How did you celebrate PADI Women’s Dive Day 2017?

I visited Asia’s only deep pool, based in Taichung, Taiwan. The idea behind PADI’s initiative is to strengthen the female scuba and freediving communities.

The Divecube Hotel opened its doors in February this year and attracts divers from across Taiwan and further afield. Many customers hail from Hong Kong, wishing to get certified as scuba divers and freedivers.

The hotel gives people who live far away from the ocean an opportunity to experience the wonderful feeling of being underwater.

Divecube is an Aqualung Service Centre and the gear shop on the ground floor sports a wide range of products, including the Japanese brand Mobby’s. I didn’t bother packing my own gear, but the dive center’s brand new Omer freedive rental mask and fins were super comfortable.

The pool offers a lovely view over Taichung’s skyline. It gets deeper gradually, culminating in a 10m tunnel that drops below ground, bringing the total depth of the pool to 21m. The restaurant has a large window with a view of the pool so that friends and family can watch you dive. They built an overhead environment with swim-throughs, only accessible to scuba divers, which is perfect for practicing buoyancy skills.

Map of Divecube pool
Pool with a view... and 10m drop-off . Photo by H-Huai Chang.
Pool with a view… and 10m drop-off . Photo by H-Huai Chang.

On PADI Women’s Dive Day 2017, Olympus was on-site promoting their new TG-5 camera and handing out free, reusable cloth bags.

The dive school offered ladies a discounted dive session and there were some fun competitions on the cards too. Freedivers had to navigate an underwater obstacle course with 3 hoops placed at various depths, before surfacing inside the fourth one and completing the surface protocol. It was all about finding a good angle, approach, and speed. Ladies competed with fins and gents upped the ante by swimming without fins. The fastest freedivers won nose-clips, sponsored by V-Dive.

The obstacle course. Photo by Hungwei Liao.
The obstacle course. Photo by Hungwei Liao.
Photo by Hungwei Liao
Photo by Hungwei Liao
The winners. Photo by Hungwei Liao.
The winners. Photo by Hungwei Liao.

Freediving in Taiwan has increased in popularity over the last 5 years, making it another country to keep an eye on for potential future greatness. Divecube’s Sky Party brought a perfect freediving day to a close with an all-you-can-eat buffet and music.

If you find yourself in Taiwan, I recommend visiting the pool for the novelty factor. It’s easy to get to and a great way to get wet in the city!

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