That would be Advanced Open Water Diver to all those who aren’t initiated. What is the major difference between a OWD and AOWD you ask? I shall give you the simple answer. You get to go deeper. Almost twice as deep. As an OWD your maximum diving depth is 18 meters. As a AOWD you get to go down to 30 meters.
The thrill of going deeper to explore the deep blue is something that can’t be explained. Well it can be explained, there are many blogs and magazines that could wax lyrical at what it means to go deep. But i would place a bet that writing how it felt and actually being there is a world of difference. Anyways here’s how our AOWD class went.
We got certified as OWD students right there on the boat. The instructor then explained the next dive would be our first as AOWD dive. We dove in and learnt about PPB (Peak Performance Buoyancy) then we went on to do Boat Diving (that basically means diving off a boat) and then we went on to a rather thrilling Night Dive. If you have swam in the open ocean at night then you are about 1/10th of the way of getting how it feels. Try swimming in the dark about 15 meters below. With a torch to light your way you are mesmerized by the life around you, jelly fish that glow and seduce you, fishes you have never seen, the trance like movement of the soft corals. Just when you thought you would be swimming in the dark, you are taken by surprise at the amount of things you can see.
The next day we did the last two dives that would qualify us as AOWD. Navigation and Deep. The former was pretty straight forward, you needed to know how to use a compass and learn how to find your way around the ocean. The Deep. What can i say. It was probably the best dive ever. When you see your depth gauge point at 30, you have a moment where you disbelieve it. Then you take it in your stride and start exploring the varied and very beautiful sights that surround you. Trust me getting the AOWD is a must for any OWD. It just opens you up to so many diving areas around Andamans and around the world.
So, what are you waiting for? join us at PSI to get your OWD. Courses are running at full steam. Get started. Get diving right at your doorstep.
How long does it take to go from a non diver to a PADI-Advanced Open Water Diver? All it takes is 5 Days. WHAT?? NO WAY!! IMPOSSIBLE? It’s true. just 5 days.
It begins with 2 days of classroom lessons and pool sessions. Then take a 3 days relaxing trip to the Andamans and completing 9 dives and getting qualified as an Advanced Open Water Diver. Sure you can take the same time do a even more relaxing holiday and get qualified as an PADI-Open Water Diver. But this is me we are talking about. We got to go the whole way or no way.
But i will tell you this, it was a beautiful experience. The classroom sessions give you a feel of what to expect. I shall be honest and say some parts of it were dry but hey all classroom lessons are generally on the dry side. The pool sessions however were good. You get to learn the basic skills in a safe and conducive environment. It puts you at ease and gets you acquainted with the equipment that you will use in the open waters. Also its the best excuse to cool yourself off in this summer heat.
PADI-Open Water Diver: The first 2 days in the island was spent getting certified as a OWD ( we use short forms from here on cos, for one thing it sounds cooler. 2ndly i can’t be bothered to type out the whole thing) The first time you are on the boat and putting on your gear, there is a fleeting moment in the back of your head which says ” am i doing the right thing?” that fleeting moment soon disappears when you roll backwards from the boat to the water and is replaced with a siren that goes ” HOLY *#*$&# what the hell is happening” But when you surface and are lazily floating, you realise this IS the life.
You begin the first couple of lessons learning to breathe normally and adjust to your surroundings. You start to feel comfortable in the water. It feels as if you are back home. You gain more confidence moving around. You start to enjoy yourself. Then it hits you. You are breathing underwater. It seems like almost 2nd nature to you. You see the corals and the fishes. This seems like the most natural thing to do. The OWD course teaches you to move underwater, performing tasks that you need to learn. Like defogging your mask (we are waiting for them to create mini internal windshield wipers) learning how to be buoyant so that you don’t crash land on top of aquatic life. You learn and enjoy yourself at the same time. It does not get better than this.
AOWD(Advanced Open Water Diver) shall be continued in my next installment. But first i shall leave you with some pictures.
Most sports are played with national pride at stake, and few others are played with a competitive streak. But there are certain sports that border on a particular way of living and are niche to adrenaline junkies. Scuba diving is one of them.
The thrill of adventure and the rush of blood while taking that first dive into the deep blue waters are fantastic catalysts for most people who love adventure. Scuba diving is popular all over the world and in India, it is now picking up pace mainly due to the efforts of Planet Scuba India. The country’s first inland scuba diving school, based out of Bangalore, is aiming at making scuba diving one of the premier leisure activities for Bangaloreans, without the hassle of travelling to the diving hot spots across the country.
Very few adventure sport in the world matches up to scuba diving in terms of fascination, and most people in the world would like to try it out, given a chance. The chance is here. The time is now.
Leisure and adventure are two faces of the same coin, when it comes to sports like scuba diving. Once underwater, the diver can experience the beauty of the marine life in near weightlessness, and that feeling is incomparable. It has become a way of living for many people across the world and Indians are taking to the sport like a fish takes to water, all puns intended.
So, give the adrenaline junkie inside you a chance to take you through an exhilarating experience. Anyone can dive at Planet Scuba India!