Information for Advanced Open Water Course on Koh Tao
After completing your Open Water Course the Advanced Open Water Course is the logical next step to improve your confidence, try new things underwater and improve your skills as a diver.
As an Advanced Open Water Diver you can dive independently from a Professional and on a wider variety of dive sites and join different activities, which are not available for an Open Water Diver.
Together with your experienced Instructor you will do 5 different adventure dives, each one being a ‘taste’ of what different specialty areas have to offer for you.
Two of those dives are compulsory: Deep Dive and the Underwater Navigation Dive, where you learn to extend your limits from your Open Water Course and find your way around a dive site without a Pro on your side.
Choosing Adventure Dives for Advanced Open Water Course
The other three dives can be chosen by yourself from any of the following that you may be interested in:
- Peak Performance Buoyancy (PPB)
- Underwater Naturalist
- Wreck Dive
- Night Dive
- Search & Recovery
- AWARE – Fish Identification
- Enriched Air Nitrox
- Boat Diving
- Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV)
- Digital Underwater Imaging
Advanced Open Water Course Offers a 2 Day Flexible Schedule
Usually we start in the morning of the first day with an orientation, where you will choose the three dives you are interested in.
For the theoretical part of the Course there are no Videos to watch or exams to be taken as it was part of the Open Water Course.
There will be a little self study for each of the dives you will take during your course and a land practice workshop to practice new Navigation skills.
After lunch you will go on the boat for your first two dives. One of these will usually be the Underwater Navigation dive.
Using Natural References
During this dive you will learn how to use natural underwater references as well as how to correctly use a compass to navigate.
Using a map of the dive site you will then practice to find your way underwater and back to the boat with your newly learned skills.
You will take one of your chosen dives as a second dive this afternoon after a surface interval and short trip to the second dive site of the trip, before you head back to the dive centre.
Optional Night Dive
If you select the Night Dive as one of your dives, you will go out on the boat again at around 6pm.
Leaving at 6 pm, you will reach the dive site just before sunset, entering the water before it is completely dark, which will make it easier to get used to the darkness.
Advanced Open Water Course Deep Dive
On the morning of Day 2 you will take your Deep Dive. On this dive you will join your Instructor as you go down to a maximum depth of 30 m at one of the deeper dive sites around Koh Tao.
You will look at color changes and time limits on your dive computer as your instructor will show you the effects of pressure.
On your deep dive you will also see a wider variety of marine life than on the shallower dive sites. Larger fish such as Giant Barracuda and King Mackerel can be seen at these sites. If you are really lucky, you will get to see a Whaleshark.
Certify to 30 metres
On the way back to the dive centre you will take another one of your chosen dives as second dive. Once the 5 dives are completed you will be certified to dive to a depth of 30 m worldwide.
“Junior” Open Water Divers (age 12+) can take the Advanced Open Water course but the maximum diving depth they will be certified for is 21m until they are 15 years old
For our “Junior” divers aged 10 and 11 there is an option to be certified as “Junior” Adventure Diver.
All of the Adventure Dives of the Advanced Open Water Course can be used as the first dive of the Specialty Course in that area, which allows you to specialize yourself in a shorter time frame, if you really enjoy a special activity.
Types of Adventure Dives on Advanced Open Water Course
Each adventure dive gives you a ‘taste’ of different diving specialty areas. Below is a little more information on the dives available to choose from on Koh Tao
Peak Performance Buoyancy (PPB)
On this dive you will fine tune your buoyancy skills, something every diver needs. Learning how to use breathing techniques and weight distribution will reduce your air consumption, allow you to stop easily underwater in any position and give you more control of your dive.
A very good dive to get better images or identify marine life without disturbing anything.
During this dive you will get a better understanding of the underwater environment altogether. You will not only identify fish, learning how to locate and observe them, but as well learn more about the underwater world as a whole and how animals and plants live together.
On these exciting dives you will get an introduction in special techniques and considerations when diving on wrecks, like depth, equipment, potential hazards and interesting points.
You will spend your dive on the outside of the wreck and get an idea, why special training and equipment are necessary to enter wrecks safely in the future.
During the night dive you will learn how to handle the light and communicate with your buddy in the dark. You will also get introduced to entries & exits and basic navigation at night, a skill you already learned in daytime.
The marine life you see will also be different as you see many species come out from their hiding places at night time as other species you see at daytime try to sleep now.
This is the most popular of the adventure dives for the Advanced Open Water Course offered on Koh Tao.
Search & Recovery
The search & recovery dive is a great one to do if you plan to do the Divemaster or Rescue Diver course.
Very task orientated, during the dive you will learn how to use your compass for underwater searches, tie a wide variety of knots and how to bring items out of the water using lift bags.
AWARE – Fish Identification
This dive will allow you to learn the basics of identifying fish, a skill you can then use on all your future dives.
You will take underwater fish slates with you and focus on identifying the behaviour, shape and habitats of fish to identify which family they belong to.
Enriched Air Nitrox
Learning to dive using enriched air will allow you to spend more time at the bottom on your dives.
Before using Enriched Air on your dive you will learn safety procedures like analyzing the content of your tank as well as setting and using dive computers to monitor times and oxygen content.
The full Enriched Air specialty course can be combined with the Advanced Open Water Course, giving you a double certification in the same time frame.
99% of the dives on Koh Tao are made from a boat. On this dive you will learn more technical knowledge of dive boats ensuring you understand the emergency procedures, the correct methods for entering/exiting the water and the safety equipment on board.
Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV)
DPV’s allow you to see more of a dive site, whilst using less air as you don’t have to use your fins to move forward. On this dive you will learn the correct methods for entry & exit, as well as safely going underwater and ending your dive.
Moving underwater with this Underwater Scooter will make you feel like James Bond and is great Fun!
** There is an additional charge for the rental of the DPV
Digital Underwater Imaging (DUI)
The Digital Underwater Imaging Dive combines Photography as well as Videography or can be focused on whichever you are more interested in.
Modern cameras allow you to take still or moving pictures and on this dive you will learn how to get better pictures underwater.
You will learn about using red filters, correct positioning to get most of the light as well as White Balance to get better colors for your images.
** If you don’t have your own camera, a camera can be rented for an additional charge
Prerequisites to start your Advanced Open Water Course
- Certification as Open Water Diver (or equivalent from another organization)
- Minimum Age: 12 years (10-11 year old divers can gain the Adventure Diver Certification.
- Last dive within the last 6 months (or a half-day Refresher – Scuba Review – will be required at additional cost).
The Advanced Open Water course is very popular and takes less than 2 days to complete. If you need more information about any of the scuba diving courses or alternative activities on Koh Tao, please contact us to discuss your planned itinerary.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does the Advanced Open Water diver course cost?
On Koh Tao the Advanced Open Water Diver course costs 10,000baht and includes 5 adventure dives with 2 compulsory dives and 3 elective dives
Can I complete the Advanced Open Water course in less than 2 days?
The shortest time frame to complete the 5 adventure training dives is a minimum of 1.5 days and is normally taken over a 2 day period including certification.
How many dives is the Advanced Open Water Diver Course?
The Advanced Open Water course consists of 5 adventure dives in open water and each dive has its own knowledge review section relevant to each specific dive.
Do I need a dive computer for the course?
A dive computer will be included with your dive equipment as a part of the 2 day course, but you can use your own if you have one.
Is all the diving equipment included in the cost of the course?
Yes, all the scuba diving equipment is included in the cost of the course including certification cost with the dive agency.
Is Accommodation included in the cost of the course?
No, accommodation is not included in the cost of the course but this can be arranged for an additional cost.
How deep will I dive on Advanced Open Water diver course?
The Deep adventure dive has a maximum depth limit of 30 metres and upon successful completion of the course a diver is then certified to 30 metres.