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Me and my daughter got dive certified June 10th. It is something I have wanted to do since I was 18. So for my daughters graduation present i signed us up for a class together. We are looking forward to our next dive! We are both hooked!
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Any advice yall can give be greatly appreciated. As a new diver I know there is so much to learn.
Sounds great. It may be worthwhile for you to tell us a bit about what gear you have, what gear you're interested in or choosing amongst, and what kind of diving you're mainly hoping to do (e.g.: shore diving or boat diving, coral reefs with pretty fish vs. diving around wrecks, ocean vs. freshwater springs, etc...).
Sometimes it helps to narrow a huge array of choices down to a few representative examples to explore. I'll list a few 'best of breed' type options that you might explore, to get a sense of what might interest you.
1.) Aldora in Cozumel. Most Cozumel diving is via charter boat, 2 tank morning day trips, and you stay at a hotel (e.g.: Hotel Cozumel, Occidental Grand, Scuba Club Cozumel, I think Aldora may have a place to stay?). Drift diving, great viz., beautiful reefs and good sea life. Aldora is a highly reputable op. with big 120 cf tanks, I believe (so is Living Underwater, which I've dove with and really like).
2.) Buddy Dive in Bonaire. Mainly unlimited shore diving, you'd probably dive 3 - 4 times/day, coral reef with good sea life but not much big stuff, minimal current, do your own thing without bothering with charter boats or needing dive guides (though you can boat dive if you want). You'll be renting a truck for the week, standard transmission (stick shift).
3.) CocoView in Roatan. Basically an all-inclusive, I believe, if you like to stay in one place and not get 'off the reservation' too much, with morning boat dives and I'm told good shore diving onsite, too.
4.) AquaCat Liveaboard - Bahamas. You live on a boat for a week, dive often (& do little else) and have a great time. The Bahamas are an area where the water gets colder in the winter; a chubby guy like me wouldn't need a wet suit in summer, but would in winter, from what I understand. I've dove in Bonaire in December and Cozumel in January without a wetsuit & did fine, and I don't like wearing wetsuits, so I'd do the Bahamas in summer if I were going.
4.) People speak well of some Florida diving; the Florida Keys & West Palm Beach for oceanic diving, and Ginnie Springs for freshwater spring diving, for example.
There's so much more out there, but if you're in 'what next' mode, this might narrow it down so you can explore some options. Factor in airfare; expensive to Bonaire but resort stay is cheaper, cheaper to Roatan & Cozumel, etc...
Locally will be boat dives with a few shore dives, me and my daughter want to do wrecks and reefs, i am not too interested in Cave diving.. As for gear we have only the mask, snorkel and fins. Fins was a chore itself finding some that my daughter and I could wear ... We both have broken a foot and it actually made it an exercise in learning to buy fins, however that we have sorted out.. There are so many kinds of equipment we are at a loss as to what to buy.
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Im leaning toward an Aeris jacket style I found. As for Octo no ideas at all, do they make one with a small mouth piece!
Some people say rent a variety of gear (e.g.: BCD's) & some say buy up front so all that rental money goes into your gear & saves you money. I favor the latter approach, but one can argue for either. My own thoughts on the gear you'll likely graduate to from here, and some options (not guaranteeing they're the best, just giving some examples):
1.) BCD - most people start out in jacket style. You'll see people post about back-plate wing, which have advantages & are very popular with some, but I imagine you'll at least start with a jacket style. There are a number of reputable brands/models. I dive a Sherwood Avid 2x. I also use an Air 2 instead of an octopus, but that's very much a matter of personal preference. Get weight integrated! You can always wear a weight belt anyway if you want to (which I doubt).
2.) Regulator - you want one an area dive shop can do the servicing on. Some strong brand names include Atomic Aquatics (the Z2x), ScubaPro, Apeks, and a number of others. You very likely do not need a high-end model. An Atomic A. Z2x would be a decent choice, if you want something to check into.
3.) Scuba Boots - I like SeaSoft Sunrays. Thicker sole than regular thin-soled scuba 'booties,' more like wearing a sneaker. Really nice when walking on rough ironshore in Bonaire.
4.) Compass - a Suunto SK7 is a very reputable version. You can get console, wrist or on unit attached via retractor to a D-ring on your BCD, I believe. I've got a wrist unit, but I'd get the last option if I had it to do again.
5.) Dive Computer - you can get a console unit (often cheaper for air-integrated than wrist AI units), or a wrist unit that's got a decent sized display, or small wrist watch style wrist unit, and you can get air integrated (acts as an SPG, costs more money, non-console requires a wireless transmitter attached to your 1'rst stage) or not cheaper. Some dive computers can download dive data to your PC; I highly recommend this to aid logging dives, but it often entails a $100 proprietary cable (may or may not be included). Some models from Oceanic Worldwide: Pro Plus 2.1 (console), VT4 (wrist AI), Atom 3 (wristwatch AI), Geo 2 (wrist non-AI). Some AI wrist units can be bought cheaper without the transmitter. To learn about & compare dive computer, go to DiveNav's web site. They've got cheap online courses to learn to use them.
6.) If you like console units & can cough up $1,100 - 1,200, I love, love, love the easy-of-use intuitive menu system of the Atomic Aquatics Cobalt.
7.) Mail order is usually cheaper than local dive shop. One reputable vendor is ScubaToys, and I believe they offer a discount to ScubaBoard members (you have to mention it. I've also bought from LeisurePro and Scuba.com. On the other hand, there's something to be said for supporting your local dive shop. Some LDS's may offer you a discount on gear you buy related to a course you take with them, and there may be a discount for package deal. So, see what a package deal will run & whether you can get a further discount if you sign up for an advanced OW course. I found ScubaToys willing to substitute a different BCD in one of their packages, by the way.
8.) Get a small BCD knife in case you get tangled in fishing line. Titanium is expensive, but much more rust resistant. Spyderco has some H1 knives that are said to be rust resistant; still expensive, though.
9.) Consider buying & learning to use the combo. of a finger spool and an SMB (surface marker buoy). It can be hard to see your heads sticking up out of the water from a boat with even small waves & a modest distance, and this inflatable 4 foot orange or yellow tube lets you show them where you are. Good for some peace of mind.
10.) You're going to want to get an Advanced OW cert., both for training/experience under supervision & so charter boats will let you do some deeper dives with them. How old is your daughter? If she's a juvenile, it could impact max. recommended depth limits. You will eventually want to take Rescue diver; it goes a long way to make you a more informed, mindful diver (but you'll need to be First Aid & CPR certified to take it).
11.) Another course you may want, that's pretty quick & can be useful for Bonaire & live-aboards, is Nitrox.
12.) If your fins don't have a spring straps, a lot of people like them & you can add them. Not a big deal, but nifty.
I'm gonna go ahead and recommend against buying any gear for now. Only through experience you will find out what you want and what you need. As long as you're ok with rental gear, there's no real need to buy stuff (yet).
You didn't mention booties. Those are usually the first purchase a new divers makes. If you use full-foot fins now and are ok with them, not a problem, but in all other cases consider some booties and open-heel fins. They're not expensive but can make a whole lot of difference in many situation.
The next step after that might be a suit, which will depend on where you're gonna do most of your diving. Apart from that, rent for now and don't be afraid to try different things. Only through that you will find out what you like.
May be a bit off topic to take the thread, but I've wondered about this. I would think renting, you'd be stuck using whatever the dive op. or dive shop rents out, which may not be the brand or model you want to try, and even if you hit 2 or 3 different places may not give you good variety.
Yes, you could try the local dive shop's brand X rental BCD and reg. a couple of times, decide that as far as you know they're okay, and buy them, but maybe they wouldn't be so okay if you'd tried 'better' (for you, anyway) gear?
It would be nice if you knew some divers & could borrow & dive some of their stuff to get a sense of what you like.