I'm planning a trip to the carribean

sohal1025

New member
Never scuba dived. Snorkeled, ya. Going on a west Carib trip in Jan and was wondering if I should get certified at home or on site. What should I know before I go? At this point I don't even know questions to ask. Any insight is appreciated. Thanks...
 

rjallen

New member
You are running out of good weather in Ohio unless you start NOW. Check with local divers; they can recommend a good instructor. You probably can take the pool work locally and do your check dives on your trip unless you are doing a cruise. If so it might be problematic time wise. PADI and NAUI are the major certification agencies both have their advantages. More importantly, find an instructor that makes you feel comfortable, is a good communicator and puts safety first. Scuba classes should be fun. Good luck and get started!

RJA
 

fishies7

New member
There is no way to get certified "on site" while on a cruise... There simply isn't enough time. Most ships do offer "resort courses" which give you a basic orientation and take you to a maximum depth of 40 ft. with a dive master by your side. It might be worth doing the "resort course" first to give scuba a try and see if you like it well enough to invest the time and money into certification.
 

fishies7

New member
You can already visit your cruise's page of shore excursions to see if they offer scuba diving for non-certified divers. If not, then you may have to just try snuba or snorkel. In most cases, ships aren't in port long enough to do any kind of "on land" resort courses. Check it out and let us know what you find!
 

billsreef

Moderator, 10 & Over Club
Premium Member
Get certified at home. It's the best way to learn what you don't know, and you'll have more fun diving because you have learned ;) Those "resort" courses for non divers don't really teach you much, and certainly not enough to truly understand and manage the potential problems that can occur.
 

snorvich

Team RC member
Team RC
Get certified at home. It's the best way to learn what you don't know, and you'll have more fun diving because you have learned ;) Those "resort" courses for non divers don't really teach you much, and certainly not enough to truly understand and manage the potential problems that can occur.

This.
 

fishies7

New member
A resort course is by no means a certification. But it WILL give you an idea as to whether or not you want to invest the time, money, and effort into getting certified. Some people invest all that time and money, get certified, and never dive again because they have problems equalizing, find the equipment too cumbersome, get too seasick, etc. That's why I suggested you might want to try it out first...
 

billsreef

Moderator, 10 & Over Club
Premium Member
A proper course with a good instructor will take the time to teach how to deal with equalization problems and how to get comfortable with the equipment...something I don't expect an hour in a pool will do before chucking you off a boat in the ocean.
 

snorvich

Team RC member
Team RC
A proper course with a good instructor will take the time to teach how to deal with equalization problems and how to get comfortable with the equipment...something I don't expect an hour in a pool will do before chucking you off a boat in the ocean.

Yes. A resort course has an inherent time pressure built into it such that learning the skills required may result in too much task loading. A certification course with a good (or better) instructor removes this task loading to a great degree. Many people find doing resort dives after a resort course simply too stressful because: inadequate equalization experience, buoyancy "issues", inability to relax and hence go through a huge amount of air very quickly. The other problem is a resort course has a one on many instruction ratio which does not allow for practiced skill demonstration.
 

ndrwater

New member
I agree with Billsreef 100%. I taught Scuba for many years and the best course is where you have ample time to truly understand your equipment and your body in water. Taking a couple of hours in a "Resort Course" is not going to give you what you are really looking for. I.E. a good time under water experiencing what nature truly has to offer. Being vastly under prepared will probably cause (as mentioned before) stress and buoyancy issues. Leading to MORE stress and less fun.
 

Deinonych

New member
get certified at home. It's the best way to learn what you don't know, and you'll have more fun diving because you have learned ;) those "resort" courses for non divers don't really teach you much, and certainly not enough to truly understand and manage the potential problems that can occur.

+1
 

snorklr

New member
40 years ago i tried to become certified at college in miami...and it was an actual course with swimming skills and written tests before you even saw a tank...(blew my open water dive due to a sinus infection )...transferred to another school and never followed up...10 tears ago took a "resort course" in the bahamas which consisted of sit in a pool.stick a regulator in your mouth and breathe...ok,now swap regulators with your instructor so you know what to do if you run out of air...spit in your mask to keep it from fogging....ok ,who wants to go on a dive?...all from a person whose accent was rather difficult to understand...they really teach you nothing,just show you how to use the equipment....so at the very least if you go that route do your own research ahead of time...have fun.
 

Booboobear259

New member
Some places do a discover scuba thing where u don't need to be certified the instructor is with u the whole time and you do a video thing to prep you for it. Something to look into I did it before I got certified and it is cool definitely worth doing if you aren't certified
 

tkeracer619

Premium Member
A proper course with a good instructor will take the time to teach how to deal with equalization problems and how to get comfortable with the equipment...something I don't expect an hour in a pool will do before chucking you off a boat in the ocean.

The instructor I worked with in Colorado when I was getting certified provided information that likely saved my life or at minimum kept me from screwing up real bad. Two of us got into a nasty situation on a dive and the other guy was found 1.5 miles north of us an hour later just before coast guard showed up (he was ok). I was first on the boat.

It is worth every penny to get certified at home with a real course before figuring out if you like it or not. Being able to work your equipment at depth is life saving. Scuba is incredible but is also one of the most dangerous sports on our planet.
 
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Tzwizzle

New member
Call me crazy but I went scuba diving in St Lucia without being certified and never having been. The wife backed out cause it made her claustrophobic which was fine because after having done it I feel like if you have doubts you should not do it.

They took me one on one over to the shore and showed me the basics of the equipment but honestly I found it easier once on my stomach and not being thrashed about on the shore. They made sure I was comfortable before proceeding. Everyone else on the boat had their own gear and were world traveler type veteran divers.

If you are even the slightest bit claustrophobic then scuba diving will most likely cause you to panic. It does not feel natural and you can feel the pressure on all sides of you. The instructors kept an eye on me and I was the first one to surface because of my breathing was not as regulated as the veterans.

Overall make damn sure you feel comfortable with the equipment like how to purge water from your goggles, how to grab your regulator if it pops out ect.

Other random thing that comes to mind. You can use your bladder to adjust your vertical height up and down accordingly. This is useful if you find yourself drifting towards the bottom. Natural instinct was for me to swim up. Not fill my bladder.

I did not have any equalization problems and we did 2 dives. They told me to not rise any faster then my air bubbles and that seemed to work for me.

Overall it was an awesome experience but not being certified was defiantly the more adventurous of the options and not for the faint of heart or slow to learn.
 
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Deinonych

New member
Call me crazy but I went scuba diving in St Lucia without being certified and never having been. The wife backed out cause it made her claustrophobic which was fine because after having done it I feel like if you have doubts you should not do it.

They took me one on one over to the shore and showed me the basics of the equipment but honestly I found it easier once on my stomach and not being thrashed about on the shore. They made sure I was comfortable before proceeding. Everyone else on the boat had their own gear and were world traveler type veteran divers.

If you are even the slightest bit claustrophobic then scuba diving will most likely cause you to panic. It does not feel natural and you can feel the pressure on all sides of you. The instructors kept an eye on me and I was the first one to surface because of my breathing was not as regulated as the veterans.

Overall make damn sure you feel comfortable with the equipment like how to purge water from your goggles, how to grab your regulator if it pops out ect.

Other random thing that comes to mind. You can use your bladder to adjust your vertical height up and down accordingly. This is useful if you find yourself drifting towards the bottom. Natural instinct was for me to swim up. Not fill my bladder.

I did not have any equalization problems and we did 2 dives. They told me to not rise any faster then my air bubbles and that seemed to work for me.

Overall it was an awesome experience but not being certified was defiantly the more adventurous of the options and not for the faint of heart or slow to learn.

OK, you're crazy. :)

No offense, but there are so many things that could go wrong with a dive, and not knowing how to solve them underwater is a HUGE risk, not to mention being unfamiliar with the physics of diving. Glad nothing bad happened to you, but I would never advise anyone to dive in open water without proper training and certification.
 

tkeracer619

Premium Member
I would never advise anyone to dive in open water without proper training and certification.

This +100. I have first hand experience diving with someone who was at one point certified but hadn't done it in maybe 20 years. She put my and our guides life at risk by not knowing what to do. Getting her to the surface alive was a real challenge but dragging her back into shore against one of the hardest surges I have ever experienced was exhausting.

I've also been on a boat when we had to call coast guard for a missing diver. He mad a bad choice. The difference between where he ended up (1.5 miles north of us in the pacific) and where I ended up (on the boat) was a 15 degree swimming angle difference. My training told me how to modify my plan underwater so that I could make it where I needed to go. He didn't modify but he was ok and I'm sure spending an hour drifting in the pacific in 5 foot seas was a lesson learned.
 
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