Are you a certified scuba diver? If not, do you want to be a certified scuba diver but aren't sure how it works? In this post I will share with you how I became certified scuba diver and some great dive spots I have been to.
I have been a PADI certified open-water diver for 11 years and I got certified while on vacation in Cozumel, Mexico. The courses offered by resorts in Cozumel are straightforward and take a few days to complete and it is typically much cheaper to get certified in Cozumel compared to the States. At first, I was not sure I would like scuba diving and the thought of having to clear my ears (which I can never seem to accomplish on an airplane) was intimidating. The resort we were staying at was called Occidental Grand Cozumel and they offered free scuba diving instructions in the pool (this is me with the long blond hair).
I took the class and clearing my ears was not a big deal at all. I liked it and wanted to continue on to get my certification. The next step was course work which consisted of a course packet, videos and tests. I know, who wants to do course work on vacation?!?! But the end result was totally worth it! After I completed the "school" part we did a beach dive which was about 10 feet off the coast from the resort. The purpose of this dive was to practice skills with my dive master, Laura, but the cool part is I saw a baby octopus just 10 feet from shore! After I completed this level we did several off-shore dives (under 35 feet - here is a picture of a turtle we saw).
Once I completed all my training I got a certificate (a official PADI certified diver card was mailed to me) and I did my first dive as a certified diver.
My first dive was a night dive! I was very nervous because Laura was not with me anymore however I was with another dive master and my family that was vacationing with me. I found that a night dive was both dark & mysterious! It was about 9:00 pm and we got all geared up and jumped off the boat with flashlight in hand (here is a photo of Ben after jumping in). Remember what I said about it being dark?!?!
Night dives give you a totally different perspective than daytime diving. The colors are different and everything is much calmer during the night. You get to see more predators at night like eels, sharks, octopus and squid, to name a few. You can only see the path of your flashlight and you feel weightless, like you are in outer space. Despite all the dives I have been on in the last 11 years I have to say that night diving is my favorite!
As for dive locations, I have been to some really cool destinations. Cozumel, Mexico, Stuart Coves in Nassau, Bahamas (here are some photos from the "shark" dive we did in Stuart Coves),
Los Cabos, Mexico, Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, Mexico & La Paz, Mexico (all during our trip to Cabo San Lucas). We did some amazing dives in the Cabo area! The night dive in Cabo was awesome but our favorite was in La Paz and the dive site was called Old Sea Colony. There were about a dozen or more sea lions diving for sardines and it was for sure a once in a lifetime opportunity. I wish we had our dive camera on this trip but due to technical difficulties we didn't ;-(
Here is my favorite dive photo which was taken during our shark dive in Stuart Coves. We saw this beautiful turtle and the dive master captured the perfect shot - that's me in the back!
Our next diving adventure is Phuket, Thailand! I have always wanted to travel to Thailand and see the floating markets and experience the culture there. We are planning to spend 4 days diving in Phuket and then 5-6 days touring in Bangkok and surrounding areas. Stay tuned for details on this trip!
If you want more information on diving and/or need help planning your next adventure contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Angie Conger Hinds
I have a true passion for travel and I want to share my travel knowledge with you. I hope this blog gives you inspiration to EXPLORE the world!
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