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Try diving – part 1 - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Travelling

All too often you go to some new place and then find out that diving is one of the options open to you. If this is something you have not prepared for then its no-go from that point on as this is a safety issue. So why not prepare for this before and see if diving could be something you like.

The underwater world is a magical place of tropical creatures and glistening coral, which most of us only glimpse fleetingly while snorkelling. The cost of the gear and hours of scuba diving lessons required mean few take the plunge and become certified divers. However there is another way which is taster sessions. These are known as ‘try-dives’ and are a short and simple introduction to scuba diving, often aimed at beginners. Questions that people ask are:- how can you know it will be safe? And how can you pick a reliable company? Well this article will try to guide you through the steps so that you can decide if this is something you would like to do.

Snorkelling lets you briefly see the ocean’s underwater world, but scuba diving allows you to go deeper and promises a closer encounters with sea life, such as turtles, rays and tropical fish, or you get to explore shipwrecks. Try dives offer a taster, short sessions usually around two hours that teaches the basics of using a regulator for your breathing and helping you get used to things like using weights to counter buoyancy. They take place in a swimming pool or open water. Mastering all the equipment in a short time can seem overwhelming, but try-dives are essentially guided tutorials, letting you go at your own pace. Nearly all centres provide apparatus and wetsuits, and there isn’t an obligation to go beyond that first session. A Try dive can help save both time and money by finding out in advance if you even like diving.

Choosing a company and picking the right dive centre can be key to feeling safe on your first dive which is often one of the biggest concerns for first-timers. Your best plan is to choose a company that offers shore based try dives, as opposed to deep, open water. These give you the security of being able to stand up if you feel uncomfortable or need a breather, and they are very similar to the sessions held in swimming pools, so will offer a more natural transition for first-timers. It’s also wise to check out the level of qualifications the instructors have, so you can get the best assistance if you find yourself struggling with your breathing, or coping with the weights.

Check whether you’ll be led by a ‘divemaster’ which is the certified level below instructor. Although the title sounds good and they can lead try-dives, they’re not qualified instructors. Instructors have been taught how to teach and are more adept at giving you expert help which could make all the difference on your first attempt.

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