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#232416 03/14/07 07:09 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 5
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My husband and I will be in San Pedro for a few days in April, he's padi certified and I've never dived before . . .
If I just do a one day lesson will I be "allowed" to go out to dive sites on the following days?
Also, most of the information I've found in guide books & online has been on the more popular sites, my husband seems to want to hang out at about 20 feet under, can anyone recommend good locations for more shallow dives?

thank you so much, i love how active & full of info this board is!

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,484
I would get an Open Water cert with a PADI dive shop in your area. You do the bookwork at home and the dives here, quick, in a couple days. Discover SCUBA is avail., but may limit your husband's options. AC has numerous dive sites in addition to the atolls.


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Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
Hol Chan is about the only site that has the shallow depths you are concerned about.

That said, I second SIN's recommendation to you. The most dangerous part of the dive is the first and last 30 feet. You need almost all of the skills you will learn in a full course, for that depth. As a diver, your husband should already know that.

Also, consider the value of a resort course vs a full course. With a resort course, you have to pay again and again, everytime you travel, however, once you have been fully certified, that's that.

If you are worried that you might not like it or might not be able to do it, try a Discover Scuba course with your local shop. It should only be around $25.

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,479
I'm certified ACUC and when my ex came down she did a discover scuba while I did my dives. Not a problem as she was in her comfort zone and watched me from above. She loved every minute.

Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 424
i agree with SIN... getting ur cert is prob ur best option! it allows to dive pretty much every where... it still limits how far u can go down but if ur not concerned about depth...

if u do plan to get ur cert in belize u can do ur classroom stuff at home and get in ur open water dives in belize... it works out to 5 dives so 2 1/2 days but than no matter where u r u can still dive...

if u do a one day lesson u can only dive for that day and its expensive... a friend looked into it i from what i remember it was over $100 so by that time ur better off just getting certified!

Good luck and enjoy ur trip!

There is a middle ground, a certification course that is shorter than the full OW course, one that PADI call Scuba Diver. You can do it here in 2 days, compared with the 3 of OW. If you're not sure whether you want to do the SD course you can start with Discover Scuba and then extend it, without increasing either the cost or the overall timescale.

With either SD or OW you can do it by the "referral" method, whereby you do all of the course other than the open water dives (2 for SD, 4 for OW) at home, then do the dives here in the warm Caribbean.

Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 424
P2 - with the SD is it not just a one time thing?!?!? i kno there's one course u can take but its only good for a one time thing...

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 3,677
To expand a bit on Seashells post, Hol Chan, in my opinion, is absolutely the nicest shallow dive site I have seen in my travels. It has loads of structure, a great variety of critters and definitely gives more of a deeper dive flavor in spite of the shallow depth. Our extended family has about 15 certified divers, and many of them started with a resort course. Diving can be a bit intimidating, and some people prefer to see if they can handle it before making the larger investment for a cert. My experience with the resort courses is that you take it once, and you can dive for the duration of your stay with the same outfit, subject to the limitations of the course. Typically with a resort course, you have a dive master keeping a much closer eyeball on you during the dives. They will watch closely and evaluate your comfort level and try and keep you there. Somebody correct me if I am wrong. Bottom line, you definitely gotta do Hol Chan.

Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt
Ida - the "one time" course is the "resort course", which PADI call Discover Scuba Diving. That can actually be done as many times as you like.

The Scuba Diver course is a certification course that gives you a PADI diver card that's good for life. It's restricted relative to the Open Water one because some aspects of the full OW training are left out, so the card entitles you to dive to a max of 40' with a divemaster or instructor, not just with any buddy. Since all diving here is by law accompanied by a dive professional it's a perfectly adequate level for a holiday diver. Any progression through the certification levels has to start with an OW certification, so there is a simple upgrade from SD to OW.

Since people don't always know up front how much they will like diving, we structure these three courses so it is easy to move from one to the next. Similarly it is easy to opt out of a higher level course if you decide that a lower level is sufficient for you. How these things are charged for is a marketing issue decided on by each dive center - we generally only charge for the highest level actually attained regardless of the training route to get there, unless we've been involved in a lot of extra work.

Timings - we generally take 1/2 day for DSD, 2 full days for SD, and 3 full days for OW. But there is work that needs to be done privately by the student, so the overall timing is partly down to him/her.

Not all dive training agencies have an equivalent course, and several dive centers here don't teach it. Clearly mine does, and a few others that I can think of.

Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 424
i knew the OW was good for life... didn't understand the SD... i did an introduction course years ago but it was just for that one day and a part of my high school gym class...

thx for the info P2... its always good to kno! i just got my OW cert just b/c i knew after that i could dive anywhere, of course with depth limitations, so for me getting the cert was a must! laugh but it makes sense to have such a program... gives ppl a better outlook on the sport before fully commiting themselves to something they're unsure if they'll be comfortable with!

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