Becoming Master Scuba divers with Cyprus Diving Adventures was something Oli and I were keen to achieve. Not only do fewer than two percent of divers achieve this rating but it would also coincide perfectly with becoming PADI Divemasters and enable us to gain more experience with a range of different diving while also working towards becoming PADI professionals. Having already completed our Deep Diver speciality course in 2014 diving on the amazing Zenobia Wreck and also becoming Rescue Divers we decided to choose 4 other specialities that would be perfect for continuing our diving education journey.
Enriched Air Diver (Nitrox)
This is a one day course where you learn about the many benefits of breathing enriched air on a dive, which involves using a mix of air with a higher concentration of Oxygen (known as Nitrox). Qualifying as an enriched air diver enables you to benefit from longer ‘no decompression’ times, meaning you can stay at depths for longer periods. This is great if you are exploring certain dive sites which are deeper or are doing multiple dives over the course of a few days or more. Doing two dives using Nitrox / Enriched Air is optional as part of the course but highly recommended. We have dived using Nitrox on a few occasion now and enjoy the benefits when diving some beautiful sites here in Cyprus such as St George's Island in Latchi and the Zenobia in Larnaca.
This course dramatically improves confidence in the water, being taught how to use a combination of compass and natural navigation to find your way around different dive sites. The course is 1 to 2 days and over 3 dives you learn how to master using a compass, estimate distances you’re covering underwater as well as how to mark and relocate a specific position or submerged object from the surface. All these skills combined enable you to explore new sites with more confidence and enjoyment. We completed this speciality at two different dive sites in Paphos which were perfect for this.
Search and Recovery
This 2 day, 4 dive course teaches you how to locate and retrieve a range of objects using different search patterns which vary depending on the size of the objects. You learn how to tie different knots underwater and using a lifting device / lift bag to bring heavier objects to the surface. It also further improves your navigation skills by again using compass and natural navigation when conducting your search patterns. It is certainly very rewarding conducting a search pattern, to then successfully find the object hidden by your instructor. Using a lift bag as well as many elements of this and other courses, improves your general dive skills such as buoyancy control and your positioning in the water.
Even if you have visited a dive site several times, it is a completely different experience in the dark and this was definitely the case for us when we did our course at a dive site we visit regularly in Paphos. This 3-dive course enables you to enter an even newer underwater world by teaching you how to use your light devices / torches effectively. Communication and navigation also differs in the dark so this element is also explained and put into practice. All this whilst observing how marine life changes at night.
Achieving this highest rating in recreational diving was incredibly rewarding and the 5 specialities combined enabled us to be more knowledgeable and experienced divers. The range of dive sites here in Cyprus are perfect for any speciality course you choose to do. Whether you chose to continue your journey into the world of professional diving or not, becoming a Master Scuba Diver is certainly worthwhile.