Discover Scuba Diving in Puerto Vallarta with Silent World Divers
(See what you can experience at the bottom of this page.)
Questions and Answers
1- IS IT SAFE?
Yes, it is. I always say that it is as safe as crossing the road – you follow some basic rules, keep your wits about you and don’t take unnecessary risks and everything will be fine.
The most basic safety principles for diving are taught at the very beginning of every agency’s training program: Never hold your breath, never exceed the limits of your training.
While the number of divers has increased exponentially in the last 20 years, the number of diving fatalities as a percentage has decreased dramatically.
2- HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Let’s be honest about this – scuba diving does not come cheaply, but it has become relatively inexpensive.
Remember that there is a huge cost to the dive center itself – specialist equipment, classroom facilities, boat fees, pool charges, site rental, transport, local taxes and so on, not to mention the instructors, of course, and the people who fill the tanks, captain the boats, prepare the meals, service the equipment – I could go on, and on. And on!
The price is going to vary all over the world from location to location. Learning to dive in America, or Australia, for example, is going to be more expensive than learning to dive in Mexico, because the cost of running a business in Mexico is much less than in others.
The dive industry is very competitive but you will find that most local operators charge approximately the same for any given program.
3- IS IT FOR ME?
Many people are interested, but not sure if they want to make the investment in terms of time and money; many are also uncertain about how they will react in an unknown environment. For these reasons, we offer scuba diving experience in confined water like a pool.
PADI’s Discover Scuba Diving program, for example, is designed for exactly that purpose. It is also a opportunity idea to bring people on board who are not entirely certain. It is a good way to find out if you’re going to like it or not for the future. If you are serious about learning to dive, make sure you enroll on an agency-approved introductory training session.
4 WHICH AGENCY?
Silent world Divers is registered affiliated as PADI and SSI training school organization.
When it comes to choosing the right one, it’s mostly going to boil down to wherever you are at the time. The chances are that if you’re on holiday in the typical tropical diving destination where the industry flourishes, then you will be looking at either SSI or PADI, the two biggest names in resort-based tropical diving. All agencies that teach recreational scuba diving, broadly speaking, teach the same basics.
5- WHAT’S INVOLVED IN THE TRAINING?
All dive training involves three components: theory, practice and application. Typically these will take the form of classroom or online learning programs – studying books or the electronic equivalent, followed by a series of questions and examinations; confined water skills training and practice, where ‘confined water’ is a swimming pool or natural underwater location with easy conditions, followed by the final ‘checkout’ dives somewhere in the open ocean, sea or lake as appropriate.
Students on their first open water dive
Dive Theory Not everybody goes on holiday just so they can sit in a classroom and do homework, and the knowledge development component is often treated as a necessary evil so let’s get it out of the way as quickly as possible and go diving! It should not, however, be neglected. You do not need to know everything that’s in the training material to pass the course, but it is extremely useful.
Thanks to the Internet, some agencies now offer the theory section as ‘e-learning’, so you can do it online in the comfort of your own home and in your own time before you go on vacation. I like this, as do most of the instructors I know, as it means you can concentrate on practical application and review the theory where it is needed.
However you do it, online or in a classroom with an actual book, do not shirk the responsibility of learning about what you are going to be doing.
Dive Skills learning and practice – confined water Confined water is defined as a swimming pool or any body of water that has swimming-pool-like conditions, and this is where your instructor will show you how to do the skills you need to dive safely, and have you repeat them until you are comfortable doing those skills.
The aim in diving should, of course, be the ability to perform all activities while swimming around mid-water, but starting the process stationary is essential to make sure everybody’s comfortable.
Dive skills – open water Once you have learned the basics, it is time to do them out in the open ocean (or sea, or lake, whatever), where you get to actually really go diving and hopefully show your instructor that you have learned well enough to be certified as a diver.
It is vastly proffered the confined water training to happen in a similar sort of environment. So the transition from pool to ocean can be challenging.
6- DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO SWIM?
Yes and No. Yes – in that to use the PADI standards as an example – you must be able to either swim 200m unaided, or 300m with a mask, fins and snorkel, and you must be able to comfortably maintain yourself in water too deep to stand up in for ten minutes by either floating or treading water. The point is not that you can swim like a champion, it is that you are comfortable existing at the surface in deep water.
You are going to be on a boat, therefore you must be able to swim to survive an emergency; the logical extension of which is that if you get on board a random ferry somewhere, to see if you can swim to shore just in case he or she should capsize the boat.
It is NOT about the ability to swim; it is about the ability to move comfortably through the water without panicking and/or drowning.
7- I HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION. CAN I DIVE?
In most cases, yes, but it depends. There are a few conditions that can be very dangerous underwater, but are fairly common. High blood pressure, for example, can cause severe problems at depth, and although it is easily treatable at the surface, not all medication is compatible with scuba diving.
There are some that are suitable, however, and a physician trained in hyperbaric medicine will be able to advise.
Other commonly encountered conditions are asthma and diabetes which used to be an outright ‘no’ for diving. However, medical research has proven that properly managed, some of these conditions do not completely rule out diving. Diet-controlled type 2 diabetes, for example, is fine – unfortunately, insulin-dependent type I diabetes remains an outright ‘no’.
Asthma triggered by allergies is fine (there are not a lot of cats down there), but asthma induced by cold or moderate exercise remains a serious risk to life.
If in doubt, consult a hyperbaric physician. Note that your average GP (family doctor) probably isn’t, but a specialist sports physician probably is. Make sure you ask; there will probably be a charge but the result is worth it – if they say ‘yes’ then great, if they say ‘no’ then that’s of course, disappointing, but consider that the doctor has probably just saved your life.
8- I HAVE A DISABILITY, CAN I DIVE?
Yes, you can, but your path to certification will vary depending on the type and severity of the disability. To gain a standard agency entry-level certification, you are required to meet all the standards of the course; a person unable to do so, for any reason, cannot be certified.
To use an example – a good friend of mine is paraplegic but as he still has the use of his arms he is able to complete all the required components of the course.
A person who does not have the use of their arms may not be able to meet the requirements simply because they cannot operate the equipment without assistance, or – for example – recover a dropped regulator and replace it in their mouths.
When it comes to mental difficulties that might be associated with the likes of Down’s syndrome or autism, for example, again, it depends on the severity of the condition.
A person with Down’s often learns more slowly than a person without, but once they have learned something, it stays learned, and you can rely on such a person to be one of the best and most conscientious divers you will ever meet.
If you are not able to meet the certification requirements of a PADI or SSI or NAUI course then do not worry. Organizations such as DDI (Disabled Divers International) are there to help.
It is a supremely rewarding experience to see people who find movement at the surface challenging go on to thrive underwater where they weigh nothing at all.
9- DO I HAVE TO BUY MY OWN EQUIPMENT?
Very strongly recommended that divers once qualified should at least invest in their own masks, snorkels and fins based on their budgets and how regularly – and where – they dive.
Equipment sales bring in much better margins than training and it is perfectly reasonable that dive centers should promote this. For more advanced training, especially at professional level (Divemaster or equivalent) the situation is different and possession of your own personal equipment prior to starting is often mandatory and rightly so, but not for entry-levels.
10- I’M AFRAID OF BEING EATEN BY SHARKS
Do not be! As for Puerto Vallarta, there are no sharks in the Bay. Most sharks that you are likely encounter are fairly timid and disappear at the slightest disturbance. Most species you are likely to encounter on a tropical reef do not get much bigger than 1.5 – 2m long and are supremely wary of divers; underwater in full fins you are 2m of metal and plastic and bubbles and noise, and predatory sharks are wary hunters.
IS IT FUN?
Yes. Yes it is!
Not every dive will be the perfect underwater adventure but once you are hooked, it is difficult to let go. Learning to dive can be a life-changing experience and it can be as enjoyable out of the water as it is beneath the waves. Like many hobbies, you have instant camaraderie among your peers is a wonderful place to share experiences, talk about equipment and learn new things.
There are not so many easily accessible and affordable hobbies that have quite the same profound impact as sharing a space in a world that – despite our best efforts – we know less about than the surface of the moon. Meet people, go places, do things – that’s a motto from PADI which makes me sound like a good little agency robot but… well, it’s true!
START YOUR ADVENTURE TODAY.
Visit our Web Site
Blvd Francisco Medina Ascencio 1989, Centro Comercial Villas Vallarta Local G-16
Book your dives: category/diving-packages/
Be a member of: https://dan.org/
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