I was recently asked this by a student diver. What are the benefits of continuing your education? If doing the Open Water course is like learning to drive a car, now you can learn to be a racing driver!!
First of all, if you had fun and enjoyed diving on your Open Water course you’ll love the dives on the Advanced Open Water course. You get the chance to dive at some more interesting dive sites and are able to see things you might not necessarily see as an Open Water diver.
There are many dive destinations in the world, Koh Tao included, which have some really cool dives that require a license to dive to 30m. The deep adventure dive is mandatory in the Advanced course we get to go beyond our previous limit of 18m, we can explore parts of the dive sites we couldn’t normally see.
The other mandatory dive is Underwater Navigator. The benefit of this is should you dive independently with a buddy, navigation will be an important factor in how good your dives are. Using a compass effectively and not getting lost underwater will mean you spend less time trying to work out where you are and more time enjoying the marine life.
You can chose from a host of options for your last 3 dives of the course. Popular choices are the Peak Performance Buoyancy dive, working closely at fine tuning your buoyancy control so you can hover closer to the coral without risking bumping into it. How to use the fins more effectively and working out if we are using the correct weighting, oh and its great fun too, swimming through hoops and obstacles.
The night dive is often a favourite for divers on the Advanced course. Diving at night is like entering a whole different world. The dive site will look different to how it is in the day. Over night coral reefs evolve as the nocturnal feeders come out of hiding and corals unravel to create a new landscapes. Sting Rays are swimming around the sand, Hermit crabs crawling along and Great Barracuda out hunting. You can see the Barracuda catching fish in its jaws, thanks to your torch beam. An awesome spectacle!
The addition of the HTMS Sattakut ship wreck off the west coast of Koh Tao has created a perfect ship to complete the Wreck adventure dive. Sitting in the sand at 30m, in an upright position, the deck and the two gun turrets sat on the bow and stern are around 20m deep. Making it the perfect depth for this dive. Looking at a large historic vessel like this underwater is a great experience, the marine life that has made its home there is really interesting too.
So if you take your diving beyond the Open Water and become and Advanced diver you get to dive deeper, see more interesting things, fine tune and practice techniques which will make your diving easier and more fun, you’ll also become a safer and more confident diver.
Bob – Master Scuba Diver Trainer