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  1. #1

    Default CSA - Private Diving

    Forgive me if this has already been asked as I scoured the main boards as well as the "All Things Scuba" thread this weekend and couldn't find anything recent.

    Does anyone know how much or what the options are for a private scuba dive at Couples Swept Away? My husband and I are visiting for the first time in late May and are currently enrolled to get our scuba open water certification prior to our trip.

    After reading several posts on here it seems like there is a good chance that advanced level divers will be on the included scheduled dives. Since our first "real" dive will be on this trip I was thinking it might be nice to pay to go out on a private dive just so we get more "one on one" time with an instructor. Our certification dives will be in a very protected rock quarry so I have a feeling going in the ocean will be different. I didn't want to be the panicked and anxious ridden new diver in a group of pro's.

    Any insights are greatly appreciated.

  2. #2


    I too got my Cert. in a quarry. Diving in Negril is actually a lot easier as the visibility is 10x as good!! The afternoon dive is the shallower of the two dives for the day. At Swept Away, just go up to the divemaster on the trip, tell him what your concerns are, and he'll have you right next him. All the dive guys are great and have a ton of experience. Also, the 46' Newton dive boat is state of the art!! Easy in and out of the water. We dove one morning in 85', and from the boat you could see the bottom. It's CLEAR!! Another option for assurance, is to take the optional pool refresher dive, just to feel comfortable in the dive gear. Tell the dive guys, "Barry White" says hello. You'rer are going to love it!!!

  3. #3


    I suspect if you told the dive master that you are newly certified he would keep an eye on you. One thing to consider is the introductory dive course (included). You would sit through a ~2.5 hour class (all review for you as a certified diver) then a 1/2 hour 30 foot dive. This would be in a smaller group, allow some closer attention and let you get in a short dive prior to the regular dives...and it's free.

  4. #4


    Thanks for the information, sounds like the 30' intro dive might be worth looking into. Just not sure if I want to spend 2.5 hours on the class when I'm devoting several weekends to it now.

    Either way, we're super excited to experience Jamaica/CSA!

  5. #5


    Remember, we've all been there! Generally, experienced divers will try to make you feel calm and welcome. The dive team at CSA is excellent, as others have said clue them in on your concerns and they'll give you whatever support you need. If it's been more than a few months since our gear has gotten to wet, my wife and I head over to the pool ourselves to make sure everything checks out. That's another option rather than the resort course.

    If you're there the last week of May or the first week of June we will no doubt be joining you on the boat, I'm the chunky old guy with the beard...I dive most days.

  6. #6


    Micanopy - we'll be there 5/20-5/28 and I have no doubts my husband will be diving most days. Besides the initial anxiety I'm nervous about sinus problems I've had since birth but if I can get past any possible ear pain then I should be with him a lot. Maybe not on the early morning deeper dives but who knows. That's a great tip about the pool for practice! We'll be the obvious new divers (him in neon yellow and me in pink/black gear).

    And I think I'm just nervous of getting lost or behind the group or going through a really tight place and getting anxious then not breathing properly. I'm not really claustrophobic but I've never dived either. I should probably stop watching Youtube videos and let the situation flow.

  7. #7


    I am not a certified diver, I did the resort training class, and then when we were ready to dive, a certified diver joined the group for the shallow dive. He did not have to do the class, but still got to do the shallow dive. Another possible option to ask the dive master about

  8. #8


    We get in the morning of 5/21 and I'll probably start diving Sunday afternoon. I'm sure I'll see you around. It takes my wife a few days to get into the vacation groove so she just waves me off the first few days.

    I don't teach anymore but I was a PADI Master Instructor...take my advice, stop watching scary videos! �� While the morning dives tend to go to deeper sites, only a few require Advanced Open Water certification. And those only tend to be dove if everyone is AOS or can be split into separate groups. So no worries there. Likewise there is very little current at the majority of sites, and as its a vacation none of us are in a hurry to get any where...unless you choose to head off on your own, the group stays pretty much together.

    Ear issues are the most common reason for dives to be aborted. I'll repeat what you've probably heard 100 times, clear your ears early and often. Remember that the largest pressure differential you experience is at the beginning of the dive, start clearing in the first 3 feet of water and keep it up. Take your time. Lecture mode off!!

    There are a few dive sites with swim through cracks, all very wide with no chance of getting stuck or lost. Everyone of them can be swum over or around; which I usually do because I find the fish and coral on the outside to be more interesting than the dead coral rock inside.

    Have fun and relax, after 35 years of diving any day wet is better than any day dry. Please look for me if I happen not to notice you.

  9. #9


    That's what I was worried about with the ear pressure. I fly a lot for work and am pretty good at clearing my ears but I've had a few landings that felt like I was being stabbed over and over and over again. That's what I'm afraid of. But I assume that if I do get certified and I jump in and I experience that type of problem that I can head back up to the boat without interrupting everyone else's trip? Hopefully that's the case.

  10. #10


    Play... I've seen guys head up with the divemaster while everyone else rests on the bottom. Once on the boat, the divemaster returns and the dive continues. No harm... no foul! Hey, as Mica said, we've all been there. Everyone on the boat with you had at one time, their first dive.

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