Top 10 Things you can do with a Scuba Diving Certification
Things you can do with a scuba dive certification
Having a scuba dive certification is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. That’s because diving is a wonderful recreational experience anywhere in the world. While you might think scuba diving is all about swimming with fish, there is more to it.
The good news is anyone above the age of ten can apply for a basic certificate in scuba diving and become a dive pro. So long you are healthy and can swim, you can take a scuba dive course. The course allows you to learn scuba dive, important lifesaving techniques, and risk management in a fun environment.
While scuba diving without certification is not illegal, your safety might be at stake when you dive without one. More so, some Florida dive shops might not allow you on a dive trip, unless you have a certificate.
If you want to become a certified pro diver, this article is for you.
First, we discuss in detail what a scuba diving certificate is. After that, we will show you some of the things you can look forward to doing one day with your certificate.
What is a Scuba Diving Certification?
A scuba diving lesson teaches you to use breathing equipment and function underwater, theoretically and practically. The certification indicates that you have been trained to use and maintain diving equipment and practice safe diving techniques. You can then dive confidently in the ocean as a hobby or career as a navy diver, oil rig diver, rescue diver, or diving instructor.
Unlike most regular certificates, a diving certification has no expiration dates. So, once you have one, it usually lasts a lifetime. However, if you do not scuba dive frequently after completing the scuba dive course, you may need to refresh your skills through review classes. Several courses are available, but the PADI Open Water Diver certification is the most common.
What is PADI?
The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) was founded in 1966 by two scuba divers who wanted to offer professional scuba diving courses. PADI is now the most well-known and respected scuba school, offering certifications through performance-based training. PADI courses typically last between 4 and 7 days, and the certification earned is recognized worldwide.
PADI offers various scuba dive training options for different disciplines, experience levels, and course types, including a refresher or specialty course. If you're new to diving, it's best to start with introductory courses, and if you decide diving is for you, you can start as a beginner. This level provides the highly sought-after PADI Open Water Diver certification.
Top 10 Things you can do with your professional scuba diving certification
The following are some amazing things you can do once you have your scuba diving certificate.
1. Dive with Manatees in Crystal River
Crystal River is one of the most popular Florida dive sites due to the lovely creature living in these waters. Manatees are large friendly aquatic animals found in the Crystal River of Florida in the winter season. These animals are large and can weigh up to a thousand pounds—a sight worth beholding. Manatees are migratory and can be found in their numbers in Florida’s shallow river systems during the winter.
That is because the waters in Florida stay warm all year round, even in the winter. During the winter, the water provides a haven for manatees running from the harsh winter conditions of the Gulf of Mexico.
If you want to swim with manatees, you can dive Crystal River Florida. Just make sure to visit Florida during the warmer months. During this season, you can dive comfortably in a 3mm wetsuit without worrying about getting cold. Temperatures typically fall into the low 70s between December and February. Because the water will be cooler due to the lower temperatures, you'll most likely need a 5mm or 7mm wetsuit with a hood. You can get that around from any crystal river dive shop nearby.
Also, you might want to leave your fins at home if you are swimming with manatees. That’s because the sound of your fins slapping the water is the same as the warning call of manatees. Instead of fins, the operator might provide you with pool noodles to help you stay afloat and, most importantly, quiet. Similarly, if you are ready to check out Crystal River scalloping, this would be a fantastic way as well!
2. Check out sunken shipwrecks
Shipwrecks make excellent dive sites, whether you enjoy them for the history or the scenery. There's something wonderful about sunken ships. It's as if the ships are frozen in time at the bottom of the sea or ocean. Thanks to pirate movies and popular culture, we believe there's always the possibility of finding treasure down there. Shipwrecks tell valuable stories about life in the boat's place of origin as well as the potential final destination—even if it didn't make it there.
You can check out sunken ships from WWII and see their hulls of massive tankers. Or you could stand by and behold the beauty of the ships covered in corals and teeming with marine life.
3. Dive into a blue hole's depths.
Blue holes, which are massive sinkholes or caverns that are usually found in open water. They are known for their distinct appearance from the surface that can last for hundreds of feet.
Blue Hole diving is mostly appealing to divers because of the sheer experience of diving in a seemingly bottomless pit. Unlike traditional dives, where you look at the bottom for fish, coral, and the like, blue hole diving focuses on the walls of the vertical cave. A glance above reveals the shimmering surface, but a look below reveals only a fade from dark blue to black.
The deeper you go, the less marine life there is to see. Sharks are usually found lurking in the depths, while coral formations and smaller fish are restricted to the surface, with more sunlight and circulation.
You will find famous examples of sinkholes in the Bahamas, Belize, and China, where they provide divers with a sense of escape as they descend into the blue darkness.
4. Swim with a school of fish and watch a wild migration.
As a scuba diver, you will enjoy the wonderful experience that comes with seeing a massive school of fish. However, there is more to your diving than that. If you're careful and quiet enough, you can also join in and catch some fun with the fish. To get the best view, approach the school slowly and from the bottom.
Beginning in May, one of the most exciting sights in the wild can be seen off the coast of South Africa. Millions of sardine spawn and migrate north to normal waters. Sharks, seals, whales, and dolphins are examples of animals that partake in these seasonal migrations.
5. Ice dive in Antarctica
You can also go scuba diving with your certification in Antarctica. Ice diving is a thrilling experience that you will most likely enjoy. However, you might need to get the appropriate gear and training before you can go diving there.
But then, the experience is a truly rewarding one that will justify the resources you used for the training. You will enjoy seeing many animals underwater that rarely see humans, like whales, seals, and penguins.
6. Dive with manta rays at night
Diving or snorkeling with a manta ray is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is something you must do at all costs. You need to experience that special connection with the manta rays as they glide and dance around you.
They are more than just fish; they have been a symbol of majesty, elegance, and freedom for 5 million years. While you can observe manta rays during the day, you will not see the full beauty of these animals until late at night. Plus, there's a certain thrill to night diving because the black expanse of open water that awaits you is full of the unknown.
7. Dive with sharks
There are over 440 discovered shark species in the world. That means a whole lot of sharks to watch and record. As a result, many scuba divers worldwide make it a hobby to dive with these magnificent creatures. You could look toward the surface and see schooling hammerheads blotting out the sun near the Galapagos. Or, in the alternative, stare into the open mouth of a whale shark off the coast of Mexico or peek under coral heads to find nurse sharks off the coast of Florida. Whichever one you choose, it's never a bad idea to see one of these amazing creatures and dive with them.
8. Take a rainbow river dive
There are many diver Florida attractions spread across Florida. One of them is the Rainbow River. Like the Crystal River, the Rainbow River is fed by one of Florida's largest springs. The river sits in Dunnellon, about 100 miles northwest of Orlando, about 5.7 miles. As a rainbow diver, your most memorable part of the Rainbow River Dive Trip would likely be the amazing clarity of the water.
On an average day, visibility can reach up to 200 feet down to the base of the river. A Rainbow River Dive Trip, with a maximum depth of 25 feet, will provide gentle currents that make it an ideal dive spot for both drift divers and snorkelers. Plus, just like the crystal river, water temperature is almost always 72 degrees, so a 3mm wetsuit is highly recommended. You will find many dive trips Florida that take tourists to this site.
9. Visit the Cancun Underwater Museum
Also called the Museo Subacuático de Arte or the MUSA, the Cancun Underwater Museum is the largest underwater museum in the world. This beautiful underwater museum is a non-profit organization that combines snorkeling and professional scuba diving. In this museum, you will find about 500 stunning sculptures made from marine concrete sitting on the ocean floor.
The amazing part is that you get to see how these sculptures have changed over the years. The Silent Evolution, designed by the museum's founder, Jason deCaires Taylor, is notable amongst the sculptures. The group of figurines stands together to suggest the coexistence of humanity. Sitting below the ocean alongside fishes and other things, the figurines show you how beautiful nature can be if e work towards conserving our environment.
10. Pay Tribute to Nymphs
There is an underwater Archaeological Park in Baiae similar to the Cancun Museum. There, you have a collection of submerged ancient ruins off Naples, Italy. This includes thermal baths and marble statues from a monument built by Emperor Claudius in the first century AD to honor the nymphs. If you are in for some ancient adventure, you might want to go scuba diving here too.
How to become a scuba diver with scuba diving certification
Now that you have seen what you can do with your scuba diving certification, you must be interested in becoming one. To become a professional scuba driver, first, you need to complete your PADI course and earn a certificate.
Usually, the standard dive course comes in three modules as follows:
Module I: Theoretical Framework
PADI's Knowledge Development module teaches the fundamentals of scuba diving through online, independent, or classroom study. Understanding the theory is a good place to start when becoming dive pros.
Module II: Dives in Confined Spaces
The adventure begins with learning and practicing your scuba skills in a pool with an instructor. This module will develop the needed skills and confidence to dive into the ocean.
Module III: Dives in Open Water
This module is where you proceed to the open water dives once you feel ready to take the next step. Prepare to be astounded because you will put everything you've learned up to this point to good use. And with more practice, you'll be able to enjoy unforgettable adventures beneath the deep blue sea with confidence.
What gear do you need to scuba dive?
Choosing your scuba equipment is part of the excitement of diving. Your local PADI Dive Center can assist you in locating the appropriate equipment for your scuba dive certification. Each piece of scuba equipment serves a specific purpose, and when used together, it adapts you to the underwater world. For instance, while the some dive centers might advise you to get a mask, snorkel, and fins, it might not be the same in Crystal River.
You can also check out local dive shops to buy and choose the right fitting gear for you. Dive shops are everywhere where you find scuba divers. If you have trouble finding them, simply do an internet search like "dive shop Crystal River" or "dive shop Homosassa near me." The results will most likely show you the best results for dive shops in Crystal River, Florida for you to enjoy.