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Brand new to scuba - looking for advice

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by Felisin, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. Felisin

    Felisin Garibaldi

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Pittsburgh
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    Hello Scuba family,

    My significant other and I are looking to get certified in Cozumel next month. We have never done scuba before. Would we be able to get open water certified and potentially advanced open water certification during our 3 day/3night stay in Cozumel? If you have any recommendations for dive shops or instructors, I'd be very grateful.

    Thank you!
     
  2. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
    5,493
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    Probably not. You can rule out Advanced. Basic open water might be possible in 2 days but that is very aggressive and consume every minute of your time. You likely won't have but two full days and then you have to be done with the diving 18-24 hours before departure.
     
  3. Dave Dillehay

    Dave Dillehay Dive Shop

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    Best is to do the pool lessons and academics at home. Then in Cozumel 2 days is easy for open water certification. Academics can be done on line at PADI.com and local instructors are usually happy to provide a referral letter for pool work.

    Dave Dillehay
    Aldora Divers
     
    eleniel, FezUSA, louisa1960 and 3 others like this.
  4. ChuckP

    ChuckP Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cozumel
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    Open water is possible if you do all your online and pool work at home, come here with a referral form and doctor form if needed - you need to be at the point of just needing to complete your open water dives.

    This is very common, it gives you maximum enjoyment time along with four open water dives over two days
     
    FezUSA and louisa1960 like this.
  5. ChuckP

    ChuckP Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cozumel
    707
    533
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    I type slower than Dave
     
    DandyDon and Khrissi like this.
  6. loosenit2

    loosenit2 Solo Diver

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    Second the option of doing academics and pool at a local dive shop and then doing your open water divers at the resort if you are not able to do the full open water course before you leave.
     
    deepsea21 and Sh0rtBus like this.
  7. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
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    Doing the pool and academics at home makes it more feasible but still leaves no margin for error. If you only have two available days for diving and it takes two days, you're hosed if you lose a day to weather.
     
  8. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
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    I believe you would generally need a minimum of 4 diving days to do the 9 dives required for OW and AOW. If I remember correctly, you may do no more that 3 training dives in a day. That would make the 1st 2 OW on day 1, 2nd 2 OW on day 2, 2 AOW on day 3 or 4 and the other 3 on day 3 or 4. A dive professional could confirm whether this is correct.

    You have been given good advice, above. I would do the academics and confined water at home and do the 4 OW training dives in Cozumel. You then would have a day to practice and enjoy yourself if you actually have an additional day, sounds like you don't.. Do the AOW at a later date.
     
  9. ggunn

    ggunn ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX, USA
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    I advise you to hold off on the AOW until you have a number of dives under your belt as OW cert'ed. I won't postulate on what that number should be, but after just a handful of OW dives you won't be nearly an advanced diver no matter what your card says.
     
    DandyDon likes this.
  10. kmarks

    kmarks Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location:
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    You would absolutely have to at least get started with pool and classroom at home before your trip. Most certifying agencies have a maximum number of training dives you are allowed to do in a day and the number is less than the total number of confined water dives and the total number of open water dives you need to get to OW Diver. That is, you need at least two days of pool/classroom and at least two days of open water checkout. 4 > 3 days of vacation you are planning.

    In addition, you have a 3 day, 3 night trip, which really means 2 days, 3 nights because you won't likely arrive early enough in the morning to do much. Even more, you need to allow yourself 24 hours after your last dive before you leave on a plane , so if your trip is Monday - Thursday (MWF nights), arrive on Monday at noon, you can dive on Tuesday (maybe Monday if you find somebody willing to work with you late) and Wednesday, but only if your flight home is in the afternoon on Thursday and you complete your dives early. Even trying to cram in checkout dives in that short of a trip is going to be difficult and you won't get the chance to do any fun diving.

    I think you are also limited to only 3 adventure dives per day for AOW, so you would need another 2 days for that.

    My recommendation would normally be to try to do your certification in whatever mudhole of quarry your local shop takes you to, and then enjoy how much better Cozumel is than that. But, since it's already late October, you might not be able to do a checkout near Pitt in the next month because of water conditions. My shop (in Iowa) has already finished our OW checkouts for the year and we won't start doing them again until May, but we do pool/classroom year round and send referrals for checkouts. In your case, I would actually recommend just enjoying what you can of Cozumel, which is still a lot, and if you get the urge to do it again (you will) get certified and go back as a diver next year. I fell in love with Cozumel when I went snorkeling there and I got certified and went back as a diver the next year.

    ETA - Many shops will do what's called a "Resort Course" where they do some minimal in water training with you and then let you do an actual, closely supervised, shallow dive on scuba in open water. You don't have to be certified for that and you won't get certified as a result, but it's a good 1-day option for you. It's also a low cost way to find out if scuba is something you really want to do (maybe $150 vs. up to $1,000 for a full cert).
     
    deepsea21 likes this.

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