New divers who want a quick start on their dive training while on vacation in the Cayman Islands, or certified divers looking to sharpen scuba skills, will find a ready solution in 2014 with Red Sail Sports. To meet the demand for saturated and immersed training programs, Grand Cayman’s leading resort dive operator is introducing 3-day courses that combine PADI Open Water Certification with two specialities: Enriched Air Nitrox and Peak Performance Buoyancy. Also added to the dive training program for certified divers is an Advanced Diver/Nitrox Combination course that can be done in two days.
“We know our guest’s time on Grand Cayman is limited and they want to make the most of it, so Red Sail Sports is being creative and accommodating. Our extensive dive training program and resources allow us to do this,” said Operations Manager Rod McDowall. “We want our new divers to enjoy a great experience in the island’s warm, clear water, and this will keep them coming back. That’s good for business.”
The Enriched Air Diver course is reportedly PADI’s most popular speciality course – Nitrox allows a diver to safely dive more often and for a longer period of time. McDowall says demand for Nitrox is a big motivation for adding the combo courses, as is the wide use of dive computers, which allow divers to accurately track dive profiles. Both the Nitrox and Peak Performance Buoyancy specialities are easy to integrate with the open water certification in Red Sail Sports’ extensive dive training program.
The three combination courses require online theory work with PADI in advance of the trip. Once on Grand Cayman, students undergo a quick e-learner review and then do three days of in-water training with Red Sail Sports, both from shore and from the dive boats, to complete their certification. To add a Nitrox speciality, the student is taught the basics of enriched air diving during the morning two-tank boat trip and then does the last open water checkout dive on Nitrox. An afternoon Nitrox classroom session is then done to complete the speciality certification.
The same basic schedule is followed for the Open Water Certification/ Peak Performance Buoyancy Combo, where a student works on breath control, proper weighting and streamlining – making them more comfortable in the water and a better, more confident diver. This speciality requires an extra dive on day 3 of training. The Advance Diver/Nitrox Combo involves 5 adventure dives over two days including; navigation, peak performance buoyancy, deep diving and Nitrox.
Red Sail Sports has certified an estimated 50,000 divers on Grand Cayman through its extensive dive training program and island-wide locations over the past 25 years. Dive Supervisor Clive Webb says the most popular courses are Open Water Certification, Advanced Diver and Nitrox.
“Last year we certified 11 Nitrox divers, and so far this year we have already certified 51, so 2014 looks exciting,” says Webb, adding that resident divers take advantage of living in a top dive destination. “Our courses for local residents have gone through the roof! Most Open Water classes are full, and we’ve had to add extras – our prices are so good that we have a constant stream of residents going through scuba training.”
“The Advanced and Nitrox combo course provided an extremely efficient way for me to complete two certifications in just one weekend,” said island resident Carrie Van Lier. “Not only did I save time and money, but I found that they complimented each other perfectly at my current level of diving education.”
The Open Water/Nitrox combo course is $575; the Open Water/ Peak Performance Buoyancy combo course is $550. Both fees include all equipment use, manuals, instruction and boat diving. A fee of $138 must be paid directly to PADI for online theory work done before arrival in Grand Cayman. The Advanced/Nitrox e-learner course is $475, and a $130 fee must be paid directly to PADI for the e-learning portion.
Red Sail Sports operates full-service dive and watersports shops across Grand Cayman. Also available are glass-bottom boat trips to the Stingray Sandbar, Catamaran snorkel trips, sunset sails and dinner sails, and all the beach sports that include windsurfing, kayaking, and more.