Getting PADI certification is a big step for new divers. Once certified for diving in open waters a whole new underwater world literally becomes accessible. A question that often comes up for people planning their trip to Roatan is whether or not they should get PADI certified at home or while they are on their vacation. While there is no right or wrong answer, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind when working out the details of getting your PADI certification.
The PADI Open Water Diving Course
For many people, figuring out if they should get certified while on vacation comes down to how much time they have for their holiday. Open water PADI certification is broken down into three parts:
Knowledge Development – covers the basic principles of diving and can be done independently online or through a classroom course.
Contained Water Dives – dives done in a swimming pool or similarly contained body of water.
Open Water Dives – dives done in a lake, ocean or other open bodies of water such as a quarry.
A Matter Of Time
The entire process will take approximately 40 to 50 hours to complete. You should also keep in mind that you’ll need to give yourself at least 24 hours after your last dive before you can fly on an airplane. You’ll typically spend three days on the knowledge and confined water part of certification and two days on the open water. To decide whether you want to do your complete PADI certification on your holiday will depend on how much time you have on your vacation and how much of your vacation you really want to spend studying and worrying about passing your tests.
Your Local Conditions
Another thing that makes many people want to complete their certification while on holidays is the conditions in their area. If you’re a long distance away from an open body of water or if the waters near you are known to be extremely cold or murky, doing the open water portion of your certification process can be a miserable experience. Cold and murky water has actually been known to turn some people off diving completely.
Luckily, for those who live in an area not particularly conducive to comfortable dives all year round, the industry has come up with a referral system that allows potential divers to complete part of their course, such as the knowledge and confined dive portions, in their hometown while completing the open water portion in a location that has warm, clear waters. This works well for divers who live in colder climates or in locations where open water isn’t easily accessible. It also works for those who don’t want to spend their entire vacation working on getting their certification. Breaking up the course also gives some extra leeway to complete the open water dives if the weather isn’t completely cooperating. The referral system allows divers to get more knowledge about instructors and may allow them to choose one recommended during their initial instruction.
Full Training at a Roatan Resort
Even if you don’t complete the knowledge portion of your certification at home, most dive shops will gladly help you through all parts of the certification process. Here at Blue Bahia, we are fortunate to have one of the best dive shops, Roatan Divers, on-site. We can honestly say that these are some of the best and caring instructors on the island and they will be more than happy to help you achieve your PADI certification. You’ll be able to relax and finish your course without having to worry about travelling long distances to complete the various parts of the certification process. They have their own swimming pool for you to complete your contained water dives as well as having instant access to the ocean for the open water dive portion of your course. By taking advantage of the PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center you won’t have to deal with the frigid and murky waters back home and by the end of your vacation, you’ll be able to dive almost anywhere in the world.
If you are coming to visit us at Blue Bahia and are not sure if you are ready to commit to becoming a certified PADI diver, ask about doing a Discovery Dive. This is an introductory half day of instruction where you will learn some theory and safety skills after which you can go on a dive with an instructor. Just ask us when you arrive and we will get you hooked up and ready to explore our beautiful underwater world!
Your Personal Preferences
In the end, as this article shows, there are many ways to complete the PADI certification process. How you want to do it will come down to your personal preferences and what works best for your situation. If you are coming to Roatan to dive or to learn how to dive, make sure you ask us about our special Dive & Stay rates!