Sierra Madre Divers is very excited to be offering the revised PADI Open Water course from 18 August 2014. This is an update of the world’s most popular entry-level diving course, with new additions and changes to decrease risk and better prepare divers to take care of themselves.

While diving is one of the safest sports out there, we still endeavour to make it even safer and more fun with PADI’s world-class and current training. The revised OW course will introduce new skills, allowing students to experience more real-life diving situations, giving you more confidence to dive safely with a buddy after certification.

Here is a brief overview of the changes you can expect –


As per PADI standards, you will have your own personal copy of the new OW manual. This will be a digital e-manual which can be accessed in eight different languages. For those with iPads and Android devices, we have a special iTouch version which provides a more interactive multi-media learning experience.


As a Project AWARE 100% AWARE conservation partner, we are very serious about protecting the environment so the digital e-manual will not only save you the weight of carrying a paper manual around on your holiday, but also save the environment!

Your digital manual can be sent to you as soon as you sign up for the course, so you can start learning more about basic dive theory at your leisure.

There will also be a brand new OW DVD to watch which compliments each chapter of the manual. Our academic sessions will be focused on preparing you to get all the knowledge required to get into the water as soon as possible and start diving.

PADI OW manual and DVD

The academics part of the course will take about two half days and includes a final exam.

Confined Water / Swimming Pool

As we will take more time in confined water practicing the skills of dive planning and working together with your buddy, we will extend our confined sessions to two half days or to a whole day.

During confined water practice we will be teaching new skills to enable you to dive independently with your buddy, and skills that will allow you to react safely to real-life situations.

There will also be a strong focus on buoyancy control as you swim around in the swimming pool and practice various hovering skills to find your “feel” for neutral buoyancy.

We will provide you with a slate and a pencil for you to note down your confidence levels against your performance of each skill. If you feel like you need more practice, your instructor will take you through it until you feel comfortable.

By the end of our time in the swimming pool, you would have already planned and dived a mini-dive with your buddy under the guidance of your instructor and gain confidence in the required skills before entering the ocean.

Open Water

Following your confined sessions you will be well prepared to head off on one of Bohol’s best diving boats to the beautiful Bohol Sea for your Open Water dives. Your four Open Water dives will take place over two days and will be done at your own pace and comfort.

During your dives, we will be focusing on environmental awareness through correct buoyancy control and dive planning. We will also teach you skills such as underwater navigation and dive planning with your buddy, underwater communication techniques and surface marker deployment.

PADI OW manual and DVD

On the fourth OW dive, you have the honour of taking your instructor for a dive! All our PADI Open Water Diver students will be provided with a dive computer per buddy team for dives 3 and 4 so you can get a real idea of dive planning and safety.

PADI OW manual and DVD

The revised course will take three and a half to four days and will give you a greater skill set to really enjoy your diving with greater independence after you graduate.