sesh then hop into our training tank for a Buoyancy and Trim workshop.
As this is so important to us, we also go over propulsion and kicking in an extra training sesh at the pool. Frog kicking is another way to reduce your footprint on the environment plus offers better propulsion which means less energy, more air and an extended bottom time!
Looking around for local wildlife!
When we’re out diving, see a cool fish and can't ID it. It's frustrating, right?!? We’re gonna help you overcome this issue. In a classroom sesh we will show you all of the common marina flora we spot on our dives and how to specifically ID them. Similar to the Underwater Naturalist course, we include a tank Buoyancy/ Trim workshop and then a Propulsion sesh in the big pool followed by 2 shore dives where you can show off your epic new technique!
Subs member Emma took this photo and ID'd the Nudibranch herself! Well done Emma 😀
Search and Recovery
A big part of being an eco-diver is removing debris from the Ocean but did you know you're not menna pick up anything heavier than 7kg? This is because it puts you in danger! Think about it, if somethings heavy, you're gonna add air to your BCD. What's gonna happen if you drop the object? Ooooosh…express elevator to the surface! If you're deep or have added a load of air this could be fatal. Learn the proper technique on this course. Again, we’ve included a buoyancy and trim workshop so that you can seamlessly glide through the water when searching and hover like a pro when recovering. Plus skills and lift bag practice. Then it's time for the big pool where we’re gonna go through search patterns. Get this… 4 shore dives included!!! It’s here where we head off to a local site, practise our new skills and have fun!
Pre Search and Recovery drills
For us here at The Fifth Point, this spec is an essential. We’re located in Northumberland so it's pretty chilly! A drysuit gives you massive comfort, keeps ya warm and extends your bottom time. Not to mention, its sooo much less of a faff! If you’re not already sold, you get a whole new air source in your suit which you can add to and drain whenever you please. We will spend a dry session familiarising you with the suit, teaching you the essentials and then Giant Stride into the tank to practise controlling your buoyancy and trim… it’s a little different from a wetsuit! After, you have the chance to practise your skills with some real depth at a shore diving site where you will be able to see the real effects of the suit.
DM Beth showing off the Drysuit Diver look!
Drysuit and enriched air kind of go part in parcel with each other because they both allow you to extend your bottom time! Nitrox also gives you the freedom of shorter surface intervals so you can be back where you love faster! Nitrox contains less Nitrogen than the regular 79%/21% O2 mix and therefore, less nitrogen in your body reduces the likelihood of getting Decompression Sickness. Overall, diving nitrox is preferred for safety. Plus you get longer in the water so what's not to love! Get ya drysuit on and go for a mega dive with your buddy!
Nitrox diver on our 2020 trip to Egypt
It’s a given that you wanna have an idea of where you’re going in the big blue right?! The Navigation spec will teach you how to properly use a compass and assess direction from natural cues. Ultimately, preventing you from having to surface and keeping your dive profile looking nice! Plus keeping you safer ;D If you’re not already an Advanced Open Water Diver, check out our course here where this spec is included!
Divers ready for their Navigation session during their Advanced Diver training
Similar to Nav, it's a given that when you’re underwater you want to have an understanding of the kit that's quite literally keeping you alive underwater, right?! This dry course will teach you how to make quick repairs when something goes wrong and give you a basic understanding of how your kit works. Jim is an absolute wiz with equipment and LOVES teaching this course, he's simply the best to learn from!
Jim's equipment setup ready for ya!
Even if you know a Dive site like the back of your hand, it looks different by night! Learn how to communicate via torch and explore a whole new world underwater. We will have a chit-chat and a cuppa to go over the fundamentals. Once you're hyped, there's 3 shore dives included to discover the nightlife on several occasions!
Night dive briefing in Knacker Hole, Beadnell
Feeling like becoming an eco warrior? Want to learn a new skill? Develop as a diver? Take one of our Specialty courses! We offer a load more, these are just a few so check em out here and see if anything else tickles ya fancy. Eco specs can be found here.
We hope to see you soon! For now, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The Fifth Point Team x