FRQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We are often asked a number of questions by people looking to learn to dive. Whilst this page does not cover the exhaustive list of questions it does go some way to answer some of the more common ones.
Is it hard to learn to scuba dive?
No, in fact, it’s probably easier than you imagine. Especially if you’re already comfortable in the water. The PADI Open Water Course is conducted over five days with one day devoted to theory, two days devoted to pool skills and two days allocated for your four open water dives. The course is “performance based,” which means that you progress as you learn and demonstrate knowledge and skill. There is some home study required first.
How deep do you go?
With the necessary training and experience, the limit for recreational scuba diving is 40 metres/130 feet. Beginning scuba divers stay shallower than about 18 metres/60 feet. Although these are the limits, some of the most popular diving is no deeper than 12 metres/40 feet where the water’s warmer and the colors are brighter.
What about sharks?
When you’re lucky, you get to see a shark. Although incidents with sharks occur, they are very, very rare and with respect to diving, primarily involve spear fishing or feeding sharks, both of which trigger feeding behavior. Most of the time, if you see a shark it’s passing through and a relatively rare sight to enjoy.
What if I feel claustrophobic?
People find the “weightlessness” of scuba diving to be quite freeing. Modern scuba masks are available in translucent models, which you may prefer if a mask makes you feel closed in. During your scuba diving training, your instructor gives you plenty of time and coaching to become comfortable with each stage of learning. Your scuba instructor works with you at your own pace to ensure you master each skill necessary to become a capable scuba diver who dives regularly.
What are the most common injuries or sicknesses associated with diving?
Sun burn and seasickness, both of which are preventable with over the counter preventatives. The most common injuries caused by marine life are scrapes and stings, most of which can be avoided by wearing an exposure suit, staying off the bottom and watching where you put your hands and feet.
Does a history of ear troubles, diabetes, asthma, allergies or smoking preclude someone from diving?
Not necessarily. Any condition that affects the ears, sinuses, respiratory function or heart function or may alter consciousness is a concern, but only a doctor can assess a person’s individual risk. Doctors can consult with the Divers Alert Network (DAN) as necessary when assessing a scuba candidate. Alternatively ask us for a Medical Statement to take to your doctor.
Where can I scuba dive?
You can dive practically anywhere there’s water – from a swimming pool to the ocean and all points in between, including quarries, lakes, rivers and springs. Where you can scuba dive is determined by your experience level, site accessibility, conditions, interests. For example, if you’ve just finished your PADI Open Water Diver course, you probably won’t be diving under the Antarctic ice on your next dive. But, don’t limit your thinking to the warm, clear water you see in travel magazines. Some of the best diving is closer than you think. It may be a manmade reservoir or a fossil-filled river. It’s not always about great visibility because what you see is more important than how far you see.
I want to learn about PADI; what is PADI?
PADI is the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the largest scuba certification organisation in the world. PADI develops scuba programs and diver training products, monitors scuba training conducted by more than 100,000 PADI Professionals worldwide, maintains diver certification records and issues your diver certification credentials. In addition, PADI maintains various support services for PADI Dive Centers and Resorts. Since its inception in 1966 PADI has grown to have members in more than 175 countries and territories and international service offices in nine countries. Approximately 85% of all divers worldwide are certified by PADI.
What are the benefits of joining Herts Dive Club?
As the name suggests – we’re a group of like minded dive enthusiasts based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK. The diving club is very active and continues to grow as more like minded scuba enthusiasts join the fun here at Herts Dive Club. All divers are welcome (whatever agency!). So if you’re looking for a friendly diving club with a good diving and social calendar then come along on our club night and check us out.
Members benefits include:
- 20% discount on all scuba diving courses
- New members get a free Discover Scuba Diving voucher for a friend so you can share the experience with your friends
- Free air fills for this that have there own cylinders
- Full use of the Hatfield Swim Centre on club nights
- Free use of club equipment if available
- Discounted merchandise (T-shirts/Fleeces/Hoodies etc)
- Regular club newsletter
- Dedicated Member online members zone where you can chat to other members, log dives – A social network just for us!
Do you organise Social events as well as Diving?
Herts Dive club is a very active group of like minded people and we have several events arranged. These trips include foreign holidays, UK dive trips and social events. Check out our Trips/Events page to find out what is being planned.
What areas do you cover?
We are based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire and our club members / scuba diving students come from all around the surrounding area of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire including: Letchworth, Ware, Hertford, Luton, Welwyn Garden City, Cambridge, North London
Where does your club meet?
As a club, we regulalry get together for social events and diving, details of which are updated on this site. We also meet every other Tuesday for some pool diving sessions at: Hatfield Swim Centre, Lemsford Road, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 0EB Time: from 7:30pm Pool time: from 9:00pm – 10:00pm.
Is scuba diving expensive?
No. Like any hobby or recreation, you can invest however much you want, depending upon your interest level. Because as a club we can loan equipment (most dive centres and resorts also rent equipment), you can invest in equipment over time, renting what you don’t have. There’s probably good diving not far from where you live, so travel costs can be flexible enough to accommodate even the tightest budget. Most people find the costs of scuba diving similar to the cost associated with skiing or mountain biking.
Do I have to be a great swimmer to be certified as a PADI Open Water Diver?
No. You need to be a reasonably proficient swimmer and comfortable in the water. You must swim 200 metres/200 yards nonstop, without a time or specific stroke requirement or a 300 metre/yard swim with mask, fins and snorkel. You’ll also perform a 10 minute tread/float – Remember, it’s not a race!