Denver PADI/ Scuba certification?

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by MurphCO, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. MurphCO

    MurphCO Been here awhile

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    Anyone here in the area have any experience with local places to get scuba/PADI certified?


    Good bad and ugly?
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  2. amazed

    amazed Adventurer

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    I highly recommend A-1 Scuba. Located on Bellview Near Sante Fe:
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  3. amazed

    amazed Adventurer

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    I highly recommend A-1 Scuba. Located on Bellview near Sante Fe: Littleton
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  4. StmbtDave

    StmbtDave AKA Invisible Dave

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    I didn't get that. Try again, who would you recommend? :huh
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  5. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    PADI in Denver in the winter? Ugh... gotta finish up in that cold, black hole in New Mexico :vardy

    Might as well just spend a bit more, fly down to Cancun/Cozumel and do it up right. :jkam:freaky
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  6. Patj551

    Patj551 Motorcycle & Empowerment Coach

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    A1 scuba is excellent. They have a group trip going to Cozumel in March. You can do classroom & pool in Denver & open water dives in Mexico. It's a great way to get certified & get some experience. That's what I did way back in the 80s. I felt quite comfortable & liked the continuity of doing my first trip with the dive instructor & divemasters that I trained with. Have fun!
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  7. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    All good points and if you are at all freaked out about water, then the extra pool work is a good idea. Also, if their group rates to Coz. are a good deal, then go for it. However, IMHO, there are always combo deals to Coz that include airfare, hotel, and PADI. (Keep an eye on LivingSocial/Groupon... TONS of deals there).

    Again, only IMHO... no amount of pool work prepares you for that first drop below 5 meters.
    #7
  8. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    When my brother in law got certified, he had done his classwork/pool session through CSU, but for his birthday we paid for him to do his open water at the Homestead Crater, outside of Heber City, UT. It's a hot springs crater. Not an amazing dive, because it is basically a big shaft, but it is 95 degrees, which wouldn't suck in the winter. Of course, any time down in Mexico, or any other good warm island spot, is always good. I got certified in New Zealand, and it was a fairly crazy experience, but I have progressed quite a bit in a lot of great locations!
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  9. MurphCO

    MurphCO Been here awhile

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    I am also somewhat ignorant of the process......

    Is an open water dive necessary to complete the certification?


    Are there different levels of certification?



    What we were looking at is, we go on a trip somewhere tropical most years and snorkel, but have been wanting to get scuba qualified so we can go deeper and see some cooler stuff, is there some level that gets us that far without an open water dive and going down to the blue hole etc? We were hoping to have it done by next Christmas
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  10. Merfman

    Merfman Trustin' my cape...

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    I'll offer another vote for A1. We did our Handicapped Diver certification with A1 and they were excellent. Also, I think they have a program that'll allow you to get your cert in a single weekend with the open water dives done at the Denver aquarium. Somehow (I don't understand fully) the aquarium qualifies as open water so a trip to Blue Hole or the Crater isn't really required...
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  11. MurphCO

    MurphCO Been here awhile

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    Perfect!


    Thanks!
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  12. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to asphalt!

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    Best deal is to do the pool/classroom stuff here in the pool at A-1, then do the final certification dive on a nice trip to the Carribean. You don't want to waste vacation time doing the prerequisits.
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  13. Narsisco Lopez

    Narsisco Lopez Addlepated

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    You can do shore/reef dives without your PADI... this is how I did my first few dives: fun and pretty low-commitment. If you really get into it (like I did), you can always follow-up with a PADI. It's totally doable (and safe and affordable) to do your PADI while on vacation in Cancun/Cozumel (or any other destination dive spot on the planet).

    The "prerequisites" for a non-PADI reef dive are pretty minimal... about 20 minutes in the pool. I'm notoriously cheap, so I didn't see the point in spending a lot of money on classes here when I wasn't sure if I was even gonna like it (many, many people freak out in open water and can't handle the drop past 5 meters). Doing a non-PADI dive with a qualified dive master is a great way to see if you're gonna really like the sport before making the financial commitment.
    #13
  14. Hondo

    Hondo What if it's a Samsquamch?

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    in2dabluz (Storm) works at A-1 Scuba- look him up & tell him you're an inmate-
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  15. Patj551

    Patj551 Motorcycle & Empowerment Coach

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  16. MurphCO

    MurphCO Been here awhile

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    So do any of you have experience in the Cozumel/Cancun area?


    We were planning on going to Tulum (Dreams Resort) next Christmas and getting some diving in while there, anyone been diving down there and have recommendations?


    Cozumel is a big diving spot obviously, its always a good idea to get recommendations than to fly blind......I did a little research and saw that a couple of the local companies do dives in a Cenote, but that doesn't sound like any fun, am I wrong?


    And thanks for all the input!
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  17. Patj551

    Patj551 Motorcycle & Empowerment Coach

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    Cozumel diving is quite good. Cancun is so, so. Cozumel is world famous for "drift diving." The dive boats dump you in the water & then follow the air bubbles as you drift dive along the reef. Visibility is usually good. You will see lots of colorful fish, hard & soft corral, anemones, lobsters, squid, nurse sharks, eels, etc. Some of the Mexican dive operations are questionable. I have dove Cozumel three times, always with Dive Paradise, MX and had great experiences with them.

    I did some Cenote diving in Florida. Not really my cup of tea, especially compared to the beauty of the open water. But, I don't know what Mexican cenote diving has to offer. I can't remember the name of the dive site, but my favorite Cozumel dive involved descending down through tunnels in the coral. It wasn't fully enclosed so there was always light. Very cool stuff. Provided the current is mild to moderate, drift diving is quite effortless. However, the currents can be strong. It's not unusual for currents at different depths to go opposite directions. For example at a depth of 15' current can be to the south while current at 60' can be north.

    I got scuba certified in the 80s & did my open water cert dives & a week of diving including night dives in Cozumel. I'll never forget it! Bonaire is my favorite dive site so far. I am diving the Domincan Republic in May! Yay! There's nothing else like diving. There is a flow to everything. Plant & animal life is completely different from anything topside. The colors are vibrant! Snorkeling is to scuba what a scooter is to my Ducati!

    No matter how long I dive, it always amazes me that you can get on a plan in Denver at 8am and be diving in Mexico by 1pm! Life is good!
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  18. Patj551

    Patj551 Motorcycle & Empowerment Coach

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    One more thing, you might want to check with a dive shop RE ambient & Water temperature at Xmas...compared to Colo it will be warm, but might be a little chilly for diving. I don't know. Just thought you should check.
    #18
  19. Merfman

    Merfman Trustin' my cape...

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    Yes. My wife and I have around 60 dives in Cozumel. Great place to dive and we love it. EVERY dive in Cozumel is a drift dive. The diving area is a national park and divemasters are required with each group. Aside from the drift portion, I think Coz is a great place for first dives just for that reason. Everyone has their favorite place in Coz, ours is Scuba Club Cozumel. All inclusive, nothing fancy but everything is really good: The food, wait staff, divemasters, shop, etc. We are headed back there on 2/23.

    My wife and I did our Rescue Diver certification at SCC on one vacation. While spending time in a classroom on vacation might not appeal to everyone it did to us. Something about the relevance of learning a technique then practicing in the ocean as opposed to a pool just made it worthwhile.

    MurphyCO, you mentioned the notion of diving occasionally and being very casual. I wish you luck with that... we started the same way, didn't want to spend every vacation always diving. Turns out, we really really enjoyed diving and don't really care to do much else when we're on a dive vacation. We now travel almost exclusively to dive. Last year we dove Roatan, Little Cayman, Cozumel. Headed back to Coz next month then a liveaboard in the Bahamas in April. It's addicting, tread lightly. ;)
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  20. Merfman

    Merfman Trustin' my cape...

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    Sounds like Devil's Throat. Bottom out around 135' or so, right? I much prefer the shallower dives in Coz to the deeper ones. One of my most favs is Santa Rosa Wall. If you have the desire, I much recommend night diving in Coz. Some of the best dives I've had were night dives. LOTS of octopus, lobster, crab, etc. I too have dove with Dive Paradise but still prefer the crew at SCC. DP is a good op though!
    #20