Advanced Open Water Certification. Like so many people who PADI discover scuba diving and complete their PADI Open water Course with ease is where the next challenge is going to come from. During the PADI Open Water course everything is new and so much to see and do. Then you still want more. You are now a real scuba diver and diving ment new locations and seeing so many new things. However on the dive boat you are hearing stories from all the other people about diving here, diving there, seeing all the great photos and videos, diving "deep," diving this wreck or even finding something underwater and the struggle to bring it to the surface.
How do these people do all these great things that you are hearing about? But more importantly what are you interested in, what will you like or dislike, what will make a great dive for YOU ?
The next step for you is the PADI Advanced Open water course. Dont worry its not nearly as hard as your PADI Open Water course when everything is new. The Advanced course is about self study and diving. To complete the PADI Advanced course you must complete 5 chapters in the advanced manual then complete the five dives related to those chapters. What chapters you choose depend on the location you choose to do the course in. The Deep dive and Navigation are two that must be done but the other three are your choices. Like I say the location will dictate to some extent. For example in the far east or other tropical waters will rule out Dry Suit diving as will salt water locations will rule out altitude diving. There may be no wreck or night dive options either. The two dives that have to be done are the Deep dive as the PADI Advanced Open Water license will allow you dive to thirty meters. Although this in itself is not a great challenge there are things to be aware of. The speed of you air consumption, your reduced no decompression time, less light and a few extra concerns on top of what you learned in the Open water Course. Navigation is the other one that must be done. As an Advanced diver you should really have an idea where you are and where you are going. This is as you learned already done with a compass. In the Open water course you you did a straight line out and back with a 180 degree turn. Now we are going to improve on this by navigating a square. We also will try to gauage distance by "fin Kicks" and time. We will also see how currents will effect this.
The rest is up to you and your instructor. There may be a good wreck near you. This will give you a taste of wreck diving. You will learn what to look out for and spot hazards. Also the get to see the great marine life that tends to gather round a wreck.
Do you want to learn how to take great underwater photos or video. Where to place yourself in relation to the subjsct and the position of the sun. Is there much particals in the water and how to avoid getting them in your shot. How to get the color back in the photos so they are not just blue. How to control your breathing to get the camera still. There is so much more than just aim and fire.
Search and recovery will teach you the basics. You will learn which search pattens are best for various situations and locations. How to recover the item from the seabed. Do you need a lift bag and how you use one safely. You do not want the bag to drag you to the surface as well causing you injury. Are you interested in what you are looking at down there? The different types of fish and other creatures and their habitats. If so the Underwater Naturalist or Fish identification are for you. If your diving will be done from large boats or small boats then learn the different styles of diving from different types of boat. Do you use a dive computer or need help getting the most out of it. Then Multilevel and Computer diving. Improve your bouyancy, air consumption and general dive style along with Correct weighting will all improve your diving. Peak performance bouyancy is the one for you.
Night diving may be an option if you are planning to do a live aboard trip. Learn to navigate at night and the dangers to look out for. What different creatures are about and how to communicate as normal hand signals cant be seen. The other and best reason to do the padi Advanced course is it keeps you diving and introduces you to other areas of diving that may interest you. As you will now be able to dive to thirty meters it will open up other dive sites to you all over the world. After that who knows what you will discover or go on to. There are so many specialties to choose from and you may have got your taste fot it from your PADI Advanced course.
Most dive centers offer the advanced course as a 2 day course and with no pool and classroom sessions makes it a fun 2 days. if you are planning two or more days diving then it will be worth while doing the PADI advanced course is diving anyway and the price is roughly the same as three day trips. Going on a Live Aboard ? Then why not do a couple of days diving first as a warm up and get your Advanced as you go. this will make the Live Aboard trip so much more enjoyable. Diving in Phuket Thailand the price is so cheap compared to other countries. Even better as the the course includes a big cooked breakfast, Huge buffet lunch and afternoon tea along with all equipment, tea, coffee, drinking water and fresh fruit all day. On top of that they will pick you up from your hotel and return you to it at the end of the day. There is nowhere better to take the PADI Advanced course as Phuket as its great diving at great prices ALL year round.