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Finally getting our scuba diving certification has been on our wish list for a long time. We’ve always loved snorkeling – especially in tropical destinations like the Maldives or French Polynesia, but exploring the underwater world while diving is a whole different experience. You experience the marine life much closer and feel like you’re part of it.

In fall 2022, we finally took the time to complete the theory as well as practice for the PADI Open Water certification.

What is the PADI Open Water Diver Certification:

  • The Open Water Diver certification is the first entry-level scuba diving certification from PADI, which entitles you to dive to a depth of 18m without an instructor present and it allows you to rent diving equipment worldwide.

What must be presented for the diving license?

  • A diving medical certificate on your fitness for diving.
    For this, mostly your blood pressure and lung function are measured in order to avoid possible complications during diving and to exclude pre-existing conditions that can become critical during diving.

What are the parts of the PADI Open Water Diver course?

  • theory
  • two pool diving sessions
  • four diving sessions in the open water

The Theory

Yes, scuba diving requires some theory in addition to the practical experience. But the great thing about the theory part of the diving certification is that it can be done anywhere in the world as well as at your individual pace. The material as well as the quiz that follows, are completely available online. There is even a PADI app offered that can be used to complete the theory. There are a total of eight segments, each of which can be completed in about an hour. Afterwards, an online questionnaire must be answered, of which at least 80% of the questions must be completed correctly. But this is not a problem if you have read the material carefully. After each segment, there are also practice questions to reinforce what you have learned. These are very similar to the exam questions and prepare you for a successful pass.

The Pool Sessions

To get familiar with the equipment and to do the first exercises in the water, the first two diving lessons usually take place in the pool. The two dives can be done easily in two days, e.g. on a weekend, and can take place parallel to the theory.

Especially during the second pool dive many safety exercises are trained. For example, how to share the air supply with your dive partner in case of an emergency. In addition, special situations are trained, such as losing the regulator or water entering the mask, in order to be able to solve them in reality.

 

The Open Water Sessions

Of course, the dives in open water are  the most exciting ones. In non-tropical regions, these usually take place in a lake or gravel pits. However, it is also possible to do the open water dives while traveling, in “more exciting places”. Although we had booked a trip to the Maldives immediately after getting our diving license, we decided to do all sessions in Germany – for two reasons: First, we were super satisfied with our diving school and thus wanted to have “everything done from one source” and second, we could completely concentrate on the diving experience in the Maldives instead of spending our time with exercises.

By the way, even in winter it is quite possible to do the open water dives in colder areas. A dry suit, will keep you warm and dry for a very long time.

Although a total of four open water dives are required to complete your scuba certification, ideally these can be completed in two days. This means you can complete your certification after a total of four days – or two weekends.

Where can I find the right scuba diving school for me?

On the → official PADI website you can find a diving school near you! You can also get a lot of information on the → PADI Facebook page!

For the Dresden and Meißen area in Germany, I can highly recommend the → Abyss diving school! We were extremely satisfied and happy with the support as well as with the diving locations. We not only felt professionally and well taken care of, but also had a lot of fun.

After obtaining the first PADI Open Water Diver certificate, it is possible to expand and deepen the diving certificate with many more courses. For example, diving with special Nitrox tanks for longer dives or the Avanced Diver certification for deeper diving.

Our first dive in the Maldives was fantastic! On the spot we decided for a special course about diving with manta rays (Manta Specialty Course). Diving with these animals is an incomparable experience!

For all those who find the underwater world as exciting and fascinating as we do, a diving license is essential! We have discovered a new passion for us, which cannot be compared with any other experience.

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