Two years ago, PADI Worldwide was bought by Lincolnshire Management. Earlier this year, Scuba Schools International (SSI) was bought out by Mares scuba equipment. The end results have been corporate personnel running dive training when they are not divers and the bottom line is profit instead of diver education and safety. There is now a new kid on the block and they are revolutionizing the dive industry throughout the world.
Reducing Our Carbon Finprint
Consider a dive organization that uses little or no paper; no books, no forms, and no logbooks. As a dive center owner, I have over fifty unused and outdated manuals in my shop that are collecting dust. The RAID online training program gives students access to their textbooks almost immediately and in the language of their choice on their own computers, tablets or phones. If a manual becomes outdated due to new research or a better idea, the textbooks are updated automatically and the student gets the latest updates as soon as they log in.
Top educators and trainers in PADI and SSI have left their previous positions and crossed over to RAID, bringing with them decades of experience. These instructors have re-thought the entire diver education process making it more challenging but focusing on the basics of scuba diving that all students should learn from the start. Buoyancy, trim, and propulsion are the key tasks that all students need to learn and the Open Water 20 course is the place to start. Online theory with access to the best scuba instructor in Playa Del Carmen, a modified and improved pool session, and a minimum of four hours in open water produces a new diver that is much more comfortable and competent in the water; a higher standard than what is normally seen.
RAID Scuba Diving In Playa Del Carmen
For many years we have been associated with PADI as a 5 star dive center, but perhaps it’s time to rethink the direction that the biggest organizations are heading. As the sole RAID Scuba Diving Instructor Training Center in North America we believe that divers are the heart of the business and protecting our environment through education is the cornerstone of the industry. Website updates to follow in the coming days.
Just north of Playa Del Carmen in the sleepy little fishing town of Puerto Morales is a wonderful wreck dive surrounded by a government protected reef. The C-56 “Juanita” is a former U.S. military minesweeper that was given to the Mexican government; after 20 years of service with the Mexican military is was purposely sunk to provide an artificial reef. The Juanita sits in about 26 meters of water and provides for some amazing photo opportunities as the Spotted Eagle Rays, Stingrays, Grouper, and Barracuda are always hunting nearby. I took several of our guests to this wreck a few days ago and the view was amazing. I pulled into that perfect neutral buoyancy hover and watched the barracuda hunt the huge schools of bait fish: a well-orchestrated movement of thousands of small fish swimming in unison to avoid becoming someone’s dinner.
Extending Our Bottom Time:
Most divers have heard of Enriched Air Nitrox but are you familiar with the extended bottom time benefits of increasing the Oxygen percentage and decreasing the nitrogen that enters our bodies? The Juanita dive is not overly difficult in regards to visibility and current, but missing the show because of decompression times is something that all divers constantly have to monitor. Using the PADI recreational dive planner charts, a 26 meter dive on normal compressed air is about 20 minutes. By increasing the oxygen content from 21% to 32% you have now increased your bottom time to 40 minutes. Taking it a step further, Nitrox 36 gives a maximum of 50 minutes of bottom time, simply by increase the oxygen content and decreasing the nitrogen in your scuba cylinder.
Maximum Operating Depth:
We now know the basic advantage of diving with Nitrox, but it also has its disadvantages. Oxygen at depth and under pressure is toxic and this also applies to Enriched Air. We mitigate these risks by knowing what is the maximum depth that we can use for particular blend and diving that plan. We always plan our dives and dive our plans and the use of Nitrox is no different. With a PPO of 1.4, my maximum depth for Nitrox 32 is 33.5 meters and with Nitrox 36, my MOD is 28.9 meters. Know your dive sites, get a thorough briefing, and pick the blend that works best for your day of diving.
Continuing Your Education:
The PADI Enriched Air Nitrox course is relatively simple and can be done in about four hours. Some theory, knowledge reviews, and learning the tables and charts are all that is required to pass the final exam. When learning from the best scuba instructor in Playa Del Carmen, the atmosphere is relaxed, usually at the local coffee shop or in our classroom. Continue your education while on your next holiday and Diversity Diving is place to be.
Playa Del Carmen scuba diving offers something for divers of all skill levels with all levels of experience. Whether it has been years since your Open Water course of only a few days, the Advanced Open Water course is a great way to improve your skills under the supervision of an instructor. Over a period of three days and 5 dives, you can achieve the next level of certification and increase your maximum diving depth.
The AOW Course offers a taste of various specialties contained within the program. There are two mandatory dives that all students must make and these include the deep dive and the underwater navigation. The deep dive theory teaches about the added pressures at depth as well as the real possibility of narcosis and what are the signs and symptoms. A good instructor will play a few games with her students so they can readily see the effects of depth on behavior. One of the most common is doing a simple math problem on the surface follow by completing the same problem at 30 meters or 90 feet. On average, the student is about 10 seconds slower at depth showing that thinking and reaction times slow the deeper a diver descends. We also look at what pressures do to a fresh egg at depth as well as observing a color chart and realizing how various color wave lengths get absorbed as you go deeper.
Navigation is another mandatory and essential skill while under water. We will expand on the previous knowledge gained during the Open Water course and continue to use the compass for more complex navigation. Instructors and guides use navigation almost daily to locate and verify their positions during a dive to insure the best experience possible for their guests. Underwater Navigation is truly an essential skill that every diver should be familiar with.
Peak Performance Buoyancy is another skill that always needs improvement and can be lost over time. Fine tuning your positioning, buoyancy, trim, and propulsion are the keys to having a fun safe dive. When a diver has that perfect buoyancy, his fins don’t stir up sand and silt on the bottom, breathing becomes easier and less labored, and bottom times are increased. Proper weighting is mandatory to achieve this and the best scuba instructor in Playa Del Carmen certainly has the knowledge and experience to make this possible.
There are several other specialties that divers can choose based on what interests them the most; Wreck, night, drift, boat, and underwater photography and just a few of the choices available for the AOW Course.
Check with your dive center to see what specials they currently offer. Some will offer the course for free if you book a 3 day dive package on the local reefs and this is an easy way to get your next dive rating while still having plenty of time to explore the underwater world on the beautiful reefs of Playa Del Carmen.