After musing the other day about how nice it would be to get back into diving after all these years, I stumbled upon a post on the English Swiss forum from a guy called “Jim” He is a very experienced diver, and has lived in all sorts of places around the world including Australia and Cyprus.
I contacted him to see how he would recommend for me to progress, and over the last couple of days we have probably exchanged maybe 20 emails. He is SO nice and easy to chat to, and it’s nice that he is an English speaker. He offered to book (for free) a 4m outdoor pool at a swimming pool in Opfikon this evening, and so after work I met him there.
He has loads of diving gear that he can lend me, and he is a really nice bloke. We really got on well and spent about an hour in the pool, before having a coffee in the poolside cafe. He then drove me to a place on Lake Zurich to show me where he fills his air tanks and then dropped me off at Enge train station where I could catch a tram back to the apartment.
He has two guys he is diving with at the moment, one is another experienced guy called Brian and other is a guy like myself called Nick who hasn’t dived much for years. He also has a couple of students on the go at the moment. Basically I have an open invitation to join him on any of the sessions he plans, whether in the pool with his newbie, or in a local lake. He seemed happy enough with my skills, and has checked me out with PADI, the people I registered with in 1987, when I did my courses in Plymouth. As far as he is concerned, I am still registered and therefore still licensed to dive with another suitably qualified buddy in open water.
He is off with his wife on a dive tomorrow and offered me the chance to go along, but I would need to arrange transport as his car is full of wife, baby, mother-in-law and gear. I can’t arrange anything, but I might look into the car share scheme for the future, in case any more opportunities come up.
It was lovely to be back underwater. The experience of being comfortable in a hostile environment (breathing underwater) is great. It’s also lovely and peaceful down there, away from the noise and bustle above. Within a few minutes I felt quite at home again.
The pool he rented is a fabulous resource. Sometimes, when the kids are off school, or if it’s a hot evening, he cannot get it, but basically I think it’s mostly free for him to use. It’s a 4m dive pool (with diving boards) so is ideal for use to train divers (SCUBA) as it is deep enough to do underwater skills. Many swimming pools are just not deep enough.
I told him that Ben likes to swim, and he says he would be willing to meet us at the pool sometime while Annette & Ben are here so that Ben can try underwater swimming, if he wants to.
What a nice bloke!