Peak Performance Buoyancy
 
Required Pool Dives: 1
Required Open Water Dives: 2
Days Required: 2
Prerequisites: Open Water Diver

In the Open Water Diver class you learn some basic principles for establishing and maintaining proper buoyancy.  In the Peak Performance Buoyancy class you take those buoyancy skills to the next level.  You first learn the techniques in the pool, then move on to the open water where you demonstrate your skill with the techniques.  Proper buoyancy is so critical to making diving fun and easy.  With proper buoyancy you can maneuver through the water with relative ease.  It is vital for anyone considering specialties such as Wreck Diving or Underwater Photography.

Most scuba diving occurs in the ocean.  As divers we enjoy what the ocean offers us and become sensitive to the challenges that man and the environment place on our oceans.  The Project Aware Foundation was established by divers looking to protect the underwater world and its occupants.  The Project Aware class was created to to teach divers and non-divers the basic workings of the underwater environment and the major challenges that it faces such as pollution, over fishing, and climatic change.

Coral reefs are the rainforests of the ocean.  They provide divers some of the most spectacular beauty that one could imagine.  Unfortunately both mankind and mother nature has placed these important ecosystems in great peril.  The Coral Reef Conservation class was developed to teach divers and non-divers about the importance of the reefs to both the ocean and to mankind.  In the class you will learn how the reefs are being destroyed and what we can do as divers to protect them from further destruction.

Specialty Diver

 

A Specialty Diving Class is a class designed to teach a diver a specific diving technique, such as Navigation, Search and Recovery, Wreck Diving, Underwater Phototagraphy, Altitude Diving, and more.  PADI has 27 specialties to learn from.  Each specialty is designed to provide you a basic understanding of the methodology and techniques employed.  You will get an opportunity to practice these techniques in the open water for most of the courses.  A few courses are classroom instruction only and don't require diving.  The duration of each class varies depending upon the number of dives required for the particular class.

Wreck Diver

Required Pool Dives:  0

Required Open Water Dives:  4

Days Required:  2 - 3

Prerequisites:  Open Water Diver

Shipwrecks are fascinating to see and explore under water. However no diver should ever enter a wreck withouth the proper training and equipment. During the Wreck Diver class you will make 4 dives and learn how to safely navigate a wreck both inside and outside of the wreck.  You will learn the use of the proper equipment necessary for wreck penetration. Obtaining this certification will allow you to enter wrecks safely, while other non trained divers will only be able to view them from the outside.  

Deep Diver

Required Pool Dives:  0

Required Open Water Dives:  4

Days Required:  2 - 3

Prerequisites:  Open Water Diver

Becoming certified as an Open Water Diver allows you to dive to a maximum depth of 60 feet.  In order to dive to a depth of 130 feet, which is the maximum depth allowed for recreational divers, one must become certified as either an Advanced Open Water Diver or a Deep Diver.  In the Deep Diving class you will make 4 dives at depths from 60 to 100 feet.  During each dive you will learn and practice different skills that allow you to better understand the physical changes in the environment, the physiological changes with your body, and the risks associated with each.

Boat Diver

Required Pool Dives:  0

Required Open Water Dives:  2

Days Required:  1

Prerequisites:  Open Water Diver

Diving from shore can be fun, but often results in long strenuous surface swims in order to reach adequate depth or intended diving locations. Diving from a boat provides direct access to the dive location, eliminates the surface swim, and allows divers to reach locations well outside the reach of shore diving.  In the Boat Diver class you will learn boat terminology, proper entry and exit techniques from the boat, how to avoid seasickness, proper gear stoarage, and more.    

Project Aware
 
Required Pool Dives: 0
Open Water Dives: Optional
Days Required: 1
Prerequisites: None

Underwater Navigation

Required Pool Dives:  0

Required Open Water Dives:  4

Days Required:  2

Prerequisites:  Open Water Diver

Search and Recovery

Required Pool Dives:  0

Required Open Water Dives:  4

Days Required:  2

Prerequisites:  Open Water Diver

Enriched Air Diver

Required Pool Dives:  0

Required Open Water Dives:  0 - 2

Days Required:  1 - 2

Prerequisites:  Open Water Diver

Navigating on land is relatively easy since we can see so far ahead and we can use things like the suns position to help guide us. We don't have those advantages underwater. Visibility is often poor allowing us to only see a few feet ahead. The Underwater Navigation class will teach you how to properly use a compass underwater to know your direction. You will learn how to judge distance based upon fin kicks. Combining those two techniques will provide you the ability to head out in any direction, make any number of turns and bring yourself back to your starting point or any other exit point you desire.  You will be able to relocate points of interest with ease. 

In the Search and Recovery Class you will learn the techniques necessary to locate objects lost underwater. You will employ search patterns using underwater navigational techniques. But locating a lost object is only part of the solution.  In this class you will learn the proper use of a lift bag to get large objects safely to the surface.  People lose things off of boats all the time.  Whether it is fishing gear, an anchor, or a boat motor, having the ability to locate and retrieve it underwater provides the skilled diver a way of making some side cash recovering others lost stuff.

Altitude Diver

Required Pool Dives:  0

Required Open Water Dives:  2

Days Required:  1

Prerequisites:  Open Water Diver

The techniques learned in the Open Water Diver class are based upon diving at sea level since that is where most diving is performed.  However, diving is also done in lakes, rivers, and quarries that may be located well above sea level.  Diving at elevations over 1000 feet above sea level is considered an altitude dive.  Standard dive tables and computers adjusted for sea level no longer apply for altitude diving.  Instead new techniques and dive tables must be used.  In the Altitude Diver class you will learn the physical and physiological changes that occur with the changes in altitude and how to make the proper adjustments in order to dive safely.

In the Open Water Diver class you learn to breathe off of a scuba cylinder that has a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen that is the same as the air we breathe on land.  The oxygen content is approximately 21 percent of the air content.  You also learn that breathing nitrogen at depth limits your bottom time in order to prevent decompression sickness.  In the Enriched Air Diver class you will learn to dive using different oxygen contents up to 40 percent.  The reduction in nitrogen increases your potential bottom time since the nitrogen that builds up in your body is reduced.  However, the increasd oxygen content present new challenges that can affect the diver.  In this class you will learn how to handle the physiological changes in order to dive safely. 

Coral Reef Conservation
 
Required Pool Dives: 0
Open Water Dives: Optional
Days Required: 1
Prerequisites: None

Drift Diver

Required Pool Dives:  0

Open Water Dives:  2

Days Required:  1

Prerequisites:  Open Water Diver

Night Diver

Required Pool Dives:  0 - 1

Required Open Water Dives:  3

Days Required:  1 - 2

Prerequisites:  Open Water Diver

Although we sometimes encounter small currents in the water most of our diving is done in relatively motionless conditions.  However, there are some areas, such as Cozumel, where there is always a moderate current due to the way the water travels around the island.  Diving in such conditions is known as drift diving.  In the Drift Diver class you will learn the proper techniques used for entry as well as movement through the water.  You will also learn the advantages and disadvantages of drift diving and any additional equipment that may be necessary.

Diving during the daytime provides us the advantage of being able to see a lot around us.  However, it also has the disadvantage of the loss of colors with depth since light only penetrates so far.  Unfortunatley, for many of the sea animals the ocean is a kill or be killed environment.  As such there are many sea animals that hide during the day and only come out to feed at night. Therefore, if we only dive during the day there are many sea animals that we never get to see.  Diving at night opens us up to an entire new relm in the ocean.  Because we use hand-held lights we reintroduce light at depth allowing us to suddenly see the water world in brilliant colors that we are unable to see during the day.  We are also able to see many sea animals that would otherwise be hiding out of sight during daytime.  The Night Diver class provides us the opportunity to discover this new relm and teaches us the proper night diving techniques and usuage of equipment .