Frequently Asked Questions

What does the word SCUBA stand for ?

Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. The term generally refers to diving in general, and the complete setup that we use to go diving that comprises of the cylinder or tank of gas that we breathe from while underwater, and the complete breathing system.

How do I know if SCUBA diving is for me ?

Try it first! That's why we offer everyone the opportunity to have a free 'Try Dive' in the safety of a confined swimming pool and why we start our training sessions and courses with swimming pool training.  This allows everyone to start off slowly and take every step at their own pace.

But aren’t I too young / old to take that up now ?

While it’s true that there are age limits when it comes to SCUBA diving, most people are surprised to learn that PADI courses start for those as young as 8 years old, to 80 years old and beyond !

I can’t dive, I’m not insured for it…

Another common misconception, while your own holiday insurance may not technically cover you for SCUBA diving, all officially registered PADI dive centres like Kalliopi Dive College will hold their own insurance policies, along with each of the PADI Instructors and Divemasters also holding their own private and customer focused liability and injury insurance policies, giving you piece of mind that you are covered.

Can I wear contact lenses or glasses underwater ?

When SCUBA diving we always wear a mask covering our eyes and nose, and while this makes wearing full face glasses not possible, wearing contact lenses is not an issue.  Make sure you bring some spares though – just in case one washes out!  Also, many dive shops can supply and fit prescription lenses into many popular dive masks.

Do you offer SCUBA Diving / Accommodation packages ?

Yes, Kalliopi Dive College has a sister company – Kalliopi Travel, which offers accommodation in the local resort area and also non-diver related activities such as Jeep Safaris, boat and fishing trips and horse riding in the local countryside.

I have never dived before, where do I start ?

There are several ways to go about learning to SCUBA dive, at Kalliopi Dive College we offer people the chance to get to ‘Try for FREE’ with a ‘Try Dive’ confined swimming pool training session.  This way, before any commitment to a course, you can see if SCUBA diving is for you.  Following this, at Kalliopi we also offer a half day training course called the Discover SCUBA Diving that can take anyone from a complete novice through an initial briefing, a confined training session and an open water dive in the sea.

But isn’t it hard to breathe underwater ?

Actually – no, most people find it surprisingly easy once they break the surface of the water and take those first breaths. The SCUBA system is designed so that the air is readily available without any extra noticeable effort from the person using the equipment.  The moment you start to look around and experience the serenity, peacefulness and beauty of the underwater world, the breathing just comes naturally – just as you’ve been doing your entire life.

Don’t you have to be SUPER fit and energetic to SCUBA dive ?

While SCUBA diving is a sport and there are some physical considerations when thinking about partaking in the sport, the majority of people with a reasonable fitness level will find that they have no problem joining our world, from 8 years old to 80 years old.

How long does the training take ?

An initial introductory or entry level training course is available called the Discover SCUBA Diving or DSD course, and this can be conducted in a short half day program and is designed for the complete novice.

But isn’t it painful with the pressure in your ears ?

A common misconception, when we dive underwater the deeper we go down the more pressure there is that surrounds our air spaces. Because of this we do sometimes feel pressure in our ears, however during the initial information briefing you are taught how to ‘Equalize’ these air spaces to avoid any pain or discomfort.

But what about Sharks ?

If you’re very VERY lucky, you might get to see one.  Magnificent animals that really do give you the sense that you are a guest in their home. Forget the films and the programs, although incidents with sharks do occur, they are EXTREMELY rare, and people dive with sharks everyday around the world.  They do not just attack for the sake of a fight, and are generally just inquisitive around humans and unless kept around from baiting will just swim on with their day!  Most incidents that have occurred are due to people feeding the sharks or spear fishing nearby, which can trigger the shark's feeding behaviour.  Most of the time if you do see a shark, it’s just passing through and is a rare sight to enjoy.

If I want to go diving, what is the certification all about ?

Following either a ‘Try Dive’ session or a Discover SCUBA Diving course, if you then wish to become a fully qualified PADI diver you would need to complete further courses to become certified – the ultimate one being the ‘PADI Open Water Diver’ course.  This is a 2-3 day course consisting of some study, theory and knowledge reviews, confined training sessions teaching you some basic in-water skills, and 4 open water sea dives to learn some further skills and practice the skills that you would have learnt so far. You then will hold this world renowned qualification for life, which qualifies you to dive anywhere in the world to 18 meters with a buddy. For further info regarding the PADI Open Water Diver course and for pricing and booking information see our Open Water Diver course page.

How long does it take to get certified ?

This all depends how far you want to take it. The basic Open Water Diver course as mentioned above can take you from complete novice to a certified level within 2 to 3 or 4 days, following this there are further qualifications or specialties available allowing you to go deeper, dive in different environments from wrecks to caves, go on night dives, etc – all the way up to becoming a qualified instructor if that was what you wanted.

How deep can I go ?

This depends on the level of certification a diver reaches.  After completing the Discover SCUBA Diving course, you are only partially certified, and as such can only dive with a PADI professional and to a maximum depth of 12 meters (40ft).  After completing the PADI Open Water Diver course, this extends your maximum depth to 18 meters (60 ft), and allows you to dive with a buddy of equal certification or above.  Following this you could go on to do your Advanced Open Water course which would qualify you to 30 meters (100 ft), and then there are specialties such as ‘Deep Diver’ and technical training courses available – it’s all up to you! Remember though - never exceed your training!

What about flying and diving, can I dive on my last day before my flight ?

This depends on various factors, however a minimum pre-flight surface interval of 12 hours is suggested following a single dive, meaning that after having dived you should wait a minimum of 12 hours before you can fly. If you have done more than one dive in a day or several days of diving, then PADI suggests that a minimum pre-flight surface interval of 18 hours should be adhered to. For anyone doing a decompression dive, or having required a decompression stop on a dive, a minimum pre-flight surface interval of greater than 18 hours is suggested for all divers.*

* Please note that these guidelines are the consensus of PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and all attendees at the DAN (Divers Alert Network) 2002 Flying After Diving conference. They apply to Scuba divers using normal air, and followed by flights at cabin altitudes of 600 to 2,500 meters (2,000 to 8,000 feet) for divers who do not have symptoms of decompression sickness (DCS). The recommended preflight surface intervals do not however guarantee avoidance of DCS and longer surface intervals are advised where possible and will reduce the risk of DCS further.