Marcin’s Underwater World
Exactly 3 years ago, our Metrohm Polska team welcomed Marcin Ruciński in the role of Service Engineer. Marcin was a student of chemistry at the Military University of Technology in Warsaw where he was determined to find a job that would utilize his industry-specific knowledge. He heard about Metrohm Polska from his University friend who recommended our company to him. Marcin strives to incorporate a proper work-life balance. Therefore, after work, he is active spending time swimming, walking or cooking European and Asian dishes with his girlfriend Eliza. For about a year now Marcin has also started devoting more time to his one passion—diving.
«I started my adventure with snorkeling in 2016. Snorkeling is the practice of swimming on or through a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped breathing tube called a snorkel, and swimfins. My friend from the University completed a professional diving course and his passion for this sport was contagious», confesses Marcin. A year later Marcin has completed a basic diving course (Open Water Diver). There are only a few diving organizations in the world. Marcin picked an organization called PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), which trains divers all around the world in accordance with the same schedule. The first exercises take place in a swimming pool at the depth of 1.5–2.5 m. Exam diving is exercised at about 5 m, and then also at greater depths.
YOU CAN TOUR SHIP WRECKS AT 42 M BELOW THE WATER SURFACE
From my conversation with Marcin, I learned that the recreational diving course has 3 different levels of advancement, and within each achieved license one can acquire additional specializations. «Having an Open Water Diver license, I can go under water up to 18 m deep. If I want to learn more about diving at night or in a dry suit, I can participate in an additional training course», sums up Marcin. The next level up is an Advanced Open Water Diver course, which permits diving up to 30 m deep. Within this course one can also complete additional trainings and licenses such as Deep Diver (diving up to 42 m deep), Cavern Diver, Ice Diver, or Wreck Diver. The highest level in recreational diving is a Rescue Diver. «During this course, one can learn how to prevent, recognize and act in emergency situations which can happen during diving», adds Marcin. As required by rules, each diving instructor must complete this specific course.
EXTREME SPORT FOR EVERYONE?
Marcin realizes that diving is a sport that bears a high risk. «During the basic course we practiced emergency situations which can happen under water, such as when water gets under the diver’s mask when jumping into the water from a boat. I had to take the mask off and put it on my arm, swim 5 meters and put it back on my face», remembers Marcin. Thanks to professional training and diving under the supervision of an experienced instructor, Marcin feels safe under the water. Even children as young as 10 years old, who have basic swimming skills, can participate in a diving course (Junior Open Water Diver). «You don’t have to be an athlete, but you have to be healthy», reminds Marcin, and then also adds: «People with predispositions to heart attacks, difficulties with circulation or those who are claustrophobic must exercise additional caution.» I also learned that for extra precaution a diving course participant may be asked for a doctor’s note stating that he or she has no health issues that would forbid him from diving activities.
INVEST OR RENT—YOUR CHOICE
Most sports activities require that you invest in the equipment or purchase special gear. But as in many cases with skiing or kayaking, you can rent accessories for a small price. Scuba diving is similar. «If you’re renting your equipment on the spot, you have less baggage during your travels which has an important impact on the comfort of your trip and expenses associated with airport costs.» Each diver has so called «ABC equipment,» which does not take up much space: a mask, a breathing tube and swimfins. Then accessories «BCD» can be rented at a later time: a buoyancy bag, scuba regulator, diving computer, and diving suit. «One dive with rented equipment costs about 40 Euro, so it’s not a very big amount», adds Marcin. He plans on buying his own equipment but not in the next few years. For good quality equipment he will need to save up about 1500 to 2500 Euros. To this expense he also needs to add the cost of the course, which is an additional 300 to 400 Euros for each level.
Marcin’s first open water dive was in Krakow in an old quarry filled with water during his examination course in Zakrzowek. This location is recommended by the diving center where Marcin conducted his course, because the place is equipped with special diving platforms for exercises at different depths. To experience the real thrill of diving, in September 2017, Marcin and his girlfriend Eliza traveled to a Polish diving base located in Croatia in a town called Jezera on Murter Island in Dalmatia. «The water was 22 °C warm! This was my first time diving in such clear water. In Poland the visibility is about 5 meters, and there it was about 20–30 meters. We were therefore able to see incredible forms of underwater life», Marcin responds excitedly.
Just two weeks ago, Marcin returned from yet another adventure, this time to Israel, where he stopped in a town called Ejlat. «The Red Sea is one of the best places in the world for diving with the famous fish Nemo—Amphiprion bicinctus», adds Marcin. I also learned that recreational scuba diving always happens with a guide, usually in groups of 4–6 people. Before they go under water, they participate in a briefing, in which they go over the designated path of the dive on the map along with the depth. Additionally, the guide provides information on the types of plants and animal species that the divers may come across in a given area.
It’s important to mention that divers all over the world communicate with each other using the same gestures. Therefore, despite coming from different backgrounds, they can without any trouble communicate well under the water. Marcin, when asked about his plans for the future, answers: «This year I would like to complete the Advanced Open Water Diver course and specialization Nitrox Enriched Air, and then take an excursion to a diving safari in Egypt during which I’ll spend 7 days on a boat diving in a different place each day.»
SCUBA DIVING IS A PARTNER SPORT
When Marcin talks about diving, he does it with a big smile on his face. From our conversations, it sounds like this sport brings him much joy and satisfaction, and also encourages close bonds. «Diving is a partner sport, because you always dive in pairs and you rely on the other person in case of emergency», says Marcin, and then adds: «I’m happy that my girlfriend, Eliza dives with me. Because of that, we have been able to make many great memories together.»
Marcin is also in continuous communication with his instructor from Poland, who gives him valuable tips regarding diving and suggests interesting places to visit. «People who would like to try this sport can participate in familiarization diving courses», adds Marcin, and then explains: «These are individual lessons with an instructor at the depth of up to 6 meters.» Marcin, when asked what he loves the most about diving, replies without a moment to think: «You can see the incredible underwater world previously known and seen only on National Geographic films. And the amazing state of weightlessness, which you cannot experience every day!»