Advanced Open Water Diver Course – by Mattie and Søren

By July 7, 2019 November 2nd, 2019 Dive Point Student Review

We surely recommend that you read the AOWD book and do all the exercise and tests in the book, this helps a lot to understand what you need to do in the course.

Our choice of adventure dives with our instructor was:

  • Wreck Diving
  • Underwater Photography
  • Deep Dive
  • Navigation
  • Search and recover

Here some impressions and things we did in the course:

For our “Wreck Dive” we went to “Excalibur” with scooters, this was GREAT fun “driving” the scooters – we loved this!

We talked/planned our dive and descended. When we arrived at Excalibur we parked our scooters on the railing line of Excalibur. I was first and then my husband, it was beautiful, she was full of glass fish, and the light and colours were amazing. We had to draw Excalibur, we choose to hook ourselves on the railing line were the scooters hang. This is my version:

On the second dive for the “Underwater Photography” we went to a place that was amazing for macro photography. We went there with the scooters as well – this was also an amazing experience.

We parked the scooters on a block by the entrance to underworld. There was so much to take macro photos of. It is not so easy as taking photos on land. When you are in the water you have the water gently moving you around and you breathing as well is moving you up and down. So, trying to hold the camera still moving was quite a challenge, but great fun!

In our Deep Dive we went to El Mina.

Our instructor had taken a colour card, a piece of Fruit/vegetable and an empty bottle of water down with her. She showed us the effect the depth has on the colours without and with the torch. It is amazing to see how much the colours disappear in the depth.

She brought out the Fruit/vegetable it looked like a kiwi, brown and oval but it was actually a tomato. Then she showed us the bottle, which was completely flat with the pressure. She blew air in the bottle and put it back in her pocket.

We swam around El Mina to have a look at the wreck, and then we started our ascent, which went smoothly.

When we were on the boat our instructor called us to show us the bottle. We could see that there was a lot of pressure in it. She asked my husband to point it into the bathroom and open the bottle slowly. Suddenly it popped with a big bang and a “capow”, the capsule flew all over the place, and the crew came running 😊 That was 4 bar pressure coming out. This was a good visualisation to what can happen to your lungs if you hold your breath. So please never do that, that was a wake-up call of how dangerous diving can be when not respected.

Our Navigation was made up of two components, one the natural Navigation that we did on the “Cleaning Station”.

We had to navigate and find the cleaning station, and the other we had to Navigate back to the boat with our compass.

We of course planned our dive before we descended and had a good look at the map.

When we descended the water was very murky, so a bit difficult to navigate. We found the cleaning station and the block by the “speed bump”. On our way back we had trouble finding the boat as the water was very murky, and a LOT of boats had arrived. We were not so lucky as the boat had to move so it was difficult for us to find it. But we ascended and found it – no worries that was fun and very educational.

Homework reading more chapters in our AOWD book and making our knots blind folded – for our Search and Recovery.

Our Search and Recovery was great fun, I would not mind doing some more of this, it was like a treasure hunt. You should make “Treasure hunt excursions” 😊

First of all, we had to find out how many fin kicks we each have. This is done on a 30m line laid out on the sandy bottom. We each had to count our fin kick from a chosen length until we reached the end of the 30 m.

We tried 3 different types of patterns the “Circular Search”, U-Pattern and the expanding square.

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We both tried the “Circular Search” which is not as easy as it sounds. The one staying in the middle needs to stay put in the center, holding a line reel, while the other gradually expands the line reel, swimming around in the circle -until the object is found. The communication is done through tugging on the line reel as follows:

  • 1 tug – start searching
  • 2 tugs – All okay
  • 3 tugs – if found what we are looking for/I have finished
  • 4 tugs – Come or let’s meet up
  • Continuous tugs – need help immediately

The next shape was the U-Pattern with this we had to use our compass and work as a team. I had to navigate the compass, count my fin kicks and turn 90o right and left. My Husband searched for the object.

Next was the expanding square where we swapped places and my husband did the navigate the compass, count his fin kicks and turn 90o right and left, and it was my turn to search for the object.

In both exercises we found the objects, the last object was a weight belt with lots of weights on it. Now for our “knot skills” came in handy.

We had to use our knot skills to secure the weight belt on itself, and then securelly attach it to the lift bag.  Once the belt was securlly fastened to the lift bag we had to fill air in it. Not to much nor too little, just enough to lift it and be able to swim and ascend with it. We both tried this. We had great fun doing this, and our instructor praised us and said are a great team my husband and I – this made us very happy.

We were so happy with this AOWD course that we said lets take the EANx as well, so we did 😊

EANx

Our instructor did her best at teaching us all that was necessary with the charts and calculations and showing us how to use the Oxygen analyser – and NEVER to use this when we are wet! We will never forget 😊 We also learnt a lot of new stuff with our diving computers which was fun.

There was more reading and homework, my husband and I just said to each other “what are we doing, its our holiday.. all this reading, testing and exams” but it was all worth it 😊

It has been great fun and a privilege to dive and take our AOWD and EANx with Dive Point. We have had a lifetime experience with all the crew of Dive Point, and we are coming back as often as we can.