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Reef Report for Saturday, May 27, 2000

NAUI Dives Down Under--Above and Beyond

It was a little on the wet and windy side this week. Winds will remain fresh and gusty at 25-30 knots, although the rain should be clearing with only a slight drizzle by Sunday. Despite the lumpy conditions, the reef has been a hive of activity. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises

Instructor Pascal at Flynn Reef reported many turtles, Lion Fish, and Parrot Fish. He also commented on the numerous smaller species active on the reefs. Introductory divers onboard Passions of Paradise were thrilled by the sight of several barracuda swimming above them in only six metres of water.

A few weeks ago, I told you about the dive certification organization PADI. This week Iíd like to profile NAUI, the National Association of Underwater Instructors. Unlike other certification organizations, NAUI is a worldwide nonprofit association that is widely recognized not only for offering thousands of courses in different languages, but also for its diving experience around the globe. NAUI was founded in 1960 in the United States and by the late 1970's had opened an office in Australia. NAU1 now has major offices in the United Kingdom, Canada, Asia, and Europe.

NAUI is the largest democratic diving association in the world, a status that gives dive masters and instructors leverage to request changes to mandated procedures and policies they feel are unsuitable in an actual dive situation. NAUI is known for its dedication to its students and to the public interest.

Being a nonprofit association, any profit that is made goes back to medical and technical research. NAUI regularly upgrades its full-color manuals and CD ROMS at all levels and conducts continuing education programs to keep dive masters and instructors up to date, especially regarding all recent releases of medical and technical developments.

NAUI's motto is "Dive Safely through Education." They encourage their instructors to exceed industry standards by using computer-generated aids, extensive pool work, and more frequent, longer scuba dives. Instructors enjoy the academic freedom to find innovative ways to teach their students, which in turn produces a safer and more comfortable diver.

Early this year NAUI changed its policy for teaching introductory dive courses in response to changes in workplace, health, and safety legislation. NAUI rea1izes that as we move into the 21st century, changes must be made to meet the needs of the student and instructor. NAUI courses start off with Introductory Dives, followed by Open Water, Advance, Rescue, Dive Master, and Instructor. NAUIís many different specialty courses include Night Diving, Deep Diving, Search and Recovery, and Equipment Maintenance, to name a few. There are also First Aid and Oxygen courses. All of these courses can be taught in any government institution.

In Cairns, the NAUI representative is Wayne Christiansen. Wayne became a NAUI instructor in 1983 and a course director in 1985. Wayne has taught instructor courses in Sydney, the Gold Coast, Mackay, Airlie Beach, and of course Cairns, which Wayne calls home. Wayne is currently leading diving from the Ecstasea, an 18m yacht that runs to Upolo Cay. On board the Ecstasea you can do everything from an Introductory Dive course through to your Instructors course. What are you waiting for?

(C) Pro Dive Cairns The weekly reef report is written by Sue-Anne Chapman of Pro Dive Cairns, who compiles them from the many conversations she has with divers, dive instructors, captains, and others in the Cairns dive community. The report is published weekly in the Cairn Post, the local daily paper and appears here thanks to the courtesy of Pro Dive Cairns.

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