There’s no doubt about it, you will get more out of your beach holiday if you can see the world underwater. From fascinating reefs to glorious lagoons, exploring the sea beneath the waves will take you to an underwater world. You’ll encounter marine life in their habitat. From stingrays to whale sharks and barracuda, and from turtles to shoals of brightly coloured fish. It’s difficult to image how different and exciting that world is, even when you are standing knee deep gazing out at the ocean.
Of course snorkelling will get you some of the way, and on some reefs that might well be enough. But to make the most of your holiday why not learn to scuba dive? It doesn’t take too long to get certified and you will be able to dive all over the world. Here’s what you can expect on a holiday training course.
The first thing to do is to is to ensure that you are going to be learning with a certified company. It is more than likely that your resort is linked to an accredited organisation but it will pay to make sure.
Your certification will depend on a combination of practical and written tests. Don’t panic, the writing is likely to be a multiple choice test and you will be given a manual to read and absorb. You will be expected to familiarise yourself with procedures such as signals for ascending and descending. There is a high emphasis placed on safety and communicating with diving buddies.
Getting used to the equipment.
What seems like a burden on land becomes remarkably easy to wear underwater. Most dive schools will get you used to wearing a wetsuit and fins. A three quarter length wet suit will probably be fine for most dive spots. It will depend on your location. The warm waters off Thanda Island for example has some of the best diving in the world. A dive there will not require the same thicknesses of suits as some places in Australia or even New Zealand.
You might well be taken to the resort pool just to get used to wearing a mask and breathing underwater. You will be shown the basics such as how to put your oxygen tank on and how to understand the amount of air you have available to you.
You will be shown how to clear your mask if it becomes misted up underwater. You will also be shown how to share air with a buddy, and know how to find your mouthpiece if it falls out. You will be shown how to keep a dive log. It is really worth writing down everything you have experienced and learned. It will be a great momento of your experience
Out in the ocean
You first dive will probably be in a relatively shallow bowl or arena. You will be helped into your gear and persuaded to fall back into the water. This can be a little disconcerting at first, but it works! The transformation under the surface of the water is incredible. You will learn how to find your balance and you will work closely with your instructor and diving buddy. Slowly you will start to find your confidence. Seeing your first marine life at home underwater is an unbelievable experience. Within two or three short dives you will gain confidence. Getting your license will be a high spot of your holiday and an experience you will treasure forever.