For my advance open water course I had done all my knowledge reviews and theory work at home prior to the two days in the water! The theory aspect of the AOW course adds to the skills previously learnt with on the open water course.
For the first day of my AOW I did my first three dives at Capernwray, i was excited for this as it gave me the opportunity to dive somewhere other than Stoney Cove where I had previously done all of my other diving. Capernwray was a great place to do my first day of AOW as the visibility is a lot better than that at Stoney and also there are some cool features like the plane. This also gave me the chance to use new skills that I hadn’t tried at Stoney Cove, like fitting through small spaces and getting a feel for what I can and can’t fit through through with all my gear.
On the first dive we covered peak performance buoyancy, this was fun as we got to explore the dive site and go inside the plane and other structures. This skill helped me to understand buoyancy more which will hopefully help me to use less air when diving. On the second dive we covered wreck diving skills; this was fun even if I did have a leaky dry suit! This dive helped me to really understand the size of my equipment and what spaces I was able to fit through as we were around the wrecks and small spaces throughout the dive. Dive three was my favourite dive of the day as we did underwater navigation; for this we stayed on the 7 meter shelf which meant after the skills and practicing navigation methods we still had enough air to explore the shelf and sit with fish! The fish at Capernwray are very friendly and came right up to us, we were able to sit with them for a long time which was definitely the highlight of my diving experiences so far!
Day two of my AOW was back at the normal Go Dive training venue of Stoney Cove, and we were got to do three dives including search and recovery and deep diving. The first dive of the day was a deep dive where we did a long surface swim to the buoy that marks the Stanegarth. We descended down to the 22m shelf, from there we descended further keeping the buoy line as a reference. On the deck of the Stanegarth we did the skills needed for the deep dive and then explored the areas around the Stanegarth wreck. This was fun as I got to experience what different things were like at deeper depths.
The second dive of the day was search and recovery; this was fun as it involves lots of thinking and doing which challenged my buoyancy skills and showed how well I knew my search patterns. While on this dive we saw a massive school of roach which was very cool. These things make me excited to dive in different places and see a wider range of marine wildlife in my future diving adventures!
Dive three of the day was just a dive for fun, we planned the dive ourselves which included diving at shallower and deeper depths meaning we can use all the different skills I have learnt over the past weeks!
Overall AOW was so much fun and I am so excited to move onto my rescue diver qualifcation where I can develop my skills even further and expand my knowledge to a level where I can help others if needed in a diving incident.