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Length of time for 2 tank dive?


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We're brand new, recently PADI certified divers. I'm booking our dives for our cruise port stops in March and wondering what I should estimate the time range to be for a typical 2-tank dive? I know people go through air at different rates so there will be variation, but I'd love a general idea of what to expect. My parents are cruising with us but not diving and I'd like to figure out when we might be able to meet back up for the rest of the day. 

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Generally, I would allow 4.5 hours to be back off the dive boat from the start time.  This can get longer if you’re somewhere with extended travel from the marina to the dive sites, and wouldn’t include time from the ship to the dive shop.  

If you use 8:00 am as a scheduled time, here’s how it breaks out:


8:00 am paperwork and gear fitting, getting on the boat.  

8:30 boat actually gets underway, gear assembly and dive 1 briefing en route to first site. 

9:00 in the water


10:00 out of water, change tanks, surface interval, briefing for dive 2. 

11:00 dive 2 in the water


Noon out of the water, gear disassembly en route, cleaning and paperwork at the shop. 


Denver, CO



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concur this will be the ball park. IME most dive ops will try to get it two trips - two tank dives - each day ... there will be some variables wrt the 'transit time' to/from the site but they will typically set a 'maximum' bottom time regardless of your actual air status (you may not be close to 'empty') to stay on schedule.  Here's the shop schedule for our favorite shop taking small groups into Pennekamp Park




Depending on the port you may be able to have flexibility for a shorter 'trip' by just doing a shore dive or two. This is what we typically do in Cayman ... just heading down to Eden Rock or Sunset House and doing shore dives. For new divers this can actually provide a better (shallower) profile versus a 'wall dive'

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