Scuba Diving Certification in Belize – Frequently Asked Questions
At Robert’s Grove, we get many questions from aspiring divers about what to expect when doing their scuba dive certification in our waters. We have put together a list of some of these questions and answers from www.padi.com for prospective divers, and have modified some of the information to reflect the diving experience in Belize:
Q: Where can I scuba dive?
A: You can dive practically anywhere there’s water – from a swimming pool to the ocean and all points in between, including quarries, lakes, rivers and springs. Where you can scuba dive is determined by your experience level, the site accessibility, the site conditions, and your interests.
The only truly important thing about where you dive is that you have the scuba diving training and experience appropriate for diving there, and that you have a dive master or partner to go with you. Our PADI Dive Shop in Placencia is especially renowned for our wall diving near the reef and cayes.
Q: My ears hurt when I go to the bottom of a swimming pool or when I dive down snorkeling. Will that keep me from becoming a scuba diver?
A: No, assuming you have no irregularities in your ears and sinuses. The discomfort is the normal effect of water pressure pressing in on your ears. Fortunately, our bodies are designed to adjust for pressure changes in our ears – you just need to learn how. If you have no difficulties adjusting to air pressure during flying, you'll probably experience no problem learning to adjust to water pressure while diving.
Q: Does a history of ear troubles, diabetes, asthma, allergies or smoking prevent someone from diving?
A: Not necessarily. Any condition that affects the ears, sinuses, respiratory function or heart function or may alter consciousness is a concern, but only a physician can assess a person’s individual risk. Our dive operation at Robert’s Grove is part of the Divers’ Alert Network (DAN) and we can advise you on what your limitations may be, depending on what medical conditions you have and need to take into consideration. Contact us to let us know how we may accommodate any needs you may have when getting your scuba dive certification.
Q: What are the most common injuries or sicknesses associated with diving?
A: Sun burn and seasickness, both of which are preventable with over the counter preventatives. The most common injuries caused by marine life are scrapes and stings, most of which can be avoided by wearing an exposure suit, staying off the bottom and watching where you put your hands and feet.
Q: What about sharks?
A: In Belize, most of our shark species are completely harmless. We have Black Tip Reef Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Lemon Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, and, of course, Whale Sharks. Although incidents can occur, they are very, very rare and with respect to diving, primarily involve spear fishing or giving food to sharks, both of which trigger more aggressive behavior. Most of the time, if you see a shark it’s passing through and it’s a relatively rare sight to enjoy. You can dive with Whale Sharks during their mating season in Belize – an incredible experience that is not one to miss!
Q: How deep do you go?
A: With the necessary training and experience, the limit for recreational scuba diving is 40 meters/130 feet. Beginning scuba divers stay shallower than about 18 meters/60 feet. Although these are the limits, some of the most popular diving is no deeper than 12 meters/40 feet where the water is warmer and the colors are brighter.
Q: What happens if I use up all my air?
A: That’s not likely because you have a gauge that tells you how much air you have at all times. This way, you can return to the surface with a safety reserve remaining. However, in the rare event that you do run out of air, your dive master has a spare mouthpiece that allows you to share a single air supply while swimming to the surface.
Q: What if I feel claustrophobic?
A: People find the “weightlessness” of scuba diving to be quite freeing. Modern scuba masks are available in translucent models, which you may prefer if a mask makes you feel closed in. At Robert’s Grove, during your scuba diving training, we take our time with you to ensure that you become comfortable with the entire diving experience and know what to expect. Your scuba instructor works with you at your own pace to ensure you master each skill necessary to become a capable scuba diver who dives regularly. Contact us at Robert’s Grove for assistance with planning your dive vacation in Belize.