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Would you take SCUBA lessons from this man?




Niko and son

Niko and son

This is Niko. He runs the SCUBA shop next to our hotel. His toddler is one of Pylos’ better drivers.
There’s only thirteen days left to the excavation. It doesn’t seem like much. Little enough time that I have to start thinking about what I want to do next and where I want to go. I’m tempted to stay five days longer and get my SCUBA certification. One of my areas of interest in archaeology is underwater excavation. I had to pass up an excavation of a Roman site in Spain this year because I’m not certified, and I’d love to be able to take advantage of it next year. There are SCUBA schools in NYC of course, and from what I’ve seen I could get certified there for about two hundred dollars. It would cost over $300 here, It’s a significant amount more, but on the other hand, I’d be doing my certification in FREAKING GREECE. The Bay of Navarino is gorgeous here, with sunken Turkish ships to explore and crystal clear water. A heckuva lot more fun than getting certified in the 96th Street Y.

The other issue I’m contemplating is whether I really want to spend another five days here. Pylos is great, but it’s a small town with little else to do, and every small convenience is ridiculously expensive. I’d be cooling my jets with nothing left to explore besides my dives. So I’m also thinking of going to Crete next and getting my certification there. It might cost even more there, but again, I’d be certifying in freaking Crete. So let me try an experiment: do YOU think I should certify in Greece, or wit until I get back to NYC?


  1. Kathy Nelson
    June 7, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    In Greece.

  2. Juan
    June 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Greece! Especially if you get to go to Crete. Say hi to the Minotaur for me.

  3. June 7, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Quality of training trumps the location every time. Not to sound like a scuba snob but training would be better in the US. There are stricter safety requirements.

  4. nycwastrel
    June 8, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Actually, the training requirements are the same. SCUBA diving is regulated through the international PADI, which is the only way to get SCUBA certifed.

  5. Juan
    June 8, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    yeah, on second thought, I agree with Juanita, despite the international standards. Voting now…

  6. J
    June 8, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Hmm, from my experiences, many other places are indeed laxer about meeting standards per se than us A-merry-kins. (Remember, as you once commiserated with me — the US was founded by people too puritanical to live in Britain.) But, on the other hand, from my two times being briefly trained in SCUBA, I think it’ll matter more on how seriously you take it all. Even with laxness, given the international certification, most places will at least give lip service to all of the requirements, so you should be able to get all the information, you may just have to press a little harder if you actually want to indulge yourself in silly things like “safety margins”. Or maybe not — one can hardly view one’s mom as erring on the side of GO CRAZY on safety, and Juan doesn’t like the remotest reminder of his own mortality =} (Love you Juan!)

    I dunno. Look on some websites, see what other travelers have to say. I tend to agree with you — learn in FREAKIN’ CRETE.

  7. Juan
    June 9, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Infidel defiler!….love you too, Jahi. ^_^

  8. Rianna
    June 11, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    I think you should go to Egypt and learn to dive in the Red Sea! It is supposed to be one of the most amazing places in the world to dive and has famous wrecks to explore……plus getting there could be an adventure in itself! …….http://gogreece.about.com/od/hydrofoilsferries/a/greeceegypt.htm
    Jacques Cousteau once said “The Red Sea is a corridor of marvels – the happiest hours of my diving experience have been spent there”…..just an idea without knowledge of your geographical/financial limitations. Wherever you do it, be careful and enjoy!
    xo, R

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