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  1. #1
    Senior Member Euro Pod
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    Good places to learn Scuba diving

    So this is a general question for recommendations of places to learn Scuba Diving (from scratch). Many years ago (read >15) I did a BSAC course in the UK (now long since lapsed) and would like to take the opportunity to learn where waters are warm, fish are beautiful, and the instructors are not pushing you through a reckless schedule.

    Currently Im favoring somewhere in Thailand, Maldives or Bali... or perhaps Hawaii... probably sometime in August or September. I would also love to combine it with some decent Yoga classes (but then I can take my own Yoga with me). Learning here in the lakes and Swimming Pools of Switzerland somehow does not hold much appeal. So Any recommendations would be gratefully appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Sorry, If I may piggyback off of your thread, I am looking for a place in Washington to learn as well!
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  3. #3
    Some of the best places to learn are freshwater. It may suck being colder and spookier with murky water, but it makes you more reliant on your gear, and you learn your gear better. Then when you hit the clear tropical stuff you can relax and have a ball.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Euro Pod
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    Murky water was all the rage during the BSAC - max 1m visability in cold seas (and i really feel the cold) is what kind of ruined the experience for me. Hence taking the time (2 weeks) to really enioy and learn. But i will take up your note and see what lake diving can be done here.

  5. #5
    Time ago I went to Maldives for scuba diving. The dive centre were German Speaker and some of the Dive Masters (DM) and Instructors were from Switzerland, children of Spaniards emigrants. Their experience in Switzerland was completely different of yours. I found very professional this dive centre but I ignore who's working right now there. Let me know if you wish I send you a pm with details.

    About learning scuba the sad true is your case is quite common in all scuba organizations and Dive Centres everywhere. You need to find a person who's good instructor. I'm from the Gran Canaria I can ask but I need to know your tongue language.

    On other hand, decent Dive Centres in cold water give drysuits to students to keep them warm, happy and focus on the exercises. Students don't learn to manage the drysuit. They'll cancel open door practices is conditions aren't good, poor vis or weather. They don't carry out two open door practices on the same day and/or in the same dive. First because is against most scuba org teaching rules and second they want to be sure students retain the basic and be a safe.

    If I were you I'd plan a minimum of three weeks holidays to learn scuba diving. The first two weeks you learn and the third for practise or/and extra time for any skill that your instructor aren't happy enough with you.

    Scuba diving is great and worthy give it a second chance. Try to drag a friend you'll need a nice scuba buddy!
    MerMar

  6. #6
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod Mermaid Melanie's Avatar
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    In Thailand we are very lucky to host the Nursery for the indian ocean here in the Andaman Sea. In the andaman we have an abundance of life and so many different kinds ! Thailand is probably the best place to learn - it is 2nd cheapest in the world to learn ( next to diving in the mekong river - nowhere near as beautiful ) We have great dive sites close to the mainland which make day trips easy and affordable. We have dive sites to suit all different levels from beginner to pro - Thailand provides the perfect training ground for scuba diving! generally Open water course for PADI will cost around 12,000 thai baht to 18,000 thai baht - My company - Blue World Diving Thailand - can do your open water course at a great price - include pictures of your experiences underwater and provide a personal one to one tuition at no extra cost !

    www.facebook.com/blueworlddivingthailand
    BWDIVING@hotmail.co.uk

    Get in touch anyone who's out my way - would love to teach you how to dive !

    Laa Gon Kaa

    xx
    Yougot your own style, now let it come through. And remember no matter what, you got to be you. -Sebastian

  7. #7
    Thailand has the best underwater life in the world. A friend of mine always recommend to leave it as last place of diving travelling to not be disappointed with other paradises.

    Thailand vs Maldivas for learning purpose: I'd say Thailand. Why? most of the instructors are settled in Thailand so you can come back over the years and meet your Open Water Instructor. Maldivas has the island effect.

    Thailand vs Canary Islands for learning purpose while in holidays: Weather restrictions. I hate to say that Atlantic Ocean is more unpredictable that Indian Ocean so in Thailand the chance of dive cancellation for sea conditions are much more smaller and the "good sea conditions for beginners" window is wider.

    The one to one lessons are very common even when you are in a group course. People are different with different learning needs and paces. When I did my OW course one guy got one to one dives this person struggled lots with one exercise so we did all together our first dive as qualify divers which's great. It's a bit embarrassed situation and very common in OW course. For instructors working in a Dive centre is very difficult tackle it, the extra money, the extra time, course programmes with not room for these lessons, disloyal competency, is this student ok or I am too perfectionist?

    Hope that helps you and you give a second chance. Scuba is fantastic and highly additive
    MerMar

  8. #8
    Senior Member Euro Pod
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    Thanks to MerMar and MerMelanie... Ive been traveling for work the past 2-3 weeks and saw the posts but had not got around to replying yet.

    My native tongue is English - Aber kann ich auch Deutsche Verstehan et aussi en Francais; mais je pense cette muir quand je parle dans ma tongue maternelle... Currently because of work commitments it looks like im limited to two weeks around the end of August... or the end of September (which is probably Monsoon time in Thailand). Im in Dubai for the World Congress on Low Back Pain in late October but dont have free time for diving...

  9. #9
    The easiest and most comfortable way to learn how to dive is to order a referral course. Start a month or so (depending on your learning ability) prior to a trip to somewhere warm, Hawaii, Mexico, etc. Check with wherever you are staying to find a dive center nearby, which does referral certifications. I know both NAUI and PADI (two of the most accepted worldwide organizations) do referral courses. Order the course online, learn the paper, do the written work, and then do your actual dives and waterwork when you get to your tropical locale. This is so easy, and comfortable. I've done both advanced referral certs, and in person (in COLD WATER) certs, and unless you plan on becoming a professional diver who NEEDS to work in murky or uncomfortable conditions, there's nothing wrong with learning in a comfortable, safe environment with good visibility. A good teacher won't pass you unless you're more than capable with the equipment and skills. It's literally about your life.

  10. #10
    Junior Member seafairy's Avatar
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    I'd say you go for Thailand or the Philippines. Not only that they have some of the world's best beaches but these places are just worth the visit. So you'll learn how to dive and have fun doing it at the same time. That's basically two birds in one stone.
    Home to the world's best selection of scuba dive equipment and accessories.

  11. #11
    SSI (old NASDS) does the same.

  12. #12
    Krabi is a nice spot to enjoy scuba diving. It offers a variety of pretty beaches and stunning resorts to enjoy diving and many other adventures activities. Ao Nang Beach is considered one of the best and most visited spots among the visitors.

  13. #13
    Moderator Pod of Cali Mermaid Wesley's Avatar
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    Funny that this thread came up. I'm getting scuba certified in a few weeks!


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  14. #14
    Senior Member Euro Pod MermanOliver's Avatar
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    Thailand and Hawaii are really nice, of course. But maybe consider the Mediterranean sea for a start? The water in summer is warm and clear, the trip from Switzerland isn't that far, and you still have something to look forward in the future.

    Okay, there aren't that much fish like in Thailand, but Malta for example is nice, especially in summer.

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  15. #15
    MermanOliver, you have any experience of diving in "Mediterranean sea" if yes must share your experience and some photos with us. I want to go there in coming summer with my friends for enjoying some adventures activities.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Euro Pod MermanOliver's Avatar
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    I really would like to share pictures of Gozo, but I have to scan them first, they are "analogue" paper pictures. :P
    So it will take some time.
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