It’s been on our bucket list for a while now to get a Scuba Diving licence and we honestly didn’t think we’d get around to it until ‘one day’ when we visit Central America or South East Asia as it is a lot more affordable there. But the universe had it’s own plans for us and we got given the perfect opportunity to get PADI Diver certified for free, which we couldn’t turn down!
How did we get PADI Diver Certified for free?
Ok, so it wasn’t COMPLETELY for free. We paid €40 each to PADI to process our Scuba licence but we didn’t pay anything to complete the whole Open Water Diver course, which saved us €320! ($470AUD). How did we get such a great discount? Well since we made a few contacts here in Puerto De Mogan and were in the right place at the right time, we both scored ourselves an internship at the Gran Canaria Divers Centre. This meant that we could help out at the centre for the amount of days it would take to pay off our course and in the process gain a valuable insight into the Scuba Diving industry.
How could you do the same?
There are many dive centres around the world that offer internships like this so if getting PADI Diver certified is one of your goals but you don’t have the cash (or simply don’t want to pay for the courses) then it’s worthwhile asking dive centres if they need any help. After all, you never know if you don’t try and if you don’t ask you don’t get, right?
Fact: SCUBA stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus
Diving for the First Time
If you’ve never Scuba dived before than your first step is try it, because it might not even be your thing. Start by doing the ‘Discover Scuba Diving’ session where you’ll learn how to use the Scuba equipment and basic skills in confined water to prepare for your first dive into the real underwater world. This session actually counts towards your Open Water Dive course if you decide to get PADI Diver certified.
The first time I said goodbye to my comfort zone on the surface and took my first breath underwater was probably one of the scariest moments of my life. I literally had a panic attack 2 metres under because I felt like I was going to suffocate. It took me a few quick ascends back up but once I started to trust that my regulator was providing as much air as I needed, I realised that the fear was all in my head. I got used to breathing and when I took my first dive out into the deeper water, it was absolutely unreal. It’s a totally different world down there. Scuba diving is like meditation, you forget about the rest of the world and feel completely at peace in the moment. It’s an indescribable feeling that I recommend everyone to experience.
What to expect in the Open Water Diver course
So you did the ‘Discover Scuba Diving’ session, you know how amazing diving is and you want to get a PADI Diver certification so you can dive around the world? The next step is to enrol in the Open Water Diver course.
You get given a text book with 5 sections to study (and trust me you’re going to want to know this stuff!) For example, the most important rule in Scuba Diving is to ‘never ever hold your breath underwater’ because the air pressure could cause fatal lung injuries. Don’t worry though, this accident is extremely easy to avoid, and it’s actually really interesting to learn the science behind everything.
Besides the theory, you get to do 4 dives where you will learn practical skills such as changing your mask underwater, sharing oxygen with your buddy and all the necessary emergency procedures. Our last dive involved going into deep water to explore a shipwreck at a depth of18 metres (the maximum depth for an Open Water Diver), which was a super cool experience and a lot of fun.
Once you’re instructor believes you’re competent enough with all the practical stuff, you’re ready to complete the final exam. When you pass you’re officially certified to dive in open water all around the world!
Fact: Humans have explored more in outer-space then they have underwater on their own planet!
How long does it take to get PADI Diver certified?
You can’t get qualified in a day because there is quite to learn but if you’re very quick at studying the text book then it’s possible to complete all 4 Open Water dives and the final exam within 3-4 days. Once you pass the exam your PADI Diver certification card gets sent to your home address within 2 weeks and you can start creating underwater memories.
Working in a Dive Centre
We’re very grateful for the opportunity to gain an insight into the dive industry and what our lives could potentially be like if we were to pursue diving as a career. In all honesty, theres a big difference between the activity of Scuba Diving and actually working in a dive centre. The Scuba Diving part is a lot more appealing! So instead of advancing our Scuba Diving education immediately in the hope to find work in the industry, we’ve decided that for now we’ll continue to dive during our travels as a hobby. But who knows what opportunities the future holds.
Our experience with Scuba Diving has really enlightened us about the underwater world and overwhelmed us with all the places we now want to visit around the world that are underwater! Diving in the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea are just a couple that are definitely getting added to our bucket-list.
Have you Scuba Dived before? How was your experience? Leave us a comment below…
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