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Here it is, my adventurers, a blog about the PADI Open Water Diver course. We started diving and did our diving course in Aruba. They say the first breath underwater as a scuba diver is one you will never forget. Well, believe me, the person who said this couldn’t be more right!
Fun fact: you can recognize a diver’s boat or where divers are by the following flag.
PADI say what?
We followed a PADI Open Water Diver course to get a certification, with this certification you can go diving on your own without an instructor. But remember you always need to go diving with two, a buddy. The course makes sure you learn everything you need to know about diving. With the certification, you can go diving with other dive centers in other countries etc. The dive centers then know you are educated to go diving with them.
PADI stands for ‘Professional Association of Diving Instructors’ and you can recognize it by the following logo.
PADI is the most leading scuba diver training organization in the world and you can find their courses and services nearly everywhere. You can look on their website to find where they are located. Their education is diverse, and there are different stages for student divers. In the stages you learn different skills, get knowledge about the local environment and get information that is safety-related.
The philosophy of PADI is the four E’s, which means that the dive lifestyle requires four elements namely Education, Experience, Equipment and Environmental Conservation. You can read about their philosophy on their website.
All PADI Instructors must follow a lot of courses and perform a lot of dives to get certified, as you can see on their website.
PADI Open Water Diver
The PADI Open Water Diver Course is a course for beginners. You start with an online eLearning course and afterwards you practice your new skills in the pool, or the sea with the conditions of a pool. In the end you do four open water ocean/lake dives. This course is a widely recognized scuba diving course and the most popular. There is also a special course for children which is called Junior Open Water Diver course, but you must be at least 10 years old.
So, there are three main phases in the PADI Open Water Diver course:
- Knowledge Development: you can do this online, independent study or in a classroom.
- Confined Water Dives to learn basic scuba skills.
- Open Water Dives to use your skills and explore.
It’s good that you first must learn the theory about diving to raise your awareness about the sport. I didn’t know that there was so much to know about diving. In the course there are five different chapters, counting around 250 pages in total, which you must learn before you go diving. After every chapter you have to take a test. In the end you also must pass a test before you can go diving.
It’s necessary to learn the theory before you go diving because you learn about pressure, equalizing, buoyancy, the buddy system, the gear, what to do in danger, sign language for divers, seeing and hearing under water, the current, the tides, the influences of the weather, and so on.
So, as you can see there’s a lot that you must know before you jump into the water. Also, the necessary equipment varies, depending whether you’re diving in cold, temperate or tropical water.
We did our tests before we went to Aruba and we started learning those chapters two weeks before we went but you can do it in three days and some places are even teaching the theory in a classroom. All those chapters and all those tests can be done online, so it’s easy to learn from your computer or smartphone.
The information is well explained in the chapters and there are also video’s which makes everything clear. You can do the course in your native language, so we learned it in Dutch. Also, everything will become more clearly when you start diving because the instructor will explain the most important parts again before the dive.
With PADI you also learn about the importance of protecting fragile aquatic ecosystems. They care about the underwater environment and they partnered with Project AWARE. It’s an organization that is dedicated to protecting our planet’s oceans, isn’t that amazing? I believe we can change the world and make every little step count, so don’t ignore what is going on in this world, be aware!
Definitely look on their website to learn more about different courses or what they do for the environment!