Want to join a dive club? In this series, we take a look at grassroots diving and find out what’s happening on the club scene in the UK and around the world…
What is the name of your club?
Kilmarnock Sub Aqua Club (KSAC)
Where is your club based?
Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire, but we dive mainly in the west coast sea lochs of Loch Long and Loch Fyne as well as in the Clyde using our club boat based at Largs Yacht Haven.
Club affiliations (i.e. BSAC, PADI, SAA, etc.)
Scottish Sub Aqua Club (ScotSAC)
Where and when do you meet?
Every Monday night at the Galleon Leisure Centre in Kilmarnock from 20:00 to 22:00.
How do you respond to the challenge of recruiting new members?
We’ve made a really effort over the past few years to improve our social media presence using Facebook and Instagram. We’ve used it to show pictures of our dive days as well as photos of the marine life taken by club members during our dives. This has proven to be a big hit and seen our numbers increased over time.
On top of all that we have all the kit a new diver needs (minus dry suits), so no rental or hefty purchases are needed to get started.
What facilities and resources does the club use/have?
We’re really luck in the club to have a great relationship with the Galleon Leisure Centre where we have access to storage, allowing us to have several sets of club kit (except dry suits) new members can use, as well as a full 4 whip compressor meaning we can provide our own air fills. To compliment our “big” compressor, we also have a mobile one as well which means we can take it away on longer trips where access to air fills might be limited allowing us to explore areas that might not be as well “supplied”.
As well as that we also have our own club boat that is kept at Largs Yacht Haven that allows us easy access to some of the incredible diving found in the Clyde.
What sort of diving do you do, and where?
Most of our shore diving is done in and around the sea lochs of Loch Long and Loch Fyne. These dives offer a range of adventures from trainee friendly shallow reef dives, to deeper more challenging dives.
With the club boat we also do a lot of our diving off the west coast of Scotland in the Clyde. This gives us access to some incredible wall dives, wreck dives and again nicer shallower scenic dives for trainees.
Do you organise any club trips abroad, and if so, where?
Over the years we have organised various club trips from Gozo/Malta to our most recent trip to Egypt. Its an opportunity for club members to experience incredible dives we might not normally do with people we know.
On top of that we regularly organise “weekend” trips here in Scotland to places like Lochaline or Kinlochbervie. They might not be as exotic as Egypt, but the trips are always thoroughly enjoyed and gives club members a chance to experience new dives here at home.
We regularly arrange day trips too to places like St Abbs, Eyemouth and the Farnes Islands which are always a hit with club members.
Does your club have any special interests such as conservation, special projects, etc?
We’ve been involved in the “Save Our Seas” project over the years.
One of our club members Lauren who was studying for her marine biology degree carried out a survey of some of our local dives sites, looking into diver impact on the seabed.
As well as this another of members Ross has worked with BBC Scotland as part of their social media platform, BBC the Social, to write, record and produce several short videos about diving here in Scotland and some of the environmental impact felt by our seas. These have included looking at the effect of dredging, impact of marine protected areas on Arran, blue carbon and plastic pollution.
Several members are also qualified Seasearch Observers reporting on sea bed and marine life conditions in our area.
Does your club have any claims to fame or any particularly interesting stories… or members?
One of our members Ross has worked with BBC Scotland as part of their social media platform, BBC the Social, to write, record and produce eleven short videos about diving here in Scotland. These have included looking at the effect of dredging, impact of marine protected areas on Arran, blue carbon and plastic pollution. As well as, this he has also covered general topics around diving and some of our forgotten history surrounding the various wrecks that can be found off our coastline.
What are the club’s plans for the future?
At the moment our main aim is to continue diving, having fun and introducing as many new people to our underwater world as we possibly can.
Where can people find out more about your club?
Finally… if you could sum up your club in just one sentence, what would it be?
KSAC is a friendly, welcoming club, with a wealth of diving experience who have one thing in common… their shared love of the Sea, Marine Life, and Adventure.
Announcing the Winners of Scubaverse’s November 2022 Underwater Photo & Video Contests
Another bumper month packed with amazing images and videos from around the world! It has certainly been another great month for entries in both contests – your underwater photos and videos are just getting better and better! Thanks to all who entered.
If you’re not a winner this month, then please do try again. December’s photo and video contests are now open.
Tips for… Refreshing Skills
A hugely important subject, and one that should be considered by any diver regardless of your training level. Just like anything, sometimes life gets in the way, we get sidetracked and before you know it, it’s been 2 months out of the water. It may not seem like a lot, but we naturally start to forget things when they are not used. We slow down our actions as we are out of practise and have to think a little more in order to retrieve the information to help make decisions.
There’s nothing wrong with this of course, we cannot always be diving! But it is important that we refresh before getting straight back into it. We obviously conduct a lot of refresher courses here at the dive centre, but we are also realistic, knowing that not everyone will want to pay to refresh their skills with an instructor. That’s also fine too, just be sensible.
Our tips for this would be the following; some will likely seem a little common sense… but it’s always good to have a reminder right?!
First off, when getting back to diving, choose a buddy that you usually dive with or someone that has a higher level of competency in diving. This will give you the reassurance in the water and not have to be worrying about the others person whilst getting back into it yourself.
Secondly, choose a site that you know. Don’t be jumping straight in having seen an amazing new site that you want to try out… that can wait for another time. You have already had a break in your actual diving, without having to then also consider navigating and a new dive plan.
Next, try to leave out the brand new equipment. It’s great that getting back into diving you have decided to buy yourself a new drysuit, fins and BCD, but it all might be a little bit much. Let’s concentrate on just getting back into the water and then move onto those new additions. This kind of change can make even the best of divers anxious.
Last but not least, there’s nothing wrong with staying shallow. Our first dive to get back into it, does not need to break our dive depth record. Stay shallow, enjoy the marine life at this depth, and keep the dive nice and easy. Practise those skills if you would like to, make sure you know where all your equipment is positioned and get comfortable. The ocean isn’t going anywhere… there’s always tomorrow to get in for another!
Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com
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