PADI Discover Scuba Diving: a first encounter

I am fascinated by marine life. Ironically, I also have an inexplicable fear of the sea. I guess that’s what happens when your mum takes you to watch Jaws 3D when you are only six years old.

This is why I was hesitant to pick up scuba diving. Until I had a chance to conquer my fear when I was invited to preview the new PADI Discover Scuba Diving at S.E.A. Aquarium – a short, introductory scuba diving programme for non-divers.

Small group, comfortable pace

There were four of us in the group with two PADI certified dive instructors. This is the maximum group size with an instructor-participant ratio of 1:2. This ensures everyone gets sufficient attention.

Before entering the pool, instructors Jeremiah and Simon briefed us on safety rules, basic diving theory, hand signals and essential techniques like equalizing air spaces and clearing water from our regulator and mask.

All these took about an hour. Then we changed into our wet suits and got ready to take the plunge.

Discover Scuba Diving at S.E.A. Aquarium
Equipment were laid out neatly for us so we just had to strap them on. It felt bulky on land but once underwater it weighed nothing.
Discover Scuba Diving at S.E.A. Aquarium
This was where our practice session was conducted. It has varying depths for all types of dive training and is filled with sea water which was nice as it helped us prepare for our dive with the fishes!
Discover Scuba Diving at S.E.A. Aquarium
Baby steps on the “mezzanine level” just off the pool. This initial depth of about 1.5m made it less stressful for newbies while we tried to get used to breathing underwater. Once we felt comfortable enough, we revised basic hand signals and techniques with the instructors.
Discover Scuba Diving at S.E.A. Aquarium
It’s not the smell, it’s the water pressure. As I went deeper, I had to equalize my ears by pinching my nose and blowing through it at the same time.

Both practice and dive sessions in one day

Unlike typical scuba diving courses where theory and practice lessons are held on weekday evenings followed by a weekend dive trip to a nearby island, Discover Scuba Diving offers a similar, albeit less extensive, experience in 2.5 hours.

After about 30 minutes in the training pool, we successfully completed all basic signals and simple dive skills. We then moved over to the Open Ocean Habitat for our 30-minute “open ocean dive”.

To be honest, it felt a little scary stepping into the Open Ocean habitat but once I was underwater among the 40,000 fishes, a sense of calm came over me. It was as if I had entered a zen zone and all I could hear was my breathing.

Discover Scuba Diving at S.E.A. Aquarium
All set to dive deeper into the Open Ocean habitat
Discover Scuba Diving at S.E.A. Aquarium
Over 40,000 marine animals swimming around us.
Discover Scuba Diving at S.E.A. Aquarium
Even the Goliath Grouper came by to say hi

Discover Scuba Diving is an excellent introductory course for scuba diver wannabes. This is especially so with the very patient and encouraging dive instructors. If you wish to take the first step into scuba diving, I say try this first.

Who should try Discover Scuba Diving

  • People with no diving experience or certification
  • Those interested in scuba diving but not ready to take the plunge into a certification course
  • Busy individuals with only a day to spare (actually you only need half a day)
  • Great refresher for certified divers who have not dived in years

What you will learn and experience

  • Basic safety guidelines and key techniques you’ll use during every scuba dive
  • Swim safely among marine creatures without going into the open ocean
  • NOTE: This is not a certification course, just an introduction to diving for real beginners

What you need to bring

  • Swimwear, towel and an appetite for fun
  • DON’T NEED to bring basic scuba gear such as mask, snorkel, fins, regulator, buoyancy control device, dive gauges and air tank – these will be provided


  • Basic swimming skills and good physical health
  • Minimum 12 years of age, guests under the age of 18 must have a parent/legal guardian sign the PADI Liability form onsite
  • Must not be due to fly within 12 hours after the programme

Despite the initial jitters, Discover Scuba Diving helped me gain confidence in the water. Diving doesn’t seem so scary now. I think I am ready to be a certified scuba diver after this with the PADI Open Water Diver course.


  • Programme fee does not include Adventure Cove Waterpark admission. You may top up if you wish to enjoy the waterpark before or after the programme.
  • Photography and videography are not allowed during the programme.

PADI Discover Scuba Diving at S.E.A. Aquarium

Price: S$148 / S$118 (RWS Invites Members and Attractions Passholders)
Duration: 2.5hrs
Sessions: Mon – Fri, 1pm
Max group size: 4
Booking & enquiry:

Bookings can also be made at any attraction ticket booth or hotel concierge.
Online bookings must be made one day prior to programme day, onsite bookings must be made 45 minutes before commencement of programme.









Facebook Comments