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A Message from Drew Richardson, PADI President & CEO – Coming Together in Crisis

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For our beloved diving family, our friends, and associates in the diving industry across the world, the impact and disruption from COVID-19 is like nothing we have ever seen before. We are bombarded daily by a growing despair, and we wrestle with the fear of what life ahead will bring.

On behalf of the PADI family, I want to express support for millions of divers, dive centers and resorts, dive leaders and educators, and many colleagues and their loved ones, who are at this minute, suffering, isolated or quarantined.

I see strength in the beauty, emotion, tenacity and human spirit embedded in our international community of diving. The time is upon us to look within ourselves and to connect with the grace that we love in the world.

Today, there is wisdom and peace of mind in reflecting on the beauty and majesty of nature. The sanctuary of the oceanic wild, and the rhythm of life contained within beckons.

Today, there is solace in knowing our beloved dive sites, coral reefs, fish, whales and all creatures do not bear the stress and burden of worrying about the future during this season. Conversely, they are living each day and navigating through the present.

Today, there is strength in supporting one another in living for today as well. In adapting and surviving so that we can once again return to the diving adventure we love, and focus on being good stewards of the ocean as we emerge from this time.

We all care deeply about the safety of divers, the health of our local dive businesses, the travel and hospitality business and this hydrosphere. We are called now to reach out to each other in support of one another, to promote healing in meaningful ways. (Please read Ideas to Lean in and Support One Another Now.)

We are connected through our love of the underwater world. That connection fills both our hearts and souls. Let’s come together in this crisis, focused and unified, to lean in, support each other, and to support our industry. The PADI family of divers, instructors, dive centers and resorts look forward to being there with you when this season is over.

Together, we will overcome this and we will thrive once again, Seeking Adventure and focusing on Saving the Ocean.

Please stay well, stay connected and believe in the art of the possible. Surviving each day towards restoring our preferred future for the world.

Respectfully,

Drew Richardson

President & CEO, PADI Worldwide

www.padi.com

Miscellaneous Blogs

Book Review: Erebus – The story of a ship (2019)

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In a title of six words, Erebus: The story of a ship, Michael Palin tells us precisely what his book is all about. Through a comprehensive analysis of the Ship’s Logs and crew reports, personal letters, private and naval journals, books, papers and newspaper articles he documents the life of the ship and its crews. He traces their histories from the launch of the ship at Pembroke dock in 1826, via unremarkable Mediterranean patrols, lengthy voyages to Australia to bone chilling Antarctic and Arctic expeditions. They culminate in the last crew abandoning the ship, trapped in Arctic pack ice, in 1848.

However, Erebus: The story of a ship is more than a mere chronology of dates, actions and events. Michael Palin tells us a complex story. It’s an evolving story of the interpersonal relationships of those men serving on the ship; relationships that blossom and those that deteriorate. It includes accounts of influential men and women who shaped the voyages and crew selection. It also notes the impact of sponsors and suppliers who may have contributed to the final tragedy. It’s a story illustrated by Victorian photographs, other colour photographs and paintings, sonar images, maps and sketches. They all serve to provide a picture of the life and death of those on board HMS Erebus.

In 1846, during the heroic but ill-fated Franklin Expedition, HMS Erebus, her companion ship HMS Terror, captained by Francis Crozier, and a total of 129 men, “vanished off the face of the earth whilst trying to find a way through the Northwest Passage” (ppxii – xiii). This was the prized northern route to China and India via Arctic waters. HMS Erebus wasn’t seen again until one hundred and sixty-nine years later under thirty-six feet of Arctic water. Divers found the wreck remarkably intact as their description and photographs reveal.

Palin describes how the search for Erebus and her crew extended over decades – often suggesting missed opportunities as well as shocking findings. His summary account of the last desperate months and weeks of their survival, as the expedition disintegrated, is poignant in the extreme.

It’s tempting to describe the book as a slow burn that builds into an inferno – but words like ‘burn’ and ‘inferno’ are at odds with Palin’s descriptive account of the mind numbing cold of Arctic winters and a ship entombed in pack ice for years. Certainly, the pace of the early chapters appear relatively slow when compared to the final crescendo – but they provide an invaluable background to an understanding of the unfolding drama.

You don’t have to be a historian or a marine archaeologist, a sailor or traveller to marvel at the story of HMS Erebus and her crews. You don’t have to be a sentimentalist to read: ‘The one comfort from the whole unmitigated disaster was the news that bodies had been discovered far enough south to prove that Crozier had led his doomed men to the last link in the chain of marine connections that made up to Northwest Passage’ (p. 261).


Erebus: The story of a ship (2019)

  • By Michael Palin
  • London: Arrow Books        
  • ISBN 9781 784 758578     
  • 334 pp

Michael Palin has written and starred in numerous TV programmes; perhaps Monty Python is one of the most famous. He has made several acclaimed travel documentaries to the North and South Pole as well as the Sahara desert and the Himalayas. His books include Hemingway’s Chair (1998) and The Truth (2013). Between 2009 and 2012 he was President of the Royal Geographical Society. Michael Palin was knighted in 2019 and lives in London.


Find out more about Professor Fred Lockwood, who is also a published author, at www.fredlockwood.co.uk.

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SSI introduces new SSI Decompression Diving Specialty Program

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SSI has announced the latest addition to their Recreational Diving program, the SSI Decompression Diving Specialty.

SSI developed this innovative new specialty to bridge the gap between recreational diving and their Extended Range (XR) programs. The SSI Decompression Diving Specialty is the perfect opportunity for recreational divers to get a small taste of what more advanced diving is like without having to commit to going entirely technical right off the bat.

Often, the difference between recreational equipment and a more technical set-up seems intimidating and overwhelming to the standard dive customer. However, if you are looking to market your technical diving program, the new Decompression Diving Specialty is the perfect way to slowly introduce your dive customers to the excitement and adventure offered by the Extended Range (XR) programs.

The Decompression Diving Specialty provides SSI divers the training necessary to independently plan and conduct decompression dives using either traditional recreational equipment or introducing them to using a sidemount system. This program will take divers to a maximum depth of 40 meters with a maximum accumulated decompression time of 15 minutes.

If you are a current SSI Extended Range Nitrox, SSI CCR Extended Range, or SSI SCR Extended Range Instructor or higher and interested in teaching this exciting new program, simply sign-up online for a FREE online upgrade. If you are currently an SSI Instructor in any other discipline, contact your affiliated Training Center for more information on becoming an SSI Decompression Diving Instructor and learn how to start introducing divers to the world of decompression diving today!

Find out more at www.divessi.com.


Source: www.divenewswire.com

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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