A lot of people ask me after the PADI Open Water course, what do I do next? Are there any more courses that I should take? And I will tell you the same thing that I tell them – go diving, just dive for a while. See what you enjoy most about diving and then make up your mind about what you’d like to learn more about.
What I mean, take up courses that you would actually need, like if you want to go diving on a dive site deeper than 18 meters, the PADI Deep Adventure dive gives you the exposure and know how to dive up to 30 meters. The Deep specialty, will further take you to 40 meters (the limit for recreational diving). Or the PADI Wreck Adventure dive would be helpful if you’re planning to dive on those beautiful world war ship wrecks. The PADI Wreck specialty can even train you to enter inside the wrecks, if you’re up for that.
So, the PADI Adventure dives are single dives that introduce you to a particular type of diving. The full specialty courses help you to pick up the skills required to become proficient at it. In the same spirit, the PADI Advanced Open Water diver course is just a bundle of five adventure dives that introduces you to different types of diving. Two are mandatory – Deep and Underwater Navigation, rest three are optional based on the environment, student’s interests and the instructor’s expertise.
I am PADI specialty instructor for the following –
- Deep Diver: As I have already explained above, with this you train to go as deep as 40 meters.
- Underwater Navigator: Navigating the underwater environment can be tricky for a new diver, so this course introduces the diver to compass navigation. Also, it covers fundamentals of natural navigation (using the environment around to navigate).
- Wreck Diver: This course starts off with learning to identify potential hazards to the diver and understanding the structure of the wreck. And if you’re up for it also goes into the techniques to safely enter and navigate around and inside the wrecks (though good diving skills are required for this and recommended for more experienced divers).
- Peak Performance Buoyancy: One of the most important skills in diving is good buoyancy control, basically you don’t go bumping around things in water or erratically change depth. This is bad for you as a diver, people diving with you and the underwater environment. This specialty is basically a fine tuning workshop which builds on the buoyancy skills you already would have learnt in your open water course.
- Digital Underwater Photography: Most cameras are not water proof, even those that are, have depth and time limits, so we use underwater housings. These seal the camera within and keep it safe from water. This course covers material about caring for them. But the main focus is photography itself as the light and colours behave differently underwater than on surface. Also, as a photographer, your buoyancy skills become ever more important.
- Night Diver: Night diving exposes you to a completely new underwater environment. Diving with lights effectively and safely is a good skill to have as you encounter a wide variety of marine critters that are generally not active in the daytime.
- Search & Recovery: If you loose something on a dive or are searching for something in particular underwater, this course can teach you the skills that will come in handy. Make and execute search patterns underwater and bring objects up to the surface in a safe manner. That is the focus of this course.
- Fish ID: Ever wondered about the fishes you see underwater? The course explains some basic principles that can be applied in identifying various fish with the help of marine encyclopaedia. It can greatly enhance your dive experience when you are able to identify the different types of fish you come across.
- Underwater Naturalist: This builds on Fish ID and further delves into the relation between the various marine critters. Observation over time is your biggest asset if you are interested in becoming a naturalist. What they eat? How they behave? How they are effected by the the environment around?. It gives a whole new perspective to each dive you make – even the sand comes alive, full of all the macro critters.
- Equipment Specialist: Since we dive using the scuba equipment, it plays a crucial role in our comfort and safety. Hence, it always helps to know more about your equipment. How it works? How to deal with some of the common problems? How to take care of it? It becomes even more important if you have your own set of equipment.
- Drift Diver: A lot of good dive sites around the world have currents, so it makes sense to learn to deal with them as divers. If the currents are not too strong, the easiest way to dive is drift diving, ie, let the current carry you. Of course, it takes some skill building to do it with ease and safety and this is what this course focuses on.
- Enriched Air Diver: Generally most recreational scuba dives are made on air (21% Oxygen), but in some scenarios it may be beneficial to dive with enriched air (21- 40% Oxygen). This gives more dive time and reduces chances of decompression sickness occurring, but reduces the depth limit, depending on the percentage of oxygen. It can be beneficial to photographers and divers making multiple dives in a day.
- Emergency Oxygen Provider: In accidents related to decompression sickness or drowning, giving oxygen is highly recommended. So learning to be able to provide oxygen in such scenarios is good skill to have, especially if you aspire to be a good rescue diver.
- Coral Reef Conservation & Project Aware: These courses are intended to create awareness about project aware (a PADI initiative) and the work they do towards marine conservation.
The best way I can suggest on deciding your path is to call me up for a one on one consultation, either in person or on line. so we can go through the things that you may be interested in pursuing and the skills that you may need to acquire to achieve those goals. So, contact me and we can discuss further 🙂
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