HOW OLD DO I HAVE TO BE TO DIVE AND GET SCUBA DIVING CERTIFIED?
PADI requires you to be at least 8 years to dive through BubbleMaker course and 10 years old to become a PADI certified Junior Open Water Scuba Diver. Ten and 11 year old must dive with a certified parent, guardian or PADI Professional to a maximum depth of 40 feet. 12 to 14 year old must dive with a certified adult. At age 15, the Junior certification upgrades to a regular Open Water Diver certification.
IS SCUBA DIVING DANGEROUS?
Not really. Statistics show that recreational scuba diving is about as safe as swimming. Certainly there are potential hazards – which is why you need training and certification – but like driving a car, as long as you follow the rules and use common sense, it’s pretty safe. To put it in perspective, the drive in your car to go diving is more dangerous than the diving.
IS IT HARD TO LEARN TO SCUBA DIVE?
No, in fact, it’s probably easier than you imagine – especially if you’re already comfortable in the water. PADI’s entry-level diver course is split into knowledge development, confined water (pool) skill training and four scuba training dives. The course is “performance based,” which means that you progress as you learn and demonstrate knowledge and skill.
WHY DO I HAVE TO GET CERTIFIED TO DIVE?
In the scuba class, you will learn how to dive safely and correctly. Your PADI SCUBA certification card is proof that you have taken and passed the SCUBA course. No reputable Dive Shop or PADI instructor will rent you gear, fill your tank , or let you dive at their facilities unless you are a certified SCUBA diver.
HOW OLD DO I HAVE TO BE TO GET SCUBA CERTIFIED?
Your PADI SCUBA recreational certification does not expire. It is highly recommended that you keep in practice. You should dive more than once a year. You may take a SCUBA Tune Up from any PADI instructor.
HOW DEEP CAN I DIVE?
The maximum depth for a recreational SCUBA diver is 130 feet. I do not recommend you ever dive the maximum depth. You should not dive deeper than 60 feet without proper training. In the PADI Advanced Open Water course, divers are shown the correct and safe way to make a deep dive.
WILL THE FISH BOTHER ME?
Most fish are afraid from divers or will ignore them. It is very exciting to see fish around you. The larger the better. The best place to see fish is near wrecks and reefs. Some fish will let you get close to them but will stay out of your reach, other fish are curious and will follow you around.
DOES IT ONLY TAKE FOUR DAYS?
PADI courses are “performance based,” which means that you only earn your scuba certification when you demonstrate that you have mastered the required skills and knowledge. Some people learn faster than others, so how long it takes you may vary.
DO I HAVE TO BE A GREAT SWIMMER TO BE CERTIFIED AS A PADI OPEN WATER DIVER?
No. All you need to be is a reasonably proficient swimmer who is comfortable and relaxed in the water. The swimming requirement for certification is an easy 183 meter/200 yard nonstop swim (with no time or specific stroke requirement) and 10 minute tread/float.
WHAT'S IN A SCUBA TANK? OXYGEN?
Recreational divers breathe air, not pure oxygen. It’s filtered to remove impurities, but otherwise, it’s air like you’re breathing now.
HOW LONG DOES A TANK OF AIR LAST?
This is a common question that, unfortunately, doesn’t have a single answer. People breathe at different rates, and you breathe faster when you’re swimming than when you’re resting. Also, the deeper you go, the more you use your air, and, you can get different size tanks. So, the answer is “it depends;” this is why divers have a gauge that tell them how much air they have at all times. In average a 12 ltr tank at a depth of 12m can last for a 30-45 minutes dive.
MY EARS HURT WHEN I DIVE TO THE BOTTOM OF A POOL. WON'T THEY HURT WHEN I SCUBA DIVE?
Your ears hurt because water pressure pushes in on your ear drum. In your scuba course, you’ll learn a simple technique to equalize your ears to the surrounding pressure, much like you do when you land in an airplane, and they won’t hurt at all.
I LOST MY CERTIFICATION CARD HOW CAN I GET IT REPLACED?
You can contact us, and we will take care of it for you. You may need another passport sized picture to issue replacement card. or you can simply contact PADI’s customer services via email or phone to help you issue a new one.
I COMPLETED A SCUBA COURSE AT A RESORT ON A VACATION A FEW YEARS AGO. DOES THIS MEAN I'M SCUBA CERTIFIED?
Some vacation resorts offer courses that last a few hours but most of these are not certification programs. If you did not complete the classroom work, exams, practical pool skills sessions, four open water dives and receive your certification card, you are not certified!
I'M ALREADY A CERTIFIED DIVER, AND MY BEST FRIEND IS TAKING THE COURSE. CAN I TAG ALONG?
We encourage it! We want our students to make great dive buddies as well as great divers. You can join your friend in our classroom and even be present on the pool deck! As a certified diver, you might also want to take the opportunity to get an advanced certification or take a specialty course such as Rescue Diver.
WHAT IS DAN?
DAN stands for the Divers Alert Network. It is a nonprofit safety organization affiliated with Duke University Medical Center. Many of our students become members of DAN to take advantage of their travel insurance benefits and assistance.
DO I HAVE TO MEET ANY SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS OR CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE I CAN PARTICIPATE IN A SCUBA CLASS?
No. Generally speaking, anyone in average good health and at least as a precaution, you’ll be asked to complete a routine medical questionnaire. If anything on the questionnaire indicates anything to be cautious about, you will be required check with your physician to make sure it’s OK for you to dive. in addition to that, you should be comfort in water with acceptable swimming skills.
IS SCUBA DIVING EXPENSIVE?
Not really. Like any hobby or recreation, you can invest a lot or a little, depending on your interest level. SCUBA equipment can be rented, until you’re ready to buy.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED TO HAVE BEFORE THE COURSE?
It’s always recommended to have your own personal gear such as wetsuit, mask, snorkel and fins, however rental option is available. The scuba diving equipment (BCD “Jacket” , Regulator, Air cylinders and weights) are including the course fees.
IN THE MOVIES AND ON TV, DIVERS ARE ALWAYS RUNNING INTO SHARKS OR EELS. ARE MARINE ANIMALS REALLY MUCH OF A CONCERN?
Virtually all aquatic animals are passive and timid. There are a few that can bite or sting defensively, but you can avoid these by watching where you put your hands and feet, and by not touching things that you don’t recognize. Divers aren’t natural prey for sharks, so shark attacks are very rare.
THIS ALL SOUNDS INTERESTING, BUT I'M NOT SURE IF IT'S FOR ME. IS THERE A WAY TO TRY SCUBA WITHOUT SIGNING UP FOR THE WHOLE COURSE?
Yes, there is. We offer the Discover Scuba Diving program, which is an easy introduction to diving conducted in the pool or sea… this is a way for you to experience the fun and excitement of diving before deciding to enroll in the Open Water course
WHAT IS A REBREATHER?
A rebreather is a device that captures and re-circulates at least part of a diver’s exhalation, thereby allowing divers to re-breathe part of their previous breath. Since at least some of the exhalation is re-circulated and re-breathed, gas duration is extended and overboard discharge is reduced. Therefore, a rebreather may be thought of as a gas extension device that simultaneously reduces bubble output.
All rebreathers have a breathing loop with characteristics that help classify the type of unit. The extent to which the exhalation is contained in the circuit determines whether the rebreather has a fully closed circuit, semi-closed circuit, or open circuit. If the entire exhalation is retained in the loop, the rebreather is referred to as a Fully Closed Circuit Rebreather (CCR). If a portion of the exhalation is vented from the loop or circuit, the rebreather is referred to as Semi-Closed Circuit Rebreather (SCCR). Finally, if the entire exhalation is discharged into the environment and dumped overboard with each breath—as with scuba—the device is referred to as Open Circuit (OC).
WHAT ARE SOME BASIC DIFFERENCES BETWEEN REBREATHERS AND OPEN CIRCUIT SCUBA?
Open circuit SCUBA has seen a great deal of development over the years, and now even low-end regulators breathe better than most of the high-end regulators of a decade ago. Of course, further improvements can be made.
When using open circuit SCUBA, regardless of model or manufacture, after each breath you exhale into the surrounding water. That exhaled gas is gone. The deeper the diver goes, the greater the volume of gas that is expelled on every breath. The bottom time with open circuit SCUBA is typically limited by how deep the diver is going and how much gas can be carried. By comparison, in a CCR where only O2 is consumed, bottom time is limited by scrubber duration (typically 3 to 5 hours), decompression obligation (optimized), and oxygen toxicity (CNS and OTU’s).
SCUBA cylinders are cooled due to adiabatic expansion as the gas leaves the tank. With open circuit SCUBA, the breathing gas coming from the tank will almost always be at a lower temperature than the surrounding water by the time the diver inhales it. The diver’s body warms the incoming gas only to have it expelled on the next breath. This removes heat directly from the diver’s core. The open circuit diver is also breathing very dry gas. This is hard on the body because the lungs require moisture for efficient gas exchange. The body must hydrate the incoming gas, primarily in the lungs. This moisture is then expelled into the surrounding water. These two factors act to dehydrate the diver. Dehydration of the body and lung tissue and heat loss are primary Decompression Sickness (DCS) Factors.
In rebreathers, the scrubbing of CO2 from the breathing gas is an exothermic chemical reaction (it produces heat). The reaction by-product is water vapor. The result of this scrubbing is warm, moist breathing gas. With rebreathers, the exhaled breath is re-circulated, which means that the moisture level is maintained. The loop gas is typically at 100% humidity and is much warmer than the surrounding water. This means that the diver stays warmer and hydrated which reduces the primary DCS factors.
REBREATHERS LOOK TECHNICAL, ARE THEY MORE DIFFICULT TO DIVE?
The short answer is no. There is a learning curve. There is more to keep track of than with open circuit, but after a little while it’s like driving a car, the needed skills become automatic. The actual breathing is generally much easier than with open circuit SCUBA.
DO REBREATHERS REQUIRE A LOT OF MAINTENANCE?
Any SCUBA equipment should undergo a pre-dive check before each use. Unlike open circuit, a rebreather requires a little more than a couple of puffs on the mouthpiece to make sure everything is working properly. Rebreathers require some preparation, pre-dive checks and calibration, but these can typically be done in 20 to 30 minutes. Post-dive cleaning can routinely be done in about 15 minutes. An advantage is that the pre-dive work can be done days in advance of the dive. Another plus is that once the rig is set, you can dive the entire weekend without touching it again (except for draining condensation, and provided the scrubber has not been consumed).