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Thread: Scuba diving?

  1. #1

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    Default Scuba diving?

    Im thinking I might want to give scuba diving a crack. Do you have to be qualified or can you just dive with a tour company as a one off? Is it better to snorkel first or just jump right into scuba?

    Its always been sort of a love/fear thing. I think it would be awesome to see everthing going on under the water but Im terrified of being left behind or freaking out about sharks lol



    So anyone been on a scuba dive, or done the 4 day course? Any advice?

  2. #2

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    I'm shark-phobic too but I did the 3 day open water course and loved it. Just jump in and do it, it's worth it!!

  3. #3

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    Hey Freya

    To scuba dive you need to do a PADI open dive course. You won't be able to hire gear out if you don't have the qualifications. If you go on a tour dive you will need the qualifications.

    I did the course about 4 yrs ago and only dived a handful of times cause it was too difficult to get a sitter for DD and DH always went when I was at work. It was cool but a lil nerving too.


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  4. #4

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    Hey Freya

    Avid diver here, married to an instructor. Will jump on the computer and respond properly...

  5. #5

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    Freya DH and I did the SSI course about 6 years ago now (a PADI rival LOL) but either way diving is fantastic.

    If you head north you can do dives on the Reef without having completed a course (they make sure you don't go below 5-6 metres so there is no chance of injury). We are in Melbourne and I think you can do "try dives" with some companies but it is not as common as in Qld.

    As for getting left behind - that is what your dive buddy is for! You always dive in pairs (at a minimum) so you can look out for eachother.

    And as for sharks, it is VERY rare for a diver who is not spear fishing to be taken by a shark. You can avoid areas where sharks are common (I would NEVER dive off Sth Australian waters where the abalone divers are often taken for example) and if you are really freaked you can buy these "anti-shark" devices which keep them at bay.

    Scuba diving is truly amazing - I am just sorry I haven't been able to do it more since having kids. It is like flying Flying on another planet!

  6. #6

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    double post

  7. #7

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    Ok! Here I am ready to ramble on about scuba diving... it is a big passion of mine and it is actually how DH and I met!

    So!

    You can do what is called a "try dive" - most scuba companies will offer this. Its a one off chance to try it out and see what you think. You can do a try dive with only a short amount of theory beforehand - enough that you will be safe and know how to breathe properly.

    If you decide you want to do a course, then you do what's called the "open water" course. That's the four day course and the most common provider is PADI. Most training agencies offer PADI as its the most widely-known around the world. Most dive shops are PADI-affiliated.

    Once you obtain your open water certification, you are able to dive without an instructor, in a buddy pair (never dive on your own!), to a depth of 18m. That's pretty much as deep as you need to go for places like the Great Barrier Reef as all the prettiest corals and fishies are closer to the surface.

    If, however, you are like me and live in Melbourne, lots of our cool stuff (shipwrecks!) is deeper than 18m, so you can do some further training to obtain the next certification, which is called "Advanced open water". Basically you do some depth training and other stuff and you can then dive to 30m, but still with a buddy.

    There are two golden rules in scuba diving - the first is breathe normally and the second is always dive with a buddy!

    Breathe normally just reminds you to take normal, calm breaths, no holding your breath (you learn more about that if you do the course) but I'm mentioning the second rule because if you dive with a buddy, chances are you will never be left alone or left behind.

    If you've watched that stupid movie Open Water, and have a bit of a worry about that happening, there are lots of ways to make sure that doesn't happen - make yourself known to the crew on the boat (skipper, divemaster, anyone else happening), talk to lots of other passengers, dive in a big group. When we go out diving in Melbourne, we generally know the rest of the divers and the boat crew by name (its a small industry!) so chances of being left behind are slim slim slim.

    Also, most charter companies now have very strict protocols about entering and exiting the water - most companies I've dived with (here, NSW and Qld) require you to sign the log when you get back on board the boat after your dive and the boat does not move until every single diver who logged out has logged back in.

    When we dive with bigger companies, DH makes a point of chatting to some other passengers and crew on the boat so that even if somehow there's a slip, there will at least be someone who might say "Hey, where's that big Aussie/Melb diver with his gorgeous wife?"

    Being left behind is rare and nothing to worry about!

    As for sharkies - well - they just make a dive more fun in my opinion!!!! There is only one shark that I would ever be worried about seeing and that's Great Whites - and I just don't plan on ever diving where they have been sighted. All other types of sharks that you may encounter are generally more concerned with smaller fish - most humans are too big to be considered a tasty snack by sharks. Why bother chasing after a strange looking, bubble making, noisy THING when they can go for a fish that's right in front of them??

    Where do you live? I might be able to give you some contact details of local companies for you to chat to if you tell me where you're located.

    Another option is to train privately - my DH is a qualified instructor and he's taken a few of our friends through their certifications, he loves it and its really intimate teaching - one friend has been just her and DH, so she's getting one on one teaching! But you'd need to know someone. Again, let me know if that option interests you and I'll see if I can help out. As I said above, the industry is very small so chances are DH may know someone near where you live.

    As for snorkel-scuba - scuba diving is massively different to snorkelling, but snorkelling does give you a bit of a taste for the undersea world. For me, it basically whet my appetite and encouraged me to try scuba.

    I'll also mention that even if you try scuba and have a freak out, it might be worth persisting - I had a full-blown panic attack on my first "open water" dive, but thanks to a wonderful instructor (not my DH sadly!) we debriefed and I continued with the course and met my DH!

    We spent a large proportion of our honeymoon underwater - we were away for 9wks and did 60 dives, which is a lot - it is a passion that we both share and love to do together.

    There is nothing quite like it... you are completely weightless, the only noise is your breathing and your bubbles, and the things you see, WOW. I could tell you some stories... let me know if you are interested. As I said right at the top of the post, I can ramble on about scuba diving til the cows come home!!!!

  8. #8

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    Rory - we should go on a double scuba date

    DH and my first "date" was a dive - he must have already been smitten because you're not at your most attractive when you're diving hey!!! Let's just say I wear thermals under my wetsuit and they are red, yellow and green striped...

  9. #9

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    OP Sounds good! Maybe we can hire a nanny to look after all our kids LOL!

    Only bummer which I didn't mention is seasickness - I get VERY green above water so boat dives are really hard for me. Luckily I am ok once under water. But you know, once you are hooked on diving you don't even care about that. The guy who owned the shop we dived thru had a record of nine voms on a dive (5 underwater! yes it is possible) and he had in excess of 6000 dives under his belt. (OP your DH probably knows him - he owned the Williamstown dive shop I think?)

    Freya it is seriously an amazing thing to do

  10. #10

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    Gosh the idea of doing it gives me the queezies but Ive decided Im going to! Better invest in or hire a waterproof camera too so I can take some fantastic pics!

    I live in Sydney atm but we're moving to Townsville soon so prime spot for scuba. I kept thinking when we lived there last how sacreligious it was to NOT scuba when you live with the GBR on your doorstep! Dh will be away for quite awhile so Im looking to do some fun group grown up activities while he is gone so I dont go mad stuck with 3 kids. Im sure I could find someone to do it with me. There are a few PADI courses run through a few dive schools, Im just not entirely sure I want to spend $600+ on a course if its not for me.

  11. #11

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    You just cant jump into water saying hey i am going for scuba diving. Even if you are ona tour. You need to have a proper course before that . They check your swimming and perform some exercises.chino hills boot camp
    Last edited by Moore.B; May 29th, 2011 at 03:07 AM.

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