Wednesday, 14 June 2023 08:59

Open water course - Going all in

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 So you’ve decided that snorkeling just isn’t cutting it anymore, the Discover SCUBA diving Experience was not enough and you want to take your diving further, or you just want to do something that you’ve never done before and go ‘all-in’!

The Open Water Course is the fundamental training course for those looking to get fully certified and join thousands of others annually that explore the world beneath the waves!

Since the dawn of recreational diving (any diving not for commercial or scientific purposes) back in the 50’s, diving has come on leaps and bounds and become accessible by all, not just reserved for those with doctorates and/or disposable incomes! It has also become inherently safer with the development of new, more reliable equipment, and increased understanding of how our bodies behave in the underwater world. It is also no longer the domain of the muscle-bound, military divers of the past, but of families and children on vacation, weekend warriors braving cold quarries and coastal waters, or solo travelers looking to explore every corner of our vast planet on a shoestring budget!

No matter who you are, and why you’re looking to get into diving, the first steps are the same, enrolling in an Open Water class. 

As the diving has changed over the years for the better, as has the means in which we learn, with the Open Water Course evolving to make it accessible and more convenient to all, catering to all styles of learners. 

Once you have decided where to take part in your training, and with who, the next step is the academics. In years past, this was all done using extensive, paper manuals, followed up with long classroom sessions with your instructor. Nowadays, the academics all be done from the comfort of your own home, before you even set foot in the dive center, via the eLearning platform on your personal device. These are great tools full of informative chapters, engaging videos, and detailed diagrams which suits most learning styles, with online help available should any issues arise! This lets divers complete them in their own time, at a pace that suits them, improving the overall experience. 

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Upon completion of the eLearning, and a brief review with your instructor to assess understanding of the materials, a quick water-skills assessment (200m swim and a 10 minute float/tread) , comes the fun part, the equipment and diving!

Course schedules change from person to person and center to center, but the curriculum follows the basic structure of 5 confined/confined open water sessions, where you will learn all the skills and techniques required to become a self-sufficient and safe diver. These skills are learned in shallow, calm waters (either coastal beaches or lagoons/bays, or swimming pools), where the environment is better suited for teaching. The rest of the course is then comprised of 4 Open Water dives, where you will be taken out of the pool or the shallows into deeper waters, where you will put your new skills into practice, with some repetition and scenario work. These confined and open water sessions can be done bit by bit, or all in one go (e.g., 5 confined sessions followed by 4 open water sessions), either way, usually taking a minimum of 3 full days, but sometimes longer or shorter depending on the student, conditions, and available time. 

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Upon completion all of this, a little bit of paperwork, and logging of your open water dives (very important), you will be one of the newest certified Open Water Divers in the world. Depending on the center, you’ll be given the option to receive a hard-copy license, or a digital one (which we always recommend), and eligible to dive all over the world to a maximum depth of 18m/60ft with either a trusted buddy or dive guide! 

From this point, what you do next is down to you – the new underwater world is your oyster! As dive professionals, following a course, we always recommend that new divers try and get back in the water as soon as they can to cement the skills and training, but to also fully experience all the wonder that diving has to offer without having to focus on drills and skills – this really gives you a whole new appreciation for what you’ve just undertaken and achieved! 

The landscape and coastline of Cyprus is perfectly suited for all levels of training, entry level courses in particular. We are very fortunate to have shallow sloping shelves, sheltered bays, natural lagoons and pools, and generally flat water and favorable weather conditions! At Cyprus Diving Adventures, we only train our divers in small groups or 1 to 1 to ensure safety and quality of learning, and all diving is done in the sea which creates a smoother transition from Confined Water to Open Water sessions, enhancing the learning experience and comfort. 

Ready to get started, get in touch and we can start your Cyprus Diving Adventures and Open Water experience, right away!