Okay, so youve learned to dive. With open water certification card in hand you can rent or buy gear, get your tank filled and dive to your hearts content in most places in the world. But, are you fully able to experience the vast underwater environment and all the variety it offers? Do you feel comfortable exploring open water at night? Can you effectively navigate back to the boat or shore? How about diving in deeper waters and understanding the associated physical effects? Its all part of a fuller diving experience. Its also part of continuing your training, expanding your base of knowledge and becoming a safer, better diver. To help you along, PADI has produced a video meant to accompany its Advanced Open Water or Advanced Plus certification courses: PADIs Adventures in Diving.
The great thing about furthering your knowledge in diving is it is very water intensive. Class time is at a minimum. In fact, youre expected to review most of the course materials before the activity takes place. The instructor will usually brief you and answer any questions you might have on site, just prior to the dive. This makes the ocean the classroom and mental preparedness a premium. This is where the Adventures in Diving video becomes a great learning tool.
Advanced certification requires divers to satisfy three core activities: underwater navigation, deep diving and night diving. The video covers the specific materials necessary for each activity and their proper use. With the video you get to see divers performing tasks correctly and in a variety of underwater conditions. This allows divers new to the activity to be able to visualize and mimic good techniques. The video medium also gives students a level of understanding, and perhaps comfort, that static images in books cant.
For Underwater Navigation the video explains the two types of compasses used and their differences; the accurate method of using the lubber line and bezel; and the various techniques students will be asked to perform.
For Deep Diving, decompression sickness and nitrogen narcosis symptoms and preventions are reviewed, as are the physiological changes that occur at depths between 60 and 130 feet. The video demonstrates the way divers act when theyre suffering from narcosis, which is great for those who know what the symptoms are but may not know how to recognize them in a buddy. Close monitoring of air supply, establishing safety margins, the importance of buoyancy control; and more; are also covered in this section.
Night Diving extensively covers both the tools (lights) and the methods. The types of lights and the need for redundancy are emphasized. Students are alerted to the need for added safety margins in this section because of the unique nature of diving in the dark. Lighted lines, strobes, glow sticks and what to do if you lose your buddy or are overcome by vertigo are all reviewed here. Also, the diver etiquette particular to night diving, such as not shining the light in your buddys eyes and how to communicate, is reviewed here.
Two elective courses are required for the Advanced Diver certification; the Advanced Plus requires six. The electives allow you to personalize your advanced training to fit your goals, desires or interests as a diver. Do you want to explore wrecks? Become an underwater videographer? Are you interested in identifying and understanding the creatures of the reef? Do you need to master buoyancy? Do you need to know the specialized techniques of drysuit diving? All these and more are previewed and, because elective specialties allow you to pursue your own interests/needs, it can make diving much more satisfying and fun.
All in all this video is an effective supplement to the manual and water work. The course material is presented with great clarity and, in addition to the technical aspects of advanced diving, the video always has its pulse on the beauty, fun and variety of diving.
For more information, contact PADI at 1251 E. Dyer Road, #100, Santa Ana, California 92705; (714) 540-7234, fax (714) 540-2609.