Although at the very beginning scuba diving might place you a little outside your comfort zone – normally during those first minutes of your open water course when you are taking your first breaths underwater – it very quickly gives you an enormous sense of adventure. This is why so many of our newly certified Open water divers continue straight onto their Advanced course.
But once you have become an Advanced diver what’s next? What challenges can you set yourself now you have mastered the basics of scuba diving and tried your first adventures in diving?
Join the ‘100 Dive’ Club – Go Naked!
An age old scuba diving tradition is to whip off your wetsuit, board shorts/bikini and take the your 100th dive “au natural”. Obviously this challenge is best kept to diving environments were water temperature is warm such as South East Asia or the Caribbean.
A top tip here is to remember to scissor kick and not frog kick yourself around the dive or else you will be scaring the other divers (and fish) away!
Close Encounters with a Whaleshark
Diving with the biggest fish in the oceans is the ultimate “must do” for any scuba diver. These amazingly gentle giants can grow up to 12m in length, although unfortunately they are now on the endangered species list due to being hunted for their fins.
Whether your first time diving with a whaleshark, or as some of our team have been lucky enough to dive with them on many occasions, the buzz is still the same as that incredible feeling of sharing the water with a Whaleshark never goes away.
Our Course Director Matt Bolton has written a blog about diving with Whalsharks.
Explore History – Penetrate a Wreck
Once you have got a few dives under your belt you should look into taking a couple of specialties to increase your scuba skills and open up more opportunities for you diving. A great Specialty course you should consider, and one of our most popular Specialties on Koh Tao is the PADI Wreck specialty course.
This course enables you to safely enter and exit underwater wrecks. Sunken Planes and ships from years ago give scuba divers a unique and thrilling experience as you cruise through history.
Read our blog about Koh Tao’s wreck diving site, the HTMS Sattukut.
Every scuba diver (and lots of non-divers to boot) favorite Disney cartoon as you grew up was finding nemo and maybe this movie was one of the reasons you decided to learn how to scuba dive and explore coral reefs in the first place.
After this dive, when you have finally seen the Clown anemonefish you will take great pride in entering into your logbook that you “found nemo” usually with a great big smiley face taking pride of place next to the entry. You can find these little guys in warmer water from the red sea, across South East Asia and over to the Great Barrier Reef.
Check out our blog all about “Finding Nemo“, written by our own Operations Manager, Neil Davidson.
Experience the ‘Martini Effect’ – Get Narced!
During your advanced course you will make your first dive below 18 metres and some of you wil managed to go down all the way to almost 30 metres where the chance of you experiencing nitrogen narcosis or getting narced increases significantly. Otherwise known as the martini effect, diving down to deeper depths causes the increased solubility of gases into body tissues, basically making you feel a little drunk.
The is no one rule for all people as it does vary from person to person, but it is not dangerous in itself. Giving you a sense of euphoria and usually a good dose of the giggles you can cure yourself by ascending a few metres and continuing your dive with no lingering effects.
If you don’t experience narcosis as an advanced diver you can always take the next step and become a deep diving specialist where you will head down to the maximum depth within the PADI recreational system of diver education – 40metres where you are sure to get narced!
PADI Instructor Matt Benham has written a great piece about getting “Deeper Into Diving“.
Your Ultimate Diving Holiday – Take a Liveaboard Trip
Eat, Sleep, Dive, Repeat. A liveaboard diving trip is every scuba addicts dream. The ultimate scuba diving holiday as you just relax and eat in between dives as your boat cruises from dive site to dive site. Usually best for advanced divers to fully enjoy the sites as most will be deep with many liveaboard companies providing nitrox so you can stay deeper for longer.
Many trips will have you diving at least 4 times a day covering some of the world’s best dive sites in the process and most offer night dives too!
Become a Scuba Diving Role Model – Go Pro!
One of the big ‘must do’s’ for all scuba diving enthusiasts, regardless of whether you want to make a career out of scuba diving is to become a professional diver. Becoming a PADI Divemaster will significantly increase your diving skills as well as heighten your awareness of fellow divers. Your Dive buddies will look to you for help and guidance as you become their role model for all diving related matters.
A Divemaster internship is the perfect program, giving you the opportunity to learn from experienced PADI Instructors and feel what it is like to work within a busy dive centre. Depending on your diving experience, and how much time you can take off work if doing the Internship full time, our average Interns take 4-6 weeks to become Divemasters on Koh Tao.
Not only does it provide a great break away from normal life in a tropical paradise location, but could also open a door for you to actually earn money at this hobby you love so much.
One of our own Divemaster Interns has written a blog review of her time at Crystal, becoming a Divemaster.
Author: Crystal Dive