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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    34

    Default Newbie diving questions

    My husband and I will be at CSS the first week of March. I had some questions for you veteran divers...Neither of us has dived before but I am definitely planning on crossing it off of my bucket list! a couple of questions.....first I read in another thread that you can't get a good seal with a mustache...my husband has a full goatee so this may be a problem for him. Any suggestions on how to work around this problem without him shaving it? ( I love it and don't want him to). Second question is I think there are night dives available? How experienced do you need to be to do those? I have read that they are riskier because of the lack of visibility. Any tips on what to wear and what 2 bring would be much appreciated....oh and also do they provide dive knifes and all the equipment that you will need? I am assuming they will. Thanku for the input and see you soon

  2. #2

    Default

    You are going to love diving with Couples as they are all great.

    We go to CN but assume they are the same. Are you taking the resort course only? Or going for your full PADI OW certification?

    Either way you will get all the equipment you need with the exception of a dive knife. We bring our own equipment and have a knife integrated into our BCDs but I don't believe that is standard equipment. We also have our own wetsuits but they are not included and you have to rent those for $10/day. Besides the Dive Masters & Instructors we were the only "guests" wearing one. I like to stay warm and it is also handy for protection but no one else had them.

    As for the mask; a moustache can be helped with a little silicone or Vaseline to make the seal. If you are going to dive after this trip then I would suggest getting your own mask back home at a local dive shop. A leaky mask can ruin your whole dive and this would turn off new divers. It's a great investment for snorkelling too. We wear glasses so our masks even have prescription lenses.

    As for the night dive; this costs $50 and I believe is only for certified divers. But if you do your course the first 2-3 days of your trip you could probably do it later in the week. You should ask your instructor what he thinks as he will know by the end of your course whether you are ready for it or not.

    Welcome to the world of diving.
    Betty
    Couples Negril - September 2011, 2012, 2013 and have just booked 2014
    Scuba Club Cozumel - Jan, Apr & Nov 2012 and Jan & Nov 2013
    Cobalt Coast, Grand Cayman - May 2013
    Retiring & moving to Cozumel, Mexico in early 2014

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    49

    Default

    I didn't know Betty was carrying a knife. I'll keep that in mind if we ever meet at CN!

    As Betty said, I would recommend getting a mask and snorkel from a local dive shop that lets you try it on in a pool. It'll work well for snorkeling even if you don't end up diving.

    The resort course lets you train in the pool for a few hours and then do a shallow dive. It's included at Couples and is a good way to try diving without the big investment. You can get certified at the resort but if diving is your goal I'd at least do the book work before going. Your local dive shop can explain your options.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Thanku very much! I appreciate all the great feedback.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    166

    Default

    Welcome to the dive additiction!! (in advance)

    The shop will provide all the required gear for SCUBA with the exception of wetsuits, which are rentals. Knives are not required equipment. We have them but they are integrated into the BC. I would recommend holding off on that purchase for now.

    You might want to visit a local dive shop in your area to try a mask. Definitely take a tube of silicone with you, if possible. One of our friends has a full beard and he has no leak problems. Dealing with a flooded mask is one of the required skills you will both learn.

    As far as the night dive -- you will be really busy concentrating on equalizing, bouyancy control and monitoring your air. Night dives can be a bit more stressful and yet another task load that you may not be ready for in the first week of certification. Why not consider a night snorkel first to gauge your comfort level? Not trying to discourage you, just something to think about.

    Concentrate on getting certified and getting comfortable with your skills -- then worry about all the neat gear later. Trust me -- you'll spend a lot!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    915

    Default

    If you do get certified and try a night dive, I think you will find it to be just as safe, if not safer, than a day dive, because you only go down 25-30ft max. They only go out if they have enough people sign up to justify it, which is usually a minimum of 6 or more people plus the divemaster. With 7 or more lights in the water, it is like being in a lit room. There is a lot more visibility than one might think. Night dives are awesome, because you get to see all the creatures come out that are hiding during the day. Definitely, consider getting certified right away. Couples is a great deal compared to doing it in the US, plus they provide all your gear, other than a wetsuit, at no additional charge. You won't need a knife as a beginner. It is better to just focus on buoyancy and controlling your breathing and movement. Also, even though it's not totally necessary from a temperature point of view, a lot of divers wear wetsuits for protection from jellyfish, chafing, etc. In the 3 dozen dives we have done at Couples, there have only been a few people that didn't wear something. We bring 3mm shorty wetsuits we got at Costco for $39 and they are perfect for Jamaica diving. Have fun! Diving is an incredible experience!

  7. #7

    Default

    I have a mustache and have been diving without mask leakage most of the time. I sometimes shave about an 1/8 inch right under my nose in order to get a good seal. No need for a wetsuit, most newbies tend to wear a tee shirt to prevent chafing from the BC. My wife and I generally wear dive skins just in case we brush up against something unwanted.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    74

    Default

    Welcome to the world of diving!

    Our love of diving started with the resort course at CTI. Once we did that, we were hooked! We flew home and got certified (easy for us being in FL) and the addiction began. We have now been certified for 7 years and have dove Negril, Cozumel, Key West and all over the coast of FL.

    That being said, you are in great hands with the dive masters at Couples. Having experienced dives at both CN and CTI, I can assure you that they are some of the best in the business. The resort course is the best way to try scuba diving without the cost comittment of the full certification. I would recommend that you try the resort course first and decide if scuba diving is right for you. If it is, I would aslo consider getting certified at Couples as the price is extremely competitive. Also, depending on where you live, you might enjoy your certification dives more as if you are from someplace inland it will require some lake dives.

    You do need to be certified to go on the night dives, however, when we were there one year they did allow one couple to join the night dive (although they may have been on their way to certification?) Try the resort course first - scuba diving is something you need to get used to. Night dives are AMAZING but also can be disorienting for new divers. I would hate for either of you to have a bad experience night diving and then not want to scuba dive ever again. On my first night dive, for example, my regulator started "wet breathing". It's a scary feeling when it's daytime, not to mention when it's pitch black and you can't see anything. I mention that only to make sure that you don't have an adverse experience and be turned off forever.

    In terms of what you should bring, don't worry about anything as Couples has you completely taken care of. You won't need a dive knife because the guides will have them. (Not that you really need one anyway because there is hardly any danger of fishing line or ropes to get caught on) I would bring a good fitting T-shirt to keep the BC from chafing. But other than that, the water is so warm and you don't go deep enough to need anything but that. I also saw Gerrya mention a dive skin, which is a good investment if you know that you will be frequently diving in warm locations, although not completey necessary as there is hardly any current where they take you and you won't be prone to bump any rocks.

    My advice? Sign up for the resort course right away once you get there. Explain to them that you are possibly interested in getting certified (if it makes sense) so they can plan for an instructor to be there. Also remember that getting fully certified is a time committment, so prepare to spend at least two days of your vacation learning to scuba.

    And most of all, HAVE FUN!

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