ADA is now an Ocean Reef International Training Facility

ADA Ocean Reef Interntional Training Center

Ocean Reef Servicing

Ocean Reef Visit - Jacki and Ricky go to Italy!

Ricky and I just visited the Ocean Reef Headquarters in Genoa, Italy for business and training.

The Ocean Reef compound is rather large, as we found on our first day. We were taken for a tour of the factory and the rest of the facilities. We first visited the Research and Development Areas, the show rooms, the servicing stations and the office areas. It's really nice to see where and how things are made.

Ocean Reef IDM Assembly
Ocean Reef IDM Assembly

One of main aims for the visit, was to get trained in servicing of the Integrated Dive Masks (IDM), regulators and underwater communication systems, and this took four full days of training.

Ocean Reef Full face mask White
Ocean Reef Full face mask White

We spent some time learning about the products first of course, how they are made, the design, very interesting from an engineering point of view. This was of course followed by hand-on servicing.

Ocean Reef Product discussion
Ocean Reef Product discussion

But we also had to be trained to actually use the IDM and other Ocean Reef Products in their indoor pool. Ricky has had training and experience with the IDM already, but for me it was my first time. Guess what, it was quite fun! Thankfully, the pool is a heated indoor one, if not, I would have died.

Colourful IDM for testing
Colourful IDM for testing

I really enjoyed it. Being able to breath through your nose instead of your mouth will be something many divers might actually prefer. My favourite part was the MRT or Modified Rhyme Test. This is a communications test. What happens is that one person will say a word at a time, and we would record what we heard. It is to train our hearing and pronunciation while using the Ocean Reef communication systems. "Did you say MARK, BARK, PARK, LARK? or... FARK?"

Ocean Reef Pool Time
Ocean Reef Pool Time

We were trained to service the entire integrated mask system including the 2nd stage and mask.
The Second stage is designed to deliver a higher volume of air because the air has to be delivered into the mask rather than the mouth directly. After four days of work, we can now proudly say that ADA is now an International Training Center for Ocean Reef products. We will be launching our full face mask training and servicing in Singapore in 2016, so look out for it!

ADA Ocean Reef Interntional Training Center
ADA Ocean Reef Interntional Training Center

Reflections on Equipment

Streamlining
How Long Does a Habit Take to form?

It takes – 21 days or 3 weeks, for something simple, but can take up to 9 months for something more complex! Of course there is variation for different people but simply put, it takes constant repetition for a prolonged amount of time to form a new habit, let alone eliminate bad ones.

What this reinforced to me as an educator, is that giving divers constant reminders of good diving practices, will be beneficial to many, even for divers with over 100 dives. (Assume 2 dives/day and 90 days to make a good habit – divers with 180 dives may still be in the formation stage of good habits.)

You don’t have to be the constant nag, it can be done in a light way – but in the long run, good divers you will make.

Get Equipped As Soon As Possible

Being familiar with your equipment, means that handling, locating and using any of your equipment is effortless, automatic even. Checking air, locating your inflator hose or a dump valve – all should be effortless. It takes time to get familiar, so the sooner divers get their own gear, the sooner they can build familiarity.

I personally have configured my set so that I can just peek at my SPG to check my air, no hands involved. But of course with the rental gear I was using, I had a more cumbersome console gauge with a long hose and had tucked into my bcd’s waist clip.

As I was feeling around for it, I was thinking how many divers do not own their gear, and how every time they use a different set, they have to “re-adapt” underwater, maybe spend an extra few seconds or thoughts on it. We are probably talking about only a few seconds of each time, but it is still inefficient. Does it matter – I say definitely.

Accidents are rarely caused by just one thing, they are usually a build up of small things, a chain of multiple events. That automatic response to deflate/inflate or press the right button to begin with for example, could really matter. By removing one small “stressor”, one small link in a chain of events, you could prevent an accident.

So as an instructor, we can prevent big problems by paying attention to the small details. One of which is students familiarity with equipment. Make constant reminders of good habits, always correct small issues like streamlining, and encourage ownership of equipment.

The earlier divers start getting familiar with their gear, the sooner they will form good habits. Often, they will not want to invest in gear until they are comfortable, but we need to tell them that sometimes, you need to invest in gear to get comfortable.