PADI certified!

our short but thorough study to become PADI certified scuba diver (open water) has been completed – with our final exam in St Lucia!

We decided to do a crash course with Scuba 2000 (in Richmond Hill, Ontario) over one weekend.  8:30am to 5pm saturday and sunday.  morning in class learning with the instructor and afternoon in pool learning with skills learning.  The weekend breezed by as we learned a lot but it was still fun.  Scuba 2000 runs a very organized class – we had 7 people in our class with 1 instructor in the classroom and 2 instructors in pool.  In the classroom, it was a blend of videos, discussion questions and quizzes that lets you understand the theory behind scuba diving.  It is not hard – a lot of common sense plus a bit of science.  We got to order Subway for lunch, and then it’s off to the pool.  They supply all the equipment so you just need your bathing suit + towel.

They go through all the equipment assembly and dis-assembly first.  They also heavily emphasize on safety procedures. things like never leave your tank standing upright unattended (it’s fine when you’re at the pool, but when you’re in a rocking boat, things can start rolling and falling real quick).  There are set skills they teach you to prepare for the final open water exam.  When Nick and I did the beginning discovery scuba on our various trips previously, we learned the basic 4 (removing regulator, using buddy’s regulator, finding regulator and flooding the mask partially).  In this class, we learned about 10-12 more.  The two instructors we had were extremely patient.  sometimes it took us a few tries to get it correct, but they never rush you.  One student in our class had issues with the concept of being underwater, so she did not finish her skills learning in pool, but she was allowed to come back at her own pace to practice each skill until she was comfortable.

At the end of each skills learning, we were “tested”. ie. instructor watch as you do it, and make you redo if you have trouble.  They sign off on your scuba diving log book at the end of the day, which tracks your progress.

At the end of the weekend, we went through 4 in class quizzes and 1 “final exam”. plus completed 2 pool learning + tests.

As we had already planned the St Lucia trip, we decided to get our open water test there instead of going with Scuba 2000 – where they typically go up north near georgian bay.  So instead, Scuba2000 wrote us a referral form which tells Sandals St Lucia’s scuba diving team that we had completed our paperwork and in pool requirements.

We highly recommend Scuba 2000, they were great to work with, so definitely check it out if you are looking to get certified! (

Upon arrival at St Lucia, we quickly booked our open water dives which involves 2 days of scuba.   Each day is a 2 tank dive – which means 2 different dive sites.  each tank involves 4-5 different skill tests to pass.  The good thing about doing your open water test in St Lucia (or anywhere equally nice) is that after you complete your skills testing, you’re already suited up and have an hour or so left in the tank, so the tester/guide brings you around on a leisure dive.  and since Sandals had so many instructors/guides, Nick and I had our own tester/guide.  so it was pretty much a private dive afterwards.

The last part of the testing is to complete our log books.  and once signed off by the tester, we were done! with a fuzzy blurry picture taken back on shore, all we need is to wait for the official card to arrive in the mail.   We were so proud!

Were Padi Certified







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