Got My PADI – What’s My Next Step?
Now you have your PADI and are a certified Open Water diver you probably can’t wait for your next underwater adventure. Well you are certainly spoilt for choice! You will not be surprised to hear that we understand the excitement you are feeling now and the guys at PADI have the perfect ‘next step’ in your exciting new hobby of scuba!
Adventures In Diving
PADI’s ‘Adventures In Diving’ program has been designed especially with you in mind. The program introduces divers to a whole host of new scuba diving adventures giving you the option to try and experience something new and different. There are 16 different types of adventures in the program, from diving at altitude, to navigating shipwrecks.
On Koh Tao, the most popular adventure dives with our divers are the Deep dive, Wreck dive and my personal favourite; Night diving.
No Classroom Time!
Each adventure allows you to experience something new and unique, as well as sample some of the highlights of diving Koh Tao. And the best part about these new adventures? It’s all about diving! There is very little theory to do so no classroom time, just answer a few questions on each knowledge review and the rest is learning and experiencing on the actual dive!
So let’s review Koh Tao’s 3 most popular PADI Adventure dives!
Deep diving on Koh Tao is probably the most popular and valuable adventure dive. As an Open Water Diver you are certified to a maximum depth of 18 metres but to be able to dive the bigger, deeper and best dive sites Koh Tao has to offer, you need to get your 30 meter ticket.
Usually when we conduct this dive at Crystal Dive we go to one of Koh Tao’s best dive sites; either Chumphon Pinnacle, Southwest Pinnacles or Sail Rock. As these sites are a little further away from the island they are deeper. They also boast more marine life, especially so for divers who like to see the larger pelagics such as Whalesharks, Barracudas and Cobias.
As mentioned, the ‘Adventures In Diving’ program is all about diving. On each Adventure dive there are a few skills you need to successfully complete to receive credit.
One of the subjects we look at during the Deep Adventure dive is colour absorption underwater and how this is affected by depth. Comparing colours on the surface, and then again underwater, students will notice the first colour we lose is Red, followed by Orange and yellow.
Colours dispate in the same order as they appear in the colour spectrum. Even at a relatively shallow depth, such as 5 metres there will be a noticeable loss of red. We demonstrate this by taking down an underwater slate which features a colour chart.
We will also compare depth gauges and computers at depth so you to see how different devices record different depths as well as plan the dive on our dive computers and the PADI RDP. We discuss how divers should always follow the most conservative no stop time shown to ensure a safe dive, especially so during a Deep dive.
The rest of the Deep Adventure dive is spent on a tour around the dive site finishing with a safety stop to ensure a safe dive profile.
For divers who really enjoy deep diving, consider completing the PADI Deep specialty course and become certified down to the maximum depth limit for recreational divers which is 40 metres. This is a great course to take, especially if you are also interested in wreck diving as many wrecks lie in deeper water and you wouldn’t want your Wreck diving to be limited by depth.
During the Deep Specialty course you will experience nitrogen narcosis, consider the affects of pressure and practice using emergency breathing equipment.
Let’s Get Wrecked!
HTMS Sattakut is Koh Tao’s premier shipwreck and ideal for divers wishing to make a Wreck adventure dive. Sitting just off the west coast of Koh Tao the Sattakut was sunk by the Royal Thai Navy to provide Koh Tao with a top class wreck dive, as well as an artificial reef to lessen pressure from some of our more popular dive sites.
The Sattukut originally served for the United States Navy during the Second World War in the Pacific theatre combating the Japanese army. After surviving the war and many battles its was passed onto the Thai Navy who continued to keep it in service until 2011 when it was donated to Koh Tao to create an artificial reef and add a new dimension to scuba diving here.
The Wreck Adventure dive itself is designed to ensure you can safely navigate a wreck and avoid any hazards it may present, such as sharp objects and entanglement. With different wrecks around the world in varying states from very old wooden ships to newly sunk battleships you are taught the different techniques in wreck diving and also the importance of using good buoyancy around the wreck.
If you enjoy your first wreck diving experience and want to take it further, then the PADI Wreck specialty course will teach you the skills necessary to penetrate the Sattukut and actually explore the inside of the ship safely! You have to be highly trained to enter a wreck as it does pose a lot of danger, but with the correct training it is one of the most enjoyable scuba diving experiences.
It is also beneficial to combine an Enriched Air Nitrox course with the wreck Specialty course. This will enable you to enjoy more ‘bottom time’ on your Wreck dives.
Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
Would you like a completely different scuba experience than anything you have participated in before? Try a Night Adevnture dive and see all the different marine life that comes out at night. It really is a different experience to anything you would have been through before!
White Rock is the most popular dive site on Koh Tao for night dives due to the diversity of marine life that can be seen here at night. Great barracudas come here to hunt and actually ‘buddy up’ with divers to help hunt their prey fish using the torch lights for help.
Different life comes out from the corals with magnificent feather stars emerging as the sun goes down. And for the lucky few, a Hawksbill Turtle has a home on the site and you can watch him having a sleep after his days activities.
To become a Night dive adventurer you have to complete a small navigation task during the dive and after this it is a simple swim round the site using your torch to see as much as you can. Before the dive your instructor will teach you how to communicate at night using the torch and signals.
Becoming a Night dive specialist will enhance your navigation capabilities at night by using natural references and more use of the compass. You will also have the chance to experience what it is like to have the torch turned off and get the feel of truly being in the dark while diving.
After completing these 3 Adventure Dives, not only will you be left amazed by the different scuba experiences, but you will also qualify to be certified as a PADI Adventure diver. If you were to take a couple more adventure dives (including a Navigation dive), then you can become a full PADI Advanced diver.
Author: Crystal Dive