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Reef Report for Thursday, June 30, 2011

Want to Scuba Dive on the Great Barrier Reef, but not yet a scuba diver?
A guide for snorkelers.

1. Do introductory scuba dives here: These are offered as an extra cost item on nearly every reef trip that departs from Cairns. No previous experience or instruction is required, they'll teach you everything you need to know on board. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises You'll be in a group of no more than 4 intro divers, with 1 dive instructor. Depth is limited for safety reasons to 8 meters (30 feet) and will last from 25-35 minutes of underwater time. Cost ranges from AUD$125 for one-day trip with 1 intro scuba dive up to well more than that for 4-day/3-night trips. Here's just one such trip, a 1-day budget-priced trip offered by Deep Sea Divers Den

2. Do a full dive course here. Typical courses take 4 days or longer, with the first two days being pool and classroom instruction, the third and 4th day being ocean diving, where you will make at least 4 ocean dives to complete your certification. Your certification allows you to dive to a depth of up to 18 metres (60 feet) anywhere in the world. Costs for dive courses start at around AUD$440. Here's just one course, a budget priced dive course offered by Cairns Dive Centre.

3. Do your full dive course at home: If you do an open water dive course there at home you can come here and do any dive trip you want as a certified diver, to the limit of your certification, which is typically 18 meters (60 feet). Then you can do any dive trip you want, here’s where you can search through a comprehensive database of every dive trip to the Great Barrier Reef.

4. Do your pool/classroom learning at home, complete the dive course here. This is called a Referral Dive Course. Doing things this way usually does not save you money, but it saves you from having to spend two days of your holiday in a pool/classroom situation. When you complete you pool and classroom instruction there you'll be issued a certificate showing you've completed that part of the course. You bring the certificate with you, take the Australian Dive Medical here in Cairns (cost around AUD$60) and then do your two or more days of diving, and if you complete you ocean diving you will be a certified diver. Cost starts at around AUD$375 for the ocean diving portion of the course, with many different courses to choose from. Here's just one sample, a 3-day dive course offered through Pro Dive Cairns .

As far as health and medical issues go, you do need to be in good health, and certain health issues mean that you would not be able to dive here in Australia. If you are planning to do introductory scuba diving you’ll be asked to complete a health history form and based on the form you will/will not be allowed to dive. Newly relaxed rules only require dive medicals for older and very overweight dive candidates.

While we’ve tried to cover all the various ways you can scuba dive here, there’s lots of variations, and your situation is likely different, please email us at info@divethereef.com with any questions you have, glad to see how we can get you diving down under!

(C) DiveTheReef The weekly reef report is written by Joel Groberg of DiveTheReef.com, who compiles them from the many conversations he has with dive staff in the area, as well as  many other local sources in the dive community.

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