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My Dive Buddies Episode 2: Tec Clark’s 15 week OW Course! (Watch Video)



My Dive Buddies Episode 2: Tec Clark’s 15 week OW Course! How detailed could you make an Open Water scuba diver course if you had 15 weeks to teach it?! This week, my friend and fellow content creator Tec Clark, host of The League Of Extraordinary Divers and The Dive Locker podcasts, joins me for a pint of Guinness in my dive locker and we talk Diving in Academia – something I know nothing about!

As the Associate Director of Aquatics and Scuba Diving for NOVA Southeastern University, Tec runs one of the – if not the – best academic aquatics program in the country. His Open Water Scuba Diving training runs a whole 15 week semester and his students graduate Open Water Diver with more skills and abilities than the average dive master. Is this practical in the commercial scuba diving schools? Absolutely not. But as Tec explains, what his students are able to go on and achieve in their diving careers has been truly remarkable.

I turn the tables on Tec, as the always entertaining Scuba Guru goes from Interviewer to Interviewee! I’m asking him how he deals with the enormous weight of mentoring so many Instructors that he has brought up through the ranks of scuba diving over the years and Tec faces ‘The 10 Questions We Ask Everyone!’ (Jules Verne is a real person!)

It’s a long episode. Here are the timestamps:

  • Intro: 00:01
  • Tec’s bio: 00:55
  • Diving in Academia: 04:15
  • 15 Week OW Course: 06:14
  • The difference for Tec’s Students: 08:44
  • Does Tec’s model work commercially?: 17:44
  • The performance based mind-set: 21:17
  • The difference between Tec’s training and the real world!: 24:50
  • Tec faces The 10 Questions We Ask Everybody!: 32:53
  • Instructor mentorship: 34:40
  • “Down the hatch!”: 42:48

You can connect with Tec in the following ways:

The Dive Locker Podcast (Absolutely essential listening for all dive professionals.) Here is the Episode where I am the Guest and we are talking about safely adding Technical Diving to a Recreational Dive Center:

The League Of Extraordinary Divers (Fascinating stories from prominent Scuba Diving characters.)

I really hope you guys enjoy watching this series of videos as much as I enjoy making them or else it wouldn’t be fair!

Thanks for watching. D.S.D.O James

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James is a well-traveled and experienced technical diving Instructor, bringing his world SCUBA perspective to Scubaverse! He’s worked for dive resorts; large dive operators; family-owned dive shops; expedition companies; dive retailers; underwater movie productions; is a public safety diver Instructor; and is the Co-Owner of Miami Technical Diving! James is also the personality and knowledge broker behind 'Divers Ready!' a super influential Scuba Diving YouTube channel, website and brand!

Dive Training Blogs

Quick Scuba Tips #12: Pimp Your GoPro for Amazing Underwater Video Colors (Watch Video)



We’re back with the quick tips series and my secret weapon for getting the best colort out of your GoPro underwater!

Introducing the Flip 8 from A color correction system that mounts straight onto the dive housing of your GoPro. Check them out below!

As always, thanks for watching!

D.S.D.O James

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Dive Training Blogs

What you need to know about SMBs!



Ok, so not the most exciting of topics… but an important one nonetheless. Especially as many of us will be starting to enjoy the UK dive season and heading out to explore our beautiful coastline. Some of you may even be heading into the UK waters for the first time due to the travel restrictions… welcome, you will wish that you had done it sooner! 

Surface marker buoys. SMB’s are an invaluable piece of equipment. To demonstrate your position in the water, to fend off boats, to show off your buoyancy to your dive buddy when you can inflate it without moving an inch in the water… or to un-intentionally make your buddy laugh when you forget to attach your reel and send it up like a lost rocket… A must have skill and piece of equipment for all divers. But, how do you choose which one is right for you, and how do you use it correctly? 

Choosing a colour, we all know to look cool as a diver, its all about co-ordinating, but not so much with SMB’s I’m afraid. The standard colour is orange and is what you will typically see being used, and yellow due to it’s higher ability to be seen at night time is just for an emergency…. Not because it is your favourite colour…sorry yellow lovers! If you are wanting to personalise it though you could put your name down the SMB, that way the surface cover knows who it is underneath. 

Next, inflation. Here we have the option of open bottom or direct inflation. An open bottom means that you will need to use your alternate to inflate the SMB, direct inflation you would use your inflator hose. Either of these are sufficient and is generally down to preference. If you are not sure which you prefer, or how to use them, there is a course that you can take to learn all of the skills and offer some helpful tips of how to inflate it and control your buoyancy too. I happen to know an instructor that teaches it… so just drop me a message and I can help…!

So, we have the SMB, next we need a line or spool. So many decisions with a basic piece of kit! Most SMB’s will come with a line, which is great as you can use the equipment straight away. The only down side is, with gloves it can become annoying, especially if you are changing depths quite often as typical on a shore dive here. You may wish to look at a spool instead… They also come in more colours, and this time you can choose which ever you want… even yellow, result! 

Having got to the point of choosing you SMB and line/spool, where are we now going to keep it? Clipping it onto your BCD, keeping it in your pocket. Anywhere is sufficient as long as its easily accessible… like not in your car once you have entered the water…. So be sure to add you SMB to your buddy check! Happy diving! 

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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

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