Third time’s a charm in Amsterdam

Revisiting Amsterdam, Holland

I’m currently holed up in a basement cafe, hands wrapped around a nice hot tea and shoes steaming on a radiator as I attempt to dry off and warm up. It’s October in Amsterdam, and it’s tipping it down outside. Far from dampening my experience of this city, it’s given me the perfect opportunity to take stock and reflect on my short but sweet third visit.
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Navigation dive – advanced dive 4

When you look through the vast number of adventure dives available as part of the Advanced Open Water course, it’s hard to narrow down your choices to just five. From the more adventurous wreck or night dives, to those specialties that hone your skills such as peak performance buoyancy or search and recovery, there’s a whole range of activities which are designed to be challenging, exciting and fun. Underwater navigation might not be at the top of this list, but it is undoubtedly one of the most important skills you need to be a truly skilled diver, and it makes perfect sense that PADI insist that this is one of your compulsory modules.
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Night dive – advanced dive 3

I am a big fan of PADI. Obviously – I’m centring my plans around following their ‘go pro’ route from amateur to professional. I’ve found the two courses that I’ve completed so far to be varied, fun and suitably challenging. But there’s one area where PADI really gets on my nerves, and that’s their course materials. The handbooks and training videos that are required reading / watching for every step of every course are dated at best and outright laughable at worst. Take the Night Diving chapter of the Advanced Open Water manual for example:
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