There are many things that draw people to scuba diving. Whether it is driven by a love for the ocean, fascination of sea creatures or desire to join friends that dive, over 3.5 million Americans are taking the plunge. So what are you waiting for? You can start on the journey at home and complete your scuba diving certification in the warm waters surrounding Maui. This is your chance to be a part of something unique- 62% of Hawaii’s marine species are found only in Hawaii.
If completing an Open Water Diver certification is on your bucket list, here is how to do it and what to expect.
Getting Started with PADI eLearning
PADI eLearning allows you to begin your dive education at your convenience, using your desktop, laptop or mobile device. To get a PADI Open Water Diver certification, you must be at least 10 years old, able to swim, and in good physical health to enroll in a scuba diving course.
During this knowledge development phase, you’ll learn all about scuba equipment, familiarize yourself with scuba terminology, watch videos of diving skills and take quizzes. Most people complete their knowledge development over a few weeks. However, this phase can be done at your own pace- any time and place there is a high-speed internet connection. Check into PADI e-learning here.
You will want to connect up with a local dive shop to complete the next phase- Confined Water Dives. This is where you will practice basic scuba skills, which is typically done in a pool or shallow lagoon. PADI has an online search tool to help you find the closest dive shop to obtain this part of your certification. Tip: if you live in a rural area, try searching the closest town or city.
After these two phases are complete, you are ready to complete your Open Water Diver Certification on Maui with us at Lahaina Divers.
Diving on Maui
Your diving base location is Lahaina, Maui, an incredibly walkable town filled with history, culture, shopping and dining. Lahaina is also home to a picturesque harbor, where you can find an assortment of fishing and boating adventures. On the front row of the harbor are Lahaina Diver’s two 46’ dive boats, Dauntless and Dominion. These are Maui’s largest, most comfortable and most reliable dive boats.
Lahaina Diver’s 5-star PADI facility is two blocks from the harbor, an easy walk that takes you through famed Banyan Tree park. At our dive shop you will find everything you need for your diving adventure, from top-of-the-line rental gear to equipment and cool accessories for purchase.
Our expert charter staff will help you set up all of your dives to complete your Open Water Certification. Note, arrangements should be made in advance so we can match required dives to your travel schedule.
There are many hotels on the west side of the island that are convenient to the dive shop, including the planned resort area of Kaanapali. If a quieter boutique resort is more your speed, check out the oceanfront Kuleana Resort, famous for sea turtles in the cove fronting the property.
On the Boat
If you’ve always wanted to experience the world beneath the waves, you are about to dive in. On the boat, you’ll review the dive you are going to make, have a skills briefing, and then it will be time to dive, dive, dive! You’ll polish your diving skills by diving— to a maximum of 18 metres/60 feet, along with an instructor. Back on board, you’ll talk about your dive, identifying the creatures you discovered, and have an opportunity to ask questions or get additional instruction. The open water course includes four total dives, which can be done over two afternoons.
What You Can Do with Your New Certification
In addition to being a passport to underwater adventure, here are some of the benefits of a PADI Open Water Diver certification card:
- Scuba dive with a partner (without supervision)
- Rent or purchase scuba diving gear
- Book excursions with dive boats and resorts
- Get air fills at local dive shops
After completing four open water dives and all course requirements, you have earned a title that will last a lifetime- Open Water Diver. You can go on to take advanced or specialty certification courses, or simply enjoy recreational diving around the world. Most of the ocean remains unknown, and even the explored parts are constantly changing.
Our ocean reefs in Hawaii, and around the world, are at serious risk. Lahaina Divers makes a donation with every person we certify to the nonprofit Project AWARE to protect underwater environments. By joining the league of divers, we hope you will participate with us in understanding environmental impacts and help protect the underwater realm we love.
Still have questions? Contact us, we would be happy to discuss your scuba diving goals.