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Featured Author // October 1, 2018

What I’ll Never Forget About Learning to Dive

By blogger, Lisa from Fjords and Beaches

Learning-to-dive-OK

Learning to dive is an amazing experience, and I almost wish I could experience it again! The nervousness when trying to remember the theory of it, the shock when I realised that the gear was quite heavy (not sure what I was imagining), and the feeling of letting myself descent for the first time. These are all things I can barely explain to someone who is yet to try diving.

These are some of the things I’ll never forget about my PADI Open Water Diver course

The sound underwater

One of my favourite things about learning to dive was realising how quiet it is under the surface. It is such a relaxing experience, and a part of me would like to argue that diving and meditation has its similarities.

My first breath underwater

I’m sure this is a given, but there is truth to the cliché. The first time I drew a breath underwater I was standing on my knees, face to face with my instructor, just off a beach in the Maldives. We did nothing but breathe for several minutes, so that I would get used to the sensation. It was absolutely magical.

Learning-to-Dive-Black-tip-reef-shark

Seeing a shark during my Confined Water Tests

Not long after my first breath underwater it was time to start with some of the Confined Water Tests. As I was out in the ocean, there were plenty of oceanic life around us, including a blacktip reef shark! It swam past us without a care in the world, and all though it was only about 1 meter long, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I’ll never forget that sight!

Being completely weightless

I mean, it’s only in space and under water you can truly experience this. I have no plans of becoming an astronaut in the near future, so diving is my best shot. The first time I managed to control my buoyancy and simply float was an incredible experience. I think I spent the entire dive swimming in corkscrew circles around myself (you know, like Ariel?) instead of actually looking at the fish my instructor kept pointing out.

So there you have some of my most unforgettable memories from learning to dive. If you have the opportunity to experience this for yourself, grab it!

Source: https://www2.padi.com/blog/2017/11/08/ill-never-forget-learning-dive/


Featured Author // September 11, 2018

What’s the Difference Between PADI Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water?

Posted by Andrew Jenkins

 

Underwater Navigation


You may have heard your instructor or dive shop mention the PADI Advanced Open Water (AOW) Diver course. You may have even thought about enrolling in the course. But are you still wondering how the AOW course differs from the PADI Open Water Diver (OWD) course, and what new things you will learn and experience? If so, keep reading.


The PADI Open Water Diver course: Learning to dive
What happens in the course?
You learn the fundamental skills needed for diving. During the course, you read, watch videos, take quizzes, and demonstrate mastery of basic scuba diving skills.


Parts of the course:
The PADI Open Water Diver course consists of 3 main portions: Knowledge Development, Confined Water Dives and Open Water Dives. You can choose one of three ways to complete your Open Water Diver Knowledge Development.

Why take the course?
The underwater world holds some of life’s most incredible experiences. We’ve listed 10 Reasons to Become a Scuba Diver, but essentially the OWD course will allow you to become a certified diver.

The Advanced Open Water Diver course: Go on dive adventures

What happens in the course?
The AOW Diver course is comprised of five different Adventure Dives. An Adventure Dive concentrates on a particular activity or skill within the realm of scuba – it is the first dive of a Specialty Diver course. There are 26 PADI Adventure Dives to choose from.

While you’re doing your AOW dives, you’ll be accompanied by a PADI Professional. They are there to answer questions and help you fine-tune your technique and learn new skills.

The dives in the AOW Diver course are very different from those in your OWD course. The Adventure Dives are similar to a regular dive, except that you focus on a particular diving specialty. The Deep Adventure Dive of the course involves diving deeper, between 18-30 metres / 60-100 feet. During the Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive you practice navigation skills underwater while diving.

Parts of the course:
Of the five training dives you complete, the Deep Adventure Dive and Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive are both mandatory. As for the other three dives, you get to choose what interests you the most. Students in the AOW Diver course have very little classroom time and no written exams.

Why take the course?
You’ll gain more experience diving while under the supervision of an instructor. It’s an opportunity to try a sampling of different specialties to see what interests you the most.

 

Source: https://www2.padi.com/blog/2015/08/11/whats-the-difference-between-padi-open-water-diver-and-advanced-open-water/

Featured Author // August 7, 2018

From Snorkeling to Getting Scuba Certified: What You Need to Know

byBrooke Morton

Snorkeling person

If you’re already a strong snorkeler, or at least comfortable with your face in the water, you’re well on your way to getting Open Water Diver certified. But it won’t be a total cakewalk. Here are the top three skills that will surprise even the most experienced snorkelers.

You’ll need to become comfortable underwater with no mask on.

But don’t worry—this is a skill you will build up to in class. Students first partially flood their mask to feel what it’s like to have water near their eyes. Then you’ll fully flood your mask when you’re ready, and with instructor supervision.

“This is the number one thing that can throw people for a loop,” says Rob Kohl, course director and owner of Seal Sports in Mandeville, Louisiana. “Our brains tell us we cannot breathe when we have water on our eyes, so we have to overcome this psychologically.”

You will learn how to find balance with your weight underwater.

When snorkeling, if you’re staying on the surface, you don’t have to think much—if at all—about your weight or buoyancy. But with scuba diving, you’ll play with weights on a weight belt or integrated weight system, and with air in your buoyancy compensator, aka BC, until you find that neutral sweet spot.

According to Kohl, “This is really unique for people at first. You want to be neither sinking nor floating, so you learn to put just the right amount of air into your BC.”

The good news: “After 10 to 15 dives, anyone can have this skill dialed in.”

Diving person

You will find a natural breathing pattern underwater.

“I usually ask people if they hike, jog or swim laps,” says Scott Shelley, course director for Ventura Dive and Sport in Ventura, California.

He adds, “If you’ve developed a breathing pattern for another sport, you’ll surely find one for scuba.”

Because the threat looms of water coming down the snorkel barrel, most surface swimmers don’t find a calm, regular breathing pattern.

“They just haven’t started taking deep, long, slow breaths yet,” says Shelley, “You just need to relax and let the equipment do its job. It’s one of those things that comes very naturally to people by the end of the Open Water course.”

Ready to take the giant leap into scuba diving? Sign up for a PADI Open Water Diver course.

Source: http://www2.padi.com/blog/2017/01/25/from-snorkeling-to-getting-scuba-certified-what-you-need-to-know/

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