I finally got my Open Water Scuba Diving Certification! Woooooo!
Ever since I was a kid I’ve wanted to scuba dive, relying on your own air is so restrictive, but at the time I was too young, then it turned into being too broke, too busy, whatever. A couple months ago I found a coupon for Living Social to get the Open Water IANTD Scuba Diving Certification from NISD here in Beirut for 50% off so I snatched it right up. I got started as soon as I got back from Jordan and 1 class, 6 dives, and 1 test later I finally have my card!
NISD is at the Beirut Marina right next to Zaitunay Bay.
I think it was definitely way better getting it done here; it’s so much more practical than the certification programs I was looking at back in the US. Those included a bunch of classroom hours and pool time before actually making it into the water. For the program I did here I spent a couple hours watching some videos about diving before making my first skills dive in the sea instead of a pool. Practical instruction for assembling and caring for gear are done at the dive center with your gear so you can practice while you learn, and then underwater skills are taught and learned underwater before a quick swim around if the instructor thinks you’re ready. Fortunately I was with a pretty competent group so our instructor took us around for a while before leaving the water.
After the skills dive, I did 5 more dives over the course of the next 4 weeks and then yesterday headed over to the dive shop to take my test and get my card. I’m glad I finally got this out of the way! Now I don’t have to worry about being allowed to dive at any cool places I visit and can start thinking about getting my certification of Advanced (30 meters) and Deep (40 meters) Diving, since Open Water is only for 20 meters.
The launch site.
Lebanon is not the most exciting place in the world to dive though, the underwater landscape is pretty dull, no corals or anything, and a lot of the really cool shipwrecks and stuff are pretty deep – way too deep for Open Water. However, I got to see some cool animals and all the people at NISD are really friendly and cool so it was a great experience nonetheless.
Octopus under a rock.
Sunset over the Marina.