Continuing Education in Scuba Diving
Deciding to start an Open Water Diving Course can be both; exhilarating and life altering! When you start scuba diving, you are about to discover a whole new world – A world that hasn’t even been fully charted yet. Becoming a PADI or SSI Open Water Diver is about a difficult as learning how to ride a bike and during your Open Water Course, you will learn all the necessary skills to become a safe diver. But perhaps, after you completed your OWD, you are still a bit ‘wobbly’ at diving or you lack the confidence to continue scuba diving as an independent diver because you don’t feel safe yet underwater…
No worries! there is a solution to this problem. Enroll in the advanced open water course to gain more experience under professional guidance. Learn a few more skills and get comfortable underwater!
PADI’s next diving course after the OWD is called the Advanced Open Water Course (AOWD), while SSI’s course is called the Advanced Adventurer. Both courses will teach you how to become a more assertive and autonomous diver by building on the skills you learned in your Open Water Diver Course.[singlepic id=216 w=320 h=240 float=right]The advanced course consists of five additional dives and can be completed in as little as two days! One of the five dives will be a mandatory deep dive to 30 meters (THAT’S AWESOME!). On this dive, your diving instructor will teach you about the different pressure and color changes, and about air consumption at depth. Another dive will be the navigation dive. Here, you will learn how to use a compass. We will practice diving in a square pattern and forming a reciprocal heading where you will dive forth and back on the same coordinates. We will also focus on using different navigation techniques and how to estimate distances underwater. (FUN!). We recommend choosing the buoyancy dive as your third dive. (It’s my FAVORITE dive to teach). Here, we concentrate on perfecting our neutral buoyancy by playing games, such as diving through a square, practicing the hover and the fin pivot. Having good neutral buoyancy is VERY important for many reasons: (i) you become more comfortable underwater, (ii) you use less air, meaning longer dive times, and (iii) you preserve the aquatic environment by not damaging it with fin kicks or dangling equipment. Eventually, you will be able to reduce the amount of weight you use underwater because you have a better understanding of how important your lungs are in diving! This can prolong your dive time considerably! For your last two dives, you have the option to choose from the following dives:
- Project AWARE – Fish Identification
- Night Diving
- Multilevel and Computer Diving
- Nitrox Diving
- Search and Recovery Diving
- Underwater (digital) Photography
- Shipwreck Diving and many more
Each dive from your Advanced Open Water Course counts toward its corresponding dive specialty. A specialty generally consists of four or more dives where you learn more about a specific topic, such as shipwreck diving. Basically, the advanced course gives you a preview into what diving has to offer.[singlepic id=217 w=320 h=240 float=left]After the Advanced Open Water Diver Course, you can choose to become first aid qualified and a Rescue Diver. PADI offers the EFR (Emergency First Aid Responder) and its Rescue Diver course. SSI has its Respond Right course for first aid and its Stress & Rescue Diver course. Both of these diving courses teach you how to prevent and recognize the signs of stress and how to safely assist a tired and panicked diver both under the water and on the surface. These courses demonstrate that you are serious about being a safe and conscientious diver. Hopefully, you never have to use the rescue skills, but they are a great addition to your diving arsenal.
Obviously, this is just the start to your diving career and there are many different paths from which to choose. Scuba diving is far more than a hobby; it’s a way of life. We here at Sairee Cottage encourage you to learn as much about scuba diving as possible. You can begin your path by choosing from the courses mentioned above and/or by signing up for specific specialties and/or by choosing to become a dive professional. The sky is the limit!
by Rachel Kelley