Questions and Answers
Q: What sets us apart, ever heard of the 4 way business test?
A: This comes from Rotary International and something we believe in. 1.Is it the TRUTH? 2.Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3.Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? 4.Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? Although always human and fall short on occasion we set our standards and safety high, therefore we do not fall far from the mark should we miss. We hope you also will embrace these concepts in all you do, and do all for the glory of God.
Q: What sets us apart?
A: While there may be many reasons the bottom line is that we love to dive and you deserve the best training possible. We don't do retail, do not have a large showroom; we just provide divers with great training. We believe teaching small class sizes ensures each participant gets the most enjoyment and instructor attention possible. This formula of one on one attention ensures we maintain our 100% safety record and reputation for quality of training. This has made us well known for our quality in diver training with a personal, friendly service.
There is nothing more enjoyable than introducing new divers to the wonders and mystery of the Creators aquatic world. We also believe that safer diving is achieved through education and will go the extra mile to satisfy every curiosity while providing challenging yet fun training. We believe that you will enjoy our unique approach to learning things like buoyancy and understanding the environmental impact divers can have on marine life.
We are pleased that you are considering taking your scuba instruction from us and we also encourage you to check out other shops and instructors and make an educated decision.
If you are not in our area please let us help you find someone closer. Some are listed on our links page.
You can also visit the NAUI Dive Center Locator or the PADI Dive Center Locator
Q: I do not see your technical classes listed, what is the schedule for those?
A: Introducing individual to the wonders of the wet world is what we love to do the best. There are other instructors that we would be happy to introduce you to technical diving, ones who are better outfitted to get introduce you, or see you advance in, the technical skills you seek. Advanced Nitrox, Decompression, Cave, Penetration Wreck diving and more awaits those that have the desire. Basic well honed scuba skills are the foundation for all the above and we believe that is what we do best. We will be glad to introduce you to a technical instructor when the desire for this type of diving is there.
Q: I'm planning on getting certified. I've been to several shops, and they all offer different certifications. I've heard of PADI, NAUI, NASDS and SSI. Which one should I go with?
A: This question is frequently ask. All organizations must follow a minimum standard set by the scuba industry and the organization, so they differ less than you might expect. However, instructors differ a lot, and you should try to talk to the instructor you will be taking the course from and determine exactly what will be offered, and how you feel about them as an individual. Finally, some instructors add significantly to the standard course (and may also charge more). You should know exactly what you are going to get for your course before starting the course. We, like many others, will provide you with a written agreement of what you will be receiving and the total cost to you.
Q: Can I dive while pregnant is one of the most frequently ask questions people ask is regarding scuba diving.
A: We don't have very good data showing how pressures while diving may harm the fetus. There are cases of hyperbaric oxygen treatment of pregnant mothers with carbon monoxide poisoning without adverse effect on the fetus. However, the fetus does not have the protection of the lungs in filtering out the bubbles as does an adult and these treatments were done out of necessity.
See http://www.scuba-doc.com/prgdiv.htm for more info
Q: I'm new to diving, and I want to buy some equipment. Which piece of equipment should be the first?
A: There are two thoughts on this. One is that you should consider only purchasing your personal gear until you are sure what type of diving you like. You may consider purchasing mask, fins, and snorkel, for fit and sanitary reasons prior to training. Consider that not all rental gear is properly maintained, and that gear you purchase will be better and more reliable. Typically, people agree that you should not buy a tank until you believe that you will be doing a significant amount of local diving. Additionally you should try different types of gear and ask advice from dive professionals independent from dive shops as after all the shops are there to sell you equipment, their brand and it may not always be what is right for you. Consider renting and trying until you find what your comfortable with in the water. This will ultimately save you $$ and frustration down the road. Additionally don't fall for the latest bells and whistles that come out every year. Simple, streamlined is time proven.
Q: How old do you have to be to learn to dive?
A: 10 years old is the minimum age limit set by the training agencies for certification. However, some children may not have the maturity or attention span we feel is necessary to safely complete the class. Successful completion of all skills are required regardless of age. Input from parents is an important part of the certification process with children. Parental input and oversight is important in the academic work, ensuring both you and your child understand the associated risk and how to best mitigate these.
Q: How long can you stay down on a tank of air?
A: If I had a nickel for every time I was asked this one..... The truth is it depends on how much you breath (consumption rate) and the depth of the dive. The actual time could be as little as 10 mins. or as much as 2 hours.
Q: What's in a scuba tank? Oxygen?
A: Recreational divers breathe air, not oxygen . . . well yes air is 21% oxygen. It's filtered to remove impurities and moisture, but otherwise, it's air like you're breathing now.
Q: Do I have to be a great swimmer to be a certified Open Water Diver?
A: No. All you need to be is a reasonably proficient swimmer who is comfortable and relaxed in the water.
Q: Is there anywhere to dive around me?
A: In central Virginia alone there are several nice places to go diving that are very close. The rawlings quarry, Virginia Beach, and the Outer Banks are all close enough to make day trips to.
Q: What about sharks, barracuda and moray eels?
A: Don't worry about them. They are more afraid of you that you are of them. Statistically you are far more likely to have an encounter with a shark while swimming at the beach that you ever would have while diving with them. As for the rest of the marine life, if you do not bother them, they will not bother you.
Q: How long does it take to get certified?
A: Certification can take as little as a long weekend depending on the course selected. Our typical open water class meets over two weekends covering homework and classroom work. We then make the confined open water and the open water dives on Saturday and Sunday.
Q: I have a medical condition. Is it safe for me to scuba dive?
A: Scuba diving is a physically demanding sport, which requires a healthy heart, well able to tolerate exercise, and healthy lungs. Additionally, any illness which might incapacitate you, such as with a seizure, or with unconsciousness, such as uncontrolled fainting. There are many medical conditions which are considered disqualifying for scuba diving. The Diver's Alert Network (phone (919) 684-2948) will provide over-the-phone advice about medicine, medications, diving, and their interaction, as well as assisting you in finding the appropriate chamber or a local doctor who is familiar with diving medicine and so forth, and is a worthwhile organization to join.
Some medical conditions which are generally considered disqualifying (although there are exceptions for well controlled conditions, in some cases, consult your doctor) are asthma, diabetes, epilepsy or any other seizure disorder, history of spontaneous (or, from some sources, any) pneumothorax, emphesema, heart illness which inhibits your ability to exercise to a certain level, and others.
There is some experimental evidence that diving while pregnant could be dangerous for the fetus, so it is contraindicated. This is a compressed air issue, so shallow, reasonable snorkeling should be fine, if your doctor says you can tolerate exercise and swimming.
Q. Where can I get more information about classes?
A: Send us a message or go to www.naui.com or www.padi.com to get more information on classes and training.
Q: I've lost my C-card. What do I do?
A: Um, how long has it been since you have done any diving? And how much diving did you do when you were current? If it has been a long time, maybe you should consider taking a new certification course. Your old certification card may still be good, but equipment changes all of the time, diving practices and techniques change all of the time, and unless you've been keeping up, you may find yourself either at a loss, or not diving as safely as you might without current training.
The first step in replacing your C-card to consult your instructor, or the dive shop you were taught through. They should have a copy of your records. If you can't contact them, calling the certification agency might well be your best bet. Here are some certification agency numbers. Once you have that come see us for that needed Scuba Review.
NAUI - National Association of Underwater Instructors (800) 553-NAUI (USA) or (714) 621-5801 http://www.naui.org
SSI - Scuba Schools International (303) 482-0883 http://www.ssiusa.com/
SDI - Scuba Diving International http://www.tdisdi.com/sdi/sdihome.html
HSA - Handicapped Scuba Association (714) 498-6128 http://www.hsascuba.com/
PADI - Professional Association of Diving Instructors (714) 540-7234 http://www.padi.com
TDI - Technical Diving International http://www.tdisdi.com/tdi/welcome/index.htm
ANDI - American Nitrox Divers Inc. (516) 546-2026 http://www.andihq.com/
IDEA - International Diving Educators Association (904) 744-5554 http://www.idea-scubadiving.com/
NASDS - National Association of Scuba Diving Schools (800) 735-3483 (800) 735-DIVE (901) 767-7265
PDIC - Professional Diving Instructors Corp. (717) 342-9434 http://www.pdic-intl.com/
DAN - Divers Alert Network (800) 446-2671 http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/