|Congratulations, you’ve successfully completed your PADI Open Water Diver Course and you’re now qualified to dive with your buddy anywhere in the world. So the question is;‘If I’m already a qualified diver, why do I need to do more courses?’
The answer of course is, you don’t. If you are more than happy to dive to your current depth limit of 18 metres, then good for you. At that depth you’ll get to see all the coral reefs and colourful fish you can handle (Not literally I hope!). You’ll see Parrot Fish, Clown Fish (Nemo!) Sea Anemone’s and miles of stunning coral without dropping deeper than 18m. But of course there’s so much more to see in the World’s Oceans than what’s in the first 18m. Some of the bigger animals live at deeper depths and shipwrecks are more intact the deeper you dive because there’s less wave action to damage them. The point of the PADI Open Water Diver Course is to provide you with the basic skills to allow you to dive safely to the 18m depth limit but no deeper.
The PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course (AOW) expands on those basic skills and takes them to a more advanced level, hence the name. The aim is to give you a taste of some of the different types of diving that you might want to get into whilst at the same time providing you with a qualification certifying you to dive to a maximum depth of 30m. It will allow you to confidently dive to those depths without you feeling the need for that reassuring presence of an Instructor or Divemaster to escort you. Wherever you’re looking to dive in the world, you’ll almost certainly require the AOW certification. The shallow wrecks have generally been deliberately flattened as they constitute a shipping hazard. We therefore, have to dive that bit deeper in order to visit the more interesting wrecks that are out there off our coast. This of course applies to the majority of wrecks both home and abroad and they attract a vast array of sea life from coral to large pelagics and other marine creatures. They are a complete world in one 60 minute dive and if you’re into diving, you’re gonna’ get into shipwrecks. The ideal depth for most divers to visit is somewhere in the 20-30m range as this gives great diving conditions with a reasonable bottom time on a reasonably intact wreck. Of course you don’t have to dive that deep everytime you go diving, it’s up to you and your buddy. But what if there’s a particular wreck or reef trip that you would like to dive but the stipulation is AOW divers only? That’s very common and for insurance purposes, not only will the dive operator refuse to take you if you’re not suitably qualified, your insurance company are unlikely to pay out in the unlikely event of an accident. Two very good reasons alone for this certification level.
So what’s involved exactly?
Well, the course involves five dives two of which must be a navigation dive and a deep dive (30m max). After that you get to choose the three adventure dives that interest you the most. It might be Drift Diver or Wreck Diver. How about Underwater Naturalist or Search & Recovery? You might want to get into Underwater Photography, Dry Suit Diving or Night Diving. There’s loads out there to choose from and we’ll help steer you in the right direction for the sort of diving you’re looking to do at the dive locations you’re aiming to visit. Take a look at the list at the foot of the page for the list of potential dives.
Unlike the Open Water Course, there’s very little studying to complete as this is very much a practical, performance based course. After all, you’re already a qualified diver. There’s a chapter to read in the student manual followed by a knowledge review to complete and that’s it. No written quizes or exams to do and the manual can be completed either before or after the dives. Easy or what?!
The dives themselves can be done over one weekend if you wish or you can spread them in amongst good old fashioned fun diving thereby gaining lots of additional diving experience. It’s up to you. Why not join us on one of our training weekends and do both your AOW course as well as having some fun diving and a good weekend away at the same time?
The beauty of this course is that as well as providing you with an excellent qualification in its own right, the performed dives count towards the corresponding PADI Specialty qualification.
For example: The PADI Wreck Diver Specialty involves four dives carried out over at least two days. It teaches you how to assess the wreck for potential penetration, how to map it and finally how to safely enter and more importantly leave the wreck without getting lost inside.
If Wreck Diving was one of the adventure dives you completed during your AOW, then that counts towards the Wreck Diver Specialty so now you only need to complete three dives to qualify. Three training dives can of course be completed over just one day thereby enabling you to obtain this particular qualification that much sooner. This creditation applies to all of the Specialties if you wish it to or if you’re so minded, you could complete your AOW and then do completely different PADI Specialties altogether. It’s up to you. If you completed either your PADI Dry Suit Specialty or PADI Boat Diver Specialty with us as part of your PADI Open Water weekend then that’s one dive completed towards your AOW already. If you completed both, than that’s two of the required five dives under your belt!
Our standard course fee includes the training manual together with all tuition and certification costs and equipment hire.
Any other options?
Of course there are. We always have options in life.
If time constraints are a problem, instead of coming along to us for your self study and classroom sessions, why not complete the PADI eLearning course at home or in the office? That way you can complete all your academic studies on line in your own time and then come to us for the open water dives.
You can find details and sign up for your PADI eLearning materials here.
(NB: the cost quoted on the PADI website is for the training materials only: call us to find out the cost of the diving element of the course)