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US ARMY 2d ID VETERAN
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Ordinarily I would have to agree with you, But Not after watching "When Sharks Attack" on Shark Week (ch 197 on DISH). I think I'll just stay in the boat and leave it to you brave souls.
 

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Ordinarily I would have to agree with you, But Not after watching "When Sharks Attack" on Shark Week (ch 197 on DISH). I think I'll just stay in the boat and leave it to you brave souls.
So you never said, "here watch this"?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oh it's fun the danger is the exciting part; still much more likely to get hurt on the drive down. This morning at breakfast he was asking me to give him scenarios so he could work through the dive profiles.

The most difficult part will be finding places to dive since he can only dive in 40 feet for the next 6 months and then only 60 feet for the following 2 years.

I'm thinking I'll be spending a bunch of time in Crystal River.

Sitting here looking at my old Dacor Chameleon BC and regs wondering if I can nurse another 5 years out of it so my son can get new gear LOL.
 

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Oh it's fun the danger is the exciting part; still much more likely to get hurt on the drive down. This morning at breakfast he was asking me to give him scenarios so he could work through the dive profiles.

The most difficult part will be finding places to dive since he can only dive in 40 feet for the next 6 months and then only 60 feet for the following 2 years.

I'm thinking I'll be spending a bunch of time in Crystal River.

Sitting here looking at my old Dacor Chameleon BC and regs wondering if I can nurse another 5 years out of it so my son can get new gear LOL.
Who said he can only dive those depths? A book? A dive card? An instructor? He can dive as deep as he is able and you are comfortable, although there's nothing wrong with diving shallow water as he learns. A 70' dive is no different than a 60' dive, except for 10' and less bottom time.
 

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eating tasty
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Who said he can only dive those depths? A book? A dive card? An instructor? He can dive as deep as he is able and you are comfortable, although there's nothing wrong with diving shallow water as he learns. A 70' dive is no different than a 60' dive, except for 10' and less bottom time.


Bingo. There’s no “scuba police” or regulating agency. You know your and your own child’s capabilities, strength, and temperament. If he’s comfortable and doesn’t panic, after lots of shallow dives and scenarios you mentioned I’d gradually ease him deeper if he wants and you yourself are a strong diver and y’all dove regularly.

I got my open water cert at southern miss in 2001. My instructor was a 60 ish year old man, former navy diver, typical hard ass guy. He was proud that none of his students had never been injured. His methods were tough, about 40% of the class dropped out, but I’m thankful I had him.

A couple of things he did with us that you might try with your boy as he gets more comfortable (we did this in a 12 ft pool.) Of course warn him, but pull his mask off his face on bottom. Let him pick it up, put it back on, and clear it without panicking or coming up. This simulates losing it from a fish or any other freak accident.

Put all of his gear on bottom and have him dive into the pool and put it on underwater. Could simulate your tank falling out and having to remove and put your gear back on yourself. Always have a buddy, of course, but the calmer and more self reliant you are ultimately the safer.

The last in pool thing we did was we had to drink a coke in a bottle and eat a banana on the bottom of the pool. Just to prove our overall comfort taking the reg out, controlling breathing, etc.

Take this all with a grain of salt, I think it helped me. I love diving so much that after college I had a 5 year career doing it as a commercial diver, I’d probably still be doing that but life changes and I’m glad for my wife, kids and current job. Still try to get out and spearfish twice a year or so and can’t wait til my kids are big enough to teach.
 

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You are doing fine. Good idea on the depths. I started my son at 10 in key west. Just take it easy until he understands the physics of diving and the dangers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
There is plenty to see and learn in 40-60 feet of water to build his (and my) confidence in his ability. 20-60-100 dives into this we can start to have a different conversation but for those of us who don't live near the coast it will be a few years til we get there anyway.

And for a status update he did his pool dives 3 weeks ago. He was super nervous but did great (it helped his confidence when we had a couple of adults struggling through early skills).

I'm trying to figure out when we can fit in the open water dives. Sooo tough with his schedule and not being near the water. Peachtree Dive Center said we can come back and do pool work whenever we want to make sure he doesn't forget everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Anybody have any input on Niceville or Panama City scuba instructors?

I want to knock out the open water requirements and would prefer somebody that goes to the springs.

Heck if the Pensacola folks still drive over to the springs in the winter I'm not opposed to using one of them either.
 

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I wouldn’t count the springs as a open water dive. You need an ocean dive. Totally different.
 

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Dive pros goes to the springs and has an on sight pool. they will allow you all the time in pool as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
LOL-looks like I'm going to be taking him over to Panama City Diving. Hard to convince my wife we should drive 2X as far.

What are the water temps out there in say 50' of water? I'm hoping he doesn't get too cold. Planning to take him the weekend of 2/22 or 2/29 depending on weather.
 

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You will need a full wetsuit and a hooded vest or a hood, nothing less.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What I'm hearing is I can spend a couple hundred bucks on some new gear and give him a marginal (at best) first time in the gulf LOL.

We hit the pool last night for him to work through some of his skills again and he did well.

My wife doesn't want to go very far so if I can get him in the springs next week we will do that to finish the certification. If not I think we will just push it off until the summer.
 

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First time in gulf just rent the suit. And what you are doing with a new diver by going to springs to certify and then wait until summer is the best thing. You don't want to introduce him to. The worse conditions that soon.
 

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eating tasty
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Don’t know how big he is, but make sure the wetsuits fits correctly. It needs to be tight with no space. An ill fitting wetsuit will not keep him warm, and will be very frustrating to move and swim in.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
We ended up at the jetties in Panama City this weekend. We wore 7's (so a bunch of lead) but I didn't really feel the cold until the last dive. Surface intervals were sunny and felt really nice sitting on the picnic tables (my sunburn shows I didn't use enough sunblock).

Bryce was safe and had a blast and can't wait to go back which is the most important thing.

And he is now certified which was the next most important thing LOL.
 
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