Posted by Frank on October 09, 2001 at 15:35:17:
In Reply to: Need input to reach advanced posted by Tim O'Rielly on October 09, 2001 at 14:54:16:
As someone who did Advanced Open Water last spring after initially getting certified the previous year, my suggestion would be not to worry about practicing the specialty dives per se, but rather just go out and dive so that you're as comfortable as possible in the water. The whole idea of AOW is to be able to do these dives for the first time with an instructor just in case there are any hiccups. Also, one thing you do want to be sure about is that you are diving with familiar equipment on your first deep or night dive, so you want to make sure you have ample experience with your current setup.
In the case of my particular AOW course, there was a lot of coming and going as various divers chipped away at certain dives they needed to complete. This was true in my own case, as I didn't have the free time in my schedule to get through all the dives in one go. So I did some of the dives one weekend with one group, another couple at a different time, and then the night time with an entirely different group of divers (but with the same instructor throughout).
In our case our deep dive consisted of going down one of the buoy chains at Casino Point in Catalina to 100 fsw, working out a couple of quick math problems on a slate, and then doing a nice gradual multilevel dive back to the shallows, including a swim past the Sue-Jac, a 70-foot sailboat wreck. None of us particularly felt narc'd at 100 fsw, and if anything we did the math problem faster than usual. We did our night dive at Shaw's Cove in Laguna. We only lost one diver to a carnivorous whelk feeding just after sunset -- uh, just kidding. Both of these are pretty standard destinations for dive classes and might be similar to what you end up diving.
So I'd say don't worry too much about it, just get out there and dive, get completely comfortable with your equipment and go for it when you feel ready.
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