Get Scuba Certified!!!

I am a huge water person…always have been.  I’ve done some introductory scuba diving in Israel where I swam with the dolphins and in Turks and Caicos, but I’m headed to Bonaire in a week, and since they are known as one of the top three places in the world for their marine life, I decided to finally get PADI certified. I hooked up with DEMA’s (Diving Equipment and Marketing Association) “Be A Diver” program.  You may have seen their 20×40 15,000 gallon mobile pool at various events, fairs, and sports expos around the United States, which allow you to try scuba for the first time.   You can learn more about what they do at

I’ve always talked about getting certified, but for some reason I was little hesitant, maybe because I cut open my foot on some coral during an introductory dive, but I can’t be more thrilled that I finally went for it.  PADI along with The Dive Shop in Cherry Hill is making the process so easy! With PADI, you can choose to do the e-learning which takes up some time, but you go at your own pace online.  After each of the five sections, you’ll be given a test to make sure you comprehend everything.  If you get anything wrong, they will give you the opportunity to go back, clarify, and take it again.  There is no failing…they just want to make sure you understand everything for your own safety.

The second component of the certification is your training in the pool.  You can find a local dive shop in your area that runs the classes and instruction.  If you choose not to do the e-learning, they usually hold group classes.  I went to “The Dive Shop” in Cherry Hill for my pool instruction and I have to say, they made my experience phenomenal!  David Barnes was my instructor and not only is he so knowledgeable, but he really makes you feel confident with all of your equipment in the water.  In just two three hour sessions, we were able to go through all of the skills and he always asked if I had any questions and if there was anything I wanted to do over.   Each day I left class, I was so excited that I was one step closer to my certification and that much more psyched for my trip to Bonaire.

When it came time to picking out my mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit, and boots, Arin Centrone, the owner of “The Dive Shop” was so incredibly helpful.  This is all new to me, so of course I had a lot of questions and she went through everything in the store  and explained the differences in the gear.  We also emailed back and forth a bit and any question I had, she or  David was also a huge help in pointing me in the right direction.  I would highly recommend getting your certification there.  They really know their stuff, are so patient, friendly, and excited for you to explore this new world!

For the third and final part of my certification, I’ll be doing four open water dives in beautiful Bonaire! I’ll be sure to tell you all about my adventures  and hopefully get some great pictures and video!

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