Getting PADI Scuba Certified
An intro dive to scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef five years ago piqued my interest in the sport. I got the opportunity to try out scuba diving to a maximum depth of 39 feet with a dive master by my side the whole time.
When planning this trip to the Maldives, we wanted to go scuba diving again. Except this time, not an intro dive — a real one, deep in the ocean for the opportunity to see more than just coral and small fish. We did the research and determined how I could get PADI scuba certified in a matter of weeks and avoid spending my precious vacation days in the Maldives in a classroom.
PADI Referral Course
It turns out that PADI offers something called a “referral course.” It was the best way for me to get certified in the shortest amount of time. Here’s how it works:
I signed up with Scuba Ventures in Vestavia, Alabama to be certified through their PADI referral course. This means that for four Tuesday nights in a row, I spent an hour in a classroom learning scuba theory and all about the possible dangers of scuba diving. I had NO idea how complicated it was.
Then after each class, we went to a local indoor pool for another two hours. I spent a total of 8 hours in the pool practicing my skills and getting the basics underway.
I studied many, many quizlets and passed the 50 question multiple choice exam. You must score at least 70% to pass. I scored a 96. Thank you quizlet! This completed my work in Birmingham. Then, I was referred to a PADI dive shop in the Maldives to complete my certification.
Once we made it to the Maldives, I spent 2 days scuba diving with South Ari Dive Center, and in the process, completed 9 basic skills to be checked off by my instructor and four total dives. I went well below the first atmosphere (33 feet) and saw so many animals and vibrant coral.
If you are planning a vacation to an amazing dive spot, consider getting PADI scuba certified through the referral program. You don’t want to spend your precious vacation sitting in a classroom. You can do the boring theory and skills in your hometown before you go, and then do your certification dives in paradise.
Getting PADI scuba certified in the Maldives far surpassed doing my four certification dives in the typical place for newbies in Birmingham, Alabama: a rock quarry in Pelham!