Specialty Courses

Deep Diver

($135 + materials) – By Request Only – Minimum of 2 Students

Add some depth to your diving adventures…it doesn’t have to be mysterious or intimidating. In fact, the PADI Deep Diver specialty course teaches you how to safely plan and execute dives between 60’ and 130’ with emphasis on the challenging and difficult conditions sometimes encountered locally.

Learn about staging tanks, deep stops, dealing with narcosis and special procedures needed to safely explore deep walls, reefs and wrecks. When a diver is properly trained to dive to 130 feet, a fascinating array of new underwater sights will come into focus. From historic shipwrecks to dramatic walls, training as a deep diver will help you feel comfortable exploring sites located beyond the reach of many divers.

The 4 hour classroom & pool session will familiarize you with the skills, knowledge, planning, organization, techniques, hazards and enjoyment of diving deep. The 4 open water dives can be completed on one of our Caribbean adventures, or during one of our local Bredina Springs weekends.

At the completion of this course, you will receive a PADI Deep Diver Specialty Card. This specialty can be applied toward the Master Diver program. For more information on this prestigious rating, please ask your instructor.

Underwater Digital Photography

($50 + materials – classroom & pool session only)
($75 + materials – classroom, pool & 2 open water dives)

Digital imaging is dramatically changing the way we capture underwater scenes. It’s easier to learn, easier to equip yourself, and easier to come back from a dive with a successful bunch of images. In this course you will learn the fundamentals of underwater photographic principles, become familiar with the use of a camera system and gain an understanding of picture composition. You will have an opportunity to practice your new techniques with a genuine artificial coral reef in our heated indoor pool and also out in an open water location. With what you’ve learned and a little practice, you should be able to capture the beauty of the underwater world and end up with a few “suitable for framing”!

Our underwater digital photography course starts with a 3 hour classroom and pool session. You will be introduced to the camera system we use for classes; the SeaLife DC1200 system. Adventure Dive & Travel will supply this system, along with all basic scuba equipment for the classroom and pool sessions. You may also use the camera system free of charge for the Open Water dives. If you own a different system, you can use it for the class and we will be happy to modify our presentation to accommodate the differences.

During the classroom session you will learn some basic photographic principles, lighting, shot composition, camera maintenance and buoyancy control. Then we’ll hop in the pool and practice all these techniques on our “coral reef”. Using digital technology we can review, critique, and correct your images immediately…sometimes while we’re still underwater! Now, you are prepared for the open water segment of the course. This can take place on one of our training weekends at Cozumel or Mermet Springs, or on one of our many other Caribbean adventures. During your 2 open water dives, you will have specific “assignments” to fulfill. After the dives, we meet one more time to take a look at the results.

At the completion of this course, you will receive a PADI Underwater Digital Photography Specialty Card. This specialty can be applied toward the Master Diver program. For more information on this prestigious rating, please ask your instructor.

Prerequisites:

  • PADI Open Water or equivalent
  • Minimum age 10

Provided by Student:

  • PADI Underwater Digital Imaging Crewpak
  • All personal scuba equipment for open water dives
  • Travel costs and entry fees associated with the open water dives.

Homework & Class Preparation:

Before your classroom session, watch the PADI Underwater Digital Photography DVD, read the manual, and complete the Knowledge Review. Bring your personal scuba gear for the pool session, if possible.

Drift Diver

($95 plus materials)

Drift diving can be a relaxing and enjoyable form of diving or it can be an exciting thrill-ride through the underwater landscape. It is especially suited to areas with moderate to strong currents and long reef systems. Although the current allows the diver to see more aquatic life and underwater formations than usual, drift diving is often performed as much for the experience of underwater flight as it is for sightseeing. As exciting as it is, drift diving presents the diver with an assortment of environmental challenges not experienced anywhere else, and the untrained diver can soon find themselves overwhelmed by the current and buoyancy difficulties.

During the two hour classroom session you’ll learn how many standard dive skills have been modified for drift diving, like entries, descents, group separations, streamlining, navigation, and most important, ascents and safety stops.

During the two open water dives with your instructor you’ll learn how to properly plan and safely execute a drift dive. You’ll also practice the specialized skills and body positions that help you work with the current, not against it! In addition, you’ll learn how to deploy and manage one of the most important pieces of drift diving equipment, the DSMB, delayed surface marker buoy, from depths up to 60 feet.

At the completion of this course, you will receive a PADI Drift Diver Specialty Card. This specialty can be applied toward the Master Diver and ProMaster programs. For more information on these prestigious ratings, please ask your instructor.

Prerequisites:

  • PADI Open Water (or junior) or equivalent
  • Minimum age 12

Provided by Student:

  • PADI Drift Diver Crewpak w/book and video
  • All personal scuba equipment for open water dives
  • All tanks, weights, and gear for open water dives
  • Travel costs and entry fees associated with the open water dives
  • We train in a variety of locations, ask your instructor to brief you on any additional expenses at your particular training location.

Additional Suggested Materials:

  • PADI Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving Manual
  • PADI Diving Knowledge Workbook

Home Study & Training Preparation:

Read the Drift Diver Manual, watch the Drift Diver DVD and complete the two Knowledge Reviews. Bring your Manual and completed Knowledge Reviews to class or to the dive site.

Drysuit Specialist

($125 + materials) – Dives at Bredina Springs, Haigh Quarry or Bull Shoals

It has been said that it isn’t the cold water that takes the fun out of diving, but being cold and wet. You don’t have to be cold just because you enjoy local diving. Drysuit divers know that this is true. Owning a drysuit not only extends your local diving season, but also prepares you for our great dive destinations like the Ozarks, the Great Lakes, California, Bonneterre Mine, and all of the Midwest quarries and lakes.

To be safe and to be able to enjoy your drysuit does require some knowledge and special skills. These topics will be covered during the Drysuit Diver Specialty course classroom and pool session, as well as in the open water. The purpose of this course is to familiarize you with the skills, knowledge, planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems, hazards, and enjoyment of diving with a drysuit. This specialty course is intended to serve as a safe, supervised introduction to drysuit diving. The emphasis is on fun and safety. For most divers, once they dive with a drysuit, they never want to be a cold wetsuit diver again.

The 4 hour classroom and pool training is held right here at Adventure Dive & Travel, while the 2 open water dives are scheduled at Bredina Springs, Haigh Quarry or Bull Shoals. AD&T will provide the tanks, weights and drysuit (if you do not own one) for the pool session but they must be purchased or rented for the open water dives. Suit quality and fit are of paramount importance in drysuit diving. We train our students in premium DUI drysuits with removable seals. They are top-of-the-line suits that feature custom-sized neck seals, custom-sized wrist seals, and custom-sized boots which allow a perfect fit for each student.

At the completion of this course, you will receive a PADI Drysuit Specialty Card. This specialty can be applied toward the Master Diver program. For more information on this prestigious rating, please ask your instructor.

We are proud to be DUI Drysuit dealers!

Emergency First Response

($85 + materials)

Primary and Secondary First Aid Adult
CPRAutomated External Defibrillator
Emergency Oxygen Management

This course is for both the diver and non-diver alike!  This program is a training course in Emergency First Response CPR, AED, Basic First-Aid, and Emergency Oxygen Management.  It is a medically based course, designed to train you at a layperson’s level to follow the same emergency procedures used by paramedics.  This course can be “The Gift of Life.”  The skills of patient care necessary to support the life of an ill or injured person are covered in four modules, which emphasize a practical application and hands-on practice.

All areas of emergency first aid care are covered, including; CPR for Adults, Choking Management for Conscious & Unconscious Victim, Control of Bleeding, Shock Management, Heart Problems, Poisoning, Head Injuries, Neck and Back Injuries, Moving Injured Patients, Wounds and Bandaging, Exposure, Burns, and many others.

According to statistics, more than 10 percent of all dive fatalities are actually caused by cardiovascular disease. As part of this course you’ll learn to provide care for sudden cardiac arrest including the use of an automated external defibrillator (AEDs).  This is where seconds count!

Then, be the one ready to help a fellow diver should the need arise by knowing how to properly set up equipment and administer emergency oxygen.

At the completion of this course, you will receive the EFR Certifications in Basic First Aid, Adult CPR, and AED; but more importantly, you’ll have the confidence to handle an emergency situation.

Enriched Air Nitrox

($75 + materials)

Enriched Air (sometimes referred to as Nitrox) is fast replacing air as the “gas of choice” for many diving situations. Enriched Air can extend your bottom time, give you an extra margin of safety and it can even cancel out that tired feeling you get after a couple of dives. Instead of a nap, you’re ready for more fun! With the recent huge increase in Enriched Air certified divers, many Caribbean resorts and liveaboard boats are now offering Enriched Air as an alternative to compressed air. More facilities are joining the Enriched Air bandwagon everyday.

This course will teach you everything you need to know to safely dive with Enriched Air. At the completion of the 3 hour classroom session you will receive a PADI Enriched Air Specialty Card. This specialty can be applied toward the Master Diver program. For more information on this prestigious rating, please ask your instructor.

Prerequisites:

  • PADI Open Water Diver or the equivalent and 15 years of age or older

Provided by Student:

  • PADI Crewpak with Enriched Air manual and DVD

Home Study & Class Preparation:

Before class begins, watch the entire Enriched Air DVD, read the manual and complete the knowledge reviews. Bring your entire Crewpak and completed Knowledge Reviews to class.

Underwater Naturalist

$75 + materials ($45 classroom only)

Many people spend their entire diving career swimming over the reefs, staring at the fish, completely unaware of what they are looking atÂ…or overlooking. This course will enlighten you about WHY all the critters on the coral reef are doing what they’re doing.  Becoming an Underwater Naturalist is all about interacting with the inhabitants of the reef.  In addition we’ll learn to spot fascinating reef action like cleaning stations (they’re all over, you just have to know how to look for them), we’ll learn to follow fish as they stalk other fish,  we’ll watch first-hand how some reef species team up to ambush others or to avoid being ambushed!  You’ll learn to spot the bizarre courtship rituals of some of the reefs more dramatic residents. We’ll see the strange behaviors of night hunters as well, including feeding the coral. Don’t continue to swim around and be a watcher…become PART of the fascinating world of the reef!

During the classroom session you’ll learn how to identify many of the coral reef communities more interesting characters. After the classroom session it’s off to complete the two open water dives during one of our many Caribbean adventures. This is where you really begin to realize and witness the high drama that is the marine coral reef environment.

After this course you’ll never look at the underwater world in the same way.

Non-divers may take the classroom portion and, if they desire, go snorkeling. Either way, you will get a chance to put your newfound knowledge and skills into practice.

At the completion of this course, you will receive a PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty Card.

This course is a perfect complement to the PADI Project AWARE Fish ID – REEF Survey and the PADI Project AWARE Coral Reef Conservation – CoralWatch course. Both of these courses train you to conduct important reef surveys and research during your dives. You might also consider the UW Digital Photography course and the UW Sign Language course to help you with your diving adventures and research dives.

All three of these environmental specialties can be applied toward the Master Diver program. For more information on this prestigious rating, please ask your instructor.

Prerequisites:

  • PADI Open Water or equivalent
  • Minimum age 10

Provided by Student:

  • PADI UW Naturalist Crewpak
  • All personal scuba or snorkeling equipment for open water dives
  • Underwater slate, at least 5 X 7
  • Travel costs and entry fees associated with the open water dives
  • Paul Humann’s Reef Fish, Reef Creatures and Reef Coral will be provided during class and open water dives

Additional Suggested Materials:

  • Ned Deloach’s Reef Fish Behavior
  • Paul Humann’s Reef Fish, CD ROM or DVD version
  • Paul Humann’s Coastal Fish
  • Paul Humann’s Reef Creature & Coral CD ROM
  • Paul Humann’s Galapagos

 

Underwater Navigation

($85 + materials) – Call for Course Dates

Most divers find underwater navigation a challenge, but rising to the challenge and mastering it can be one of your most fun and rewarding diving experiences. Skillful underwater navigation maximizes your diving pleasure, and makes you an accomplished scuba diver.

This course is unique because there is no classroom session! After reviewing your course materials in the comfort of your own home, the training takes place at the dive site and during three training dives. You will learn about environmental clues to help you navigate, how to use a compass for precision, patterns that aid navigation, navigational instruments, and other topics. Then, you will practice and perfect the navigation skills you need to master to become proficient in underwater navigation. The training dives are scheduled during our trips to Mermet Springs or Haigh Quarry.

At the completion of this course you will receive a PADI Underwater Navigation Specialty Card. This specialty can be applied toward the Master Diver program. For more information on this prestigious rating, please ask your instructor.

Night Specialist

($85 + materials)

Most divers find night diving mysterious and exciting. At night, the familiar dive site takes on a new aura and new adventure. Darkness lays a veil you penetrate with your lights as you explore. Even the flora and fauna differ as underwater life switches to nocturnal behaviors, and as nocturnal animals emerge. You’ll see strange creatures that only come out after dark, and you’ll enjoy having the nighttime ocean all to yourself with almost no other divers around.

While night diving sounds eerie, perhaps even a bit frightening to some divers, for others it’s the first specialty activity they try. Night diving isn’t difficult, and a few guidelines and procedures make night diving even more fun and safe. The PADI Night Diver Specialty Course and the Advanced Open Water Night Dive both teach you these procedures and let you practice them with a PADI Instructor or Divemaster at hand.

This course is unique in that there is no classroom session! After reviewing your course materials in the comfort of your own home, the training takes place at the dive site and during three training dives. You’ll learn proper night diving procedures and how to apply them in actual situations. Night diving planning, entries, exits, navigation, equipment, malfunctions, emergencies, animal interactions and communication skills are all covered and practiced on your dives.

The 3 open water dives are scheduled on any of our Caribbean adventures, on our long-weekend trips to Cozumel, and at Bredina Springs or Haigh Quarry. At the completion of this course, you will receive a PADI Night Diver Specialty Card. This specialty can be applied toward the Master Diver program. For more information on this prestigious rating, please ask your instructor.

Peak Performance Buoyancy

($85 + materials)

Mastering buoyancy control skills is often a frustrating and elusive task for many divers. You never really begin to truly enjoy your diving until buoyancy control becomes automatic and you can relax and start to interact with the world around you. Unfortunately it often takes 20-40 dives before this level is reached.

The Peak Performance Buoyancy course is designed to accelerate your progress and put you on the “fast-track” to mastering this important skill. You’ll learn all the tricks and techniques to properly position and distribute your weights to best manage your center of gravity and make hovering an effortless task. You’ll find out how to modify your gear and body positioning to become a more streamlined and efficient diver. As these skills are implemented, you’ll notice a big difference in air consumption, bottom times, and your ability to move in closer to aquatic life with confidence. Real-life skills are also covered, such as open water ascents and safety stops, a useful and mandatory technique used in many dive locations in the Caribbean as well as the Midwest.

After mastering these skills, your buoyancy control will become “automatic” and you’ll find you can concentrate on other things like taking pictures, exploring a wreck, or keeping track of your buddy!

The four hour classroom and pool session is held here at Adventure Dive & Travel, while the 2 open water dives are scheduled on any of our Caribbean trips, our long-weekend trips to Cozumel or on our weekend trips to Bredina Springs and Haigh Quarry.

At the completion of the course you will receive a PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty Card. This specialty can be applied toward the Master Diver program. For more information on this prestigious rating, please ask your instructor.

PADI Project AWARE

Coral Reef Conservation CoralWatch Survey – ($75 + materials)

AWARE – Aquatic World Awareness, Responsibility, and Education 

Diving That Counts!

Human activity threatens the health of nearly 60 percent of the world’s coral reefs. Add to that the estimated 20 percent of all coral reefs that are already dead and it’s easy to see that coral reefs are in desperate need of attention if they are to survive for future generations. PADI’s Project Aware Coral Reef Conservation course is a fun way to learn about the coral reef and identify the different types of coral animals and colonies. More important, you’ll take an active part in helping to protect the world’s coral reefs by learning how to conduct a CoralWatch survey on your own.

Adventure Dive & Travel is a PADI Project Aware Foundation member and CoralWatch Operator. This partnership enables us to train divers in coral identification and proper coral reef survey methods.

What is CoralWatch?

CoralWatch is a simple, non-invasive way for volunteer diver-researchers like you to assess and monitor coral reef health. The CoralWatch method uses a Coral Health Chart with a series of colors that volunteers match with actual coral color to determine different stages of coral decline or recovery.

Why monitor reefs?

Monitoring is most effective over months and even years. CoralWatch surveys provide a valuable and constantly updated database that is used to monitor coral reef health at sites all over the world. With divers and snorklers regularly visiting sites, scientists at the University of Queensland, Australia, will be able to use the data to help gain understanding of coral health and coral bleaching events.

What happens to my results?

Once your data is submitted, a graph is produced representing the overall health of your monitored dive site. All submitted data is analyzed and made available online in a graphic format that makes it easy to see the overall health of the site.

After the classroom session it’s off to complete the two open water dives during one of our many Caribbean adventures. Non-divers may take the classroom portion and, if they desire, go snorkeling. After the dives we’ll submit the data we gathered to CoralWatch in Australia. After completion of the course you’ll receive the PADI Project AWARE Coral Conservation certification, but more important, you’ll be certified to conduct your own CoralWatch surveys and continue to add to the worldwide database.

Provided by Student:

  • All personal scuba or snorkeling equipment for open water dives
  • Underwater slate, at least 5 X 7
  • Small Dive Light
  • Project AWARE Coral Conservation Crewpak
  • Travel costs and entry fees associated with the open water dives
  • Paul Humann’s Reef Coral will be provided during class and open water dives

Additional Suggested Materials:

  • Paul Humann’s Reef Fish, CD ROM or DVD version
  • Paul Humann’s Coastal Fish
  • Paul Humann’s Reef Creature & Coral CD ROM
  • Paul Humann’s Galapagos
  • Ned Deloach’s Reef Fish Behavior

Homework and Class Preparation:

Before the classroom session, in Reef Coral ID, read pages 6-12, 14-15, 22-25, 86-88, and 176-177. Bring all of your course materials to class.

Fish Identification & REEF Survey – ($75 + materials)

AWARE – Aquatic World Awareness, Responsibility, and Education
REEF – Reef Environmental Education Foundation

Diving That Counts!

Many people spend their entire diving career swimming over the reefs, staring at the fish, completely unaware of what they are looking at…or overlooking. If you are tired of asking the divemaster about what you saw on your last dive, if you feel left out when all the other divers talk about what they spotted on the dive, then this course is for you. It will make you the “fish expert” on your next dive vacation!

This course was developed in conjunction with the Project AWARE Foundation and REEF .

Project AWARE is the dive industry’s leading nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to conserving underwater environments through education, advocacy and action. We accomplish this mission by involving divers and water enthusiasts in environmental activities like REEF surveys. The Reef Environmental Education Foundation seeks to conserver marine ecosystems by enlisting and enabling divers to become active stewards and citizen scientists. REEF links the diving community with scientists, resource managers and conservationists through marine life data collection and related activities.

Adventure Dive & Travel is a Project Aware Foundation member and REEF field station. This partnership enables us to train divers in fish identification and proper coral reef survey methods.

Although many fish ID classes consist of many boring hours paging through guidebooks and memorizing scientific names, this course goes far beyond that and makes learning fun. During the classroom session we’ll learn an easy, simple system to identify fish. Then we’ll learn how to use the REEF survey materials to gather data for the REEF database. This database is the world’s largest ongoing survey of marine life, and is used by scientists and marine park managers all over the planet! After the classroom session it’s off to complete the two open water dives during one of our many Caribbean adventures. Non-divers may take the classroom portion and, if they desire, go snorkeling. Either way, we will get a chance to put our newfound knowledge and skills into practice. It’s challenging and fun to see how many different species you can find on a single dive! After the 2 open water dives you’ll enter the data you collected into the REEF database for use in studies and research by scientific organizations worldwide. You can even view your own life-list of sightings!

After completion of the course, all participants will automatically become members of REEF and eligible to do REEF surveys on their own. As you complete more surveys in your diving career, you will advance through 5 experience levels, eventually achieving EXPERT. EXPERT level surveyors are invited to join the REEF Advanced Assessment Team to assist with special monitoring and assessment projects. You will also receive a PADI Project AWARE Fish ID Specialty Card. This specialty can be applied toward the PADI Master Diver and PADI Pro-Master programs. For more information on these prestigious ratings, please ask your instructor.

Provided by Student:

  • All personal scuba or snorkeling equipment for open water dives.
  • REEF Fish Identification Course and Field Survey Kit
  • Travel costs and entry fees associated with the open water dives
  • Paul Humann’s Reef Fish Guide will be provided during class and open water dives

Additional Suggested Materials:

  • Paul Humann’s Reef Fish, DVD version
  • Paul Humann’s Coastal Fish
  • Paul Humann’s Reef Creature & Coral CD ROM
  • Paul Humann’s Galapagos
  • Ned Deloach’s Reef Fish Behavior

Homework and Class Preparation:

Before the classroom session, complete the REEF Intro course on DVD, including taking the quizzes. Bring all of your course materials to class.

Sea Turtle Awareness Course – ($50)

AWARE – Aquatic World Awareness, Responsibility, and Education

Diving That Counts!

This specialty course guides divers or snorkelers through some of the reasons why turtle populations are declining in parts of the world – some to the point of extinction – and what individuals can do to prevent further decline.  Divers learn basic turtle identification skills and how to record their sea turtle sightings.

Concerted conservation efforts have seen turtle populations recover in some areas but without urgent global action the future of these animals does not look healthy. Sea turtles are slaughtered for their meat and shells, and their eggs are consumed at unsustainable levels. They also fall prey to fishing gear and loss of suitable habitat for nesting. In Malaysia for example, leatherback turtles that were once abundant are now virtually extinct, with only a few nests observed in recent years.

There are not nearly enough marine scientists in the world for all of the research that needs to be done.  However, there ARE millions of avid scuba divers and snorkelers, most of whom are eager to be trained to help with research projects.  With this idea in mind, more and more conservation organizations are utilizing the vast pool of divers as marine researchers, recording and reporting sightings to build databases used by scientists and biologists to help manage and conserve our planet’s natural resources.

Project AWARE is working with partners in countries around the world to provide sighting information to turtle conservation projects.  Good information on sightings of animals can support the valuable and ongoing conservation work that is being done in the region. This Sea Turtle Awareness course was developed in conjunction with the Project AWARE Foundation.  Project AWARE is the dive industry’s leading nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to conserving underwater environments through education, advocacy and action.  This organization links the diving community with scientists, resource managers and conservationists through marine life data collection and related activities.  Adventure Dive & Travel is a Project Aware Foundation member, which enables us to train divers in sea turtle research and survey methods.

Divers and snorkelers can now contribute to sea turtle conservation through their own identifications and sightings recordings. In addition, divers and snorkelers will learn how their actions can make a difference, whether it is through responsible diving practices or being environmentally aware when travelling. The information divers and snorkelers record will help to provide useful data on where species occur at certain times of the year.

What will the course teach?

The course aims to teach participants about the biology, behavior and distribution of marine turtles as well as conservation status and sea turtle research worldwide. Divers will learn how to plan all aspects of a dive/snorkel with sea turtles, paying special attention to non-impact diving/snorkeling practices. The importance of sea turtle monitoring activities will be stressed and the Sea Turtle Sightings Form introduced as an example of how to get involved in marine turtle conservation.

During this course, we’ll learn some fascinating facts about the 7 species of marine turtles, how to properly record information during turtle sightings, and how to utilize the internet to download our information to the research database.  All of this comes together on two open water dives where we’ll (hopefully) encounter sea turtles!  This is possible on any of our tropical destination trips.  After the two open water dives you’ll enter the data you collected into the Project Aware Australia database for use in studies and research by scientific organizations worldwide.  You’ll then be qualified to add to the international database on marine turtles after every encounter.

You will also receive a PADI Project AWARE Sea Turtle Awareness Specialty Card.  This specialty can be applied toward the PADI Master Diver and PADI Pro-Master programs.  For more information on these prestigious ratings, please ask your instructor.

Provided by Student:

  • All personal scuba or snorkeling equipment for open water dives
  • Slate for the open water dives
  • Digital camera is not required for the dives, but is helpful
  • Travel costs and entry fees associated with the open water dives

Whale Shark Awareness & Shark Trust Survey – ($50)

AWARE – Aquatic World Awareness, Responsibility, and Education

Diving That Counts!

Whale sharks are the largest sharks and the largest fish in the world.  Capable of reaching over 40 feet long and 30,000 lbs, these gentle giants feed primarily on krill and small planktonic animals.  Large as they are, very little is known about them.  Many details about their range, lifespan, migrations, and reproductive habits are still a mystery.  In fact, until 1995 we weren’t even sure if their young were from eggs or liveborn.  This lack of data makes it difficult to develop strategies to protect the species.

There are not nearly enough marine scientists in the world for all of the research that needs to be done.  However, there ARE millions of avid scuba divers, most of whom are eager to be trained to help with research projects.  With this idea in mind, more and more conservation organizations are utilizing the vast pool of divers as marine researchers, recording and reporting sightings to build databases used by scientists and biologists to help manage and conserve our planet’s natural resources.

You don’t have to have a dive qualification to dive with Whale Sharks but it helps! The PADI Whale Shark Awareness course introduces divers and snorkelers to the world’s largest fish, while teaching the proper techniques for minimal impact recreational diving. This ensures everyone has a good time with no adverse effects on the sharks, their habitat or their behavior.

What will the course teach?

The course aims to teach participants about the biology, behavior and distribution of Whale Sharks as well as conservation status and Whale Shark research worldwide. Divers will learn how to plan all aspects of a dive/snorkel with Whale Sharks, paying special attention to non-impact diving/snorkeling practices. The importance of Whale Shark monitoring activities will be stressed and the Whale Shark Photo ID website introduced as an example of how to get involved in Whale Shark conservation.

This Whale Shark Awareness course was developed in conjunction with the Project AWARE Foundation, The Shark Trust, and Whale Shark Project.  Project AWARE is the dive industry’s leading nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to conserving underwater environments through education, advocacy and action.  These two organizations link the diving community with scientists, resource managers and conservationists through marine life data collection and related activities.  Adventure Dive & Travel is a Project Aware Foundation member, which enables us to train divers in whale shark research and survey methods.

During this course, we’ll learn some fascinating facts about Whale Sharks, how to properly photograph and record information during whale shark sightings, and how to utilize the internet to download our information to the research database.  All of this comes together on two open water dives where we’ll (hopefully), encounter whale sharks!  (Our Galapagos Islands trips or our Holbox Island trips are great places to complete your course.)  After the two open water dives you’ll enter the data you collected into the The Shark Trust database for use in studies and research by scientific organizations worldwide.  You can even view your own sightings!  You’ll then be qualified to add to the international database on whale sharks after every encounter.

You will also receive a PADI Project AWARE Whale Shark Awareness Specialty Card.  This specialty can be applied toward the PADI Master Diver program.  For more information on this prestigious rating, please ask your instructor.

Provided by Student

  • All personal scuba or snorkeling equipment for open water dives.
  • Slate for the open water dives
  • Digital Camera
  • Travel costs and entry fees associated with the open water dives

 

Scuba Tune-Up

($55 plus workbook, $75 Private Session)

For any certified diver who thinks they might be rusty after a long layoff or who wants to review a few skills before the “big trip.” This course will eliminate that pre-trip apprehension and restore your confidence in your own skills. This course will provide a review of all the academics, but focuses on polishing all of your open water skills such as: gear assembly, entries and exits, mask clearing, out-of-air procedures and buoyancy control. This is an effective, economical way to ensure continued comfort and safety in the water.

AD&T will provide all basic scuba equipment for the pool session, including tanks and weights. The three hours of classroom and pool training is scheduled once a month. For those desiring more scheduling flexibility and maximum instructor attention, a private Scuba Tune-Up can be arranged for slightly more. Bring your PADI certification card and logbook so the instructor can record your training and the date of your class.

Search & Recovery

($135 + materials) – By Request Only – Minimum of 2 Students

Every diver, regardless of skill and experience, will at one time or another try to recover a lost object underwater. Without the proper training, your lost object would only be recovered by chance. Yet, with the proper training, items can be recovered relatively simply and easily.

If you enjoyed the Search & Recovery dive in your Advanced Open Water class, you will have a blast with these advanced search patterns, new knots and rigging, and enhanced navigational skills. You will gain valuable experience as you learn the essentials of SAR diving, and by the end of the course you’ll be able to locate, raise and salvage large underwater objects.

During the 3 hour classroom session you will learn the best way to conduct search patterns and when to use them, navigating your search patterns, knot tying and rigging lift bags. Practicing these newfound skills above water makes it much easier to search & recover in the open water. The 4 open water dives are completed on our Haigh Quarry or Bull Shoals weekends. The bottom contour at both these dive locations are ideal to learn to search for any size item from a set of car keys to a boat anchor.

At the completion of this course, you will receive a PADI Search & Recover Specialty Card. This specialty can be applied toward the Master Diver program. For more information on this prestigious rating, please ask your instructor.

All ropes, lift bags and recovery materials are provided by AD&T during the open water dives.

Underwater Sign Language

($75 + materials)

Sign language has always been an integral part of diving. Communication with your buddies makes it easier and safer to stick to the dive plan and avoid confusion. In your Open Water Course, you learned a few simple but important words like “stop”, “descend” and “OK” that helped you understand your instructor in your training dives. You may have picked up a couple more in the Caribbean like “octopus”, “coral” or “shark”.

Now imagine having a vocabulary of dozens or even hundreds of easily-remembered signs that you can put into phrases to “talk” to your buddy!

“Look at the blue angelfish.”
“Your hose is leaking.”
“The boat is northwest.”
“There’s a big lobster under the coral.”
“Let’s descend to 60 feet and level off.”

Once you learn the system, the possibilities for communication are limitless!

Developed by a nationally certified sign language interpreter and based on American Sign Language for the deaf, this course uses DVD/flash cards or DVD/e-book, and two nights in the class and pool to develop your skills. Over 125 hand signals are currently involved; with more being added all the time as this new language grows.

Don’t be left out of the conversation!

At the completion of this course you will receive the PADI Underwater Sign Language Distinctive Specialty Card. This specialty can be applied toward the Master Diver program.

Wreck Specialist

($135 + materials) – By Request Only – minimum of 2 students

Everyone is enchanted by the lure of sunken ships. Wrecks that are sunk by an act of nature, an act of war, or as a fish habitat often provide a fascinating glimpse into our own past. Not many types of diving can match the thrill of exploring a historic relic from a bygone age forever entombed on the ocean floor. Most divers wisely stay on the outside of a wreck, but a special few are able to explore the interior holds, decks, and passageways, seeing things that most divers never encounter. Wreck diving is exciting and fun, however, for safety reasons, special training and techniques are necessary.

During this course you will learn how to safely assess and map a wreck, determining likely entrances and exits. Buoyancy control techniques will be covered, as well as special procedures for operating in an overhead environment. Proper use of a wreck reel for maintaining a pathway will be stressed, and you’ll become proficient at navigating through underwater entanglements and hazards.

The 4 hour classroom and pool session is held here at AD&T, and the 4 open water dives can be scheduled during one of our trips to Haigh Quarry or Bredina Springs. You can also complete your certification on most of our Caribbean trips. Once you are confident and proficient in wreck diving techniques, you can start exploring great collections of wrecks all over the world!

At the completion of this course, you will receive a PADI Wreck Diver Specialty Card. This specialty can be applied toward the Master Diver program. For more information on this prestigious rating, please ask your instructor.