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Certifications

A woman is sitting on the back of a sailboat.
A woman is sitting on the back of a sailboat.

Scuba Dive Certifications

Prerequisite: None! 

Available on: Alpha 14, Bravo 21, Tango 14, Sierra 14 & 21, Foxtrot 14 & 21, Delta 21, Echo 14

You’ll embark on an exhilarating scuba diving adventure under the close guidance of a qualified PADI Instructor. The course commences on the beach, where your instructor will introduce the fundamental concepts and safety protocols of scuba diving. You’ll also become familiar with the essential diving equipment and its functionality. Following the beach session, you’ll practice these newly acquired skills in the tranquil, crystal-clear waters at a depth of three to five feet, right off the beach. Once you’ve mastered these skills, your first dive experience will take place at the same beach, in waters ranging from 20 to 30 feet. As you become more confident with your basic skills, our dive boats will transport you to your first open-water dive adventure, limited to a maximum depth of 30 feet, allowing you to explore one of our stunning reefs alongside your instructor.

Prerequisite: 12+ years of age.

Available on: Alpha 14, Bravo 21, Tango 14, Sierra 14 & 21, Foxtrot 14 & 21, Delta 21

The PADI Open Water Diver course stands as the world’s most renowned entry-level dive program, equipping you with essential knowledge in safe scuba diving, encompassing dive equipment, techniques, and planning. This certification grants you the privilege to rent scuba equipment, receive tank airfills, and enroll in advanced courses like PADI Advanced Open Water Diver.

With our eLearning portion, the Open Water Diver course begins online prior to your arrival in the Caribbean. This online course, typically taking 6-8 hours to complete, delivers the material in a user-friendly format, ensuring thorough comprehension. You can conveniently divide the course into multiple learning sessions to suit your schedule, with the flexibility to set your own pace. Should you have any questions, our professional scuba instructors in the Caribbean are available for one-on-one assistance via video conferencing, phone, or email.

The primary advantage of eLearning is that your time in the Caribbean is dedicated to underwater skill development, making you a certified, proficient, and safe diver. Upon arrival, you’ll kick off with a review test to demonstrate your readiness for diving.

In the Caribbean, you’ll put your eLearning knowledge to practical use during the Confined Water section, consisting of “mini dives” in shallow, pristine waters off of a sandy beach. Here, you’ll become proficient in scuba gear usage and practice various skills under close instructor supervision. Once you’ve mastered these skills, you’ll progress to the Open Water section.

The Open Water section mirrors the Confined Water section, focusing on the same skill set but with dives conducted at the remarkable dive sites in the BVI aboard our dive boats. Successful completion of these skills will earn you full certification as a diver.

Prerequisite: Must be Open Water certified or equivalent

Available on: All Programs

For already certified divers seeking pure enjoyment and adventure beneath the waves, recreational diving in the British Virgin Islands offers an exceptional experience. In the BVI, you can embark on underwater adventures amidst flourishing marine life, encountering,  graceful sea turtles, docile sharks, and an array of vibrant tropical fish. The gentle currents, comfortable water temperatures, and excellent visibility make it an ideal destination for divers of all levels, from beginners earning their certifications to seasoned enthusiasts seeking new discoveries.

The British Virgin Islands offer a plethora of dive sites, each with its own unique charm. Whether you’re exploring the intricate coral gardens of the Wreck of the Rhone, discovering how the Rainbow Canyons off of Norman Island got their names, or marveling at the bustling marine life at the famous Kodiac Queen, every dive in the BVI promises excitement and awe. The thrill of uncovering the secrets of the Caribbean Sea makes recreational diving in the British Virgin Islands an unforgettable and endlessly enjoyable experience for divers of all backgrounds.

Prerequisite: Must be at least Open Water certified or equivalent

Available on: Alpha 14, Bravo 21, Tango 14, Sierra 14 & 21, Foxtrot 14 & 21, Delta 21,Charlie 14, Charlie 21

The PADI Advanced Open Water certification is tailored for divers eager to elevate their skills and embark on a deeper level of underwater exploration. This comprehensive course entails completing five dives, each honing in on a distinct PADI dive specialty. Two of these dives provide an immersive experience in deep diving through the PADI Deep Diver specialty, while perfecting underwater navigation and buoyancy control is the focus of the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy dive specialty. The choice of the remaining three dive specialties is flexible, based on instructor certifications and personal passions. In the past, these diverse specialties have included Underwater Naturalist Diver, Night Diver, Wreck Diver, Fish ID, and Dive Against Debris, offering a well-rounded and enriching diving experience.

Corequisite: PADI Rescue Diver 

Available on: Charlie 14 and Charlie 21

The PADI Emergency First Responder (EFR) course is an essential program that equips students with life-saving skills and knowledge, enabling them to respond effectively to medical emergencies both in and out of the water. This course is mandatory for students enrolled in the PADI Rescue Diver program who do not already possess an equivalent First Aid certificate. Furthermore, students must concurrently enroll in the PADI Rescue Diver course. It’s worth noting that the EFR course does not involve diving and can be conducted either onboard the boats or on land.

This comprehensive curriculum covers critical topics such as CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), First Aid, and Secondary Care, instilling students with the confidence and competence required to manage a wide range of emergency situations. Participants are trained in scene assessment, evaluating the condition of injured or ill individuals, and providing appropriate care while awaiting professional medical assistance. EFR training empowers divers with the confidence and skills necessary to respond promptly and effectively in critical scenarios, where every second is of the essence and can make a significant impact.

Prerequisite: PADI Advanced Open water or equivalent, PADI Emergency First Response training or equivalent. *Participants can enroll in the PADI Emergency First Response course as a Corequisite. 

The PADI Rescue Diver course is a demanding yet transformative experience designed to elevate scuba skills significantly. Geared towards divers seeking enhanced competence and confidence, it equips individuals with the capacity to respond effectively to various diving-related emergencies. Through realistic scenarios and hands-on training, participants learn to recognize and manage potential risks, respond to diver emergencies, and provide vital assistance. This comprehensive course comprises ten rescue exercises and four scenarios, culminating in the attainment of the highest non-professional diving certification available through PADI.

Under the expert guidance of experienced PADI instructors, participants develop essential skills in self-rescue, stress signal identification, and accident management. The course places a strong emphasis on teamwork and situational awareness, empowering individuals to adapt to unforeseen challenges and take on leadership roles when necessary. Completion of the PADI Rescue Diver course not only enhances diving competence but also fosters a deep sense of responsibility for the safety and well-being of fellow divers, fostering a valuable and confident presence within the diving community.

Prerequisite: Advanced Open Water, 5 Dive Specialties, and 50 logged dives

The PADI Master Scuba Diver certification is the pinnacle of recreational diving achievement, embodying a diver’s unwavering dedication, expertise, and profound passion for the underwater realm. It not only recognizes a diver’s extensive knowledge and skill set but also their steadfast enthusiasm for exploring the depths and their unwavering commitment to responsible and conscientious diving practices. This esteemed certification serves as a symbol of excellence, bearing witness to a diver’s profound connection with the captivating world beneath the waves. It’s important to note that the Master Scuba Diver certification is not a separate course but an additional rating attainable based on a diver’s commendable diving experience. To qualify for this prestigious accolade, divers must have completed the advanced and rescue certification levels or their equivalents, along with securing five PADI specialty certifications. Additionally, they should provide evidence of 50 logged dives, further underscoring their dedication to mastering the art of scuba diving.

Prerequisites: PADI Rescue diver, a minimum of 40 logged dives, at least 18 years of age.

The PADI Divemaster course is the initial step in the PADI curriculum for individuals aspiring to become scuba instructors. Throughout the program, students immerse themselves in the world of dive professionals, primarily spending their days on our dive boats or within our dive shop. Here, they gain invaluable insights into the roles and responsibilities of a dive professional while actively assisting our seasoned dive instructors in various classes, acquiring hands-on experience in effective teaching techniques.

In pursuit of their Divemaster certification, students embark on a journey to attain a deep understanding and mastery of an extensive array of diving skills. The program allows ample time for practice and skill refinement, ensuring students’ competence in every aspect. Outside of their underwater and teaching duties, students also engage in activities related to dive shop operations, learning about equipment maintenance and the functioning of a PADI 5-star dive shop. Upon successful completion of the Divemaster course, graduates are well-equipped to assist and guide certified divers, making them highly sought-after professionals globally. Their experience, coupled with the opportunity to work alongside Sail Caribbean Divers’ world-renowned dive team, positions them for exceptional employability and success within the diving industry.

PADI Dive Specialties

You may be able to earn multiple dive specialty certifications. The particular specialties offered will depend on the adventure chosen and our diving schedule. You will decide which specialties you’d like to do when you are in the Caribbean.

All are available on Charlie Advanced Scuba adventures. Availability on other adventures is shown.

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

Practice techniques for improving buoyancy and decreasing air consumption, resulting in better underwater control and more enjoyment/preservation of the diving environment.

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

The impact on marine life of garbage dumped in our oceans is one of the most significant issues of our time. You can help by going on a dive with mesh bags to collect the debris that threatens our oceans.

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

The Project AWARE Reef Fish Identification Specialty offers divers a unique opportunity to deepen their understanding of marine ecosystems by focusing on reef fish. Through this certification, divers learn how to identify various species of reef fish, their behaviors, and the crucial role they play in underwater environments. This specialty course not only enhances divers’ knowledge but also instills a sense of responsibility for the conservation of these magnificent creatures and their habitats.

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

The PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty is a captivating certification that immerses divers in the fascinating world of marine life and ecosystems. Participants gain insight into the intricate relationships between marine organisms and their environment, enhancing their appreciation for the underwater world. By learning about the unique behaviors, adaptations, and ecological significance of marine creatures, divers become informed advocates for ocean conservation.

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

The Project AWARE Specialist is an empowering program that educates divers about environmental conservation and marine protection. Students delve into topics such as ocean pollution, coral reef preservation, and marine life conservation, gaining a deeper understanding of the challenges facing our oceans. This certification equips divers with the knowledge and tools to make a positive impact on marine ecosystems.

Prerequisite: None

Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of coral reefs and learn how to contribute to their preservation with the Project AWARE Coral Reef Conservation certification. Designed for divers of all levels, this specialty program provides a unique opportunity to study the delicate coral reef ecosystem and discover effective ways to protect it. Through hands-on experience, you’ll observe and identify various markings, shapes, and coral growth patterns while gaining insights into the crucial role these reefs play in our oceans. This certification not only deepens your appreciation for coral reefs but also empowers you to make a positive impact by actively participating in their conservation. Join us in safeguarding these vital marine ecosystems and promoting responsible diving practices for a sustainable underwater world.

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

Discover the art of underwater photography with the PADI Digital Underwater Photographer certification. This course introduces you to the PADI SEA (shoot, examine, adjust) method, guiding you on capturing stunning underwater images. You’ll not only learn the principles for achieving exceptional photos beneath the surface but also gain valuable skills in editing and sharing your captivating shots, making your underwater photography experience truly memorable.

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

Enhance your diving repertoire by mastering the skills required to dive safely from both power and sailboats. The Boat Diver certification is an ideal choice for divers with a PADI Open Water or equivalent certification who wish to expand their diving horizons. This specialty program equips you with the knowledge and techniques necessary to ensure safe boat-based dives, covering essential procedures for diving in areas with boat traffic. By gaining a deeper understanding of boat-related diving practices, you’ll be well-prepared to explore a wider range of dive sites accessible by boat, making your underwater adventures even more exciting and versatile.

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

Elevate your underwater navigation expertise with the PADI Underwater Navigator certification. This course will teach you the art of precise navigation through a combination of compass use, natural navigation techniques, and mastery of various navigational tools. Whether you’re exploring complex dive sites or simply want to enhance your overall diving proficiency, this certification equips you with the knowledge and skills to confidently navigate the underwater world.

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

Discover the enchantment of night diving with the PADI Night Diving Specialty. This course focuses on equipment handling, underwater navigation, and encounters with fascinating nocturnal marine creatures, including gentle creatures like sharks, all in a safe and controlled environment. During the exhilarating night dive, you’ll witness the mesmerizing transition from day to night beneath the waves, deepening your appreciation for the underwater world after dark.

Prerequisite: PADI Advanced or equivalent

Explore the fascinating realm of underwater search and recovery with the Search and Recovery Diver certification. Designed for divers with a PADI Advanced or equivalent certification, this specialty program delves deep into essential techniques for systematic search patterns and effective search methods in various underwater conditions. This certification enhances your diving capabilities and equips you with valuable knowledge that can be applied in real-world scenarios, making it an invaluable addition to your diving skill set.

Prerequisite: PADI Advanced or equivalent

Unlock the secrets of extending your bottom time and diving at different depths with confidence through the Multi-Level Diver certification. Ideal for divers holding a PADI Advanced or equivalent certification, this program provides you with essential techniques for navigating underwater using the recreational dive planner (wheel format) and diving computers. These skills enable you to plan and execute multi-level dives, allowing you to explore the underwater world with precision and maximize your diving experiences. Whether you’re drawn to diverse marine environments or seeking to maximize your dive time, the Multi-Level Diver certification empowers you with the knowledge and skills to enhance your underwater adventures.

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent

Embrace the thrill of drifting through ocean currents and tides while mastering the art of safe and confident drift diving. Designed for divers with a PADI Open Water or equivalent certification, the Drift Diver specialty not only enhances your underwater skills but also equips you with essential safety techniques for navigating dynamic underwater environments. Learn to fine-tune your buoyancy and utilize specialized equipment for efficient propulsion as you ride the currents. Drift diving offers a unique and exhilarating way to explore underwater landscapes, and this certification ensures you can do so with expertise. Whether you’re eager to explore breathtaking drift dive sites or broaden your diving horizons, the Drift Diver certification opens the door to the exciting world of underwater currents and tides.

Prerequisite: PADI Advanced or equivalent; 15+ yrs old

The RMS Rhone Diver Specialty, a PADI Distinctive Specialty, is exclusively available at Sail Caribbean. Made famous in the movie, The Deep, this 310-ft cargo ship sank in 1867. She is our most requested dive site and is regularly voted the top wreck dive in the Caribbean.

Prerequisite: PADI Open Water or equivalent; 15+ yrs old

Master the art of recreational diving with various oxygen and nitrogen mixes to extend your bottom time. Enriched air, or nitrox (EANx), offers reduced nitrogen content compared to regular air, allowing for longer dives and shorter surface intervals. It’s no surprise that the Enriched Air Diver specialty is the most sought-after PADI® specialty for divers seeking extended underwater adventures.

Prerequisite: PADI Adventure or equivalent; 15+ yrs old

Discover the thrill of wreck diving as you master specialized equipment and techniques for exploring underwater man-made environments. Wrecks, whether purpose-sunk as artificial reefs or remnants of past accidents, offer captivating glimpses into history. These underwater time capsules, such as ships, airplanes, and cars, not only invite exploration but also host vibrant marine life. Each wreck dive presents an opportunity for exciting discoveries, from unlocking mysteries to spotting hidden treasures. The PADI Wreck Diver Specialty course is a favorite among divers for its blend of adventure and responsible wreck diving practices.

Prerequisite: PADI Adventure or equivalent; 15+ yrs old

In the Deep Diver specialty, students can discover the intricacies of deep diving with a qualified instructor. As they venture beyond 18 meters (60 feet) and explore depths up to 40 meters (130 feet), they’ll gain essential skills in deep dive planning, gas management, and narcosis recognition and management. This course also covers buddy contact procedures and provides insights into maintaining buoyancy control at significant depths.

Sailing Certifications

Prerequisites: None

Time requirement: 4-8 hours

The American Sailing Association (ASA) 101 certification, known as “Basic Keelboat Sailing,” is a comprehensive introductory course tailored to equip aspiring sailors with essential skills for confidently operating small keelboats. Covering topics ranging from boat terminology and rigging to sail handling, steering, safety protocols, and rudimentary navigation, this program offers both onshore and on-water practical training. Successful completion of ASA 101 provides participants with a recognized certification, serving as their ticket to the sailing world. ASA 101 emphasizes safety, hands-on learning, and the pure joy of sailing, laying a solid foundation for a fulfilling aquatic adventure.

The course includes seminars and hands-on helmsmanship training on larger vessels, followed by intensive sessions on Colgate 26’ keelboats. This certification provides the skills and knowledge necessary to skipper a sloop-rigged keelboats during daylight hours, in light to moderate wind and sea conditions, while also covering basic sailing terminology, sail trim, seamanship, safety, and navigation rules. The ultimate goal is to enable participants to sail these keelboats confidently. Through written and practical exams, participants achieve an official certification that remains valid for years, serving as a stepping stone to numerous other sailing certifications.

Prerequisites: Basic Keelboat Sailing (ASA101) certification

Time requirement: 8-10 hours

The American Sailing Association (ASA) 103 certification, or “Basic Coastal Cruising,” is a pivotal step in a sailor’s education, offering a deeper understanding of sailing and navigation. Building upon the foundation laid in ASA 101, this intermediate-level course equips participants with the skills to confidently handle a sailboat in nearshore or coastal waters. Students delve into the nuances of sail shape, boat handling, and seamanship while also gaining knowledge in crucial areas such as cruising sailboat terminology, boat systems, engine operation, docking procedures, intermediate sail trim, navigation rules, coastal navigation, anchoring, weather interpretation, safety, and seamanship. ASA 103 graduates are well-prepared for coastal cruising adventures.

Successful completion of ASA 103 opens doors to exciting opportunities for sailors, enabling them to charter and navigate boats confidently in coastal regions. Whether you aspire to explore diverse coastal destinations, refine your sailing proficiency, or progress toward advanced certifications, ASA 103 represents a significant milestone in your sailing journey. It provides the knowledge and competence needed to navigate coastal waters safely and effectively, empowering you to embark on memorable coastal cruising experiences.

Prerequisites: Basic Keelboat Sailing (ASA101) and Basic Coastal Cruising (ASA103) certifications

Time requirement: 10-12 hours

The American Sailing Association (ASA) 104 certification, commonly referred to as “Bareboat Cruising,” represents the pinnacle of sailing proficiency, preparing sailors for the challenges of chartering and operating bareboats independently. This advanced-level course, building upon ASA 101 and ASA 103, instills participants with the knowledge and skills required to confidently skipper sloop-rigged, auxiliary-powered keelboats or catamarans, typically ranging from 30 to 45 feet in length. During a multi-day cruise across inland or coastal waters, sailors gain practical experience in managing their vessels under varying conditions, including moderate to heavy winds of up to 30 knots and challenging sea conditions. 

ASA 104 delves into various critical aspects of bareboat cruising, encompassing provisioning, galley operations, boat systems, auxiliary engine operation, routine maintenance procedures, advanced sail trim, coastal navigation (including basic chart plotting and GPS operation), multiple-anchor mooring, docking, health and safety protocols, emergency operations, weather interpretation, and dinghy/tender operation. By the course’s conclusion, participants possess the expertise and confidence needed to take the helm of a bareboat, navigate coastal and international waters, and embark on memorable sailing adventures with competence and assurance. ASA 104 certification is highly respected within the sailing community and serves as a testament to a sailor’s readiness for independent cruising and exploration.

Prerequisites: None

The Crew Level is the first step in Sail Caribbean’s sailing certification program, designed to provide students with a solid foundation in sailing on a larger sailboat. This certification is a prerequisite for all students and includes mastery of the basics of sailing. To achieve Crew Level, participants must complete a practical check-off and pass a multiple-choice exam. Captains assess the students and assign an ability score. Successful participants are awarded a white sailing bracelet, signifying their accomplishment.

Prerequisites: Sail Caribbean Crew Certification

Bosun Level is the second tier of Sail Caribbean’s sailing certifications and builds upon the skills learned at the Crew Level. To earn Bosun Level certification, students must demonstrate proficiency in more advanced sailing skills. This includes sail reefing, timed tacking and jibing, island crossing, advanced navigation, anchoring, docking, and de-docking, along with racing tactics and safety techniques. Leadership abilities, while underway, are a core focus of this certification. Achieving the Bosun Level certification opens the door to further responsibilities and opportunities within the sailing program. Successful participants receive a blue sailing bracelet.

Prerequisite: Sail Caribbean Bosun certification and at least one year at Sail Caribbean.

Mate Level is the highest level of certification offered at Sail Caribbean and is exclusively for returning students who have proven their dedication and competence in sailing. This certification is the most extensive and is reserved for the most experienced and invested sailors. To attain Mate Level certification, students must work closely with a captain who is deeply invested in their progress and actively follows through on a customized plan for the student. This certification encompasses a wide range of skills, including assigning crew positions, directing various phases of seamanship and safety drills, demonstrating proficiency in engine, dinghy, and equipment use and maintenance, maintaining an accurate ship’s log, and monitoring weather conditions. Mate Level graduates are considered capable second-in-commands and are given a special recognition for their exceptional sailing abilities and leadership qualities.

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