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Posted: 6/11/2003 9:00:08 PM EDT
I'm interested in getting scuba certified and was wondering if there are any divers in the house who can enlighten me. What's it like? I've already discovered that it can be one hell of an expensive hobby.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 9:01:33 PM EDT
its under water.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 9:53:52 PM EDT
Wellll, once you start, you won't want to stop. It's very interesting and uhhh, pretty cool. I like night dives for lobster.....yummm It can be expensive. Before you start buying equipment, rent all your equipment, from what I remember it's about forty dollars a day. If you end up liking it enough, then buy the equipment. For basic setup, mask, snorkel, fins, it'll set you back $100.00 - $200.00. If you get into regulators, bc's, tanks, gauges, etc., it's like anything else, you can buy lower end, higher end, or something in between, $1200 to $5000. But once you have everything, there is not alot of expense, other than tuneups of your equipment, air for your tank ($6.00-$10.00), and cost of dive boat charters (if you don't know someone with a boat [:(]). Good luck, have fun, be careful.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 9:56:36 PM EDT
Iven if you're not snatching lobsters or exploring a wreck, just swimming around is alot of fun. What agency are you thinking of getting certified through?
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 10:03:47 PM EDT
Not sure of what you mean by "agency". I checked out desert divers in Tucson and they seem to have a good program. They do their open water cert down in San Carlos and Cozumel, Mexico.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 10:07:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/11/2003 10:10:08 PM EDT by Sewer_Urchin]
Go get certified. I got NAUI Open Water 1 certified back in like 1995 for about $300 or so. I don't know how much it is now though. That included all the rental fees for equipment and classes. If I recall correctly, the $300 covered about a dozen classes and six dives. I had to supply my own mask/fins/snorkel but they provided everything else. This was when I was living up in Seattle so the diving wasn't all that good. It was cold, the visibility wasn't very good, and there were rip tides (you'll learn about those), BUT, there was dungeness crab everywhere. EVERYWHERE. If only I ate the filthy buggers. My brother had a field day with them insects of the sea. After getting my certification I never went diving again. Just never got really into it. If you want a pair of Med Cressi Orca fins I'll sell em to you real cheap. The sport isn't for everyone. I suppose being in AZ you are going to be in the gulf or somewhere warm so it would be far more enjoyable. Good luck. Hope this helped. edited to say: The classes weren't that hard. You do have to learn things like how to work with your equipment, how the ocean acts and how your body reacts to different deapths. The only semi difficult part is figuring the deapth vs. nitrogen tables to figure out what deapth you can go to and for how long. By now it is probably all on computer though. Other than that, it is pretty simple.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 10:13:31 PM EDT
I'm certified, and even though I don't do a lot of diving any more, it's a kick in the pants. Even if you don't dive a day past your certification you'll have gotten your money out of it. It's a blast. Like they said, even just swimming around under water is a blast, even in a cold reservoir. One of the best things to do is go to bear lake on the UT/ID border and spearfish carp. Woot! Some of those babies will tow you for a while before they wear out. Crayfish are always fun too if you are inland. If you live anywhere within two hours of the ocean it's a no brainer. So go do it, it's a blast. matt PS-by which organization, he's asking which group will certify you. There are several organizations the offer classes and certifications nationally. PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and NAUI (National Assoc. Underwater Instructors) are the two main ones. I think there's one more but I can't remember. Basically they are the same but there are slight differences in the dive tables. I think the NAUI ones are a little more liberal with times. I think they are directly taken from the Navy's no decompression dive tables. But it doesn't really matter which you chose. Good luck, have fun.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 10:21:12 PM EDT
The place that I am looking at provides PADI certification.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 10:32:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/11/2003 10:39:32 PM EDT by Fidel]
I have been PADI certified since 1996. I have made about 30 dives. I have dived in Hawaii, and Washington State. Learning in Mexico is great idea, and don't worry about safety. Just sure the place is a certified PADI institution. Many of the dive shops are American run, and are top quality. I rented everything right off. The things I bought up front was: perscription mask, snorkel, booties(sp) and dive fins. Getting comfortable booties and fins is really important for comfort. I would also recommend trying to do ALL open-water training( Ocean instead of pool). Here are some websites to get you started: PADI: [url]http://www.padi.com/english/common/courses/rec/begin/[/url] Cozumel Diving: [url]http://www.cozumel-diving.net/[/url] Baja Diving: [url]http://www.mexonline.com/landsend.htm[/url] [url]http://www.cabovillas.com/diving.asp[/url] Hope these sites help, and welcome to diving Fidel
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 10:43:29 PM EDT
Thanks for the link. My roomate wants to get certified with me, a major step for her since she is absolutly TERRIFIED of sharks. I have a healthy respect for the critters but they don't really frighten me. Has anyone ever encontered one in the open ocean while diving?
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 11:38:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/11/2003 11:40:40 PM EDT by 2IDdoc]
Did the PADI certification while living in St.Croix in the US Virgin Islands. Lots of friends with boats and equipment. Most of the friends I dove with were instructors. It cost me $150 and three days at Cane Bay. Dive a wreck some day. It's an experience you will never forget. My favorite dive was when me and a buddy swam through an enormous shimmering pillar of Barracudas. Try underwater footbal too if you can with a neutrally bouyant football. Just don't loose your regulator. Never hold your breath[:D] Don't worry about sharks. Barracudas scare me more. And rip tides, and tunnels.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 11:43:07 PM EDT
As if I dont have enough expensive hobbies.... Anybody know of a place in Seattle that does the cert class? I have ALWAYS been interested....
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 11:55:07 PM EDT
Place in Seattle? Do a web search, probably a local group that can give better suggestions. I've been certified since 1973 with a recent gap of several years until last December and I made a trip to Cozumel, picked it right up again and had a great time. It's a great experience but get NAUI or PADI certified. It's fun, it's easy, but if you screw up you can get in trouble quickly.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 12:04:58 AM EDT
Im much like you CavVet. I've always wanted to learn how to dive and I've been facinated by marine life since I was a kid. Between shooting, paintball, and now this, I'm going to end up being one broke but very happy dude.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 6:57:26 AM EDT
My wife and I got certified in Kaui back in 99. We have encountered sharks several times, but only the nurse sharks ever get real close. We have sat there on the bottom with them and petted them a few times. Black tip reef sharks usually circle the group and then leave. No great whites though. you have to be in colder water than we are willing to go. It is a lot of fun. Be aware dive equipment manufactures have pulled off some sort of monopoly type selling so noone in the area can compete. They also don't usually honor internet buys for warranty work.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 8:00:14 AM EDT
Spinnaker, I would suggest getting your open water certification and then taking an advanced diver class, this would include some of the following: Deep water diving, wreck diving, Night diving and underwater navigation and some others that I can't recall at the moment. The only thing you will need to have is your mask, fins, and snorkel,as someone else pointed out, the dive shop will provide the rest. Tom
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 8:00:55 AM EDT
SPINNAKER, I have seen a couple of sharks. They were asleep under a ledge that we were passing by, and they were very non-threatening. I haven't seen any "swimming around" me like in the movies. The only natural hazard I have run into is jellyfish. I was diving Maui and it was a really stormy day. Come to think of it, there were even warnings of jellyfish drifting from the big island. Anyway, I was ascending and stopped at 15ft. to release nitrogen, and I felt this sting up my arm. I didn't really do anything since I couldn't see the thing. Anyway I got back aboard and put some viniger on it and everything was ok. So the moral is don't go diving when there are jellyfish warnings. Fidel
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 8:04:40 AM EDT
BTW as far as sharks go, the best place is the Sea of Cortez when the hammerheads come in to do their deed. I have not done this but my instructer said "you can swim among them and they will not bother you" Tom
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 8:09:49 AM EDT
NAUI OWII since 1990. ~250 hours of logged dives. Been narced twice but managed to keep my head on. Narced? Nitrogen narcosis, rapture of the deep, you get it at 115 feet and deeper. Its sorta like a good drunk except you recover instantly at shallow depths. Both times were in the Gulf, with warm water and excellent visibility. You do not want to be narced in cold water with low visibility. Its scares the crap of of me... What you have to be able to do for most certs is swim ~50 yards underwater and be able to recover your weight belt from 30 feet. Not too terribly difficult, if in good health.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 8:30:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 8:33:17 AM EDT
You should probably go somewhere warm (like Cancun) and take what they call a "resort course" It's the best way to find out if you like diving and should invest the extra $$$ for certification and equipment. I don't find diving particulary exciting or enjoyable, and it gives me a really bad sore throat.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 8:50:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SPINNAKER: Thanks for the link. My roomate wants to get certified with me, a major step for her since she is absolutly TERRIFIED of sharks. I have a healthy respect for the critters but they don't really frighten me. Has anyone ever encontered one in the open ocean while diving?
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You just have to give em respect, obviously don't feed them or grab them [:)]. I've never encountered them on my lessons/certification dives, but I have seen many. And each time they where around it was exilerating, they are something to see when your diving with them! Put it this way, if we're on a diveboat and the divemaster gives an announcement that there are sharks in the area, I want to get in the water all the more. I have NEVER had a problem with them. Most attacks occur to surfers/bodyboarders, and people swimming close to shore.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 8:55:09 AM EDT
The first time you take a breath underwater is like losing your virginity all over again... If you ever get the chance, dive the springs in Florida. You'll never go back to open water again...
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 9:21:12 AM EDT
[b]NAUI/PADI[/b] certified in 1974, dove professionally for 4-5 years on offshore pipeline projects, (pre and during construction, summer and winter, brrrr... a job highly recommended for those who like to work underwater in the dark). Have dove Cozmel/Cancun more times than I can remember, thru old friend, who owned diveshop. He used to let me go for just the airfare as I helped and pulled Dive Master duty for his neophytes (w/large groups) and night dives, which I love. Have dove Possum Kingdom and alot of the lakes in N.Texas and southern Oklahoma, but guess last time was more than 4-5 years ago. Diving is a blast, (as long as it's not work diving) and hope do more later this fall, but need to upgrade my equipment as all my "top of the line" stuff bought in '74 & '75 are antiques now.... and the new stuff last time I looked is so lite-weight, it's simply amazing. Mike
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 11:29:51 AM EDT
Thanks for all the helpful replys!! I think we are going to start with the basic discover scuba program to see if we like it and then get our open water cert.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 11:37:35 AM EDT
probably not real exciting in AZ LOL Get training..PADI or NAUI
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 12:16:10 PM EDT
SPINNAKER I have been diving since I was 14 (1979)and I live in the midwest, and have my own equipment. So from this perspective I can tell you that unless you are planning on doing a lot of local dives in AZ that you should not by your own equipment. when I was younger I did diving in my area in rock querries, but once you go to some place like the Florida Keys or Grand Cayman you do not have nearly the urge to drag all that stuff down to 10 to 20 foot visibility boring diving. Once you go to one of these exotic locations you will find it is difficult to drag all that equipment on a plane and to the hotel and on to the boat and back again. My recommendation would be a good dive mask with lenses mount in them if you have vision problems and a dive computer (wrist mount) or regulator with dive computer. All the rest you can rent. The only reason I say a regulator is that you know who has been using it and what kind of abuse it has taking. I don't like using a rented regulator at 100ft and be wondering how many times it has been banged around. The reason I say a dive computer (can be rented), is that it will increase you dive times over using the tables (if the divemaster is checking you).
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 12:57:47 PM EDT
Remember.... NEVER, EVER hold your breath. If you do break this "Golden Rule" you are in for a world of hurt (not to mention the divemaster will scream bloody murder at you afterward if you are still alive or punch you in the stomach if you are actually diving and hold it) Don't hold breath... memorize that lawdog
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 2:52:45 PM EDT
I saw a pretty neat looking full face mask that allows for normal nose and mouth breathing and for comms. What do you guys think of it. http://www.diversdiscount.com/resources/frameset.asp?src=/shop/product.asp?category=168&categoryname=Communication I'm not thinking about a purchase or anything, hell i haven't even tried it out yet. I just thought it was kinda neat.
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 6:57:46 PM EDT
Owning your gear depends on how much you dive, and if you aren't comfortable in the rental gear. We only dive once a year, but we do 20 or 30 dives in 2 weeks. We lug our gear anytime we go because I don't trust the stuff they service in the third world contries. Also no one carries the stuff small enough to fit my wife. It is a pain, but we have one suit case that holds it all. Both BC's, set of fins, masks, snorkels, dive boots, gloves, and wet suits. So it isn't over weight, we put the regs in another bag. That diversdiscount place is where we bought all of our stuff except her BC. They also match other internet prices,and are authorized dealers for most stuff, so it is under warranty.
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 7:40:18 PM EDT
Its all about learning how to breath,the demand regulator is just that air on demand! Easy, slow, calm breathing is hard to learn but the underwater experience is like none other! Unless you are an astronaut,or a firefighter with a Scott air pack there is nothing like it! Guess I left out Jet fighter pilot! Bob [:D]
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 8:09:03 PM EDT
Diving doesn't mix well with the aviation profession. Lots of fun...I liked Technical Diving...which organizations like PADI and NAUI won't touch. Technical diving gets into mixed gasses, rebreathers, DEEP WATER...etc. So few people actually do tech diving you get to see some really cool stuff that most divers can only read about.
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