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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Way back in 1964 a series of "Teach Yourself" books were available. Whilst the most popular were probably school aids, geometry, general science etc. a number of sports were included. Teach Yourself Scuba Diving had a foreword written by the Patron of the BSAC, HRH The Duke Of Edinburgh. The intro stated clearly that although the book included all the information to learn to dive, the author recommended joining one of the many national diving clubs for expert tuition.
Now at that time I was 14 and the nearest club met at Linden Hall in Boscombe. I did cycle over one thursday evening with a school friend to see what was what, but when my friend was dragged out of the pool by some stroppy toewrag by his hair 'cause he was wearing one of those silly full- face-masks with top entry for the snorkel, we decided these clubs were not for us. I read that book thorouhgly 3 times. About a year later I manged to scrounge a tank and old Snark II reg. from an aquaintance I assured I knew how to dive, went to Durdle Door, went down to 30 feet and sat there going over in my mind all I had read in that in book.
I dived most summer week ends. In !987 I returned from Israel where I had worked for 2 years in refrigeration engineering. I approached "Bunny" from Southern Sea Services and said I had to do a diving course. He asked why as he knew I had been diving regularly. So I said I was abut to move to Eilat and had to have a licence to dive there. So, the next week I was put thru a very thorough course in the River Stour for "ditch and recovery" and all along the coast from Christchurch to Old Harrys Rock.
Now I know the way I learnt is not to be recommended, but for a kid that was hooked on "The Undersea Adventures of Hanss and Lotte Hass" "Sea Hunt" and all those classic underwater TV shows of the '60's including "Fergus Fish", that was the way to go!

romaurie
 

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14-9-09
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Yes a very nice story, thank you. Do you remember that there was also a "Know the game" paperback booklet on 'skin-diving'? There was an ad in it for 'Normalair' scuba equipment with a full-face mask that had a snorkel attached!

A. Berk
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do remember the Normalair full face mask, recommended for polluted water but not recommended for full beards.The silly full face mask I mentioned was an attempt to produce a full face mask with top entry for a snorkel. Instead of the old ping-pong ball a plastic hollow cylinder in a cage sat on top to prevent water coming down.Now as it 'appens, the "stroppy-toewrag" that dragged my mate Michael Cutler out the water, was only trying to point out the potential danger of that snorkel.But when your 14, it doesn't seem that way.
Fortunately, that mask and snorkel was only available for 1 season in gift shops in Sea Road. Although we didn't like the way it was explained to us, we realised why he was so irate, and followed his advise to purchase seperate masks and snorkels without feckin' ping-pong balls attatched!
romaurie
 

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Thats MISTER Blue Boots to you....
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I have a copy of Teach Yourself Underwater Swimming, by Leo Zanelli from 1967, so I guess this might be the first re-edition of the original.
The foreward in that copy was by Howard Gould, the then chairman of BSAC.

The front cover photo is a diver wearing a neoprene shortie and a fenzy, obviously abroad somewhere, and a pair of what look like marigolds :D
 

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14-9-09
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Aaaaw, masks with snorkels out the top... magic! I remember as a kid a local sports shop would display 'skin-diving' equipment in their window each springtime. One year they had this blue French full-face thing with twin snorkels and flapper valves - £26 it was!!!!!!!!!!!! There was also a pair of Cressi 'Rondine' full-foot fins at around £6. With my stingy pocket money all I could do was stand and :cry:

However, a paperound was offered in time for me to save enough for my first fins - System Hans Hass (with heel straps) - and I still have them!

Berko
 
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