Destination reviews

How2Scuba

Sydney, Australia: Abyss Dive Operation

Diving in Sydney with Abyss Scuba Diving
Abyss Scuba Diving is a family run business which employs a core staff of instructors who know the dive sites of Botany Bay and surrounding areas and the way the sites are affected by wind and tide.

The course director, Carl, is an enormously talented and qualified instructor who trains the instructors for their exam.

On the negative side, the old shop owner is infamous in the industry for being difficult and grumpy. At one point I stood there as he sold a wetsuit to a girl that was obviously far too small for her. A sign that his priorities lie well away from the customers' best interests. If you are lucky, he won't be teaching you, as all of the other instructors are fantastic.
He is however, very good at marketing......
406_1973
Car Park:
You can load your car with tanks in their car park out the back, and rinse gear when you’re finished.

Tanks:

The shop rents
Steel 85 cubic foot tanks, mostly reliably filled to 3000 psi (200 Bar). I only had one dud out of my 25 tanks from them. Nevertheless, I recommend checking your tank pressure before driving off to the dive site.
Smaller tanks are available (they call them ‘girl tanks’).

406_2004

Nitrox is available, double check your analysis before you dive at the site, as always.

Tech Diving is taught here, notably side-mount, so they are set up to fill deco bottles to gas recipe.
Give them notice for special gas blends, as they can get very busy, especially during the weekend period.

Organized weekend dives led by local dive masters seem to be popular during the warmer months.
Dive site list

7mm wetsuits are what you want to dive with in Sydney, or a drysuit if you have one, as it can get chilly.

Here’s a video from a shore dive at Sydney’s Clifton gardens:


Training and Certification:
They teach a number of courses at Abyss including pro-training such as the instructor development course.
(read my
blog article about the Dive Master / Instructor training )
Initial certification training for newbies (
Open Water Certification) is taught over 2 days, not 4, so be prepared and have your eLearning done well in advance, not the night before, as a good night’s sleep will be handy before freezing your asses off all day (I saw students go blue during the pool sessions).
After the course you definitely need to get some dives in straight away as the course really whips by, and you’ll be cold, even in the heated pool, which makes concentration more challenging, and the training might not have time to sink in.