In any case, as soon as my Open Water course finished up, I decided I wanted to continue on to complete my Advanced Adventurer. Still quite the nervous diver, though, I declared that I would only do it if I could continue on with the same instructor, consistency and my dreads-down-to-his-ass merman of an instructor becoming equally critical elements to my continuing scuba education.
What is the Advanced Adventurer course?
The Advanced Adventurer is actually a “taster” of five different specialty courses to increase your diving skill level. At Roctopus Dive, the Advanced Adventurer typically consists of one dive from the Deep, Wreck, Perfect Buoyancy, Navigation and Night (Limited Visibility) specialties. For those of you who hate homework, the advanced adventure has none! Only diving, diving and more diving.
Dive 1: Navigation
Underwater navigation is key to, well, knowing where you are under water and finding your way back to the boat. For those of us who are directionally impaired, this course is just the introduction to a skill that will need to be practiced over and over again. I will admit frankly that even after my first navigation dive – that I passed, SOMEHOW – I had no idea what I was actually doing. Thankfully, until you begin working towards your dive master, you don’t actually need to navigate.
Dive 2: Perfect Buoyancy
Buoyancy is the key to great diving. Not only does it mean that you will not unintentionally harm sea life by knocking into it with your scuba equipment (note – never touch anything down under!), but also that you will use less energy, save on air, and ultimately have longer, more relaxing dives. Like navigation, buoyancy is a skill every diver will continue to practice. Koh Tao has a rocking dive site set up with inanimate underwater obstacles you can practice swimming over, under and through.
Dive 3: Night
You guessed it – this dive is all about diving at night. With Roctopus, you hop in the water at sunset: orange, pink and blue sky views from the water included. Once you’re under, the water slowly turns from its evening gray blue, to nearly pitch black, depending on the light of the moon. Some people fall in love with the bioluminescence (glow in the dark plankton) and range of other nocturnal sea life (including massive hermit crabs traipsing around). Others, like me, would just rather have the comfort of the sun and light as guidance. I’ve completed a few night dives now and while I’ve definitely gotten more comfortable each time, I believe I nearly broke my instructors hand squeezing it so hard on my first dive under the night sky.
Dive 4: Deep
On this dive, you learn more about the theory behind going deeper and become certified to dive to 30m. Diving is one part technique and two parts problem solving. The deeper you go, the more you need to know how to prevent and fix underwater problems. I ultimately loved deep diving as part of my Dive Master Training course, chose to do my deep specialty.
Dive 5: Wreck
Every diver has his or her reasons for loving the underwater world. For some divers, exploring a wreck transports them back to the moment in time in which the ship wreck lived. They see stories and history in the rusted metal. I’d rather see some cool sea life. Thankfully, the HTMS Sattakut is home to many a massive fish and a jenkins stingray, which I can always appreciate.
That was until I assisted a wreck dive with one of the head instructors, who lead us through the inner corridor of HTMS Sattakut. As I narrowly swam past caged cabins and old ship rooms, proud to realize how much my buoyancy had improved, I began to consider doing my wreck specialty at some point in my diving career.
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