We made it through the busy Christmas Season! After a couple of months with a hectic work schedule Abbey came back to White Sand Diving for more. Since our first post, where we introduced you to Abbey, she has passed her Advanced Open Water Course. Now with 15 dives under her belt she’s already encountered Sting Rays, Caribbean Reef Sharks & Nudibranchs on the diverse reefs of East End Cayman.
What we did on Abbey’s Advanced Open Water Course
The PADI Advanced Open Water Course involves 5 different Adventure Dives. An Adventure Dive is a little taster into the different speciality courses you can take to further your dive training. Seeing as we’re in the Cayman Islands, with busy coral reefs, Abbey opted for dives that involved learning more about flora and fauna.
Deep Dive (mandatory)
The deep dive is a compulsory dive in the Advanced Open Water Course and once the course has been competed you are qualified to dive to 30m (100ft) anywhere in the world. The Deep dive shows you how conditions can change with depth and how to handle the added risk of diving deeper.
Underwater Navigation (mandatory)
Whilst diving, it’s good to know where you’re going. Visibility may not always be as clear as it usually is in the Cayman Islands, so natural navigation isn’t always the best option. Having touched on compass work in the Open Water Course, the Underwater Navigation dive helps you pilot a dive site. A useful skill for any diver. Especially if you want to get back to the correct boat.
Peak Performance Buoyancy
This dive comes highly recommended, it allows you to gain more confidence with your buoyancy. On this dive we practised hovering in a stationary position and playing with different weight configurations. Not only are you more comfortable in the water, but you can get closer to marine flora and fauna without crushing or kicking anything. Good buoyancy also means that you won’t be brushing against any fire coral.
This dive allows us to practise one of our favourite pass times; looking at fish underwater. Seeing as Abbey is new to the underwater world, studying different species of fish is educational. It’s nice to know what you’re looking at. She had to use buoyancy techniques that she learnt on the Peak Performance Buoyancy dive to easily hover and observe the fish.
An obvious progression from Fish Identification is the Underwater Naturalist dive. On this dive Abbey had to locate and identify two different aquatic plants, four invertebrates and five vertebrates.