Hot Spring Diver

Hot Spring Diver

featured in Sport Diver Magazine

When I started writing the outline for Hot Spring Diver, my goal was to provide useful information and safety guidelines for enjoying the hot springs we find in Utah.   I was rather stunned to be contacted by Sport Diver Magazine because they were interested in the Hot Spring Diver PADI Distinctive Specialty.   In the April 2014 issue, Hot Spring Diver appears in “The Planet’s 10 Coolest PADI Specialties”  I’m truly honored that Sport Diver Magazine chose my Hot Spring Diver specialty for the article.

Two scuba divers enjoying the Hot Spring Diver experience at the Homestead Crater

Two divers at the Homestead Crater, enjoying the Hot Spring Diver experience

A few people have contacted me with questions about the course.   Here’s the nutshell version:

  • Minimum age: 10
  • Prerequisite Certification: PADI Open Water Diver, PADI Junior Open Water Diver or equivalent
  • Recommended: Altitude Diving experience and training
  • Number of dives: 2
  • Approximate course length: 6-10 hours, including dives and knowledge development.

There is a short presentation that covers:

  • What is a Hot Spring?
  • Hot Spring Characteristics
  • Hot Spring Locations
  • Techniques for the Hot Spring Diver
  • Equipment considerations for the Hot Spring Diver

My preferred location to teach the Hot Spring Diver course is at the Homestead Crater, since it is an easily accessible dive site for divers of almost any ability.  As with any Hot Spring Dive in Utah, it is an altitude dive (dive 1000ft/300m or more above sea level), so I’ll review Altitude Diving procedures as part of the course if needed.

Please contact me for more information or if you have any questions about the Hot Spring Diver course.

I can arrange for groups to take the course and streamline the process for Crater reservations and assist with arranging accommodations.  If you have a dive club or group that want’s to take the course, please contact me.


Hot Spring Diver Pro Training

For PADI Instructors, I do offer Specialty Instructor Training for the Hot Spring Diver Distinctive Specialty.   As with any PADI Specialty training, you’ll need to meet the same performance requirements of Hot Spring Divers as well as teach portions of the course.   A written instructor guide and slides are available for PADI Instructors taking the Hot Spring Diver Instructor training course.   Contact me for more information.

PADI Master Scuba Diver

Garibaldi in the California Channel Islands

Garibaldi in the California Channel Islands

No one walks into a dojo saying “I want to be a white belt.”   Everyone aspires to be a Black Belt.   It’s the same in Scuba.   Yes, becoming a PADI Open Water Scuba Diver is awesome, but… divers don’t dive to remove & replace their mask or to recover & clear a regulator.    Divers dive because it is FUN!   Why is it fun?   Because we get to explore the underwater world.    The PADI Open Water Scuba Diver is just the beginning, not the end.

Let’s take a look at the Black Belt of recreational diving, the PADI Master Scuba Diver.    This is the highest recreational (non-professional) diving certification.  What does it take to get there?


Now, let’s think about that.    Eight (8) certifications and 50 logged dives.    That’s a buddy I want to dive with.

How long does it take?   To become a PADI Master Scuba Diver, you need to complete all eight courses and have 50 logged dives.   Those 50 logged dives include training dives, but the eight courses don’t amount to a total of 50 dives.  So you need to make some recreational dives beyond the training courses.   Now, could you go to a dive site and make a set of 10 minute dives with short surface intervals and count them?   Yes, you probably could, but that’s not the point.   You need both the experience in the water as well as the pre-dive and post-dive components.   Setting up equipment, including specialty equipment.   Entries & exits.   Diving in different environments.  Taking care of equipment after the dive, including specialty equipment.   I’d contend that you really need to be looking at dives in different environments over a period of time to truly master scuba diving.

Here’s a sample schedule, starting from being a non-diver:

  • PADI Open Water Scuba Diver  1-2 weeks, 4 dives
  • PADI Advanced Open Water   1-4 days, 5 dives
  • PADI Rescue Diver  1-5 days, 2 dives (minimum)
  • Five PADI Specialty Courses   4+ days, 10 dives

To start with, that’s 27 days and 21 dives.   Sprinkle in a lot of non-training dives between courses, and you might be looking at becoming a PADI Master Scuba Diver in 1-2 months, depending on how driven you are.   But racing towards MSD may not be the best option.   Remember, you need to master and hone your diving skills.     On every dive, practice your buoyancy.   For every PADI Specialty course you take, practice those skills on later dives.   For example, I recently completed the PADI Sidemount Specialty.

You can see the separate SPG's from each first stage on my left & right sides.

You can see the separate SPG’s from each first stage on my left & right sides.

While I did complete all of the performance requirements, I knew I needed more dives to practice the skills.  I’ve since made 20+ additional side mount dives.   On each dive, I practiced some of the skills I learned in the course, such as S-drills (making sure my long hose was clear so I could share it with my buddy), out-of-air or regulator malfunction drills, etc.    Much of becoming a PADI Master Scuba Diver is in your attitude.   You need to feel comfortable with your gear and the specialty diving you’re doing–whether it’s Altitude diving, Sidemount or Hot Spring diving.

Related posts:

Altitude Diver

Sidemount Diver

Hot Spring Diving

Rescue Diver

Hot Spring Diver — a new PADI Distinctive Specialty

PADI certificate for PADI Hot Spring Diver Instructor

It’s time for something new and different.   A PADI Distinctive Specialty diver course for diving in hot springs.   [Instructor-level training is also available.]

What’s a hot spring?   A spring fed by water that is warmer than nominal ground water.    In Utah and the Intermountain west, we’re surrounded by them.   In Utah, one of the best known is the Homestead Crater.

surface view of the Homestead Crater

Warm/Hot water diving year round at the Homestead Crater in Midway Utah


Hot Spring diving does have some safety concerns, such as hyperthermia and dehydration.   To learn more, you need to take the Hot Spring Diver Distinctive Specialty Diver course.

Have you already dove in hot springs?   Are you looking for more knowledge about hot spring diving and recognition for your achievements?  Then the Hot Spring Diver Distinctive Specialty is for you.

Hot Spring diver topics include:

  • What is a hot spring?
  • Hot Spring Characteristics
  • Hot Spring Locations
  • Hot Spring diving techniques
  • Hot Spring diving precautions
  • Hot Spring diving equipment considerations
  • and… planning and making two hot spring dives!

Contact me to sign up for the Hot Spring Diver Distinctive Specialty course.

Blue Lake, Utah  -- one of Utah's best known hot spring dive sites.

Blue Lake, Utah — one of Utah’s best known hot spring dive sites.

One of the cool things about diving in Utah is that we have hot springs everywhere, including many hot spring dive sites.

Utah Hot springs

Course Calendar

Looking for a course calendar?   Here you go:

Pro Courses [PADI IDC, DAN IQC, PADI MSDT Prep, etc]

July 27-July 29 DAN IQC at Dive Utah, Holladay

Aug 24-26, Aug 31-Sept 2, Sept 7-9  PADI IDC  at Dive Utah, Holladay

Sept 15-16  PADI IE at the Homestead Resort/Crater, Midway, UT

Sept 28-30  DAN IQC at Dive Utah, Holladay

Oct 6-7,13-14  MSDT Prep


Diver Courses

No set schedule at this time.   Contact me to arrange for your scuba training.

I teach some awesome scuba classes including:

  • PADI Open Water Diver, Adventure Diver & Advanced Open Water, PADI Rescue Diver and a ton of specialty courses.
  • DAN Diving First Aid courses to get you ready to handle diving emergencies
  • Emergency First Response CPR & First aid programs–for diving and non-diving emergencies.

I can take you from non-diver to Divemaster in a few months, non-diver to Instructor in slightly more than 6 months and Master Diver Trainer shortly after that.   Let me change your life and you could be working in the tropics, sailing the blue seas and exploring the underwater world…or you can stay where you are, sitting in a cubicle, answering a phone and cussing at your computer.

Beach at Blue Bahia Resort, Roatan, HN

Imagine this as your office!



Scuba Diving Courses

Scuba Diving Courses


As a Scuba Instructor, I love to teach.   Part of that love comes from the variety of scuba diving courses I can offer.   Here’s a small sampling of those programs