Great Barrier Reef Blog


Things You Need To Know - Intro To Being A Certified Diver

Robbie Wyckoff on March 21st, 2018

Now, as I mentioned in my last Barrier Reef Australia blog, Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) is the first step in a tell all for both the student and the instructor as to whether or not there is a possibility that the student could complete a scuba diver or open water course. 

If you can recall, in the DSD, there is a mask clearing exercise as well as recovering a regulator and placing it back in the mouth.

These two basic skills must be completed without the diver returning to the surface.

They are quite simple but some people just can’t get passed them. But for those who do, and show potential, instructors will recommend that the individual continue on and become a certified scuba diver.

Honestly, in the long run, it’s much cheaper if they are fully certified.

Now, if you are lucky enough to be planning a trip to see the amazing Great Barrier Reef and wish to skip reading my blog then, the best places for scuba diving in Australia is from Cairns and Port Douglas.

Cairns is the capital of scuba diving in Australia and this is where you can book your scuba diving courses, reef trips, island tours and live aboard dive expeditions for overnight stays on the Great Barrier Reef.

So, like I said, the first step must be completed as far as skills go and so on.

Of course there will be studying or “theory” as they call it. There will also be quizzes and an exam, but hey, every certified diver has had to do it.

Plus, when certified as an open water diver, you are certified to dive without an instructor.

So knowing what the heck you are doing is important. It’s your life.

Now, no, there’s not a lot of physics in the quiz’s and exam, some, but when you actually apply them in your underwater abilities, they make a world of difference!

And, the more you do it, the easier it becomes, and the more you can concentrate on finding that blue whale you’ve been looking for all your life. Yes, I want to dive with one!

The truth about the difference between the certified scuba diver course and the open water course is that in the certified scuba diver course, you’ve completed more than half of the open water course.

In my opinion, it’s better to just go ahead and do it all so that you are certified and can dive with other certified divers.

Certified open water, advanced open water, rescue diver, and master scuba divers are not permitted to dive with a person who has a scuba diver certification; only instructors can do that.

Time wise, the scuba diver course can be done in two days, so most people who do it, are on a short vacation and are planning to finish the full open water course at home or on their next holiday. 

Lots of folks come to Cairns for an extended holiday and do the full 5 day Certified Scuba diving course which has 2 days of theory in the class room and swimming pool and then 3 amazing days and nights on the Great Barrier Reef.

As mentioned above the open water course can take three to four days in some countries.

Some places allow you to get it done in two and a half days if you really cram everything together but then you’ll be hitting the book and watching the videos as soon as you’re out of the water.

Most people don’t do that on their holiday vacation but, some do not that I recommend it! Now the course can take longer for those who have difficulty with the skills or getting comfortable with the idea of diving. 

As I mentioned before, the hardest part about diving, is in your head.

Once all of the skills have been mastered in confined water sessions, this is usually the most difficult area of the course, they are applied in open water. Now, not all of the skills are conducted in open water, but a few chosen ones are.

The difference between doing them in confined and open water is that in open water, it’s a test that you’ve already completed and have mastered in the confined session.

The rest is just fun diving and exploring the underwater world!

So that’s all from me for today signing off, keep an eye out for my next blog “Things You Need To Know going Pro”

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Robbie Wyckoff

Robbie Wyckoff

Hi my name is Robbie Wyckoff and I am a full time PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Instructor who now works all over the world teaching people how to scuba dive and discover the amazing underwater world on our planet.

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