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Bill Jones Odd Ball Specialty Dive Certifications
  Copyright 2003    Bill Jones    World Rights Reserved

Most certified divers are aware of the traditional specialty certifications for diving in conditions that require more training.   Some of the best known of these certifications are Boat Diver, Night Diver, Wreck Diver, Cave Diver, Enriched Air Nitrox, and Deep Diver.  These vary from one agency to another but the general concept is the same.  You need more than an Open Water certification to completely understand and safely make these kinds of dives.

But were you aware that there is a vast array of specialty C-Cards running around out there that are not listed in that group of specialties that your certification agency publishes?

PADI calls these nontraditional certifications Distinctive Specialties, but the other big agencies also have similar programs to certify these unusual types of dives.  For example, did you know you could get a C-Card for Underwater Wedding Diver?  Presumably, this must be for the photographer, unless of course you plan to get married underwater on a regular basis.  How about Bottle Collecting Diver?  No kidding, you really can get certified for these specialties.

I kind of like Float Plane Diver.  This is for those James Bond type divers that need to enter and exit the water from aircraft on pontoons!  What ever happened to sky diving directly into your dive site?

There is something for everyone:  Hollywood Diver, Beachcomber Diver, Artist Diver, and Kayak Diver to name just a few.  One dive center that offers Fossil Collecting Diver guarantees that you will find a shark's tooth during the required dives or your money back.

There is a Gourmet Diver specialty that teaches you how to find, collect, clean, and cook aquatic delicacies for that special dinner party.  Divemasters in Jamaica have this one down to a fine science.

Zen Diver, oh brother!  I suppose you learn to meditate while diving to conserve air or maybe it teaches you to keep your cool while a shark is dining on you leg.

I guess my favorite is a NAUI specialty called Character Diver.  This is a specialty that was created and is taught at Walt Disney World in Orlando.  It seems that Mickey Mouse suits up, costume with huge ears and all, and does that Scuba thing that we all love to do.  Talk about your confined overhead environments!  All Cast Members (Disney employees) that dive in character must first successfully complete this specialty.  My guess is that the Mouse is positively buoyant.

These nontraditional specialties qualify for the required five specialty dive certifications needed for the PADI Master Scuba Diver certification.

Read More About it:  Distinctive Specialties 

Editor Note:  Bill Jones, The Scuba Guy, is a PADI Master Instructor and a Published and Award-Winning Writer

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