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post #1 of 53 Old 01-26-2011 Thread Starter
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Scuba Certified - FINALLY!

After 30 years, I finally received my PADI Open Water Scuba certification. I took a NAUI course in 1979 and finished the desk and pool work but never did the open water dives (I was a recent college grad and ran out of money). I've been kicking myself ever since and certification became a Bucket List item for me. Since my work takes me to Hawaii a few times a year, I took an Introductory Dive through Fathom Five Divers in Kauai. It was a blast and the dive master encouraged me to take the full course since I was pretty comfortable in the water.

I took the PADI eLearning online course in Oct-Nov and passed the final exam with a 98%. I did my pool work last Tuesday and 3 ocean dives off Koloa Landing on Sunday so now I'm certified! Through the course, I learned a few things applicable to boats:

1. Mask and Fins are a safety item that should be on all boats. This really didn't come from the course, but we consider them mandatory on Victoria. Snorkel is optional, IMO.
2. Divers always have a plan before entering the water. How many sailors have a plan (more commonly called a float plan) for even a day sail? Pretty few, I expect.
3. Divers check their equipment before entering the water. Too many sailors jump on board, fire the engine, and leave the dock. Weather, bilge, engine, rigging, etc. should be checked before departing the dock. How many boaters have we seen cast lines and then start the engine? Similarly, if a diver waits until he's descending before checking his air supply, he could be a dead diver.
4. Divers practice skills. How many of us read about something (reefing, MOB, nav, etc), but never get around to practicing the skill? The time to learn how to reef in not during a blow.
5. Divers maintain their equipment. How many of us have been "getting around" to servicing our winches (for years). I'll raise my hand!
6. Divers have a procedure for nearly everything. How many sailors have a procedure (with a firm rationale) for what they do (raising sails, reefing, MOB, etc). Pretty few, I suspect.

I plan to re-evaluate some of our operations on Victoria over the next few months. We're pretty good and pretty safe, but can always be better.

Sabre 38 "Victoria"
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post #2 of 53 Old 01-26-2011
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Congratulations!

I've been certified (certifiable?) since '77.

Diving was my first love, but since I took up sailing 4-years ago I have to say that I spend far more time on the water than in or under it. I thought I could combine the two hobbies but, although I always have all my gear aboard, I do very little diving off my boat. I still manage at least one scuba trip a year in addition to whatever I can squeeze in locally.

Another similarity or point of comparison between diving and sailing is: they both involve holes in the water into which you pour your money! Every time I pick up another piece of dive gear (or boat accessory) it's the last thing I need....until the next thing. I just picked up a set of Zeagle regs and I'm shopping around for new lifelines.

As they say elsewhere: DSAO (Dive Safe and Often)


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The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. - Jacques Yves Cousteau

Last edited by flyingwelshman; 01-26-2011 at 12:00 PM.
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post #3 of 53 Old 01-26-2011
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Congrats on your scuba certification Sabreman. Kauai, Hawai'i would also be just about the ideal place to do the testing and dives.
I also applaud you for drawing some parallels between the safety procedures for diving and boating and I agree with the points you have made. I'd also say that diving is an inherently more dangerous activity than boating, especially if the boater is prudent and follows what you have outlined.

I also passed a NAUI certification over 10 years ago. I had one dive off Cayman where I had a sinus blockage that I could not release. Luckily for me it was just very painful, especially the flight back home. No more diving for me.

"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

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post #4 of 53 Old 01-26-2011
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Congratulations - a lifetime of adventure awaits you. I started diving in 1963 and still loving it.

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post #5 of 53 Old 01-26-2011
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Congrats, Sabreman.

Just remember, you can't believe everything you read. There's theory and there's practice, and a lot of divers don't follow the theories. Which change from time to time as well.

We used to call PADi the "certificate of the month club" because they broke everything down to such a tiny granular level. One cert for open water, one for beaches, one for nights, one for spears, one for Tuesdays....As opposed to other orgs that had longer harder courses, but didn't try to keep constantly selling certificates for little things.

I guess there's room for both philosophies, but when I used to see dive boats that said "No spears without spearfishing certification" (Honest!) and one PADI intructor talking about the "loober line" on a compass (that's how he pronounced it) while two other grads had "incidents" because of things they say they were never trained in...

As with all things, there's certification versus competency. In the long run, sailing and scuba are both sports where you are responsible for your own safety, and somewhat at risk when you're on your own. In your case, I suspect you are in good hands.

BTW, when it comes to equipment maintenance, even simple regulator overhaul and adjustment, I'd suggest looking into doing that yourself. The extra TLC you'll give your own gear far outweighs what most shops will do for you. Of course, some folks would call that foolish and dangerous. It all depends.
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post #6 of 53 Old 01-26-2011
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Congrats Sabreman, My diving experience is similar. I became certified with NASDS in 1976 (16yrs old)but did not dive after. About 2 years ago I got certified by PADI at Cooper Island in the BVI during 2 sail charters, six months apart. I did the e-learning at home and the rest was at the BVI. Three of my open water dives were on the Rhone.
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post #7 of 53 Old 01-26-2011
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Congratulations Sabreman.

My first love was diving (on the 60's early 70's) but I just used a snorkel and did a lot of spear chasing on those days.

I have tried last year for the first time open sea diving with bottles with my daughter and we loved it. So this year we are going to take our certification. It is already paid . I offered it at my daughter as my Christmas present (voucher)

Regards

Paulo
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post #8 of 53 Old 01-26-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Congrats, Sabreman.

Just remember, you can't believe everything you read. There's theory and there's practice, and a lot of divers don't follow the theories. Which change from time to time as well.

We used to call PADi the "certificate of the month club" because they broke everything down to such a tiny granular level. One cert for open water, one for beaches, one for nights, one for spears, one for Tuesdays....As opposed to other orgs that had longer harder courses, but didn't try to keep constantly selling certificates for little things.

I guess there's room for both philosophies, but when I used to see dive boats that said "No spears without spearfishing certification" (Honest!) and one PADI intructor talking about the "loober line" on a compass (that's how he pronounced it) while two other grads had "incidents" because of things they say they were never trained in...

As with all things, there's certification versus competency. In the long run, sailing and scuba are both sports where you are responsible for your own safety, and somewhat at risk when you're on your own. In your case, I suspect you are in good hands.

BTW, when it comes to equipment maintenance, even simple regulator overhaul and adjustment, I'd suggest looking into doing that yourself. The extra TLC you'll give your own gear far outweighs what most shops will do for you. Of course, some folks would call that foolish and dangerous. It all depends.
PADI = Put Another Dollar In

With regards to the planning and care in the preparation of a dive vs going for a sail: I find that I am as careful - or perhaps even more careful (probably due to my newness) in my sail planning as I am in my dive-planning. Of course repetitive deep dives (especially on gas other than air) definitely requires close attention to details. The effect of poor planning (or not diving the plan) can be immediate and fatal. If I am doing a shallow dive in a familiar location I tend to be far less rigourous in my planning - just as an afternoon sail in my local bay requires less planning than a cruise out on the bay. There is still some planning involved (i.e. checking weather/water conditions; checking air/fuel; monitoring boat traffic; ensuring motor / regulator work etc. If my dive computer/ chart plotter craps out during one of these benign dives/sails - no biggy. If I'm at 120'/in the middle of Georgian Bay on Nitrox/with an approaching storm I would certainly take more care to ensure that my equipment is functioning and/or that I have redundancy.

1989 Hunter 30'
Southern Georgian Bay

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. - Jacques Yves Cousteau
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post #9 of 53 Old 01-26-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD;691207...
I had a sinus blockage that I could not release. Luckily for me it was just very painful, especially the flight back home. No more diving for me.
Hum, can you explain that for me. I thought that diving was the best thing to treat sinus condition (several divers said that to me). I have some of those problems and I thought it would improve with diving.

Regards

Paulo

Last edited by PCP; 01-26-2011 at 01:15 PM.
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post #10 of 53 Old 01-26-2011
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I got certified back in '81. I still have my original C card that I use. It is good for laughs when I have to show it.

"When in command, command." -- Admiral Nimitz

Difference between a power boater and a sailor out on the water: A power boater is going some place special, a sailor is already there.

s/v Zotz 1981 Pearson 365 Ketch Hull #375
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