The Scuba course you are about to take will have you
diving in the pool within hours of starting. Experiencing breathing underwater,
being able to freely move about without having to worry about coming up for
air is a thrill of a lifetime!
Skin diving and scuba diving are different. Going in
the water with just a mask, snorkel, and fins is called, "skin diving" or
"snorkeling." Using an underwater breathing device that is placed on your
back is called, "scuba diving." In fact, "scuba" means, "Self-Contained,
Underwater Breathing Apparatus." It is self-contained because there is nothing
connecting you to the surface of the water.
There are 6 major components of your scuba course:
1. How to control your buoyancy. This
is the number 1 thing to learn. That is what makes a safe diver that really
enjoys the sport!
2. Arterial Gas Embolism (AGE) and how
to avoid it.
3. Decompression Sickness (DCS) and how
to dive safely so you do not encounter it.
4. Avoiding other pressure-related injuries.
5. Staying calm (avoiding panic) and enjoying
the beautiful underwater world.
6. Learning how to use life-support equipment.
At Deep-Six we teach you how to dive in the tropics as
well as in the northeast. Diving in each is very different. Being trained
in the tropics does not really make you a safe diver in the northeast. Here
we need full wet suits, a lot of weight to sink those suits, hoods, gloves,
and expect to see only a short distance underwater. Being trained in the
northeast will make you a much more competent diver!
The course is broken down into 3 major categories:
1. The classroom which consists of passing
knowledge from the instructor to you so you will know what diving and the
equipment is all about;
2. The diving sessions in the pool so
you will learn how to handle the equipment and yourself underwater; and
3. The open-water dives. There are 4 of
them and they are done on 2 different days. Be sure to bring your calendar
to the last classroom session of the course so these may be scheduled to
meet your available time.
IF YOU ARE BETWEEN 10 AND 15 YEARS OLD, READ
THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH:
Between 10 and 12: You will be
certified as a Junior Open Water Scuba Diver. Because of your age you will
have a few restrictions: You must always dive with an instructor or a certified
parent, and you are limited to a depth of 40 feet.
Between 12 and 15: You will be
certified as a Junior Open Water Diver. When you reach the age of 15 your
certification will be converted to the Open-Water Scuba Diver. The only
restriction you have as a Junior OW Diver is that you must dive only with
certified divers (which we all do anyway), and your parent has to sign a
statement saying you will abide by this.
There are many forms you will have to fill out before
and during taking any scuba course. These forms insure that you have nothing
medically wrong with you that might develop into a major problem underwater,
understand the nature of the sport, and will not hold someone else responsible
for not following simple procedures and suggestions. The forms do not prevent
you from exercising your rights if an instructor is negligent.
Also, your PADI card requires a photograph. At the end
of your open-water dives you will be provided with a certification envelope.
The photo goes in that envelope. When you send that to PADI you will get
your certification card returned usually within 10 days.
During the course the Divers Alert Network (DAN)
will insure you against decompression illness (AGE and DCS) for no charge.
The insurance is valid through the last open-water dive. They do this so
they will be able to send you information about renewal after you are certified.
A sheet will be passed around during the first day so you can take advantage
of this valuable service.
A word about scuba diving as far as it being a safe sport:
It is! The following chart was compiled by the Diver's Alert Network (DAN).
The statistics speak for themselves: