Search

Times own AQUA-MAN

PUBLISHED: 10:17 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 17:24 25 August 2010

AS a teenager in the murky mists of time I was captivated by the idea that using nothing more than biology you could perhaps double the length of time you can hold your breath.

AS a teenager in the murky mists of time I was captivated by the idea that using nothing more than biology you could perhaps double the length of time you can hold your breath.

The joy of hyperventilation was a revelation: breathing deeply using a relaxed but concentrated effort over a couple of minutes, purging carbon dioxide and saturating the blood with oxygen.

Armed with this secret weapon, the opposition would be torpedoed at school in a 'see how far you can swim underwater' competition (don't try this at home or in water).

It was a big pool too, 44m, at the Royal Hospital School, Suffolk, for the sons of sea farers, part of the Greenwich Maritime Trust. The Holy Grail was to swim end to end without coming up for air.

So imagine being under water able to breathe, switching off all those primeval instincts bolstered by teenage science. It's akin to Luke Skywalker hearing a shadowy figure say: "DON'T use the force Luke."

Holding onto the side of Sidcup Leisure Centre pool complete with diving belt, fins and air cylinder, the regulator mouth piece goes in and it's eyes down for a full house, head submerged.

Take a deep breath - eureka - it works! Gallons of water didn't rush into my mouth and I'm free to snake up and down the bottom of the pool following the contours to my heart's content.

There are some drills to learn along the way on a Try Dive: Bexley Sub-Aqua Club's perfect gift for something a bit different than the perennial jumper at Christmas.

In a couple of hours I learnt how to control my buoyancy, purge the regulator in case it falls out of your mouth, clear a face mask of water while submerged, and a few hand signals under the watchful eye of national instructor, Mick Edwards.

The club has 70 members affiliated to the British Sub-Aqua Club, the UK's governing body.

Bexley club owns 10 sets of scuba gear for students and has two diving boats complete with GPS and sonar for easy access to the best diving sites around the coast.

The social aspect of diving has a big draw too, there is plenty of friendly banter and it's easy to see why groups travel abroad for regular expeditions.

It runs training and qualifications up to the internationally recognised Ocean Diver standard and above, using pool and open water sessions along with theory classes.

You would be hard pushed to find a voucher in a Christmas stocking for a tenner and have more fun than a Try Dive. It may even spark the beginning of a life-long adventure.

The club also provides children's Try Dives for £5. For more information or to book a Try Dive log on to www.bexleysubaqua.co.uk.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Bexley Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists