Scubaland Advanced Open Water Class

30 September to 1 October

Scubaland has a basic introduction to the class posted here. It’s a PDF, so you can print it out if you need to.

With that, here’s some more specific information, some of which may override the information on that PDF. Please pay close attention.

First things first, the documentation. You’re going to need a few forms completed before we can do anything in the water.

  1. Continuing Education Form
  2. Medical Release – If we have a medical release on file within the past 12 months and nothing new applies, then you don’t need this.
  3. Diving Medical Guidance – In case you need to get approval from your physician, this form explains what they need to know.

Whether you’ve chosen eLearning, or you have the book, you’ll need to complete your reading by the time class starts on Saturday morning. The sections we typically cover are:

  1. Thinking Like a Diver *
  2. Deep *
  3. Underwater Navigation *
  4. Peak Performance Buoyancy
  5. Night
  6. Search and Recovery
  7. Wreck
* Denotes required sections for certification. You must do five total specialty sections plus Thinking Like a Diver.

Conditions permitting, the plan is as follows. We’ll meet at Scubaland on Saturday at 11, starting right away, getting through the Knowledge Reviews for those skill sections. If there is something from the long list of options you’re really keen on doing, with agreement from the rest of the class, we can change them. Please note, Deep and Underwater Navigation are required.

After we’ve completed the Knowledge Reviews for all the sections, we can take a break for lunch and then meet at Windy Point Park. We’ll do three dives Saturday, including the night dive. The night dive starts at about 7pm. Before that, I’d like to do the Peak Performance Buoyancy and the Underwater Navigation dive. Navigation will start around 4:30pm. Peak Performance Buoyancy will start promptly at 2pm.

Sunday will be a lighter day, starting at 9am at Windy Point Park. We will complete the Deep dive and then either Wreck or Search and Recovery. Those dives will likely take us through about 1pm before we’re leaving Windy Point.

Name Start Date Start Time End Time Location
Knowledge Development 30 September 11:00 AM 1:00 PM Classroom
Peak Performance Buoyancy 30 September 2:00 PM 3:00 PM Windy Point @ Lake Travis
Underwater Navigation 30 September 4:00 PM 5:00PM Windy Point @ Lake Travis
Underwater Naturalist 30 September 6:00 PM 7:00PM Windy Point @ Lake Travis
Deep 1 October 9:00 AM 10:30 AM Windy Point @ Lake Travis
Wreck or Search and Recovery 1 October 11:30 AM 12:30 PM Windy Point @ Lake Travis
Alternate to above TBD TBD TBD TBD

Plan to meet even if it’s raining. If we encounter lightning it may cause a delay, but rain will not stop us. We’re going to be wet anyway.  =-)

Pick up any rental gear you need from Scubaland some time between Wednesday and Friday. If you’re just finishing your Open Water class, they may just let you keep the gear you have, but you’ll need to be sure to have three full tanks. The store closes at 7:00 PM on weeknights so get there early enough that you can spend time trying on wetsuits and ensuring that your equipment is in proper working order. Allow at least 30 minutes. If you can’t make it by Friday, you can pick it up on Saturday, but we will be starting the class discussion on time so be at the store by 10:00 AM if you can’t get there earlier in the week. Saturday mornings tend to be busy.

You will need a wetsuit for the deep dive as it’s about 60°F at 21m/70ft.

You will be able to check out 3 air tanks but will need to plan to get air fills at Windy Point to have enough air for Sunday’s dives. I believe Windy Point charges $12 each. If you want to dive on EANx and are certified to do so, feel free to get those tanks instead of air.

In additional to your standard snorkeling and scuba gear, every student is required to have one audible and one visual signaling device, a cutting tool (knife), compass, dive computer (or timing device and RDP and know how to use it) and everyone must have the lights required for the deep and night dives.

Here’s your checklist:

In addition to the training aids from your crew pack-

• Mask
• Snorkel
• Fins
• Boots
• Surface marker buoy (SMB)
• Audible signaling device (whistle)
• Regulator
• Dive light(s) (and tank marker light)
• Compass
• Dive Computer
• Tanks
• Weights/weight system
• Wetsuit
• Gloves- optional but highly recommended
• Hood – optional but highly recommended
• Student Dive Log
• Ball point pen (not a roller ball or felt tip because it will smear)
• Advanced Open Water Diver Multipurpose Data Carrier (aka the slate that was in your crew pack)
• Towel
• Dry Clothes
• Hats
• Snacks
• Water/Sports Drinks
• Dry Bag
• (Sunscreen if it does NOT contain Oxybenzone)

If you forget something, you may not be able to complete your dives this weekend so please double and triple check your equipment before coming.

In addition to me, we may have a Divemaster with us. Divemasters come to help ensure our classes go smoothly, lead you on dives so we don’t have to go in a herd, and make sure you are having a good time. Tips are welcome and very much appreciated.  Please take care of them if you feel they have enhanced your experience this weekend. This is a common practice for vacation destinations as well.  Customary gratuity is around $5-10 a tank.

Let’s have some fun, and learn to Think Like a Diver!

Possible Adventure Dives

Adaptive Support – Diving with people who have special needs (blind, deaf, amputees, etc.).

Boat – Special considerations when diving from a boat.  We don’t have a readily available boat so this is difficult.

Deep – This is a required dive for the Advanced Open Water course.

Delayed Surface Marker Buoy – This is a great option when visibility keeps us from doing the other dives.

Digital Underwater Imaging – If you have gear for underwater photography, we can do this.

Dive Against Debris (AWARE) – You learn what’s okay to take, and more importantly what’s not.

Drift – My favorite type of diving in the ocean, but difficult to do in the lake.

Enriched Air – We can easily do this one, but you’d have to pay extra for the EANx fill.

Fish Identification – This one is fun as you learn about how fish are classified in different groups.

Full Face Mask – I can teach this, but it requires additional rental of a full face mask.

Night – One of my favorite dives to do. It’s so peaceful under the water, and you often hear the fish “talking” to each other.

Peak Performance Buoyancy – This is the skill I wanted most when I took the AOW course.

Rescue – Extremely challenging, but gets you on the way to your Rescue Diver certification.

Search & Recovery – One of the most commonly requested skills in the AOW course besides PPB.

Self-Reliant – Learning to be a self reliant diver makes you better in so many ways, but highlights why you want to dive with a buddy.

Underwater Naturalist – This is an interesting course where you identify different plants and animals.

Underwater Navigation – Required for the Advanced Open Water certificaiton.

Wreck – A fun skill to identify what’s what in a wreck, how to safely dive around them, but not penetrate.

Contact Info

Michael Johnson

PADI MSDT #515082


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