DPV Spec course
Hello again, hope everyone is doing fantastically.
Today’s post is about one of the most fun diving courses I have done yet. The last dive was the Drift Divers speciality course that I completed in Payattaya and I also mentioned the DPV or underwater scooter course. I did this over the same weekend as the drift course and it consisted of two dives and quite a bit of theory.
The DPV (diver propulsion vehicle) aka underwater scooter course is exactly what it sounds like. You know when you watch those James Bond movies and they are racing around underwater on those torpedo looking like machines??? Yeah that’s what I did!!! But let me start with the theory section of the course. This consisted of learning about the different types of vehicles that you get and what each type can be used for and what it’s restrictions are. I also learnt about the different battery options and pros and cons of each type. Included in the theory is obviously safety regulations as well as maintenance guidelines and procedures. Although it sounds a little boring it was actually rather interesting to learn and good to know. Along with learning all this theory I had to complete a number of little quizzes and a knowledge review test at the end of the course, which I can happily say I passed with flying colours haha.
Little collage from the DPV dives
And then came the fun part- the practical section. As mentioned earlier this course consisted of two open water dives. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t playing along and the conditions forced us to dive in a small bay with about 10 other dive groups and a number of smaller boat and snorkel operators. However because we had the scooters we were able to go faster and thus get in front of and go further than the crowds which meant we pretty much had the ocean to ourselves. There are two ways to operate these scooters; first is the most common where the diver lies/floats behind the scooter with arms outstretched and gets pulled along. This is also the most tiring way to do it and it also means that you do not have the use of your hands to take photos and such things. The second, and in my opinion, better option is to sit on the scooter, straddling it between your legs much like a road scooter. This is a much better option as it frees up your hands and also means you don’t have to use much strength to hold on to the scooter. It also makes turning and doing barrel roles a lot more fun haha. Riding the scooters this way feels like you are riding a motor bike underwater, the sensation is quite thrilling.
Driving the scooter in the straddled position
I absolutely loved this course and I would definitely recommend it for anybody wanting to experience the spy\navy seal life style haha. The benefits of doing this course means that during dives with a DPV you are able to see a greater area of the sea bed in a less amount of time and you conserve a lot more energy which means you have more oxygen thus allowing longer dive times. The course can also be carried over and used in a number of other tech diving courses.
But there was also some sad news. As mentioned in my previous post the amount of sea debris and litter was quite shocking for me. As I said, due to weather conditions, the DPV course took place in a smallish bay with a large number of other vessels and tourists. Perhaps because of this activity, the pollution in the area seemed a lot worse. At one stage I even noticed a local crew member on a different dive boat throw a plastic bag over the side! This lack of respect and understanding to protect and keep the ocean clean is mind blowing to me, especially for a local to be doing the littering! Diving in the ocean is how they make a living, surely for them keeping the ocean trash free is a high priority?
Now more than ever, I want to do something about it. I want to make people aware of the amount of ocean debris out there, the negative effect it has on coral and sea life and therefore the enjoyment of a scuba dive. I want to make a difference in whatever way I can. I have been doing some research on projects and organisations that are currently doing a great job in promoting awareness and are involved in clean-ups.
Thank you reading and please stay tuned to keep updated on my research and those organisations so hopefully you too can make a difference.