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Cairns Dive Centre – 4 Day Liveaboard Learn to Dive – Pool + Classroom Training

Created by Julie under on Saturday 1st of January 2011

I have decided to take the next step and become a certified diver. I have booked a 4 Day SSI Cairns Learn to Dive Open Water Course with Cairns Dive Centre.

DAY 1: Basic Training

Arriving on the first day I was greeted by the friendly, professional staff and introduced to our SSI dive instructor, Dan Morrissey. Cairns Dive Centre starts its SSI Learn to Dive Open Water courses every day and after I was introduced to the two other keen students and completed our preliminary paperwork, we were transferred to the Cairns Dive Centre training facility on Sheridan Street.

Arriving at the training facility, I noticed some ‘learner’ divers in the pool testing their new skills; it was quite exiting to see the students at the bottom of the pool. Our day started in the classroom, where we were allocated our SSI Training Handbooks which covered all of the theory; as a part of the course, there were questionnaires to be completed at the end of chapters. The SSI handbooks were only one component of the training, we also watched the first two training videos, which Dan stopped at certain points to discuss the information being taught. I must admit, I am sure Dan must have watched the videos a thousand times but he was still very interested and went on to talk about the information in more detail. During the first classroom session we learnt about:

  1. Masks, fins, snorkels and wetsuits
  2. Tanks, weights, BC’s, regulators and the various types of gauges

With all of this new information to digest, we took a break for lunch. When we returned, it was straight into the training pool, where we each had to demonstrate some basic, compulsory scuba diving skill requirements, including:

  1. Swimming seven laps of the pool (200 metres)
  2. Treading water for 10 minutes
  3. Snorkeling and using our fins in an efficient manner

We each passed our skills test and Dan provided us with a set of scuba equipment. We were taught how to assemble it, test it and do our buddy checks. After this, it was time to do a forward stride entry into the pool and swim to the shallow end, where we learnt and practiced:

  1. Breathing underwater
  2. Mask clearing
  3. Mask removal and clearing
  4. Regulator retrievals

While I found the skills quite easy in the pool, I was sure it would be a different story 50 kilometres from shore, 15m underwater. With these basic skills, we moved to the deep end of the pool and descended to the bottom where we had a little time to get used to the added pressure and practiced equalising our ears. This ended day one of my SSI Cairns Learn to Dive Open Water Course: we headed home with two hours of study and some SSI Handbook tests to complete before the next morning.

DAY 2: More Advanced Stuff

Our second day started with more theory and classroom training. We watched a few more training videos and Dan discussed the effects scuba diving has on our bodies and the risks involved in diving. We learnt how and why pressure increases underwater and the effects it has on the air we breathe. Most importantly, we learnt how to minimise risks and practice safe diving.

We were all very excited about getting back into the pool. We assembled our scuba equipment, did our buddy checks and entered the water, this time with a backward stride. We practiced the skills we learnt yesterday, but this time in the pool’s deep end. During this training dive we also learnt:

  1. How to monitor our air supply
  2. How to monitor our depth
  3. Buddy air sharing
  4. Buoyancy control
  5. Taking our Scuba Unit in the water and putting it back on.
  6. Emergency accents

Towards the end of the pool session we had a little time to just scuba dive around the pool, this seemed quite fun but taking these skills to the open ocean was going to be the real test. After a lunch break we had a final classroom session, where Dan talked more about water pressure, Nitrogen Narcosis and Decompression Sickness. Following this, it was time to put our knowledge to the test and complete our Open Water Exams. Thanks to Dan’s excellent teaching, we all passed and said goodbye to the training facility, returning to the Cairns Dive Centre shop where we discussed tomorrow’s trip to the Great Barrier Reef.

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Cairns Dive Centre: PADI Open Water Dive Course

Learn to dive in Cairns and get a PADI Open Water Dive License. Courses can be booked in 4-5-6 day options, so you can tailor to suit budget & itinerary.
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