Learning to Dive


Last week I completed my Open Water Dive Certificate at Paradise Taveuni through Pro Dive Taveuni! It was a truly unforgettable experience, and a fairly easy thing to do. Pro Dive offers an extensive selection of courses, dive gear and sites; and is operated by a professional and knowledgeable Dive Team led by PADI Dive instructor and resort owner, Allan Gortan. Pro Dive Taveuni also has a fleet of custom made boats that provide access to the pristine reefs surrounding the Garden Island of Taveuni. The Course: Step One: Snorkel off the pristine waterfront at Paradise, where you can witness the labyrinth of lava flow covered by various hard and soft corral. There are innumerable fish from the majestic Parrot Fish to the elusive Leather Jacket. Here, your thirst will grow to explore more.

Step two: Take your Dive course which you can purchase and complete online. This gives you the flexibility to work at your own pace, anytime, anywhere within a 12 month period. I was very fortunate as I was presented the NASE online dive course as a wedding gift from Alise's family friends (owners/operators of Cocoa Beach Scuba Odyssey) who were also her instructors.  I was also lucky to catch NASE instructor, Mark Santa-Maria on his last few days at Paradise.

The course will introduce you to the fundamentals of diving- the various techniques, dive theory, and worst case scenarios. There are risks with diving, but if steps are followed diligently, you will have an amazing time. Once you have finished all your reading and/or watching videos, you will take an exam, answering various questions about diving and having a safe enjoyable dive.

Jack in the pool with Mark

Step Three: The Practical. Here you will put to test the skills and knowledge you learned from the online course. The first two sessions will take place in the safety of the pool. Your instructor will show you everything from setting up your gear to how to enter the water, fixing problems underwater such as clearing your mask, runaway regulators, and the special hand signal signals used to communicate specific situations and directions. Step four: Time to get in the Ocean. To complete your open water course you must log 2 shore dives and 2 boat dives. Here is where you really get to apply your new set of knowledge and skills like 'diving like a fish'. As the reef is a delicate system of hard and soft corrals, aquatic life and things that could hurt you if not careful, it is important to maintain neutral buoyancy using your lungs to ascend or descend. Nowadays, divers are equipped with a handy dive computer that tells you your depth, ascension rate, and dive time and features a convenient safety stop timer (safety stop: 15ft or 6-4.5 meters below the surface where you wait for 3 minutes so the nitrogen in you body safely leaves your blood stream). When you follow all the steps and procedures you can have the time of your life. Once you have completed your dives and logged the necessary time, that's it! You are now certified to dive anywhere in the world. As a final test and introduction to the deep, my instructor took me down to 100 feet, and acted out a panicked diver scenario that just ran out of air! Thanks, Mark. Succeeding in this left me feeling confident and eager to explore more of the underwater world!

Click here to find out more how to get Certified to Dive at Paradise Taveuni.

Paradise Taveuni