PADI SPECIALTY COURSES

Overview

In the PADI Open Water course your scuba instructor teaches you how to scuba dive safely together with a buddy. At its heart scuba diving isn’t very difficult to learn – but there’s a number of things you might want to do with your diving (or while diving) that takes a bit of practise and getting used to and where the aid of an instructor can severely cut down on the time you’d need to learn the same things by yourself. The PADI Underwater Photography course is a good example of this. There’s also certain things that’s just too dangerous to learn by yourself, examples of this would be the PADI Cavern specialty and the PADI Wreck Diving specialty, where you can enter an overhead environment and lose your way. Another example would be diving with enriched air without knowing the dos and don’ts of this kind of diving.

In order to offer scuba divers the chance to learn all these activities without cluttering and overloading the entry level open water diver course, PADI devised their range of specialty courses. There’s a great number of these – some pertain to special conditions such as drift, boat or night diving or even ice diving. (Yes you can dive underneath the ice, but obviously that particular scuba course isn’t available in the Philippines.) other PADI specialties are less specific and can be of use regardless of where you dive – examples of such courses would be diving with enriched air, the PADI deep diver course or the self-reliant diver specialty.

PADI Specialties at MCP

At Marine Conservation Philippines, we believe that taking specialty courses can be a key turning point in a diver’s career. When taking a specialty course, you delve much deeper into a specific type of diving, often uncovering a passion that you may not know existed.

We teach many specialties at MCP and our instructors love to teach them, as they are a nice change from our day-to-day routine. However, we are first and foremost focused on our conservation work and thus, specialty courses must take a backseat to our conservation dives. This means that your specialty course may take place over the course of a week or two depending on how busy we are at the time.

Please look below to find out more about the PADI specialties we offer here…

PADI Night Diver

On the PADI Night Diver Course you’ll discover how to plan and execute dives at night. Although diving in the dark might seem scary, you’ll discover a completely new and fascinating universe to dive into. To do so safely, there’s a number of considerations you’ll need to look into and procedures you’ll learn.

In the tropical water of the Philippines, where you rarely feel cold, even at night, night diving is all fun. Who needs the light of the day when your dive torch is focused on the most amazing critters hunting, corals feeding or the plankton bioluminescence? Night diving in many other dive location in the world means having to go freeze in cold water for a very dark dive; but in the most beautiful dive sites of the world, night diving is an experience you won’t forget.

Course Overview

Prerequisites:

  • PADI Open Water diver or equivalent

Course Details:

  • 3-4 dives over 2 weeks
  • Night dive planning and preparation
  • Handling night dive equipment
  • Night dive communication
  • Orientation at night
  • Safety and buoyancy practice
  • Natural and compass navigation
  • Stress management at night
  • Handling advanced sites at night
  • Marine life observation

PADI Underwater Videographer

Ten years ago it was a rather novel thing to meet divers with videocameras – but now almost any diver can afford a camera able to produce impressive footage. In fact, today, it’s difficult to go on a dive boat without meeting at least a few divers recording everything on their Gopros or similar action cameras – creating massive amounts of footage.

This of course leaves the question of what you should do with it. Many divers just store the files on their harddrives and memory cards without ever giving them a second look, and when you examine them it becomes painfully obvious why. The videos looks nothing like the gopro promotional material. 
All green and blue hues, shaken camera and bad composition. No matter if you dive in the Philippines, where you’re totally spoiled with a choice of motives ranging from spectacular macrolife to whalesharks and mantaray – bad technique just won’t convey the majesty of the diving experience. The PADI underwater videographer course teaches you how to produce catching underwater movies.

Course Overview

Prerequisites:

  • At least 15 years of age
  • PADI Open Water diver or equivalent

Course Details:

  • Selection, maintenance, care, and handling of UW video equipment
  • Safe diving practices while using UW video equipment
  • Several UW video shooting dives
  • Planning, organization, procedures, techniques, and problems of UW videography
  • Exposure, focus, color maintenance in UW videography
  • Color correction using lights, filters, and editing
  • Shot types, lengths, and camera moves
  • Storylining and shot sequencing
  • Editing workshop

PADI Self-Reliant Diver

Through the PADI Self-reliant diver course you learn how to scuba dive safely on your own. Diving without a buddy adds significantly to the complexity of equipment, just as it aggravates and adds certain risks. As a matter of fact, the whole reason the buddy system was put in place to begin with, was to mitigate risk. Through this structured PADI course, you learn how to best deal with these added risks, how to dive safely, and how – through training, equipment and planning, you can handle most of these problems in a prudent manner. It goes without saying, that the requirement for enrolling in the PADI Self-reliant Course are rather steep. You must already be a very comfortable diver, otherwise you have no business being in the water alone.

The Self-reliant course has two specific aims; Primarily it trains divers to be able to dive independently in as safe a manner as possible, secondly it aims to create better divers. A dive team of two divers who have received self-reliant training can better help each others as dive buddies, yet are also able to handle almost anything by themselves. Thus it could really be said, that through this course the real value and application of the buddy system becomes abundantly clear.

Course Overview

Prerequisites:

  • PADI Advanced Open Water diver or equivalent
  • At least 100 logged dives
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Successfully complete dive skills assessment prior to the course

Course Details:

Classroom session on self-reliant theory covering a range of subjects ranging from equipment redundancy, additional risks in solo diving, the psychology of self-reliant diving to advanced dive planning and gas management.

Besides the theory sessions, the Self-reliant course has three dives to a depth no greater than 30 meters, and with no planned decompression other than – of course – the regular safety stops.

An important note regarding independent diving for volunteers: All scientific diving conducted by volunteers at Marine Conservation Philippines is conducted in teams. We acknowledge that self-reliant diving can be practised is a reasonably safe way, but we do not see any immediate scientific benefit in letting volunteers conduct solo diving. Additionally we feel, that a team can better handle problems, and that a well-trained, qualified dive buddy add safety and mitigates the few aggrevated risks, that a solo diver can not deal with himself. (Say if you suffer a stroke or an extreme allergic reaction) Despite this policy we teach self-reliant diving to divers who meet the strict PADI requirements, because we feel the skills and training are valuable.

PADI Enriched Air Diver

Many scuba divers think that diving on enriched air, or nitrox as it’s commonly referred to, allow the diver to dive deeper. This is most emphatically not the case. When you dive with nitrox, you alter the composition of the gas you breathe. Nitrox is an abbreviation of NITRogen and OXygen, and is a mix of these two gases, different from atmospheric air (which is 21% oxygen and 79% nitrox – with insignificant trace amounts of other gases.) What you basically do is add additional oxygen to the mix, so you end up with an “enriched mix” of say 32% or 36% oxygen. (Which of course means there’s less room for nitrogen) The added oxygen content isn’t exactly what we’re after, rather it’s the lower nitrogen percent, which give us certain advantages.

And so what are the advantages of nitrox, if it’s not meant for deeper diving. Well, the lowered nitrogen content in the breathing gas, means you absorb that gas into your body at a slower rate . This is a good thing, because as you may remember – it’s the excess nitrogen in a divers bloodstream that causes decompression illness (or “the bends” as it’s called.) So if you absorb nitrogen much more slowly, you can stay underwater much longer. The time it takes to reach your no-decompression limit is often almost doubled – which is especially useful below twenty meters where a scuba diver often runs our of time, long before he runs low on gas to breathe. In other words, he has to ascend much sooner that he could do, if he was diving on enriched air.

Course Overview

Prerequisites:

  • At least 15 years of age
  • PADI Open Water diver or equivalent

Course Details:

  • Analyzing tank content and other pre-dive precautions
  • Methodologies of nitrox blending
  • Handling precautions of pure oxygen
  • Diver responsibility and fill logs
  • Tank labeling
  • Safe diving practices with Nitrox
  • Oxygen toxicity- warnings, signs, symptoms
  • Dive computer settings
  • Optional dives

PADI Deep Diver

On the PADI Deep diver course you’ll learn how to plan and execute dives to 40 meters. Although diving that deep is alluring, there’s a number of considerations you’ll need to look into, in order to dive safely to that depth.

In the clear waters of the Philippines, deep diving is deceptively easy. When you dive to forty meters here, there is still plenty of lights, even if the almost all colour is stripped, leaving the seascape in shades of blue. Sometimes, when you look up – you can see the tiny boat above you – as well as the inverted bubble shower your exhaled air form all the way to the surface. Diving to forty meters many other places in the world equals total darkness at depth and passing through chilling thermoclines on the way down. When you dive in such places, you can feel you’re deep. The lack of these characteristics and the warm water makes deep diving in the Philippines easier, but can also instill false confidence in the novice diver. This is important to keep in mind, because excepting the cold of the water elsewhere, diving that deep affect you the same way physically as diving there would. The laws of physics are the same, no matter how clear the water is, and no matter how easy it appears.

Course Overview

Prerequisites:

  • PADI Advanced Open Water diver or equivalent
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Successfully complete dive skills assessment prior to the course

Course Details:

Three or four dives over two days
Recognising and dealing with gas-narcosis
Planning dives
Calculating gas consumption, turn pressures etc.
Accident and gas-sharing preparedness
Simulated emergency decompression
Understanding ascent rates and deep stops
Team coherence and discipline
Dive gear setup and gas sharing options
Diver attitude to deep diving
Dealing with decompression sickness

Other PADI Specialties

In addition to the specialties listed above, if required for our scientific work, we can also teach:

  • PADI Drift Diver
  • PADI DPV Diver
  • PADI Search and Recovery Diver
  • PADI Underwater Digital Photographer
  • PADI TecRec Gas Blender

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