With the warm weather and the pool opening soon, I’ve been thinking back to the diving experience Amanda had at the travel show. I thought our post lacked some specifics, so we got in contact with David Bone at the Atlantic Edge Dive Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I, like many of you, love the idea of diving have no idea as to the cost of what looks like an expensive hobby.
I looked into flying lessons a while back and was astonished by the price of learning and licensing, so when David explained the basic cost at his shop at least was fewer than $500 it really piqued my interest.
The road to certification comes in three parts, a classroom session, a pool session and four open-water training dives. Atlantic Edge Dive Center combines the classroom and pool into a one-day class. He said all you need is a bathing suit and the $295 fee includes all of your books and gear for the day.
When you are finished your class work and pool dive you get a referral to take four open water dives. Atlantic Edge refers divers to locations here in Maryland or in a more exotic climate, but the price of the dives in the alternate locations can’t be guaranteed to be the $175 Atlantic Edge charges for staying local. The price includes everything except the “personal gear”, the gear you’ll keep with you as you start your new hobby: masks, fins, snorkel and booties.
You can decide how much gear you want to buy, but things can add up. A good mask can range between $60 and $100. Add $30 for the snorkel and another $100 to $300 for the booties and fins. David assured me you don’t have to by everything; most destinations where you’ll want to dive (e.g. the Caribbean) will have all of that gear built in to the cost or provide it for a small fee.
The overall cost of dives will vary by location. One key factor affecting the price is fuel, which will vary based on the distance you need to travel over water to the reef or dive location. If you’re going on a vacation to dive plan your lodging, transportation and dive boat as far ahead of time as you can.
As I’ve been writing this post I’m more and more convinced that getting certified is something we should do soon. Hey, does anyone know if there’s good diving in Tanzania?