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James Deane

ISSUE 10 ARCHIVE - BEST DIVE, WORST DIVE, JAMES DEANE

BEST: I always wanted to dive as my father was a diver. I still have pictures of him at Siebe Gormans in Chessington, the submarine engineering company. He told me marvellous stories about large conger eels and recently sunken ship wrecks with bubbles streaming out of them.

Today I own a dive shop, Amphibian Sport, where I began making tea fourteen years ago... and I'm still making the tea today. Back then I worked with a man called Bob Lenham who had pretty much dived everything in UK waters and taught me all he knew during the twelve years I was with him. Sadly Bob went missing on a trimix dive in 2009 and has not been found since.
The Underwater Channel
Seal Most of my diving has been around the UK, anything from Seaford to Scapa Flow. I still think when the UK waters are good it can provide some of the best quality diving in the world.

However, some of my favourite diving is to be found on the wrecks off the Normandy coast. It is so special to see a wreck that is still pretty much fully intact with most of the brass still on them. I still enjoy the shallower 15 to 30m dives as I get very bored hanging on the shot line and can't be arsed waiting around, twenty minutes is about my limit now.
Amphibian Sports I have been very lucky to work with some of the best divers in the UK and abroad helping them out with kit / gas and servicing. I have really enjoyed helping out one group, the Karsk Odyssey in Bosnia, they are a group of cave divers that are mapping a new cave system.

WORST: I don't think I've had a bad dive that I can't at least look back on and laugh about something stupid that has happened.

I remember a night dive in Tenerife harbour where the visibility was so bad, about three inches, leaving my buddy and I swimming round holding hands in a manly kind of manner. Another equally ridiculous dive was when we got all excited thinking we had found an old ship wreck out of Newhaven. After a good lengthy time exploring the ‘wreck' we found that we had spent the whole dive swimming around twenty six railway sleepers.
James Deane runs Amphibian Sports in South London, which was opened in 1975 and today remains much the same place that it was back then. The shop has always been like a drop-in centre and on Saturdays turns into a regular mother's meeting.

Amphibian is a dealer of most main brands of dive kit and they keep a large range in stock. As members of SITA and IDEST Amphibian are able to service all makes of regulator on site as well as cylinder testing. Any diver is welcome and accommodated for, whether sports diver, trimix, rebreather together with free divers and spear fishing divers.

Over the years James has used most of the equipment on the market and his own kit that he uses now is: Twin 12 litres; Custom Divers Bravo wing; Uno harness; good old Cyclone regs; Otter dry suit; force fins; two Custom Diver reels and Suunto Vytec computer.

Some top comments from the shop

After showing one diver a full range of torches, he said, "Did you know that a large food chain is selling dive torches? They're great". He has had three... and only two have flooded.

One diver simply thought that, "Decompression is all a waste of time". I asked him "How do you work that out?" He said, "Well, look at whales, they can go down for a long time then swim straight back to the surface..." I think he plays golf now.

My advice for divers

Remember, diving is a sport. Be safe and have fun. It's not all about buying a black dry suit and a twin set and going to 90 metres a year after learning to dive. Take your time. Learn your skills. Be safe. Enjoy. Some of the best dives I have done have quite simply been in the twenty to thirty metre depth range.
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