Scuba diving is an enjoyable sport, suitable for the entire family. Scuba diving opens up an entirely new world; a fascinating underwater world full of exciting and mysterious creatures. Children as young as ten years of age can start learning to scuba dive, and as long as you are in good physical condition, you are never too old. When first learning to scuba dive, it is best to take a class for beginners, to see if you even like it. Make sure the course you sign up for is accredited, because while scuba diving is actually quite safe, it is dangerous if not done properly. Check that the school is affiliated with a recognized scuba association like PADI, so that you can be assured that you are learning everything properly. Once you have learned the basics of scuba diving in a swimming pool, you can move into open water. This is where diving gets exciting. There are all kinds of things to see and places to go when open water diving. Diving in tropical waters is extremely popular because of all of the beautiful, brightly creatures you can see, and the warm waters mean that you don’t have to wear a thick wetsuit. Some waters are warm enough that you can go diving without a wetsuit at all! The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most popular diving destinations in the world; the beautiful reefs are full of interesting creatures, and the water is warm with good visibility. Fiji is another popular tropical diving spot, and the water gets so warm there that it is often possible to dive without a wetsuit. Diving in cold waters is a completely different experience. Instead of a wetsuit, and dry suit is often necessary. Where a wetsuit traps water and uses your body to heat the water between your body and the neoprene of the suit, a dry suit is sealed and keeps your body completely dry. Depending on the temperature of the water, it is often desirable to wear woolen long underwear under the dry suit for added warmth. Cold water diving is also different because the waters are not as full of creatures as tropical waters are – the creatures are less abundant, and not brightly colored like the fish of warm waters. Cold freshwater is great for diving in shipwrecks, as the cold water keeps the boats better preserved than warm water does. Canada has some excellent locations for shipwreck diving. Another country with excellent cold water diving is Iceland – in Reykjavik it is actually possible to dive where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet. Scuba diving is an amazing sport that can take you all over the world. It is definitely worth a try – if you like it, you never know where it might lead you!
Daniel Blinman is writing on behalf of Scubaskool, who offer scuba diving courses and scuba internships