Scuba Certification Guide
Here is your opportunity to learn a skill and possibly develop a lifelong hobby. To aid you in your preparations, we would like to go over some programmatic and physical aspects of the week you will spend with us this season.
Before your arrival, your leader will need to send us the following 4 forms for your entire crew. BSA Health and Medical Record, RSTC medical statement, PADI Statement of Understanding, PADI Liability Release form. The RSTC medical statement should be reviewed thoroughly by participants, their parents/legal guardian and physician. The parent/ legal guardian must sign the PADI medical and the Sea Base medical. This is important because our hyperbaric physician reviews all of your medicals; we need time to have the doctor review them and notify you of any problems. To help avoid disappointment, please review the “Medical constraints for scuba diving.” You and your physician should review these constraints. If you have any questions, you or your physician should contact the Sea Base Scuba Commissioner or Program Director. We must receive these by January 1 for spring crews, March 1 for summer crews and October 1 for fall and winter crews. In addition to the forms listed above you will also receive your PADI Open Water Diver Manual. To assure your completion of the class, you must read the entire PADI Open Water Diver Manual and complete the Knowledge Reviews at the end of each chapter, prior to arrival at Sea Base.
When you arrive at Sea Base, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., you will be greeted by a member of the Scuba Staff who will lead you through an orientation of the Base and show you to your dormitory. Your crew will then change into swimsuits for your swim review. After this, you will be issued the dive equipment that you will be using all week for your Certification Adventure - mask, fins, snorkel, regulator, BCD, weight belt, weights, etc. If you own any or all of these pieces of equipment, you are welcome to bring them and use them. All personal equipment is subject to a safety inspection by, and approval of, the Scuba Commissioner. You will also have the option to have our Sea Base photographer take your crew’s photo. Your first night you will have an opening program to discuss the itinerary in detail, and begin your class.
You will be housed in air-conditioned dormitories with bunk beds and shared bathrooms. There are hot water showers and coin operated laundry facilities available. Storage for all of your diving equipment is provided in the scuba area.
Throughout the week you will be involved in developing the skills you need to become a safe, responsible diver. Your professional Dive Instructor will be with your crew constantly and will be your crew’s mentor and guide.
You will be given the opportunity to earn certification from the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI), a world renowned and recognized agency. The course is divided into academic knowledge development (conducted in our classroom), confined-water skills development (conducted in our custom built scuba training pools), and finally four open water training dives and if time allows, up to three pleasure dives.
During the latter part of the week, after you have mastered the skills you must know to be a safe diver, you will do your open-water checkouts in the diverse eco-system of the fabulous Florida Keys, the largest living coral reef system in the continental U.S. After demonstrating your skills for the Instructor, you will have the opportunity to explore different habitats and reef structures. Your crew may explore the spur and groove formations of unmarked Shark Reef or rub the belly of the Buddha on Davis Reef. At the end of your week after cleaning and returning your gear, you will participate in your closing program with time for reflection over your week’s adventure and receive a Sea Base patch to wear on your uniform.
All Scuba participants must send in their BSA Health and Medical Record no later than January 1 for spring crews, March 1 for summer crews. October 1 for fall crews.
Schedule your medicals with your physician early. YOUR RESER VATION IS SUBJECT TO CANCELLATION IF DUE DATES ARE NOT MET. MAKE SURE YOUR “SEA BASE” CREW NUMBER IS ON ALL MEDICAL FORMS.
WHAT TO BRING FOR SCUBA ADVENTURE, CERTIFICATION, AND LIVE-ABOARD BRING
- 1 Set Field or Activity uniforms
- Several (4-5) T-shirts
- Lightweight rain gear
- Sunglasses with strap (Polarized are best)
- 16 oz of SPF 50+ sunscreen lotion (no sprays)
- 1-2 pairs of shorts
- Pants, long-sleeve shirt & light jacket (December & Spring only)
- Toiletry kit
- Wide brimmed hat
- 2 – 3 pair of Socks
- Waterproof watch for diving
- Large-mouth water bottle with plastic clip, (If you like coffee, a mug in addition is good)
- One sheet and warm blanket or a sleeping bag
- Swimsuit (modest style)
- 2 towels and a small pillow
- Walking shoes
- Insect repellant
- Prescription Medication
- Proof of age/photo ID
- Copy of Medical Insurance information
- Dive logbook and certification card (Scuba Live Aboard and Adventure)
- Open Water Diver Textbook (Scuba Cert)
- Sleeping pad (Scuba Live Aboard only)
- Padlock for crew locker (Scuba Live Aboard only)
- Two passport-sized photos (Scuba Cert)
DO NOT BRING
- MP3/iPod/video game player
- Dive Knives
- Gloves for diving
- Hawaiian style shirt (Luau)
- Camera (waterproof if possible)
- Personal snorkel/Scuba gear
- Extra money ($100-$125
- Bonine® (for seasickness)
- (crew photo - $6 per copy)
- Rash Guard
- Make sure you can successfully pass the BSA swim test.
- Make sure your name is on the crew roster your leader is going to send us.
- Don’t forget to bring a photocopy of the front and back of your insurance card.
- Wetsuits are available for rent for $35 per week.
Most of the items on the “what to bring list” are carried in our Ship’s Store with the exception of watches, shoes, socks, and sleeping gear. About $100 to $125 is adequate spending money unless you want to buy a lot of souvenirs.
BEING PHYSICALLY FIT
Every participant in the Florida Sea Base High Adventure program needs to be physically fit for the strenuous demands that will be placed on their body. The Sea Base programs are PHYSICALLY CHALLENGING. Get in shape! Stay in shape! You will be in the water a great deal, so go swimming with your crew at your local pool often. Do some light exercises to increase your stamina. You will be frequently lifting your body in and out of the water to boats and docks. You have dedicated a lot of your personal time and resources to come to Sea Base. Get the most out of your experience by being ready - physically and mentally. All participants must be in good health evidenced by a BSA Health and Medical Record filled out and signed by your doctor within the past 12 months. The unique tropical environment has very different requirement from most Scouting and outdoor activities. All participants should note the suggested weight to height guidelines, which are listed in the BSA Health and Medical Record. All programs involve snorkeling and entering and exiting a vessel via ladders rated to only 295 pounds. People weighing 295 pounds or over are not allowed to participate in Sea Base High Adventure. Participants not meeting this requirement will be sent home at their own expense.
Parents: Do not send mail. Sea Base offers programs to hundreds of Scouts on the sea, on the land, and on the island. We will not deliver mail from home to Scouts unless it is mail of urgency, i.e. glasses, medicine, etc., left at home.