- May 12, 2015
- Posted by: Alan Moss
- Category: Blog
It was early morning on June 28th and the staff of A-1 Scuba Diving And Snorkeling Adventures were out doing what they love the most – certifying new PADI Open Water Scuba students. The morning began where most early mornings for the dive center start – Wawa. Supplied with fresh coffee and delicious breakfast sandwiches, the instructors and staff piled into the dive center vehicles to start their day long adventure. In the lead car, there was quite the conversation between the instructors. Even though groggy and tired, the staff wasted no time going over the schedule of the day and how best to test their students.
The testing for your PADI Open Water certification spans over two days, usually a weekend. During this “checkout dive” the students are tested on the skills that they learned in the classroom and practiced in Phoenix Sport Club pool. After almost a month of once-a-week classes, this is the day the students have been preparing for and anxiously awaiting. If the students pass their Open Water Certification test, they will be able to dive anywhere around the world. From the cold waters off of New Jersey to the beautiful clear blue waters of the Caribbean, a PADI Open Water Certification opens up a whole new world to the students.
It took about one hour to reach it, but despite the rain everyone arrived to Dutch Springs on time. This is the lake where students will be put to the test. Dutch Springs is a scuba diving park located in Bethlehem and has been serving the need of scuba divers for more than thirty years. A-1 Scuba Diving spends almost every weekend during the summer months at Dutch Springs certifying new students. Dutch Springs offers many fun experiences and thrills for divers. Many vehicles and airplanes are sunk in the lake including a firetruck and military vehicles. Everyone, including the staff and students of A-1 Scuba Diving, love swimming through and around all the neat attractions. Aside from having a lake filled with sunken objects, there is a water park and rock climbing tower.
Arriving at 8AM, the morning briefing started promptly at 8:30AM. The morning briefing is given by the instructors to the students’. This briefing is essentially an overview explaining what the day will consist of. The briefing is not simply a couple minute overview. Instructors take that opportunity to go over some tips and refresher lessons for the student’s before they enter the water. The instructors will discuss skills to be tested, safety tips and much more.
With that briefing over, the students are finally ready to gear up and head down to the water. You could see and feel the excitement amongst the instructors, staff and students as they made their way down to the water. One more check of their equipment on the waters surface and down they went. One by one, the students disappeared under the water.
Forty minutes later, bubbles started forming on the service of the water where the students began their dive. Within minutes the students surfaced and began to make their way up back to the picnic tables where they assembled their gear in the morning. As they dropped their gear you could see they were tired but excited about everything they had just seen. However; they were more excited when they realized it is noon and time to eat lunch. After a short lunch break, they filled their tanks with air and began prepping their gear once more for their final testing dive.
The final dive test will test their underwater navigational skills. Each student is equipped with a compass that they will use to navigate underwater. Since there are no points of references or landmarks under water, the students must demonstrate advanced navigational skills. These skills can be used to guide you toward interesting underwater attractions or help you return to your starting point if you get lost underwater.
The last dive is over. When the students descended under the water on this last dive, they were Open Water candidates. Now as they surface, they are Open Water certified. With a brief congratulations from the instructors, the faces of the students light up as they realize they have passed their tests. Now comes the most dreaded part of this two day certification – cleaning, packing and a long drive home.
As the students clean and pack away their gear, the instructors come up to each student to offer a personal congratulations. One last item remains on the long to-do list for PADI certification – a photo for their ID card.
A-1 Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Adventures has been providing quality scuba instruction and certification from more than 20 years. They have certified hundreds of students spanning from basic certification to technical diving. Aside from instruction and certification, the dive shop offers guided scuba diving trips that span the world. From lakes in Pennsylvania to exotic destinations in the Caribbean and the Pacific, scuba trips are always ongoing. Scuba diving will open your eyes to a world that only a small percentage of the population get to see. Travel the world and discover the beauty that lays just beneath the waves – with A-1 Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Adventures in Trevose Pennsylvania.