Before plunging into the depths of the underwater world for the first time (or at least to 18 metres anyway – you’re only starting out, after all), people experience a hint of fear… Or sometimes full-blown fear that keeps them popping up to the surface…
It’s ok. I get it. It’s this strange new world you’re entering, and it just feels unnatural to breathe underwater.
But no matter how you feel, it’s why we get training.
And that’s where the first step in becoming a dive professional comes into play.
Open Water Course
It’s been years since I started out – and it was (no jokes) a life changing experience.
There’s this new world I get to explore now. Every summer I’ll spend weekends driving down the coast and jumping into the water – it’s the best adventure. Then there’s the people. My diving friends are some of my favourite people in the universe. On top of those friends back home, I’ve met so many people from all around the world too.
A friend of mine (a former non-diver) finally took the plunge a few weeks back. Her first words to me:
“Caitlin. I’m so in love with diving. Holy shit!!!”
And I reckon that sums it up nicely.
This is your entrance into the diving world. There’s a lot of info you’re going to need to know to get you started. You’ve got some thoroughly boring reading to do, and some pretty old and lame videos to watch (note the current fashion). But it’s all important information. And you’re going to sit an exam on it, so pay attention.
Then once the study has begun, you’ll be entering the underwater world in a pool (or sometimes straight into the ocean), and that’s where the fun really begins. You’ll learn a few skills there, and then you’ll practice some of them again out in the open ocean. Eventually you’ll be getting down as deep as 18m and seeing everything that gets us divers back in the water time and time again.
So go on. Get out there and get started.
Then when you’re ready for more, you can move into the depths with your Advanced OWC.
Advanced Open Water Course
If there was only one thing the Advance OWC is good for, it’s to get more depth with your diving. With the OWC, you’re only supposed to go to 18m, but do the advanced, and you’ll be getting down to 30m.
This opens up a whole new level of diving. Many places that are seriously amazing to see are at greater depths. This could be for wreck diving, or even just to see the best fish.
Overall, the course requires that you do five ‘adventure’ dives.
Of the five, you’re required to do a deep dive, along with a navigation course. The remaining three are for you to choose. You can do anything from Fish ID (somewhat lame, but good if you keep going since talking about the stuff you see is basically a requirement of each dive), Peak Performance Bouyancy (this can actually be super fun and silly), a Night dive (worth the experience) or drift diving (so much fun once you just go with the flow). Check out the other specialties here.
Ultimately, the course is a bit lame. I have a pet peeve with it since I think a lot of the specialities you take can be developed through experience, and so it seems a bit like a money making exercise. Saying that, it’s good to have a guide if you’ve only recently started out, or even just to get tips from experienced divers.
Then once you’ve made it through your advanced course, there’s just one more step before your Divemaster Training can commence!
Rescue Diver Course
You didn’t actually think you could be a dive professional without knowing how to rescue someone did you?
If you did, don’t be alarmed. This course isn’t quite what you expect.
Yes, there will be role play. Someone will be an unconscious diver and someone will panic. You’ll have to rescue them. But you don’t have to do it alone.
People often suspect that you’ll have to show extreme strength in rescuing someone from the water. I actually believed I’d fail because I’m distinctly lacking in muscles… But you needn’t worry – that’s not how it works. You’ll be trying to do it, certainly. But if you can’t, it’s no problem. Because now you know you can’t do it. And like me, that just means you need to call for help as soon as possible.
Once you’ve got your help, it’s CPR time, or assessing any other injuries if that’s all that’s required. The role play continues here, but it’s pretty straightforward stuff. This is why the course requires you have an up-to-date first aid cert.
So, while it seems daunting, with the right people, this can be an insanely fun course. It’ll be a couple of days of hard work, but worth it, even if you don’t keep going with the training.
But if you do continue, here’s what could be next…
Here’s where you officially become a “professional diver”.
If you’re keen for info on how the course is done, I’ll be posting details of my training over the coming months – follow along here.
Read More at: Indonesia Travel
A special thanks to my favourite DMC buddy Goo Goo for letting me use his epic photos!
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