Entering the world of scuba is an exciting adventure filled with incredible new experiences, some great and some not-so-great, but they all will help you become a better diver.
But you’re here to find out what the PADI Open Water Course actually entails and what you can expect when you start with Manta Rhei here in Komodo.
If you’ve never dived before and you have limited holiday time in Komodo, then you could always opt for a PADI Discover Scuba Dive. This one day, two dive experience provides you with a small understanding of scuba.
PADI Open Water Course, What is it? And why do I need a diving certification?
The PADI Open Water Course is the first step you can take to dive into the underwater world. It comprises of theory and practical parts through E-learning, knowledge reviews, and skills assessment in confined water. Once certified it allows you to dive with compressed air to a maximum depth of 18m. Also, diving without a divemaster/instructor present in a buddy pair of the same level is allowed.
Please note: It’s always safer to dive with a guide when you’re diving in new locations with no personal knowledge of the site, remember safety first!
The reason you should become a PADI Open Water certified diver is to become aware of the possible dangers and risks involved in scuba diving. As well as, how to mitigate those risks through safe, responsible diving practices that are within your limits at all times.
Okay, so…what will I actually learn and do in the PADI Open Water Course?
PADI Open Water E-Learning Theory
The E-learning module provides you with all the relevant study information that you need to pass the theory section of the PADI Open Water Course. The E-learning theory will consist of six sections: Physics, Physiology, Equipment, the Recreational Dive Planner, Diving Environment, and Dive Skills. You’re able to complete these sections in your own time, at your own pace, and review it as many times as you like.
This eliminates the need to sit around the dive shop in Komodo for hours studying the theory. In fact, you are able to do it before your holiday starts, or wherever you feel the most comfortable to learn. The E-learning module increases your course flexibility and learning efficiency.
PADI Open Water Confined Session
Once you’ve completed the E-learning theory, you’re ready to jump into the practical sessions, quite literally of course!?
In the confined water sessions, generally in a swimming pool, you will learn the basics of scuba. These scuba skills include:
- Demonstrate Equipment Assembly and Disassembly: You will learn how to correctly assemble and disassemble your scuba equipment.
- Pre-Dive Safety Check Sequence: You can use BWRAF to follow a safety check with your dive buddy.
- Regulator Recovery: You will learn how to use certain techniques to recover your primary regulator in the unlikely event of it being knocked out of your mouth.
- Regulator Clearing: You will learn how to purge your second stage regulator once you put it back in your mouth.
- Standard Hand Signals: Practise the standard diving hand signals with your instructor to communicate underwater.
- Alternate Air Source Use: You will simulate being out of air by signalling your buddy using the ‘out of air’ hand signal. You will then locate and use their alternative air source, make physical contact with your buddy, signal OK, and ascend whilst breathing from their alternate.
- Air Depletion: You will experience the feeling of running out of air, and signal the ‘out of air’ hand signal to your instructor.
- Free Flowing Regulator: You will simulate a free-flowing regulator and learn how to keep breathing normally through the situation.
- Snorkel to Regulator Exchange: You will learn how to exchange your snorkel to your regulator and vice versa.
- Clear a Partially Flooded Mask: You will learn a technique used to clear your partially flooded mask while you’re underwater.
- Mask Removal and Replacement: You will take the clearing mask skill a step further and completely remove your mask, replace it, then clear.
- No Mask Breathing: You will learn how to comfortably breathe via your regulator without your mask on.
- No Mask Swim: Once you’ve completed the no mask breathing, you will take it a step further and swim around with no mask on.
- Disconnect Low-Pressure Inflator: You will simulate a malfunctioned inflator and practise disconnecting and reconnecting it underwater.
- Deep Water Entry: You will enter the water using the correct technique dependent upon conditions. Some techniques include back roll, giant stride, and seated entry.
- Correct Weighting: You will carry out a weight check and find the ideal weight for your perfect buoyancy.
- Weight Removal and Replacement: You will learn how to remove and replace your weight belt both underwater and at the surface.
- Scuba Unit Removal and Replacement: You will learn how to remove and replace your scuba unit both underwater and at the surface.
- Cramp Removal: You will learn how to stretch underwater to remove your cramp and the cramps of your buddy.
- Tired Diver Tow: You will learn how to help tow a tired/injured diver on the surface using different techniques.
- Five Point Descent: You will learn how to use the acronym SORTED to safely descend below the surface.
- Five Point Ascent: You will learn how to use the acronym STELA to safely ascend to the surface.
- Fin Pivot: This skill will help you to find neutral buoyancy, by using the air in your lungs to move up and down.
- Hover: You will learn how to fine-tune your buoyancy to remain perfectly neutral.
- Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent (CESA): You will simulate an out of air emergency, alone with no buddy. Your only choice is to ascend with one breath at a safe rate whilst exhaling.
- BCD Oral Inflation: You will learn how to inflate your BCD in case of a broken inflator or out of air situation.
- Navigation: You will learn how to set a compass and understand the meaning of it. You’ll also learn to follow a straight line, turn 180 degrees and return to where you started from. You will practise this on land as well as underwater.
- Skin Dive: You will learn how to duck dive, swim underwater, and clear your snorkel to allow breathing on the surface.
PADI Open Water Explore Dives
After completing the E-learning module and the confined water skills session, you’re ready for the open water in Komodo!
You’ll experience a total of four open water dives, that’s two days of diving, with two dives each day with Manta Rhei. Each dive you will practise a few skills to show your understanding of the skill. After completing the skill you’ll have the opportunity to encounter all the nearby marine life.
Some of the dive sites that you will explore throughout your course in Komodo are:
- Crystal Bay
- Siaba Besar
- Sebayur Kecil
- Mini Wall
- Manta Point
- Pengah Kecil
- Cauldron (protected side)
- Golden Passage (protected side)
- Maso Reef
After the fourth dive and successful completion of the skills, you?ll need to pass a final exam. Then congratulations and welcome to the scuba diving community! You’ll be one of us, ready to explore the scuba diving in Indonesia and the rest of the world.
I’m a PADI Open Water diver but I want to learn more! What’s the next step in scuba education?
After becoming a certified PADI Open Water diver, the next step would be to enrol in the PADI Advanced Open Water Course. This course enables you to dive to a maximum depth of 30m and consists of five adventure dives. The two required dives are deep and underwater navigation. You have the opportunity to choose the next three dives. These adventure dives can include, drift, wreck, peak buoyancy, night, digital underwater photographer, fish ID and many more.
Now you know what’s in store for you when you start your PADI Open Water Course. If you?d like to book a course with us or a three-dive day trip don’t hesitate to get in touch. Also, if you enjoyed reading this content please have a look at our blog for more interesting information.