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My fantastic experience with SSI's AOW Course

Discussion in 'SSI: Scuba Schools International' started by hijax, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. hijax

    hijax Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location:
    158
    36
    0
    This may be a little long but I hope it helps someone down the road that's interested in expanding their diving skills.

    I completed SSI's Advanced Open Water course this weekend and I have to say that I came away very impressed by:

    • My instructor, Capt. Pete Pallotta of U.S. 1 Scuba in Pompano Beach, Florida
    • The excellent SSI course material
    • The focus on classroom concepts
    • My instructor ensuring the I understood the concepts
    • The focus on diver safety and planning above everything else
    • My instructor reinforcing the concepts during my checkout dives

    The course focused on 4 specialties: Deep Diving, Navigation, Wreck Diving and Nitrox.

    While I was originally open water certified by NASDS (now SSI), I spent quite a bit of time looking at programs from PADI, SDI, & SSI to see how they matched my goals of being able to explore deeper reefs and wrecks. I want to clarify that I didn't expect any course to make me an expert. The course was the basis for beginning to better understand advanced diving, not the silver bullet.

    For me personally, I felt that SSI's AOW course (not the SSI Advanced Adventurer) offered the right level of training with which I could begin to expand my dive experiences while having a good understanding of the planning needed to execute these advanced dives safely.

    My original OW training course was an incredibly thorough experience encompassing great preparation through NASDS' course materials (which were awesome) and instruction from an absolutely fantastic instructor, Charlie Matthews of Underwater Unlimited. Had I still lived in Miami, I would've certainly gone to Charlie but living further north, based on a recommendation from Charlie, I found Capt. Pete Pallotta of U.S. 1 Scuba.

    Capt. Pete encompassed everything that I would expect from an instructor including:

    • Years of professional experience
    • Thorough understanding of the course
    • Stickler for the details (i.e. no cutting corners)
    • Excellent communicator
    • Excellent educator
    • Flexibility in my schedule

    To top it off, he was an NASDS instructor, which to me at least, holds tremendous value because of my previous experience. I did my part by ensuring that I was prepared for class and he did his part by reinforcing the materials and showing me how to execute on what I've learned during my checkout dives. I feel he epitomizes how an instructor should conduct himself.

    In the end, I feel that I learned a great deal and I'm a better diver. From here, it's my responsibility to practice the things that I've learned and ensure that I work on refining these skills so that they become second nature. I may have a new C-card but I still have work to do.

    So thank you, SSI, for offering this great course and to Capt. Pete for being a fantastic instructor.
     
  2. downdeep

    downdeep Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Knoxville, TN
    378
    4
    0
    Congratulations Rey!!! I am tickled to death that you found a great instructor. Now get out and dive!
     
  3. hijax

    hijax Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location:
    158
    36
    0
    That's the plan!! :D
     

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