Doing the PADI Advanced Course in Komodo? What to Expect
If you are planning on doing your PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course, then why not do it in the amazing surroundings of Komodo. You can advance your diving skills and see wonderful underwater sights at the same time.
What Does the PADI Advanced Course Entail?
The Advanced Open Water course consists of five dives. Of these dives, one of them must be a Deep dive and the other an Underwater Navigation dive. The Deep dive is about planning for physiological effects at deeper depths, while Underwater Navigation helps you develop your navigation skills using kick-cycles, visual landmarks, time, and compass.
The other three dives must be adventure dives, but there is some flexibility. Our Komodo course includes three dives which take full advantage of the surroundings: Peak Performance Buoyancy, Drift Diving, and Fish Identification. Some colleges may give you credit for the course, so check with your school if this might apply.
Are There Prerequisites?
Yes. Before taking the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course, you need to have your PADI Open Water Diver or PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver certification.
However, the course is not that advanced, and some people take those courses back to back, getting their Open Water certification and going right into Advanced.
Divers must also be at least twelve years old to take the course. In some cases your instructor may let you use another qualifying certification, from a different organization. It’s best to check this in advance, as you don’t want to get to the boat to find you aren’t eligible for the course.
Everything takes time, so give yourself the time you need! Motivate yourself by looking at pictures or watching some videos before you dive. You’ll get excited to experience it yourself and it also can bring a sense of calmness to you. Moreover, it will remind you why this is such an awesome thing to do.
What do You Do on Each of the Five Dives?
We’re going to use our own Komodo course as the example. The course includes five adventure dives, which are as follows:
Depending on the conditions and the preferences of the group, we will take you to Batu Bolong, Mawan or Crystal Rock for your deep dive. If you are interested in seeing mantas, ask about Mawan. The other two sites are both seamounts, which allows for a lot of wildlife viewing at different depths. Wall dives often tempt divers into the depths, and fully experiencing these beautiful reef sites does require that knowledge.
It’s considered a deep dive if you go below 18 meters, and you will learn about things like equipment, gas supply, buoyancy control, and other safety considerations.
Underwater navigation is a vital part of open water diving; many divers get into trouble because they are lost or disoriented. We do our navigation dives at Sabayur Kecil, Siaba Besar, or Crystal Bay. You will learn all of the skills of navigation, including using a compass. The Komodo area can be a particularly challenging area for navigation because of the complex currents, making it the perfect place to test your skills. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the underwater wildlife of this beautiful park.
Appreciate landmarks such as the wreck at Sabayur Kecil or meet the turtles at Siaba Besar. These are sites chosen to be easy dives so you can concentrate on developing your navigation skills.
Peak Performance Buoyancy
Peak performance buoyancy takes your buoyancy control skills to the next level, so you can better observe aquatic life without disturbing them. You will work on trimming weight, balancing your gear, and moving efficiently through the water.
We do this dive at one of the three easy dive sites mentioned in underwater navigation, allowing you to concentrate on your skills rather than challenges of the environment. With plenty of wildlife, you will be able to see right away how more efficient buoyancy and motion keeps you from disturbing the animals as badly and helps you dive with your environment.
Want to relax in the water? Drift diving is your friend. Drift diving is going with the current and can be the only way to dive certain challenging sites. You will drift with the current and the boat will move to pick you up at the end of the dive. We will provide the specialist equipment needed to drift dive safely.
We will take you to Cauldron, Manta Point (the best place to see rays) or Tatawa Besar and teach you how to use the strong currents that would otherwise make these sites challenging to your advantage. Again, we pick our sites based off of conditions and preferences to ensure that everyone is safe and has fun.
During the fish identification dive you will use your more advanced skills to spot and identify the local fish, with the help of your guide. We will teach you how to identify the tropical fish commonly found in Komodo. If you are really lucky you might see something rare.
We can do fish identification at essentially any dive site in the park, so the location is likely to depend on route and what sites have been chosen for the other dives. The high level of biodiversity in Komodo makes it a great place to learn and refine your fish identification skills and thus to appreciate the wildlife with more understanding and knowledge.
What to Expect on the Course
Our PADI Advanced course takes place over two days. We reserve the right to change the schedule or even cancel depending on weather conditions. We provide all the dive equipment you need as well as the e-Manual for the course, which you can peruse prior to your trip. At the end of the trip you will get your certificate.
The course is not liveaboard, but consists of two days going out of Labuan Bao, so you will need to find accommodations and dinner in this beautiful town (it’s well worth spending plenty of time here on either side of your course). We do, however, provide breakfast and lunch as well as snacks and unlimited coffee, tea and water. There is a toilet and shower on the boat.
And, of course, it includes an instructor/guide who will make sure you learn the material, stay safe, and have a fun trip. Our instructors are PADI certified and will go over the theoretical materials with you before each dive. They will teach you how to plan and execute the dive and give you a better understanding of practical and safety considerations.
The PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course is a great short course to improve your dive skills and help you develop your abilities. Doing it in the amazing environment of Komodo makes for a learning vacation like no other. Manta Rhei’s PADI courses are a great way to learn to dive from the basics all the way up to learning to be a Divemaster.