Most certified divers that are looking to continue their training and are looking to do a little drysuit diving in Vancouver opt to take the PADI Advanced Open Water course. This course consists of 5 Adventure Dives that introduce new skills and knowledge to divers. While there are some mandatory Adventure Dives in the course, there are also a couple of optional ones as well. At IDC we have tailored our Advanced Open Water course to suit the needs of local divers. This makes it beneficial to those that have begun their training locally or abroad.
Drysuit diving means you are taking the Advanced Open Water Course
One of the most useful aspects of our approach to the Advanced Open Water course is that we offer it in a drysuit. For those that took their Open Water course in a drysuit this ensures continued refinement of buoyancy and trim in the suits and an experience consistent with their initial training. For divers new to drysuits (and possibly to temperate water diving in general) this option is the best way to gain drysuit training and experience. The course begins with an evening in the class and pool to introduce drysuit use and maintenance to divers and to provide additional confined water experience to those looking to refine their existing skills. All 5 ocean dives are then completed in a drysuit. This means that not only do divers new to drysuits get one dive dedicated to drysuit management, but all divers get to develop their comfort and control in the suits over the course of 5 dives under instructor supervision. This allows for continued improvement in skill as well as providing time to adjust equipment and weighting to best suit individual equipment configurations and needs.
The dives take place over 2 days and 1 evening
Spread out over a couple of weeks allows students and their instructors time to consult, adapt equipment configurations, and personalize training between dives. Conditions permitting, one day is usually conducted at Porteau Cove, one at Whytecliff and the evening dive is typically conducted at Whytecliff. Hopefully this provides an example of the diving available in the Greater Vancouver area and acts as a suitable orientation so that divers feel confident diving in these Marine Protected Areas and other nearby sites with a buddy on their own time after the course is complete. The idea behind this course is to make divers more adept at meeting the unique challenges of BC diving with the comfort and skill to truly enjoy the wonders of our ocean. Divers on their Advanced Open Water course will be going deeper than before (the result of which is a new depth limit of 30m/100ft) with an experience professional. Much of the most interesting dives in BC are between 18-30m/60-100ft including many of the large wrecks on the Island and Sunshine Coast. The night dive is often students’ favourite dive of the bunch as it takes a site that many know well, Whytecliff, and reintroduces it to them. This place comes alive after dark. It all starts with the large prawns, which come out by the hundreds in the evenings. They set the tone for a variety of fish crustaceans and, of course, the giant pacific octopus and its cousins. Keep an eye out for a strange looking piece of seaweed as it might actually be a stubby squid.
Skills learned while drysuit diving makes everything else seem easy
After mastering the skills and awareness necessary to successfully dive in BC waters those that travel to warmer destinations after their Advanced course find that everything else is easy. Buoyancy control in a drysuit, navigation in what can be less than stella visibility, night diving in a drysuit in sometimes limited visibility, etc all requires greater attention and effort by divers in order to become proficient at these and other tasks; once these factors are removed in warm, clear water divers find themselves extremely confident in the skill set. So much so, that those in the know around the world understand that cold water divers are some of the most capable, responsible divers around.
So enjoy the adventure of getting your Advanced Open Water course with IDC and know that whether you dive in warm water or cool water in the future you are gaining the experience necessary to make those dives safe and fun!