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if you are Scuba certified come in

we are still exploring a beach adventure for May.

some places are good for scuba but we have only done snorkeling. (we got snorkel "sets" as a wedding present!) i know you have to get certified/trained for Scuba. frankly it freaks me out a little.

is it hard to learn? the idea of being that far underwater is a little creepy to me but some of the photos of reefs/sealife we have seen looks like it is a cool experience. how long does it take to get certified? 

Re: if you are Scuba certified come in

  • I'm not PADI certified, but there are resort courses that you can try it in water that's not too deep.  I know you start off in a pool, and graduate to water that's generally less than 20 ft. 

    Belize is known for great snorkeling AND diving, as it has one of the world's best barrier reefs and an atoll to explore.  I've only done snorkeling there, but it's amazing!

  • there is a bloomspot deal right now for Belize that started this whole conversation.
  • I got certified 15 years ago in college (it was a gym class) so I am not going to be any help on the length of time, but I am pretty confident I've seen day long classes that end with certification. 

    It's not hard to learn at all - learning to regulate your breathing and controlling your breath was the hardest part for me.  If you do yoga, you probably already have this down.  I loved diving, you really felt like you were exploring a whole new world that was closed off to you before. 

    There is a Living Social Families offer today for a scuba class.  It says 10 and up.  I don't know if the up has an upper limit - it might be worth asking.     

  • I started my suba certification in college- it was a class and you could get certified at the end, but for whatever reason (laziness) I didn't.  You start in a pool, then graduate to other water (ie: a pond or a lake) and then eventually to the ocean.

    It isn't hard or scary- you just have to learn to breathe a certain way and to know what the signs of complications are with the dives and what to do.  

    There's a dive certification place on Duke St. in Alexandria, which is far from you, but depending on how long you have until the trip it could be worth it to get the certification.

    My uncle is a serious diver and he loves it.  His whole house is decorated with pictures he took while diving and sailing and some of those things are simply breathtaking.

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  • I am not certified, DH is but I have done several SCUBA dives. Many places will let you SCUBA if you are not certified, you just go down with an instructor who stays with you the whole time, which I love!  Not sure if Belize has outfits that offer this but I did it in Hawaii & Great Barrier Reef, and had a great experience!
  • I am PADI certified and honestely it wasn't hard at all.  I took the "class" part over the weekend and call it busyness on my part (and cold weather) but I didn't take the "pool/lake dive" until a few months after.  This was a couple years ago and unfortunately I haven't kept up with my dives so I need to recertify which is far easier.

    It wasn't hard to learn - I have a few of anything covering my nose and mouth where I feel like I can't breath so I expected to have problems but I didn't.  The instuctors give you so much information and so many tips that I was comfortable.  After I finished my certification I took a trip with work to the Bahama's and did my first dive there.  I enjoyed it but had my most fun dive in Turks and Caico's - the reefs there was amazing,  wish I would have taken my camera.  I have a fascination with sharks which is part of the reason for getting certified - I did actually see 1 when I was on the dive in Turks.  It was a group of 5 of us that went down. 

    The biggest tip I can pass on that was given to me is to NOT freak out when you're underwater especially if you lose your mask or get water in it.  You'll go through your oxygen so much faster.  I did this my first time and had to go up sooner than the rest of my group. 

  • I just looked and there's actually a scuba deal on Groupon which is only $25.  You don't get certified but they go through the differences in snorkle equipment to scuba and basic skills.  It's probbly a bit far for you but honestly would be worth it if. 
  • megs.....where did you stay in T&C?
  • DH and I are both certified. He got certified 20 years ago and I got certified about 9 years ago so we could dive together. We did a weekend classroom thing, then went right into the pool afterwards and then I did the open water portion about a week or two later. You can do the classroom portions online now. http://www.padi.com/scuba/padi-courses/online-courses/default.aspx

    It is totally worth it and we had some amazing experiences together. I'm a bit claustrophobic and was a little freaked out when we started doing it in the pool, but I got used to it and now I'm totally comfortable. I've even gone cave diving, which I thought I would hate, but it was an incredible experience. Do it!!


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  • I got certified in 2007. I went through Atlantic Edge Diving - I read a book and took a weekend course in a pool, but you do have to do an open water dive (lake, ocean, etc) to get certified. Because of timing I ended up doing my open water dives at my vacation destination - I wish I'd gone ahead and done it in advance so I could have just enjoyed the vacation. But I recommend Belize as well!
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  • It's not too hard to learn.  I took the class over a long weekend in  the Friendship Heights area at SPE Dive school (http://www.scubaedu.com/) and they always take trips to Grand Cayman for certification (much more fun than in a quarry around here)! 
  • DH taught SCUBA for many years on Guam and is certified to teach other people to become instructors, so he's been into it for years. His one qualification for us to get married is that I had to try diving, so I got certified about 6 years ago (and DH proceeded to propose under water, but that's another story). DH taught me and did the pool work with me here, and then we did the open water stuff in Grand Cayman.

    I thought I would hate diving, but it's so much fun. I was SCARED out of my mind about it, but once you get under there and relax, it's so neat. Like PP said, the key is relaxing and not freaking out. The thing that really helped me relax was seeing other people dive who were way older and more out of shape than me (think 70-year old grandma's). I figure if they can do it and survive, I can too.

    DH has gone diving all over the world. I've gone in Grand Cayman, Barbados, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, and Raiatea. Nothing compares to French Polynesia, but Barbados was decent. Grand Cayman was very easy diving. DH said it was some of the easiest diving/calmest water he's ever seen. The Bahamas also has some good diving and is easy to go get to. 

  • DH and I both got certified before we went to Hawaii (it was either '05 or '06). We did a 2 week long class (I think it was a few nights a week for like 3 or 4 hours at a stretch) and then we did our open water dives in Millbrook Quarry in Haymarket in the middle of November. I DO NOT RECOMMEND doing it that way. I damn near got hypothermia with a 7mil wetsuit. My DH was impressed at how "hardcore" I was, as was the instructor, but it was not in any way fun. Diving with a 3mil suit in warm water in Hawaii was paradise :) We should have done our open water dives there.  That's our biggest regret. 

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  • image MrsSstrug:
    megs.....where did you stay in T&C?

    We ended up taking a cruise about 3 years ago and this one of the ports we stopped out.  We had ALL day there though (from like 8am until maybe 10pm) so I was able to scuba dive in the am while DH did who knows what and then we went snorkling later in the afternoon.  I want to go back to T and C for a vacation and stay there because it was so pretty.  The scuba was wonderful (as was the shopping)!  Our group found a lot of baracuda which was cool and the fish were amazing. This is also where I saw my first shark so I was super excited. 

  • now i am confused. i saw this post on travel


     so you don't have to get a full certification to dive? i don't think i would want to "waste" time on vacation doing a class but i didn't even know this was an option.

  • image MrsSstrug:

    now i am confused. i saw this post on travel


     so you don't have to get a full certification to dive? i don't think i would want to "waste" time on vacation doing a class but i didn't even know this was an option.

    You can take the vacation certifications which are often easier but you're much more limited on the dive.  I think you can only go down about 30 or 40 feet but I could be wrong.  If you like the the course and the dive you take on vacation that open water dive can go towards your certification when you get back. 

  • i freaking love the nest
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