View Full Version : Discover Scuba course

11-05-2012, 12:33 PM
We are not certified yet. Tried to last year, bad shop, long story. Anyway, we'd like to do another Discover Scuba course while we're in Bonaire. I saw one somewhere online for $75. Is that the going rate? If so, it's much cheaper than other islands. Any rec's on which dive shop to go with? Or is the course only offered by a few shops? Thanks!

11-05-2012, 12:54 PM
DJD -- any worthwhile scuba shop can do a Discover Scuba for you. I highly recommend Bas Noij at VIP Diving www.VIPDiving.com (http://www.VIPDiving.com); we have sent a number of folks to dive with Bas and they are always exceptionally pleased. Have a great time.

11-05-2012, 01:00 PM
DJD..Another suggestion would be Buddy Dive at Belmar. My advice would be to chose a dive operation close to where you're physically staying.

11-05-2012, 01:04 PM
Great, thank you! Very helpful info! We are staying in Belnem in a house.

11-05-2012, 01:06 PM
would also recommend Bas Noij. Only dove with him once but he's one person I would take a class with no question. Although I am sure there are lots of good instructors on Bonaire he is go to for me.

Bob T
11-06-2012, 09:11 AM
Good Morning Everybody! We have used the dive shop at Divi Flamingo for 12 years now and they have a great program there. Ask Serge at the shop and he can help you out.

11-26-2012, 12:01 AM
I will also give Bas a big second. Great guy, great experienced diver, and he also has a tremendous sense of humor.

11-26-2012, 10:40 PM
On Bonaire everything is close to where you are staying Vince :-)

12-14-2012, 12:19 PM
I will start by saying a while back i tought scuba i have been a diver for a little over 20 years. i feel if you are going to take enough time to do a short class and get into the water, just get certified. it does not mean that the said course is dangerous but what is says is the more you know the safer you are. and at some point you could find your role changing for the supported to the one giving support. I think they are fun and with the right folkes are safe but if you like the sport just do it.

12-14-2012, 02:35 PM
Funny you say that rjs, we did actually sign up with our local dive shop here in Gastonia. Ok, rant begins here...So last July we signed up for OW course with our dive shop here in town. We spoke with several shops to figure out who we wanted to go with. Vince wanted to do the online course but I wanted the classroom course since I thought it would be safer. After pondering on it for a couple of years we decided to go for it. In July 2011, we paid $600 for the both of us. We couldn’t get in the class that was just starting up so we were put in the next class that didn’t start until August. Our trip to Andros and Eleuthera was October 20th. Plenty of time, right? So we’d talked to this guy a couple times before and even bought a few pieces of equipment from him. He’s nice and all, kind of goofy but whatever. We were in a full class and everyone except for us had purchased the Groupon for $150. I was like WHAT?? I didn’t know about the Groupon. Anyway, classes were ok. He’s kind of condescending unless you buy his equipment. The class was informative, I thought we were getting some good info and some probably not so necessary stuff (like a clip from Sea Hunt from the 1960s). Huh? Anyway, we had our 1st class on Sept 7th, second class on the 14th and third and last class on the 27th. We made it very clear in the beginning that we were travelling on October 20th and he said he could make it work. On Saturday October 1st we were to do our confined water portion. He was very vague about where this would be taking place and now we know why. We met at the shop. It was actually VERY cold and windy for the 1st day of October. In fact, I just checked the almanac and on that day the temp only got up to 64 and got down to 32 that night with a max wind speed of 8mph. So we follow him to a hotel and they lead us outside to a small, dingy, cloudy hotel pool where 5 people are supposed to do their swim test and CW skills. He “allowed” us to use wetsuits that day, something which he never does so made us to feel he was doing us a favor. We only had shorty wetsuits. BUT we had to do the swim test first without wetsuits. All 5 of us in a tiny pool with no wetsuit, it was freezing and there was not enough room. Meanwhile, he stood on the edge of the pool in full pants and jacket checking Facebook. So we finish the swim test and somehow manage to get our dry wetsuits over our wet skin (the zipper on mine breaks so might as well not be wearing one at all) and get suited up. In the water, I notice that my regulator is “sticking”. I tell him this and he tells me to use my alt air reg which is really cheesy and blows bubbles right in my face. Then we all have trouble with buoyancy as the pool is only 5 feet deep and all of us are over 5 feet tall. Then the pool is so cloudy you can barely see your hand in front of your face. I want to be an 80/80 diver. 80 degree water, 80 feet viz. This was not fun. One of the girls was so cold that her lips turned blue. I was shaking uncontrollably. Four out of five people decided to abort. Even the instructor said he was cold in a full 7mil (older) wetsuit. The instructor (new to the shop and only did our CW and written test, owner did the classroom stuff) and owner are different people and the owner had already gone back to the shop at this point. The four of us went back to the shop to return the equipment and he said we could try again in the Huntersville Aquatics Center some time later but that he would be in FL soon for a springs trip and didn’t know when/where we could continue. At this point my husband and I were so upset and disappointed at this guy and he flat out said he didn’t want to continue. I kind of wanted to try but wasn’t sure. I just didn’t get a good feeling from him. Most of the people we had started with had dropped out because of his condescending attitude. I made sure to keep in touch with the other people I was with that day as I planned to file a complaint with SDI, which I did. I never heard back from the regional SDI rep. This caused my husband and I so much stress and caused many arguments that he said this left such a bad taste in his mouth that he didn’t even want to bother with it again. I tried to ask for some of our money back but he would not agree to it. I just gave up and tried to put the whole thing out of my mind. But the problem is, we still see his stupid van driving around town and have to pass his shop all of the time. So get this!!!! Imagine my displeasure when I realize he’s at the Bonaire airport and he's been on the same island as us and will be on the same plane with me for FOUR HOURS!!! My husband wanted to go up and tell him what a bad experience we had but I didn’t want to deal with it. I guess I should have let him. Oh well.
So now we've done 3 DSD courses (the one in Bonaire was considerabley less than the others) and paid for a full OW course that we did not get to finish. We're still going to get certified at some point but will do the online course and CW portion here and the OW portion somewhere nice and tropical with crystal clear water :D

As a side note, we did use Belmar for the discover scuba. It wasn't as fun as others we've done just because we didn't really care for the equipment, we were running out of daylight, the water was pretty cloudy and surge was kinda moving. But we really liked Daan, the instructor.

12-15-2012, 12:11 AM
DJD you have a pm.

12-15-2012, 05:09 PM
Thank you Gerald! I'm also checking out your Facebook page.