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  • Sherri Cline

Everything you need to know about learning to scuba dive on Catalina Island

Ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Learning to scuba dive on Catalina Island is the start of an unforgettable journey of discovery. Here’s everything you need to know:

It’ll take a few days: If you want to get certified to scuba dive on Catalina Island, you’ll need to plan to spend a few days in Avalon. Luckily, it’s not like that’s a hardship. Plan on an absolute minimum of two full days of diving, but it’ll be a lot easier if you spread it out over three or four days. Read on for more details.

You’ve got options: There are three main options for your dive class on Catalina. Learning to dive takes both classroom time and underwater time. You can complete your classroom time on-line, click here to learn more, and then complete your dives on the island. You can also do the entire course on Catalina, with our instructors overseeing the classroom portion. Or, you can complete the classroom portion and some of the dives, those considered “confined water,” with a dive shop on the mainland, and then do your open water dives with us. No matter which way you choose, you can also make your class private – with just your party and the instructor -- for an additional fee.

There are a few requirements: You’ll want to be in reasonably good health, at least 10 years old and comfortable in the water if you want to get certified for scuba on Catalina Island.

You can start the process on the mainland: Taking a scuba class is a perfect excuse to spend some quality time on Catalina Island, but you don’t need to wait until you get here to start your class. PADI offers much of the classroom work online, so you can get that out of the way before you get here. We’ll make sure all the concepts make sense and get you in the water as soon as possible.

You’ll be part of an international organization: Catalina Divers Supply and all of its instructors and dive staff are part of PADI, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the world’s most well-respected and well-represented diving association. Your certification card will be recognized in 186 countries and you’ll be joining an organization of millions of fellow divers.

It’ll take you places: While the island’s underwater world provides a wealth of opportunities for exploration, learning to scuba dive on Catalina will open up nearly three-fourths of the world for discovery. From Hawaii to the Caribbean and from Fiji to the Red Sea, being certified for scuba diving gives a passport to adventures around the globe.

You can skip the pool: On the mainland, often some of the dives you need for certification are completed in a swimming pool. We don’t do that here. All of your dives will be in the ocean, where you can experience the wonder of the marine environment.

Yes, you are going to want that wetsuit: People often ask and the answer is always yes, the water is cold enough to need a wetsuit. Even in summer, once you plunge beneath the surface you will appreciate the warmth it provides.

If you are flying in, you need to not fly out for a day or so: The Divers Alert Network recommends that you wait at least 18 hours before flying if you are doing multiple dives.

Still have questions about learning to scuba dive on Catalina Island? Feel free to give us a call and our friendly dive professionals will be happy to help.

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