Speciality Diver

IMG_5718PADI Specialty courses introduce you to a variety of specialist diving activities in which you can also earn a separate diving certification. Each of the courses consists of a number of adventure dives ranging between 2 and 4 depending on the complexity of that particular specialist activity. They involve a certain amount of knowledge development, generally one chapter per dive with each successive chapter and corresponding dive building on the one before.

The adventure dives from the specialty courses program also form an integral part of the PADI Adventure Diver and PADI Advanced Open Water Diver courses. Each adventure dive that you participate in during these courses is synonymous with the adventure dive for the corresponding specialty course. For example if you have logged a night adventure dive during your advanced course then effectively you have also completed dive one of the night diver specialty course. As such you will receive additional credit for having done this training if you choose to complete the remaining course requirements to become certified as a PADI Night Diver Specialist.

Undoubtedly each of the PADI specialty courses are, in their own right, a worthwhile pursuit. However if you can complete more than 5 specialties as well as achieve your PADI rescue diver rating and have proof of more than 50 logged dives then you become eligible to be certified as a PADI Master Scuba Diver! This is the highest non-professional rating in the PADI continuing education system and awarded only to divers who have proven their diving excellence.


So what Specialty Courses are there?

The following list of descriptions broadly details what is involved in each Specialty course, who may participate, how many dives make up the course, and how much it costs.

Deep Diver

  • Description – In reality it’s very simple to descend even to deep depths, especially in a location like the Maldives where the water is warm and generally very clear. Once you’re down there though you need to be acutely aware of many concerns that are sometimes hidden and know how to monitor them constantly to ensure your dive remains safe and successful. This course teaches you that heightened level of awareness and what you need to do in the event of accidentally exceeding safe diving limits. In practice, deep diving is considered to be any kind of scuba diving deeper than 18m. On this course we will be taking you down to 30m to conduct the training and perform the skills. Although the Deep Diver Specialty certification officially qualifies you to dive to depths of 40m, local law in the Maldives restricts all diving activities to within a 30m maximum depth limit. Therefore we are obliged to teach this course within the scope of the law and not exceed 30m depth.
  • Who may participate – Adventure Divers or higher may participate with the exception of Junior Ratings.
  • Number of dives: 4 adventure dives and takes between 2 to 3 days to complete

Underwater Navigator

  • Description – How many divers do you see carrying a compass underwater these days? And to be honest when you have a guide leading you there seems little sense in having to even know how anymore. Not so! For sure there will come a time when you are well and truly lost and the compass is your only trustworthy point of reference in a rapidly fading sense of direction! The Underwater Navigator Specialty course puts you back in touch with how to use your compass and other natural navigational aids with confidence. You’ll practice navigating ever more complex patterns whilst maintaining good buddy contact and measuring the distances you’re travelling. It’s not exactly a walk in the park either. Between you, your dive buddy and the compass, you’ll have a lot of fun figuring it all out.
  • Who may participate – Open Water Divers or higher may participate including all Junior Ratings.
  • Number of dives: 3 adventure dives and takes between 1 and 2  days to complete

Night Diver

  • Description – Just because the sun went down doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time to pack away your dive gear. In fact many of our favourite marine life encounters have happened after sundown. This is a time when the sea takes on that that even more mysterious quality and you expectantly peel back the curtain of darkness with the beam from your dive torch in keen anticipation of what might be hiding there. Anyone who has ever done a night dive will tell you right away that, once you’ve braved the initial plunge, the colours that greet your dive light are much more vibrant than anything you recall having seen in the daytime. The Night Diver Specialty course gives you more insight into these phenomena and much more. You’ll be practicing some unique skills such as navigating at night, special dive procedures and how to signal each other with your torches. The course is fun, informative and laced with an edgy kind of excitement that you only get from venturing into the unknown. It’s also rather convenient for those night owl types who like to sleep throughout the day!
  • Who may participate – Open Water Divers or higher may participate including Junior Ratings who are also 12 years or older.
  • Number of dives: 3 adventure dives and takes between 2 and 3 nights to complete

Wreck Diver

  • Description – This Specialty Course is very location dependant as there are not always appropriate shipwrecks merely lying around the sea floor at any given diving destination. Fortunately at Maafushi Dive, we are nearby a fantastic shipwreck called the “Kuda Giri” which is perfect for teaching Wreck Diver Specialty courses.  During theory and training you’ll learn about both the unique points of interest and potential hazards related to diving on wrecks as well as diving techniques specific to wreck diving. You’ll also be mapping a section of the wreck and evaluating it as a potential entry point for penetrating the wreck. Then comes the highlight of the course, we take you inside the shipwreck…. or rather you take us by laying a navigational line through the wreck using a diving reel. The whole experience is exciting and hugely satisfying which is why the Wreck Diver Specialty course is one of the most sought after specialties to have under your diving belt.
  • Who may participate – Adventure Divers or higher may participate with the exception of Junior Ratings.
  • Number of dives: 4 adventure dives and takes between 2 and 3 days to complete

Digital Underwater Photographer

  • Description – Maybe you haven’t yet noticed but at Maafushi Dive we are rather quite keen on underwater photography! For some of us it has completely redefined why we love to dive and added a new dimension to scuba diving that is easy to be passionate about! The Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty course introduces you to the equipment basics you’ll need to take pictures underwater along with an emphasis on how to do this in a responsible manner without impacting on the fragile marine environment. We’ll teach you how the same photography principles used topside can be adapted to work in the underwater world and then we’ll take you to dive sites where you can experiment with these techniques yourself. A fair word of warning though, underwater photography is addictive and can lead to you investing heavily in your own equipment. Go for it! What could possibly be more worthwhile than capturing your latest diving adventures on digital camera and sharing them with all of the important people in your life?
  • Who may participate – PADI Open Water Divers or higher including all junior ratings
  • Number of dives: 2 adventure dives and takes 1 day to complete

Peak Performance Buoyancy

  • Description – Have you ever wondered why dive professionals and other experienced divers have such good buoyancy? Well at some stage they were in your shoes too, asking the same questions and seeking the same expert help that we now teach in the Peak Performance Buoyancy course. The truth is that it all boils down to balancing the various forces that act on your position underwater. These relate back to your specific body position, weight distribution, fin stroke technique, breathing control, and a variety of other personal habits which make you dive the way that you do. Led by your instructor, the course helps you to evaluate your own style and try out different techniques and equipment configurations to see what works for you. We prompt you to be more aware of your own buoyancy by putting you through an underwater obstacle course and various hovering skills that purposely challenge your ability to the limit. By the end of it you will have been introduced to helpful new concepts and hopefully made it your own personal goal to better understand your buoyancy on each and every dive.
  • Who may participate – PADI Open Water Divers or higher including all junior ratings.
  • Number of dives: 2 adventure dives and takes 1 day to complete.

Drift Diver

  • Description – There are always going to be days in Scuba Diving where you have to deal with currents, sometimes even strong currents but they needn’t necessarily be a drag! Drift diving is the art of working with underwater currents and using their energy to take you further along on a dive site than you can possibly manage under your own steam. It requires technical co-ordination; a heightened awareness and good buddy contact to make the dive enjoyable. In the Maldives pretty much every dive is a “one way” dive and with so many channels between the islands, drift diving can often be the norm rather than the exception. If this kind of diving represents unchartered territory for you then the Drift Diver Specialty course gives you a good grounding in the techniques required. By the end of it you should feel less like a reed in the wind and more like a bird on the wing.
  • Who may participate – PADI Open Water Divers or higher including junior ratings 12 years or older.
  • Number of dives: 2 adventure dives and takes 1 day to complete.

Underwater Naturalist

  • Description –One of the first things that strikes you when diving in the Maldives is the sheer abundance of sea-life. Not just fish but a whole host of marine life critters that all have their place in this amazing underwater world. The Underwater Naturalist Specialty course broadens your understanding of how marine life is organised by science into various families and species. You also learn a bit more about how and why certain marine animals share special symbiotic relationships and then you’ll be having a go at finding and identifying some of the broader fish families and coral species on your dives. You even get to be an underwater artist by sketching a species of fish that you’re not familiar with and bringing the evidence back for proper identification. The Underwater Naturalist course helps you to appreciate the incredible diversity of what’s around you on every dive and teaches you to pay attention to the smaller animals too.
  • Who may participate – PADI Open Water Divers or higher including all junior ratings.
  • Number of dives: 2 adventure dives and takes 1 day to complete.