An immersion in SUB
The big blue.
Deep, mysterious, fascinating and at the same time unreliable, impossible to fully explore and impossible to reveal in all its peculiarities.
We photograph it, we live it with fun and lightness, we observe it from the shore and above all we imagine it. We imagine it with the audacity of someone who eludes any geographical map, because it’s simply more gratifying to fantasize about what lies beyond the horizon or under the iridescent reflections of the water. Thus, we build the image of a seabed in which the inlets give life to sea caves, in which the algae mix with the corals and the waters open up in a range of a thousand shades of colors.
In our mind we paint it as if it were the most splendid of paintings but, although idyllic, it exists in us, in its depths, only as a mere vision.
Although there are those who, like Daniele, have had the good fortune to really immerse themselves in the great blue, to surround themselves with wonder, to experience it. He is a master in the art of scuba diving, and every day he shares his experience so that other people can admire what he saw: the world beneath the surface of water.
We of the Sea Tales Team also had our chance today. We didn’t dive into the sea, but we practiced in the swimming pool of the Camping Village Dei Fiori. While we didn’t swim in open water, we assure you that it was still a magical experience, which we certainly will not forget.
The first steps: a matter of equipment
It’s the last Monday of July and the sun appears and disappears timidly above our heads. The pool is still empty for the change of shift, but it’s ready to accommodate the swimmers who will enter the water in a few minutes. At one o’clock we meet Daniele at the PADI station of the campsite, marked by the blue flag clearly visible throughout the surrounding area.
Daniele immediately makes us wear a wetsuit, mask and fins, not before carefully testing the size of the equipment according to our build. Only once we entered the pool, our teacher helped us put on the most important part of our equipment: the BCD (variable buoyancy vest), a vest equipped with oxygen cylinders and regulator that allows you to control the level of depth of the immersion and, if necessary, to fix it. Daniele immediately gives the impression of being very prepared, he does not spare himself in advice and follows us individually with attention.
Our first impressions
First of all, he teaches us an essential maneuver to start the dive, which consists in recovering the regulator of our BCD. We discover that the trick consists in lowering the right arm up to the knee, and then sliding it until it touches the cylinder: if done correctly, the movement makes it easy to encounter the tube, to which this instrument is attached, essential for diving.
With the regulator at hand we are ready to begin the real underwater exploration. We dive in together and start to become familiar with this new and unusual sensation. The first breaths underwater bring with them a mixture of emotions that are difficult to decifer. They seem the result of a magic spell that could break at any moment, leaving us breathless. This natural fear actually persists in the first few minutes, when the instinct to hold your breath during the dive prevails, breathing only once emerged. In a short time, we become familiar with this new super-power: we are finally ready to go underwater…We are ready to swim!
The importance of breathing
The first tank gives us the impression of being strange, or at least different from how we had imagined it. We try to dive, with the aim of swimming almost touching the floor, but an inexplicable force promptly pushes us upwards. Daniele smiles, he says it happens to almost all beginners. He explains that if there is too much air in the lungs, the body tends to rise to the surface, and that we must learn to exhale correctly to get down to the level of the blue mosaic under our feet. It’s fascinating to notice how everything passes through the breath. Knowing how to control it – and being able to keep the muscles relaxed at the same time – really makes the difference, because it means knowing how to adjust the depth of the dive according to your needs.
Unpredictable factors and how to solve them
After a little practice, we were able to master the technique, and our teacher congratulated us on the good results we had achieved. Now that we were sufficiently prepared for diving, Daniele also prepared us for some of the most frequent unforeseen events that a diver can be subject to, and above all explained how to solve them easily. In this way, we learned how to behave when the mask fogs up or fills with water, and what to do if we lose the oxygen supply underwater.
Our first diving lesson ends with a last solo dive, and on this occasion, we realize how much the experience we had just lived has enriched and pleasantly surprised us.
Who to contact?
You can go directly to the PADI station, which is located next to the main swimming pool of Camping Village Dei Fiori. Daniele is present everyday from 12 pm to 1 pm, Saturdays excluded. The school is active until mid-September.
What are the necessary requirements to attend the course?
No particular requirements are needed to attend the diving course. The school is open to everyone, from 8 years of age.
What do you need to dive?
During the lesson, Daniele provides all the necessary equipment for the experience. This includes mask, fins, wetsuit, BCD (vest with tank) and regulator.
Is there the possibility of doing a test?
Yes, it’s possible to do a 10-minute test to experience the sensation of breathing underwater. This has a cost of €5 and can be done without reservation from 12 pm to 1 pm. During the test, underwater photos are also taken, which can be purchased at a cost of €5 per person and €10 per family.
How does the actual lesson take place?
The actual lesson is with reservation only and can be done from 1 until 2 pm at a cost of €40. It lasts 40 minutes and allows you to obtain a diploma that is equivalent to 1 credit (valid for one year), to complete the path in order to obtain the diving license.
The second lesson takes place at sea, usually in the afternoon, and has a base cost of €50. Children aged 8 to 12 dive from the shore, while children from the age of 12 the aspiring divers are taken offshore by boat for diving.
Is it possible to obtain the patent?
Yes, at the Venice Diving di Daniele school it’s possible to obtain the Open Water patent, valid all over the world and without expiry, which allows you to dive up to 18 meters. To obtain it, it’s necessary to attend the entire course provided for the achievement of the necessary credits: it includes 3 lessons in the pool and 4 outings in the sea and has a cost of €390. If you want to optimize time to make them compatible with the duration of your stay, you can complete the course in a minimum of 4 days.
If you already have the basic patent, you can also obtain other licenses at the school, such as Advance and Rescue. Finally, the latest novelty of this year is the opportunity to obtain the certification to become diving instructors.
What was the training path of Daniele, the diving instructor?
Daniele has been cultivating a passion for diving since 2007 and has been doing this activity as a profession for the past ten years. For a long time, he divided his job in semesters, spending the summer months in Italy and the rest of the year in tropical locations, such as the Maldives, Polynesia, Galapagos, and the Bahamas. Four years ago, he opened his own diving center based in Thailand and continues to work here at the same time, with a staff of more than 10 people.