OK… I FINALLY got myself certified as a an underwater scuba diver… at the age of 30. Pathetic … but yeah, better late than never 😉
In order to be ALLOWED to dive underwater on your own, you need to be a certified diver or at least if you are on a leisure dive, you need to be supervised by an experienced Divemaster or instructor. Just with this beginner's certification alone, it will allow you to dive in any water, anywhere, anytime in the world.
It was a painful course I must say (crashed course for 3-days ) & the instructors are pretty strict. Anyhow, if you are a slow learner & wish to take your time to "enjoy" the process, by all means, take a full 2 weeks to complete the course.
Asian price … most islands or dive centers would charge around MYR1600.00 (course material, certification, equipment/boat rental, instructor's fee & accommodations included) but I had mine for just MYR950.00 for a crashed course session.
The beginner's certification covers the THEORETICAL part (5 full painful chapters – with quizes for every each chapter & the OVERALL QUIZ portion), & then there is the OPEN WATER portion where you need to be at least 6meters deep underwater & your training begins with underwater sign language.
Once you had passed your beginner's level, you will be receiving your license just like the ones in the picture above (those 2 cards are mine by the way … *ehem*). As a PADI Diver, you carry the most respected and sought after scuba credentials in the world. No matter where you choose to dive, your PADI certification card will be recognized and accepted.
Anyhow, many words of pre-caution … please bare in mind, you are not allowed to be STONED, drunk, under influence of alcohol or whatever other illicit substance. Please stay healthy 1-2 weeks before your underwater dives. Keep your body healthy & fit. If you dont, it will affect you in many funny ways, you feel like dying (literally). I am not kidding. The water pressure, oxygen intake & the amount of nitrogen being let out from your system can affect your body pressure in many ways. Especially if you dont know how to equalize the pressure in your ears properly or if you go down underwater with a hangover … you are literally fucked ! (That was what happened to me). Me & some friends had some minor ear injuries and i swear I think i had a minor decompression sickness. During the course, give your fullest attention possible for your safety purposes. Last thing, word of caution, DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH EVER UNDERWATER & DO NOT FLY ON AIRPLANE AT LEAST 24 HOURS BEFORE & AFTER YOUR DIVES.
Ok. If you are really hung up with diving .. trust me… it gets very addictive. You can pursue the next stage, called the ADVANCE LEVEL where you will be focusing mainly on some major area of interest (such as … ship wreck dives, night dives, underwater photography, underwater videography, etc)
And if … only if … you think you would want to pursue this as a career, you may want to consider going for the Instructor's Certification. The full path for PADI courses to become a certified instructor :-
I completed my BEGINNER's course in Tioman Island, Malaysia.
Diver Center: Azmi Dive Center
Course Duration: 3 days
Course: 5 theoretical chapters, 6 quizes, 5 open water (dive equipment included)
Here are some pictures to ponder. Click on each thumbnail to enlarge
And then, 2 months later, I completed my ADVANCE level in Perhentian Island Malaysia
Dive center : Flora Dive
Location : Perhentian Island (Besar), Malaysia
Anyhow, I am very thankful to God for giving me the privilege to complete the Beginner's & Advance course level in 3 months. So yeah … if you are coming to Malaysia, do send me an email maybe we can take a dive together 😉