Phone (867)633-4734, Cell (867)334-4990
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Course Pre-Requisites & Requirements
What are the pre-requisites and physical requirements to take a dive course? Contrary to what many think, you don't have to be a good swimmer to enroll in a scuba course. All we require is that the person is comfortable in the water and that person can cover a distance of 200 yards using any freestyle strokes they wish (even floating) - no set time limit. With proper training, modern equipment in good repair and by following safe dive practices, surface swimming abilities are often as much a hindrance to scuba diving as an asset.
One other main requirement to enroll in a scuba course is a completed medical form. Should the person have any concerns or certain pre-existing conditions, they may be required to have a doctor certify they are medically fit to scuba dive. This medical clearance, if required, must be completed before any water training sessions. The other paperwork includes a liability release (as a diver, you'll see these everywhere) and a 'student statement of understanding' - an agreement whereby the student acknowledges they will meet the schedules, etc. agreed to so the course can be completed in a timely matter.
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Course Description & Options
We offer many special courses, or will modify courses to meet special considerations. Our normal Open Water Diver course, for example, consists of 5 confined water sessions, 4 open water dives and six classroom sessions. Most groups, typically, attend one classroom session and one water session per week, for a total of six to seven weeks. If a group of six or more signs up for their own course, they get to arrange the schedule to meet their own desires. For example, they, as a group, might decide to meet more often to finish the course sooner.
If you have a small group or special needs, come and talk to us and we'll see what we can do to help you out. We want you to succeed!
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Course Costs & Supplies
We want to keep the costs of our courses as affordable as possible and we make sure we are as up-front about all costs as possible. There's nothing worse, for a student, than signing up and paying for a course, then finding out that there are numerous other costs required in order to finish the course. Some shops use this means so they can advertise cheaper courses, then they keep adding in charges throughout the courses, ending up with very expensive courses. The students often feel trapped in this situation and feel they have to keep paying, or lose everything. We want all students to know before they begin what the total cost for their course is so there are no surprises later.
The Open Water Diver course costs $350.00 plus the cost of the Open Water Diver manual (several choices in packages and cost). This amount can include everything else, if the diver wishes. Students, now, must purchase (or have) their own copy of the Open Water Diver manual, complete with dive tables. Every diver requires their own copy of the dive tables so they can, safely, plan their own dives after their course. Each diver should, also, have a log book so they can log all their dives (training and otherwise) and we will assist them in filling out all the training portions following their course. These supplies are all available in a 'Crew Pack' at a slight saving over individual prices - the manual is priced at $79.95 (including the dive tables) and the log book is marked at $29.95. The Crew Pack, at $125.00 (includes the new electronic dive tables) not only saves the student a bit, but also includes some free decals - a slight bargain. You get to keep your own manual, of course, as it is handy for future reference and for refreshing your memory each year - like a refresher course prior to heading out diving for the new year.
The only other potential costs for the course may be for personal equipment. Many divers choose to purchase their own mask, snorkel and fins. Anyone interested in continuing diving, or even snorkelling, will need their own mask, snorkel and fins as these items are seldom rented out at dive shops or resorts and, if available, are, usually, very expensive and of questionable quality. Most students, also, feel much better doing the various exercises throughout the course if they are using their own personal equipment. Some students choose to borrow these from a friend or from us. The costs for these items, should you choose to purchase them from us, will run from about $150 to $250 for top-of-the-line models. We supply all the suits, regulators, B.C.D.'s, air cylinders, hoods, mitts, boots, etc. that are required to complete the course and all the Open Water dives are also included in the course costs. We prefer students wait till near the end of their course to purchase any other items so they have a chance to learn a little more about the equipment before spending their hard-earned money.
One other cost that may be applicable is a share of the charges if a course utilizes the swimming pool, rather than using our normal outdoor location. This normally only occurs with our winter/spring courses (the surface of the lake gets a little hard during the winter months) and/or if the student prefers to use the pool. These charges are very reasonable.
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This is a tough issue to deal with, but deal with it, we must. We much prefer, and will do whatever is necessary (within reason) to ensure the individual completes the course they signed up for. There are, however, valid reasons when a refund is in order.
We prefer that course costs be paid in full when students sign up for their courses. Should something happen prior to the course beginning that precludes the individual from starting, then, of course, a full refund is in order. This also includes the inability to get a medical release signed by a doctor, if required, provided the person has not started the course. This is one of the reasons we prefer students to have all their paperwork completed prior to actually beginning their course.
Refunds during a course presents an additional problem. Classes are, normally, set up based on a certain number of students. Once the class starts, the costs of the course to us, including the costs to travel back and forth to the training site, does no change appreciably by reducing the number of students enrolled in the class as we try to keep the classes small to ensure good instructor-to-student ratios. This means, then, that some of the course costs are allotted to common costs of the class, as a whole, including paying instructors to teach the class. As general rule, if a student drops out after the classes begin, for reasons of their own, we will offer to enroll the student in a future class so they can complete their course at a later time (some additional costs may be applicable, depending on the time that has elapsed), rather than offering a cash refund. Should this be impractical, for any of various reasons, including being unable to get a medical release signed by a doctor after deferring it from the beginning of the course, we will negotiate a partial refund with the student. This refund will be, normally, quite small, for the reasons explained above. If most of the course has been completed, or if the student fails to show up for scheduled classes, there will be no refund of course costs. In this latter case, there may be additional costs to the student to finish up their course unless we can fit them in with another, already scheduled, class.
Should a student fail to complete the course they have enrolled in and decide to begin again at a later time, there may be additional costs assessed the student. For example, all the paperwork the student completed at the beginning of their original course expires after one year and must be completed again. Depending on the student's comfort level in the water during their original course, a refresher session is usually required to bring the student up to the level of the class they will be joining. It is usually better if the student, especially after a long absence, can join a new class from the beginning, refreshing not only their water skills, but also their academic knowledge. The cost of joining another class from the beginning will be reduced somewhat from the full cost of the course, depending on circumstances.
The costs of books, crew packs, CDRom packs, etc. are not refundable, once opened (defective items will be replaced or repaired, as applicable). These materials, once purchased, may be retained by the student for future use and reference. Other goods purchased (mask, snorkel, fins, etc.) are also non-refundable, but may be purchased back by us for use as rental equipment or may be sold on consignment to other students, if you prefer (usually a preferable option).
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Private & Special Courses
We often get people who want their own private course. There is, of course, an extra cost for this type of course and we work closely with the individual(s) to set up the schedule that meets their requirements at a reasonable cost. There are several options for a course such as this, including home study using a CD ROM version of the course. This cuts the classroom time down to 2 or 3 sessions, allowing more time to be spent in the water mastering the new skills required to be a comfortable scuba diver.
Another option is to organize your own course with your own friends or acquaintances - the costs to each participant depends on the total number of people who enroll in the course. We consider 5 persons to be a full course and the costs per participant will be decided accordingly.
Come and meet with us to discuss a custom or your own version of the Open Water Diver course. All the skills and requirements must be met to be certified - we try to make the course fit your schedule and demands.
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