Diving Cert, Pulau Aur or Tioman?

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Max Headroom
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Post by Max Headroom » Thu, 27 Mar 2014 5:14 pm

I'm a Tioman regular too. Decent diving there. And the rest of the island is great for a (long) weekend also.

And this is obviously getting around, because I remember that you could call to book a room on Friday for that weekend and you'd be sure to score one. Alas, this is no longer the case.

Even the ferry is a bottle-neck since Berjaya stopped their flights there.

By the by, I'll be there too this weekend :)

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Post by curiousgeorge » Thu, 27 Mar 2014 6:21 pm

The difference between Tioman and Aur is only about 30km so the waters are similar :P

There are Singapore dive companies who dive off Hantu all year round, and will even take you there for your Open Water dives during the SW Monsoon season (Nov-Feb).

Source- there is a dive boat opposite my own boat at RSYC marina. The company is GS Diving and I have no knowledge or affiliation with them.

The advantage of doing the full OW here is that you can go diving the minute you get to Tioman rather than fulfilling your course requirements on vacation time.

As for PADI Vs NAUI or BSAC or SDI or whatever...
PADI is the largest, commercial and widely-recognised in the world. More so in Asia than NAUI (Asia isn't north america after all). This helps only in the sense that your Instructors/Dive Masters are likely to do things EXACTLY the way you learnt.

At the end of the day, diving with competent divers/instructors is what matters. I learned with PADI (in UK quarries and the Atlantic off south africa) but my dive club was BSAC and my rig is DIR...

My only recommendation is to learn in harsh waters (cold, low viz) then holiday diving is a breeze :???:

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Post by Akimbo » Mon, 31 Mar 2014 2:12 pm

Hey all, I'm back.

Anyway...since it was my very first dive with one shop, I can't really compare which one is supposedly better. Here's my observation. For all the veteran divers here that knows even more than I, correct me if I'm wrong :)

I went to Gill Divers, personally I felt the instructors do a good job on explaining everything during the pool practice and the open water dive themselves, as well as their own skills in the water, but I also felt that it was inadequate.

If I have to be really objective on WHY I think it was inadequate, was because my group was kinda like very difficult to learn the techniques...the instructor spent a LOT of time trying to get the other 4 divers of my 6 newbie diver group to get all the skills right and getting them to learn their buoyancy correctly. (as Stevie mentioned, they're all quite safety conscious)

Apparently all the PADI shops (maybe not all) always organizes these sort of regular trips together. Therefore during my trip to Tioman yesterday, only around 15 people are from Gill Divers, and maybe 25 people are from different shops. (e.g. there was also from Deep Blue Scuba, I heard) They're all doing the Open Water Course.

In Tioman itself, we went to Salang Beach, where most of our dives are done in Monkey Bay, as that's the most beginner friendly area, I'd say.

Stayed at Salang Beach Resort, with minimum amenities (bed, running water, no heated water, aircon) and also "rationed" food for breakfast, lunch and dinner with freely available fresh water to drink. But as our instructor told us, safety as well as the cheapest price for all our lodgings goes beyond comfort for such a big group, so we got by with the cold showers and rickety floors of the chalets...

I had a great time diving on the second day, mostly because I've pretty much controlled all the basics, and we're able to finally do some actual diving. And of course, the other 4 people can finally really control their dives albeit still not as good.

Next, I'm going to do the AOW so that I can go even further. I'd like to go to Redang, but apparently even around Salang Beach, there are still plenty of places to see. One AOW course diver told us that he went for a cave dive, as well as a night dive. So of course there are different experiences for diving...even if it's the same place.

Anyway as for which shop you should go for, personally, there's no difference which one. They'd most likely go together in the end...and it's most likely depend on luck whether you get an adequate instructor, as well as a good group. I got a pretty good instructor...I didn't get a good group though :( wasted a lot of time just kneeling on the sea floor waiting for the others to finish their skills and such...

Hope that helps!
My thread...The Weekenders If you need my e-mail address, it's in the first post of the thread.

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Post by Stevie_W » Tue, 01 Apr 2014 12:35 pm

Yeah, if the group isn't so good it does kinda hamper your experience as a beginner. But, you have to fogive them, not everyone is a fast learner.
Anyway, you've got your OW out of the way now and if you just decide to go for a recreational dive then you will notice the difference. Certainly no more kneeling on the seabed.
AOW, go for it. But if you want to do things like cave diving as part of your AOW course, check with the dive center first as not all will offer the same skill sets for the course. I did PPB, drift, night, navigation and deep dive as part of my AOW, so no cave diving for me yet.

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Post by Beeroclock » Tue, 01 Apr 2014 3:49 pm

Next, I'm going to do the AOW so that I can go even further.
I'd suggest do a decent amount of leisure diving before AOW, try to at least clock 25-40 dives. You will get more benefit from the AOW if you have some experience first, and then the course helps to further hone your skills. Some try to do AOW almost straight away and you can probably pass it, but don't think you will learn as much. The only downside is depth, but you can still get good leisure diving experiences with OW to 18m. Personally I prefer that max depth as 20-30m gets colder, darker and more tiring (you also hit your limits much faster at depth).

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Post by Stevie_W » Tue, 01 Apr 2014 4:42 pm

Beeroclock wrote:
Next, I'm going to do the AOW so that I can go even further.
I'd suggest do a decent amount of leisure diving before AOW, try to at least clock 25-40 dives. You will get more benefit from the AOW if you have some experience first, and then the course helps to further hone your skills. Some try to do AOW almost straight away and you can probably pass it, but don't think you will learn as much. The only downside is depth, but you can still get good leisure diving experiences with OW to 18m. Personally I prefer that max depth as 20-30m gets colder, darker and more tiring (you also hit your limits much faster at depth).
I actually had people suggest that i go straight for my AOW. At first i wanted to build up some experience first as you suggested, but i also wanted to try something different. My diving friends back in Geneva suggested i just go ahead with doing the AOW. Their reason behind it was that in the old days (i don't know how old), all this used to be just one course. But then PADI split it up into OW and AOW to accomodate for holiday divers that don't have much time.
Based on the skill sets i did, i don't think that doing more dives first would necessarily have made my AOW course performance much better. Well, buoyancy maybe, but i think that's just something tha's going to take time, depending on the individual, regardless of whether they are AOW qualified or not.

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Post by Stevie_W » Tue, 01 Apr 2014 4:44 pm

Stevie_W wrote:But then PADI split it up into OW and AOW to accomodate for holiday divers that don't have much time.
Oh, and probably to make more money undoubtedly

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 01 Apr 2014 5:27 pm

Stevie_W wrote:
Stevie_W wrote:But then PADI split it up into OW and AOW to accomodate for holiday divers that don't have much time.
Oh, and probably to make more money undoubtedly
^^ This! I hate PADI. They are only interested in making money. I would never certify with them.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by Beeroclock » Tue, 01 Apr 2014 5:52 pm

Stevie_W wrote:
Beeroclock wrote:
Next, I'm going to do the AOW so that I can go even further.
I'd suggest do a decent amount of leisure diving before AOW, try to at least clock 25-40 dives. You will get more benefit from the AOW if you have some experience first, and then the course helps to further hone your skills. Some try to do AOW almost straight away and you can probably pass it, but don't think you will learn as much. The only downside is depth, but you can still get good leisure diving experiences with OW to 18m. Personally I prefer that max depth as 20-30m gets colder, darker and more tiring (you also hit your limits much faster at depth).
I actually had people suggest that i go straight for my AOW. At first i wanted to build up some experience first as you suggested, but i also wanted to try something different. My diving friends back in Geneva suggested i just go ahead with doing the AOW. Their reason behind it was that in the old days (i don't know how old), all this used to be just one course. But then PADI split it up into OW and AOW to accomodate for holiday divers that don't have much time.
Based on the skill sets i did, i don't think that doing more dives first would necessarily have made my AOW course performance much better. Well, buoyancy maybe, but i think that's just something tha's going to take time, depending on the individual, regardless of whether they are AOW qualified or not.
unless you're in a hurry to get AOW card, e.g. because you are going Maldives or Manado or some place where they insist on it because all the dive sites are deep.. If not then IMO still suggest to wait a while. You already learnt the basics on OW, so you can leisure dive and consolidate that first, before the AOW to further refine/enhance your skills. I found buoyancy was the most important thing I got out of AOW and it was in the context of the diving experiences I had, where I had struggled with buoyancy, especially trying to much dive, that I found the AOW more instructive.

I also know quite a few who also never went beyond OW. Some dive guides will still take you a little deeper than 18m if you can show them a logbook with adequate experience and you do a few shallow dives first to demonstrate you are capable. Not necessarily recommending to do this, just saying I know several who have done so

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Post by the lynx » Wed, 02 Apr 2014 8:27 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Stevie_W wrote:
Stevie_W wrote:But then PADI split it up into OW and AOW to accomodate for holiday divers that don't have much time.
Oh, and probably to make more money undoubtedly
^^ This! I hate PADI. They are only interested in making money. I would never certify with them.
But you don't find any dive centre with NAUI around here...

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 02 Apr 2014 10:41 am

SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by Stevie_W » Wed, 02 Apr 2014 10:51 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:http://leeway.com.sg/
Suppose 1 is better than none, but even so, not that many in SG.
Anyway, went to take a look at this and this was blocked by our corporate policies due to it's classification:
Umm, but i don't know how to insert an image. Any help, cos i really want everyone to have a laugh at this.[/img][/quote]

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Post by the lynx » Wed, 02 Apr 2014 10:53 am

Thanks SMS. That brings me to my questions, do dive centres recognise different certs? Say, PADI centres looking at NAUI holders...

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Post by the lynx » Wed, 02 Apr 2014 10:54 am

Stevie_W wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:http://leeway.com.sg/
Suppose 1 is better than none, but even so, not that many in SG.
Anyway, went to take a look at this and this was blocked by our corporate policies due to it's classification:
Umm, but i don't know how to insert an image. Any help, cos i really want everyone to have a laugh at this.[/img]
Upload it to image hosting sites like tumblr or imgur and share the link here.

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Post by Stevie_W » Wed, 02 Apr 2014 10:56 am

the lynx wrote:Thanks SMS. That brings me to my questions, do dive centres recognise different certs? Say, PADI centres looking at NAUI holders...
I don't know if it's across the board, but the dive center i usually go with, they recognise the NAUI certification.
Not sure about the other way round.

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