PADI diving and where to go (in the warm) for a first dive

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  • PADI diving and where to go (in the warm) for a first dive
  • thewombles
    Member

    hi im thinking of get my padi openwater, any tips or thoughts ??, i want to go somewhere warm (and cheap , because im becoming a student !, so two star hotels, b&b’s youth hostels dont bother me). I thought about Sharm el-Sheikh but if you have any other ideas ??????

    many thanks

    alwyn
    Member

    I went to Dahab, you fly to sharm and it is a 2 hour cab drive down the coast. It is cheap and relaxing without the tacky hotels of sharm. It’s a lot quieter and it is reef diving. Lovely to learn, but also has serious dives.

    I went with these guy and they were awesome.

    http://www.dive-urge.com/

    I would recommend the camel dive, it was really good fun.

    TooTall
    Member

    Don’t get the cab alwyn got – it took us just over an hour for the same trip!

    Pretty much anywhere in the Red Sea will suit you – Sharm is V busy and touristy – Dahab a bit more hippy and less developed – I liked Dahab. You can do a referral course – where you do the theory here and do the dives out there – but def the Red Sea for warmth and cheapness.
    Camels are stinky – stay away from Camels!

    ps44
    Member

    Yep, Dahab. We go there to windsurf, but I’ve done a bit of diving there too. It’s a world class spot. Google ‘Dahab Blue Hole’.

    Premier Icon DavidB
    Subscriber

    My tip

    Do pool and theory in the UK and then complete the OW dives as a referral. That way you don’t lose 2 days of holiday stuck inside.

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    Might be worth showing your face over at Yorkshire Divers – the diving version of STW. You’re bound to get a shedload of opinion, abuse, random bollox and maybe even some helpful answers over there.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    Doesn’t PADI stand for Pay And Die Instantly?

    Enjoy your hols…!

    thewombles
    Member

    thanks out man in the north , thats really depressing ! ive decided to take your advice and do the pool and theory here and then do a referral

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    I’m only pulling your leg.

    That’s what some diving friends told me after I’d done my PADI openwater (in Australia) years ago. No idea why.

    It’s brilliant, and you’ll love it. But I think the advice of the referal is good, as then you don’t need to spend your hols in a classroom/pool.

    Have fun and enjoy the trip.

    OMITN (jealous now because he hasn’t been diving for years)

    joe1983
    Member

    Phi Phi Major (island off Thailand) is beautiful – near to where they filmed the beach

    UncleFred
    Member

    PADI/BSAC is like the Campag/Shimano arguement.

    If you want to dive in cold dark quarries in the UK in the depths of winter then do BSAC.

    If you want to dive in nice warm water with lots of Visibility then do PADI.

    Definetly to a referral, saves time when you get to the warm stuff.

    If you can try and do the Advanced course when you get to the warm stuff, there’s no classroom work – all practicals and you’ll be qualified for deeper dives and night dives. Gives you a bit more flexibility. Some of the specialities are fun too.

    PADI is a commercial organisation and they take every opportunity to gain your cash with extra courses.

    UncleFred
    (PADI Divemaster – too many dives to count)

    MrNick
    Member

    I learnt to dive in Thailand. I didn’t research other destinations, but I’ve heard it’s relatively cheap. I did my Open Water at Ko Tao, and Advanced at Ko Phi Phi Don. I hadn’t heard of the referral option before, but it sounds like a great idea as the’re a fair amount of sitting in a classroom on the Open Water course. For my Advanced I did a wreck dive, which was ace; it was like being able to fly around a ship!

    jazzpootle
    Member

    I learnt to dive in the Dominican Republic while on honeymoon. We did our PADI open water certification there but the training was a bit sketchy. We recently were diving in Jamaica and I took a refresher course which was woefully inadequate. Definately do your training here in the UK and I’m not sure about PADI anymore. Thinking of going over to the local BSAC club and starting again.

    Christowkid
    Member

    Errr…
    If you want to be trained and live join BSAC!
    ( sorry UncleFred!! )
    If you’re going to become a student ( at Uni somewhere? ) then why not wait and join their club, probably BSAC. You probably will get free trainig and access to kit etc all care of student union.
    A time ago there was significant difference in PADI/BSAC training, where PADI used to do exactly what you said, train for a summer hol dive, whereas BSAC trained you to dive in whatever consditions safely.
    Train all through the winter in the safe environs of a swimming pool, clock up a few open water dives with them and go on the club hols somehwere warm and cheap cos it’s sponsored by the Athletic union of said Uni!
    Think through what you actually want to do ( quick hol jaunt v’s diving seriously ) before committing to anything
    Q
    ( ex. Exeter Uni BSAC, Training Officer, Social sec etc etc …. and Club instructor. Now retired into the sane sensible world of biking!!)

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Loads of PADI courses in Cairns, North Queensland, Dive on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Deep Sea Divers Den have a well setup organisation.

    thewombles
    Member

    im pretty ignorant, so excuse the question but whats the real difference between Bsac and PADI, i had a look on the web site and i cant tell the difference is between the courses, mind you i couldnt tell you what a snorkel is at this stage : )

    Christowkid
    Member

    I’m a bit out of touch now so will stand to be corrected.
    The BSAC has a fully structured training programme allowing you to progress form your current state of ‘interested but no idea’ to trained diver. The progress should be self led and you only progress when you have attained the next level. If I sound a bit formal, I don’t mean to, but at the end of the day if you get it wrong it can be disasterous! The training continues to allow progression as your skill and knowledge increases. Especially in a Uni club, there’s no pressure to ‘pass the next test’, and often the system allows you to really get into it and become a very competant person. I have put trainee divers onto a club instructor course ( bedause it happened to be local ) and completely stunned the course leaders when they realised how ‘novice’ they were – their knowledge was excellent, reflecting the standard of training they’d recieved. The BSAC way used to be based around a club structure, so you have the support comeraderie and social benefits of the group.

    I don’t want to start any wars here, but PADI used to be much more holiday based – ideal for a quick few dives on hols, seemed to be more commercially oriented and didn’t used to have such a strong club basis, but it’s been a while since i was in the loop. Others may be better informed.
    BSAC clubs have ” try nights” where you can roll up to your local club and try it out in a pool to see what it’s like…… try digging around their website and see who/where your local club is and give it a go.
    Anyway…..must get on.
    best of luck!
    Q

    hitman
    Member

    I learnt to dive in the perhentian islands, off the coast of Malaysia
    the island itself, was incredibly beautiful and unspoilt
    according to our instructor, the diving was the best in the world, after the red Sea

    TooTall
    Member

    Christow – you are right with the ‘used to be’ bit. I’m a foot in each camp – trained PADI and BSAC. I’ve had good and bad with both. BSAC is the original dive org – club based, so you can get a nice group and get progressed. Unfortunately, you also have to rely upon peoples goodwill and it can take forever to get things don at times. PADI – you pay someone – so you get it in a tight package when you want it. BSAC has had a change at the top in the last few years – some say not for the better. I was instructed by a regional coach and it was some of the worst instruction in any topic I’ve ever experienced – I’ve had diligent and superlative instruction from PADI instructors. Do your research and you’ll be fine.

    UncleFred
    Member

    PADI gets you in the water and diving. It’s an American system and it’s done the American way so that (not wishing to Stereotype anyone) stupid law suit happy Americans can learn to dive.

    When you Qualify as a BSAC Diver you have all the skills you need to be an excellent diver (although I’ve dived with some pretty crap BSAC qualified divers).

    The PADI route is broken down into Modules if you like so you learn all the skills that you would learn in BSAC on course by course (read $$$) basis.

    BSAC divers tend to look down on PADI Divers whilst PADI divers don’t really care what BSAC divers think about them.

    The one thing I would say is that I’d rather dive with a newly qualified BSAC Diver for fun than I would a newly qualified PADI open water diver.

    stratobiker
    Member

    So some of you that ‘learned to dive’ in exotic/warmwater/good viz places….would you now call yourself a diver? Do you condider yourself ‘waterproof’?

    SB

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    Another difference between PADI & BSAC is what happens post qualification – with BSAC you’re in a club environment so, as long as the club is active, you get to dive with the same group of people and develop a trust and understanding of them. With PADI you book onto dives organised by your local PADI shop/centre and the group on the boat may be quite different each time.

    It’s a bit like the difference between riding with a regular group or turning up to rides organised by your LBS. Admittedly you may get a few regulars along to each LBS ride, but there will always be a subtle difference between the two rides.

    (Cards on the table – BSAC trained, ex instructor, ex Diving Officer of club but jacked all that club stuff in years ago to be able to just go diving with a bunch of mates)

    Jason
    Member

    Generally I have arranged my dive trips by booking accommodation via a dive shop abroad, the PADI website has a list of all registered shops. Pretty much all of those will be able to sort you out with cheap local accommodation and then pick you up from the airport etc. Email a few and see who has the best response. Hopefully you can then book cheap flights.

    I would agree with all the comments about doing a referral course. You will have a bit more time to iron out any problems in the UK before heading abroad. As much as it shouldn’t happen the way the PADI system works does mean that shops have an incentive to pass divers before they are really good enough, they don’t want you to go home without the badge! From what I have seen the Red Sea is probably the worse for this and some of the courses can be a bit of a conveyor belt – however the diving is good. Other ‘local’ places that are good are Cyprus and Gozo, you can get fairly cheap flights to them both, while the diving is not as good as the Red Sea (you won’t see many fish!) they both have there own charms. Both best for a late summer trip when the water has warmed up.

    I am surprised nobody has mentioned that PADI=Put Another Dollar In. On the PADI route don’t get tempted to do every course and speciality, just because your instructor recommends it. As mentioned above do Advanced and then just do lots of diving to get experience. Having said that if you get into diving it is worth doing a Nitrox course.

    I have seen bad divers trained by PADI and BSAC. I think a bit chunk of it is the divers attitude rather than the route they have taken to qualification.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    Phi Phi Major (island off Thailand) is beautiful – near to where they filmed the beach

    Island where they filmed The Beach is Ko Phi Phi Leh – a large, uninhabited rock next to Ko Phi Phi. I’ve no idea what Ko Phi Phi is like now after the tsunami of 2004, but when I was last there (1997) it was still beautiful and the diving was pretty good.

    So some of you that ‘learned to dive’ in exotic/warmwater/good viz places….would you now call yourself a diver?

    Absolutely not. I did my PADI open water course in Cairns in 1996, and the last time I dived was in 1997.

    However, I would dearly love to learn to dive (again, properly) and dive at least once a year, even if I just join the hoardes heading out on cheap flights to somewhere hot. Mrs North doesn’t like water, so she has no interest in it, otherwise I suspect I might have done more.

    Maybe once I’ve ridden the …tape,l and the road racing season is coming to a close, I’ll make the time to start learning again (whether PADI or BSAC).

    m0nster2
    Member

    Bit of a spanner, maybe:
    Just try and get a try dive (even in a pool if that is all that is available) over here or at least before you shell out any serious cash.

    It is quite rare I think but, even though I tried my damndest, put a lot of effort in and spent a fair bit of wedge, I learned that I’ll never be a ‘proper’ diver… my inner ear just couldn’t take it.

    Trimix
    Member

    I learned via BSAC and PADI and was a dive instructer for PADI, most of the comments are generally true, but its the quality of your instructer that will make the most difference.

    Get onto Yorkshire Divers for good advice.

    UncleFred
    Member

    I learnt with PADI in Guernsey in the mid 90’s, the class room stuff was a lot more intensive then and the confined water was done in a pool before we were even allowed in the sea. I then did about 30 dives in Guernsey waters in some pretty crappy conditions. I did my Advanced in the Red Sea in 98 and found it really easy to complete, mainly because of the experience I had gained in cold water with crap viz and strong currents.

    In 2004 with 100 dives done I did my Rescue diver in Barbados and then moved to the BVI where I did my Divemaster and did 3 years of diving pretty much every weekend.

    I have led countless dives with newly qualified and well taught PADI open water divers and also with experienced divers. Nearly all tourists just wanting to see the reefs and wrecks. Newly qualified PADI divers don’t have the experience of a newly qualified BSAC Diver you can get your ticket after 8 dives with PADI, that certifies you to dive unguided to 18m, you can also rent your own equipment and take yourself off diving whereever you are in the world.

    Personally I don’t think thats enough. You don’t build enough experience and you certainly don’t have the knowledge that a BSAC diver would have accrued in his training. If I had to rewrite the PADI course I would lump open water,advanced open water and Rescue Diver all together.

    However,as I said before, if you’re only going to dive with an experienced guide in warm water, in good viz then PADI is perfectly acceptable. If you plan on diving in any other circumstances then go the BSAC route.

    Gooner
    Member

    i got back from dahab last sunday and did my padi while i was there
    it was lovely and warm although wet suits were needed (instructor had a dry suit on!) as they are most of the year in the red sea if you want to stay down any length of time
    i did the confined stuff in the uk and the ow while i was there

    there are some pretty good deals out there at the moment; circa £550 would get you flights, transfer and a good hotel for 7 nights but you could reduce this cost if were happy with a smaller type hotel of which there are plenty in dahab and probably in sharm as well

    i have just booked my padi advanced for april and then going back to dahab in september for diving

    good luck

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