What's involved in learning to scuba dive?
Some classroom work and practice in a swimming pool. Actual dives in an open body of water are required to become certified and must be completed within one year of completing the class. These can be done in local lakes and quarries, in freshwater springs, or in the ocean. When you feel comfortable and confident in the pool, you can sign up for a certification trip that meets your needs. Or, if you have a vacation planned to a dive destination, a referral letter can be issued and your certification dives can be completed with another instructor there. (There is no additional charge for a referral letter but dive fees will need to be discussed with the onsite instructor beforehand. We'll be happy to try and help make arrangements if you have a particular scuba facility in mind.) Your certification does not expire. However, if it's been awhile since you've been in the water, you'll want a refresher before making additional dives. Former students can attend any regularly scheduled class (space permitting) at no charge.
In order to sign-up for the class, the student must be at least ten years old. Parents must attend all classroom/pool sessions with students under age fourteen and must accompany students younger than sixteen on the certification trip.
What is included in the course fee and what else will I need?
Each student will need his or her own mask, fins, snorkel, and booties. The course fee includes books and materials, classroom instruction, pool instruction, all other necessary equipment (except mask, fins, snorkel, and booties), and a referral letter (if necessary). The cost of the certification trip is not included in the course fee.
What about this certification trip?
Typically, we schedule certification trips to the Florida springs and the Gulf coast. These trips usually leave on Friday morning and return Sunday evening, and cost between $300 and $375 depending on the destination. If your schedule won't permit three days off in a row, certification dives can be completed locally over two or three separate days. The fee for local certification dives is usually $175. More exotic trips are scheduled on a less frequent basis. Trip fees include all scuba expenses but do not include travel expenses (transportation, food, lodging, etc). Trips will be canceled one week prior to the departure date unless the minimum number of students (usually four) have signed-up and paid a deposit.
How do I sign-up and what should I bring to class?