How is being PADI Advanced Diver
“It is not down on any map; true places never are.”
– Herman Melville
Congratz! You’ve just completed your PADI Open Water course. Now you’re thinking of getting advanced certification. Well, it turns out we are PADI Advanced so read on to see what it’s all about…
With a passion in diving and PADI’s Open Water Diver training under now under your belt, your next step is the Advanced Divers course. Why? There are so many great diving spots that require divers to have the Advances licence – some spots are too deep or just may be a difficult dive. For us this was the Great Blue Hole in Belize, the advanced course was a necessity to realise our dream of finally diving there and ticking it off. Here is a taste of what you will encounter on the course.
Firstly, you will need to find a company to obtain your training and certification and at a decent price. In terms of popularity, diving has grown into an absolute beast over the past years. Now, most coastal tourist hotspots are peppered with popup dive shops both big and small plus a magnitude of freelance divers all offering different dive packages at varying costs. So, spend some time dive shop hopping and do your research. We suggest for a cheaper alternate even talking with freelance dive instructors. If you want to know if your potential dive instructor is legit, ask to see their dive license. There should be a membership number that you can use to verify the membership status of that individual PADI Professional Member.
You want to find the best instructor for your needs. The course is about getting certified to allow you to progress with your diving, but you also want to have an epic experience with good conditions, limited other divers in the water and great training in your language.
The PADI Advanced isn’t difficult and involves way less paperwork than the Open Water. The good thing is you don’t actually need to be an ‘advanced’ diver to take the course. It is designed to build on your confidence and skills learnt throughout the PADI Open Water Diver. Your training will consist of completing five “adventure” dives, each with a corresponding worksheet and set skills to complete underwater.
Here is just some of the things you can learn, the entire list of dives can be found on the PADI website;
-Deep Dive; dive depths down to 40m/130ft (PADI Open Water license only allows down to 18m/60ft). We got to do this on the very first training dive – it was insane. You might see more diverse marine life in deeper water and notice how at depth all the colours appear different to how they actually are not the surface,
-Drift Dive; drifting is epic fun – almost feels like flying, but underwater. You will learn how to save energy by kicking back and letting mother nature do all the work. You can often find strong currents through deep channels and drift at a rapid pace for long times. Remember token an eye on your surroundings and your navigation and especially your dive buddy,
-Wreck Dive; wreck diving is a surreal feeling – diving a wreck in the middle of the ocean. Most wreck can be found teeming with marine life, we’ve come across massive moray eels before. It will also allow you to work on your buoyancy control, most wrecks will be covered with coral and you don’t want go damage this,
-Underwater Navigation; might seem boring but this is a necessary and invaluable skill to learn. You will swim and navigate with a compass at surface and at depth, practice kick cycles and landmark identification. You may need to use this one day if you get separated from your dive buddy,
-Fish Identificaion; what was that fish? Well, now you can know. You get to work on techniques for identifying and surveying the fish family groupings and understand more about the ecosystems and conservation of the underwater world,
The above are all part of the specialty adventure dives you might complete for the course. Deep dive and underwater navigation are mandatory, the remaining dives can be selected based on own preference and agreed upon with your instructor.
As part of the course you can also hone your skills for breathing, buoyancy control, equipment knowledge, underwater buddy communication and other general stuff you learn while diving.
The other bonus of doing your Advanced is you can get 5 tank dives pretty cheap – plus some training on the side. We paid US $270 for the course including equipment rental, transport, reading material and certification, so when you run the math, it works out to be US $54 per dive – sweet right!?
If you too had a taste of the open water diver course and want to see more in the ocean, then we recommend completing the advanced course. There are so many world class dive sites that simply won’t allow you to dive without having your advanced license or the relevant adventure diver courses completed.
Where’s next for you? Suggestions are welcome!