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Learning to scuba dive with DIVERS COVE and PADI is an incredible adventure! With PADI as your training organization, your path to breathing underwater is accomplished in three exciting phases:

1. Knowledge Development - Learn the lingo.

During the first phase of your PADI Open Water Diver scuba certification, you develop an understanding of the basic principles of scuba diving. You learn things like how pressure affects your body, how to choose the best scuba gear and what to consider when planning dives. You briefly review what you have studied in the five knowledge sections with your instructor and take a short quiz to be sure you're getting it.

At the end of the course, you'll take a longer quiz that makes sure you have all the key concepts and ideas down. You and your Divers Cove Instructor will review anything that you don't quite get until it's clear.

Select the knowledge development option you prefer:

  • Start right now and learn to scuba dive online with Divers Cove with PADI eLearning at your own pace—anytime, anywhere (which is great for busy schedules)
  • Attend a scheduled scuba diving class at Divers Cove (great for meeting new friends and dive buddies)
  • Take advantage of home study using PADI multimedia materials (manual, video, CD-Rom) purchased through Divers Cove.
2. Confined Water Dives - Scuba Skills Training.

This is what it's all about – diving. You develop basic scuba skills by scuba diving in a pool or body of water with pool-like conditions. Here you'll learn everything from setting up your scuba gear to how to easily get water out of your scuba mask without surfacing. You'll also practice some emergency skills, like sharing air or replacing your scuba mask. Plus, you may play some games, make new friends and have a great time. There are five confined water dives, with each building upon the previous. Over the course of these five dives, you attain the skills you need to dive in open water.

3. Open Water Dives.

After your confined water dives, you and the new friends you've made continue learning during four open water dives with your Divers Cove Instructor at a dive site. This is where you fully experience the underwater adventure – at the beginner level, of course. You may make these dives off the beach or on one of our favorite dive charters. 

There are two very important pieces of information we will need before we can start your scuba adventure:

  1.  A Medical Statement filled out and given to Divers Cove. Without this we can't get in the water (which is no fun for any of us). 
  2. An email that we can send this form to as well as any other information about your course.

Ah, paperwork. Our favorite part of diving (not in the slightest). 

Before you start diving, we will need you to fill out a few key pieces of paperwork. Most of these forms will be completed in the shop when you sign up for your course but there is one that can take a little bit of extra planning. Below you will find a link to the PADI Medical Statement. It is very important that you carefully review each question and answer each question with a full "YES" or "NO". If you have any "YES" answers on the form, we will need you to get a doctor's okay before we can take you to the water with us. We'd hate for this to delay you on the day of your class!

PADI Medical Statement

Choosing and using your scuba gear is part of the fun of diving. Divers Cove will help you find the right gear. Each piece of scuba equipment performs a different function so that collectively, it adapts you to the underwater world.

When you start learning to scuba dive, as a minimum, you want your own

  • scuba mask
  • snorkel
  • boots
  • scuba fins

These have a personal fit, and our Divers Cove staff will help you choose ones that have the fit and features best suited to you. (You also get a special 10% student discount so come on in to Divers Cove and get fitted by one of our knowledgable Divers Cove team members.)

Included in the cost of your PADI Open Water Diver course, Divers Cove will provide a:

  • dive regulator
  • scuba BCD
  • dive computer
  • scuba tank
  • scuba wetsuit
  • weight system and weights

Check with Divers Cove to confirm sizing available for your course package. It's recommended that you invest in your own scuba equipment when you start your course because:

  • you're more comfortable using scuba gear fitted for you
  • you're more comfortable learning to scuba dive using gear you've chosen
  • scuba divers who own their own scuba diving equipment find it more convenient to go diving
  • having your own scuba diving gear is part of the fun of diving

The kind of gear you will need depends on the conditions where you dive. You may want:

  • tropical scuba gear
  • temperate scuba equipment
  • cold water scuba diving equipment

Easy. There is no best gear. But, there is the best gear for you. The professionals at DIVERS COVE are trained to help you find scuba gear that best matches your preferences, fit and budget. These professionals can get you set with the right stuff, plus they provide service and support for years of enjoyable and dependable use.

You may also want to talk to other scuba divers in PADI's online scuba community to get recommendations on particular scuba equipment brands and models.

If you have an appetite for excitement and adventure, odds are you can become an avid PADI scuba diver. You'll also want to keep in mind these requirements:

Minimum Age:

  • 12 years old
  • Students younger than 15 years, who successfully complete the course qualify for the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification, which they may upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver certification upon reaching 15. You must be at least 13 years old to take scuba lessons online with PADI eLearning, due to international internet laws. If you're younger, you can still learn to dive – just have your parent or legal guardian contact DIVERS COVE.

Physical: For safety, all students complete a brief scuba medical questionnaire that asks about medical conditions that could be a problem while diving. If none of these apply, you sign the form and you're ready to start. If any of these apply to you, as a safety precaution your dive physician (SPUMS) must assess the condition as it relates to diving and sign a medical form that confirms that you're fit to dive. In some areas, local laws require all scuba students to consult with a physician before entering the course.

Waterskills: Before completing the PADI Open Water Diver course, your instructor will have you demonstrate basic waterskill comfort by having you:

  • swim 200 metres/yards (or 300 metres/yards in mask, fins and snorkel). There is no time limit for this, and you may use any swimming strokes you want.
  • float and tread water for 10 minutes, again using any methods that you want.

About Physical Challenges: Any individual who can meet the performance requirements of the course qualifies for certification. There are many adaptive techniques that allow individuals with physical challenges to meet these requirements. Individuals with paraplegia, amputations and other challenges commonly earn the PADI Open Water Diver certification. Even individuals with more significant physical challenges participate in diving. Talk to your PADI Instructor at your local PADI Dive Shop or Resort for more information.

Learning Materials : Unless you choose PADI eLearning, you'll need and use the following training materials during the PADI Open Water Diver course, and for your review and reference after the course:

  • The PADI Open Water Diver Manual
  • PADI Open Water Diver Video on DVD or the PADI Open Water Diver Multimedia (combines manual and video for computer based learning).
  • You will also need your PADI Log book and Recreational Dive Planner (Table, The WheelTM or eRDPTM).

No, assuming you have no irregularities in your ears and sinuses. The discomfort is the normal effect of water pressure pressing in on your ears. Fortunately, our bodies are designed to adjust for pressure changes in our ears – you just need to learn how. If you have no difficulties adjusting to air pressure during flying, you'll probably experience no problem learning to adjust to water pressure while diving.

Not necessarily. Any condition that affects the ears, sinuses, respiratory function or heart function or may alter consciousness is a concern, but only a physician can assess a person's individual risk. Physicians can consult with the Divers Alert Network (DAN) as necessary when assessing a scuba candidate. 

DAN has information available online if you wish to do some research.

Sun burn and seasickness, both of which are preventable with over the counter preventatives. The most common injuries caused by marine life are scrapes and stings, most of which can be avoided by wearing gloves and an exposure suit, staying off the bottom and watching where you put your hands and feet. 

A helpful rule of thumb when diving is simply "don't touch it and it won't touch you."

Contact Divers Cove for information about exposure protection needed for any of your diving.

 

Ah, sharks. The truth, when you're lucky, you'll get to see a shark.

Although incidents with sharks occur, they are very, very rare.  Most commonly shark encounters primarily involve spear fishing or feeding sharks, both of which trigger eractic feeding behavior. Sharks main food source is fish and if they can get a free feed they will. 

Most of the time, if you see a shark it's passing through and a relatively rare sight to enjoy.

Still unsure? Come stop by Divers Cove and ask us about our shy ocean neighbors. You'll find that despite diving multiple days a week, most of us have only seen a few sharks this year and many of us enjoy going on specific trips to see them.

With the necessary training and experience, the limit for recreational scuba diving is 130 feet/40 metres. Beginning scuba divers stay shallower than about 60 feet/18 metres unless you are a Junior Scuba Diver then it is 40 feet/12 metres. Although these are the limits, some of the most popular diving is no deeper than 40 feet/12 metres where the water's warmer and the colors are brighter.

That's not likely because you have a gauge that tells you how much air you have at all times. This way, you can return to the surface with a safety reserve remaining. But to answer the question, if you run out of air, your buddy has a spare mouthpiece that allows you to share a single air supply while swimming to the surface. There are also other options you'll learn in your PADI Open Water course with Divers Cove. That said, our goal in our Open Water Diver course is to help you become a safe, responsible diver. A big part of this is learning how to monitor your air which will be a large part of both pool and open water dives.