Scuba Certification Part 2 (open water dives)

This course, the Open Water Dives are the final step in the Open Water Diver certification process. It is where the student demonstrates proficiency with the skills they learned in the Pool sessions in an open water environment. A skilled instructor will brief, observe, and evaluate the skills and recommend further practice or issue a certification. The vast majority of students trained by East Coast Divers are able to pass this evaluation without delay, while some divers will need to invest a bit more time in managing buoyancy or specific skill work before they are qualified for certification.

We run certification dives during the spring, summer, and fall. Now, even the winter can be suitable with our drysuit course add-on. The open water dives can be anywhere from 4 to 6 dives that are usually spread between 2 days of training on a consecutive Saturday and Sunday. Here at East Coast Divers, you will complete up to 5 scuba dives and a snorkel over 2 days to complete your certification.

Please use the “Book Now!” link to signup. You can schedule your class dates with our staff in-person, over the phone, or via email.

Availability fills quickly and spots are not guaranteed! We recommend registering and reserving rental equipment at least 2 WEEKS IN ADVANCE!

Private checkout dives are also available.

If you choose to do private all of your scheduling will happen through Kim and Max in our training department. They will be in contact within 24 hours of signing up for the course. If you need to contact us sooner please email us at Training@ecdivers.com or call us at 617-277-2217.

Before Class

Before attending your Open Water Diver Certification Dives you will need to complete your knowledge reviews, pass your exam, and complete your skill work in the pool - OR - be an eligible referral diver in good standing*. The links to the documents are under the "Class Forms" section of this page. These forms must be completed prior to your session and contain important information.

Pay close attention to the medical form as you may also require a physician's approval before we can get you into the water.

If you have any questions give us a call at the store on 617-277-2216 or shoot us an email training@ecdivers.com.

 

*Referral Divers, please note:

  • Open water training dives for all SSI programs must be completed within six (6) months of the last academic or in-water training session.
  • If it has been more than six (6) months from the issue date of your Referral Diver certification, a qualified SSI Professional must conduct a re-evaluation (both knowledge and skill review) to determine if you are sufficiently prepared for the open water training dives. Based on this evaluation you may be required to repeat some, or all, of the Open Water Diver Pool and Classroom program.
  • Completed Open Water Training and Referral within the last 6-months.
  • Own Necessary Equipment – Mask, Fins, Snorkel, Booties (Required for cold water).
  • Owning your own dive computer, BC, Regulator, and Exposure Suit is recommend though we offer those items as rentals so not necessary.
  • Own, rent*, or have access to a Total Diving System – including exposure protection.
  • Organize transportation of self AND gear to and from dive location.

*Discounted rental packages are available for students from $125 for exposure suits, BC, Regulator, and two tanks. The student is responsible for transporting the tanks to the shop during operating hours for fills after the first day of training.

 

As with many of our programs, private instruction is available for those who can’t make our standard schedule. Private Open water training is available 7 days a week, entirely on your schedule. Four to six dives will be completed over the course of 2 days. The 2 days of training don’t necessarily have to be back to back or even in the same week. We are here to make your life easy and there is nothing easier than our private instruction options.

The normal flow of events for certification dives occurs this way:

  • Call the store to set up fitting the New England Diving System.
  • If renting, pick up the equipment on the day before the dives. (Earlier pickups can often be arranged as necessary).
  • Show up at the dive site, with all the gear, at the stated time for that day. (This will be determined no more than 48 hours before the date due to weather.)
  • Three (3) dives will be conducted each day. One of which, on the first day, is a snorkel.
  • Return to East Coast Divers to fill tanks after the dives.
  • Repeat the process for the second day of training.
  • Conduct the final three open water dives for the certification course and log dives.

THEN…

  • Go home and return the gear to the store after each day. (Rentals can often be held between sessions as necessary).
  • C-cards can generally be printed in house so you can receive it right after your dives.

If you choose to do private all of your scheduling will happen through Kim and Max in our training department. They will be in contact within 24 hours of signing up for the course. If you need to contact us sooner please email us at Training@ecdivers.com or call us at 617-277-2217.

You will need a complete total diving system for the Open Water Certification Dives.

You must own your own mask, fins, 5mm+ dive boots, and snorkel suitable for scuba diving in New England waters.

You must either own, have access to, or rent* the following items:

  • Regulator System
    • First & Primary Second Stage
    • Backup Second Stage (Octopus)
    • Inflator Hose
    • Submersible Pressure Gauge (SPG)
  • Buoyancy Compensator (BC)
    • oral/power inflator and additional dump valve
    • integrated weighing system or weight belt
  • Two 63CF+ scuba cylinders with valves that are compatible with your regulator (to be refilled after day 1)
  • Exposure suit:
    • Full-length 7mm+ wetsuit or Drysuit (with appropriate training)
    • 5mm+ hood/hooded vest
    • 5mm+ gloves
  • Instruments, etc.
    • Dive Computer
    • Compass (can be integrated with Dive Computer)
    • Surface Marker Buoy and whistle/signaling device

*Discounted rental packages are available for students from $125 for the complete package listed above. The student is responsible for transporting the tanks to the shop during operating hours for fills after the first day of training.

The waters of New England are more than warm enough for divers to dive in wetsuits through late Spring, Summer, and Fall. The wetsuits we use are high quality, warm and stretchy making it easier to put on and take off. Typically suits for New England are 7mm thick. We find that a full 7mm suit with a hooded vest core under it makes diving easy and enjoyable.

The normal flow of events for certification dives occurs as follows:

  • Call the store to schedule a fitting for the New England Diving System. You can reserve your equipment through the shop on the ECD website here: East Coast Divers Rental Department. As you are an open water student you will want to book the open water student rental package, the cost for this is $125. If you have already paid for your rental in-store or over the phone feel to give us a call to reserve the equipment. We always recommend coming by the store to try on your wetsuit to ensure the size you have reserved is the correct size for you.
  • If renting, please pick up your equipment on the Friday of the weekend of the dives (midweek pickups can be arranged as necessary).
  • Show up at the dive site with all your gear, at the stated time for that weekend. (This will be determined no more than 48 hours before the date due to weather). Day 1 of the Open Water dives is always held at Hathaway’s ponds. You can find directions here – https://ecdivers.com/ecd_location/hathaways-pond/
  • 3 dives and one snorkel dive will be conducted on the first day.
  • Return to East Coast Divers to fill tanks Saturday after the dives.
  • Show up at the dive site Sunday morning on time and ready to dive. The dive site will typically be in Cape Ann. The site is chosen by the instructors on Saturday based on current weather data. Your instructors will inform you of the dive site on day one of your dives.
  • Conduct the final two open water dives for the certification course and log dives.

THEN…

  • Return to ECD and return the gear to the store while celebrating your well-earned dive certification and entering into the ranks of the ECD dive family!
  • C-cards can generally be printed in-house but require all paperwork to be double-checked. Certs are typically processed within 7 days of your dives. As soon as they are processed you will have access to the digital card via your online profile or via the dive SSI app available here – iOS App OR Android App. We will mail out the cards as soon as they are processed so you should see the hard copy in the mail a few days after the digital card.

Nitrox Add-On

As a certified diver, you will learn that nitrogen is responsible for limiting the amount of time underwater for each dive. Typically the first course divers take after certification is a Nitrox program, BUT as an ECD student you have the opportunity to complete this dive extending cert before you complete your open water dives.

NITROX GIVES DIVERS MORE TIME UNDERWATER WITH MINIMAL TIME OR FINANCIAL COMMITMENT!

As an open water student of ours you’re eligable for a $50 discount off of our nitrox program, saving you both money AND extending your bottom time!

We will get you registered for the materials and a class date. As soon as you complete your Nitrox session and your open water dives you’ll officially be both an Open Water and a Nitrox diver, how cool is that!

This $50 discount is just for currently enrolled ECD Open Water students, so don’t miss out on the chance to save some cash and take advantage of Nitrox diving.

 

Drysuit Add-On

As a certified Drysuit diver, you will learn the ins and outs (literally) of drysuit diving. A drysuit certification can extend your dive significantly by keeping you warmer and more comfortable in cold conditions. As a New England dive establishment, we recommend that any of our students who are interested in cold water diving earn their drysuit certification. As an ECD student, you have the opportunity to complete this dive extending cert before you complete your open water dives.

AS A DRYSUIT DIVER YOU HAVE TO ABILITY TO EXPLORE THE COLDEST ENDS OF THE SEA AND STILL STAY WARM!

As an open water student of ours you’re eligable for a $50 discount off of our drysuit program, saving you both money AND allowing you to dive in even the coldest temperatures!

We will get you registered for the materials and a class date. You’ll take one additional classroom and one additional pool session in a DRYSUIT. As soon as you complete those and your open water dives in a DRYSUIT you’ll officially be both an Open Water and a DRYSUIT diver!

This $50 discount is just for currently enrolled ECD Open Water students, so don’t miss out on the chance to save some cash and take advantage of Drysuit diving.