One day, maybe you’re watching something on cable, something with people underwater, scuba diving on some beautiful reefs; or maybe it’s just something you always wanted to do and you just decide, “now’s the time”! But one day you decide to do…get Scuba Certified!
So then you call Sea Dwellers Dive Center to book your Course and begin your journey to becoming an Open Water Scuba Diver in the beautiful Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary! After weeks of waiting and completing your online academics, you’ve finally arrived! You’ve done most of the hard work ahead of time, and now to put what you’ve read to practice and take your first breaths underwater. You’ve picked the best diving the states have to offer for your first open water dives and to begin your adventures as a certified scuba diver.
The morning of your first day you arrive at the shop and get your rental gear for the next few days of diving. You meet up with one of our instructors at the pool and there, you learn to set up your gear and take your first breaths underwater. For many people, this is an exciting and new experience that causes a bit of anxiety. The anxiety will slowly fade away as you become more comfortable with the gear and begin practicing skills in the pool. You start in the shallow end to get acclimated and as the pool session continues, you make your way to the deep end to do more skills and get a feel for how the gear works.
After you complete your pool session, you have some time to grab lunch at one of our many local restaurants.
After lunch, you head over to the dock where you get ready to go out for your first ocean dives. By the time the dive boat arrives at the site, your Scuba Instructor has given you a briefing and explained what skills you’ll be doing and what wildlife you may be seeing. When we are at the site, your instructor will be awaiting your giant stride entrance into the water and your first open water scuba dive in Key Largo. Nothing is quite like the first time you put your mask in the water and see the beautiful reef ecosystem below you that is unlike any terrestrial environment you’ve seen before. The vibrant colors of both corals and fish, and the diversity of species located only 30 minutes from shore is something that looks like it belongs in the movie Avatar more than Earth. After your first dive, you and your Scuba Instructor will get ready to do your second dive of the day and explore more of the reef.
On day two, we take our dive students to do another pool session. This extra pool session is to ensure the maximum comfort and mastery of the skills required to become a certified scuba diver. After this session, you will again have a break for lunch and be joining us on the dock for the afternoon dive. By day two, the comfort levels are higher and the dives become more enjoyable. The reefs will be teeming with life and more of these dives can be spent seeing the wildlife around you. After these four dives and the completion of all the skills, you are now a certified diver! But that’s not the end of your Open Water certification journey with Sea Dwellers.
For our open water students, we include three days of scuba diving. This is 2 more open water dives than is required, and 2 more than most others offer! Our Certification Course has been very popular, and this is one reason why. The more diving you are able to do the more comfortable and proficient you become in the water. This is our Philosophy, and from the feedback we’ve gotten, most agree with it! Finally, you will be given a temporary dive certification card and you are free to dive on your own (with a buddy, of course!) sans instructor and skill demonstrations!
Lots of family fun! Come on down and join us for some Key Largo Scuba Diving!
– Divemater Natalie
Every summer, Sea Dwellers brings in help for the busy dive season. This is in the form of Divemasters, Instructors, and Divemaster Candidates. This year, we had the pleasure of working with Daire Kennedy, a young PADI Instructor from Dublin Ireland.
Daire arrived at Sea Dwellers Dive Center in the nick of time! After a slow winter and an average Spring, we were weary of a less-than-great scuba summer. But as things worked out, the weather turned hot, the wind died down, the blue water came in, and the dive season took off big time. So Daire came at the right time. And being the intelligent young man that he is, he picked our system right up and, well…worked his tail off for 2 and a half months. We all worked pretty hard, which is nice after being so unusually slow before the summer arrived.
Daire was an excellent Scuba Instructor as it turned out, and we got quite a few compliments about his work. He’s also a good guy. Now he’s heading back to Ireland to go back to school….start back to work on his degree in….Neuroscience. Yes, you heard me correctly…Neuroscience.
So we had a going-away party of sorts for Daire a few days ago. The staff all got together to say good-bye, and thanks. We all engaged in…well… in general revelry. We all relaxed, cut loose a little, and had a few. It was good fun bonding after working very hard for the summer. We discussed our Scuba Instructional techniques; reviewed our Dive Policies; talked over possible improvements; and compared class grading scales. And we had a few.
But most importantly, we said good-bye to our new friend, Daire. We wish him all the best in the future, and hope to see him again in the not-too-distant future.
Here’s a perspective on “Learning to Scuba Dive, a Beginner’s Perspective”, a video done by Boulder TV here at Sea Dwellers Dive Center in Key Largo with Rob Haff. In it, Rob talks about scuba diving for the first time and how that feels to most of us “land creatures” when we first immerse into the blue. Rob also talks about how Sea Dwellers Dive Center understands this feeling that dive beginners have, and how we work to make it a good experience.
Diving in Key Largo for the first time is, for many, a wonderful experience that most will never forget. Rob believes that for a lot of us, the “beginner’s experiences”, are some of the best experiences, as everything is new and exciting.