How to Choose the Optional Dives
Trust me when I say, I get being drawn to just the fun-sounding ones like the photography and fish ID. However, it may be good to be a bit logical about your decision.
Where do you live and where will you be diving a majority of the time?
If it’s in cold water, dry suit diving is almost a given as an optional. Even if you aren’t going to be diving in cold water a majority of the time, having this certification will open up so many dive sites to you around the world. Not everything cool is in tropical, warm waters!
Which Selectives Did I Choose?
I decided to read through each one and since I don’t actually have to choose until I do them, I’m always liable to change my mind. However, I’m choosing:
- Peak Performance Buoyancy – I want to control my body perfectly underwater. For a very, very new and very, very anxious diver, I think I do pretty good, but I want to be as perfect as possible.
- Night Diving – The sea is a different animal at night and I want to experience it!
- Wreck or Dry Suit Diving – I can’t decide here, because I definitely want both. There are a lot of cold water dives I want to do so I’ll end up getting this anyway, but wrecks are found in warm and cold water so that’s more widely used.
That being said, I still plan on eventually doing the Fish ID, Underwater Imaging, Underwater Naturalist, and Drift Diving as well eventually. And, that’s just the ones that are available via the PADI Advanced Open Water eLearning.
What is an Adventure Diver and How Do I Become One?
For the PADI Advanced Open Water certification, you must complete five adventure dives: deep water, navigation, and three electives.
You can go ahead and get two certifications in one, by completing an additional three adventure dives, and then you’ll also be an ‘Adventure Diver.’
Is the PADI Advanced Open Water eLearning Worth It?
In short? Yes!
I do think there are many beneficial aspects to learning in a classroom setting. However, I like being able to learn on my own pace. I didn’t come out of the eLearning feeling like an expert or that I had it all memorized but I didn’t really expect to either.
I would much rather do it this way at my own pace and convenience than to spend 1-2 more days stuck in a classroom especially if I was getting my certification while on vacation.
As far as the course itself, the PADI advanced open water course is definitely worth it as you are enhancing your skills, and learning how to think and act like a diver even more so. It’s the opportunity to gain more experience, continue your diving education, and sample different scuba specialties under the supervision of an instructor.
There is a lot of marine life to see at 60ft but way more to see at 100ft! For instance, there are shark dives that require advanced certification.
Wrecks are often deeper than 60ft or the top of the wreck sits at 60ft so the most you would be able to see is the top.