Open Water Certified, Now What?
by Cris Merz
There is so much out there with continuing education, sometimes it can be a little bit overwhelming trying to choose what the next steps should be. A lot of it may also depend on the region you live in and what your local dives may entail. The bottom line is… the adventure has just started.
So where should you start? Well, what are you interests? Have you looked at local diving? This is a great question to ask yourself because if you find yourself getting involved with your local dive center, chances are, they not only offer trips to the far and exotic, but may very well offer local dives as well.
In the Northeast, SDI Dry Suit and SDI Wreck courses are two perfect examples of classes people may want to take so they can take advantage of some of the popular dives that the St Lawrence Seaway and the N. Atlantic have to offer.
Dry Suit course is a perfect course to make you a year-round diver and our Wreck course will allow you to see some of the phenomenal offerings off of your very own coast, or perhaps just a few hours away by car. Dry Suit is also preferred for those divers that live along the West Coast and don’t want to miss a weekend dive off their local dive site with friends or a participating dive center or dive club.
Warmer waters may eliminate the need for a dry suit in the South but we still have plenty of wrecks, from the coast of the Carolinas all the way down to the Florida Keys.
Explore farther and stay longer!
The SDI Deep Diver and Computer Nitrox courses will allow you to go beyond 60ft and stay longer than the average diver on air. Though Enriched Air Nitrox will limit your depth, you will still be trained on the proper methods of extending your bottom time while staying within recreational depth limits… all while being a safe diver.
Still not sure what to do? SDI’s Advanced Adventure may be just what you are looking for. This course has 16 chapters with 16 different specialties for you to read about and choose what is best for you. Consider it a sample platter for diving education.
New divers as well as “old salts” find many different areas of interest in the underwater environment. Using a dry suit in colder waters or a diver propulsion vehicle in the warm Caribbean waters; divers will find many specialties available to enhance their underwater enjoyment. By taking a specialty class you will by-pass the “school of hard knocks” and begin to enjoy the specialty area immediately. When you have completed four specialties and logged a minimum of 24 logged dives you qualify for the SDI Advanced Diver rating. Add Rescue and 25 more dives and you qualify for the coveted Master Diver rating.
So, you now have some experience under your belt – are you ready to take the next step into something really exciting? Look into SDI’s sister agency, Technical Diving International and be amazed by what Technical Diving has to offer you with TDI.