Hi all! By now a lot of you know, I will be moving to STT on Sept 30th. My roommate and I are interested in taking scuba diving lessons. Any ideas of where to go for lessons? Recommendations are appreciated! Also, anyone else want to join us?
Coki Beach Dive Club has the best rates for the Discover SCUBA program, and then they put that towards your Open Water Certification (which they also have the best rates on for locals). www.cokidive.com Peter and Laura are great people, the instructors are excellent, and Coki is a wonderful place to learn cuz the water is perfect!!
The number one dive operator in St Thomas is Chris Sawyer- http://sawyerdive.vi/. You will have to prove your "localness"- usually with WAPA bill, lease or driver's license. Chris has been in business for 20+ years, has many loyal, long term employees and many loyal, long term customers.
I second Chris Sawyer who has a longtime excellent reputation and basically runs a very tight ship. Unfortunately I've never actually met him but island life takes many twists and turns. Many of his employees have been regular customers of mine over the years and there's always the possibility that he's been here and I should know him.
But when you reach my age, I confess that names and faces DO sometimes get a bit blurred.
But Sawyer for sure!
Chris Sawyer is the place to go!
Chris and his crew are all exellent instructors, very fun, and highly (over) trained. His boats are comfortable, reliable and spacious and the equipment is very well maintained.
I did my Open Water, Advanced Open Water, CPR/EMS/AED, Rescue Diver, and Dive Master certifications with them and loved every minute of it (except for all the hard work... 🙂
Blue Island Divers are all good, operating out of Crown Bay but cater to more advanced divers (they do offer basic certs but I feel Sawyer is better for those). Once you're certified BID can take you to some really amazing wreck dives.
Have fun and be safe!
I would highly recommend David who is, I believe, the 2nd in charge, at Chris Sawyer. He has been with Chris for many years and is a smiling, kind, gentle man, and an excellent teacher. His lovely wife Tiffany and their baby daughter, complete their beautiful family.
I also am moving hopefully after this weekend (should have been there a week or so ago) but still finalizing selling my car. Once that is done I am gone.
Definite interest in going scuba diving, getting certified, etc.
-Jen- are you trying to start pretty soon after you get down there, or wait a few months?
I second Coki Beach Dive Club. As Marty said the rates can not be beat. I got certified there in April and it only took 4 days to complete the Open Water Certification at only $129. I believe the price is closer to $160 now, but it still can't be beat anywhere on island.
For anyone arriving here before season hits, Chris Sawyer offers an excellent local discount during low season and I believe even offers a local discount in high season.
Hey! I just arrived on island yesterday....I am hoping to start scuba diving soon....
As a local who has been diving with both companies, what has been said about them is all true, however, the original question was regarding lessions to become certified, which both companies DO, but Coki does it for less money...hence their motto: "More Bubbles for Your Bucks" Jen, call Coki to get Certified.
consider it done! thanks, everyone. I will most likely be doing that within the next month or two.
And sometimes the cheapest thing isn't the best, Marty! 😉 Chris has a fantastic safety record. If one has the least trepidation about diving and safety, Chris Sawyer is an excellent choice.
And I second that, East Ender!
Love ya Marty!
C'mon, guys! This isn't a pi**ing contest about which is better! I like them both! Didn't you read my last post?!? Haha! But Coki does MORE PADI Open Water Certs than Chris does, AND they are cheaper! What's the deal? And you get to do it at Coki Beach, which is an awesome place to learn...lots of fish and coral to see. If cost isn't the issue, why not do it at the YMCA at home for $700 and be ready when you get here? Oh? Because you want to do it in the Caribbean? Where ya get to SEE stuff when you're doing it? Hmm, then maybe we should do it where you get to see the MOST?!? That's why I recommended Coki...that and cost. If Jen expressed an interest in diving shipwrecks after becoming certified, then Chris is who I would have recommended. I'm NOT biased here! haha! I'm only trying to help out Jen here!
Regardinng safety, stats for both can be found at PADI.com, and they are BOTH excellent! Couldn't ask for better!
EITHER way you go, Jen, youo're gonna fall in LOVE with diving here in the Caribbean!
(EE and STT: I still love both of ya, too!)
Marty: Some people who are excellent swimmers and have a good understanding already of the basic concepts of diving can get certified anywhere. I know a guy who was given the book and then taken out for his open water. However, many others have issues about learning to dive- poor swimming skills, fear of the water, claustrophobia, etc. For these folks, a structured program with confined water training (that is, in a swimming pool) is very important.Most of these divers don't SEE anything during their training, they have to concentrate of that simple rule, "BREATHE!" Okay, I am speaking from personal experience. I didn't see a thing for many dives! That is all I am talking about, okay??
I am a good swimmer...
and this post is supposed to be about ME! when did it become about everyone else???
Just kidding 🙂
As a PADI Open Water Diver myself, I am well aware of what you speak, EE. And if PADI recommends them, then they must be doing something right! And both CS and Coki fit that bill, so, caveat emptor, either is going to be great!
Check into underwater cameraat home. We've got 'em here, but you may find them cheaper in America. Nothing like having pics of your very first dive! Have fun!
Ya- Marty you just reminded me! I have an underwater camera from over a year ago when my ex boy and I took a cruise to the Bahamas. I forgot about that! There's still about 10 pics left. It was in one of the boxes I moved over to my parents' house when I left my apartment in Orlando. I don't really want those pics, but it will come in handy for my first dive! hahaha
So, almost a year later, I finally got certified! haha Just wanted to post a follow up on this message and a recommendation of Admiralty Dive Center inside the Holiday Inn Windward Passage.
They were so professional and thorough. Our rate was $225 and it was 4 intense and very fun days.
Congratulations. You will have many hours of fun.
i did my PMV for STX last april and will be moving down there from florida as soon as my property sells. the first thing i did when i got back to florida was my open water, then went and got my advanced & nitrox right away while everything was fresh in my mind. i'm happy i did that.
Congratulations, Jen! Do you get the chance to dive often?
Congrats, Jen. Have you been on many dives yet with Admiralty?
I've been on a dozen or so dives out of Chris Sawyer's shop. The people there are outstanding and it's a first-rate operation. That said, they tend to dive the same sites over and over again. The afternoon dive is invariably to "Squidville" off Grass Cay or thereabouts. It's where they take their Discovering Scuba students. To get any variety, you have to go on the morning dive which is a 2-tank dive and, therefore, more expensive. Even then, all my dives have been to Cow Rock, Stragglers off St James, and the Ledges of Little St James. These are very cool places but, with so many dive sites around, I want to see new spots! What are some of the sites that Admiralty dives?
Admiralty has over 100 sites where they dive. I have only done my first 4 dives for certification, but plan on many more with them. They have a great local rate too and also have night dives.