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1. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 7y

We are going to Egypt over Christmas and l fully intend to learn to scuba dive lve had the opportunity before and never got around to it now lm determined!!

I can do the open water PADI course or the scuba diver course - one is 2 days and you can only dive with an instructor or the other is 4 days and you can dive with another diver - any suggestions l think lm leaning toward my open water course.

Also any hints tips or just what to expect?

We are going diving in Sharm el Sheikh and the dive sites are supposed to be excellent apparently...

2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 7y

Hey H - go for the open water course! It's only 4 days and you have full certification. When Kris was contemplating certification, he did do the "resort course" (similar to the 2 day diver one). It did allow him to realize that yes, he could learn to clear his ears. But, he couldn't wait to take the open water course once we got back home. Shortly after his certification, we both did the advanced open water. (Then, when you come to visit again, we can all go diving...)

Don't drink "excessively" the night before and avoid dairy products before your going to dive. Both can cause excessive saliva (and mucous) formation which is irritating when swallowing with a regulator in your mouth.

Knowing you personally, I think one of the issues you will have to work around is the motion sickness. Whether it's from being a a boat to get to a dive site or when you are ending a dive and coming to the surface. I'll send you a PM rather than take up too much space here.

Just relax. If you were able to conquer the zip lines, you'll be fine with diving. The equipment will feel awkward and cumbersome out of the water but not in it. Also be willing to tell the instructor(s) about any concerns you have or if you're feeling uncomfortable about something. They can't help you through those things if they don't know.

Panic - you know how to avoid or stop that feeling of panic on dry land. Use that in the water also. The key there is stop, think and take those couple of deeper breathes until the feeling passes. (I panicked on day 2 in a swimming pool 10 feet deep. I'd never panicked in water before but I did that day. Because I experienced it early on, I have not allowed it to happen again.) You'll have instructors, dive masters and a buddy to help you too.

You'll be just fine and will have no problems with the course at all. ;)

3. Posted by Ofelia (Respected Member 142 posts) 7y

Hope you don't have any silly medical conditions, like me. I only discovered the day before I was due to start the course that I'm not allowed to as I have asthma. Very annoying, especially since they didn't tell me much beforehand. I think epilepsy prevents you from diving too (understandably) and I do think there were a few others too. I just met a lot of people who did the PADI course and nearly everyone had a moment of panic underwater- so don't worry if you feel a bit distressed to start with. Enjoy! (very jealous)

4. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 7y

I kinda guessed l would deal with the motion sickness in getting to the dive site but didnt consider it when resurfacing - l will get over it! I have drugs but they leave me in a zombie like state so not much good.

Im nervous about it but quite excited too - lm not the world's greatest swimmer l can swim the prerequiste 200m ok so that should be fine.

Ive no medical conditions so that shouldnt affect me. We are only going to be in Sharm for 7 days mind you but that should be ample time to get in the course and a few days relaxation (ie the drinking part!!)

Paul is a rescue diver so he can come save me if all else fails eh!!

Look forward to you PM and sage advice as always G!

Hx

5. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 7y

Quoting Ofelia

Hope you don't have any silly medical conditions, like me. I only discovered the day before I was due to start the course that I'm not allowed to as I have asthma. Very annoying, especially since they didn't tell me much beforehand. I think epilepsy prevents you from diving too (understandably) and I do think there were a few others too. I just met a lot of people who did the PADI course and nearly everyone had a moment of panic underwater- so don't worry if you feel a bit distressed to start with. Enjoy! (very jealous)

Maarat - where did you want to take your training? If your asthma is severe - needing rescue inhalers on a regular basis - then I can see turning you down. But, those with mild asthma can still dive. It also depends on what triggers an onset. This is something that you need to discuss with your primary physician who treats your asthma. If your condition is well-managed, and your physician has cleared you as fit enough for such activity, you can take the course. You will be required to provide a letter of health to the dive facility. Some may still turn you down, especially if you are "on holiday". They don't want to be responsible for anything. But, a local dive facility could work for you. (DISCLAIMER TIME: I AM NOT SAYING IT'S A SURE THING!! But, if you have mild asthma and want to dive, it's worth checking out.) You will have to sign release forms -that's a given.

I'm 56 years old. I now make sure to carry a letter of health from my physician stating I was still breathing the last time they saw me and healthy enough to participate in this activity. Dive facilities want that letter if you are over the age of 45 and have certain conditions - ie: high blood pressure, etc. That letter and signing the liability release form puts them at ease. The same can be done (depending on severity) for your asthma.

Again, I'm not saying it will pan out. Just explore all options before throwing in the towel completely.

Post 6 was removed by a moderator
7. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 7y

Quoting Purdy

I kinda guessed l would deal with the motion sickness in getting to the dive site but didnt consider it when resurfacing - l will get over it! I have drugs but they leave me in a zombie like state so not much good.

Im nervous about it but quite excited too - lm not the world's greatest swimmer l can swim the prerequiste 200m ok so that should be fine.

Ive no medical conditions so that shouldnt affect me. We are only going to be in Sharm for 7 days mind you but that should be ample time to get in the course and a few days relaxation (ie the drinking part!!)

Paul is a rescue diver so he can come save me if all else fails eh!!

Look forward to you PM and sage advice as always G!

Hx

H - you don't have to be a great swimmer to dive. Yes, you will have to perform certain swimming skills but you'll be fine. Kris is a "sinker" - (negative buoyancy) and though he had to "work" at doing the pool laps, he was fine. Unless things have changed drastically, you will not be timed on that 200M swim - just have to finish it without stops.

I was going to say "Dear" (but remembered the rule so) Sweetie - you can't go wrong with a dive buddy like Paul!!! I thought I had lost my dive buddy over an abyss when doing our advanced training. It's now one of those stories everyone lived to tell about - some wishing I hadn't brought it up here. (You know the saying...)

PM on it's way in a bit. Promise.

8. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 7y

Quoting Isadora

Kris is a "sinker" - (negative buoyancy) and though he had to "work" at doing the pool laps, he was fine.

Completely untrue H.....don't listen to her, she's lying!!!!!! I float perfectly well - it just happens to be 50cm below the surface of the water.....

Seriously, you'll be fine. Stay calm, breathe in easy regular breaths, wear a swimsuit that's revealing, so everybody will watch you and make sure you're safe (hey, it worked for me - heeheehee).

And remember, if your tank pressure gauge reads in "bars", you can convert that to "pounds per square inch" by multiplying by 14 (approx. 14 psi = 1 bar). We had that issue in Jamaica with one of our dive buddies, and finally just figured that when the needle hits empty, surfacing would be best........seriously, try to surface with 500-1000 pounds of air - just in case. And relax - have fun with it.

9. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 7y

Im looking forward to the experience lve talked about it long enough and regretted not doing it when l was in Vietnam!!

Kris l know you cut a dashing figure in your speedos lm just surprised that your dive buddies were able to concentrate in the job in hand with you there chest wig and speedos in all your glory!!

10. Posted by Ofelia (Respected Member 142 posts) 7y

Quoting Isadora

Quoting Ofelia

Hope you don't have any silly medical conditions, like me. I only discovered the day before I was due to start the course that I'm not allowed to as I have asthma. Very annoying, especially since they didn't tell me much beforehand. I think epilepsy prevents you from diving too (understandably) and I do think there were a few others too. I just met a lot of people who did the PADI course and nearly everyone had a moment of panic underwater- so don't worry if you feel a bit distressed to start with. Enjoy! (very jealous)

Maarat - where did you want to take your training? If your asthma is severe - needing rescue inhalers on a regular basis - then I can see turning you down. But, those with mild asthma can still dive.

It was in Malawi (apparently the 2nd cheapest place in the world to do a dive course- if anyone knows what the cheapest place is, please tell me. It's been bothering me for ages.). I had no idea I couldn't do a dive course with asthma so obviously I hadn't really looked into it too much. They didn't have any sorts of doctor facilities there, so they were point blank refusing to take me on, which is fair enough- my asthma's not bad, but I'd certainly get a proper consultation with a dive-doctor first in the future before attempting it :)
maybe I'll do that one day, and go on a course when i'm richer!