Scuba Diving

LIFELONG LEARNING

Make time for continuing education while you eat, sleep, dive, repeat

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There’s a mispercept­ion among some newbies that liveaboard­s are for advanced divers.

Sure, when I think back on my 2016 Cocos adventure (“Shark Diving Cocos Island, Costa Rica,” scubadivin­g.com), I’m reminded that I was frequently diving at the limits of my training and ability—and loving every minute of it.

But while Cocos can for sure stretch your skills as a diver, liveaboard­s are the perfect setting for continuing education of all kinds.

When I did my Advanced Open Water Diver course on Cayman Aggressor IV years ago, I was surprised to find big burly guys not much more experience­d than I having a ball doing their Wreck Diver Specialty certs in completion of their Master Scuba Diver rating. (I tagged along on a Cayman Brac dive on the magnificen­t M/V Captain Keith Tibbetts and was bitten by the wreck bug then and there.)

Last year in the Red Sea, I was on a boat full of new divers (“Egyptian Treasures: Uncovering the Wonders of the Red Sea and the Nile,” scubadivin­g.com) eagerly signing up for every class they could take, from Peak Performanc­e Buoyancy to Night Diver to Enriched Air Diver. (You can hardly get on a liveaboard where Enriched Air Diver is not being taught— beat the rush and get yours before you go.)

Why are liveaboard­s so good for this? First, you’re a captive audience—and so is your instructor. You’re going to get personal time like nowhere else, and you’ll also get to know the boat staff in deeper and different ways than you otherwise might. Class time also is flexible and personaliz­ed, with comparativ­ely few students—often one—in any given specialty, so you and your instructor call the shots.

And while it can seem like you’re taking away precious time in the water, a little bit of structure to those eat-sleep-dive-repeat days makes the rest of your time all the sweeter.

 ??  ?? Certs are on the rise this summer in unexpected places—Oklahoma, anyone? We give you the skinny on the Sooner State on page 94; at new features will help you find out where to dive, wherever you are.
Certs are on the rise this summer in unexpected places—Oklahoma, anyone? We give you the skinny on the Sooner State on page 94; at new features will help you find out where to dive, wherever you are.
 ??  ?? scubadivin­g.com,
scubadivin­g.com,
 ??  ?? MARY FRANCES EMMONS joined Sport Diver in 2009 and Scuba Diving in 2012, serving as features, senior and deputy editor. A diver since 2006, she was named editor-in-chief in 2018.
MARY FRANCES EMMONS joined Sport Diver in 2009 and Scuba Diving in 2012, serving as features, senior and deputy editor. A diver since 2006, she was named editor-in-chief in 2018.

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