By this time, you have probably read articles about Abrolhos Islands, Montebello Islands and Rowley Shoals where they house pristine reefs, amazing wildlife and tourists having a great time. You now then decide to get wet and explore the beauty of Western Australia’s underwater world. But wait, do you have a scuba certification?
Like any other physical recreation, you have to learn the knowledge and skills behind the sport, especially that there is an inherent danger when you go underwater. As for scuba diving, this is offered through a certification course.
PADI Scuba Diver Certification Course
Getting certified to become a scuba diver has different levels and the PADI SCUBA Diver Scuba Certification Course is your first step. The certification course that we will offer to you is sanctioned by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) – the world’s leading scuba diver training organization.
This 4-day course is broken down into 3 segments that will allow you to learn the basic knowledge and skills of diving, as well as the factors that may affect you and your surrounding environment.
1. Knowledge Development
Duration: 1 day
Prepared similar to a classroom lecture, your teacher (or rather your instructor) will discuss about the history of diving, theories, principles, the different components of a scuba gear, dive planning, management, the buddy system and the recreational dive planner or commonly called as the dive table and more.
Your primary reference for this 1-whole day lecture is the PADI Open Water Scuba Diver Manual which is divided into 5 chapters. Aside from pure lecture, there will some demonstrations that your instructor will do and a film showing to facilitate your understanding.
2. Confined Water Session
Duration: 1 day
Also called as the pool training, the confined water session is commonly done in a swimming pool or at the shallow part of the beach that has an easy entry and exit and free from strong winds and current.
After you assemble your equipment, you will enter the pool and underwater breathing is one of the first skills that will be taught to you. You have to remember that you have to be comfortable in the water where calm breathing greatly facilitates relaxation. When you are already comfortable breathing compressed air while wearing all the scuba equipment, your instructor will start to direct your learning to the different skills like mask clearing, regulator recovery, cramp removal and many more.
3. Open Water Dives
Duration: 2 days
This is the day that your dreams come true. While your dive will initially start in the shallow areas of the reef while you perform all the diving skills learned during the pool session, your instructor will give you a quick underwater tour of the surrounding reef (air permitting) afterwards making your virtual imagination from the articles you have read into a reality.
During the first day of your open water dive, you will make 2 dives either at Swan River or the Trail of the Rockingham Wreck. Second day of diving involves 2 open water dives either at Rockingham wreck trail or Rottenest Island. But you need to remember that you have to apply all the skills in order to maximize your underwater adventure. So if your mask gets fogged, then do the mask clearing; if your regulator accidentally fell off, then do the regulator recovery; if you get leg cramps, then do the cramp removal and so on.
Please take note that there is a final exam on the last day. No need for a study review that is comparable when you take the bar exams, as this is just an assessment of the knowledge you have learned and that your instructor is always there to discuss if you have any difficulties.
Open Water Certification Card (C-card)
After you have successfully completed the requirements, your Open Water Scuba Diver application will be sent to PADI for processing. Within a month, you will receive your certification card that will indicate your certification level, name, student number, date of certification and the name of your instructor.
Remember that you need your certification card when you rent or purchase scuba equipment and accessories. Non-certified divers may not be allowed to purchase scuba equipment as they are not trained to use such. Dive shops may require you to present your certification card when you airfill your scuba tanks.
Although after passing the course and become a certified open water diver, it does not mean that your underwater adventures are endless. Remember, that being a certified open water diver has its own limitation such as maximum depth is set at 18 meters (60 feet), you are not allowed to dive alone, you are not allowed to go night diving and the like.
We advise that you gain experience after you pass the open water diver course by exploring nearby dive sites or go to a diving vacation as what most of us do. And if you feel that you need to learn more skills, you can now enroll in the Advanced Open Water Diver certification course.
Video courtesy from PADI