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legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

Can people rent scuba diving equipment at tourist stops? Is there anything you should be wary of renting, or any equipment that is just better to own instead of renting?

If I decide to get certified, I plan on diving maybe one or two times per year, maybe less or more on some years. I definitely wouldn't mind owning my own mask, wetsuit, and flippers, but I don't know if I want to spend $1000+ on the more complicated equipment if I don't dive more often.

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legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

What are some interesting underwater monuments and seascapes? It looks like you can find coral, shipwrecks and gorgeous fish everywhere, but the pyramids near Okinawa are the most unique diving site I've come across in my online research.

legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

I'm a little intimidated by the advanced scuba certification.

If I'm understanding correctly, it looks like you study it entirely on your own (the underwater navigation, deep diving, etc) and then you demonstrate these skills on the day of your exam without having met in person.

I'm the type of person who does great on written tests about aquatic safety, but I usually need to practice the actual procedures a couple of times before I can do it with ease and speed. I'm a great swimmer, but I'm just concerned about needing a practice run before the practical exam.

To make matters more complex, the scuba shop where I'm getting my certification does not have a pool or anything where I could practice. There's a local scuba shop which does have a pool, and I think I might be able to rent a BCD and such to practice, but I've been warned that they might make things difficult for me if they realize I'm getting my cert from the other shop. Apparently there's really nasty drama between the two shop owners, and an employee warned me that sometimes they try to take each other's customers. I'm not getting my advanced cert from the shop-with-pool because, frankly, I was not impressed with their management when I got my beginner's cert from them--they lost several important documents, including a medical clearance that I had turned in weeks in advance, and some of my written tests.

How do other divers prepare for the practical part of the advanced cert?

legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

Thank you so much for all of your supportive responses! I got brave enough to call the shop and express my concerns, and they mirrored exactly what you told me. I'm going to return to lurking the incredible pictures and stories that y'all post.

legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

I know that you are supposed to wait eight hours between flying and scuba diving. However, does that still apply if you are diving in an aquarium instead of a lake at sea level? Or is the pressure issue still going to be the same?

legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

Cru Jones posted:

DAN recommends at least 12 hours but the generally guideline I've heard is 24.

That being said, it all depends on how long and how deep. If you're 15 feet in an aquarium for 30 minutes, you're probably pretty safe if you drove straight to the airport. I'd do some double checking if I were you.

I've decided to skip diving on this trip just to be safe. I live in Texas and sometimes it feels like I'm never going to block out time to actually use my certifications.

legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

Crunkjuice posted:

Theres lots and lots of good diving around Texas. What city do you live in?

I live in Houston. I've been told Flower Gardens is amazing, but difficult due to strong currents. I've been lake diving, and I'm interested in becoming a volunteer diver at Moody Gardens in Galveston once I get enough dives under my belt, but I'm not aware of anything else that's really colorful with coral and a wide variety of fish. I want to dive at the downtown aquarium this summer though!

legsarerequired fucked around with this message at 08:20 on May 4, 2014

legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

I know that divers will carry a dive-capable light for photography, but does anyone ever just carry a light just to better admire colorful reefs?

legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

Thank you for your responses! I see myself doing day dives for the next couple of years so I guess I don't have to worry too much about a little flashlight scaring away or disturbing wildlife while I shine it on coral and reefs, right?

legsarerequired fucked around with this message at 15:11 on Feb 7, 2015

legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

This is a strange question, but I'm not sure where I should ask it.

My boyfriend has pretty severe kyphosis, to the point that his lungs cannot expand fully. He is fine for things such as jogging, walking, and other day-to-day activities. We are planning a trip to Mexico and I was considering going on a snorkeling trip with him (specifically, something like these scooters) because he isn't SCUBA certified and he's talked about wanting to see coral.

That said, I remember that when I got my SCUBA certification, the dive shop was very strict about wanting doctor's notes. I know snorkeling is much safer, but I am really scared that we could get there and the tour operator would tell him that he needs a doctor's note or something since you can tell right away that he has a spinal/chest problem due to the shape of his back. Besides getting a doctor's note ahead of time saying something along the lines of "Legsarerequired's boyfriend is cleared for snorkeling" (and for some reason he hasn't seen a doctor in ten years and he is dragging his feet on actually seeing one), does anyone have advice for something like this?

legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

Thank you so much for your input everyone! I showed him the link and he said he would rather go snorkeling anyway. I really do appreciate your responses.

Bangkero posted:

I wouldn't call that snorkeling since it's still breathing compressed air at depth. It's more of a fancy form of hookah diving. If your bf has to bail from the scooter then he has to have the lung capacity to either reach the bailout tank or CESA 30ft to the surface. He should go see a DAN doctor.

You can also inquire directly with the company about their expectations. Even if he gets turned down he can see plenty of coral just by regular snorkeling.

Those are both really good points. We live in Houston so there should be a doctor within a few hours' drive that could talk to him if he decides that he's serious about snorkeling. I didn't even know that there was such a thing as a DAN doctor, so thank you all again for being so helpful.

I kind of worry that I'm being a downer if I remind him to see a doctor, but I feel like a) his spinal condition is immediately apparent so he may get questioned about it by the operator and b) the absolute worst thing would be if he got hurt, or if he gets denied by the operator after all these months that he could have seen a doctor and gotten some kind of note.

legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

I'm planning my vacation this year around my work schedule and the whale sharks. It looks like two of my best options are:

April-May: see the whale sharks in Belize
July-August: see the whale sharks near Cancun or Cozumel

March and June aren't options because those are busy months for my job.

Another major thing for me, besides whale sharks, is seeing lots of interesting coral. It's looking like Belize might be better for coral and it would probably be less crowded than Cancun in July--what I'm reading about Glover's Reef looks amazing.

legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

If I wanted to see wild octopus, where would be the best place to dive?

legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

Trivia posted:

Are you talking country or general location?

Location is where I'm thinking. It sounds like down the line I will need to plan a trip to the Pacific.

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legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

DeadlyMuffin posted:

I did not know about this, it's incredible, thank you!

Also, this thread needs a bit more California love :-)





Regarding finding octopus: it also helps to keep an eye out for piles of shells near a crevice or opening in a rock. They tend to leave their trash pile right outside their front door.

Can you see nudibranches like that at any California coral dive?! They look amazing!

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