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Hi all,

I did PADI OW up in Oban last November, got 20 odd dives in since then, a few in the Canaries and the rest at Capernwray. I qualified in a drysuit and have always (ok, all bar 4 dives) dived in one since qualification. Ive practised some stuff in the containers at Capernwray (rolls from inverted position etc) with a good friend and feel comfortable using the suit now (although it took about 14 dives to get there!!).

At some point I will do AOW (taking into account the many posts regarding this course) but for the time being, to be honest, Id rather bimble and practise at 18m max before getting a qual that might tempt me deeper. I plan to be doing a fair few sea dives this year and keep practising at Capernwray. Before jumping off a boat again though I can't help wondering if doing the specialty drysuit course would be useful (safer) and Nitrox would be a useful one to do in the meantime?

Questions are then please, should I do the drysuit course as a means to be certain and double check my skills or is it likely a waste of money now? And is doing a Nitrox course allowed (with my inexperience) and worthwile in the months before I do AOW (although it may not help my skills much)?

Hope this makes sense!!

Thanks

Regards
Ron
 

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Duvet Diver
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Ron,
I am about the same level as you, except I didn't qualify in a dry suit.
The dry suit course is probably not worth anything to you.
The Nitrox course can be done at your level (I've just done it and I am doing AOW in April) however you may well not get any benefit from it yet. If your diving is currently limited buy the amount of air that you have, then nitrox wont do a thing for you. However If your diving is limited by your No Decompresion Limit and you always have loads of air left over, nitrox will give you a longer No Decompresion Limit for the same depth.

Simon A
 

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DUE CEO, Booking agent, Coffee maker & Dogsbody...
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Ron

I am not too knowledgable on PADI courses but i would say from teaching BSAC ones that you sound OK in the drysuit. Probably wasting money doing one (a BSAC would not cost you anything).

The NITROX is always worth doing 'cos its so much safer, even at the depths you are diving. Remember DCI hits everyone in different ways at different depths and tissue codes.

I use it a lot when teaching in Lakes at say 9m max, 'cos i do lots of assents and it adds to my safety margins.

My personal view is that Basic Nitrox should be part of entry level courses 'cos it adds safety.

Dive Safe whatever your choices

Paul
 

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I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but IMO this is
a better way to do it.

Ok so you are PADI OW and want to know what next.

IMO dump AOW. That's right, dont bother doing what is the
worst course in the PADI repetoire. Teaches you how to do
what? Count fish? Watch your depth gauge?

Much better route is to go BSAC Sport diver. You not only get
to learn all about decompression, but get to do all the rescue
stuff earlier (CBL, AC, Tow & Ditch etc). All the training
assumes correct exposure protection, so you will get on the
job drysuit training. It includes shot work/lift bags, plus
SMB/DSMB essential for UK.

Combination of good lectures, pool work (with complete
rescue sequence) followed by 5 open water dives again with
rescue sequence makes this a very comprehensive course.
Sport diver will give you a 35m with deco rating and no you
dont have to join a club (although they will welcome you).
Any pro-BSAC outfit will do it.

But ...... and this is the best bit. Do a few more dives (20 in
total) and it's the entry requirement for the best
PADI course - Rescue Diver.

So you get to do all the AV/CPR stuff again (by this time you
will be well good at it). Plus a repeat of all that classroom
stuff on the EFR course. Rescue has more panicked diver
scenarios and more Rescue management. Some repeats yes,
but enough superior content to really hone your skills.

If you get PADI AOW cheap on a holiday package that costs
little more than a 5 dive pack, then go for it.

Otherwise, for UK diving after PADI OW, go Sport Diver.

Rgds
TerryH
 

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Jonah
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Don't know why you think you'll get flamed Terry, looks like a well thought out plan to me.

I found AOW useful as an intro to UK diving conditions (I was a holiday diver). Ron obviously doesn't need this. I then found myself wanting to do something Sports-diver-ish for all the reasons you list.

Ron, somewhere in the archives there's a post by me entitled 'tell me what to do' or something like that - I was asking similar questions and got lots of good advice from people. Might be worth a search.
 

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I've not done any PADI course being a BSAC diver myself. But i can see where your coming from. I'm a sports diver with about 86 dives under my belt. I'm only just doing my Nitrox course, i left that course until the time that i will get more use from it. I mainly want it for doing accelerated deco, which you can't do until your a sports diver. As deep wreck diving is the path i'm starting to walk down.

The dry-suit course is a waste of time, BSAC will sign you up as a drysuit diver as long as the DO is happy with your skills. In fact  got a few of the blank stickers if you want one.

I agree with Terry, the sports diver course is better than AOW, and it teaches you the rescue skills, which i believe is more important than any depth rating or deco skills.

 

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<font color='#FF0000'>personaly I think join a BSAC club enjoy your diving and learn and hone your safety skills, but  there is no reason why you shouldn't enjoy taking PADI courses if you want to. As for Nitrox yes do it. As it will give you an added safety margin.
I have fully enjoyed my training having compleated Ocean diver, Sport diver, Rescue diver, Advanced Nitrox & Instructor foundation Course.
All have been most enjoyable and each has given me a bit more valuable experiance to carry me forward in my diving career.


dive safe always.
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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I fulley support and endorse joining a BSAC club and developing your UK diveing and I am not a BSAC member and have never done a BSAC course
??

As far as dry suit is concerned if your comfortable and can recover from and inversion thats all you need to know. I personaly would strongly recommend using wide flange fittings on your dry suit and BCD / wing in order to facilitate a quick disconect of the inflation hose in the event of a free flow but apart from that you apear to have dry suits sussed. You did better than me I took at least 20 to feel happy


AOW is a licence to dive any where in the world and therefore well worth doing. The deep section takes you to narcosis depth and demonstrates the efects which is well worth it, the rest of the course is crap. However dont underestimate it's importance. In Gozo if your not AOW you can not dive without an instructor, in Egypt to do most liveaboard trips you need to be AOW or equivilent. Its a good investment for Blue water diving. just as BSAC is a good investment for green water diving.

ATB

Mark Chase
 

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Thanks everyone, based on the comments I think I'll do the Nitrox course, skip drysuit for now and look at the BSAC route..

This might sound a dumb question but whats the first step along the BSAC route? Do I have to join a local club or can the courses be done just by being a BSAC member and sourcing instructors independently?

As for as the Nitrox course, can anyone recommend a good instructor/school that could help me with this up in the North West?

Thanks again everyone.

Regards
Ron
 

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First step would be to find a club that suits you personally, they're all different and it's a lot to do with the personality of the members have a look here:
BSAC NW branches
NW covers a pretty big area, I've met some guys from a couple of the cumbrian clubs who seem very friendly but apart from that I dunno.

As a PADI OW you'll be given BSAC Ocean diver status with some BSAC orientation, eg tables, branch structure, BSAC ethos etc. They'll no doubt ask you to do a check-out dive which is perfectly normal, they will also want fill in the skills gap, which means learning rescue techniques and drysuit use.
I would expect them to strongly encourage you to do the Sport diver course which will take you further into rescue skills area as well as SMB and dSMB use and suchlike, details of both can be found Here
HTH
Steve

It's possible to do an SD course with a BSAC school but this is a bit different.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>As Mark mentioned the AOW opens doors to some sites where you can't dive with OW, this happens frequently in Spain for example.

I don't think the AOW is anything special, you won't learn anythin new if you had experience efore hand. I do reccomend though to do the Rescue Course, aim to do this course, it's well worth it.
 
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