Whether it’s something you’ve seen on discovery channel, back in the day of underseas hunter or for me, that moment in “Thunderball” when James Bond dives down to investigate the downed plane, there is a moment in your life that makes you think for the first time, “what would it be like to breathe underwater ? “. It was originally a long process of Navy diving, jumping into bottom of pools (yes I have heard the stories !!) but today it is a very simple, fun filled process to get your PADI Open water certification. And once you have it, it’s there for life ! How cool is that ?!! With the boom of the internet comes the evolution of online learning so making your initial classroom stage of the certification all but disappear. By signing up online you can complete your academics before you even arrive from the comfort of your own home.  Once you arrive in Costa Rica you can then head to the dive shop in your own time and we can then start on your in water work. Once you have had  a quick review of your academics that you had completed you can jump into the pool. as a beginner diver to the underwater world you want to take it nice and slow to start so we always start with a pool session. This gives you the chance to learn the real basics of scuba, and get nice and comfortable below the surface. Depending on class size and your comfort level in the water, this first session can take anywhere from an hour or more. There are a total of 5 pool sessions in the first open water course but these can be combined together and be completed in a day. Following that you will head to the ocean (Yeah!!) for your first experience in the big blue. As a newbie diver your first experience is very controlled . There are limited on number of students per instructor as well as depth, so to ensure that your experience is as safe as possible. When scouting for a place to complete your open water course this is definitely something you want to consider. There is a total of 4 dives needed to complete your full certification and each one progresses on the skills from the previous. Your first dive, for example has no set skills, and as I always say, the objective really is to just “breathe underwater”. As your confidence builds, so do the skills, and by the time you arrive at your fourth and final open water dive you should be confident and comfortable to complete one of the final skills which is removing and replacing your mask. Easy right ? Or maybe it doesn’t seem so to start with but by the time you get to that point it will be ; )

By the time you finish your open water course you will already be plotting and planning where it will take you, off to the caribbean, egypt or any number of exotic places, the ocean is your oyster !! One thing to bear in mind throughout your training, is that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and whilst you are supposed to be trained to be an independent buddy team diver to a point, ( check your own air, know basic emergency procedures ) further training, is never a bad idea, and especially diving for those first few times, with a dive professional in the water with you, just in case. Maybe like I did, you will be bitten by the scuba bug and already will have aspirations of becoming a dive professional just after those first breaths, who knows ?! Get in there and try it. If you are not entirely convinced that a scuba certification is what you want to do then you can just try it out with a discover scuba experience which is a shortened version. Only a day course, not a compete certification, and you still get to dive in the ocean. Maybe after that you will want to continue on with your open water certification, and luckily , it counts towards it !

So, I hope this inspires you to come and blow some bubbles, whether with us here in Costa Rica, we would love to have you, or anywhere else in the world, come and explore below the surface with us : )