Scuba diving blog

Master Scuba Diver and PADI Specialty courses


Both of these ratings and concepts broken down and explained including the advantages of both.

Master Scuba Diver is the highest leisure rating for divers in the PADI education system.  Put simply, a PADI Master Scuba Diver is a Rescue Diver who has completed five PADI Specialty courses and logged at least 50 dives.  It is a mark of achievement and investment in your diving education, and you can generally expect MSD’s to be skilled, knowledgeable, and passionate divers.

DrySuit training

Many divers tend to naturally progress to the “linear” route in their diver training, progressing from Open Water to Advanced, with some going onto Rescue and Dive Master and beyond.  However by doing this you miss out on the huge diversity of skills and knowledge that can be acquired by doing PADI Specialties.  In addition to this the diving area around Antibes and Golfe Juan has a huge variety of sites that lend themselves perfectly to really enjoying these Specialty courses.

PADI Digital Photography Specialty

PADI Specialty courses are mini courses, usually comprising between two and four dives with associated knowledge development, usually delivered via the excellent eLearning platform.  There are over thirty in the PADI system and some of the most popular include Enriched Air Nitrox, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Navigation, Deep, Digital Photography, Aware Dive Against Debris, Dry Suit and Wreck.  Not only do they improve you noticeably as a diver, giving you more knowledge and a wider skill set, they’re also great fun.  I have very fond memories of doing the (pre Digital) Underwater Photography Specialty with a great Instructor in Dahab, Sinai, Red Sea back in 1998.  We learnt a huge amount and the course also immeasurably improved buoyancy control and spatial awareness as well as our photography skills!

The other thing about these great little courses is that they help you progress from Open Water to Advanced Open Water Diver.  The first dive of any given PADI Specialty is exactly the same as an Adventure dive and thus credits to the Advanced Open Water certification.  The Advanced consists of five Adventure dives with the accompanying knowledge development, two of which have to be Deep and Navigation.

Advanced Open Water eLearning

So, as an example if you do the Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty after becoming an Open Water Diver (highly recommended as this improves and accelerates comfort levels, confidence and thus enjoyment of diving) then by default you’ll have completed 20% of your Advanced certification.  Also looking at things the other way round if you are Advanced certified then you have already completed the first dive of five specialty courses, three that would have been selected by you and your Instructor and the other two being Deep and Navigation.

In summary PADI Specialty courses are a great way of improving your knowledge and skills with an Instructor passionate about the subject matter.  They also enable you to progress to the Master Scuba Diver rating which is a really positive goal to have as a diver.

If you’d like more information about the Specialty courses I teach, or a quote for a package send me an email on or call 0615305223.



Become a PADI Instructor in June at St Jean Cap Ferrat


In June this year I’m very happy to be running a PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) in partnership with Cap Ferrat Diving at St Jean Cap Ferrat. 


This is an iconic part of the Cote d’Azur well located next to Nice and Villefranche.  Cap Ferrat Diving is a fine dive centre in a wondeful setting with superb facilities.  They have a well appointed classroom, two great boats and great access to both confined and open water for skills development; workshops and teaching presentations.

5* IDC Centre

The exact dates are the 10th to the 21st June with the PADI Instructor Examination (IE) on the 22nd and 23rd.

To enroll you need to be a PADI Dive Master or equivalent from another training organisation (for example Niveau 4 Initiateur) or an Instructor from another training organisation.  You’ll also need a current dive medical and some recent diving under your belt.

Over ten days we’ll take you on a journey through the PADI system, doing a series of interactive workshops dealing with how to teach, marketing; organisation of classes and much much more.  You’ll have completed the foundational eLearning in advance, together with a revision of the dive theory necessary to pass the exam in the area of Physics; Physiology, Equipment; Tables and Decompression Theory and Skills and Environment.

You’ll refine the quality of your skill demonstrations, and conduct a good number of teaching assignments in the classroom, confined water and open water.  Each one will get dedicated and personalized feedback from your PADI Course Director.

PADI 5* IDC Centre dive boat

You will also get very familiar with PADI Training Standards and we’ll spend time checking that your foundational dive theory knowledge is up to scratch.

This course is a great challenge, we’ll have a lot of fun along the way and learn an enormous amount.

Once you have successful completed the over two days you will have created a path to making a living out of sharing your passion; teaching diving, and being a leader in marine environment all over the world.

You will also have the option of returning for two more days to validate a number of Speciality Instructor Ratings with your Course Director.  This will enable you to expand the offering of courses that you can teach, leading to more variety for you as an Instructor, plus even greater employability.

For more information and a complete quote please call Course Director Alex Diamond on +33(0)615305223.

Scuba Diving Services for the Yachting Industry

The purpose of this article is to quickly recap the scuba diving services we continue to provide to the Yachting Industry.  More detail can be found in the soon to be live dedicated section on our website  

As an experienced Instructor and PADI Course Director (Instructor Trainer) based in the Antibes and Golfe Juan area for the past twenty years I’ve handled a large range of diverse projects for Yachts and continue to provide a full range of scuba diving services to the Yachting Industry. 

These services include:

  • Equipment servicing with pick up and drop off back to the boat between Genoa and Marseille.  This extends to compressors, BCD’s, tanks, regulators and dive computers.  Much of this equipment has minimum service intervals to comply with legal and insurance requirements.  We’ve undertaken this kind of work for a large number of Yachts over the years and bring experience, good service and client communication, common sense and integrity to bear on all jobs we undertake.  This extends to hydrostatic testing of storage banks on vessels with technical diving capability.     
  • Advice and procurement of new scuba equipment.  From setting a budget to allocating it sensibly and prioritizing spend on the right gear.
  • Crew training including refreshers and ongoing programmes to keep crew skills up to date and relevant for the diving requirements of the vessel.  This includes understanding the rationale for having dive equipment on board, recommending minimum cert levels for one or more crew members and agreeing a training programme to achieve and maintain that.
  • Consultancy on the legal aspects of diving in France. 
  • VIP RDV diving in the Nice to Sainte Maxime area.  We know how to manage client and crew expectations, and more importantly how to manage risk. 
  • On board diving Instructor for hire for short to medium term missions.

If you have any requirements please do not hesitate to give Alex a call on 0615305223 or e-mail




DiveMaster Experience programmes 2022

For the 2022 season we’re looking for two or three motivated individuals to do long term Dive Master courses with us.  This will enable you to gain real experience and develop a solid foundation for a future career in the dive industry.  You will integrate within our small team for a period of two months between late May and mid September.  There is a small fee to cover teaching materials and your PADI membership application.  You will need to budget for living expenses during your time with us.

Our core values are centred on teamwork, mutual respect, customer service, quality of teaching and passion for the marine environment.  Our client base is very diverse culturally and internationally but a reasonable level of spoken French would be a distinct plus.

Our Course Director Alex will be on hand on a permanent basis to provide advice and guidance in your development, in conjunction with the Instructor team.  For exceptional individuals there is the possibility to extend your time and/or return for second season and in return gain your PADI Instructor rating.

Ideally you will already be qualified as a Rescue Diver but we will also consider applications from the right candidates with Open Water or Advanced Open Water certifications.  To apply please send a CV with references and covering letter to

Become a PADI Instructor with in Paris or St Jean Cap Ferrat!

We’re delighted to announce two partnerships for 2021, running PADI Instructor Development Courses and other pro level training with long established well reputed 100% PADI dive centres.

In Paris we’re working with Pret A Plonger, with three IDC’s scheduled over a Friday through Saturday long weekend format.  For more information and to make an enquiry please click here.   

And down here in the sunny South we’ve teamed up with Cap Ferrat Diving and are planning two IDC’s, one in May and one in November/December.  For dates and reservation information please click here. 

IDC Cap Ferrat



Post Covid-19 re-opening

Coronavirus covid-19 pandemic in world, 3D illustration. Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV . Concept of coronavirus quarantine. Pandemic stop Novel Coronavirus outbreak covid-19 2019-nCoV quarantine.

In recent days and weeks we’ve all been asking ourselves an awful lot of questions about how we can return to some semblance of normality and start to enjoy the things we love!  I fully understand that we all have many concerns, worries and doubts and please rest assured that myself and Noémie share these fully.  We will be updating with more news via Facebook when our reopening date gets confirmed but felt important to reassure you, our clients, regarding the measures that will be put in place to protect you when you feel comfortable enough to come diving with us again:

  • Frequent disinfecting of all high contact areas in the dive centre including counters, door handles, card machine, taps, window ledges, classroom tables and other flat surfaces.


  • Availability of hydro-alcoholic gel for the use of clients, in dive centre reception, classroom, toilet, and on each boat.


  • Thorough disinfecting of all regulators, snorkels, masks, BCD inflators and wetsuits according to approved industry practices after each use.


  • Cleaning and disinfecting of all hand contact areas on the boats after each dive trip (minimum twice a day)


  • A maximum of four clients inside the dive centre at all times with a request to all to be considerate towards others regarding social distancing. Exceptionally the compressor room door with be the exit, when the compressor is not in use.


  • A maximum number of clients on each boat to be limited to six (or less if regulations dictate).


  • Ongoing reinforcement and briefings to the team to ensure all of this is respected as far as possible at all times. We will of course be respect social distancing (without compromising diving safety) in all tuition and guiding and the general supervision of this activity we love.


  • We will be asking many of you to pay by card but at distance via a new functionality that Sum Up and our accounts software has provided (invoice with payment link).


  • We will be asking all divers to supply electronic scans and copies of paperwork via e-mail in advance of diving to reduce unnecessary hand to hand contact.


  • If you have had the disease a dive medical from a specialist diving doctor will obviously be necessary, in addition to our usual requirement of an annual medical and one for all training courses.  


  • There is the distinct possibility, depending on the evolution of organisation at Nice Hospital that we limit max depths and insist even more so than usual on no decompression diving.


If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us!

DIVEMASTER Experience Programmes

DIVEMASTER Experience Programmes

Diamond Diving is an Award winning PADI 5* IDC Resort.  We are located in Golfe Juan on the iconic Cote d’Azur (South of France) between Antibes Juan Les Pins and Cannes.  The dive centre is just half an hour from Nice Airport.  Our maximum capacity is sixteen divers and we operate two 6.5 metre RIBS.  We are proud to be an Aqualung partner centre and run a small PROSHOP supplying the entire Aqualung, Apeks and Omer product ranges.

Our core values are centred around teamwork, mutual respect, customer service, quality of teaching and passion for the marine environment.  Our client base is diverse both culturally and internationally. Courses and briefings are conducted in both English and French. 


We have a small number of places available during the 2019 season for motivated individuals looking to develop a solid foundation for a future career in the dive industry.  You will integrate within our small team for a period of two to three months between May and September.  There is a small fee to cover teaching materials and your PADI membership application.  You will also need to budget for living expenses during your time with us.

Our Course Director Alex will be on hand on a permanent basis to provide advice and guidance in your development, in conjunction with our Instructor team.  For exceptional individuals there is the possibility to extend your time with us to a second season and progress towards your PADI Instructor rating.

Ideally you will already be qualified as a Rescue Diver but we will also consider applications from the right candidates with Open Water or Advanced Open Water certifications.  To be considered for one of the places please send a CV with references and covering letter to


2018 season dates and news


For the forthcoming season both boats will have new Yamaha 150 4 stroke clean energy engines (no more noisy smoky two strokes) which will enable us, weather allowing, to take experienced and autonomous divers to slightly more challenging sites more often.  On the programme more often this coming season will be sites such as (but not limited to) :

Bilitis, Seiche St Pierre, Seiche St Pierre Avancée, Le Masque, Le Robuste 2, Sec A Pierre, Les Deux Chariots, Cap Gros and Pequerolles.

Other dates worth noting are as follows:



9/10 June                            UNDERWATER NAVIGATION

16/17 June                          OCEAN REEF FULL FACE MASK AND COMMUNICATIONS



We are continuing to work in partnership with Jean-François André of HippoConsulting who is the only PADI Rebreather Instructor Trainer in France at the moment.  We have provisional dates of the weekends of 25/26 August and 22/3 September and 29/30 September to run the TEC CCR 40 Rebreather course.  For more information see


As usual these will involve a double tank dive with a Lebanese picnic lunch supplied by us and included in the supplement of €20.  Either two dives around the islands with a picnic on St Honorat or two dives further around the Cap with lunch on the boat.

June 17th, July 1st , August 5th


The tried, tested and very much enjoyed formula of first dive on Les Peniches d’Antheor and the second on Les Pyramides.  Two excellent dive sites.  Lunch at a restaurant at The Port of Boulouris where we get tanks filled by our friends at EuroPlongée.  Fuel supplement of €20, plus budget for lunch.

June 24th , September 16th , August 26th


WOMEN’S DIVE DAY                    21st JULY

GIRL DIVE POWER!  Further to our successful participation in this event last year we’ll be doing it again!  We’ve always been a particularly girl friendly dive centre and we’re quite rightly proud of that.  So ladies get a €15 discount per dive plus a complementary aperitif and gift from us and PADI.  Please reserve in advance!



Further to the popularity of the end of season night dive programme last year we’re initially proposing four dates, there will be more if demand dictates!  There is also the possibility to sign up for the PADI Night Diver Specialty meaning you make three of the four of these dives.

September 6th and 20th   October 4th and 18th



An opportunity to come and protect the marine environment through a free clean up dive followed by a set menu at Gigi’s to mark the end of another season.  Good fun guaranteed for all!




Long term DiveMaster experience programmes

We have a number of places for individuals seeking to develop a career in the dive industry for the forthcoming season between June and September.  You will be implicated in a programme taking you up to Dive Master during a long term course, in a small team including a Master Instructor and Course Director.  The minimum period of time needed for this intensive training is two months.  Ideal minimum prerequisites are 25 logged dives and Advanced Open Water.  Please contact Alex on +33(0)615305223 or for more information.

January 2018 news


Fresh back from the 2018 Paris dive-show, here is the latest news for the beginning of 2018.

We’re happy to extend our partnership with Jean-Francois André of HippoConsulting (PADI Rebreather Instructor Trainer (Submatix)) who will be running a PADI Tec CCR 40 course with us over the following weekends in April.  7/8, 14/15, 21/22.  There will also be the opportunity to do either a half day or full day Rebreather Try Dive.  To be repeated in September according to demand.

Further to the success of our Cap Vert trip last November we will soon release details of a Red Sea Liveaboard, specific dates to be confirmed, but scheduled for November 2018.

We have a full calendar of Instructor Development Courses running this year and will also be supplementing this with two Intensive 10 day DiveMaster courses.  These will run from 14th to 23rd April and 6th to 15th October inclusive.

Following the installation of a new Yamaha 150CV outboard on Nounou, our BWA RIB in September 2017, Blue Diamond will fully refreshed for 2018 with new tubes and a new engine.  We’re looking forwards to seeing you all soon.

Ocean Reef, Aqualung Fusion DrySuit, PADI Open Day




On the 13th May we’re running an Open Day plus Evening Social with the opportunity to try two high end aspirational pieces of equipment.  This is on a first come, first served basis.  Boat spaces will be charged €25 as opposed to normal dive rates to cover costs for the day.  Please register your interest as early as possible to avoid disappointment, specifying which product, and morning, afternoon or both.

Firstly we’ll be offering our clients the opportunity to try the Aqualung Fusion Dry-Suit range and secondly one of the full face masks from the Ocean Reef product range, together with the Ocean Reef full face Aria snorkels.

The Fusion Dry Suit range are excellent quality, innovative suits whose stand-out features are lightness, comfort, compactness and flexibility.  For more information about the product range please see:

The advantages of diving with Full Face Masks are significant and include improved vision, comfort, safety, warmth and flexibility.  For more detail about all of these advantages please see :

The total capacity for the day is twelve people trying the Ocean Reef Full Face Masks and eight people trying the Aqualung Fusion DrySuit.  It is possible to do one in the morning and one in the afternoon but not both at the same time.

At the end of the day at around 6.00pm there will be a presentation from Martial Warnier de Wailly, the Regional Manager for PADI in France.  We’re very lucky to have Martial attending and he will be talking about the advantages of the PADI app for tablets and smartphones, Ocean Reef Full Face Mask Specialty and a little bit about the opportunities to become a professional in the PADI system, followed by drinks and an aperitif.  Everyone is welcome for the evening event which will be another opportunity to socialize and get to know new dive buddies.  Feel free to invite keen prospective divers!