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  1. #1
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    scuba lessons \ certification

    I'm going a vacation this spring to Cozumel and I would like to scuba dive there. I've done lots of snorkeling on vacations and always wanted to dive but I've never done it. I would like to take lessons here in Des Moines and become "certified" or whatever it takes to allow me to dive on vacation.

    Can anyone shed some light on what it takes and who in area offers it.

    Will I need to buy my own equipment? Fin, mask, snorkel? What about a wetsuit? Better to rent one or buy one?

    Any help is appreciated.


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    Re: scuba lessons \ certification

    My brother in law says diving in Cozemel is awesome. It seems like a lot of the local shops in Mexico give crash courses. I would try some of the forums on www.locogringo.com, lots of good advice for the Yucatan. I'm jealous.



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    Re: scuba lessons \ certification

    Cozumel is well known as a diving destination. It has the second largest coral reef in the world and water visibility can be as far as 250 ft.

    The resort I'm staying at does have a crash course and a dive well on the premises. I just thought it would be less expensive to take lessons in IA.

    If I can't get my certifications, I'm sure the snorkeling is cool as well.


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    Re: scuba lessons \ certification

    The YMCA in Marshalltown does scuba lessons if you can't find anything closer. Some friends got certified there just before a vacation like you're doing. Don't know the cost.


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  5. #5
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    Re: scuba lessons \ certification

    Quote Originally Posted by besserheimerphat View Post
    The YMCA in Marshalltown does scuba lessons if you can't find anything closer. Some friends got certified there just before a vacation like you're doing. Don't know the cost.
    There are a couple of places here in DSM but I was looking for a recommendation instead of cold calling.


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    Re: scuba lessons \ certification

    There are a number of certification bodies out there. I'm most familiar with PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors).

    Open Water is the basic certification. There are three parts: classroom, closed water dive(s), open water dives(s). Most dive shops have a package that includes the classroom and closed water portions that can be done on a weekend, though you'll have to spend some time studying beforehand. The closed water dives are usually done in a pool.

    The final open water dives are sometimes done on a trip through a dive shop, or they can give you a referral to a shop in Florida, carribean, etc. to do your final testing. For the dive shop trips they are sometimes to a 'local' lake/quarry or some also go to warmer places. Because of the time of year and you wanting to go in the spring, I'd check into the classroom/closed parts in DM area and the open dives on referral in Cozumel. Typically the dives take two days so it might take most of your vacation depending on how long you are going to be there, but you'll get to do some actual diving and in the end you'll be certified. I personally wouldn't take any kind of crash course or even dive someplace where they didn't require you to be certified.

    As far as equipment goes, you'll need a mask, snorkel, and fins of your own. You could get the fins and snorkel online for a low price, but do yourself a favor and get your mask at a dive shop where you can test the fit. Even though I guarantee it will be more expensive, if you use their fitting services buy it there. I'd rent wetsuits, BC, regs, and other equipment unless you really get into diving.

    You can find huge amounts of information at scubaboard.



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    Re: scuba lessons \ certification

    PM retzmountn. I belive he can address your questions and needs.

    Z


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    Re: scuba lessons \ certification

    Quote Originally Posted by CyinCo View Post
    There are a couple of places here in DSM but I was looking for a recommendation instead of cold calling.
    Ouch. No PADI shops in Des Moines? I thought Wichita was bad. There is one in Waterloo and one in Cedar Rapids.

    Find a dive shop, scuba diving shop, dive resort or scuba dive shop

    You could also try other certification bodies. NAUI and SSI are probably the next most popular after PADI.



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    Re: scuba lessons \ certification

    I bought my stuff from a shop off of old grand in West DM. I believe he teaches all of the local emergency units here in DM.

    Z


    The grass always looks greener, on the other side of the fence, but the dog over there might be meaner, on the other side of the fence… Stay in your own yard, play in your own yard!

  10. #10
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    Re: scuba lessons \ certification

    Quote Originally Posted by zach View Post
    I bought my stuff from a shop off of old grand in West DM. I believe he teaches all of the local emergency units here in DM.

    Z
    Yeah. I think that might Adventure Diving or something like that.


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  11. #11
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    Re: scuba lessons \ certification

    Quote Originally Posted by CyFever View Post
    There are a number of certification bodies out there. I'm most familiar with PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors).

    Open Water is the basic certification. There are three parts: classroom, closed water dive(s), open water dives(s). Most dive shops have a package that includes the classroom and closed water portions that can be done on a weekend, though you'll have to spend some time studying beforehand. The closed water dives are usually done in a pool.

    The final open water dives are sometimes done on a trip through a dive shop, or they can give you a referral to a shop in Florida, carribean, etc. to do your final testing. For the dive shop trips they are sometimes to a 'local' lake/quarry or some also go to warmer places. Because of the time of year and you wanting to go in the spring, I'd check into the classroom/closed parts in DM area and the open dives on referral in Cozumel. Typically the dives take two days so it might take most of your vacation depending on how long you are going to be there, but you'll get to do some actual diving and in the end you'll be certified. I personally wouldn't take any kind of crash course or even dive someplace where they didn't require you to be certified.

    As far as equipment goes, you'll need a mask, snorkel, and fins of your own. You could get the fins and snorkel online for a low price, but do yourself a favor and get your mask at a dive shop where you can test the fit. Even though I guarantee it will be more expensive, if you use their fitting services buy it there. I'd rent wetsuits, BC, regs, and other equipment unless you really get into diving.

    You can find huge amounts of information at scubaboard.
    Wow. Thanks for the info. Thats sounds more complicated than I expected. I thought I could invest a weekend here and be done. The open water portion of certification is not something I would want to do with days of my vacation. We are going for 7 days and have a relatively full schedule of things. I just thought diving could be one of them.

    Maybe I'll hold off for this trip and just Snorkel once again and then pursue the Iowa Certification for the next trip.


    ISU Grad 1997.
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  12. #12
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    Re: scuba lessons \ certification

    just got back from Jamaica, and Sandals does a quick certification that will let you dive at any of there resorts, or they will do the full certification also...so if you are staying at a Sandals that might work for you.



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