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.
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 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
PADI Discover Scuba Diving at S.E.A. Aquarium
Commences 12 August 2016
Price: S$118 (introductory price till 31 Jan 2017, after which it will be S$148)
Bookings can also be made at any attraction ticket booth or hotel concierge.
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.