I've wanted to learn to scuba dive my whole life. And with a vacation fast coming in <a href="http://www.visitcairns.com.au">Cairns</a, Australia I thought I'd better learn fast.

I telephoned the local dive centres and they made it all sound so hard and scary as well as being expensive. So a little shattered I searched the internet for <a href="http://www.visitcairns.com.au/scubadivingincairns.htm">"Scuba Diving in Cairns"</a . And what a helpful move that was. I was given literally hundreds of options of Cairns dive training centres and local booking agents only too eager to assist me learn to scuba dive.

afterwards sending out a few emails with lots of questions I was relieved to find out that it wasn't as frightening,  difficult or  not cheap as I'd previously discovered. Basically in Cairns you can do a dive course in four, five or six days. Four days is the mimimum required to get your PADI certification. A PADI certification is the worlds largest and most recognised.The five and six day courses give you more dives and you get to do a liveaboard on the Cairns Great Barrier Reef.

After a bit of hard decision time I decided to do a 5 day liveaboard dive course. Fistly I had to get a dive medical done. Now this shouldn't worry anyone who is reasonably fit and healthy. If you have no major illnesses or respiratory problems you should be OK. The biggest issue is Asthma I beleive.

Days one and two are spent in the Pool and Classroom. This is when you learn the theory behind scuba diving and some simple skills. The hardest part about this was having to tread water for 15 minutes. And rather unfairly the chubbiest people float better than the muscly ones. Those wines after work daily finally have helped me.

On day three you depart for the great barrier reef. You are taken out to your boat at the reef by a smaller boat full of daytrippers, but as soon as you get there they get you into the water. You start your training dives straightaway. The first four dives are part of your course, where you learn a few more skills. After that you get to do five more dives with no training included. You are now a certified scuba diver. And I got to do it on the Great Barrier Reef, not in some polluted muddy city water.