119. Three next steps for Open Water Divers plus Wet Notes – news, information, and commentary

PADI Club recently completed their latest club trip to Belize where they had 38 divers from around the world participate. There is another trip planned for Bonaire in September. PADI Club continues to grow their benefits.

A team of divers from the Musee des Ilse de la Magdalin have discovered 7 shipwrecks believed to be from the 1800s. The shipwrecks are off the Magdalin Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

REEF is holding their 14th annual REEF Florida Keys Lionfish Derby and Festival – September 7 through September 10. The hunt happens on September 8 and 9. The festival concludes on Sunday September 10 at the Postcard Inn on Islamorada.

United is adding more direct flights from Newark to Bonaire starting January 2024. There will be two more flights added each week. In addition to their Saturday flight, they will also add a Sunday flight and a Wednesday flight. The flights will run through April 2024.

Maui needs visitors. In the wake of the devastating wildfires, people were asked not to head out to the island, but now, the island which is so dependent on tourism, needs visitors. While West Maui is closed, there is still plenty of other locations on the island to enjoy this magical island.


In my opinion – climate change is NOT a hoax. We have seen record high temperatures, the hottest month on record and the hottest single day in recorded history. We have seen incredible wildfire destruction, storms hitting areas that are not prone to these conditions and water temperatures in Florida closing in on 100 degrees. We cannot deny the evidence. It is like ignoring a serious medical condition like cancer – it doesn’t cure itself. We have the information, knowledge and expertise to battle the climate change issue but do we have the sustained leadership to meet the challenge. We cannot change our direction every four years on this one.

New divers often ask about what is next after gaining their open water certification. First and foremost, my advice is to tell them to get out and go diving. That isn’t always easy or practical for some. They still want the guidance of dive professionals until they gain their confidence and become better scuba divers. So here are my three steps for new scuba divers.

  1. Become a certified Enriched Air Nitrox diver. By diving with enriched air, you are not only gaining longer no decompression limits, it becomes part of your risk mitigation strategy. Less nitrogen being absorbed in your tissue is a good thing. Your advantage is extended when doing repetitive dives
  2. Get more training on buoyancy, control and propulsion. There are number of ways to do this. Training agencies have specific classes on buoyancy. This provides valuable experience. Also, some dive shops have specialized classes to give people this training. You can even get one-on-one private lessons with a dive professional.
  3. You are now ready for the rigors of Advanced Open Water certification. With Nitrox and buoyancy, you are better prepared for the task loading of navigation, and deep along with other things like search and recovery, or delayed SMB deployment. By completing steps one and two, you will get a lot more out of your advanced training.