Florida Sea Base is anxious for your arrival and participation in the Scuba Certification program. 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 your entire crew's Sea Base Health and Medical forms and RSTC (Scuba) medicals and waivers. 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, Program Director or Diver's Alert Network. Also, please make sure ALL participants (youth and adults) complete and return the Scuba Waiver form along with the medical. We must receive these by January 1st. In addition to the medical and waiver forms, 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 5 Knowledge Reviews at the end of each chapter, prior to your arrival at the Sea Base.
When you arrive at the Sea Base, after 2:00 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 professional photographer take your crew's photo. Your first night you will have a welcome dinner and meet the staff. Afterwards, 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 laundry facilities available. You and your crew are responsible for keeping the dormitory clean. 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 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 skill dives and one pleasure dive.
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 only living coral reef system in the continental US. 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. The visibility in the summer ranges from 40 feet to over 100 feet depending on the weather and the water temperature averages about 83 degrees throughout the summer. 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 SEABASE patch to wear on your uniform.
The Florida Sea Base is the first scouting facility in the world to be designated as a S.C.E.N.E. (Scouting Centres of Excellence for Nature and the Environment). In recognition of this, all participants in our programs will be eligible to earn a S.C.E.N.E. segment for their Sea Base participant patch at no cost. We have several projects available that you have the option of participating in to improve the aquatic environment of the Florida Keys...from constructing artificial reefs to cleaning local beaches. Ask your Dive Instructor when you arrive which options are available.
After a scuba dive, you should not fly for at least 18 hours. To avoid any possibility of Decompression Sickness, your departing flight for home should be scheduled at least 18 hours after your last dive. Your last dive will be no later than 12:00 noon (your last full day).
You MUST bring your scuba textbook, dive logbook and Recreational Dive Planner. (Sea Base will send these to you).
No Dive Knives, spearguns or Hawaiian slings are allowed at the Florida Sea Base.
Scuba crews wishing to use wet suits may rent them from Sea Base upon arrival. Our rental rates are $25 per week.
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. 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.