Best Courses to Take After Being Open Water Certified
Posted on 07/12/2019
By Ran/ ranrambles
Image @alfredminnaarphotography ⠀
Earned your open water certification and have the diving bug? Maybe you are considering improving your diving skills with some courses, but are overwhelmed by the options. Well, we got ya! At Manta, we have some ideas for what you can look forward to next! We will go over some courses that we consider a must-do as a diver and some options to further your diving experience.
At Manta we encourage divers to take an Advanced Adventurer course. During this course, you are required to take a deep dive and a navigation dive, along with three other electives of your choice. Once completed you will be certified to dive to 30m, doubling your range and potential dive sites.
One of the most common electives is the night dive - a different experience compared to normal day dives. It is a staff favorite to suggest. The other two courses are up to the student to decide. These include perfect buoyancy, wave, tides and current, nitrox, and wreck diving. Among these, perfect buoyancy is a good choice. Good buoyancy is key to a safe and fun dive and will also help decrease air consumption.
Once completing your Advanced Adventurer we suggest taking these three SSI Specialities. After Advanced Adventurer you will already be able to dive most dive sites. However, these specialities are all useful in their own ways, either in increasing your range or feeling more confident as a diver.
Learn how to dive on enriched air to increase your bottom time. This course can be either theory only or with a dive. This course will go over the risks and benefits of using enriched air, how to prepare nitrox tanks and how to determine safe diving profiles while on it.
This is a three dive course that teaches you how to deal with increased pressure and hazards. Upon completion, you will be able to extend your depth to 40m. This speciality is useful if you are interested in wreck diving as most wrecks are deep.
Stress and Rescue
We highly suggest taking a Stress and Rescue course. This course will increase your own safety, awareness of others around you and how to deal with an emergency situation. This course takes between 3 and 4 days. Starting with a first-aid React Right course, before learning the diving safety skills.
After completing some speciality courses, you may want to take your diving one step further. There are two popular routes. One is technical diving, which will again further increase your range. The other is becoming a Divemaster, the first step to all further professional levels.
During this Divemaster training, you will gain experience diving in different conditions, such as night, deep, and drift. By the end of the course, you will be able to guide certified divers. The program is divided into two parts. The first part of this course is the Dive Guide Course. Improve your leadership skills and learn how to guide in different environments. Part of the course involves assisting open water training courses with an Instructor. This of course, means more diving to practice your newly learned skills.
The second part of the course is the Science of Diving Speciality. This course is theory-based and covers important theory necessary for SSI professional development. Topics include Physics, Physiology, RDP Theory, and Aquatic Realm. You will also take additional speciality courses to increase knowledge in these areas. Once completing both the Dive Guide and Science of Diving you will earn your SSI Divemaster certification. This course is generally expected to take between 4-8 weeks.
Image @alfredminnaarphotography ⠀
If Divemaster or working as a dive professional doesn’t sound like you, technical diving is an option. This all about extending range and bottom times beyond “recreational” limits. Some of these courses are taught as a SSI speciality, such as nitrox and side mounts. To go even deeper however, you must take Technical Diving International (TDI) courses.
Courses under TDI include the following:
Advanced Nitrox Diver: learn to use mixed gases down to 40 meters and a prerequisite for Semi-Closed Rebreathers or Closed Circuit Rebreathers
Decompression Procedure Diver: learn how to plan out multi-level decompression dives and extend your range down to 45 meters. The first step to learn how to dive beyond recreational limits.
These two courses are a must as they form the foundation for all other technical courses.
The next course is an Extended Range course. Learn how to plan out multi-level dives with different gas mixtures to extend your range down to 55m. TDI also has courses in how to use Diver Propulsion Vehicles or underwater scooters, helpful in increasing your range on large dive sites.
While Manta Dive Gili Air does not offer technical courses, we do offer nitrox, and side mounts as an SSI speciality. For a complete offering of technical courses please refer to our sister shop on Gili T.
Maybe you like taking pictures topside and you want to try underwater photography? A lot of customers visit us with diving rigs to take photographs. This is a great way to enjoy diving and to remember memories. This form of photography presents its own set of challenges. Before starting, it is good to perfect your buoyancy as it is key to stable shots.
Underwater photography is an expensive hobby. Each discipline may need different sets of equipment. It is a good idea to practice with a cheaper camera first, before buying equipment for a particular category such as large pelagic, topography or macro. The Gilis, in particular, are known for a diverse selection of macro subjects.
Manta Gili Air does not offer courses for underwater photography. Manta Gili T does and we suggest getting in touch with them. They have a team of professional underwater photographers, that will be able to assist you with any questions you may have.