PADI Instructors who have special scuba diving interests and expertise can write their own specialty diver courses. Some of the more popular distinctive specialty courses are described here, but Aquatic Dreams instructors may teach others that are specific to our area.
Sharks are crucial to marine ecosystems, yet sharks are in a global decline. Learn about the value of sharks and what is causing the rapid loss of shark populations. The course may include two scuba dives or may be presented as a nondiving education program. The first dive of this distinctive specialty course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification. Cost: $150.00
Sea Turtle Awareness
There has been a steady decline in worldwide sea turtle populations, but there are ways to fight this. In this course, you will learn basic sea turtle identifications, how to record sightings and conservation steps you can take to protect sea turtles. The course includes two scuba dives or two snorkeling excursions. Cost: $150.00
Whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea, yet are known as gentle giants with little known about their activities or population size. Research and monitoring programs are helping fill these knowledge gaps. Learn about whale shark biology, behavior and distribution. During two scuba dives or snorkeling excursions, you will practice passively observing these large creatures. Cost: $150.00
PADI Self-Reliant Diver
Although most scuba dives are made with a buddy, an experienced diver may want or need to make dives without a partner. During the Self-Reliant Diver course, you will learn about potential risks of diving alone, the value of equipment redundancy and necessary back-up gear. During three scuba dives, you will develop skills for self-reliance and independence, while becoming a stronger partner in a dive pair or team. Cost: $225.
Surface marker buoys (SMBs) allow scuba divers to mark boundaries for mapping or search and recovery, alert boat traffic, or provide a line as a visual reference for ascending divers. During two dives, you will learn the proper techniques and protocols for using surface marker buoys and delayed surface marker buoys (DSMBs). Cost: $150