Advanced Open Water
When you first became interested in diving, your primary focus was most likely on getting your Open Water Diver certification. You soon realized, however, that trying to be a "real" scuba diver with nothing more than a beginning diver certification is like trying to compete in the job market with an elementary school education. It is just plain not enough.

That’s why SDI created the Advanced Open Water Diver course. It introduces students to critical knowledge and skills that beginning courses don’t have time to cover.


- Students gain additional open water experience under the guidance and supervision of a knowledgeable instructor
- They receive an introduction to a variety of specialty diving activities
- Their recommended depth rating goes from 60 to 100 feet

Students meet an important prerequisite for SDI Rescue, Divemaster, Assistant Instructor and Instructor training, as well as for a number of SDI Specialty Diver courses, such as Navigation and Deep. If your ultimate goal is to earn the prestigious SDI Master Scuba Diver rating, this course is your starting point.

Additionally, course graduates qualify to take part in a number of diving activities in which participation is limited to "Advanced Divers Only." As just one example, many of our South Georgia Charter Company trips take divers to depth of over 60 feet and, thus, have Advanced Open Water Diver certification as a prerequisite.

Despite the fact it is designed to be taken immediately afterward students complete the Open Water Diver course, there are some substantial differences between the beginning course and the advanced course.

To start, there is only one classroom session and no pool sessions. You master the small amount of academic learning required through self-study, which your instructor will review with you, in the classroom, prior to the open-water training weekend.

Where the focus of the beginning course is to develop fundamental knowledge and skills, the advanced course focuses primarily on introducing you to a variety of fun and enjoyable specialty diving activities.

The beginning course follows a single, standardized curriculum. In the Advanced Open Water Diver course, you get to design you own curriculum - just like choosing electives in college.

Who Can Learn?
All you need is Open Water Diver certification (or equivalent) from any recognized training agency, and the ability to answer No to all questions on the SDI Medical History form (or get a physician’s approval). Students 12 to 14 can qualify for special Junior Advanced Open Water Diver certification by taking the same course, which can be upgraded automatically to adult-level certification on their 15th birthday.

Deep Dive
Please Note: New divers often worry about whether they are "ready" for the advanced course. They shouldn’t. The whole idea behind Advanced Open Water training is to better prepare new divers for the real world. In fact, if you have any concerns about your abilities as a diver, enrolling in the Advanced Open Water Diver course should be the very next thing you do after completing your beginning course. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

What is involved in learning to dive?
In the Advanced course, you make a total of five dives over two days. Two of the dives must be the Underwater Navigation and Deep dives. For the remaining three, you can choose from:

- Boat Diver
- Computer/Multilevel
- Enriched Air Nitrox
- Peak Performance Buoyancy
- Search and Recovery
- Underwater Hunter
- Underwater Naturalist
- Wreck Diver
- Adventure Diver

When Can I Learn?
Classroom sessions takes place Friday evenings from 6:00 pm until approximately 10:00 pm. The instructor will go over the schedule for the weekend open-water training dives at that time.

Available course dates can be found using the calendar widget in the bottom right

How Much Will This Cost?
The Advanced Open Water Diver course is $425 per person, includes check out dives and an off shore charter, PLUS a free nitrox certification if you don't already have one.