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You're Certified...Now What?
Date:07/19/02  By Editorial

You did it! You're a certified diver. You passed the tests, you completed the skills and you know how to use dive tables. You're armed with your temporary certification card and you're excited about diving somewhere other than the pool. of the most important rules in diving is to keep diving.

Now what?

The answer is simple...keep diving. Strangely, diving is sometimes difficult for new divers because they may not know who to dive with or where to go. The purpose of this article is to address a few issues that commonly prevent new divers from being active divers.

Who to dive with
Finding active and reliable buddies is one of the biggest challenges that face the new diver. In scuba class you've always got a partner, but in the real world, only about one in every 100 people are trained to dive like you are. With so few divers, it can be challenging to find a reliable dive partner.

  1. Dive with your classmates
    It's a good idea to stay in touch with the other divers from your scuba classes- they are potential dive buddies that are not only familiar, but their skills are comparable to yours and they may live nearby.
  2. Join a dive club
    Divers are generally a friendly bunch; diving is a fun, relaxing and social activity. Both the Internet and your local dive shop can give you recommendations on good clubs in your area. For example, here is a list of San Diego dive clubs.
  3. Go back to school
    Your instructor probably mentioned that there are advanced classes offered through the agency that certified you, but also keep in mind that local universities, research centers and other organizations are potential sources of continuing education. Research studies, photography workshops and environmental monitoring programs can all be tremendous learning experiences.
Where to dive
Now that you know who to dive with, where do you go?
  1. Travel!
    The world is full of great dive destinations and that offer something for every type of diver.
  2. Find water and dive in
    Find the nearest body of water and jump in. Is there an ocean, lake or river nearby? Seek out recommendations from local divers, dive shops and Web sites.
  3. Use theInternet
    There are thousands of websites that mention good places to dive. If you want to dive San Diego, be sure to visit our Dive Sites section for comprehensive reviews of the local area.
Make time to dive
  1. Mark your calendar
    Dives take planning. Planning takes time. Schedule yourself at least a week in advance and make a point to dive at least once a month if possible.
  2. Dive at night
    Night diving is not only an incredible experience, it is also a great opportunity for those who work during business hours. Advanced scuba coursework generally includes the special training required to dive in the dark.
Learn more
  1. Read about diving
    There are literally thousands of publications about diving. Web sites, magazines, books, journals, bulletins, movies and television shows are all ways to learn more. Check out the Web Resources section.
  2. Review what you’ve learned
    Pick up your diving manual and read it again. You might be surprised about what you might have forgotten or didn’t fully understand the first time around.
  3. Take more classes
    Most certification agencies offer specialty courses that cover most diving interests including underwater photography, marine ecology, wreck diving and deep diving.
Promote diving
  1. Share your experiences
    You are one of the priveleged few that can speak about diving first hand. Not only will stories about your diving adventures be of interest to non-divers, but you might end up recruiting new dive buddies at the same time.
  2. Encourage other people to dive
    Your stories and experiences might be just what it takes to motivate acquaintances to dive. You might be surprised at the number of people that have always wanted to dive, but never took the initiative to enroll in a class. Meeting a certified diver can be encouragement enough for some people to get started.
Always remember that one of the most important rules in diving is to keep diving.
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