We are almost there! After nine days of intensive training and education, we are a few steps to become an Scuba Instructor. If we start to think, just a few days ago all our dive conduct was completely different than what we experienced today in the Open Water session. The IDC develops a lot of attitude on divers, and the results are showing up right now for us 🙂
Before going to the boat, we attended to a PADI webinar about the new Open Water Diver Course. The open water course comes from a long time model, and after some efforts, PADI now performed a few changes in the program adapting to new trends, technologies, behaviors and studies. Running quickly through the presentation, these were the main topics presented.
After introducing the presenters, a question was asked for the participants: Are you already prepared to implement the newly revised PADI Open Water Diver course?
Many people ask the question: Why change? The PADI’s answer is basically that materials are out of date related to philosophy and what people want. There’s nothing wrong with the actual course but PADI just want to implement confident and competence in order to make people keep diving. Use the best of the new resources and combine e-learning, traditional book and video. The texts contains new imagery and speech to emphasize environment aware, buoyancy, buddy procedures and dive planning. This represents the PADI continued commitment to diver safety.
Apparently there are some Knowledge Development enhances. Some additions were the dive computer use incorporated into textbook and video (providing also Dive Computer simulators) and the Air management that consist of calculating your turn pressure and plan your ascent and safety stop air needs. And some changes were the order in which divers are introduced to pressure volume theory, that now comes before the buoyancy section, so divers have a better base of knowledge. The texts and questions were rewritten in a style more based on scenario and first person experiences like “I do something or I use something during my dive”. PADI believes that this may help students during their knowledge development.
Major changes on the skills were:
- New skills: Air Management with Incorporate performance requirements.
- Re securing a loose cylinder band
- Checkin and adjusting trim – position weights and body positioning
- Minidive: Buddy teams plan and execute dive (Entry and exit, Dive time or air supply limits, Buddy separation and emergency procedures)
- Enhanced skills: Emergency weight drop, Staying within reach of buddy (not further than a 2s reach), Descent and ascents using buoyancy control (over simulated environmentally sensitive bottom), Skin dive skills (relaxed diaphragm breathing for skin diving and not hyperventilation anymore)
- Shifted skills – disconnecting low pressure inflator and weight system removal and replacement are now Dive Flexible skills
We were introduced to the new Skill Practice Slate. It is used for checking how do students feel about the skills, if they’re comfortable or still wants to practice more. The presenters suggest for example that during a break give the students the slate and them incorporate the skills they wants to practice more on the minidive session. Another new is the Diving Planning Slate: a Check list of time, depth, pressure plan, turn pressure and dive log data. This might help students to plan independent dive in the future.
Open water dives also have some small modifications:
New skill: inflatable signal tube or DSMB (dive flexible). PADI Suggestion is to run it at the end of the dive
Dive 4 now becomes a transition between being a student and a independent diver. You’re still under control and supervision but students now use the slate to plan the dive and you provide guidance. Now there is a required safety stop. You conduct on dives 2 or 3 as a role-model practice and a certified assistant may verify and evaluate dive 4. This make them feel comfortable on planning the dive and leading their dive in the future
Materials were completely rewrite and focused on neutral buoyancy. Videos were updated with animations that help to teach divers. We also have the open water touch for apple devices and future on andoid versions. The Instructor guide, PADI guide to teaching and brand new Open water prescriptive lesson guides are also available for download with updates. This is the first homework for the professionals. Confined water cue cards were updated with one slate extra for the CESA with all the requirements and how to conduct it safely. Materials now are are color coded for easier referencing.
All those changes were not such a surprise because Martin have been focusing on that over the last days, so we were already prepared for most of it. Now, back to our IDC.
The Open Water Dive sessions were a success, and we are now finished with most of the IDC Content. And we had the first double 5 score on skills by Luis! After finishing the skills, Martin, Brenda and Barbara performed the Adventures in Dive workshop, demonstrating again the Knot skills and the lift bag usage. We also performed the swim test, which was really easy: 800m with snorkel and fins. So after the end of the presentations, Martin decided to introduce us to a new Skill: Cacique! With the assist of Gabriel, we learned how to properly drink a shot of Cacique, the local beverage here in Costa Rica. All points were on, Objective, Value, Description and Signals! Good job Gabriel 🙂
Since we rushed on the first days, we now have plenty of time to practice independently the skills. Tomorrow in the morning we will meet the last workshops: Rescue and Dive master workshops! After that, we can choose on redoing the exam for checking again the results or also more theory classes. And we still have an extra day for resting or practicing more the skills on the friday :). This is a result of 10 days working and training hard during the IDC.