Do you dream of exploring the coral reefs in the Caribbean but lack the scuba diving accreditation? Since last fall, 'Total Diving - Montreal Scuba' is offering a quick and convenient solution for travellers who want to learn scuba diving in a hurry before their vacation in the south.
The school has been active in Montreal for close to 40 years, but recently began a new program at the Holiday Inn at 6500 Montée de Liesse in Ville St. Laurent. The school offers a crash course in scuba diving that will take the student one weekend to complete before obtaining the paperwork necessary for accreditation as an open sea diver anywhere in the world.
The course offers the client the opportunity to do the theoretical part of the course prior to jumping in the pool for two 10-hour sessions of practical exercises.
“In 2012, we need to be convenient," said course director Darcy Kieran who says he chose the Holiday Inn as a location to give the course because of its availability.
"People like stuff that’s accessible, easy and comfortable. It’s just a good way of teaching scuba whereas when they go through a classroom somewhere else, it’s often just not working." Kieran wanted to find an easier way for people to learn scuba. "The Holiday Inn is great because people can actually spend the weekend there while they’re studying," said Kieran. "The pool is accessible anytime we want.”
Kieran said other facilities present more of a challenge for participants. “If I rent a pool in a college, I rent it on a Wednesday night let’s say. That’s the only time we have the pool, we have to tell everybody to go there. At the Holiday Inn, we can teach our course whenever people want so it’s really: you decide when you want to learn scuba diving and we’ll teach you at that time on that day,” he said.
The pool at the Holiday Inn looks like an indoor tropical resort, making students feel like they're already in the tropics already but Kieran said what really distinguishes Total Diving from other schools is convenience.
“People can learn scuba diving whenever they want. And if they’re from out of town, they can rent a room at the hotel and spend the weekend with us and learn scuba diving. If you read your book ahead of time, then we can do everything we have to do in the pool in one weekend. And then, they’re ready to go down south,” said Kieran.
To be certified as an open water diver and be able to rent scuba diving gear abroad and at home, clients need first to go diving in open water with an instructor. With Total Diving, clients have the occasion to get that accreditation during their vacation or they can get it locally during the springtime in Kahnawake.
Kieran said over 50 people have taken advantage of the Total Diving experience so far at the Ville St. Laurent Holiday Inn. The cost is $289 for a normal course and an additional $395 to have a private course for a person or group. Additional costs apply for the course theory print manual or the theory can be done online.
The Chronicle met with Misti Campbell, a nurse from Rigaud with a busy schedule, who took the course two weekends ago in preparation for her upcoming trip to the Caribbean in late February.
“My partner told me particularly about Total Diving so I went with them because they’re reliable and they’ve got qualified, friendly instructors," she said. "I did the theory on my own and I reviewed it with my instructor. I like the school because it’s convenient and personalized. Whatever information I need I can go to the instructors and get it,” she said.
For more information on Total Diving, visit their website at http://totaldiving.com.