Dive courses on liveaboards
Virtually all Thailand liveaboards have PADI Instructors on board to teach PADI dive courses. Most boats do not teach beginner divers as it’s considered too disruptive to the schedule. (Some will teach the PADI Open Water Course and will even take non divers on Discover Scuba Dives. I’ll post about these boats later).
The most common courses taught on the liveaboards are the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course and the PADI Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty. Both these courses can be integrated easily into the regular dive schedule. Both courses are very worthwhile taking for several reasons.
- The courses are cheaper when integrated with the liveaboard.
- If you are joining the liveaboard with limited experience of diving below 18 metres or if you haven’t dived for a while you can gain confidence under instructor supervision.
- Many liveaboards around the World require PADI Advanced cert as a minimum to join the trips.
- Joining a boat with an Advanced cert card means you are buddied with other more experienced divers, not with the novices who could suck their air down quickly and shorten your dive time.
- Being Nitrox certified allows you to stay down longer at greater depths.
- Or diving your normal profile with nitrox adds an extra margin of safety. This is especially beneficial on multiple day dive trips or in remote areas where re-compression chambers are not with in easy reach. Older divers should also consider the safety benefits of absorbing less nitrogen.
- Many divers find diving with nitrox less fatiguing than diving with air.
- A Nitrox cert can lead on to more technical dive training.