What is Involved in Learning to Dive?


Our Open Water scuba course is based on your desire to go scuba diving and have tons of scuba fun. To do this, you must get proper training so you can be qualified and certified as a good diver.

Our goal is to turn each of you into confident and capable scuba divers accepting responsibility for your own decisions and actions. To achieve that goal, we promise to work with you until you feel prepared to go diving in open water.

Becoming certified consists of three phases. These are:

  • Self study.
  • Academic review and skill development.
  • Open-water training.

Self Study

With our state-of-the-art eLearning program, you can begin the process of getting certified any hour of the day or night. (Now is as good a time as any.) Registration is free, so you can try eLearning with no obligation. If you like what you see, just stop by the store to pick up your additional learning materials and schedule your in-water training.

Academic Review and Skill Development

During your academic review sessions, your instructor will go over the information you’ve gained by working through the self-study materials. He or she will bring this information to life with first-hand examples of how divers apply this information on dive vacations and here at home. We discuss and answer questions to provide clarification and reinforcement of your new knowledge.

Be sure to bring your study questions and a pen to all classroom sessions.

Skill Development

Once you have acquired the important background information, it’s time to get in the water and start mastering fundamental scuba skills (a pool dive follows every classroom session). This takes place in our own 16-foot-deep, indoor, heated pool, under the watchful eye of your instructor. You will first see a demonstration of how each skill is done, then have the opportunity to practice until you are comfortable.

When you’ve completed your academic review and skill development training, you’ll be ready for the final and most important phase of earning your entry-level diver certification: your open-water training dives

Open Water Training

Open water training consists of five dives conducted over two days. Each of the dives consists of the opportunity to apply the skills you mastered in confined water, and to make a guided dive under the supervision of your instructor and his or her assistants. Students have several options for completing their open-water training dives:

  • From March through November, we run weekend-long checkout dive trips to the Florida Panhandle. Learn more…
  • Throughout the year, we run group dive vacations to exotic dive destinations around the globe. Most of these trips are suitable for students wishing to complete their open-water training dives.
  • Do you already have a tropical vacation planned? We can provide you with a referral package that will enable you to complete your open-water training at the destination of your choice.

For more specific information, refer to the sheet issued in class.


Skills for new open water divers include but are not limited to mask removal and clearing, regulator removal and replacement, weight system removal and replacement, air sharing ascent, emergency out-of-air ascent, safety stops, buoyancy control, diver rescue, compass navigation and snorkeling.

For the purpose of certification, new divers must use scuba equipment obtained from Harry’s Dive Shop, make all dives under the direct supervision of an instructor, go no deeper than 60 feet, have no overhead obstructions, dive in daylight hours and make no more than three dives per calendar day.

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