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Black-Gorrilla
01-06-2009, 20:57
Well, I'd like to get into the tech world as time progreses... and i think i have to do AOW before i do any tech class (correct?)
So... Is there a more tech oriented AOW class that i can do? something that covers more than deep diving, Night and Nav?
Thanks guys.

Rainer
01-06-2009, 21:01
What are you looking for?

AOW (at least what I took), while fun, had NOTHING to do with tech training. Really was just a chance to dive in some new environments (at the time, that included my first nitrox, night, and "deep" dives).

If you want training that is geared toward getting you ready for a tech class, look into either GUE's Fundamentals or NAUI's Intro to Tech course.

ianr33
01-06-2009, 22:27
You dont need to have AOW to do TDI Advanced Nitrox/Deco. Just a nitrox card and 25 dives.

FishFood
01-06-2009, 22:36
AOW... or in the PADI/NAUI sence... isn't usually recognized as much as far as tech training goes.

Skip the AOW go for something like the GEU Fundies. Surely any dive op requiring AOW wouldn't turn that down?

jj1987
01-06-2009, 23:41
Surely any dive op requiring AOW wouldn't turn that down?
I was told by a dive op that required AOW, that a full cave card would not substitute for AOW. Some ops let you show proof of recent dives, some are dead set that you need AOW.

Rainer
01-07-2009, 00:04
Just a nitrox card and 25 dives.

LOL, and that's a good thing?

Rainer
01-07-2009, 00:04
Surely any dive op requiring AOW wouldn't turn that down?
I was told by a dive op that required AOW, that a full cave card would not substitute for AOW. Some ops let you show proof of recent dives, some are dead set that you need AOW.

Find a different dive op. Seriously.

Black-Gorrilla
01-07-2009, 04:19
so i can take my nitrox and turn it into
TDI Advanced Nitrox/Deco which is good for 150ft. and 100% o2.
Now, the TDI site does not list anyone in florida for me to take the course...
Any Suggestions?
Thanks again guys

imasinker
01-07-2009, 06:43
If your not taking the AOW I would agree and suggest you at least think about taking the GUE fundies in it's place. If your thinking of heading into the technical area of diving this is a great introduction to it. I have spoke to many technical divers who agree it was for them an important start to their training. It will give you a great opportunity to speak with instructors, other divers so you can get an idea of the training, gear and skills your going to need down the road. As well as improving the skills you need today. I did the padi AOW and now I am taking the GUE fundies because like you I am heading to the technical area of diving. Of course it is just a matter of opinion on my part, don't want to start a long arguement over what agency is better. take a look at the GUE site it's pretty informative and gives you a better idea of the course over view.
GUE home page... GUE Fundamentals | Global Underwater Explorers (http://www.gue.com/?q=en/node/116)

Just a suggestion from a noob..

ianr33
01-07-2009, 08:33
Just a nitrox card and 25 dives.

LOL, and that's a good thing?

Never said it was a GOOD thing.........................

How many dives do you think is reasonable before doing an introductory deco course?

ianr33
01-07-2009, 08:36
so i can take my nitrox and turn it into
TDI Advanced Nitrox/Deco which is good for 150ft. and 100% o2.
Now, the TDI site does not list anyone in florida for me to take the course...
Any Suggestions?
Thanks again guys

Must be a gazillion instructors in Florida.

Here is one possibility
Fill Express -- Training for Sport and Technical Divers, Gas Blenders (http://www.fillexpress.com/training.shtml)

This is a good place tom ask about TDI training
SDI/TDI/ERDI - ScubaBoard (http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/sdi-tdi-erdi/)

ianr33
01-07-2009, 08:49
Some of the LDS inland here will not take you on their charter without AOW, it is part of their liability insurance.


Would they let you on if you had trimix card?

georoc01
01-07-2009, 09:02
You have many different agencies. I know if you go to do the DSAT tech classes, they require you have the Deep Specialty which requires AOW.

Not sure on Naui Classes. My shop requires GUE Fundamentals, which has no prereqs from the other agencies. However the instructor did ask me about my experience. I don't know what his minimum requirements are.

I would think doing PPB and the Deep Dive Specialty are good starters.

ianr33
01-07-2009, 09:03
A basic (normoxic) Trimix card certifies you to 200 feet. Minimum course standard is at least 2 dives deeper than 130. Anyone with a Trimix card is way beyond AOW.

I hope to find a dive op one day that refuses a trimix card but accepts AOW.
That will confirm the Dive Industry is messed up !

Lulubelle
01-07-2009, 09:32
A basic (normoxic) Trimix card certifies you to 200 feet. Minimum course standard is at least 2 dives deeper than 130. Anyone with a Trimix card is way beyond AOW.

I hope to find a dive op one day that refuses a trimix card but accepts AOW.
That will confirm the Dive Industry is messed up !

Well, as I said, I didn't know a darn thing about trimix until you told me. I am well aware that AOW is not even a little bit advanced, it is just an introduction to an expanded roster of diving environments. I would imagine that the ops and LDS doing charters WOULD take a trimix card then if the requirements are that specific, consistent amongst agencies, and known through the industry.

But I wonder if the way these insurance policies are written put handcuffs on them regarding what they can take. Insurance providers aren't dive experts.

I still would call an op and ask before I trucked across the country.

ianr33
01-07-2009, 09:40
No worries. I have an AOW card (somewhere!)

It just amuses me that the industry sells an "Advanced" certification that is not which is then required by insurance carriers.

(I'm easily amused ! )

Lulubelle
01-07-2009, 09:43
No worries. I have an AOW card (somewhere!)

It just amuses me that the industry sells an "Advanced" certification that is not which is then required by insurance carriers.

(I'm easily amused ! )

You misread me. What I was saying is that if the advanced certs have well known and consistent standards, I would think that anyone would take them. I'd still ask.

I don't know about the particulars of my LDS's insurance, they MIGHT take anything that is known to be "above" AOW. All I was saying is that I would ask before incurring travel costs.

I don't think one can expect insurance companies to know the difference.

AOW is a MINIMUM, the low bar.

Thanks for teaching me what trimix was. Now I can be suitably impressed when i meet someone who has done it.

I have no desire to do tech diving, at least no desire to do tech diving below recreational limits. I can see taking some courses to improve my skills and expertise, but I'm staying above the 130 mark. My luck isn't that good.

in_cavediver
01-07-2009, 11:14
Surely any dive op requiring AOW wouldn't turn that down?
I was told by a dive op that required AOW, that a full cave card would not substitute for AOW. Some ops let you show proof of recent dives, some are dead set that you need AOW.

....and some dive ops are idiots too. If I heard that, I'd wonder if they'd refuse nitrox to someone with a trimix card.....

Cards don't normally mean to much but a full cave card means a lot more than an AOW card.

Black-Gorrilla
01-07-2009, 11:27
Surely any dive op requiring AOW wouldn't turn that down?
I was told by a dive op that required AOW, that a full cave card would not substitute for AOW. Some ops let you show proof of recent dives, some are dead set that you need AOW.

....and some dive ops are idiots too. If I heard that, I'd wonder if they'd refuse nitrox to someone with a trimix card.....

Cards don't normally mean to much but a full cave card means a lot more than an AOW card.


I bet you can find a dive op that will refuse nitrox to someone with tech trimix. lol.

in_cavediver
01-07-2009, 17:10
Surely any dive op requiring AOW wouldn't turn that down?
I was told by a dive op that required AOW, that a full cave card would not substitute for AOW. Some ops let you show proof of recent dives, some are dead set that you need AOW.

....and some dive ops are idiots too. If I heard that, I'd wonder if they'd refuse nitrox to someone with a trimix card.....

Cards don't normally mean to much but a full cave card means a lot more than an AOW card.


I bet you can find a dive op that will refuse nitrox to someone with tech trimix. lol.

I know, I set my wife up for a world of hurt with some dive operators and the dive police. She has no AOW but has been to 150' with mandatory deco and used 100% O2! Her certs are Padi OW, IANTD Nitrox, Advanced Nitrox and Tec Nitrox, NACD Full Cave and NSS-CDS Sidemount. Definitely not up for a 80' AOW dive............

I just can't stomach paying $100 or more for AOW class for her.

ianr33
01-07-2009, 17:45
I just can't stomach paying $100 or more for AOW class for her.

How about a solo card ? :smiley36:

Rainer
01-07-2009, 17:55
Just a nitrox card and 25 dives.

LOL, and that's a good thing?

Never said it was a GOOD thing.........................

How many dives do you think is reasonable before doing an introductory deco course?

You know darn well it isn't a matter of dives. You almost also certainly know that very few, IF ANY, divers with only 25 dives have the ability to not cork if a dive went seriously sideways and a deco obligation had to be paid. If any divers out there with 25 dives think they can handle a post failure, say with no mask, while on O2 with 20 minutes of deco in front of them, props. I've yet to meet such a diver. I have, however, met a few people having gone through AN/DP prematurely who'd be looking at a chamber ride if they ever experienced gear failure on an accelerated deco dive.

Lulubelle
01-07-2009, 17:59
No one is disagreeing with you, you are right!

But don't you think that if some insurance guy who doesn't know much about dive training develops a minimum standard without a lot of knowledge of the advanced training paths that you have followed that the dive op is going to have to roll with that?

I don't know that this is the case, most of the ops I use seem to use their own judgment about who they want to take out.

My only point is to call ahead if you are traveling a long distance and using ops that you don't know and find out.

I'm going to leave all you tech divers in this thread now. I'm out of my league :)

LCF
01-07-2009, 18:33
Black Gorilla, I cannot strongly enough recommend an introductory class like Fundies or Intro to Tech. The standards of skills and poise and situational awareness are totally different between relaxed, recreational reef diving, and diving under a decompression obligation. Taking an introductory class of this kind introduces the skills you will need, and also gives you a clear look at how much higher the bar is set in this environment. Mastering precise buoyancy control under significant task loading comes as a challenge for the majority of divers, and requires time and practice. You will be light-years ahead, when you present for an actual technical class, if you have already learned to do a controlled air-sharing ascent, and deploy an SMB without losing buoyancy control or awareness of your environment and team.

Such a class will also enrich all the recreational diving you are doing, as better skills means more enjoyable diving.

Whether you need to pursue AOW for other reasons, such as charter regulations, is a completely different question. If you are interested in an AOW class that might have a technical sort of bent to it, you might look for someone who teaches technical classes as well as recreational. If you are interested, I have people I can ask for a recommendation in the Miami area.

And BTW, charter operators can be ridiculous . . . One of GUE's cave instructors (a guys who's pushed KILOMETERS into caves in various parts of the world) was told he couldn't dive Nitrox in Australia until he got in the water and demonstrated a fin pivot -- Go figure!

robjoubert
01-07-2009, 18:33
I am probably going to open a HUGE can or worms with this post :smiley9: BUT why does the GUE Fundies course insist on a backplate and wings? Is a BCD not considered technical enough?

UPDATE: I was curious about this so I did some more browsing - basically the BP/W is a LOT simpler, more streamlined and organized than a BCD & I can see why it is preferred for tech diving (DANG expensive though)

DMWiz
01-07-2009, 18:53
so i can take my nitrox and turn it into
TDI Advanced Nitrox/Deco which is good for 150ft. and 100% o2.
Now, the TDI site does not list anyone in florida for me to take the course...
Any Suggestions?
Thanks again guys

I can give you a TDI Instructor email who's in Miami, but I know what he'll say to you... While 25 dives meets the TDI minimum requirements, you need to dive, dive, dive, before taking Adv. Nitrox and Deco Procedures.

PM me if you still want it.

Rainer
01-07-2009, 19:19
I am probably going to open a HUGE can or worms with this post :smiley9:

BUT - why does the GUE Fundies course insist on a backplate and wings? Is a BCD not considered technical enough?

GUE considers a BP/W (which is a *type* of BCD) to be a superior buoyancy system to a non-BP/W. This is for several reasons:

(1) A BP/W (with hog harness) does not contain the failure points of a "traditional" BC (e.g. quick releases).
(2) A BP/W does not have the inherent buoyancy of a "traditional" BC, rather, it is inherently negative (e.g. my Ranger was around 3 or 4 lbs positive; my DSS singles rig is 14 lbs negative).
(3) A BP is a better platform wrt stability for doubles, and as such, does not require buying another BCD if one transitions to doubles. [It's also probably more stable for singles; I know a single rides a lot better on my BP than it did on my Ranger.] Familiarity with the rig during the transition from singles to doubles is a good thing.
(4) The BP places negative bouyancy directly over your positively bouyant lungs, which is not the case with most "traditional" BCs. This can help in achieving "proper" trim.

In any case, a brand new BP/W can be had for about the same cost as selling many "traditional" BCDs used. I know it didn't cost be any more to move to a DSS singles rig given what I got for my used Ranger.

in_cavediver
01-07-2009, 19:24
Just a nitrox card and 25 dives.

LOL, and that's a good thing?

Never said it was a GOOD thing.........................

How many dives do you think is reasonable before doing an introductory deco course?

You know darn well it isn't a matter of dives. You almost also certainly know that very few, IF ANY, divers with only 25 dives have the ability to not cork if a dive went seriously sideways and a deco obligation had to be paid. If any divers out there with 25 dives think they can handle a post failure, say with no mask, while on O2 with 20 minutes of deco in front of them, props. I've yet to meet such a diver. I have, however, met a few people having gone through AN/DP prematurely who'd be looking at a chamber ride if they ever experienced gear failure on an accelerated deco dive.

I don't know - my wife would give that a run for the money. She did have all the wrong influences though - a bunch of mixed gas cave divers acting as mentors. She was comfortable in doubles/drysuit, with shutdowns at dive 25 - just in time to start cavern. Full cave came at 50 where she did demostrate no-mask shutdowns while maintaining position - with a stage bottle even. She was a natural with buoyancy and task management. She never knew the surface as the first option which helped immensely. Still, it was closer to 100-150 before the advanced nitrox/tec nitrox classes kicked in and 200 something for sidemount.

Rainer
01-07-2009, 19:28
A lot of divers look comfortable at 25 dives. That said, task them (unexpectedly) and nearly all will fall apart (especially as relates to buoyancy). In any case, a lot of this stuff is about making the right decisions, and that really does come with diving experience. I'd personally be very wary of buddying up with a diver who only had a handful of dives for a mandatory decompression dive, even if they demonstrated good skills in a "confined" setting. There's really no way to know how your wife would have responded to a true emergency when she only had 25 dives.

in_cavediver
01-07-2009, 19:28
....

I'm going to leave all you tech divers in this thread now. I'm out of my league :)

Ah - stick around. We're all nice people, really we are. Just a bit....opinionated is all

Black-Gorrilla
01-07-2009, 21:00
Thanks for all the options and awesome advice.
I want more than anything to start pricing these classes out, as well as all the gear (doubles, extra regs etc... plus materials for courses)
Thanks guys. lets keep the info rolling as this is shaping up to be a good source of info.

in_cavediver
01-07-2009, 21:57
A lot of divers look comfortable at 25 dives. That said, task them (unexpectedly) and nearly all will fall apart (especially as relates to buoyancy). In any case, a lot of this stuff is about making the right decisions, and that really does come with diving experience. I'd personally be very wary of buddying up with a diver who only had a handful of dives for a mandatory decompression dive, even if they demonstrated good skills in a "confined" setting. There's really no way to know how your wife would have responded to a true emergency when she only had 25 dives.

You know, that last part got me thinking - the whole how to handle a real emergency bit. In the hundreds of dives, some well into overheads and with real deco, I have never had one. Lots of annoyances that required actions but no emergencies. I have had freeflows, stuck inflators, flooded drysuits etc but nothing was an emergency. She had seveal little issues like that too, even with just 25 dives. Cold water can play havoc with free flows and stuck inflators. She handled those just fine. (we had some defective LP inflators that liked to stick in cold water for a while - we have since replaced them once we figured out what problem was)

My wife did have one real emergency though, She had a multiple reg malfunction that pushed her over the edge. It happened during the ealry parts of the advanced nitrox class - 100+ dives - in shallow water. Basically, she started a stage reg swap drill and got water rather than air, all well and good, went to her backup only to have the mouthpiece tear in her mouth, more water not air. She tried for the primary but ran out of time before the 'gotta go now' instinct kicked in and she headed to the surface. I wasn't on the dive but from what I understand, her buddy was worthless and instructor wasn't close enough to make a difference. She did everything 'right' up till that point.

I have a lot of respect for her on that. She literally went down the list for what to do but got hit with a multiple failure in the one area that time really counts - breathing. I frankly can't tell you how far I'd get in that same process. I don't think anyone truly knows until they go through it.

Still, in the end, for most everyone, 25 dives isn't a lot of expierence. Stage Deco and overheads need to be respected.

ianr33
01-08-2009, 08:15
You know, that last part got me thinking - the whole how to handle a real emergency bit. In the hundreds of dives, some well into overheads and with real deco, I have never had one.

I don't think anyone truly knows until they go through it.


This is something I think about. Like you I have never had an emergency diving,never felt anything more than apprehension on a dive.

As my diving gets deeper and the caves get longer and tighter I do worry that my first real incident is going to be in the absolutely wrong place. Thats a big part of why I dont like to push too hard. My thinking is that if I only need to concentrate on one problem and everything else is automatic then hopefully it will turn out O.K.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
03-09-2009, 09:34
Apologies for resurrecting an old thread. Just wanted to address the idea of AOW card being required by ops here in NC. They are not required. What the ops require: a cert for the mix you are breathing (yes trimix gives you nitrox) and recent suitable experience for the dives you are doing. I've never been asked for an AOW card. I have been asked for a Nitrox card.


I recall one charter (a 6 pack) where a couple was sitting by themselves being very quiet. The rest of us were shooting the sh*t with the captain and the mate. The captain asked us if we'd ever dove with that couple before. None of us had. He sent the mate to talk to them. The mate comes back and tells the captain that they each had AOW and 30 dives (most in the islands) and had done just one inshore dive before and no offshore dives. We were set to make 2 extended offshore dives that day. The captain was really pissed at my LDS for putting those guys on the charter. The official requirement for the trip: "bring only experienced and capable divers" So, it didn't matter what cards they had, they shouldn't have been on the boat. Fortunately, conditions that day were awesome- no current, 100+ vis, so instead of making them sit on the boat, the captain strapped on a tank and dove with them. They actually turned out to be decent divers. He let them dive without an escort on the second day.

As for Tech and AOW, all the agencies are different, DSAT requires AOW, Nitrox, Rescue, and Deep (or 20 dives > 100 ft). TDI just requires Nitrox.

A good path might be TDI Intro to Tech or GUE Fundamentals then dive a bunch and then go with an agency that doesn't require AOW or that is willing to waive the requirement at the discretion of the instructor.

3rdEye
03-09-2009, 09:47
take a class that you feel you will get a lot out of....

I tool an advanced class, I already had 60 dives under my belt, which is probably more than most who take adv classes typically have. The advanced class isn't incredibly difficult...but I still got plenty out of it. It will give you a taste of task loading at depth, and give you a chance to learn some valuable skills. I think if you make the most out of it, and have a good instructor, you will get more out of it.

my instructor, also had a tech background, and being as I had a private lesson, and expressed my interest in tech in the future, we focused on a lot of things that we might not have otherwise....we did mask drills, OOA drills, and SMB deployments at the end of every dive. However, I was also probably a more competent diver than most of his advanced students.

Now, if you do a GUE fundies class, you'll be expected to do things like mask removals and whatnot within a 2ft up or down window...keeping perfect trim, etc. So, if you are there skills-wise...go for it.

I got a lot out of my advanced class, and to me it was worth it.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
03-09-2009, 10:48
Sounds like you were lucky with your AOW experience.

My AOW instructor got himself tangled in cave line during the deep dive. I learned a lot about how NOT to dive, so I guess that's valuable.

MSilvia
03-09-2009, 11:56
why does the GUE Fundies course insist on a backplate and wings?
Mostly, it's because the course teaches you how to dive according to the DIR philosophy, and DIR divers use backplates and wings.

If DIR diving isn't what you want to learn about, it might not be the right course for you. If it is, you'll need appropriate gear.

3rdEye
03-09-2009, 12:13
Sounds like you were lucky with your AOW experience.

My AOW instructor got himself tangled in cave line during the deep dive. I learned a lot about how NOT to dive, so I guess that's valuable.

I think the quality of the instructor is definitely something to consider when looking to take a class if you are really interested in learning....I've been pretty fortunate in that I have yet to have an awful instructor, but I've read some horror stories, and I'm kind of shocked at what passes for an instructor sometimes...personally, for classes I plan on taking in the future, I plan on finding out a bit of background on the person who will be teaching, because I'm not going to shell out money for some newbie instructor fresh out of an instructor course with only 100 dives under his belt....or someone who is just a terrible teacher...

RoyN
03-09-2009, 12:28
My AOW instructor got himself tangled in cave line during the deep dive. I learned a lot about how NOT to dive, so I guess that's valuable.

Diving is going to have alot of risk. Nobody is going to be perfect as far as I know. Even perfect instructors have had some mishaps, but the main thing is how they get out of it is where they live to tell about it or go out the water in a body bag. From that mistake of what happen, they learn and remember which gives them the power to teach a class. Knowledge is power.

MSilvia
03-09-2009, 12:51
Even perfect instructors have had some mishaps, but the main thing is how they get out of it is where they live to tell about it or go out the water in a body bag. From that mistake of what happen, they learn and remember which gives them the power to teach a class. Knowledge is power.
Just my 2 cents, but diving doesn't have to have a lot of risks, and I want more from an instructor than someone with the ability to live through their mistakes. Knowing how to avoid getting yourself into trouble in the first place is just as important as knowing how to survive problems when they happen. Even the worst divers can get lucky enough to live through mistakes, but luck won't necessarily teach them how to prevent the problem. I want instructors to show me how to mitigate risks, not just how to manage emergencies.

That said, don't kid yourself into thinking there are perfect instructors. Everyone has faults.

CompuDude
03-09-2009, 14:31
I am probably going to open a HUGE can or worms with this post :smiley9: BUT why does the GUE Fundies course insist on a backplate and wings? Is a BCD not considered technical enough?

UPDATE: I was curious about this so I did some more browsing - basically the BP/W is a LOT simpler, more streamlined and organized than a BCD & I can see why it is preferred for tech diving (DANG expensive though)

Not really, unless you're insisting on buying brand new top of the line gear from the most expensive manufacturers (think of it like Apple computers... ignoring the side issue of OS superiority). Often an bp/w can easily be cheaper than mid-to-high end BCDs. None of my bp/w's cost me more $300, a couple were closer to $200 (complete kit) ... can you say the same for the BCDs you've shopped for?

As for AOW, personally, I would do it just so I NEVER have to worry about being told I can't go on a given charter. Is it a silly rule? Of course. But ignorance abounds, and it's pretty simply insurance to never have to worry about it.

But after AOW, get some real training, like the GUE-F course or an Intro to Tech course.

RoyN
03-09-2009, 17:27
My backplate costed me less then $100 and that was with shipping, the wing was kinda expensive, but hey, wanna have good gear, then probably migh want to add some expenses especially I got a good deal on a 45lb wing.

CompuDude
03-09-2009, 17:48
My backplate costed me less then $100 and that was with shipping, the wing was kinda expensive, but hey, wanna have good gear, then probably migh want to add some expenses especially I got a good deal on a 45lb wing.

Right, when I quoted $200-300 for a bp/w, that included the wing. The "w" in bp/w. :smiley2:

Lulubelle
03-09-2009, 17:57
Not to disagree with my more experienced homeboy,but I would really hate for someone to trek across the world to NC and not be allowed to dive. Call first if your experience is not too deep, pun intended. As you said, dive ops require recent suitable experience for the dives you are doing. It is up to the op to decide what that looks like, not up to the diver wanting to go.

I have seen ops ask for an AOW or higher certification (the idea being that at least the diver has been one one deep dive and has some basic nav skills) especially in cases where the diver didn't have a ton of dives. I have seen them ask to see a log book or just discuss the diver's experience. I have seen them tell a lot of people who thought they were ready to go no.

In my case, I went out on deep offshore dives with all of the local dive ops right out of my OW. Dive number 5 I think it was. We were very clear about my background (swimming/lifeguarding/new diver) and the ops knew my dive buddy well as she has 500 plus dives, many with the Morehead ops. I did my AOW later that summer in NC. I too learned more about how not to dive from my AOW instructor.

All I cared to say in my original post was to warn people to call the op about their qualifications to dive here. AOW is simply one option for making the newer diver's resume look a little safer to an op getting ready to put you on their boat. Without it, most of us newer divers might not be allowed to go at all. And for those with many more dives than us newer folks, don't assume that your many dives in a freshwater, shallow, or low current environment will be acceptable to the dive op. They may want to see some sort of training, experience, or certification beyond what you have.

People don't come up in NC sometimes. I don't have any stats, but from the stories I have heard told, experience doesn't seem to be a correlate.


Apologies for resurrecting an old thread. Just wanted to address the idea of AOW card being required by ops here in NC. They are not required. What the ops require: a cert for the mix you are breathing (yes trimix gives you nitrox) and recent suitable experience for the dives you are doing. I've never been asked for an AOW card. I have been asked for a Nitrox card.


I recall one charter (a 6 pack) where a couple was sitting by themselves being very quiet. The rest of us were shooting the sh*t with the captain and the mate. The captain asked us if we'd ever dove with that couple before. None of us had. He sent the mate to talk to them. The mate comes back and tells the captain that they each had AOW and 30 dives (most in the islands) and had done just one inshore dive before and no offshore dives. We were set to make 2 extended offshore dives that day. The captain was really pissed at my LDS for putting those guys on the charter. The official requirement for the trip: "bring only experienced and capable divers" So, it didn't matter what cards they had, they shouldn't have been on the boat. Fortunately, conditions that day were awesome- no current, 100+ vis, so instead of making them sit on the boat, the captain strapped on a tank and dove with them. They actually turned out to be decent divers. He let them dive without an escort on the second day.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
03-09-2009, 18:22
Disagree all you want Lulubelle! That's what makes a forum interesting.

Of course its up to the operator and perhaps having an AOW card makes things cleaner. I've noticed that some LDS might require AOW but I know of no operator that will not accept experience in lieu of a card for recreational dives. I do know operators that require a deco cert or Trimix for certain dives.

CompuDude
03-09-2009, 19:01
The point people are trying to make, but seems to be getting lost in the back-and-forth, is simple:

SOME operators DO REQUIRE an "Advanced Open Water" (AOW, whatever) cert to allow you on their charters. It may be a useless cert, it may be valuable, all depends on the instructor. The point, however, is that simply holding the card, otherwise useless or not, is going to let you onto SOME charters. NOT having one of those cards could keep you from boarding.

To that end, it's worth getting your AOW card, to eliminate the possibility of some clueless numbskull telling you you can't dive on their boat without your AOW card. It's not that much time or money, just do it.

in_cavediver
03-09-2009, 20:23
The point people are trying to make, but seems to be getting lost in the back-and-forth, is simple:

SOME operators DO REQUIRE an "Advanced Open Water" (AOW, whatever) cert to allow you on their charters. It may be a useless cert, it may be valuable, all depends on the instructor. The point, however, is that simply holding the card, otherwise useless or not, is going to let you onto SOME charters. NOT having one of those cards could keep you from boarding.

To that end, it's worth getting your AOW card, to eliminate the possibility of some clueless numbskull telling you you can't dive on their boat without your AOW card. It's not that much time or money, just do it.

Yes but sometimes its incredibilly annoying to think about. I still can't bring myself to have my wife bother doing it. (and yes, we have heard once from the 100 dive wonder instructor about her suitability to go deeper than 60ft - we tell them we won't have a deco stop deeper than 60ft and that confused them enough to make him go away).

Any more, I figure an operator who can't determine a full cave/tec nitrox diver is OK at 100'-140'ish isn't really an operator we want to dive with.

RoyN
03-09-2009, 21:57
Right, when I quoted $200-300 for a bp/w, that included the wing. The "w" in bp/w. :smiley2:

AAwwwww.....mine was 390 exactly. :smiley19:

CompuDude
03-09-2009, 22:18
Right, when I quoted $200-300 for a bp/w, that included the wing. The "w" in bp/w. :smiley2:

AAwwwww.....mine was 390 exactly. :smiley19:

Even at $390, you're well within the range of many, many "normal" BCDs. Some of those Ranger LTD configs can hit $800!!!! Not to mention the fancy Aqualung models with the elevator lever, etc.

Lulubelle
03-09-2009, 22:33
Friend, give it up! We hear you! Get someone to do the AOW with her for free. Or just be happy taking your chances that you might spend a lot of money going somewhere to dive and someone might not understand how well qualified she is for the dive environment. I don't have the energy to fight these small battles of ignorance that I know will exist everywhere. I save mine for the big battles.



The point people are trying to make, but seems to be getting lost in the back-and-forth, is simple:

SOME operators DO REQUIRE an "Advanced Open Water" (AOW, whatever) cert to allow you on their charters. It may be a useless cert, it may be valuable, all depends on the instructor. The point, however, is that simply holding the card, otherwise useless or not, is going to let you onto SOME charters. NOT having one of those cards could keep you from boarding.

To that end, it's worth getting your AOW card, to eliminate the possibility of some clueless numbskull telling you you can't dive on their boat without your AOW card. It's not that much time or money, just do it.

Yes but sometimes its incredibilly annoying to think about. I still can't bring myself to have my wife bother doing it. (and yes, we have heard once from the 100 dive wonder instructor about her suitability to go deeper than 60ft - we tell them we won't have a deco stop deeper than 60ft and that confused them enough to make him go away).

Any more, I figure an operator who can't determine a full cave/tec nitrox diver is OK at 100'-140'ish isn't really an operator we want to dive with.

rongoodman
03-10-2009, 05:07
My AOW course was pretty worthless, but it was required for Rescue, which I think is a good thing to have. I went through a brief period of card collecting, now the only two I want are Trimix and Cave.