After months or years of logging dives, you may feel the need to learn more skills. Perhaps this may have been triggered by your interest to explore deeper dive sites or conditions that do not allow you due to your open water diver limitations.
Scuba Diving Advanced Open Water Certification
Sanctioned by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), the Scuba Diving Advanced Open Water Certification is designed to build your underwater confidence by expanding your knowledge while learning advanced skills.
Aside from knowledge development through classroom lecture, the advanced course is divided into several segments that is being taught through adventure dives. A minimum of 5 adventure dives is required for you to satisfy the requirements of the course and each dive should allow you to perform a specific advanced diving skill, as follows:
One of the mandatory skills that you will learn in the advanced open water certification course is underwater navigation.
While you may already have knowledge about navigation, doing it underwater would be more challenging and this is where the training refines your skills. At some point, you will master your underwater navigation using an underwater compass while performing a pre-determined number of kick cycles and a preset time. Aside from the use of compass, you will also be taught to read natural landmarks such as coral boomies or reef ledge to indicate your specific location in the reef.
There are many dive spots around Western Australia that may require you to go deep diving. Many have find the deeper parts of the reef an enchanted experience as natural light is reduced and marine creatures may not be the same as the shallows.
A deep dive is defined as any dive deeper than 18 meters (60 feet), but this does not mean that you can go as deep as you want as the maximum depth set for any recreational scuba diving is 40 meters (130 feet). In the advanced open water course, you will be taught to monitor your air consumption, depth and bottom time to prevent nitrogen narcosis, decompression sickness and other deep diving related illness.
Although considered not a mandatory adventure dive, night diving is one of the many advanced skills we love the most.
As a general rule, you are not allowed to go night diving when you haven’t explored a dive site during the day. While you may be familiar with the local reef you have been exploring in performing your adventure dives during the day, you will be surprised when you go night diving as the reef residents of the day take refuge under cracks and crevices while nocturnal animals, like crabs, squids and octopus come out to feed.
Underwater photographs is a great way to reminisce your underwater adventures and you don’t want to stare on a blurred picture.
During the course, you will be taught to shoot a subject using the easiest and most efficient way possible, regardless if you are using simple digital camera or sophisticated dSLR. Some of the principles that will be taught in this course is the “Shoot, Examine and Adjust” method and good composition where you will be amazed of the results once you review them back on land. You can also discuss with your instructor what type of camera is best suited for you and your objectives.
Peak Performance Buoyancy
There is no doubt that one of the difficulties we encounter when we are just learning how to dive is buoyancy. You may remember that there are instances that you suddenly ascend or descend to the reef floor where the potential of damaging the reef is eminent.
During the advanced course, you will be taught on how to achieve neutral buoyancy, may it be with the use of your equipment or just mere breathing. Please take note that peak performance buoyancy is a great way to compliment underwater photography, as well as other advanced skills.
One of the most interesting dives in the world has something to do with shipwrecks or other objects that were intentionally sunk in the seafloor.
During the advanced open water course, you will be taught how to safely explore the perimeter of the wreck without causing any damage to the object or to yourself. Some considerations in navigating the wreck, survey and mapping techniques, as well as the proper fining technique (so as not to disturb the wreck’s inhabitants) are also taught. Although described in details when you take the specialty course, entering the internal structures of the wreck (also called as penetration) is not advisable especially if you are not familiar with the deck plan of wreck you are exploring.
“What’s that fish? What kind of fish is that?” Of course, you should be shame to yourself if you claim that you are an accomplished diver, yet you do not know the name of that particular fish. During the Advanced course, you will be taught on the general nomenclature of common fish that can be found in a reef or in a dive site that you will be exploring.
Now, let’s skip this mini-lecture and deal with the real thing by answering the question: WHAT KIND OF FISH CAN BE SEEN IN THE PICTURE BELOW?
Remember, you don’t need to provide the genus and species name of the fish as common name will suffice. But what would we recommend in an actual dive is to note down the size of the fish and its behavior during your interaction.
As you accomplish the required adventure dives for the advanced course, we are quite sure that you will have your own favorite skill. Some like to go deep diving, some may love wreck diving while some may go in to underwater photography. Finishing the advanced course does not mean that your learning will be over as you still have the option to enroll in a specialty course where each these skills are taught in details and earn a separate Specialty Certification for it. Or perhaps, consider taking up the Rescue Diver course.
Video courtesy from PADI