Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about learning to SCUBA dive

  • Is SCUBA Diving safe?
    If you are well trained, the sport and the underwater environment are extremely safe. We have taught over 40,000 people since 1959, and not one of our divers has ever had a diving accident.
  • Do I need to be a great swimmer?
    No. Just average swimming ability is sufficient. Scuba divers don’t really swim, and all divers wear an inflatable jacket that allows for surface support whenever needed.
  • Can I use my current mask, fins and snorkel?
    Sure! As long as they meet the minimum requirements for safe SCUBA diving. For example, SCUBA masks are made from tempered glass, while some masks aren’t. You’re about to begin a grand adventure, and we wouldn’t want you held back by something as minor as the right personal equipment.
  • How long does it take to get certified as an Open Water Diver?
    The short answer is: An Open Water Certification class generally runs seven or eight sessions.The real answer is: “It takes as long as it takes” for you to become a comfortable, confident, competent diver.When you step off the back of a dive boat into bright blue Caribbean water, we make sure that you’ll know just what to do to have an exciting, safe dive! The time required depends on the you. Everybody learns at a different rate, and with us, you can take as long as you like!You’ll be ready for open water as soon as you have the knowledge and skills to explore the underwater world safely, and we don’t think you would want it any other way!
  • Are there any age limits?
    A person needs to be 10 years of age to be certified. Since it is better for young teens to learn with a parent or guardian, National Aquatic Service provides free tuition for teens 10-17 years of age when enrolled in the same class, and accompanied by a parent or guardian. There is no upper age, and we have people diving well past their seventies.
  • How deep do we go?
    Although most leisure diving typically takes place in the 10-100 foot range, most experienced divers know that the best diving, the most interesting sights and the best photography are typically found above 30 feet. There is rarely a reason to go deeper than 60 feet.
  • What about sharks and other dangerous marine animals?
    The marine animals most feared are undeserving of their reputation. Sharks, barracuda, eels, & stingrays are beautiful to see in their natural environment and want nothing to do with you. Only when threatened will they defend themselves. So as long as you respect all underwater life, and look but don’t touch, you have nothing to worry about.
  • Can I dive locally?
    New York State has great diving!In the summer, the St. Lawrence river and the local lakes are almost as warm as the Caribbean, and with the introduction of the Zebra mussel in the late 1980’s visibility has increased dramatically!Lake Champlain contains shipwrecks that haven’t been seen for hundreds of years, and the St Lawrence contains wrecks that map history from before the formation of the United States right up to the modern era. We lead SCUBA Trips almost every year to see ships that were used during (and even before) the American Revolutionary War! There is are few places on earth where you can come face-to-face with a part of history that few have ever seen.
  • Who will I dive with?
    Diving is safest and most enjoyable with a buddy and organized dive trips are a great way to find you that buddy!During most of the year we haveday, evening and weekend trips to fit everybody’s schedule and diving comfort level.Our web site will always be updated so that you can find out about our activities, And don’t forget that we’ll always dive with you! If you want to dive and don’t have a buddy, all you need to do is call us or send an email!

    During the Summer and Fall, our 40′ pontoon boat “Grandad” sails on Skaneateles Lake every Wednesday and Friday evening, and Saturday afternoon.It’s a beautiful ride on the lake, and and some of the nicest freshwater diving in the Northeast.After the dive, we even have a cookout! Since the terrain of the lake varies from grass-covered gentle slopes at 10 or 15 feet, to walls and deeper log and rock formations, there’s something for everyone. Skaneateles even has a wreck!

  • How do I get started?
    Just give us a call, or send us an email, and you’ll be a comfortable, competent, confident diver before you know it!

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