Open Water Course

By Diving Instructor Sanne

Today a new open water course starts. I have three students, two friends from the Netherlands and a German lady, who have all gone through the theory at home with the e-learning. We start with a proposal round and I start with my presentation. I immediately notice that they have studied well. Quickly everyone has their diving equipment on and we go into the bay. We start with some basic skills and then make the first real dive on Jan Thiel's house reef. Still completely excited about the dive, we go into the break.

After the break we go back into the bay and it is time to practice the skills. For example, my students have to fill and deflate their mask underwater, they have to pretend they have no air and share air in the right way and finally take their dive set off and put it back on underwater. The mask skill people always find most difficult. A lot of people accidentally breathe in through their noses, so I quickly tell them the trick of gently blowing out through their noses throughout the skill. Luckily they all succeed in the end!
After a long day in the bay everyone comes out of the water exhausted. Day one is over. Day two we start again with skill practice. This time the focus is on buoyancy. For example, they have to stay completely still underwater or go up and down by just breathing. While practicing, a stingray suddenly swam by! Still an advantage of practicing skills into the sea! In the afternoon I explain some more about decompression sickness and the dive computer and we get ready for the second open water dive. We finish a little earlier and we have a drink together on the beach while we discuss what we have seen.

Day three is always my favorite day. In the morning we take the bus and go on a trip! They have done all the skills so it is mainly good diving and watching fish. The last dive I always pretend I'm not there. It is up to my students to plan the dive and dive according to this plan. After these two dives, this time at my favorite dive site Double Reef and Marie Pampoen, they immediately get a high five on the surface: congratulations on your Padi Open Water Certificate.
Pictures courtesy of Turtle & Ray Productions