About Uncharted Diving
Here at Uncharted Diving we provide diving expeditions that focus on three primary themes:
EDUCATION, CONSERVATION, EXPLORATION
We believe that effective diving education can lead to rich and impactful underwater conservation and exploration, for divers of all abilities. Our programmes are structured so that participants spend, on average, more than double the amount of time in the water than is required by most Open Water diving courses, resulting in more time to develop diving skills and knowledge. With a strong foundation of confidence and competence, we, at Uncharted Diving are able to support participants as they take the diving out of diving.
Uncharted Diving is a facility for Scuba Diving International (SDI), which is the premier provider of quality scuba training programs worldwide. SDI provides us with a base level of quality standards which we, as an education provider, meet or exceed in all our diving education programmes. All instructors working with Uncharted Diving carry a current instructor license with SDI or another leading diving certification agency.
Navigating this handbook
Please take the time to thoroughly review all the information in this handbook. Pay special attention to the three ACTION REQUIRED boxes as they link to forms that need to be completed by the participant and, if the participant is a minor, by the participant’s parent/guardian. If you have any questions about the programme, please direct them to the organisation leaders.
Please click here to see the itinerary for the 2022 YIS Grade 10 Expedition.
About this expedition
Uncharted Diving’s diving expeditions begin well before participants land in Okinawa. For this expedition, with the support of Uncharted Diving instructors, participants undergo an intensive investigation into dive theory in Yokohama before applying their knowledge of diving in confined water pool sessions in YIS’s own swimming pool.
During Expedition Week, participants fly to Naha, Okinawa where they spend the time diving from the shore and leading themselves through the mental and physical challenges that open ocean diving brings. Participants will also have the opportunity to work towards diving certification.
Uncharted Diving’s Okinawa-based programmes use outside providers to supply participants with healthy calorific meals. All breakfasts and dinners will be self-catered where groups of participants, along with staff support, work together to turn freshly supplied ingredients into delicious meals. All lunches will be bento-style and served beach-side.
2 garbage bags for dirty washing
pocket money for lunch on day 1 and day 6 & souvenirs
personal ID (alien registration) & copy
copy of Hokensho (Japanese Medical Insurance card, if applicable)
1 long sleeve rash guard shirt
3 pairs of shorts or long pants
2 swimming attire: appropriate & comfortable
socks / underwear / pyjamas
lightweight, waterproof rain jacket
Participants are required to bring the above items on the expedition. These items are to be packed in an appropriate travel bag such as a suitcase, duffel bag or large backpack. Participants are to also bring a small backpack.
Please note that Uncharted Diving will supply participants with all necessary diving equipment contained within a diving mesh bag. This diving bag will be handed over to the participants prior to travel day and participants are to check this diving bag in at the airport along with their travel bag.
Participants are not to bring or use their own diving equipment on the expedition.
Participants must complete a Diver Medical Participant Questionnaire. If the participant is a minor, a parent/guardian signature is required. Please answer honestly.
Uncharted Diving reserves the right to ask a participant to leave the programme immediately should any medical information be withheld that impacts the health and safety of self and others. This will be organised in partnership with the contracted organization.
Asthma and diving
As you will have noticed in the Diver Medical Participant Questionnaire, the guidelines recommend that asthmatics should be advised not to dive if they have wheeze precipitated by exercise, cold, or emotion. Asthmatic individuals who are currently well controlled and have normal pulmonary function tests may dive if they have a negative exercise test.
If the participant has had any asthmastic activity within the last 12 months that limits physical activity/exercise please indicate this on the Diver Medical Participant Questionnaire. Then, a physician knowledgeable in diving as well as the treatment of asthma will be required to sign the Diver Medical Participant Questionnaire to determine the severity of the participant’s asthma and evaluate if the participant’s asthma is compatible with recreational scuba diving.
Health, safety and wellbeing
Uncharted Diving does not allow smoking or the consumption of alcohol by its employees, the contracting organization’s employees and participants whilst on programme.
In any outdoor environment, being SunSmart is vital. The wearing of hats and sunglasses as well as keeping skin covered, especially shoulders, is actively stressed to participants and monitored. Coral reef-safe suncream will be supplied by Uncharted Diving for use by all participants.
Hydration, nutrition and sleep ensure health and energy levels remain high after active days. Participants are encouraged and taught concepts surrounding these topics and Uncharted Diving actively promotes healthy calorific eating, the constant drinking of water and enough hours of good sleep.
Participant wellbeing includes staying hygienic whilst on a multi day programme around salt water. There are bathroom facilities and access to fresh water is daily. Ear hygiene is a particular area that our learning programme covers and the students are taught preventative measures to ensure healthy ears. More information regarding ear health on diving can be found here.
Uncharted Diving uses outside provider support for accommodation and where possible uses facilities that have access to private showers. However, Japan has a strong ofuro (hot bath) culture and it is possible that accommodation facilities only have hot bath style bathrooms. Uncharted Diving systemises the use of such facilities to ensure individual comfort and privacy if required. Uncharted Diving takes the safeguarding and protection of children and adults seriously.
Uncharted Diving, uses outside provider support for food and catering and ensures quality and kitchen safety standards via a vetting process as well as Risk Assessment and Management System.
Uncharted Diving uses outside provider support for transport and vehicle use and ensures quality and road safety standards via a vetting process as well as Risk Assessment and Management System.
Uncharted Diving is based in and operates mostly in Japan, an active tectonic zone. Therefore, the risk of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis are mitigated through Uncharted Diving’s Risk Assessment and Management System and Emergency Action Plan Flow Chart in partnership with the local authorities and your organization. These systems, that are vetted and reflected upon systematically, also cover other hazards that potentially have a heavy impact on health, safety and wellbeing as well as the programme flow, forcing change to the programme or cancellation. Such hazards include: Typhoons and inclement weather, pandemics and political incidents.
Uncharted Diving’s programme specific Risk Assessment and Management Systems mitigates diving related risks and risk associated with running a multi day programme including transport. The Risk Assessment and Management Systems are thoroughly and systematically vetted before each programme commences and in the reflective process; and are available to your organization’s leadership.
As stated previously, in the case of extenuating circumstances, should parents wish to make contact, please do so through the organization’s representative. The organization is in contact with Uncharted Diving at all times.
Phones, cameras and valuables
At Uncharted Diving, we believe that the chance to practice being without technology, connect with the natural surroundings as well as each other is a vital point of learning. Please be informed that your child will be asked to hand in their phone/device at the start of the expedition. The phone/device and any valuables will be kept safe and returned to the students at the end of the expedition. Uncharted Diving will not accept responsibility for the loss of, or damage to personal belongings not handed in for safekeeping.
Whilst Uncharted Diving cannot promise to capture all participants or events, Uncharted Diving staff will capture photographs and video which will be shared with the organization after the programme. However, diving instruction and the wellbeing of the participants takes precedent.
Therefore, as students practice self reliance, students and parents will not be in contact with each other during the week. In the case of extenuating circumstances, should parents wish to make contact, please contact your child through the organization’s representative.
Insurance and liability
Uncharted Diving and the instructors it employs carry diving-specific liability insurance. Your organization has worked with Uncharted Diving to provide appropriate travel insurance which covers diving related medical expenses. Please refer to the documentation from your organization for details.
Care of equipment
SCUBA diving requires specialized, life-support equipment. Students will be provided with a full set of equipment for both the pool dives and the ocean dives. Prior to each course, this equipment is checked to ensure it is disinfected, safe and functioning properly. While on the course, students are responsible for the equipment allocated to them. Students and their families are responsible for any equipment lost or damaged through blatant misuse or carelessness.
Okinawa is the main island of Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture. It is located in the Ryukyus, a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan. Famous for its aquatic environment of reefs, walls and caves, Okinawa is the ideal spot to develop as a diver.
Okinawa’s water temperature ranges from 22°C in February and March to 29°C in July and August. The Uncharted Diving team will work with your organization about the impacts of water temperature on your specific program.
Uncharted Diving uses outside provider support for accommodation.
Nature Mirai, Naha, Okinawa is the accommodation commonly used by Uncharted Diving for the Naha based diving programmes. This facility allows for communal style living with cottage style houses complete with outdoor bbq and kitchen area. A big lawn, trees and supervised access to the coast allow for a recreational and relaxed feel after the intensity of the day’s diving.
The cottages at Nature Mirai have tatami style sleeping arrangements along with futon style bedding. Large indoor and individualised showers are always available along with outdoor washing and hanging space for wetsuits and equipment.