After an Open Water Diver course you can sometimes be left feeling like there was something missing or maybe it was not complete. You’re looking at taking the next step they keep telling you to do but are not sure or even feeling prepared. For starters your Dive Instructor seemed to have it all so well down yet made it look so simple that you don’t feel like you really did that well?
There are many reasons for this but some are left with little explanation. Unless you have a close friend or family member who is experienced and know’s how well it can all come together then how do you know for yourself. How do you know these people you just meet, who took you through your training are really being honest with you. The simple truth is that they are being honest and encourage you with the deepest sincerity. By the time somebody becomes a SCUBA Instructor they know hands down the value of diver training systems. There is a unique sense of community that comes with spending time doing courses and diving through your local dive centre.
There is no way for you to know this on your own or even amongst your fellow dive course buddies. Keeping in touch with those dive course buddies, working through the various dive courses with them and meeting others along the way sure helps to answer these questions and doubts. You see the thing that you are not being told is difficult to explain because it is different for everybody. Some divers will go straight through Advanced Open Water then do Specialties and Dive Trips before completing Rescue Diver and anything else. Another Diver may do some diving with just their Open Water Diver rating then move through Advanced, Rescue then Divemaster to become a dive professional.
The answers come from you. You get to choose which course you do and when you go for dives outside of your training plus what and when you take dive trips. When you pursue Advanced Open Water and Specialty courses you develop your own unique set of dive skills and dive buddies. These are the things that were not in your Open Water Diver course because they come later as you develop a skill base. Although you complete Open Water Diver skills during your course, well honed Open Water Diver skills are not taught and perfected until Divemaster and Instructor levels. That’s when you need them to teach others best practice and to lead by example.
Have confidence that your dive instructor made sure your dive skills are at Open Water Diver level when you got certified, that’s what they are there to help you do. Although a little serious sometimes, SCUBA diving is a relatively safe, pleasant and relaxing activity and this improves as you progress. Even the most experienced divers and teachers will tell you often every dive is better than the last.
There are great social aspects as all scuba divers have something in common, an appreciation for the ocean and exploring it’s many curiosities. An understanding between experienced and trained divers of the opportunities for pure enjoyment while scuba diving is more of an unspoken certainty than a specific skill. So don’t wait, get out diving, be brave and sign up for the next course or dive trip and all your questions will be answered.