Bored at home? Do you (like me) need some positive distraction/deviation from binge-watching the news? Under curfew, quarantine or locked in? Want to continue your dive education? While we’re stuck in lockdown, here’s a way to bring us a bit of South Pacific diving inspiration: virtual specialty courses. Some can be completed online, and some offer the academic element online – so you can complete theory in lockdown, and start planning a trip complete the practical element when travel restrictions ease. And some are FREE!
Virtual Volivoli Beach Resort
Volivoli is offering all of the SSI suite of ecology specialist courses, including Sea Turtle Ecology, Shark Ecology, Manta & Ray Ecology, Marine Ecology, Coral Identification and Fish Identification. Each course is incredibly interesting – to give you a sampler of what you’ll learn, check out the Shark Ecology Course:
- The living order of sharks and batoids
- What is a sharks largest organ?
- Did you know that female sharks have up to 3 to 4 times thicker skin than male sharks?
- What is a sharks strongest sense, hearing, smell or vision?
- Do you know the difference between ‘ram ventilators’ and ‘buccal pharyngeal pumpers’?
- What percentage of its body weight do ‘active sharks’ need to consume per day?
- Did you know that most sharks have 5-gills, whilst some have 6 or even 7?
What better distraction from lockdown that stimulating the brain cells with some underwater smarts. To enrol, email firstname.lastname@example.org for a registration form and Simon will set you up straight away and be online for full support and to help with any questions.
Virtual Dive Munda
Can’t get to the Solomons? They’ll come to you (virtually). Dive Munda’s Belinda Botha is personally running a selection of full SSI certifications via the web and online with the new virtual Dive Munda classroom.
- SSI Enriched Air Nitrox 32: AUD 200 (includes course materials, virtual tuition, virtual exam and private web instruction – you can upgrade to Nitrox 40 with us at any time for free once the lock-down is over and borders are open again!);
- SSI Science of Diving: Full Certification: AUD 200 (includes course materials, virtual tuition, virtual exam and private web instruction via Zoom.
All SSI Professional Programs – Academic Sessions Only – including Diveguide, divemaster, Assistant Instructor, Crossovers) – starting from AU $500.
- SSI Ecology Programs – (includes Coral Identification, Fish Identification, Marine Ecology, Manta & Ray Ecology, Sea Turtle Ecology, Shark Ecology). Suitable for divers and non-divers.
To enrol, contact Dive Munda directly via WhatsApp +27 63 745 0895 or Facebook Messenger @divemunda, or email email@example.com
PADI and Project Aware Virtual Courses
Knowledge development for several PADI specialties adapts well to the online world. For example, the Digital Underwater Photography course includes viewing, then discussing different photo techniques and conducting editing workshops. Fish Identification is another good example, where you can upload photos and videos of local species and learn how to identify fish by their colours, shapes and features.
Equipment Specialist and Enriched Air Diver can also be completed online. Students work through independent study materials (eLearning or printed manual), instructors show video via webinar and if necessary, go through the exam process via the web cam.
The Project AWARE Specialty and Coral Reef Conservation courses can be done online, and both Dive Against Debris® and Shark Conservation Diver knowledge development can be completed easily via two-way video conferencing. Dives to complete course requirements for Dive Against Debris and Shark Conservation Diver specialties can follow when divers can get back into the water. Contact your local PADI Dive Centre for more information.
PADI has also produced a useful ‘How To’ series of videos for beginner divers, helping you learn how to clear your mask, equalise and put your equipment together.