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Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by Jody Freitas, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    17,133
    9,189
    The Advanced Course I offer is one that, while within and meeting all agency standards, is one I wrote myself and actually have a book about. Most by the agency book Advanced courses leave much to be desired. It does depend on the instructor. All instructors are free to add material and skills to a certain point. Some are permitted to require those additions to be met to issue the card. It depends on the agency.

    I don't believe in using the advanced class to remediate basic skills. They should be pretty much nailed down before taking the class. The reason for this is that in many places the advanced card is used as a liability waiver by operations to put people on dives they may have no business being on.

    I was out on the Spiegel Grove with an op and there was a couple with AOW cards. And a total of 12 -15 or so dives under their belt each. They had trouble setting up their gear, difficulty with the entry, and then burned through their air by the time they reached the deck at 95 feet. Then the wife complained that her computer had the previous day so while she was wearing it, it was non-functional and she was just following her husband's unit. But no one asked about anything more than that AOW card to let them on the dive.

    My own personal belief is that if you are going to take an AOW class to get access to different dives like that, the course should not be a taste or tour of those dives. If should give the information and skills necessary to do them safely and with an understanding of when, even with the card, you should just say no and not do the dive. An AOW course generally has a training limit of 100 feet but the card will get you on dives to 130, or more depending on the site. So you should have a good understanding of gas planning, use of a redundant air supply that you carry, emergency deco procedures, and excellent buoyancy and trim.

    For this reason and for the other dives in the course, I have minimum entry requirements.
    1. All basic skills able to be done neutral and horizontal with less than 2 feet change in depth. By the end of the class, we'll get it down to one foot. I may require a non-cert workshop with me to address this.
    2. 10 - 12 dives post-OW certification outside of a class if I wasn't your OW instructor.

    The dives I do I choose and are in this order for a reason. The subsequent ones build on those that come before it.
    1. Advanced Skills - Anti- Silting kicks, Stage bottle use, DSMB from depth, non-silting kicks, buddy skills, and communication
    2. Underwater Navigation - Compass use, line and reel use, measuring distance via kicks, time, air consumption, or line. Buddy awareness, task sharing, communication. Attention to detail and selection of landmarks. Planning limitations.
    3. Night/Low Vis - Buoyancy control and trim, light use and selection, touch contact and communication, lost diver procedure, navigation, site choice and hazards.
    4. Deep dive -Max Depth -100 feet. buoyancy control and trim, horizontal descents and ascents, rate of ascent and descent control, narcosis exposure, and determination by task loading using actual dive skills including reel and line, air share at from max depth to 50 ft, and deploy stage bottle.
    5. Search and Recovery -dive is done at 25 feet or less, patterns and risks, communication, use of line and reel for circular pattern search as buddy pair, raise object using lift bag, and swim it horizontal 100 feet. Then bring to the surface under control and return it to depth under control while maintaining neutral buoyancy of the object and diver.
    6. Buddy Skills and Assist - depth 30 ft or less. 100 foot no mask swim with buddy leading, 100 ft no mask air share swim, 100 foot no mask air share swim and ascent. Loss of buoyancy ascent assist and support at the surface. Non-responsive diver from depth (not to exceed 25 ft). Rescue tow of the non-responsive diver to shore or boat.

    There is a lot more to this class and while using the agency text, I also supplement it with my own book. Especially the chapters on gear selection and gas management. The class is not for everyone. It was never meant to be.
     
  2. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
    1,789
    761
    i think it is great you have used a few different agencies because i assume that means you have received training from a few different instructors.
    i also say "good for you" that you are already thinking ahead and trying to prepare for the deep course by rigging up a pony bottle. even though it may not be "required", it is still a great idea to have. i for one applaud you for the way you are thinking.
    as far as what you would be the best choice for you for a pony.....depends on the depths you are in. many guys use a 30 cu ft. but many dives can easily be done with something like a 19 cu ft.
    i would get the shop to set you up with the bottle, rigging, and regs and get in some pool time before trying it in open water.
    for course choices.....i agree with doing deep, and nav for sure. perhaps look into doing your nitrox as well.
     
    Jody Freitas likes this.
  3. Jody Freitas

    Jody Freitas Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: 01510
    40
    47
    You are right definitely a buoyancy class
     
    Doctor Rig likes this.
  4. Jody Freitas

    Jody Freitas Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: 01510
    40
    47
    Yes on deeper and wrecks. I'm diving as much as I can, but also want to understand the process going forward so I can make good decisions about how to approach it.
     
    Doctor Rig likes this.
  5. Jody Freitas

    Jody Freitas Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: 01510
    40
    47
    So the buddy thing isn't my main obstacle. The community here is really good and I belong to a club that dives every week year round. I do want to advance my skills. I really enjoy diving so I'm always looking to move forward.
     
    Doctor Rig and Barnaby'sDad like this.
  6. Jody Freitas

    Jody Freitas Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: 01510
    40
    47
    So point of clarification. My original training was in the Caribbean and the instructor may or may not have been clear on what the cert was. Turns out I didn't have OW just a scuba cert. Fast forward to 2020 and I wanted to get back into and take advantage of COVID downtime. Hooked up with local shop which was SSI. No local PADI shop offered and upgrade from Scuba to OW and everyone said I had to retake the course. After months of waiting to try and get into a course I found a private instructor who was NAUI. I wanted to get diving so I chose this route. During getting scheduling my checkout dives my original LDS offered a science of Diving course (SSI) and not wanting any spare time go to waste I did the online course simultaneously while completing my OW course. Hence the three agencies.....
     
    eleniel, Esprise Me, lexvil and 2 others like this.
  7. Jody Freitas

    Jody Freitas Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: 01510
    40
    47
    So just wanted to update with a few points. I am in the northeast so the water gets a bit colder and I am held hostage to seasons. I don't own a drysuit yet. I am also a person who likes to plan things out and use my time as efficiently as possible. So while I am still diving now I am thinking of additional training during the winter, that I can actually use come next season. I also tend to have an easy time with academics and bookwork, so online learning in the evenings just comes natural. Really just trying to not be stagnant over the down season.
     
    Esprise Me likes this.
  8. Resqdivemedic

    Resqdivemedic Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: chepachet, RI USA
    297
    142
    I train more public safety divers than recreational. I use the recreational Advanced class, Advanced Adventure as SDI calls it, and tailor it to public safety divers. Other than the required Deep and Navigation, I add Search and Recovery with emphasis on lift bags and rigging as well as search patterns not covered in the PSD program; Night where I also review search patterns; and Advanced Buoyancy where we dial in weights and trim/avoiding danglies and review finning techniques to help avoid silt outs.
     
    Jody Freitas likes this.
  9. Jody Freitas

    Jody Freitas Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: 01510
    40
    47
    I was thinking of a safety course even though I'm a rec diver. I figured regardless of what type of dive, where it is or how deep etc, that would always be useful.
     
    jejton likes this.
  10. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    8,644
    7,182
    If you haven’t done Nitrox yet, that’s a good winter course. Bookwork only and hands on at the dive shop learning how to analyze tanks. No dives required.

    Pool time is good for the winter. Good book to read is Deco for Divers by Mark Powell.
     

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