Why to keep on diving and getting your PADI Advanced Open Water

 In PADI E-learning, PADI courses

Hey everybody, so you might have seen my other blog post about getting an Open Water certification.  (If not, you can find it here: https://www.oceanloverstaganga.com/why-you-should-become-a-certified-open-water-diver/).  In that post, I explained how diving for the first time was like being an astronaut exploring new planets.  Are you an Open Water Diver?  Have you already seen a seahorse? I hope so, because they are my favorite animals under water and I’m sure you love them as much as me. But, let me tell you, your Open Water certification was just the start of an unbelievable, never-ending journey. But what comes next? The urge to keep diving, explore this ecosystem, go deeper than ever any human before (well – maybe you just want to go beyond 20 meters). There is so much more to see – but, if you are going to take the next steps, you want to make sure you can stay safe.  Don’t be worried. The most important thing when diving, and of course in life, stay in your limits with what you doing. With the right knowledge and practice these limits can be extended. How do you get both of these? The answer is the Advanced Open Water course. I got my advanced certification her in Taganga with Ocean Lovers. 

First of all, the Advanced Open Water course is about increasing your knowledge, responsibility and confidence under water. It builds upon the knowledge you gained in the Open Water course. The foundational knowledge that every Advanced Open Water student gets are about deep diving and navigation.  As with the Open Water course, there is e-learning, or book-learning that is first.  In that, you learn how to navigate on your own. Part of the course is about how to use a compass, manage depth and count kick-cycles so that you can go out diving without a guide. You also learn about navigating by using the natural environment.

The second foundation part of the course is about deep dives. The e-learning explains more about what to expect when doing a deep dive. You also learn more information about how your body absorbs nitrogen and how to ensure that you are safe diving deeper. Narcosis is more likely at greater depths, and so the course spends time explaining these concepts so divers can stay safe.  

As with the Open Water Course, however, the fun part is practicing these skills! The instructor will help ensure that you can navigate when 10 meters down. The deep dive is also a lot of fun, as you see what happens to a deflated bottle as it rises to the surface.  We also played a timed game both at the surface and underwater to see how the brain functions at 30 meters deep!

Beyond the foundational knowledge that everyone taking the Advanced course is given, you also choose 3 specialties.  You choose three out of multiple options, such as: peak performance buoyancy, wreck, drift, night dive, search and rescue, etc. The hardest part here is not the specialty itself. No.  It’s the decision about which of them you want to choose, as there are a lot of options. Just look on the PADI’s website. But before you make your decision, talk with your instructor. S/he can tell you the advantage and disadvantages of every adventure dive. With my instructor, Jorge, I figured out what option would be the most fun and the best for me. 

It took a while until I made my decision; but, I finally chose the Drift Diving, Peak Performance Buoyancy and the Night Dive. My personal highlight was the Night Dive. Honestly, I think it is a course everyone should do. It’s not like in space. Here on the blue planet, we have day and night. Exploring our underwater universe at night is absolutely fascinating. It’s like the fauna produces new creations.  A lot of the water species are nocturnal. In Taganga or Tayrona National Park you can see crabs, octopuses, moray eels, lobsters and maybe a colorful snails. 

There is no theoretical final exam for the Advanced Open Water course. You simply get to review the topics with your instructor and then do the dives.  The main focus is on the underwater activity. The focus is on making sure you can do the skills really well. But that’s important because it helps you gain confidence as you learn the skills. 

Just have a quick talk with your local dive center while sipping a cool beer or a nice coffee and talk about the many possibilities at the Advanced Open Water Course. I promise you won’t regret it!

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