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Lessons Learned during OW checkout dives..

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by RonFrank, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. OneBrightGator

    OneBrightGator Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: St. Augustine, FL
    Man... sounds like I need to stop doing my CESAs since most other PADI instructors don't do them either, screw standards!

  2. Saipanman

    Saipanman Instructor, Scuba

    I cannot grasp that a PADI instructor would skip the CESA in open water. I certainly make sure all my students do it. But I can't speak for all instructors (but on this, I should be able to).

    I would just like to thank the poster for posting his thoughts. It's nice to hear from the new people about what went right/wrong in training. Too often, students just say things like "it was a blast."

    I found your post very helpful. Thank you, and welcome to the club!!!!!
  3. TheRedHead

    TheRedHead Contributor Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Dixie
    I had to do mine from 27 feet. My checkout dives were with a NAUI instructor (I did a Universal Referral). He turned off my air and disconnected my BC inflator hose.
  4. RonFrank

    RonFrank Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Conifer, CO
    Just review the skills required in the dive log, course materials, or video's.

    Our class did them all, some a couple of times.

    I was impressed with the instructors, for both the check out dives, and in the pool (Different guys). With the number of students in the checkout dives (nine) the instructor was in constant motion. Regardless, he spent the time with each student to get each skill done. High fives and encouragement all around after each skill, so very positive.

    The only time the instructor said he was worried was when on student went to switch to alternate air, and put the snorkel in his mounth. I guess this has happened to him before, and he says the end result is generally the student taking a big gulp of water, and then going into panic mode, often surfacing. In this case the student kept his head, and just put the reg back into his mouth.

    The instructor indicated that mask clearing was one of the biggest fail activities for OW. That surprised me.

    We were gearing up next to a NAUI OW cert class from CU, and I was *AMAZED* at their loose instruction. For compass navagation, the instructor was passing out compasses, and then asked the question, who has used a compass before? He then proceeded to outline the skill they were about to be tested on. I was amazed as they *OBVIOUSLY* had done none of this in pool, and apparently had not even discussed this in the classroom, or covered it in the text.

  5. RonFrank

    RonFrank Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Conifer, CO
    The instructor indicated that people fail all the time. It is not automatic, not paid for, and not a given. Fail the final test (which I admit is a bit liberal at 75% or better) OR fail ANY skill in OW or the pool, and you fail OW.

    They will give people a couple chances to do a skill. The instructor basically said AFTER the class was over, that if a student is constantly needing second chances, that may result in failure as well. Part of the success is to display the ability not just to do the skills but that you are comfortable in the water. I guess this is where good instructors step in a make a decision on if one is ready to be certified. The instructor indicated that most who fail, try again, and succeed.

    I appreciated the fact that this LDS is not just a rubber PADI OW stamp if one pays for the class.

  6. 1080iAddict

    1080iAddict Guest

    First post on the Board. Glad to be a member. Passed my OW 2 weeks ago. Lake Rawlings, Virginia.

    Lessons learned? How about this one: Don't leave your mask and snorkel hanging on the motel room coat rack hanger to dry on the night between the 2 diving days when the motel is 30 minutes away. THAT was fun, especially when you realize it after you suit up and strap on the tank when the rest of your group is about to take the giant stride.

    Luckily, my instructor had a spare mask and allowed me to forego the snorkel for the dive.


    p.s. My penalty for that? The motel was 30 minutes in the other direction from home, so the 4.5 hour drive home from the weekend was instead 5.5 hours.
  7. wedivebc

    wedivebc CCR Instructor Trainer ScubaBoard Supporter

    Welcome to the board. I used to forget gear all the time. After leaving my drysuit at the shop while teaching an open water class and having to drive 20min each way while my DM did snorkel skills with the students, I learned to pay more attention to the details of what's in my bin.
  8. PlanoDvr1

    PlanoDvr1 Contributor

    I recently just received my OW certification. The one thing I found to be hard was buoyancy control. As I was doing my navigation skills I would find myself 10' from the surface b/c I was so intent on finding my way back to the platform. Too much air in my BC? Or breathing so hard and kept too much air in my lungs. Everything else was great. The ESA was perfect at 30' just hummed as I went. Mask flooding and removal was fine w/ me, others had a real big issue. Some wanted to dart for the top but were held there by the instructors. I'm guessing being neutrally buoyant is like reaching nirvanna.

    I'm anxious to put my recent skills to the test and will be going to Cozumel in Janaury. I was NAUI certified and could have easily have been PADI certified. Not much difference from what I see. The true difference is in the instructor, there are good and bad in both but the whole premise of the two organizations is to teach safety and understanding of SCUBA.
  9. RonFrank

    RonFrank Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Conifer, CO
    My Buoyancy control was overall very good according to all the DM's and instructors.

    I have found I need very little in my BC below the surface.

    Another thing I do is try to use my lungs to control my buoyancy.

    The main thing I observed in a few divers in the OW was that they would constantly be messing with the BC. Add a bit of air, start to ascend, release some, start to sink. I found that I could hold a breath, and start to slowly ascend, and then release it, and start to slowly sink. When that was the case, then I think I'm about right.

    Ascending slowly is definately something I want to work on more. One DM said he lets all the air out of the BC, and then slowly just kicks up when ready to ascend. I tried that during my last dive, and it seemed to work.

    As a very new diver, I'm hardly an expert. I think the BC class would be worthwhile, and is on my list.


  10. Scuba Leon

    Scuba Leon Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Netherlands
    *My CESA had to be done, oh, about four times. Propably some of you had the same pleasure! Taking a little air just about 2' below the surface...

    *Wrestling when putting on my fins in knee deep water with a pebble underground

    *Thinking your are perfectly buoyant in 4' of water, when actually your tank is sticking out of the water :11:

    *Never swim to close to rocks on the surface. Whoops! I leave a screaming instructor in semi-panic.

    Well, we all learn every dive. Don't we?

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