Anybody Can Learn to Dive

By: Capt. Lawren McCaghren
If you don’t dive yet, some of what you “know” about diving might actually be wrong. A lot of these “myths’ are perpetuated in the media and movies, and you might be surprised at what is right and what myths are “busted!” Which one of these myths have you been believing all along?

MYTH: You have to be in top physical condition to dive.
TRUTH: Like any active sport, diving is more enjoyable if you’re physically fit. And you do need some basic swimming skills in order to learn. But it’s nothing extreme; if you’re comfortable in the deep end of a pool, can swim, and you can walk for several minutes without getting winded, you can learn to dive.

MYTH: Becoming a certified diver takes too long.
TRUTH: You can become a certified diver in a very short period of time, or you can take your time and learn at your own pace. Gulf Coast Diver’s VIP-PACE training program can accommodate anyone’s schedule, or you can sign up for private sessions. Our Variable Investment Program-Paced According to Capability and Enjoyment says it all. You’ll be diving in less time than you think!

MYTH: Diving is complicated and difficult to learn.
TRUTH: Learning to dive is easy. Our professional diving instructors use all the learning materials and proven strategies to make it simple and fun to learn. Before you know it you’ll be breathing underwater and using all the cool “toys” that make diving easier than ever.

MYTH: I’m too old to learn.
TRUTH: We regularly hear about people diving, and learning to dive, well into their eighties. In fact one of the most active “groups” of divers is in the age range from 38 to 53. On the whole, this group dives more regularly, travels more to dive, and even takes more classes than most other “groups.” Our own repair technician, Capt. Bill, is 77 years old and usually logs around 40 dives a year!

MYTH: I have no one to dive with.
TRUTH: Diving is an exciting and unique experience that many people take up while on vacation or as a life-long activity. Finding buddies with which to dive is as easy as participating in one of our group dives and showing up for the regular Gulf Coast Diving Society social events. You’ll probably have ready-to-dive buddies that you’ll meet during your scuba certification course. Chances are you’ll find that you have lots in common with these other divers, usually more than the diving experience itself! Plus, you probably have friends now that are certified divers; you just didn’t know they dove. Join Gulf Coast Dive Society on Facebook and you will have dozens of dive and snorkel buddies.

MYTH: When you dive you breathe differently than you do on land.
TRUTH: Breathing naturally while underwater is one of the most terrific sensations you’ll ever experience, and one of the first things you’ll learn in your certification course. You will find that about the only difference between breathing air on land and underwater is that you must breathe through the regulator in your mouth – and since today’s regulators are so well made that breathing is made very simple and natural, even this part is easy. You will be breathing underwater in your very first session, for only $24.

MYTH: It’s dark and murky underwater and difficult to see.
TRUTH: Most dives do not require a light since sunlight penetrates far deeper than the depth to which most divers go. Even when diving in very deep water, beyond 100 feet, divers can see quite well without any artificial light. Interestingly, colors are absorbed by the water, so while it may be very easy to see, most of the color begins to be absorbed beyond 30 to 50 feet of depth, rendering most everything blue.

Most divers do not dive in water with limited visibility unless they are looking for something special, like a lost wedding ring or an outboard motor from a neighbor’s boat. Some of these locations can give the diver the opportunity to see wrecks or find treasures, and with the proper training, limited visibility is not a significant diving obstacle. When diving from the beach the visibility will vary with the tides, but just a few miles from Mobile Bay, the clearer gulf waters will surprise you. Or maybe, you are only interested in travel diving on vacation; each can provide their own brand of fun!

Whatever your reasons for not learning to dive, rethink them and consider giving it a try. You can experience the thrill of being underwater for only $24, and then decide whether you really want to miss out on the wonders of our oceans.

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