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RevDoc
10-03-2007, 10:02
I am a new diver. We live in Wisconsin and our opportunities to dive here are quickly freezing over! This winter we will be doing a few dives in Florida, Cozumel and Grand Cayman. It is obvious that experience is a key to good safe diving.

So here is my question. Is AOW a good tool for experience or should a diver get more experience THEN do AOW? Several of the adventure dives look really interesting. The one that worries me some is the deep dive. As I understand it for AOW you have to do one deep dive. Should I do more diving then go for AOW? Or should I use AOW as a way to get experience? Should a diver have more experience before doing the deep dive?

Thanks!
Philip

Scuba-Bill
10-03-2007, 10:10
I would recommend the AOW as soon as you can take it. AOW builds on those basics taught in OW and gives you a better foundation on which to build your experience through diving. I would recommend some experience diving before embarking on the next level, Rescue Diver, however.

Enjoy!

Charles R
10-03-2007, 10:12
There are many schools of thought on this but the way I look at it is it is 5 more dives with an instructor. At least PADI I think the AOW is a great way to see what kind of specialties you might be interested in.

I do recomend the Peak Performance Boyancy as Almost all new divers need this one before heading out to a reef!
Dive and enjoy don't worry about the deep dive it is just to teach you the effects of depth you are better off doing it with an instructor than acidently on your own!

dallasdivergirl
10-03-2007, 10:16
Since you don't say exactly how many dives you have, there are two schools of thought. One is do OW then immediately do AOW learning all the skills you need at once. The other idea is to get your OW then do some dives and then do your advanced.

I did the second method. I had 60 dives before I did my advanced. I did some blue water dives in between.

Vercingetorix
10-03-2007, 10:34
If you plan on doing a deep dive during vacation, then you should get AOW now. Otherwise, you well be diving beyond your training.

I took AOW right after OW without any dives in between. The reason: I did OW in a Texas lake with 47-degree water in Jan 07. I took AOW in April, when the water was a tad warmer (still required 7mil FJ). I wished I could have had dives in between, but was NOT DIVING that cold water.

BTW, the deep dive is actually quite fun and look forward to deep dives on vacation. If deep diving is not your thing, no problem. Never dive when the feeling's not right.

greyzen
10-03-2007, 11:03
Well, I can speak to this with some experience.

I did my OW and then two weeks later did my AOW. Honestly? I wouldn't have had it any other way.

I really do feel like my level of confidence has improved just by having those few more dives under my belt. The skills in AOW are complimentary to the OW class (Almost so much they could have been... one... class...)

I'd vote do it before your doing your first ice dive :D

peteg
10-03-2007, 11:19
I just completed my AOW. I did my OW in May at a quarry, did three dives in the ocean right after my OW, and did my AOW in September. This worked well for me. Looking back had I known what I learned in AOW, those ocean dives, which were fantastic, would have been so much more fun. Although I still have a lot to learn, I feel so much more confident about my abilities after taking AOW. My wife has similar feelings, even more so.


I imagine after a certain point in a divers experience curve AOW becomes more a formality than practical training. That's why I think it's a good idea to get them pretty close to each other. I have benefited from the supervision and the critiques. Beginning divers should have supervision. Besides hiring a DM/Guide for every dive at this stage, AOW is an excellent way to get a bunch of dives in while in a learning context.

shadragon
10-03-2007, 11:34
I did my AOW right after my OW class. Gives you experience and training you will use on all future dives. After AOW get some experience and then consider taking the Rescue course. :smiley20:

georoc01
10-03-2007, 12:19
I did about six dives in between. I agree that getting five more dives with an instructor is good. And the task loading isn't terrible with AOW. The basic nav skills are good, as well as bouyancy, the deep dive and the night dive. My fifth dive was altitude, which basically was a free dive.

What I liked in addition was that my instructor had us doing the dive planning outside of the deep and night dives. She would give us the skills to do and after that we would take it from there.

If you have other more experienced divers go dive with, I'd say get a few more dives in, if they are willing to mentor you. Otherwise, AOW would probably be a good alternative.

RevDoc
10-03-2007, 13:47
Thanks! You confirmed a lot of my thinking on it. We have booked with experienced DMs who deal a lot specifically with new divers for our vacation. I really feel like I still need supervision. I wish I could get a peak bouyancy dive in before we go, but I just don't see how I can do it.

So, obviously, there are more things to consider when diving to 100'. But, what specifically is different?

Vercingetorix
10-03-2007, 13:59
So, obviously, there are more things to consider when diving to 100'. But, what specifically is different?Narcosis (but you probably knew that). Cold down there; dress for success. Air consumption increases (you learned that from your OW dive table training). Gonna be dark, too; may need that dive light. Your instructor will have you do a skill while at depth to show effect of narcosis.

You will probably do a one minute safety stop at half depth, then another three-minute stop at 15 feet.

I just recently did a deep dive in Lake Ouachita in Arkansas. This stuff is fresh on my mind.

No Misses
10-03-2007, 14:10
RevDoc, don't think that you have to dive 100' to see cool stuff. Some of the coolest stuff can be found at snorkle depth (2-20'). Having the confidence to dive deep just gives you more options when it comes time to plan a dive. Now that I have gotten that off of my chest, How's about I try and answer your question, eh ;-).

What is different on a deep dive.
1. Colors fade. Bring a light on all dives so that you can see 'true" colors.
2. Nitrogen Narcosis affects your reasoning skills (if you had any to begin with ;-).
3. You may have to work a little harder to breath. Air is more dense at depth.
4. Unlike shallow dives, your nitrigen loading can climb into the deco zone before you use up all of your air. Keep an eye on your loading as well as gas management.
5. Oh yae, Gas management. Be sure to leave yourself plenty of gas to make a safe/slow controlled ascent. You may want to leave the bottom at 1000 lbs instead of 500. JM2C. YMMV

That is all that I can think of right now. Go diving and have fun!

RevDoc
10-03-2007, 15:09
Hey No Misses!

Thanks and couldn't help but notice you are in Fort Lauderdale. We are taking a cruise in February. We have an extra day in Fort Lauderdale before we fly out. I have been thinking about doing a one tank dive. Even though we would be within the time limit to do a 2 tank before we fly thought I would play it safe. Any recommendations on people to contact to guide the dive?

Don't know what my block is about this 100' thing. Part of me really wants to do it because a lot of the diving around here is wreck diving. A lot of that diving is between 60 and 100 so a lot more would be open to me. Trying to work through what is going on in my head about the deeper dives.

BTW ... I seem to have so little sense I am not sure I would recognize narcosis if it rose up and bit me! ;)

Philip

ertechsg
10-03-2007, 16:18
If you plan on doing a deep dive during vacation, then you should get AOW now. Otherwise, you well be diving beyond your training.

I took AOW right after OW without any dives in between. The reason: I did OW in a Texas lake with 47-degree water in Jan 07. I took AOW in April, when the water was a tad warmer (still required 7mil FJ). I wished I could have had dives in between, but was NOT DIVING that cold water.

BTW, the deep dive is actually quite fun and look forward to deep dives on vacation. If deep diving is not your thing, no problem. Never dive when the feeling's not right.
Did that one dive really give you that much prep for future deep dive that you didn't already have..those laces weren't that hard to do ? and you mention it being dark could you tell any differance between 50 ft and 100 ft because in blue water there is none .

RevDoc
10-03-2007, 18:18
For those who are interested, just as an FYI on the dives we will make on vacation ... they will not be deep dives! I am very concerned about diving within my limits, experience and training. :smiley5: Even if I got the AOW which is next to impossible before we go, I think I would stay pretty shallow. I've never dove in the Caribbean before and I think there is more than enough for me to see shallow without going deep! :smilie40: