How Much Sleep Does 4 1 2 Year Old Need Too Old To Learn Scuba Diving?

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Too Old To Learn Scuba Diving?

We are always told that we should learn sports when we are young, when our bodies are more resistant to the bruises and bumps that can afflict us when we learn a new sport. This is true to some extent.

Take my experience learning to windsurf for example. I learned the sport when I was 26. If I were to learn the sport now at 42, chances are I wouldn’t get very far and would probably give up after 1 or 2 tries. Learning windsurfing was like fighting with all your strength at the same time! We’re talking trying to balance choppy waves on a slippery wet board while maneuvering a sail that weighs more than you in the right direction you want to go. In the process, I contributed blood and flesh from cuts on barnacles and bruises from hitting the surfboard more than once before falling into the waters.

But there is a huge difference with diving. YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO LEARN SCUBA DIVING. I can never say enough. I learned to dive when I was 38. Now, I’m not saying 38 is a ripe old age, but still the body feels somewhat less strong and less resilient. Plus, it seems that as we get older, we also become more fearful. We may feel that we have something to lose if something happens to us.

I say middle age and beyond should never be a factor in learning to dive BUT you must have these:

1) intense love for the sea

2) willingness to learn from someone younger than you

3) relatively good health and last but not least very important

4) time and money

Now I am assuming that you are thinking about learning to dive because you want to make it a sport that you can enjoy every other weekend if time and money allow, and not just learn for the sake of education.

Intense love for the sea

To enjoy a diving trip you will have to love the sea and I mean really really love it with all its amazing creatures big and small. You’ll know what I mean after taking the open water tests on your very first dive trip.

It is unlikely that your diving buddies on your first diving trip will be the same classmates from your diving course. Due to time and financial constraints, you may find that you may be the only one able to participate in a scuba diving trip soon after becoming certified.

Your dive buddies will more often than not be a dive crew that does at least 4 dives a day and more at night. This means that most of the time on a dive trip you will be doing nothing but diving, talking about sea creatures and encounters on each dive before suiting up for the next dive. Someone who only wants to dive once a day and then go shopping may be disappointed, as many great dive sites have few such shopping and entertainment facilities.

In case you’re already getting stressed just thinking about it, don’t be. Every new diver goes through this. Just have a newbie’s attitude, be humble and you’ll find that seasoned divers are more than happy to share tips and may even help you prepare before the dive.

Willingness to learn from someone younger than you

Your dive instructor will likely be someone much younger than you. Some dive instructors have an attitude and are cocky, so you may have to live with it for at least 3 weekends before you get certified – 1st weekend for instruction and theory, 2nd weekend for pool sessions and 3rd weekend for actual open water tests. Put your ego aside and just put up with it, it will be worth it in the end.

However, this does not mean that there are no good and kind diving instructors around. I was lucky enough to receive diving instruction from PC, a very kind and patient man, without whom my diving learning would not have been so smooth and enjoyable.

Relatively good health

It is not necessary to be in top condition before diving. However, you would need some strength to walk in full scuba gear. Once you enter the waters with all your gear, you are almost weightless. But the very few steps you have to take to get into the boat or cross the beach into the water can be a challenge for a person who is not used to carrying heavy loads on them.

However, some dive centers have fantastic dive staff who can help you get through this by bringing tanks and gear to the boat for you to fit into the boat. And of course, if you are live-a-board (live, eat, dive, sleep, on board the boat for the duration of the dive trip) then this may not be relevant.

Time and money

These are probably the 2 most important factors that determine whether someone will continue to enjoy diving after completing the open water tests. Getting certified through a scuba diving course is very quick, basically just 3 weekends. And not too expensive, probably about $300 to $400, including a diving trip outside the country for open water tests. But if you don’t live near a diving area, you will most likely have to travel far or even from the country to get good diving.

Now just think how much each trip will cost you and multiply that by how many times you would like to dive in a year. When you do the sums, it can be overwhelming. So you reduce the number of dives you want to do in a year and then count and reduce more.

In our diving course, my husband and I were the only ones who continued diving after the course. Even then, we didn’t manage as many dives in a year as we would really like to have done. So in the end it turns out that we do an average of 1 dive per year. This more or less ensures that we will always be diving as a “dive newbie” (hence the blog title). A diver becomes “rusty” when the interval between each dive is too long. Ideally, we should be diving at least once a quarter.

I didn’t even go on to calculate the other “investments” in personalizing your gear, like your own BC (buoyancy control), your own Octopus (breathing apparatus) and your wetsuit.

After all that, I still believe that it is never too old to learn and enjoy diving. Despite the limited number of dives since becoming certified and diving as novices, we enjoy every one of our dive trips. Find the right people to dive with, find a fantastic dive site that suits your preferences (whether it’s macro to see small marine life or larger fish) and a nearby spa to ease your aches and pains bodies after a dive – it’s a great combination that almost always ensures a great diving experience!

A newbie to diving can still enjoy happy diving!

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