Becoming a Scuba Diver – What You Will Learn in Confined Water
This is Part 2 of our 3 part series about becoming a scuba diver. You can find part 1 by following this link: Getting the Most Out of Your Scuba Certification Course.
The PADI open water diver certification course consists of three essential pieces. They are presented in a variety of formats to maximize learning and retention of knowledge. Dive theory is presented in a combination of video and written format, and these can also be accomplished online via PADI’s eLearning program. Doing the knowledge section prior to arriving at the dive center will save you a significant amount of time and allows you to move at a pace that is most comfortable for you. If you did not opt for eLearning, then your instructor will have you watch a video and read specific chapters. Each chapter has a knowledge review which will you fill out and then review with your instructor. After you have done those, there are four short quizzes, and a final exam to complete the theory portion of your training. Your instructor will review any incorrect response with you to ensure that you fully understand. Don’t worry! While PADI has established a passing score for the quizzes and final exam, you can retake them. Your instructor will work with you to help ensure you pass. We just need to make sure you completely understand some key points so that you will be safe and have fun in the water.
Confined water is where you will learn about the equipment and how to assemble and care for it. This will occur prior to entering the water with your instructor. During these sessions you will learn the necessary skills to help you maximize the amount of fun you can have while diving. Since this is all new to you, the instructor will brief you before entering the water. They will explain the skill, show you their hand signal for it, and explain the purpose for learning the skill. There are five segments or dives to the confined session. You will begin instruction on land, and the first dive occurs in very shallow water (you can stand up and be out of the water).
PADI defines “confined water” as a general term that refers to either a swimming pool or confined open water. Confined open water is an open water site that offers swimming pool-like conditions with respect to clarity, calmness, and depth.
Once you’re submerged, your instructor will do a check-in to make sure everyone feels comfortable. Some people require a little extra time adjusting to breathing underwater, so we want everyone in the group to feel secure before moving on to the skills. During all five confined segments, your instructor will demonstrate the skill slowly, and then each student will perform the skill one at a time. One skill is demonstrated, the students repeat it one by one, and a check-in is done, and then you’ll move on to the next skill. You may notice that the instructor will position themselves extremely close to a student while they repeat the skill. This is so the instructor can provide immediate feedback and help them out while performing the technique. We may even hold onto your vest while you perform it just to help you feel a bit more stable in the water.
Each segment consists of surface and submerged skills. The entire five confined segments can be completed within a few hours, depending on class size and student comfort level. Surface skills include things like clearing a snorkel without removing your face from the water, removing and replacing your various gear while in the water, etc. Underwater you will learn techniques such as how to clear water from your mask, how to breathe from your regulator, and how to safely ascend and descend. By the time you’re finished with the confined course, you will feel very ready to head out to the open water where the real fun begins.
Are you interested in becoming a scuba diver? Get your PADI Open Water Diver certification during your next visit to Cozumel, Mexico? Follow the link for more details or to book your certification class today!