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Another newcomer...looking for training advice

Discussion in 'Introductions and Greets' started by navy85, Apr 20, 2003.

  1. navy85

    navy85 Nassau Grouper

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    Greetings,

    My name is Peter and I am a relatively new diver. I have been certified for 2 years (PADI OW), have completed a dozen dives, but they have all been in Aruba (yeah I know ;-0). I live near San Francisco and am looking to further my dive education as I take a plunge into the cold waters of Northern California. Given that background, does anyone in the area have a specific diveshop/instructor recommendation for AOW or equivalent (I am more interested in a quality experience than a certification from a particular organization)?

    Also, one LDS I have visited offers a triple certification as part of its AOW course (for a slightly higher fee, of course) - AOW, Adventure Diver and Nitrox...all in five dives on one weekend and 2-3 hours of classroom training before the weekend. I imagine that the dive requirements for each of the certifications could be met by diving all Nitrox and if the two elective dives are the same as one of the required dives - navigation, night or deep - but it is the apparent short classroom training time that concerns me, particularly with the Nitrox cert - and I consider myself a quick study. :confused: There may some additional information or training that they didn't tell me about, but this seems awfully lite for a "triple" training course.

    Comments or suggestions? Thanks.

    Peter
     
  2. voidware

    voidware Instructor, Scuba

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    First, adventure diver is part of AOW, so if they are telling you it's a separate certification they're leading you on. However, AOW can be a good introduction into local diving and nitrox is just good in general. About the classroom time, nitrox is rather easy and AOW doesn't really have much of a classroom portion. Check out your instructor. See if s/he makes an impression on you, and then go for it.

    brandon
     
  3. ColdH20diving

    ColdH20diving Divemaster

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    Since all of your diving has been tropical, you may want to take a dry suit class. There's a lot to see in the cold water environment, but it's no fun diving wet.:)
     
  4. ddub23

    ddub23 Nassau Grouper

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    Hi Peter,

    My wife and I are also looking at the AOW. We were extremely happy with our OW instructors. We have already spoken with a few other instructors at our LDS and the Dive cons so we are pretty much set to go in a couple of weeks. The AOW includes a couple of specialties but I can't remember the details off the top of my head. PM me and I'll let you know where got trained (don't want to sound like an ad on the board...)

    BTW: we are in Redwood shores so maybe we could go diving some time. Happy diving
     
  5. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
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    The NitrOx class sounds a little light. My NitrOx class takes at LEAST 4 to 5 hours of class time. But it is thorough and those who finish it really understand NitrOx. The AOW dives can be done with the 2 required for NitrOx, so go for it. More training is always good.
     
  6. Arnaud

    Arnaud Loggerhead Turtle

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    Agreed with Netdoc on the Nitrox.

    When it comes to instruction, I'm always weary of the Costco attitude. Buying in bulk is not always a good thing.

    The specialty courses are meant to develop your knowledge, experience and comfort in the water. The goal is not to expand your card collection... Choose your instructor wisely. Talk to him/her. Get opinions from others. Pricing for the courses should be the least important criteria in your search.

    Finally, I would recommend focusing on Nitrox and dry suit diving.
     
  7. navy85

    navy85 Nassau Grouper

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    LOL - I like that one.

    No argument here - the triple certification seemed a bit of a stretch for advancing my knowledge and experience, and that's why I posed the original question. My instincts have been validated.

    BTW, is there a rule of thumb for how much weight to add when going from a shortie in tropical waters (78-82 deg F)to a full 7mm wetsuit/hood/boots in cold water (mid 60s)? I have been using 12 lbs, am average build and weigh 170. I will certainly ask my instructor but wondered if there were any guidelines. Thanks.
     
  8. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    57,094
    25,150
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    there really are none! 12 lbs for a shorty sounds like a lot to me. I am fat and only use 6# with an AL tank in salt. Do yourself a favor and burn a tank in a pool with the 7 mm suit. Get someone to help you and add just enough weight so that the TOP OF YOUR HEAD is even with the water with no air in your bc and with your legs and arms crossed and while breathing normally on a full tank. For every inch of your head that sticks above water, add another pound and re-check. OR... make it so that you are at eye level with an empty tank. This will enable you to easily stay submerged at your 15 ffw safety stop. You can do the same thing in salt water... just tell the boat captain or dive master ahead of time of your need for some assistance.
     
  9. scubasean

    scubasean Loggerhead Turtle

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    Dan is a course director (teaches instructors) and their store is quite well equipped.

    All this being said, I haven't taken instruction with them yet. Was gonna take the AOW soon though.

    I also want some equipment, and they have a nice sized pool out back to use to try on equipment.

    Cheers,

    --Sean
     
  10. navy85

    navy85 Nassau Grouper

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    What can I say - I'm still learning :embarr:

    Seriously, thanks for the suggestions, NetDoc. I found that I needed the extra weight to descend properly from the surface. Once I get down below 15-20', I seem to be OK. Guess I'm not getting all of the air out of the BC.:doh: I do expect to use less weight as I gain experience and certainly have an objective now - 6 lbs or less! :holycow:
     

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