Caribbean – In a word !
The Caribbean offers some of the best scuba diving on the planet. And more so for the absolute beginner or newly certified (licensed).
The reasons for this are numerous
Dive Culture :
If like me you learned to dive in the Caribbean then dived say in the Red Sea, you will notice the rush and hustle of diving in the red sea. The caribbean runs on time for diving don’t get me wrong but its not the culture that is so busy that means you need to ‘rush to wait’ due to the sheer numbers of divers.
Easy Boat Rides :
Pick your island to take advantage of this one but on the whole the dive sites are not far away. Especially easy are the dive sites of Utila and Roatan or Bonaire with many dives from the shore.
Dive Resorts :
The Caribbean has Scuba Diver Resorts especially designed for ease and well that diver feeling. Here you will learn a lot and meet other divers. Visit Caribbean Diving Resorts to start your search.
Warm waters :
You don’t start to notice so much the cold until you start to get better at diving which makes the Caribbean ideal for the intermediate diver. You would start to notice cold water and as an intermediate you might still be renting gear including wetsuits that can get thinner as they do older and thus colder. See tips at the end.
The visibility of the waters surrounding all the islands is consistent and good to excellent..
You can find some interesting currents and amazing drift diving but even then those islands known for this like Tobago will also equally have tranquil ‘still’ reefs that are great for beginners. You might wonder why you need fins.
PADI Dive Shops : Ensuring the high standards you would expect from an American organization through staff instructors and divemasters to equipment and quality of air, you can be sure to be safe on your dive. With a system that means that even though you are not aware of it you are well covered under the water. Divemaster know who is on the boat and at what level. You are surrounded by PADI diving angels !
Ideal variations in depth and bottom allow the beginner to stay shallow and under control. As you advance you can get further out into wreck diving and wall diving as you advance into well the Advanced PADI course.
After the Dive : Not least is that after great diving you are never far from a relaxing beach or vibrant social village or town. Great bars and restaurants that are mostly open to the calm elements allow you to reflect on the amazing dives you had that day as the sun sets. The evening begins and the rum begins to flow but not to bed too late ! It’s a diving day tomorrow.
To help you get even more of an idea the I suggest you head over to the following website to learn more http://caribbean-diving.com
Tips for those beginning scuba diving.
Get your own wetsuit, make sure it fits you and for general Caribbean you might get away with a top 3mm shortie in the hotter months (dry seasons) but for the wetter months you might like a full 3mm to 5mm suit. Everyone is different so if you like try having a 5mm long with 3mm in the arms and a shortie or vest for a range of options. Do ask your dive shop for advice but if you do buy your own don’t go if you don’t have time to really try it on, it needs to be a good fit but NOT too tight.
As a beginner it can be nice to get a mask and fins as well – they can be affordable and allow you to get some top class snorkeling in which will help your confidence in the water. Having ill fitting fins can be irritating.
Until you get 30 dives under your belt don’t invest in other gear unless you have the money spare as you won’t know what you need. Don’t become the guy on the boat with all the gear and no idea.