Next chapter in my Divemaster “career”: Scuba Diving at the Echinger Weiher, supporting an OWD course.
OWD – Open Water Diver
This is the basic scuba diving training. We had two students today that did their first dive in open water (i.e. not in the pool) today.
Echinger Weiher is perfect for beginners as it is not much deeper than 6 meters. But still the under water environment is quite interesting as I also described in a previous post.
Students made great progress
It was amazing to see how both of the students made a lot of progress just from dive one to dive two! They already acted almost like a buddy team in dive two and seemed to enjoy some of the underwater environment.
I will be back!
I will be back at Echinger Weiher in the next couple of weeks as my Divemaster training progresses – looking forward to it!
Today I had a lot of fun at Lake Starnberg! As part of my PADI Divemaster training I am supporting various training classes. Today it was the open water part of the Rescue Diver class.
PADI Rescue Diver
The PADI Rescue Diver class is the most demanding class in the PADI non-TEC – non-professional series of classes. I can confirm that as I did it myself a couple of month ago as a student and it took me a couple of days to recover :-O
I have signed up for the PADI Divemaster course. This is the first step in the professional segment of PADI courses. As part of this I am supporting various training courses in order to understand their procedures and flow better and – one day – will teach myself.
Only 4 students and a lovely day
With only 4 students it was a very manageable class and everybody was doing very well! On top the weather was just a fantastic day with a super nice group of people and everybody enjoyed a lovely day under the blue-while Bavarian sky!
Today I was at the Plansee in Austria / Tyrol. Bad news: It was raining. Good news: I was there for scuba diving anyway – so I expected to get wet 🙂
The Plansee in Tyrol / Austria is a beautiful lake located nicely in the Austrian Alps. Even with the not-so-nice weather it looks like a postcard.
Scuba Diving logistics is super easy: Just buy a ticket at the reception of the “Hotel Florelle” and you are ready to go. Parking is possible close to the entry of the lake.
Visibility: Extremely poor
The visibility under water was extremely poor today. I assume this was due to the heavy rain we had over night.
We have been diving in a group, but only after a few minutes got separated. Just no chance for the group to stay together. But of course my buddy and I managed to stay together so we continued the dive.
Plansee Austria Scuba Diving – Dive Profile 1
Better visibility below 12 meters
Once we where below 12 meters visibility got much better and down at 22 meters it was actually really good. So we enjoyed the dive and after just under 40 minutes surfaced again.
The second dive was similarly bad from a visibility standpoint. But we got used to it by that point in time and our group with four divers this time even managed to stay together.
Plansee Austria Scuba Diving – Dive Profile 2
A wonderful lake for scuba diving. Simple logistics and diving possible for all skill levels. Visibility should be better when its not raining so heavily before. Thanks to DCP for the great preparation and guiding.
I will be back!
More details about the lake – check out wikipedia.
Blindsee – pretty cool diving! The Blindsee is located in Austria – about 1,5h by car from Munich. Depending how fast you can or want to drive on the nice German Autobahn: A95 😉
Awesome place in the mountains
The lake is located right next to the Fernpass in an amazing environment. The Alps are all around you and the lake is right there, clear blue – green water, just waiting to be discovered! We have been diving in the most northern part of the lake.
Underwater XXL Mikado
In one area of the Blindsee you can find a lot if trees – under water. At one point in time an avalanche has drowned quite a lot of mud and trees – this now looks like an underwater XXL mikado.
Blindsee Underwater Photography:
That was great fun!
Thanks to Tobi and the DCP Team for organizing this trip – was great fun!
Yesterday I finally received my new drysuit: Bare X-Mission. And of course I had to give it a test-run today!
Test Dive in Friedberger See
Friedberger See close to Augsburg was the perfect place for the test dive: Only 35 mins by car from where I live and a relatively shallow lake with maximum of around 12 meters depth. So ideal for a nice and easy test dive.
Bare X-Mission – love it!
OK – long story short: I love the Bare X-Mission! Initially I wanted to buy the Waterproof D9X BREATHABLE which I liked because its so super light weight. But I was not happy with the fit. L a little bit too small and XL much to big. So I had to look for another brand.
I ended up with the Bare X-Mission and I am super happy with it: Its clearly a notch up in terms of build quality, material, features and price – but absolutely worth it.
Today I did the Deep Diver Specialty Course. Did three fantastic dives in Lake Starnberg in Germany up to 40 meters / 130 feet deep.
While I have been diving in these depths (and deeper) already before it was the first time for me to do that in a local German lake like Lake Starnberg. And this comes with some special environmental factors:
Practically almost a Night Dive
Diving 40 meters deep here means practically doing a night dive as its quite dark down there. So its mandatory to carry a lamp plus a backup lamp.
Today also the visibility in the more shallow areas was pretty poor. So good navigation skills with a compass are helpful 🙂
Water temperature drops to about 5 degree celsius even in summer at that depth. This means you have to have cold water ready gear – especially your first and second stage need to be certified for cold water. I am diving with Apeks MTX-R.
I am also diving in a drysuit in order to keep my body warm.
While the overall environmental factors sound challenging its actually an amazing experience to dive that deep. The darkness and the underwater landscape just look completely unreal – this is what an astronaut must feel hovering over a foreign planet!
is a very nice place to dive! The owner has really taken good care of the place and it has actually a bit of “German Gemütlichkeit” – only garden gnomes are missing! 🙂
So an ideal place to go scuba diving on Vather’s Day! Especially as there is also a nice grill area.
Great Scuba Diving
The lake at this time of the year is only is about 5 meters deep. Later in June and July the depth increases to 10 or more meters as groundwater will feed the lake. This water basically is melted snow from the nearby mountains.
Nevertheless its a lot of fun to dive here. You will find a beer-table under water with bottles, a sunken small boat and a lot of sturgeons hanging around.
Semi-dry diving suit
Unfortunately my dry suit had a hole in one of the cuffs so the 2nd dive was not as “dry” as I wanted it to be.
And it was not as warm as I wanted it to be! 😉 After 15 mins I gave up and enjoyed the nice, warm day on the surface!
The Echinger Weiher lake is located north of Munich. Its a small lake that is not very deep – maximum 9 meters. So very easy diving also for beginners. The under water world looks amazing as there are multiple areas with “white fog”: Some kind of fermentation gas and liquids building a white substance that makes the ground of the lake look like a planet right out of a science fiction movie.
Very much aligned to that look and feel you also find an …. Alien under water: An alien statue that somebody put there – nicely decorated with a regulator! 🙂 Fits nicely into this unreal underwater world!
Need to bring my camera next time, but you will find lots of pictures using the search engine of your choice.
I have finally received my Dry Suit and Rescue Diver Certification Cards. I did the respective training classes already a couple of weeks ago, so its great to finally hold the precious cards in my hands! 🙂
Speciality Diver – Dry Suit Diver
I did this PADI class on 5th of March earlier this year when the water temperature was just around 5 degrees celsius. So the value proposition of using a dry suit was very clear immediately! 🙂
First time in a dry suit
So far I was a pure vacation-30-degree-celsius-neoprene-diver. No diving with dry suits and no regular diving in local lakes at all.
So the first time in a dry suit was… well interesting: Everything is a little bit tighter, movements a bit more difficult plus you have to manage an additional buoyancy device: The dry suit on top of your wing or jacket.
But once I managed this “new device” that keeps you warm and comfortable even in cold water it was great to know that now I can extend my diving season basically to the full year! 🙂
One of the most intense classes you can do in the non-professional / non-TEC portfolio of PADI certifications. Its basically a three-day class with one day of theory, one day in the pool and the final third day in open water.
Your learn how to recognize and manage emergency situations. E.g. how to get a panicking diver out of the water.
I would absolutely recommend this class to every diver and it would be good if PADI would define a short (lets say one day) refresh class – so that people who did the full class before can get an efficient refresh.
I already did more speciality classes since I did the “Rescue Diver” – including “Nitrox Diver”, “Equipment Specialist” and “Night Diver”. You can ready about my night dive here.