My husband and I will be returning to CN in August, and he is really wanting to try the beginner class and dive. I am very afraid, to say the least. (we have a pool at home, and I am a very good swimmer... its just the vastness/unknown of the ocean thing) I would love to hear any stories from people that had their first diving experience at CN, especially if they were apprehensive in the beginning.
I had the same problem! I tried it the first time we went and I found that I was clostrophobic just being in the pool with all of that equipment on. I would love to go do it but just can't. How do you get over this? OR do you? I really don't know. So I just enjoy my quiet time under a tree and he goes diving.
My husband and I were very nervous about diving, but decided to give it a try anyway. They do a really good job of going over the basics with you during the training course so you should be pretty comfortable by the time you get into the ocean. In addition, the guides that go with you are wonderful and it is great to just follow them around!
Once we made it out to the dive site, I went down first with my new husband behind me. When I got down to the ocean floor and looked, my husband wasn't there. I kinda panicked, but once I realized he had gone back to the surface (I later found out he couldn't get his ears to equalize), I was fine and really enjoyed the trip! It has taken him 6 years to agree to try it again with me, but come this October we will be going again!
Should you feel uncomfortable with the dive, it is no problem to return to the surface and get back on the boat until the other divers are finished. No worries...you will have a great time!
for those folks who are nervous about trying to dive...
if you do not feel comfortable in a 4 foot pool chances are you will not feel comfy in 30 feet. I have seen numerous folks "lock up"only to have a dive master help them to the boat or worst cause unecessary duress to their dive buddy and other divers...folksd PANIC is not a good accessory to have under water..
couples is for relaxation and fun for both you and the other partrons.... with so much couples has to offer outside of diving please consider those choices before you get on the dive boat...
for those who are comfy in the pool it may be some of the most spiritual 22 minute you will experience sober when you make your first dive enjoy
I'm not going to say it's easy or hard. You say you're a good swimmer and that's about 50%. Being comfortable in the water is the first thing you must have.
The course is easy and fun. The Couples dive master WILL NOT put you in harms way. They take it real serious. You must answer a bunch of health related questions and if any one of them raise concern they will talk to you to make a determination whether to let you proceed. This is done up front.
After that they teach you about the equipment, hand signals used underwater and a ton of other stuff I don't remember right now. After you get that down they put you in the pool with all the gear on. Teach you how to clear the water out-of-your mask and other tasks. Once you finish your pool work I think you go dive afterwards.
Once in the sea, the hardest thing for me to do was breath slowly and controlled. I just went through air. But no worries, the dive isn't that long and you're not going to use all your air. The first time down I believe they take a few minutes to check everyone's comfort level and go through a few of the task like clearing the water from the mask. Then you're off with the group to explore. Stay with you're buddy and you'll be fine.
In short, if you do what the dive masters tell you, you will have a great experience and enjoy you time underwater. And if you find it's not for you at least you tired. This is a very cheap (FREE) way to determine if diving is something you might want to take up. Better than thinking you want to get certified, spending hundreds on the classes and gear to make it to the checkout dive and figure out you can't do it. I have had a couple friends that this happened to. So go enjoy it.
My hubby and I just got back from CSA and we got certified as open water divers while we were there. I surprised myself because I always wanted to try diving, but I have always chickened out in the past. This trip I decided that it was important for me to at least try it in the pool as a way to challenge myself since I turn fifty today, the 29th.
The fabulous Anthony at the CSA dive shop talked to be about taking it one step at a time and only doing as much as I felt comfortable with. He was great at reassuring me that it was entirely up to me and to not let my husband or any one else push me.
Turns out I love it!!! I was comfortable in the pool and tried the ocean. I loved that so I did the first level of certification. I loved that, so I upgraded to the Open Water Diver certification.
The thing I learned is that I am much calmer and trusting of myself then I was when I was younger. When fear came up I noticed it and I was able to keep my head and think. I felt very comfortable in the water and had no problem clearing my mask and practicing taking my regulator (the thing you breath out of) out, letting it go, finding it, replacing it, clearing it, and breathing out of it. That is required for certification and the thought of it used to freak me out and kept me from trying diving. If you just want to do the beginning dive don't worry, you don't have to practice the skills in the ocean.
So my advice is, if you want to try diving, just take it in baby steps and know that you can stop at anytime if you find it is not for you.
I have done resort dives before, but did the resort dive at CSS this past January (my first time with Couples). They take excellent care of you.
I, too, have an initial claustrophobic attack the first time I put on the mask and go under water in the pool. I am able to work through this quickly. It is really a mind over matter thing, since I am not normally claustrophobic. By the time I get to the boat, it is no problem at all.
If you have any problems at all equalizing your ears, you don't want to dive. If you are subject to panic attacks, that's also a bad sign.
The resort course is a lot of work, both in the pool and watching videos. So much work that Bob skipped it so that he could relax on the beach. However, I am so glad I did it. There is nothing like looking up at 30 feet of water over your head. And you just see things you don't see at the surface.
Thanks for the responses! I hope to hear lots more.
aurxdoc05 - that's the kind of stories I'm hoping to hear. Maybe I will be able to get my nerve up and give it a try. I'll definitely post about it if I do.
kid_kadoodle - I would not even be considering the dive if my husband (who won't do it without me) didn't want to so badly. I know how much fun is to be had at CN, and believe me, we will be having fun either way! I don't foresee a panic attack in the pool. However, if I did panic in the pool, rest assured I certainly wouldn't expect to continue on into the ocean as that is the part I am already nervous about. I also would never tag along if I thought there was even a chance that I might ruin another person's experience. I am just curious if the majority of others who were apprehensive were able to relax and enjoy it once they were in the water.
You are so lucky to be going to CN! The dive master there is Sugar and he is the best! I was nervous, too. It is so wonderful once you get down there you forget you are diving. It is more like flying. I also got advanced certified in CN. Even though we have gone on over 100 dives I still get nervous but I know once I get going I will see so much beauty. I have pictures of our dives in Negril on Google Web Albums Kait Meeker Negril Jamaica Scuba.
We agree with BobandJudy, it is mind over matter! We both took the resort course at CN and made it through but it is weird breathing under water and takes some getting used to. We almost quit(as did some others in our class)even at the pool stage where you could just stand up if you had to, but we all stuck with it since none of us could stand being the only one to give up. We both got certified with Sugar on the next trip and we're so glad we did. It's something we both love to do together and have now logged about 25 dives and look forward to diving again at CN in September.
Patti & Gary
I was totally terrified of diving! Claustrophobic major! I decided to get certified because my husband lost his dive buddy to a mid-life crisis! I completed the pool work at home and went to CN to get certified. That was February 2007. I love diving and the dive crew at CN could not be better. This last year I had a couple of weight issues and a mask issue they worked with me and Sugar got into the pool with me to make sure everything was ok!
Wow! Thank you all so much for your stories. I feel much better about it, and I'm pretty sure that I will atleast do the class.
JumpinJen - Happy Birthday!
rayinpa - They offer a beginner class and 1 beginner dive. No classes are required at home. I think that you must do the certification which cost extra $ if you want to do more than the 1 beginner dive. This is my understanding, but I could be wrong.
brianz752 - I don't know about that Brian, but if they do require a partner, maybe you could find another hubby wanting to go. (if your wife doesn't mind of course)
My husband and I were both certified at CN. Because of timing, we were certified on different trips. I had been studying all the coursework in advance and was fine in the pool but when I got to the open water, I was nervous because of alllll that water over my head and my hubby was not with me. It took me an extra day to get certified because the Dive Instructor (Roderick at the time) gave me a day off to relax. Once down there for my final skills check, the only problem I had was that the mask got stuck in my hair and I couldn't get it completely off and had to sacrifice some of my hair to do it. Got through the rest of the skills and came up certified. I was so relieved!
Now we are both AOW certified (thanks Sugar) and have 100+ dives at CN. My new addiction is to combine diving with photography & video. I wish I had done this years ago, but I'm sure my bank account would disagree!.
I concur with the other posters - if you don't feel comfortable in the pool, don't waste your vacation trying to do something that is not fun for you.
Rayinpa - for the resort course, they make you do the entire course there. There's nothing that you can do at home, since they will just put you through the course anyway. However, if you are going for your actual diving certification, you CAN do the written work prior to going to Couples. I'm sure others can address that.
Brian - I did it by myself. I partnered up with a guy whose wife didn't want to do it. Then there were two ladies from a wedding party, also without their spouses. So, in our class, there were no couples together. Even if you couldn't partner up with someone else, the dive master would then be you partner.
Something else I forgot to mention - if you have your own dive mask (I do because we're avid snorkelers), you can use that. It is a big help if you don't have to worry about fit. I also used my own fins.
I am extremely claustrophobic, and one of my biggest fears is not having enough air (even as I typed that I took a huge breath just to make sure I still could). I love snorkeling, but have always been afraid of diving. Our first trip to CTI (then COR), I decided to try the training class in the pool. I expected to chicken out and not go on the dive, but they made me feel so comfortable that I found myself on the boat. Then I found myself in the water, and I am so glad I went! I can't wait to go back--we'll be there in less than 2 weeks.
If I can overcome my fears, anyone can! Enjoy!!
We can do the class work here for about $160, but since we are there 8 days, we thought maybe it would be good to have this one day early in then, dive 2 times while there. My wife is afriad she will hate it, that is why we wondered if we should try the intro dive there and if we like it go from there.
When you get to CN, talk to Carl (Sugar) at the dive shop. Tell him the problem, and he will help you through it. As they say, "If you are afraid, but you want to dive, we can help you. If you are afraid, and you DO NOT want to dive, we will not push you.".