Learn to dive

Learning to scuba dive


THE INS & OUTS OF DIVING FOR BEGINNERS

Starting out


Being a diving newbie can be daunting; how will I breathe? What if I get lost? What if I don’t like it? Naturally, most people will have some basic apprehension about their first foray into an entirely new world and niggling doubts surface in most of us when faced with something alien. But, worry ye not, the amount of diving vacations out there for beginners is plentiful and they’re remarkably well paced, organised and very safe. You can learn all of the basics and clock up some serious underwater hours within a week’s vacation, but you must be committed to the learning side too.

Times have changed


Diving vacations used to be quite arduous because all of the theory had to be learned on location, which meant hours sat in a classroom every day reading and revising, not to mention additional reading to be done during the evenings. Now, however, thanks to the wonderful World Wide Web, you can get all of your theory done before your vacation by downloading the accredited programme and studying whenever you can. Doing an hour’s diving theory during your dreary daily commute is far preferable to dragging yourself away from sunny, golden sands, so this is a wholly advisable route. What’s more, thanks to an increased number of dive centres springing up across the UK, you can get most, if not all, of your confined water practice in too, leaving you and your instructor free to get straight on with your open water diving.

How long until I qualify?


The entire Open Water Diver qualification can be completed across five half days consisting of nine dives: five in confined waters and four in the big blue. If you’re on vacation for a week, you can book additional dives via your instructor and if you’re away for longer, there’s an entire catalogue of interesting advanced courses that tend to include four or five dives done over three half days – to what level you become qualified will be determined by how many dives you can do over the course of your vacation. And if you don’t like it? You are under absolutely no obligation to do it, but the chances are you’ll absolutely love it.
Photo credits: [Starting out: Public Affairs Office Fort Wainwright] [Times have changed: USFWS - Pacific Region] [How long until I qualify?: Dan Hershman]
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