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Advanced Open Water Training September 25, 2008

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log, Training.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The year following my open water certification, 1983, I signed up for a NASDS Advanced Diver course. I never finished it. It’s a little hard to tell from the timelines in my log book but my best recollection is that we didn’t complete our drift dive by the time the season came to an end, and didn’t manage to regroup the following year.

So on May 15th, 1983 I found myself back at Innerkip to start my advanced course on a cloudy day with light showers. The first dive, with a stated purpose of refamiliarization, also involved underwater search during which my buddy Steve Parker and I found both submerged cars.

On June 5th the advanced course really got going when buddy Scott McArthur and I, along with a couple of other buddy teams, attached 1800 pounds of lift bags to one of the cars (a Bobcat) and raised it off the bottom. When I compare that to my PADI Search and Recovery course where I used a BC to lift a 12 lb weight belt off a sandy bottom in Jamaica I question why SSI wouldn’t swap their own advanced card for a NASDS one. Maybe our instructor, Mike Flanagan, went a bit overboard compared to the course requirements.

June 7th was the night dive with buddy Steve Parker. We had glow sticks attached to each tank valve, and a note in my log says that my rented dive light ran out of charge. Our 40 minutes bottom time use 1400 PSI with a maximum depth of 20 feet. The following weekend we did a search and recovery dive (for a missing lift back) and two navigation dives.

Slightly over a month later we were in Sarnia, Ontario on a hot (34C), diving a couple of wrecks under the Blue Water Bridge. One wreck, the “Monarch”, lies in the middle of the St. Clair River at a depth of 60 feet. My log book notes a “moderate” 6 knot current. I have memories of hanging on for dear life, especially when the freighters went overhead. The other wreck was known only as the “Barge”. Due to the low visibility (5 feet), on the way back up the line from the wreck, I had a compelling illusion that the line was pulling me through the water, rather than being in a heavy current holding on to a fixed line.

A week later on August 21st, we were back at Innerkip for a mapping and a navigation dive. That was the end of the advanced training. I think most of the class also had this problem, but 25 years on I think back and think that I was let down by the dive shop.

These days you can do an advanced course in a weekend, or a couple of days at a resort. Thinking back to the 11 dives we did that didn’t even get us to the end, and the heavy duty nature of some of the dives, there’s no comparison between the eighties training and what we have today. It was miles harder back then.



1. Diving the wreck ‘Monarch’ in the St. Clair River | greatlakesshipwatchers.com - September 26, 2008

[…] you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!Source: Chronicle of an older diver Slightly over a month later we were in Sarnia, Ontario on a hot (34C), diving a couple of wrecks […]


2. Diving in the News, October 6th, 2012 « Chronicle of an older diver - October 6, 2012

[…] from new divers. This search course at the San Diego Harbour Police looks challenging, and fun. I mentioned before that in the early eighties my NASDS course we lifted a car (a Vega, I think) in our advanced driver […]


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