Kind of piggy backing off the last thread on diving, we'll be at CSA in 7 days and I have a few questions on diving. We both have no experience diving, so I need all you experienced CSA divers help please!
How difficult really is the swimming exam and how many laps do they have you do? (I read it's 8 perfect laps in the pool and difficult to pass & I've also read 4 easy laps) I'd hate to show up and fail that part if it is harder than I thought.
Is it worth spending 1/2 the day to do 1 shallow dive, and what kind of animals can I expect to see on a shallow dive?
I'd love to see dolphins/fish/turtles but the mention of nurse sharks freaks me out a little, even though I know they won't hurt you?
My husband and I also had no previous diving experience. The swim test was 8 lengths of the pool by the Palms Restaurant (so 4 laps of back and forth). If you are in decent cardiovascular shape you should be okay, but if you don't exercise regularly it may be a bit challenging. It has to be front crawl style, but I don't think they are too concerned about "perfect form". We had 1 guy in our group give up after a few laps.
I think it's absolutely worth it, as you get to explore a whole new world. We liked it so much we did the PADI certification course and went on 5 dives. They say it is rare to see sharks at that shallow of a depth, and they will be harmless nurse sharks. We saw huge starfish, lobster, crabs, sea cucumbers, lots of fish, and some small eels and rays.