Commercial Diving Academy's Professional SCUBA Programs - Florida's Largest Diving School

Commercial Diving Academy
8137 B North Main Street
Jacksonville, FL 32208

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Learn to Dive

Learn to Dive - Commercial Diving AcademyThree quarters of the Earth is under water. Learn to scuba dive and you'll see a part of our planet most people can't even imagine. Doing so is easy, fun and exciting ,but you still need to take it seriously. That's because scuba diving, while surprisingly safe, still has a few risks.

The critical skills you need to master are not difficult. Nevertheless, you need to know how to do them correctly, and practice them until they are second nature.

So, what does it take? Find out.

What is Involved in Learning to Scuba Dive?

Learning to dive consists of two steps: Academic learning and in-water training.
Academic learning is where you master the fundamental concepts behind diving, learn about diving equipment, and about how to plan and make actual dives.
In-water training consists of skill development and application. You first develop skills in a confined-water setting, then apply what you have learned in a series of actual open-water training dives.

The good news is that, with our modern self-study materials, you can master most of the required academic learning through self-study, either with our multimedia student kit or on-line training program. This lets you learn at your own pace, when and where its convenient.

When you are done, you spend two days at our in-water training facility, 40 Fathom Grotto. He we conduct both the skill-development and open-water training phases, thus saving time by not having to shuttle back and forth between the two.

When Can You Learn?

Learn to Dive - Commercial Diving AcademyThe short answer to this question is: Whenever you want. All you need is as little as two days for in-water training and enough time to complete the self-study assignments ahead of time.

It's important to understand why this is, though. There is a popular misconception that, the longer a course takes, the more you learn. Courses that take forever to complete, however, are generally not more comprehensive. They simply don't take advantage of available technology and, thus, waste time.

In the early days of diving, becoming certified was a process that always took weeks (if not months). In many instances, it still does. Why?

The poor quality of the training materials meant the only way you could acquire the necessary academic information was to attend hour after hour of lecture in a traditional classroom setting.

Skill development required a swimming pool. This meant you were limited to using the pool just an hour or two at a time , and only when it was available.
The final open-water training dives required separate days of travel to an often distant site, where you would most likely have to deal with crowds and might have to reschedule due to weather.

So, what has changed? A lot:

With our modern, self-study materials, you can complete most of the required academic learning when and where it is convenient for you. All you need is about eight to twelve hours. You learn at your own pace, and on your own schedule.

Where Do You Learn?

Odds are, you don't plan to limit your diving to swimming pools , so why learn in one? We train in our own freshwater spring, nestled among the hardwood forests of north-central Florida's thoroughbred racing country.

Learn to Dive - Commercial Diving SchoolComercial Diving Academy's 40 Fathom Grotto facility is located 15 miles northwest of Ocala, Florida , less than two hour's drive from Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville. Set in a hardwood forest among stately oaks, the Grotto is surrounded by rolling countryside and magnificent horse farms.

Within 15 minutes of the Grotto are numerous hotels and restaurants. It's the perfect setting for a relaxing weekend or other two-day escape to the country.

The Grotto itself is a spring-fed sinkhole containing millions of gallons of clean, fresh water. Its walls are lined with thousands of Pleistocene-era sea biscuit and sand dollar fossils, each over 30 million years old. At the bottom, you'll find artifacts ranging from antique cars to sunken wrecks. There's even an airplane. And, being inland, there are no winds, waves, rocking boats or stinging salt to distract from learning.

The Grotto's facilities include a shallow, in-water "pool" for initial skill development and numerous, suspended training platforms for open-water training dives. Topside, there's ample parking, restrooms and changing areas and decks for assembling equipment and suiting up. (We even have our own full-service dive store on site.)

Because of its "all-in-one" features, the Grotto helps students make better use of time that might normally be spent shuttling back and forth between separate classroom, pool and open-water facilities. It's why most students can complete a comprehensive learn-to-dive course in a single, relaxed weekend or other two-day time frame, instead of having to spread it out over several weeks.

Learn to Dive - 40 Fathom GrottoEqually important, the Grotto's natural setting helps students avoid developing bad habits, such as standing on the bottom or hanging on to the sides , habits that are all too easily acquired in a swimming pool. So, if you want to be better prepared for the real world of diving, learn to dive in a real-world setting.

Because we operate our own dive facility, most of our students find they can complete all of the necessary in-water training in just two days. Weekends or weekdays ,it doesn't matter. Not having to travel back and forth between separate pool and open-water training sites saves time , time that can be spent in the water learning.

All we need is enough advance notice so that we can schedule an instructor for you , and so that you can receive and complete the necessary self-study materials.
Students often ask, Is it really possible to do all the in-water training in just two days? For most students, the answer is Yes. The reason is simply that, by having our own facility, we can use time more effectively.

It doesn't mean, however, that we cut corners. In fact, our course actually includes more time in the water than most traditional courses. (This is, after all, a Commercial Diving Academy course; dive boats operators and resorts expect more from our graduates, not less.)

What happens, however, if you are among the few who have difficulty completing all of he necessary skills within the two days? No problem. If we need to, we'll just spend an additional day (at no charge). What's important to us is that you be both competent and comfortable with your skills.

40 Fathom Grotto
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