Getting advanced open water was a breeze with an instructor like Steve. He was very attentive and helpful through the whole course.
The criteria needed to achieve the advanced OW certificate is to have 5 specialty dives, and some textbook work on those subjects. Luckily, there's no exam.
The 2 Compulsory dives is Deep Water dive- where you go to a depth of at least 30 meters
And Peak Performance Buoyancy.
Steve pretty much chose the other 3 for me an with good reason. Most of the specialties are fairly easy and you could get the gist from the textbook. I really gained alot of experience and knowledge doing the Wreck dive, Night Dive an Navigation dive with an instructor.
I did the deep water dive on the black island wreck. We went to a depth of 33 meters and did some tests. The results showed that response time is slower, and colors appear different. For instance red's look brown. This is because the further down you go the more washed out the color spectrum gets. Starting with red.
It's all interesting stuff.
Most interesting were the wrecks we saw. They are. WWII Japanese boats and were sunk by American forces via torpedoes, bombs or other. The black island wreck ( also known as Nanshi Maru, I think) was lying on its side a small gunboat. We got to see we're the large gun use to be mounted and where the cargo was kept.
I did a fun dive that day along the coral and fell in love with the Philippine reefs and fish. Parrot fish, large bat fish, clown fish everywhere, lionfish, and so many more I can't name.
The second day I did my wreck dive. First we went to another wreck at a depth of 30 meters, a plane transport boat. It was Lying on its side. And seemingly intact. Other than the large hole in the side from where the torpedo hit. Here we swam into the boat and was able to have a look around before swimming out the same way we entered. On the deck you could see the large cranes that used to move the planes. There were also two gun stations, one bigger than the other. Set on the smaller gun station sat a bullet casing for the larger gun at the front of the boat. You wouldn't believe the size of this case. And you get a better picture of how Truely large these guns were.
After we descended on the akishu..??.. Where I did my adventure wreck dive. I needed to be aware of dangers such as collapsible areas, poison fish or entanglement dangers. I also was asked to keep track of our descent line.
On a boat that was so many meters long and sitting on the haul, you would've thought it wouldn't be so hard. Well it was. The current was stronger than I like to dive with. During my descent I had equalizing problems and soon became disoriented... Steve could see that I was having problems descending. I was fortunate to have a guide like him and we worked out and got to the starboard side. Still a little fuzzy in the head I had no idea where the line was anymore, and soon Steve was taking us on swim throughs. Inside the cargo areas and out another exit point. My air was going fast as I clearly wasn't comfortable. At one point we were going to cruise above the boat to get a birds eye perspective, but the current was not favorable, so we dropped back to starboard and made our way through the broken bow o the boat to the deck. We hid behind the raised cargo point of the ship and swam into the current. Everybody's air was being used faster. I started to worry once my gauge reached 40 bar... 10 below the recommended 50 for ascent. And another diver was even lower at 30 bar. Thankfully the line was there and we were all relieved to be making our ascent on a line that we wouldn't be swept away with. At 6 meters we did the safety stop. I'm still nervous about my air supply but it was sufficient enough to survive the stop. The other diver did not have enough and was given the alternate air source from Steve the moment we reached safety stop depth. His gauge read 20 bar. I was so happy to be on our ascent, the last dive of the day and it was a doozy.
Later on Steve approached me to do the buoyancy dive. I hesitantly agreed since I was enjoying being on land and breathing the air.