What are some good places for diving off of the beach?
I want to dive a lot when I move to STT but I will not have a boat.
Do dive companies offer discounts for locals?
Secret harbour has some awesome shore diving. I learned to dive with aqua action divers who are located there but it was 5 years ago and they have new owners. I did check out their website and found the prices are increased significantly lately. They did used to offer local discounts but not sure about now.
Greg: When you get here and get enrolled, go over to the Marine Science Center at UVI and see if you can get involved. They have a dive boat and program, go out frequently. Some of the local companies do have local discounts, too. Coki is probably the most famous beach dive beach.
I'm curious about this, too. I don't dive (yet) but want to learn when I move down there.
Diving is pretty simple.
A) Always remember to breath - slowly, but consistently. Never try to go up while holding your breath - this will cause your lungs to explode due to the differences in pressure. Remember - water is much more dense than air and will have a much stronger effect upon your body concerning pressure at depths.
B) Watch your dive tables. Every 33 feet is one atmosphere of pressure. So at sea level you have one atmosphere and at 33 you have two, 66 three, etc. It puts more soluble (ie. your blood) nitrogen into you. If you come up too quickly the nitrogen will leave your blood and turn into a gas, giving you the bends, which can potentially kill you.
C) Be aware of your surroundings. Most of the time this is not a problem, but on dives like wrecks or caves, you can get into a dangerous situation.
D) On deep dives (I would say 90' plus - but I have not taken a course in 27 years) you can get what is called "nitrogen narcosis" which is due to the saturation of nitrogen in your blood. This causes euphoric conditions, which is not-so-good for diving. Follow your dive tables wait times at certain intervals to go to the surface as quickly as you can.
E) Watch diving times and flying. These two are a very bad combination as you can dive two or three dives in a day, and then end up flying at 30,000 feet to go home. Again, this applies to the nitrogen content of blood vs. atmosphere pressure problem.
Dive, man, it is so much fun!
To add to your list:
And get Certified!
Don't dive unless you have gotten certified!
I noticed that my honey who also took his course about that long ago isn't familiar with some of the new rules, hand signals, etc. His son starts lessons tomorrow with Homer @ Hull Bay. I am encouraging him to dive with them so he can get a small update!
P2niak, what nOone is saying is true however, he seemed to draw a scary picture about diving. Dive with a partner, have a dive plan, breath and watch your computer. Dive tables are about as obsolete as the sextent, yes they are both still used. Dive compueters are widely used, never have seen a dive master without one. The dive tables are used more for surface interval time, or the time between dives. Get certified, be safe, and you will absolutely love diving. (tu)