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The SCUBA Thread

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The SCUBA Thread

Postby jdsmith » 21 Nov 2005, 22:27

After having finally completed my Open water course, the wife and boy and I are looking to get out the country and do some diving.

Some folks I know are going to Malapascua in the Philipines over Chinese New Year. Anyone got the poop on this place?

Dive sites to miss or not miss.
Places to stay.
Places to eat.
None diving things to do.

and, on another note, should I just go ahead and do my advanced course now, so that the really sweet dives are not off my charts?

:)
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Postby citizen k » 22 Nov 2005, 10:46

JD,

Congratulations on the certification. Can't really offer any advice about the Philipines, but do have some observations about the Advanced Open Water accreditation.

If you're looking to do some exciting, challenging dives, it's definitely the way to go. You'll be certified for deep, drift, and wreck dives, as well as a few more. The one thing that I enjoy about it is, that if you get on a charter, the dive instructor will usually pair you up with another advanced diver and basically let you do your own thing.

Do some research into dive shops and schools in the areas that you plan to visit in the Philipines. A lot of shops will offer the advanced course for an extra charge if you sign on to one of their charters or trips. I did mine on a 5 day excursion on the Barrier Reef in Australia and, for the extra $150, it was well worth it.

Overall, I'd strongly suggest it because it will expose and teach you how to deal with under water environments and situations that will only help you to become a proficient and better educated diver.

Have fun!
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Postby Belgian Pie » 22 Nov 2005, 12:24

Jd, just go for Boracay ... That's aplace I know very well and it's ideal for the beginning diver and advanced as well ... lot's of good food, western, indian, japanese, chicken adobo, nice people ... chinese new year is the time to go diving there ...
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Postby jdsmith » 22 Nov 2005, 14:41

citizen k wrote:JD,

Congratulations on the certification. Can't really offer any advice about the Philipines, but do have some observations about the Advanced Open Water accreditation.

If you're looking to do some exciting, challenging dives, it's definitely the way to go. You'll be certified for deep, drift, and wreck dives, as well as a few more. The one thing that I enjoy about it is, that if you get on a charter, the dive instructor will usually pair you up with another advanced diver and basically let you do your own thing.


Thanks, that's what I was thinking. Five dives for the advanced open water cert, right?

I was checking out some dives in Boracay and Malapascua and noticed that many of the "better" dives are below 20M. That would suck I think, to be limited.


Belgian Pie wrote:
Jd, just go for Boracay ... That's aplace I know very well and it's ideal for the beginning diver and advanced as well ... lot's of good food, western, indian, Japanese, chicken adobo, nice people ... Chinese new year is the time to go diving there ...


Boracay is definately on my to do list, but it takes a while to get there, and dragging the wife and boy with me I think, will not be a wonderful relaxing experience.

Right now, there's a group of folks I've met, and they are planning a CNY trip to Malapascua, and that looks good to me.

And another thing...thresher sharks. :) Yeah baby!
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Postby MJB » 22 Nov 2005, 22:16

jdsmith wrote:
citizen k wrote:JD,

Congratulations on the certification. Can't really offer any advice about the Philipines, but do have some observations about the Advanced Open Water accreditation.

If you're looking to do some exciting, challenging dives, it's definitely the way to go. You'll be certified for deep, drift, and wreck dives, as well as a few more. The one thing that I enjoy about it is, that if you get on a charter, the dive instructor will usually pair you up with another advanced diver and basically let you do your own thing.


Thanks, that's what I was thinking. Five dives for the advanced open water cert, right?

I was checking out some dives in Boracay and Malapascua and noticed that many of the "better" dives are below 20M. That would suck I think, to be limited.


Belgian Pie wrote:
Jd, just go for Boracay ... That's aplace I know very well and it's ideal for the beginning diver and advanced as well ... lot's of good food, western, indian, Japanese, chicken adobo, nice people ... Chinese new year is the time to go diving there ...


Boracay is definately on my to do list, but it takes a while to get there, and dragging the wife and boy with me I think, will not be a wonderful relaxing experience.

Right now, there's a group of folks I've met, and they are planning a CNY trip to Malapascua, and that looks good to me.

And another thing...thresher sharks. :) Yeah baby!


I've not been to either, but the thought of seeing Thresher sharks has gotten me twisting the spouses arm. We've gone from a firm "no" to a firm "hows the shopping"?

For advanced open water: Most dive guides will do two things when checking out a guest on their boat and neither involve your C-card. First is your log book, and second will be your check-out dive.

Reason for this is simple: To weed out the unqualified. For example, the two students who were certified in my class (I assisted which is all I'm allowed to do as a lowly Divemaster) have 200+ dives under their belts while only have Open water certification. They are utterly confident in the water at any recreational depth, and have a good knowledge of the sea. Take this type of diver against another with an Advanced Open Water ticket but only 5 post-certification dives.

Ok, so now I'm a dive guide at a resort where the closest decompression chamber is 1,000miles away. Who do I take to see thresher sharks at 30 meters? I check your log book, ask a few questions, watch you suit up, how much weight you're wearing, how streamlined your equipment is, and why don't you have your own gear?

Once you hit the water, I check out your buoyancy, your breathing/consumption, your finning, your mask seal/eyes and your overall comfortability underwater.

Notice checking your level of certification is not on the list.

A better idea would be to stay on your open water ticket, make as many dives as you can locally before you go (I realize it's late in the season) and then ask the dive guide for permission to attend the deeper stuff. If your skills are up to snuff, then it should be no problem. If not, then having an OW ticket versus an AOW isn't going to make much difference.

Even with my Divemaster ticket, I still go through the same check out dives as anyone else, and if my skills are shoddy then I don't get to do the good/deep/current stuff, regardless of my level of certification.

The C-card doesn't make the diver, it's only a springboard used to enhance your own diving skills through experience.

If you do decide to go, talk to your guide, be up front about your experience and skills (He'll know within the first 30 seconds of watching you suit up anyway) and ask for some "personal attention" while doing the deep dive. He'll appreciate your honesty, and a person who knows their limitations tends to be a rational one.

Hope you get there, and get to see the long-tailed beast in action. :cool:
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Postby jdsmith » 23 Nov 2005, 07:31

A better idea would be to stay on your open water ticket, make as many dives as you can locally before you go (I realize it's late in the season) and then ask the dive guide for permission to attend the deeper stuff. If your skills are up to snuff, then it should be no problem. If not, then having an OW ticket versus an AOW isn't going to make much difference.


That's good thinking MJB. I asked my instructor about this last night, and he said, "Well, if there's anything the dive master doesn't teach you, I will." And that is most probable as I'm going with him and several other dive master candidates.

We will be there for about 10 days, so that's a lot of time to get in some dives, choose a dive master and complete the course. I do understand the point about being more experienced before getting the AOW, but honestly, if all the people I'll be diving with are already AOW, then I have to sit at the kid's table when they do cooler dives.

And anyway, you know me. I don't exactly jump to notwellthoughtout conclusions. lol

If I'm not ready for a dive I will say so. These folks are talking about some cave diving there too. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII don't think so.

:cool:

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Postby Belgian Pie » 23 Nov 2005, 10:49

The thing with Boracay is that it's indeed not the easiest to get to, but once you're there nothing beats it ... the dives and your advanced cert. can be done there in the timespan you would stay without pressure ... some of the the best dives I've made and for beginners, are done up to 20 m, but you also have nice dives going between 20 and 30 m, the spectacular ones go from 30 - 40 m. Drift diving, night diving, deep diving, you name it, it's all within a 10-20 minute boatride or from the beach (night dive)

Hell, if I have the time I would join you ... have just to check out my schedule and my wife's plans ... I really don't want to spend another chinese newyear here or in china ... have done 9 in a row ... that's been enough ... bore, bore, bore ...

I was planning on going home for x-mas and ny but I've been thinking about going diving for a few weeks now and not going home ... it's winter ... nothing to do, just see family and friends ... :s
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Postby jdsmith » 23 Nov 2005, 22:55

belgian pie wrote:The thing with Boracay is that it's indeed not the easiest to get to, but once you're there nothing beats it ... the dives and your advanced cert. can be done there in the timespan you would stay without pressure ... some of the the best dives I've made and for beginners, are done up to 20 m, but you also have nice dives going between 20 and 30 m, the spectacular ones go from 30 - 40 m. Drift diving, night diving, deep diving, you name it, it's all within a 10-20 minute boatride or from the beach (night dive)

Hell, if I have the time I would join you ... have just to check out my schedule and my wife's plans ... I really don't want to spend another Chinese newyear here or in China ... have done 9 in a row ... that's been enough ... bore, bore, bore ...

I was planning on going home for x-mas and ny but I've been thinking about going diving for a few weeks now and not going home ... it's winter ... nothing to do, just see family and friends ... :s


Dude, I will do Boracay with you...next trip...no wife and son. I think less baggage is better for this kind of trip.

Maybe get MJB to go too.:)
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Postby MJB » 24 Nov 2005, 00:19

jdsmith wrote:Dude, I will do Boracay with you...next trip...no wife and son. I think less baggage is better for this kind of trip.

Maybe get MJB to go too.:)


You guys have got this all backwards...The link you posted JD is pretty much a dedicated dive resort, while Boracay is for partying, shopping and the odd dive.

Boracay is known for many things, but world class diving isn't one of them. For the same money or less you could be in Manado, The Similan Islands, Apo reef, Layang Layang or a dozen world class destinations that we are so fortunate to be close to.

I'm confused.

Sure I'll tag along for a dedicated dive trip, but it certainly wouldn't be Boracay when I'm only 3 1/2 hours from Palau :wink: JD, get your first 50 dives in this season, and we'll plan it for next fall. My dream dive vacation is a live-aboard in PNG. But between airfare and diving you're looking at 150,000NT minumum.

Forget Boracay for diving...Go to Palau. The boat rides to the dives sites alone are mind-boggling, as are the dives with 50 or so Grey reef sharks within your field of vision in 50meter visibility. Sams dive center is always winning awards for having the best dive operation in the Pacific.

It ain't cheap though...95.00$US a day for 2 dives and lunch.

Interested? :cool:
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Postby Belgian Pie » 24 Nov 2005, 10:51

I guess what I'm posting here is not understood well ... did I say worldclass dives and mind boggling boat rides? No I didn't, I'm talking about Boracay being a 'fun' place to be and having excellent dives for the beginner through the advanced .... from shallow reef dives to deep dives and drift dives ... and it's probably cheaper than Palau that is flooded with Japanese ...

Boracay is in my opinion the place for the inexperienced diver that wants to do some more certification ... and the good thing ... you can choose from about 20 diving stores ...

Everyone wants to do worldclass diving, but when you don't have the experience you could end up in the tank ...
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