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View Full Version : SSI final OW certification - what to expect



webwidejosh
10-19-2007, 13:33
So, I'm going on my open water certification trip next weekend.

I have bought most my own gear, and I know the shop isn't going to be happy, but I'm still planning on doing at least 1 practice dive there before I go.

This is a hybrid trip. It's a regular trip put on by the shop, but also used a lot for certification dives. I'm going to Florida Springs or something, near Gainsville.

I'd like some tips on what to expect. I've done the class and feel pretty comfortable with the whole diving thing. More comfortable than I would have thought with buoyancy and ear-clearing. Not comfortable with mask clearing, but still; confident.

So, for anyone familiar with the SSI OW cert... What should I expect? I know what the instructor said, but the class was pretty simple. Much more simple than I thought for something so serious.

I'm not very comfortable in water period, but more comfortable with the SCUBA and kayaking than swimming or rafting though. So, no experience outside of a pool breathing under water. I'd appreciate any comments you guys remember about transition between pool to open water.

Thanks!

cgvmer
10-19-2007, 13:38
I don't know about SSI OW but as a general rule try to relax in the water. Take yourself through the tasks at a steady pace.

Good luck.

PepeDiver
10-19-2007, 14:33
I did my SSI OW just a few weeks ago and we pretty much did exactly the same thing in OW that we did in the pool. Aside from that we did some compass runs but that was pretty simple. Then we had some fun dives and called it a weekend. Basically if you had a good handle on the pool...you'll be ok.

Can understand your stand on mask clearing. I can honestly tell you I hate it. I wear contacts and I'm always afraid of losing them. However...I tend to laugh and smile A LOT!! So I'm constantly clearing!!

webwidejosh
10-19-2007, 14:45
I did my SSI OW just a few weeks ago and we pretty much did exactly the same thing in OW that we did in the pool. Aside from that we did some compass runs but that was pretty simple. Then we had some fun dives and called it a weekend. Basically if you had a good handle on the pool...you'll be ok.

Can understand your stand on mask clearing. I can honestly tell you I hate it. I wear contacts and I'm always afraid of losing them. However...I tend to laugh and smile A LOT!! So I'm constantly clearing!!

Well, in just a week I went from thinking I was going to die at Mask 2 at 4ft to handling Mask 4 at 15' without holding my nose.

PepeDiver
10-19-2007, 15:09
I actually had a small panic moment during my first OW dive. While doing the mask clearing I accidently snorted some lake water up my nose. Well, it just through me into all kinds of heck! Took me a few seconds of sitting there with my mask in my hand to calm down but eventually did. Weird sensation though...eyes closed..freaking out...new environment.

plot
10-21-2007, 08:10
You'll do some snorkeling to get comfortable in the water where you're diving probably.

Then you'll go down and do all the skills you did in the pool... Look on the first few pages of your actual SSI dive log book, there should be a list of open water skills performed. You'll be going through all the stuff in that list more than likely... Mask clearing, buoyant ascents, regulator retrieval, etc.

Then you'll do some very basic nav runs with a compass. straight out and straight back... nothing difficult... and on your final dive you'll probably be led on a fun dive by a divecon. Every instructor is different, but that's basically what you'll be doing.

Then there's some paperwork and you're done. :)

broncrider
10-23-2007, 08:08
I did my cert dives back in aug. it was easy. like everybody has said if you are comfortable in the pool, then you're usually not going to have a problem. check your log book and you'll see what skills the instructor will sign off. nav with compass was easy, straight out and then straight to another object for my dive. we did do a fun dive after we finished all the skills. just did a basic relaxed swim over and look at a boat and then a plane. I really enjoyed my SSI instructor. he was real good with being patient for those that had problems and just kept working till they were comfortable.

gmorgan
05-09-2008, 18:50
I DID MY SSI OW CERT. TAKE A DEEP BREATH LIFT THE MASK AND WHEN YOU DO THIS EXHAIL THRU YOUR NOSE IF AIR IS EXITING WATER IS NOT ENTERING BUT DO IT SLOW SO YOU PUT THE MASK BACK HOLD THE TOP AND EXHAIL HARDER IT'S OK TO CLOSE YOU EYES BUT THIS IS THE EASY WAY TO GET PASS CLEARING YOU MASK AND REMEMBER IT'S NOT A RACE IT SUPPOST TO BE FUN SO ENJOY:smiley20:

comet24
05-09-2008, 18:53
What I remember from my SSI OW check dives is the cold. Air temps in the 50's and water about the same.

julz
05-09-2008, 19:10
when i did mine air temp was nice but water was pretty cold. but basically just going over the same skills learned in the pool then a quick swim around the training platform

Frank
05-09-2008, 20:15
I did my OW a couple of months ago in in Byron Bay Australia.

As expected we did the same exercises during the dives that we did in the pool. The excercises took up around half the dive time for each dive.
The rest was just fun.

You'll enjoy it :)

cogrwy
05-27-2008, 16:25
You'll do some snorkeling to get comfortable in the water where you're diving probably.






Then you'll go down and do all the skills you did in the pool... Look on the first few pages of your actual SSI dive log book, there should be a list of open water skills performed. You'll be going through all the stuff in that list more than likely... Mask clearing, buoyant ascents, regulator retrieval, etc.

Then you'll do some very basic nav runs with a compass. straight out and straight back... nothing difficult... and on your final dive you'll probably be led on a fun dive by a divecon. Every instructor is different, but that's basically what you'll be doing.

Then there's some paperwork and you're done. :)





Plot pretty much nailed it. You'll do the same skills you did in the pool. Just don't get distracted by the different environment. If you did it in the pool, you can do it in open water. :smiley20:

matt151617
05-27-2008, 21:03
Pretty much what you did in class, but this will be done in much deeper water. If you're confident with the skills done in the pool, this is no different, there's just a bottom further away this time.

maggs_the
05-27-2008, 21:16
...but the class was pretty simple. Much more simple than I thought for something so serious.




i just had a similar conversation about exactly this same thing for my Stress & Rescue (part 1) class with SSI.... and i guess the thing i've come away with more than anything else is, there is a HUGE amount of personal accountability in scuba diving. being certified means they'll rent you tanks and let you dive with them but there is no law that says you cannot buy your own tank and dive solo. the certification process is a starting point for you to learn the basics and introduce you to a community where you can freely ask questions (like you asked about OW checkout dives) and learn from others. that and your own diving experiences are the real schooling.

i thought when i took the navigation class that i'd come out of there and be able to take driving directions of "Go North on Poplar then turn East onto Macon and Southeast at the fork of Park and Kirby..." but i still need to hear "Turn left when you see McDonald's" :D