Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver

On our trip to Lanzarote in December 2008, we went ahead with the next stage of our scuba diving. We’d achieved the PADI Open Water Diver qualification while out in Malaysia, and although we hadn’t dived since to gain any general experience, we wanted to go to the next step so we’d be qualified to dive a little deeper.

With the help of Jim and Ben at Manta Dive Centre in Puerto Del Carmen (who I really must write a proper review about sometime), Katie and I achieved our PADI Advanced Open Water Diver qualification.


The course consists of five dives, each with a specific focus. There are two dives you must do (deep and navigation), and then three from about a dozen or so options. We chose to do the night dive, peak performance buoyancy and AWARE Fish ID.
In completing the Advanced course, we also completed the lower grade of Adventure Diver, for which you need three dives instead of five. Being Advanced, we are now allowed down to a depth of 30 metres, whereas Open Water only qualifies you to 18 metres. Each of the dives are fairly easy though, and just opens you up to new experiences. They aren’t really things you can fail.

Almost certainly one of the next dive courses I want to do is the Deep Dive Speciality course which qualifies you down to 40m, the recommended limit of recreational no-decompression diving. After that, then maybe some other specialities, or the intermediate courses to becoming a Master Scuba Diver. Before all that though, I really just need some general diving experience, so I can focus on enjoying the dive, and improving the my own techniques.

By Gary Jones

Husband, dad of twins, software engineering lead, and a middle-of-the-pack runner.