Save time when you take your PADI course in Gran Canaria with an e-learning theory package.

Taking your first SCUBA diving course is an important event. With the knowledge you gain you will be able to explore the oceans, see underwater seascapes such as corals, volcanic cliffs or kelp forests, and meet amazing creatures such as cuttlefish, octopus and morays.

One of the biggest objections to taking your PADI course during a short break has been that it will take too much time out of your holiday. For many years, the four-day format of the PADI Open Water Course, with theory lessons and tests, has left anyone staying for a week with effectively only one or two days to either soak up the sun or explore the island.

This has now changed in that with the new e-learning materials now available from PADI for their courses, you can study all the theory before you arrive in Gran Canaria, and then you only need three days to complete your course. Davy Jones Diving are one of the leaders in the use of these e-learning materials with over ten years experience of e-courses and many students who have loved their courses.

This makes your PADI course with Davy Jones Diving much more enjoyable as can save time during your holiday by doing all the theory in the peace of your own home. When you get to Gran Canaria you spend more time relaxing and exploring, and you do not have to include course books and materials in your baggage on your flights.

You still get the same number of training dives in the sea, and you still visit the same amazing dive sites in Arinaga, Gran Canaria. Despite most of your dives starting in shallow depths you still get to see some incredible sea life on your dives in the El Cabrón Marine Reserve. The Playa del Cabrón dive site has all the colourful ‘common’ species such as damselfish, wrasse, parrotfish and bream; but also lots of unusual creatures that are normally only found in deeper water such as trumpetfish, razorfish, blennies, wrasse and lizardfish.

Parrotfish, gold-striped bream and Atlantic damselfish on the reef

Advantages of taking the PADI e-learning (distance learning) course.

+ The biggest advantage of using the PADI e-learning system is that it can reduce the time taken with an instructor and shorten your PADI Open Water Course from four days to 3 days.

+ Many students have a preference for learning from a screen rather than a book, with greater interactivity, and video clips as part of the support materials.

+You have no heavy manual to carry to or from the dive centre

+ You can complete the theory in your own home, at your own pace.

+ Your certificate of completion is valid at any PADI dive centre to complete the in-water training.

+ The PADI App will give you lifetime access to the course manual anywhere in the world so you can always look up anything you have forgotten.

Four steps to take your PADI Course with e-learning

It is easy to plan your PADI Open Water Course with the e-learning system. You just need to co-ordinate the dates for the two parts: the distance learning with the PADI e-learning pack, and the in-water training with your selected PADI Diving Centre. You just need to follow these four steps to plan your e-learning course.

  1. Order the code from your PADI Dive Centre and book your in-water training sessions
  2. Create your training account at
  3. Read and watch the learning materials, at home, on the train, on the beach, on your own device.
  4. Complete the practical lessons with your PADI Dive Centre

Step 1 – Plan your course with your chosen PADI Dive Centre and order your digital access code.

You need to use a PADI Dive Centre to complete your e-learning course by doing the in-water skills training and having some fun during your open water lessons. So start by discussing the plan with them. You can purchase your digital access code directly from PADI, but you may find that due to local taxation your code is less expensive if you get it direct from the dive centre. For example in the Canary Islands, the VAT rate is only 7% instead of 20% in much of Europe.

Step 2 – Set up your account in the PADI App at

To set up your code, you will need to provide four pieces of information : Your full name; your date of birth, your e-mail address and finally the language you want to study in.

At the time of writing, you can choose from the following languages for your course: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Korean, Japanese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Norwegian, Swedish, Portuguese, Polish, Danish, Russian, Arabic, Hebrew, Thai, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu.

You then need to follow the instructions you will receive with your digital access code to log into the PADI app and access the materials in the ‘My Courses’ tab.

Step 3 -Read and watch the learning materials

It will take you between 5 and 10 hours to complete the training materials, so find yourself a place where you can work comfortably without interruptions. Plan your sessions to suit your personal learning style (i.e. two or three long sessions or several shorter sessions with more breaks). This is not a race, and it is best to allow plenty of time so you understand all the concepts better.

Step 4 – Complete the practical lessons with your PADI Dive Centre

This is what you have been waiting for – the practical lessons in the water! You will complete the ‘confined water lessons’ in either a pool, or shallow open water, and then you complete the four Open Water lessons in the sea, with a progressive increase of depth.

If you take your course in Gran Canaria, then you will probably see

Frequently Asked Questions about the PADI E-Learning.

Q. If I buy my Digital Access Key from one Dive Centre, do I have to complete the in-water training with them, or if I go to another Dive Centre do I have to buy another code?

A. No, your Digital Access code is valid at all PADI Dive centres worldwide. You can even split the in-water training between two (or more!) dive centres, and for example do the confined water training in a pool with one PADI Dive Centre and the in-water training with a different centre.

Q. If I take the PADI Open Water using e-learning is the qualification any different from somebody who has taken the traditional training route, and can I dive as a buddy with them.

A. Yes you can dive with your buddy as there is no difference in the recommendations for limits for people who qualify using the traditional or e-learning routes.

Q. If I take the PADI e-learning theory can I complete my diver training with a different training agency ?

A. No, All the agencies have minor variations in procedures and you should learn the theory and practical at the same agency.

Q. How can I start planning my PADI Open Water Course in Gran Canaria

A. Contact Davy Jones Diving in Gran Canaria and give them as many details as possible about who wants to learn to dive and when, and then they can come up with a personalised plan for your PADI Open Water Course.

Brian Goldthorpe is a BSAC Advanced Instructor and a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer with ‘Elite’ status. He has been diving in the Canary Islands since 2002 where he runs a diving centre in Gran Canaria – Davy Jones Diving

Can you keep SCUBA diving in the Canaries during a no-deal BREXIT?

Yes of course you can dive in the Canaries!  There is no reason to be worried about planning a diving holiday during the BREXIT uncertainty. 

Since the original exit date at the end March evaporated, the most likely outcome as we write(!) is a ‘dis-orderly departure’ of the United Kingdom from the EU, which will have almost no impact on the millions of holidaymakers who visit Spain from the UK every year.

For visitors to the Canary Islands from other parts of the EU we do not foresee any disruption, so these hints and tips are mainly for travellers from the United Kingdom .

Firstly, there seems to be a raft of ‘misinformation’ and scare stories, so I have tackled here some questions we have heard from guests who want to go diving in Gran Canaria. There are still many divers who want to come out from the UK to get a break, in the sun, especially in Autumn and Winter when most of the Mediterranean Resorts are closed.

Much of this advice is based on authoritative reports, but also on the experiences of customers during the ‘Ash Cloud’ crisis in 2010, when planes stopped flying.

I hope this will cut through the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt), so you can travel happy and enjoy your diving in Gran Canaria and the other Canary Islands this year.

What happened during the Ash Cloud?

In April 2010, the eruption of a volcano in Iceland created the highest level of air traffic disruption since the second world war.  Many fears have been published that a ‘no-deal’ BREXIT could also leave pilots and planes without permission to fly, stranding British holidaymakers throughout Europe.

Relax and enjoy the sunshine if your flight is delayed

But when that happened in 2010, all the Tour Operators, such as TUI, Thomas Cook stepped up to the plate and arranged continued stays in hotels, and looked after their customers, taking some back home in chartered  cruise ships or by land.

So our first tip, is if you are worried about ‘being stranded’ by a sudden no-deal Brexit, book a package holiday with a major tour operator, in one of the bigger hotels.  They will then be there to help you and to make sure that any travel disruption is minimised, and at no extra cost.

And the ‘official position’ is that in March 2019 the EU and the UK agreed a reciprocal 12-month airspace access period in the event of no-deal, when “ for the 12-month period the UK intended to grant EU air carriers a level of access to the UK at least equivalent to the rights that would be granted to UK airlines under the EU’s regulation.“This includes traffic rights, ownership and control, leasing of aircraft, cooperative marketing arrangements and fair competition,” the transport department said.“. 

So even with a worst case of a no-deal BREXIT, UK flights will still come to the Canaries, and European carriers can still fly in and out of the UK.  

Do I need an International Diving Licence to dive after BREXIT?

Yes, this is in fact true … but you need one today, and you already have one!

The majority of recreational diving qualifications are NOT controlled by either the EU, or by national governments.  Your PADI, CMAS, NAUI or BSAC qualification has been issued by an independent body, and all have been approved as meeting the International Standard ISO 24801-2. 

We will accept any diver with a valid ISO qualification here to dive, in all cases (No-Brexit, No-Deal, transition period  or Smooth exit).  I am sure that other dive centres in Spain will be the same.
So our second tip is that if you are  worried that your PADI card does not specify this standard (or you have lost the card), then you can get a replacement card for about €45.00, or why not do that PADI Advanced or Speciality course you were thinking of, and get a new card which shows the ISO compatibility.

Can I still use my EHIC card for medical treatment during any transition period?

The answer here is more of a ‘yes and no’.  The European Health Insurance Card does cover basic medical costs when in Europe, but importantly, in Spain and some other countries it DOES NOT COVER HYPERBARIC TREATMENT.  In Spain the law requires all divers to have both diving medical insurance and ‘Responsibilidad Civil’, neither of which are covered by the EHIC card. 

Over the last few years I have seen more and more visitors travelling without any form of travel Insurance, and I have also heard about visitors who have had a (non-diving) accident, been treated free, but then had extra costs to pay for new flights or changes to hotels, all of which are normally covered by a good travel insurance policy.

Remember also that the EHIC card only covers treatment in the Spanish National Health service, where they do not always speak English, while if you have a travel insurance, you will be treated in a private clinic where there are more language experts.

So tip 3 is that both before and after any BREXIT, you should have a good travel Insurance policy, which covers diving, and in the event of any unfortunate accident such as a broken leg, you not only get good medical treatment, but great support from your insurer to get home without any extra problems.

Yes, I know insurance is boring and sensible, but there are plenty of good annual multi-trip policies available, including from diving specialists such as DAN and Divemaster Insurance, which will give you a comprehensive cover for a whole year at a good price.   If you just want to ‘top-up’ your cover for diving here we have daily, weekly ,monthly and annual policies available which cover any diving issues in Spain.


So to summarise my three tips, book a package of flight and hotel to somewhere familiar, where you have been before, and where the family will all feel comfortable. 
Check that you have your PADI card or equivalent before travelling, and double check that your travel insurance covers all the activities you want to enjoy on holiday, including Scuba Diving.
If you book your package to Gran Canaria (tip no 4?) then send me a message, let me know you are coming and I can arrange some dives in the El Cabrón Marine Reserve for you.