Turtle Bay Dive Resort Blog

DIN Versus Yoke Valves

Posted by Featured Author on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 @ 11:58 AM

By Thomas Gronfeldt 

Increasingly, manufacturers are producing tank valves with the newer DIN valve, and debates on scuba diving forums around the web are brimming with discussions as to which one you should use. Let’s try to clear that up.

As a scuba diver, you’re probably quite comfortable with the yoke valve. It’s been standard almost since scuba was invented. Increasingly, however, manufacturers are producing tank valves and regulators with the newer DIN valve. Scuba-diving forum debates brim on the web with discussions as to which one you should use. Let’s try to clear up the pros and cons when it comes to DIN versus yoke valves.



First, what is the difference between them? The yoke is a clamp-type mounting, which is placed over the tank valve and then tightened into place. The DIN is a threaded valve, wherein you screw the regulator into the tank valve. On the yoke valve, the main O-ring that seals the tank valve to the regulator first stage is placed on the tank valve. On the DIN, it is placed on the regulator first stage.

The name “DIN” is an acronym for Deutsche Industrie Norm, an industrial testing and approval agency based in Berlin, Germany. The agency standardizes a range of products, about 30,000 at present, within the fields of mechanics, engineering and technology. However, the DIN valve was actually invented in the U.S. In the late 1950s, American diving manufacturer Poseidon launched what they named their “⅝-inch Threaded Connection.” But it didn’t enjoy much public support and the yoke valve became the standard for scuba diving. When DIN tested valves on pressure tanks for industry use, including commercial diving, they made the ⅝-threaded their standard, and it thus inherited the name of the organization.

DIN Valve


Why DIN?

The German agency chose DIN for its higher pressure capacity, which comes in handy for industrial use and commercial diving. Whereas a yoke valve is generally only approved to a maximum working capacity of 200 bars, a DIN valve can be set up to handle up to 300 bars.

The first recreational divers to use the DIN were technical divers, not only because the extra capacity of 300 bars may come in handy, but also because of the increased safety that the DIN claims. The safety issue has long been a point of discussion among divers; some claim that anything but DIN is downright lethal, while others claim that the DIN isn’t really safer than a yoke at all.

Theoretically, the DIN does have safety advantages. The greater pressure capacity can reduce the risk of a rupture in case of overfilling when the tanks are attached to a compressor. Sine the O-ring in a DIN is in the regulator, rather than on the exterior of the valve as in the yoke, it’s less likely to be lost or damaged during transport. Tests have also shown the DIN to be more resilient to impact compared to a yoke, which can be knocked off — an unlikely, but not impossible, scenario.

Why yoke?

However, don’t jump to any conclusions about the yoke valve. Millions of dives have been conducted with yoke valves since scuba diving became popular, and it’s been proven to be plenty safe. It’s similar to debating whether the new Airbus 380 is safer than the old Boeing 737. On paper, the 380 has more safety features, but the 737 has millions of air miles to its name, with minimal accidents. It is also worth noting that DAN and other dive-safety organizations do not have policies against yoke valves. Technical diving, as a different discipline, may call for different tools. Tec divers do sometimes use higher working pressures in their tanks, up to 300 bars. When diving inside wrecks and caves, the increased protection against catastrophic impact damage, however marginal that risk, is worthwhile.

The tanks you rent on vacation typically feature yoke valves, so most traveling divers choose a yoke to ensure compatibility. If you prefer DIN, but still want to rent tanks, it’s usually a matter of removing a small insert from the yoke valve so that it will accept the DIN reg. If this doesn’t work, there are also DIN/yoke converters that will fix the problem.

A personal choice

Price-wise, the playing field has leveled in recent years, too. In the past, DIN was only available for high-end or tech-specific dive gear. Today, many entry-level regulators offer either a yoke or DIN, depending on the customer’s preference.

So, if you’re primarily a tec diver, you’ll probably want to go with DIN. If you’re not a tech diver, it’s a personal choice. The cost is about the same, and you can easily remedy the problems of traveling and renting gear. Considering the DIN’s advantages, however small, even for recreational divers, I dive with a DIN. But again, it’s a purely personal dive choice.

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Source: http://scubadiverlife.com/2016/06/19/din-versus-yoke-valves/

Tags: scuba diving Cebu, Scuba Diving Gear, scuba gear

Improve Strength and Breathing for Diving

Posted by Featured Author on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 @ 11:54 AM

By Gretchen M. Ashton

Performed on an exercise ball, the pike abdominal and push up target the chest and abdominals, and have many benefits for divers.

To improve your strength and breathing for diving, it’s best to target a group of muscles. The pike abdominal and push up is a complex exercise set that targets the chest and abdominals, but has many additional benefits for both the assisting muscles, such as the shoulders, and antagonist muscles such as the triceps, involved in the movements. Performed on an exercise ball, the sequence is broken down into several separate moves to allow easy transitions in strength and confidence.

Some positions help strengthen the shoulders and back while also acting as safe alternatives for divers with shoulder or back injuries, so find the combination that works best for you. One of the biggest advantages of this exercise, when it comes to diving, is that while you’re strengthening your upper body and torso, you’re simultaneously training your body to support deep, relaxed, and controlled breathing for diving. Believe it or not, better breathing when it comes to diving is attainable by strengthening the muscles of the chest and torso.

Better Breathing, Better Diving

It’s important to integrate deep breathing into all exercise programs. Especially for divers, practicing deep breathing during abdominal exercises is an excellent opportunity to focus on recruiting the diaphragm muscle, which is responsible for 75 percent of respiratory air flow, and the intercostal muscles, which move the ribs, resulting in 25 percent of respiratory effort. The most recognized chest muscles, pectoralis major and pectoralis minor, often called simply the “pecs” are located in front of the ribcage. They add another layer of protection to the chest when it comes to diving. Studies indicate that the pectoralis major is active during both inhalation and exhalation. The more stable the chest, acting along with the diaphragm, the greater potential for increased lung capacity and oxygenation of the tissue, making the difference between fatigue and endurance. Conversely, tight chest muscles may inhibit breathing capacity and can limit range of motion in the shoulders. When performed properly, strength exercises actually help to actively stretch and expand the chest.

Walk Out on Exercise Ball

Ball Walk Outs: A great way to develop upper body and torso (abs and low back) strength is to support the body on an exercise ball while walking out with the hands. Set up as shown above with the ball under the hips or thighs. With arms extended under the shoulders, walk forward with the hands, rolling the ball along the body until it reaches your shins. Reverse direction and repeat while maintaining balance and keeping the ball moving along the center line of the body. Focus on balance and breathe rhythmically throughout the exercise. This exercise is an excellent alternative to push-ups for divers with shoulder injuries.

Remember to warm up with 10 minutes of aerobic exercise. Begin with an abdominal contraction when walking out on the ball, and let strength and proper form dictate range of motion.

Push Ups with Feet on Exercise Ball


Push-ups on the exercise ball: Push-ups are one of many ways to develop upper-body strength for scuba diving. Divers working to master push-ups may find the exercise ball makes the movement easier. Ideal range of motion at the bottom is when the elbows are at just less than a right angle. Remember to fully extend the arms at the top, but do not lock out the elbows. A good beginning goal is to complete five to 15 push-ups. With practice, sets of 25 to 100 are possible. If divers feel pain or strain in the shoulders they should stop until shoulders are confirmed as healthy enough to perform push-ups.

Pike Abdominal

Pike crunch on ball: Divers may take the exercise up a notch by flexing the hips while rolling the ball toward the chest with the feet. This pike position requires a good foundation of overall body strength to perform. It’s a great way to increase strength in the upper body, abdominals and low back, and improves balance and coordination. Repeat the pike about 10 times or alternate with a push-up. When combining the pike with the push-up, make sure to return to a straight body position before performing the push-up.

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Source: http://scubadiverlife.com/2016/05/11/improve-strength-and-breathing-for-diving/

Tags: scuba diving lessons, scuba diving, diving, PADI dive courses, dive resort cebu, relaxation, cebu dive resort, scuba

How Deep Can We Dive?

Posted by Ericka Villa on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 @ 12:11 PM

Source: http://scubadiverlife.com/2016/06/21/deep-can-dive/


We’ve managed, in this modern era, to explore much of the ocean’s surface and its shallower realms, but the deepest portions of the ocean remain nearly as mysterious as they were eons ago.

As most of us know, our planet is more than 70 percent water, the vast majority of it in the oceans. Human beings have always looked to the ocean’s horizon, wondering what lies beyond. We’ve managed, in this modern era, to explore much of the ocean’s surface and its shallower realms, but the deepest portions of the ocean remain nearly as mysterious as they were eons ago. Although we do have a map of the ocean floor to a resolution of around 3 miles (5 km), it’s less detailed than ones we have of the surface of the Moon and Mars.

How deep can we dive?

Exploring the ocean’s depths poses numerous obstacles, including the crushing pressure that increases rapidly the deeper you go. Nevertheless, we’ve pushed on, trying to break records by diving deeper and longer with each passing year. Current records for most of the diving categories are awe-inspiring and leave us wondering how in the world these freedivers manage to pull feats such as these.

In this spirit of discovery and always pushing the limits, check out this cool infographic about just how far we’ve explored — and how much more we’ve yet to explore.

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Tags: diving tips, scuba diving Cebu, scuba diving lessons, scuba diving, diving

5 Ways You Can Be A Better Dive Buddy

Posted by Ericka Villa on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 @ 11:51 AM


Better Dive Buddy

We all learn about the buddy system when we start diving but with increased experience and confidence it is easy to forget the essential basics. The buddy system is not just for beginners, it is important for the safety of all divers in a group.

Want to be a better dive buddy? Here are 5 essential tips you should never forget.

Always remember your buddy check

Just because your equipment worked fine yesterday doesn’t mean that you haven’t missed something today. If your Divemaster sees you running through the buddy check he will recognise that you are responsible divers before you even enter the water.

Use the BWRAF acronym to help remember the buddy check steps. Begin With Reviewing A Friend

Always maintain buddy contact and communicate often

This doesn’t mean that you need to swim on top of each other. As a general rule, try to be no more than 2 seconds apart. In an emergency you may need each other and it helps the Divemaster control the group if you are together. Don’t forget to ask your buddy if they are “okay” regularly. Diving really is more fun with a buddy and you’ll get to share some incredible moments together. If your Divemaster sees you communicating he’ll recognise your dedication to each other and to safety.

Remember that you are a buddy “team” and diving is not a competition

Be encouraging towards your buddy but never force them into a dive they don’t want to make. If you or your buddy are unsure about anything, ask your Divemaster together for advice and guidance.

Dive, dive, dive

The more you dive the better you get. By diving in a range of conditions and environments you’ll broaden your skill base and diving knowledge, increasing yours and your buddy’s dive safety.

Continue learning

If you have just passed your PADI Open Water Diver Course consider moving on to Advanced Open Water. You’ll learn new skills and try different types of diving. When you have completed your Advanced certification, you’ll be ready for the Rescue Diver Course which equips you with the skills and knowledge needed to be able to perform self-rescues, rescue other divers and recognise potential problems before they develop.

Following these 5 steps will help you become a better dive buddy.  Contact your local PADI Dive Center or Resort to find out course information or to find some more dive buddies of your own!

Better Dive Buddy

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Source: http://www2.padi.com/blog/2016/04/11/5-ways-you-can-be-a-better-dive-buddy/

Tags: diving tips, scuba diving Cebu, Scuba Diving Gear, scuba diving lessons, scuba diving, diving gear, scuba

4 Easy Ways to Find A Dive Buddy

Posted by Ericka Villa on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 @ 11:47 AM


Dive BuddyThe buddy system is one of the first things we learn about as divers – and it’s something we practice on every dive. So what’s the best way to find a Dive Buddy to join you on your future adventures?

1. Ask your friends

It may sound really simple – and it is – but you might just be surprised to find that someone in your friendship group is a keen diver too. If not, perhaps they’re interested in learning and have just been waiting for the right time to get into it. You never know, your future Dive Buddy may have been right in front of you this whole time.

2. Join a Dive Club

Scuba Diving Clubs are a great place to meet not just one, but a whole bunch of potential Dive Buddies. Chances are there’s a local club right near you, full of other passionate divers.

Joining a Dive Club has a few perks, groups often organise regular dives as well as other social activities and they will often have great relationships with local PADI Dive Centres. Some Dive Clubs will even have a focus on particular PADI Specialities such as Wreck Diving or Cavern Diving so you’re sure to find a club you’ll really fit into.

3. Go on a dive trip with your local PADI Dive Centre

It’s highly likely that your local PADI Dive centre will offer dive trips that you can join. These trips range in length and number of dives, some will just be one day, others a weekend and others longer still. Going on one of these trips allows you to explore new dive sites and meet new like-minded people, one of whom might just become your new Dive Buddy.

4. ScubaEarth®

You know that you can log dives and look for new dive sites on ScubaEarth – but did you know you can also look for Dive buddies there too? Take a look at a local Dive Site and look for the Recent Diver box in the sidebar. These are people who have logged a dive at this site recently and may just be the perfect buddy for your next dive.

  Check Out Our Dive Centre
 Source: http://www2.padi.com/blog/2016/06/08/4-easy-ways-find-dive-buddy/

Tags: diving moalboal, diving tips, scuba diving, diving, diving vacations, scuba

Diving into Your Divemaster: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by Ericka Villa on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 @ 11:42 AM



When I touched down on Gili Trawangan in 2013 with the intention to complete my PADI Divemaster, I had a pretty good feeling the next six weeks were going to rock my underwater world. I was right.

As an already experienced diver, I knew exactly what I wanted out of my training. I wanted to become a more confident diver, pad my resume as an underwater videographer, learn more about how I could protect the delicate ocean ecosystem, and have fun! I found the course both rewarding and challenging, confronting several of my scuba weaknesses — poor navigation skills, confusion with decompression theory, and sloppy safety procedures and practices — and acknowledge my strengths, like good buoyancy, knowledge of the environment and basic photography skills, and interacting with other staff and customers. I graduated with a deep sense of pride, a newfound confidence in myself as a diver, and an amazing new dive family – plus stronger shoulder muscles than ever, thanks to six weeks of slinging tanks.

Considering taking the plunge yourself? These are some of the most common questions that I’m asked about the Divemaster course, years after recounting the experience in detail on my travel blog.

How long will it take?

The length of the course varies depending on the dive center, the experience you have going in, and the time you have available. There is an option to participate in theory eLearning ahead of time if you are on a super short time frame.

Personally, my biggest regret of my Divemaster experience was doing it too quickly! Six weeks flew by and I wished I’d set aside two or three months to really immerse myself in the experience.


Should I do the course at home or abroad?

This is a personal decision that depends heavily on your priorities. Do you have strong roots in a community that you’re interested in working in and diving with for the foreseeable future, or do certain commitments make long-term travel inaccessible? Perhaps forging a deep connection with a local dive shop is the right choice for you!

Are you craving a change in both attitude and latitude? What better time to explore the tropical destination of your dreams! Don’t forget to check visa requirements if you are exploring options abroad, as the Divemaster course often lasts longer than the typical entry stamp in many countries, so you may have to apply for a visa ahead of time.

How do I choose a PADI dive center?

This is far and away the most frequent question I get about the Divemaster training experience – landing in my inbox about once a week! Unfortunately, I’m never able to return a very definitive answer, because the choice is a deeply personal one.

What I can recommend is a method. Once you’ve chosen a general destination (whether it’s close by or far flung!), research all dive shops in the area. Then, make a list of questions to ask them – ideally in person, but over the phone can do in a pinch. Don’t leave this to email. You want to have a real conversation with the people you’ll be spending such an important time with!

Some ideas for questions to ask include how many Divemaster trainings there typically are at once, how structured the classroom learning is, if you’ll be assigned one singular mentor or work with several, and how much flexibility you’ll have with your free time.

When I touched down on Gili Trawangan, I dedicated two full days to going to each of the sixteen dive centers on the island at the time. I knew my priorities were finding a sustainability-focused, medium-sized school where I’d have some leeway in my schedule to work around my blogging commitments, and where there was a diverse team of both international and local staff made up of men and women.

Once I had a list of six shops that fit my requirements, it was time for some soul searching. In the end, I based my decision on the very scientific and profound process of finding “good vibes” and feeling a connection with the people I was signing up to spend every day with for the next six weeks. It worked!


How do I find work afterward?

You can increase your odds of finding work in your newfound scuba career by putting together a professional looking resume (a rarity in the dive industry, believe it or not!), learning another language (perhaps the most valuable skill a prospective dive employee can have), and using resources like the PADI job board to connect with potential employers. Most dive centers prefer to hire directly from their own pool of training program graduates, which makes selecting a dive center that is a good fit for you even more crucial. The best way to increase your odds of employment is to continue on to your Instructor Development Course.

What do I need to get started?

Requirements include being 18 years of age, having your Open Water, Advanced Open Water, and Rescue Diver certifications, having completed your Emergency First Responder course within the past 24 months, having a signed medical statement, and having at least forty logged dives. Your dive center can help you meet these requirements before you get started if you’re not quite there yet.

Some dive shops will also require you to have your own set of dive equipment, while others will simply offer you a discount for doing so. I received a 10% discount that amounted to $100 for having my own set of dive equipment for my course. Dive centers often run low on extra small BCDs and women’s wetsuits – if you require either, I strongly recommend bringing your own along with you.


What if I can’t afford it? 

Like any professional training program, the Divemaster course is a significant investment (it’s also a ton of fun!) When I was considering my Divemaster training, I applied for and won a Women Diver’s Hall of Fame continuing education grant. The grant saved me over $1000, but the value was more than monetary — I made connections with an impressive group of women in the diving industry who continue to mentor me today.

You can do the same! There are an impressive number of opportunities for men and women of all nationalities to apply for grants and scholarships that offset the cost of a dive program, and develop a strong support network. The following list is just a start!

Some dive shops may allow flexible long-term training that allows you to work part-time while completing the course. If this is your situation, have a heart to heart with the dive center you’re excited to work with and see what solution you can come up with together.

Is being a Divemaster right for you?

If you have an infectious love of diving that you want to share with others, YES! People complete the Divemaster course for countless reasons. Some want to find a way to work in the dive industry and support their travels and lifestyle. Some want to become more confident and assured recreational divers. Some want to add scuba diving to a resume for another adjacent career like marine biology or boating. Some want to just have fun! All are equally valid reasons to dive in.

Are you considering your Divemaster training? What lingering questions do you have that weren’t addressed here? Ask away!


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Source: http://www2.padi.com/blog/2016/06/02/diving-divemaster-frequently-asked-questions/

Tags: diving tips, Diving the Philippines, scuba diving, diving, scuba

Top 5 Ways to Make Lasting Underwater Memories With Your Kids

Posted by Ericka Villa on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 @ 11:35 AM

Tags: diving moalboal, diving tips, scuba diving, diving, scuba

How To Prevent Vertigo While Scuba Diving

Posted by Ericka Villa on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 @ 07:49 PM

BY JAMES L. CARUSO | Source: http://www.scubadiving.com/how-to-prevent-vertigo-while-scuba-diving

Vertigo can strike in the most unexpected of places. Learn what vertigo is and how you can prevent it using these tips.


Vertigo while scuba diving

Vertigo can strike in the most unexpected of places. Learn what vertigo is and how you can prevent it using these tips.


A: Vertigo is the feeling that the world around you is moving, spinning or tilting while you are remaining essentially still. Vertigo can be a result of a number of ailments, ranging from an infection in the inner ear to chronic problems such as Meniere’s disease.
Vertigo is not uncommon among divers, and your experience with it occurring when you are at significant depth is fairly typical. Diving physics tells us that the greatest pressure changes occur closer to the surface, but as the diver descends, equalizing the pressure in the middle ear is still very important. Divers generally continue to descend even when having difculty with equalizing. Plus, the middle ears need to equalize during ascent as well.
You are experiencing alternobaric vertigo, which is caused by unequal pressures between your middle-ear compartments. The pressure diference does not have to be very great. The inequality is communicated to the inner ear organs, resulting in vertigo. Divers can also experience nausea and vomiting. Vertigo is usually more common while a diver ascends. Not only are the symptoms uncomfortable, but they also can lead to catastrophic problems for the diver. Vertigo can also occur when diving with a hood if one side of the hood seals over the ear tighter than the other.
Prevention of vertigo during diving requires careful, gradual and continuous equalization of the pressures within the middle ear throughout the dive.


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Tags: diving tips, scuba diving, diving, diving gear, dive resort cebu, cebu dive resort

How to Avoid Diver Burnout

Posted by Ericka Villa on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 @ 07:41 PM

Source: http://scubadiverlife.com/2016/06/04/avoid-diver-burnout/

By Andy Phillips


Almost everyone has felt that Monday-morning dread at having to go back to work after a great weekend of rest or recreation. Even if you love your job, as most dive professionals do, it’s something we’ve all felt at some point, perhaps even as recreational divers. If you just don’t look forward to diving anymore, here’s how to get your mojo back.

Someone who is burned out, according to Webster’s dictionary, “has become very physically and emotionally tired, usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration, or doing a difficult job for a long time.” The opposite of burnout is engagement, characterized by energy, involvement and efficiency.

Those who have been diving for years, with hundreds of dives, find that scuba diving tends to become less stressful and easier to engage in, yet many seasoned divers may start to feel a lack of motivation, energy and involvement in the sport. We’ve invested thousands of dollars in training and equipment, not to mention travel, but perhaps we’re bored. It’s important to recognize signs of burnout in your diving so you can deal with them early on and keep your passion alive. Aside from external factors, such as medical, family, work, or financial issues, here’s what may be bringing on that blasé feeling when it comes to diving, and how to prevent it.

Problem: You’re always diving the same sites. Scuba divers by nature tend to be curious and enjoy activities with challenges and adventure. Why else would we venture into an environment that doesn’t support human life? So when divers dive the same sites over and over, the adventure becomes routine, which leads to monotony.

Solution: If you’re bored by local diving (quarries, lakes, etc.), if you can afford it, schedule a yearly trip to a different destination or try some warm-water diving if you usually dive cold. And vice versa — if you’re bored with warm-water diving, get drysuit certified and explore some cold-water environments. When I was tiring of several hundred dives a year in the Caribbean, I made an effort to dive the cold-water wrecks in the St. Lawrence River, Canada. The change in environment was reinvigorating — partly due to the water temperature — and the additional logistics of getting to the dive sites made me appreciate the ease of my local boat diving in Utila. Another option, if feasible, is to take a newer or less-experienced diver with you; their enthusiasm tends to rub off and sharing your experience with them can help you regain appreciation for the sport.

Problem: You’re diving too much. Many new divers don’t think there’s such a thing as “too much diving,” but it is possible to burn out from simply diving too much in a short period of time. I’ve seen this happen to even newly qualified open-water divers, who simply want to dive, dive, dive — it’s not long before dive fatigue kicks in.

Solution: Set different objectives for your dives, following on from the points above. Perhaps you’ll take a camera on some dives, or try to find and identify a particular aquatic creature. Maybe you’ll dive a wreck or turn your dive into a drift — the point is to mix it up. And sometimes just taking a small break from diving is all you need to on-gas your energy levels.

Problem: Something went wrong. Sometimes a difficult dive in low visibility or strong currents, or an adverse incident like running low or out of air can lead to burnout. Perhaps you had an equipment malfunction underwater or were paired with a poor buddy, or had poor service from a dive company. Any of these can turn someone off from diving.

Solution: Always dive within your limits, and practice new skills or explore more challenging sites under professional supervision. Always conduct a thorough equipment set up and pre-dive check and monitor your air gauge on a regular basis, particularly when diving in more challenging conditions. Review forums and social media for customer reviews on reputable dive operators — even in today’s Internet world, consistently good word-of-mouth referrals, including digital, are an easy way to assess a dive operator.

You’re feeling a distinct lack of challenge. There’s an adage in the dive industry, “a good diver never stops learning.” During our entry-level training, we are challenged with new motor skills and equipment familiarity, which adds to the feeling of adventure and sense of excitement when we go diving. It’s natural as you build up your experience and comfort level that this sense of adventure will dissipate.

Solution: If you feel that diving is becoming boring, try taking a specialty class like digital photography, wreck diving, enriched air or fish ID. You could also further your training with a Rescue course or a Divemaster program, or look into technical diving courses to open new sites and limits. Not every dive should be a training dive, but taking classes can be a way to challenge yourself and bring back the excitement.

The common theme above is routine. As someone with over 17 years of professional diving experience, I make an effort every year to dive new and different locations and take one new course. So if you ever get that Monday-morning feeling when it comes to diving, mix it up. Remember, diving should be fun, not a chore. We’d love to hear your comments if you or someone you know had different reasons for feeling this way and what they did to overcome their diver burnout.


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Tags: diving, diving gear, dive resort cebu, divers injuries

Recognizing and Addressing Nitrogen Narcosis

Posted by Ericka Villa on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 @ 07:25 PM


Anyone who has taken an advanced scuba course is familiar with the term “nitrogen narcosis,” but what exactly does it mean, and how can it affect you?


If you’re thinking of exploring beyond the open-water certification depth of 60 feet (18 m), you will need additional training. The advanced open water course or something similar is the natural next step. A key component of these courses involves becoming acquainted with narcosis so that you can safely dive to 130 feet (40 m), which is the depth limit for recreational dives. If you’re already a qualified deep diver, you may have forgotten some of what you were taught about narcosis. So depending on your level, here’s an introduction or a refresher on what narcosis is, how it affects you, and how you can reduce its effects.

What is Nitrogen Narcosis?

Narcosis comes from the Greek word “narke,” which loosely translates as “numb.” People have given narcosis all sorts of names over the years, with perhaps the best known description coming from Jacques Cousteau himself; he aptly named it “rapture of the deep.”

But whether you call it nitrogen narcosis, inert gas narcosis or just plain gas narcosis (oxygen is as narcotic as nitrogen), it is caused by the increased partial pressure of gases we breathe while diving, and for recreational diving that means nitrogen. A higher partial pressure means that more gas can dissolve into our tissues (remember Henry’s law). As nitrogen dissolves in the fat tissues in the nerve cells of our brains, it can disrupt the transmission of signals to and from the brain. This can affect you in numerous ways during a dive.

You or your buddy may feel euphoric and find everything pretty amusing all of a sudden. This is usually accompanied by absentmindedness, which doesn’t go well with monitoring your instruments. Conversely, you may feel a little paranoid and end up obsessively checking your SPG and watch your buddy like a hawk. Paranoia is usually accompanied by feelings of anxiety, which can get worse if not properly managed.

Regardless of your behavior, your brain is slower; your ability to undertake simple tasks is impaired; your reaction times are reduced; and your coordination, memory, and judgment are all affected.  The deeper you go, the worse it gets. This is one reason why we have depth and time-at-depth limits while recreational diving.

How to Deal with Nitrogen Narcosis

The first step in dealing with narcosis is to recognize how it impacts you.

Other things you can do include:

  • Get plenty of rest and stay hydrated, before and after diving. If you’re tired, your brain is slower, and narcosis will only make this worse.
  • Avoid alcohol. It really doesn’t mix with diving, and narcosis is no different.
  • Build up to doing deeper dives and do them regularly. You cannot build up a tolerance to narcosis, but you can learn to cope with its effects through gradual and regular exposure.
  • Avoid overexertion before descending, and also throughout the dive. CO2 buildup can increase narcosis (and CO2 is narcotic too).
  • Descend slowly and allow that partial pressure to increase gradually. You might even want to pause every 33 feet (10 m) on the way down for 10 to 30 seconds.
  • Get warm and stay warm. Being cold has been shown to increase the narcotic hit.
  • Try to avoid task loading by keeping things simple. Use a slate with pre-prepared phrases written on it.
  • Ensure you are well practiced with your diving skills, especially emergency skills.
  • Never be afraid to call the dive.

The easiest way to get rid of narcosis is to reduce the partial pressure of the gas by simply ascending to a shallower depth; the euphoric or absentminded feelings should immediately diminish or disappear entirely. For most divers, the effects of narcosis at 100 feet (30 m) are easily dealt with, but that doesn’t mean we should be complacent. Just because you didn’t feel “narced” today doesn’t mean you won’t feel it tomorrow — nitrogen narcosis will affect you in different ways on different days.

Finally, don’t be the diver who wants to see how “narced” he can get. This is a sure-fire way to get yourself, and possibly others, into trouble. Treat narcosis as the enemy, and always try to minimize its effects and stay within your comfort zone.


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Source: http://scubadiverlife.com/2016/05/10/recognizing-and-addressing-nitrogen-narcosis/


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