(Closed) Scuba Certification for Destination Wedding?

posted 3 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 2
Member
2707 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

I don’t think you can do it in two days – Darling Husband is a diver and said you have a day in the pool, then four training dives, but you can only do three dives in a day part takes two days.  Honestly, I wouldn’t try to do it in those 3.5 days – you’ll have enough to worry about without squashing certification in too.

Post # 3
Member
554 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Oh gosh no! I did mine in September. It’s minimum 3 days. I did it in 3 and it was an exhausting effort. It’s all day and a lot to wrap your head around. All the skills and tests etc are not that fun either. Anyone who dives will tell you just diving is tiring – let alone the certification. There’s no way you should do this if you’re arriving 3.5 days early. Maybe 6? Can’t stress this enough – don’t do it! 

 

I should add: I did it in vacation and all 3 of those nights I was in bed by 8! There’s a reason they recommmend doing it in 4 days. 

Post # 4
Member
9027 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

PADI is a minimum 3 days if you have done the coursework and pool portion beforehand. 

But I agree with pp’s that diving is tiring. Think how tired you get when you swim for a long time, now add pounds of equipment to that plus the mental fatigue of remember everything you have learnt.

The other thing to remember is that your dives will be restricted by weather and others in the group (unless you go private but again that costs money). For example when did mine it was a four day course which turned into 5 days because a participant unfortunately freaked out once in the ocean and having to take her back to shore meant we only got one dive in.

Diving is serious stuff and you should devote the time to learning and not rush it.

Also make sure you investigate the dive outfit you are choosing. Not all dive shops are equal.

And dehydration is considered a factor in decompression sickness so it is not advised to dive too soon after flying, especially long haul, due to flying dehydrating you.

Post # 5
Member
1700 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

Hi! Lifelong diver here! That’s a great idea, but I would recommend that you give yourself at least 4+ days to complete a Padi Open Water course. My Darling Husband got certified before we got married so we could go diving together and it was a reminder that if you want to complete the open water course with proper instruction in 4 days or less, you will have take-home homework (Padi training videos and reading ). I suggest that if you want to learn to do recreational scuba diving very safely, it’s also better to learn more slowly if you have no previous experience diving or snorkeling. It’s not worth rushing because there are a lot of safety procedures that are worth learning because they keep you, your buddy, and the ocean safe while diving! 

 

I hope you guys LOVE Scuba diving!! It’s my favorite activity in the world and it’s even better to enjoy as a couple. Congratulations on your upcoming Destination Wedding and enjoy!! 

Post # 6
Member
5158 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010

I am a scuba instructor and also own a scuba training/retail centre. I love diving, and am passionate about introducing it to others. But your plan (and your attitude towards it) worries me. I am not being critical of you, I just expect you do not really understand the process and why it is very important to be well prepared and trained before you even hit the open water.

There are certainly places that will “rush” you to be certified but I DO NOT RECOMMEND. 

There is classwork/knowledge development and confined water/pool training dives you can do before you go on your trip (and get a referral for the open water certifications) but you need to do a lot of work in pool and be well prepared before the checkout dives (for PADI, there are 4 open water checkout dives. We spend 6-9 hours in pool with students in small ratios (1:1-1:2 usually) before even sending them into open water, which takes place over 2+ days depending. Many places will do the class/pool training faster and in larger groups (for cheaper) but I will say that you may not feel as prepared for open water or enjoy it. We want to turn out safe, responsible, aware divers who will also know how to respect and protect the places they dive, not people who may or may not squeak past their open water skills to be certified and may be a risk to themselves, their buddies, other divers, and coral and marine life.

Do not rush your training. Diving is fun, and I encourage people to get certified, but it also requires you to be well prepared and to be a safe diver so it stays fun (for you and where you are diving). That starts with making decisions now not to rush the training, and to choose an operation who also won’t rush you through it even if it costs more. Why would you cheap out on training and instructors that are trying to keep your safe? Also, compare apples to apples – cheaper costs often are not including materials costs, etc. I would at least recommend you do all the online and pool training before you go, with a reputable operation, and get a referral for the open water certifications from them.

j_jaye :  No, you don’t fly right after diving because you are going to a higher altitude meaning a rapid ascent to lower atmospheric pressure, not because flying dehydrates you (and it is the ascent itself to a high altitude, not whether it is long or short haul, that is the issue).

You do not fly right after diving for the same reason you ascend in water at a safe rate of speed, to allow nitrogen bubbles to release more slowly. Nitrogen builds in your body while diving as you are breathing air under higher atmospheric pressure. You ascend slowly to prevent rapid expansion and allow some release, and you also do surface intervals to off gas between dives. You also give time to off gas before flying to reduce and/or eliminate those nitrogen bubbles in your body. If you fly right away after you risk all those bubbles expanding rapidly which can cause serious injury and death. Think of removing a cap of a pop bottle after shaking it. PADI standards are wait to fly 12 hours after a single recreational dive, 18 hours after multiple/multi day recreational diving.

While dehydration may be a small risk factor in increasing *susceptibility* to DCS, it may not be as big of a risk as sometimes stated (see research of DAN and Dr. Neil Pollock). The biggest risks for DCS are violating no decompression limits and ascending too quickly (unsafe diving practices).  

Post # 8
Member
2053 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

My husband got certified on a vacation.  I would NOT do it on your honeymoon.  It’s a lot of dives and you will be exhausted at the end of the day!  Plus you will be spending half the dive doing skill tests and miss the beautiful surroundings!

Post # 10
Member
5158 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010

shortbread654 :  If you were willing to travel up to Canada for a weekend or two for the pool training (Burlington/Toronto, Ontario area – so about 7-8 hour drive or so from you?) I could give a good recommendation for you, plus with the Canadian dollar it works in your favour.

Just to be clear with TOS, this is not my shop, I am a few provinces away, but I know someone who has a dive centre in Burlington who also does small pool ratios and believes in making sure you are well prepared before you hit open waters.

PM me if interested in the name.

I will say though…scuba IS an expensive thing to get into, especially if you intend to do it more than once (which I hope if you are taking time to get certified!). Even if you plan to rent equipment when you travel or dive locally, you need to at minimum to own your own mask, snorkel, fins, exposure protection (i.e. wetsuit) and I recommend your own regulator too (as it IS your life support system and you should know it and be able to trust it) as well as at least one dive computer (to me the latter should be mandatory, honestly, as it is so much better than using tables for many reasons). After seeing rental options at some places I travel to honestly I recommend even “warm water/travel divers” own all of their own equipment including BCD, etc. Add in cylinder rentals/air fills, boat fees, ongoing training, additional recommended or mandatory equipment (reels, DSMBs, slates, spare masks, etc) well, it just is not an inexpensive endeavour or passion to get hooked on. The initial OW course is probably the least expensive part!

 

If you want to just get the experience of diving without all of that right now, to see how you feel about it and get to look at some pretty fish, you can look at just doing discover scuba diving experiences for now with a qualified and reputable centre/instructor. This would let you do some brief knowledge development before going to or at your destination, you do a briefing and a review in pool/confined water at the destination, then can do a dive in open water at the destination (under close supervision and within certain limits!). Then you can decide after that if you want to get certified, or you are happy doing “discover scubas” whenever you travel instead. I know some people are perfectly happy doing the latter!

Post # 11
Member
9027 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

RayKay :  It must be a regional thing because the majority of reputable dive outfits here (Australia) will not recommend diving straight after flying. There are heaps of dodgy operators up near the great barrier reef that like to prey on the quicky tourist dive cert.

The post diving stuff is pretty common knowledge I thought so didn’t feel the need to mention that.

Post # 12
Member
2053 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Also, I’m not sure Oahu would be the place to spend a lot of time diving – There are many many more places that are more accessible to the east coast that have better dive sites (Carribean, Belize, etc).  I would think you’d want to spend more time on the beach or surfing or above-water activities!  I think Oahu is known for its wreck dives, but I could be totally wrong.  Usually wreck dives are not beginner-friendly.

Post # 13
Member
5158 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010

Double post.

Post # 15
Member
5158 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010

j_jaye :  While there certainly is no harm in waiting 12-24 hours to dive after flying, diving after flying does not have a “built in risk” though (like flying after diving does).

However, you may be fatigued and dehydrated (and stressed!) after a long haul which can slow response times, and may be a reason why some outfits recommend waiting to relax and settle in first before diving (and they may also assume some on long hauls have been drinking alcohol on the plane, etc), but the dehydration thing – while it may be a susceptibility factor – is too often a scapegoat. The problem with this is that people sometimes overhydrate thinking it will reduce risk of injury (it can actually cause other issues!) or may ignore more significant risks. Hydration is important generally for health, and certainly something to strive for when diving, but as said, the biggest risks for DCS are violating dive profiles (NDLs, ascent rates, etc). 

Any dive trip I do – even with reputable places – we want to start diving as soon as we can after we check in; that is why we are there! But..if I was flying from North America to Australia I would probably want a day to adjust to the time changes and so on before diving just to get my bearings (and catch up on sleep!). Dealing with a 1-3 hour time change to the Caribbean or somewhere like Hawaii though after a few hours flying – and regularly hydrating on plane – is not as much an ordeal 🙂

I can understand why in Australia – which is a long flight for most – operators may want to discourage people seeking a quickie certification (I would do this anyway, as that is not a good mindset to go into diving), but I also understand Australia has its own additional regulations when it comes to diving that are different from elsewhere (I believe even needing medical clearance from an Australian – not overseas – doctor) so things are a bit different there!

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