Archive for July, 2008

Australia: Advanced Open Water Certification

Posted by Arlo on Jul 22, 2008 under Postcard Valet, Travel

Oksana and Arlo, masks too tight

I’ve gone snorkeling hundreds of times, but it wasn’t until Oksana and I were in Australia that I finally got certified to dive. I’ve been surrounded by PADI certified diver-friends since at least high school; I don’t really know why it’s taken this long. Although money was always a consideration, I think I could have overcome that obstacle if I really wanted to. In retrospect, I think the reasons for putting off diving were four-fold:

  • Not wanting to enroll in a course by myself
  • The additional cost the hobby would incur (i.e., buying or renting gear)
  • Thinking that snorkeling is essentially the same thing
  • And, don’t tell anyone, but maybe just a little fear about submerging myself in an environment so hostile to human life

In the last couple of years, Oksana and I have toyed with the idea of getting certified in Juneau. We’ve had friends watching out for classes, reminding us when they start, vouching for different dive shops. For whatever reason, the stars never seemed to align, but when we bought our airline tickets to Australia, I realized that a huge opportunity – exploring the Great Barrier Reef – might be missed.

Oksana didn’t have time to attend a class in Juneau before we left, so I looked into what it would take to get us certified in Australia. I had reservations about spending so much of our precious vacation time in “school,” but I couldn’t fathom skipping the Great Barrier Reef, either. The prices on the websites I found were comparable to Juneau; about $350 was the minimum for a 3-day, Open Water certification class. We could swing the cost, could we swing the time?

We made it a priority.
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