So many courses, so many choices, so many centres, so little time! Where to start?
Scuba Diving is a great experience, (coming from a PADI Instructor this is slightly biased but if you are reading this then you probably at least half agree!) it allows us to go underwater and explore the hidden depths of the world’s oceans. Scuba diving is exhilarating, exciting, fun, amazing and relaxing, to name just a few of the words that my students have used after their first pool experience. We have the ability to go where possibly nobody has been before! Whether that is a particular coral reef in the Caribbean, a lonely piece of a shipwreck off the coast of Malta, or the seaweed and lobsters in the English Channel, there is always something to see!
When it comes to choosing a course, you need to ask yourself if it is of value to you. If you never intend to dive in the UK or cold water then perhaps the Dry Suit course isn’t the best way to spend your money. However if you find yourself running out of air, feeling tired and the equipment is uncomfortable, then perhaps the Peak Performance Buoyancy course is a better investment.
If you’ve just completed your PADI Open Water Course and are looking for ways to improve, then I suggest just going for a dive, even if it’s just in the swimming pool, and speaking to an instructor to find out what you’re not sure of. You’ll be amazed how all the skills we asked you to practice in the pool actually come in handy! (I promise we never get you to do something just for the sake of getting you to do it…there is value behind each and every skill you’ve done). The skills you do during an open water dive, for the Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue, Wreck or Deep Diver courses are varied in their expectations and what instructors call ‘Performance Requirements’. By the time you get to the qualifying dives for your Open Water Course you will have completed everything in the pool already, and your instructor should have signed your log book to show completion of all ‘Confined Water’ modules. When you do the dives in open water you are just showing the instructor that you are competent (it’s also an informal requirement of mine that you have fun!) We can’t combine the requirements for lots of different courses into one dive – just because we are on a boat, at night, in a drift current, diving to 30m on a wreck doesn’t mean you can be a certified Boat, Night, Drift, Deep and Wreck Diver all in one go! However we may have multiple students doing different courses throughout the weekend which gives you an idea of what the various courses entail.
Having dived extensively in numerous places around the world, I’ve been lucky to experience