And even better: The Advanced Open Water program Adventure Dive happens to be the first dive of many PADI specialty courses. So if you try, say, a dry suit Adventure Dive (by itself or as part of an Advanced Open Water Diver course) and decide that you just have to have a dry suit and finish the whole course, you've already got the first course dive under your weight belt (at the instructor's discretion).

It works the other way, too. If you know now that you love, say, underwater photography and go straight into the Underwater Photographer course (which is a really great program, by the way . . . but we digress, the first dive from the course counts toward your Advanced. Open Water certification (at the instructor's discretion). Discover Local Divingh, not a course, and you already know about this from the discussion on getting a local orientation when diving in a new area. The Discover Local Diving Good things to know. The Rescue Diver course refines and further develops your accident prevention and handling skills, plus teaches you to manage an emergency. Experience provides a single, supervised open-water experience to some place new, with a briefing covering local conditions, hazards and points of interest, as well as an orientation to special procedures and techniques used in the area. During the dive, you'll see some of the interesting points, as well as the potential hazards to avoid. It's a good way to plug into the local dive community when you go some place new, and find out what activities suit the local environment. Meet people, go places and do things.

Scuba Review. Ditto, you already learned about this, but it's worth a reminder: If you go several months or longer without diving (it happens, best laid plans notwithstanding), you'll want to brush up your dive skills and knowledge. In Scuba Review, you complete some short self-study (with a workbook or CD-ROM) and review it with a PADI Divemaster. Assistant Instructor or Instructor. Then you make a confined water dive to put the polish back on your skills. Usually take, only a couple hours - easy way to limber up mentally and physically for diving.