Get an exclusive 7% off your next luxury holiday cottage with cottages.com - Use the code PART07 at checkout.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Learn to scuba dive holiday(15 Posts)
Am 40 this year and single. Dc are away with xh two weeks at Easter and two weeks in summer. I've always wanted to learn to scuba dive. Is this a good idea on my own? Any advice or tips welcome please
It’s a brilliant idea! Before I met DH I used to go on solo dive holidays and always had a great time. Divers are sociable folk. If you want company in the evenings then I’d recommend staying in a dive hotel. Where were you thinking of going?
Oh thanks for the response! No idea 😂. Any suggestions? Or who to book with?
Absolutely! Diving is incredible, and you can definitely do it alone. My Dp is a master diver so before we went on our first holiday to dive together I learned alone (in the uk) and had a blast making friends that were doing the same. When we've been away we've met some lovely people either in our dive groups or in the local bars etc that the divers frequent, and the memories we have made are phenomenal.
Have a fabulous time if you do decide to go, and good luck!
If you’re going to go at Easter then Egypt probably your best bet as the weather would be lovely. If you can get flights then the camel dive club in sharm would be a good choice. Or the marina lodge hotel in Marsa Alam if you’d rather avoid Sharm.
Brilliant idea. I did a try dive in Lanzarote aged 40 and since then I've got more advanced qualifications and done a couple of hundred dives all over the UK, Europe and Egypt. As well as Egypt, Malta/Gozo and the Canaries are good for beginners.
You can also start off your lessons in the UK, either with a local dive shop, which is likely to use PADI, a commercial training agency, or you could do a try dive with a BSAC club.
The latter is likely to be more suitable if there's any chance that you might not be confident with some of the skills, like removing, replacing and clearing your mask underwater. Or you can do the initial training with a shop in the UK and they often do group holidays abroad, where you can finish off your training in warmer seas.
Another tip would be to buy your own mask from a shop to start with, so you get one that fits properly.
I'd recommend doing the classroom and pool stuff before you go if you can so you are not spending your holiday doing that. I did it that way and took all the paperwork with me and then did the open water dives on holiday (Egypt). It worked really well. You need to decide on the PADI or BSAC route before you book anything though.
Doing your PADI is very intensive! I did it in 2-3 days intensive. Expect to spend your evenings studying. You then have to sit an exam. I needed zero distractions so going alone is probably a good thing!
There is a lot of technical stuff so if you can cover some of it before you go that's a really good idea.
Egypt is world class for diving. Even just snorkelling you can see so much cool stuff!
You get a dive book and log your dives and it's really addictive! You can do ship wreck dives, night dives etc. so maximising the time you have is a good idea.
I did mine in Zanzibar but only as I was travelling there. I saw an octopus change colour on a rock, it was very cool.
Thanks all- feeling excited. What are the differences between the types of courses? Padi versus the other one?
PADI is the Professional Association of zdiving Instructors, worldwide recognised, BSAC is the British Sub Aqua Club (I think) which is less recognised internationally but also very good. I am a PADI Madter Scuba Diver - been diving for 18 years, just got all three kids (and DH!) qualifies in Cape Verde - we’re planning our first family five holiday this year! Go for it!
PS I highly recommend the suggestion of getting your own, properly fitted, mask before you go. A badly fitting mask full of water will spoil even the most gorgeous of dives! Good luck and have fun blowing bubbles! PM me if you want more info...
Bsac is a club not a commercial organisation, although there are bsac 'businesses' and all the club instructors are volunteers. I am a bsac dive leader which is roughly equivalent to a PADI dive master (I think).
For both organisations the qualifications are to ISO standards so are recognised anywhere in the world.
When I started I struggled with mask clearing but because I was taking lessons at a bsac club I could spend an hour with an instructor just going over and over it enough times that I got it right every time. We have a regular pool night each week where you can go for training, kit testing, skills practice etc. Many local dive shops also have a similar arrangement.
Yes good idea to do some preliminary practice in a pool in the UK first if you can just because PADI training is quite intensive and I think it is good to take your time with the early bits.
The bit I found hardest was taking the mask off, swimming with just the mouthpiece then putting the mask back on and clearing it. You just need to take your time and be methodical. I struggled with this when learning in a big group, but had a couple of small group lessons and when not rushed, it was fine, so definitely recommend a bit of pool practice before you go.
Pick somewhere with warm water and a proper PADI dive school to learn. Egypt is good as are the Maldives.
I’m doing BSAC and have done all the pool and theory sessions and just have my open water sessions to do for ocean diver qualification. I chose bsac over padi as it is a local club, all the support is there, it costs £15 per month plus the £60 registration with bsac. You can borrow their equipment whenever you need to which saves alot of money and they run dive trips and weekends around the UK. Then once you’ve qualified you can dive anywhere. Padi struck me as being much more expensive and less thorough because it’s so intense, I can not imagine doing the training I’ve done over just 3 or 4 days.
Also with the club if you get new equipment you can try it out in the pool with them, I had a dry suit for Christmas and will get the how to use it training next week once qualified there are always extra courses you can do to progress your training. Even random things like boat handling.
I completed my PADI Open Water part one in the UK in a pool & classroom
I completed my PADI Open Water part two abroad in the warm sea
I belong to a local club now, so it's easy to practice in the pool, in-between sea dives
I've completed my next level exams
PADI is recognised worldwide & I've been to some amazing places
Diving opens a whole new world !
It's an expensive hobby !
If you are going abroad, make sure your travel insurance includes diving
Do it! It's amazing
We arranged our own, in Bali so warm seas lots of wildlife, PADI open water course arranged with local dive school there.
Being on your own won't matter, as you'll be occupied for huge amounts of time.
Please login first.