SCUBA v. snorkeling

Old Jun 9th, 2005, 10:19 AM
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SCUBA v. snorkeling

Has anyone here tried SCUBA and NOT enjoyed it? I guess I'm worried because I have a difficult time pressurizing my ears on flights and I know that's something you have to do often... Also it's v. expensive compared to snorkeling (for a beginning with no equiptment). Is it really that much better?

BTW, I'll be in Fiji and the Cairns area. Obviously I'm not certified but I could do intro dives either area.
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Old Jun 9th, 2005, 11:12 AM
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I too have a problem sometimes, with air pressure on my ears in airplanes, but I have done a lot of SCUBA diving and have not had much problem equalizing the pressure in my ears underwater. I wouldn't worry about it too much, particularly during an intro dive, which will probably not exceed 10m in depth. I think that it is a rare individual who does not enjoy SCUBA diving, and that would usually be because of claustrophobia or fear of breathing underwater, as opposed to pressurization problems.

Of course SCUBA diving is more expensive than snorkeling, but I think that the difference is worth it. There are tons of choices of boats going out of Cairns to the GBR, offering PADI Discover SCUBA classes. I have never taken one myself, but I have witnessed the above-water instruction portion, and it seems pretty straightforward. You can also find the same course offered at several resorts on Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, and other Fijian islands.
ALF is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2005, 08:40 PM
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I was always worried about this because I'd had trouble with pressurization.
But before I took my first resort course dive, they dealt with how to relieve it -- and my first dive was great -- as have has every one since.

I enjoy both snorkelling and scuba. Scuba will show you things you usually won't see otherwise. Plus, you really get a wonderful sense of buoyancy in the water as you adjust the gear (BC). You are much more mobile.

At least for me, scuba made it much easier to concentrate on what was under the water.
repete is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2005, 02:25 PM
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I have done snorkelling and diving, but I have to say, I am happy doing the snorkelling part. Why? I am unable to equalize properly which means, I can't go very deep so I might as well snorkel. I agree with repete, it is a very different feeling and you get much closer to things in the water.
I would definitely recommend that you try it out. Look for a reputable company and do some Intro dives. If you have a good dive instructor, you will enjoy it - if not, you will hate it. You need someone you can trust and someone you feel comfortable with. So, do some research (from Port Douglas - north of Cairns - I would recommend Poseidon or Haba) to find the most suitable boat. You might also check with your hotel if they offer pool dives.
Please remember that there are restrictions for people with medical conditions! If you are not sure, consult a doctor.
If you go on snorkelling boats (Wavelength out of Port Douglas), you will enjoy the reef as much as the divers. There are great places on the reef where snorkelling is good enough.
Is diving better? Not to me. I prefer snorkelling, but you will find lots of people who think different. It is a personal choice. You will have to try it out to know.

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Old Jun 10th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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That's great advice from myaustralia. I was fortunate that the first resort course I took did the pre-dive instruction at a pool in Kona. In Port Douglas, the instruction was on-board on the way to the reef. That probably varies by vendors everywhere -- so it might be worth checking around.
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Old Jun 11th, 2005, 09:23 AM
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Never dived - but I do remember the first time I ever snorkelled - and yes, it was on the GBR. I wouldn't stress out about it too much. If snorkelling is what you feel comfortable with - then do that. And enjoy.
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Old Jun 11th, 2005, 07:48 PM
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I snorkeled for about 35 years until I got certified. Although I think that scuba is a more complete underwater experience, I still snorkel a lot because you can do it with about 2 minutes prep time vs. a bit more scheduling time for scuba.
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Old Jun 12th, 2005, 10:04 AM
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Scuba and snorkling are two different experiences in my opinion although I do enjoy both. As a former scuba instructor I would highly recommend being certified before you go on a overseas scuba trip. It will make your underwater adventure better and less stressful. Although I have taught resort scuba courses I find they are usually a very abreviated intro to diving and have seen more than a few close disasters. Scuba can be dangerous although thankfuly not often. It is also of interest to note that most of my problems with novice divers have ocurred because of an inability to control ones rate of descent and equalize their ears at the same time. Good training in a controlled pool environment in my opinion greatly reduces risks for a novice diver. Obviously the vast majority of intro ocean diving goes off without a hitch but the standards of training before such a dive varies widely in my experience all over the world and some are decent and others are poor. There is a reason that scuba diving is considered a risk by many life and disability insurances. Scuba is great fun for many but for others it may not be a good experience, especially if not properly prepared. Just my 2 cents.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 07:56 AM
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I have gone both scuba diving and snorkelling at various times on the and have thoroughly enjoyed both.

They are two quite different experiences. With scuba diving you definitely do feel more immersed in the whole experience. However, if your main point is to see preety little fish and lovely coloured coral snorkelling is fine. Most of these are not far below the surface anyway so it is not really necessary to go diving. If you do go diving, it does give you the opportunity to get in amongst some of the bigger fish though.

One other thing to possibly consider is that on the times when I simply went snorkelling I actually got more time in the water. With diving, even though they start the instructions on the way out to the reef there is certainly more time taken up with ensuring that everyone knows what they are doing, feeling comfortable with the experience etc.

Why don't you try an into dive at your first destination (GBR or Fiji) If you love it then you do it again at your second destination, or alternatively you know to save your money and just go snorkelling next time.

I know that it costs quite a bit more to go diving but consider how much is that as total of how much you are spending on the total trip. You don't want to spend the next 50 years saying I wish I gave it a try and I will never have the opportunity again. This is spoken from past experience. (I've always regretted not trying out a skidoo when I was in the Rockies once because I wanted to save the $50 or whatever it cost at the time). Spend the money on the diving if that is what you want and forgo a good dinner or two if needs be. You will always have the opportunity for a great dinner at some stage, at home or another holiday, but perhaps not the opportunity to go diving again.
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 08:22 AM
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I guess I'm in the minority. I've done both and have to say while I thoroughly enjoy snorkeling I didn't enjoy my one SCUBA dive at all. I had a lot of difficulty "clearing my ears" so much so that it distracted me from the wonderful sights and the discomfort I experienced during the dive and for several days thereafter was enough to disuade me from ever wanting to go SCUBA diving again. I'm content with floating on top of the water, looking down. I have to agree with the others that if you choose to go SCUBA diving you should make sure you get the proper instruction before attempting the dive.
Old Jun 15th, 2005, 05:41 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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I have done both and both were equally enjoyable. However I must warn you do NOT scuba if you are congested or even THINK you may be congested. My first any only scuba expereience took place in Jamacia. I thought I had followed the instructors directions with the pressurazation process. When I "pressurized" a large collection of air came out of my ear. It stung for a few seconds then I was fine. Apprently I blew a hole in my ear drum. Had to take medication for months to correct the problem. Very scary but I'm fine now.
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