What is SCUBA Diving Like?
It’s official. I am a SCUBA Diver!
Yes, last weekend was a busy one. In addition to coming in third place in bowling, I achieved PADI certification as a SCUBA Diver. This is the first step in knocking another adventure off my adventure list: SCUBA Diving in the Great Barrier Reef.
What do you have to do to become a certified SCUBA Diver?
The requirements are simple:
- Complete a 5-section Online Training Course
- Practice dive skills in a confined water location
- Demonstrate dive skills in 4 open-water dives
- Pass a written exam
On the first night, we learned how to assemble our dive gear and practice skills in the pool. Dive gear is heavy on the surface. There are quite a few components that you need:
- Fins – to help you swim
- Booties – so you can wear your fins
- Oxygen Tank – to breath, duh!
- BCD: Buoyancy Control Device – a vest that helps you float through the water
- Weights – to help you sink
- Regulator – the hose assembly you breath from
- Wet Suit – for cold water
- Mask & Snorkel – for seeing underwater and breathing above water
To pass your certification, there are a number of skills you’ll need to demonstrate successfully. Here’s a partial list:
- Swimming with your equipment
- Clearing your mask underwater
- Removing and replacing your regulator
- Removing the regulator and finding it after it has floated away from your mouth
- Hovering in the water
- Emergency Ascents
Where can you SCUBA Dive in Orlando?
Aside from a pool, not really anywhere…but there are a few lakes and springs nearby that adventurers can explore. Our training took place at Lake Denton, near Avon Park. Visibility wasn’t great, but we did have the opportunity to see some fish and turtles. At the bottom of the lake there was a boat…
and a bicycle…
We dove as deep as 45 feet at the lake’s deepest point. Most of our dives were between 20-35 feet underwater. PADI Divers are certified to dive as deep as 60 feet.
Some fun facts/ observations from SCUBA Diving
- The deeper you dive, the less time you can spend underwater; Your air depletes faster
- You never hold your breath underwater – for real. I wasn’t kidding last week
- Divers use the BCD to help them hover
- Diving feels like you’re weightless
- Yes your ears feel the pressure the deeper you go, but if you pinch your nose and blow out your ears, you can’t feel the pressure
- You have no peripheral vision
- And turning around is cumbersome with all that gear – I knocked Brian’s regulator out of his mouth two times
- Don’t stir up the sand down below, it reduces visibility
- The color red is the first to go underwater
- Breathing through a regulator is odd, but not odd at the same time
- You can spend a fortune on dive gear
- I need to spend a small fortune to get the minimum equipment needs
- Diving is incredible, but not for the person who won’t invest the time to do it regularly
What’s your best dive moment? Share by commenting.
I’ll see you out there…! 35 feet under with a tank on my back and fins on my feet.