As a diver, you constantly find yourself wanting to explore the underwater world. Being a certified PADI Open Water Diver, a freediver, and an underwater photographer wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to explore the ocean at greater depths and improve my overall skills as a scuba diver. One day, a friend of mine posted about an upcoming expedition in the Maldives that would involve photographing some of the most incredible marine life including tiger sharks, manta rays, whale sharks and thresher sharks. One of the requirements was that every diver must have their PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification.

Now was the perfect opportunity to become an Advanced Open Water Diver! Before traveling to the Maldives I completed 6-8 hours of interactive eLearning. Here are three ways eLearning enhanced my overall experience taking the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course.

1. Practicing Navigation

As an Open Water Diver, you cover some basic navigation with your instructor. When completing the Advanced Open Water certification, a diver must learn how to successfully navigate underwater. Personally, I was a little bit nervous about underwater navigation since I wasn’t too familiar with using a compass.

Thankfully, PADI eLearning provided a whole interactive lesson on navigation which also included a video on how to properly use a compass. With this, I was able to practice using a compass in my own home until I was comfortable. Practicing at my own pace until I was confident really helped me as a learner. When it was time to navigate underwater with my instructor, all my worries were gone.

2. Deep Diving

To see manta rays and some shark species in the Maldives, divers usually have to dive down to about 30 meters/100 feet. In the Advanced Open Water Diver eLearning course, you learn all about your depth limits, deep diving equipment, deep diving techniques, gas narcosis, and decompression sickness.

Each topic helped me understand what to look out for and how to handle a stressful, new, or complex situation. Again, the eLearning portion of this course was interactive and included plenty of visuals. This was actually my favorite part of the eLearning because of how much information was given about safety – since of course the primary objective when diving is to always return safely from a dive.

3. Diving Conditions in The Maldives

In the Maldives, divers must prepare for moderate to strong currents. Your PADI Instructor may decide to do what’s called a ‘drift dive’. Drift diving is a type of diving where divers learn to go with the flow of the current rather than fighting it. This type of diving is also required to complete the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course. There were six topics covered in this portion of the eLearning course that helped prepare my mind for drift diving before getting in the water:

  • Introduction to Drift Diving
  • Current Characteristics
  • Types of Drift Diving
  • Drift Diving Equipment
  • Drift Diving Techniques and Procedures
  • Drift Diving Hazards and Problems

Each topic was followed with a video visual. I’m definitely a visual learner, so these videos were super helpful when completing the Advanced Open Water Diver eLearning. They helped me get more comfortable and familiar with each topic before it was time to dive in with an Instructor.

What My Dive Buddies Had To Say

Completing my Advanced Open Water Diver course in the Maldives was truly unforgettable. Everything I learned in the eLearning portion of the course was helpful at some point during the in-water portion of the course as well as throughout the entire expedition.

My dive buddies and I decided to meet up after completing our course together in the Maldives. Asking them for their feedback, we all agreed that the eLearning portion enhanced our PADI Advanced Open Water course by:

  1. Preparing us mentally before arriving
  2. Giving us the ability to practice and get comfortable with certain skills at home
  3. Providing us with enough interactive lessons and visuals
  4. Allowing us to complete the eLearning portion of the course at our own pace
  5. Allowing us to complete the eLearning portion of the course from anywhere in the world

You can also access eLearning study material at any point in case you ever want to go back and review certain topics. Be sure to ask your PADI Instructor if there is anything you need to review once the in-water portion of the course begins. They are there to help you every step of the way!

Ready to Become an Advanced Open Water Diver?

Sign up for your eLearning course today, then use our dive shop locator to connect at any time with a PADI Dive Center or Resort (near or far) to complete your in-water training.

PS – You can receive 20% off select PADI eLearning by signing up for PADI Club (in addition to numerous other members-only benefits).

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