Cleaning the Ocean One Dive at A Time
By Torben Lonne
Over the past 20 years, scuba diving has evolved into a vibrant worldwide community. Scuba diving, and a shared love for the ocean, brings people together despite geographical distance and language barriers. One unfortunate aspect of scuba diving that rings an emotional bell for most divers is garbage, specifically, the scourge of marine debris that we see first hand on many, if not all, of our dives. The oceans are, and always have been, a dumping ground for humankind’s unwanted materials.
Our planet’s waterways, from oceans to ponds, are being polluted like never before in human history. Garbage has found its way into every conceivable waterway system there is, which has motivated many concerned people to ask where all this garbage is coming from.
The many sources of ocean garbage
Uncomfortably for many westerners, most of the unwanted garbage floating in the ocean, or on the sea floor, comes from industrial countries. Many industrialized countries tow large barges, filled to capacity with garbage, approximately 6 to 10 miles off shore and then dump their cargo. Some countries, such as the United States, have set further limits, requiring municipalities to dump their garbage over 100 miles out to sea. This may help prevent much of the garbage from washing up on shore, but it hasn’t solved the problem of using our oceans as a human waste dump.
Garbage washes up on shore every day, of every year, in every coastal country. Land lovers complain when they see garbage on the beaches they visit because it mars nature’s beauty. Scuba divers the world over share in this pain every time they come across a candy wrapper, plastic bag, tire, cigarette butt, tin can or any other man-made piece of trash lying on the ocean floor or on top of a beautiful reef. Those unfamiliar with scuba diving and boating don’t realize that even personal garbage that people discard outside of a trashcan also finds its way into the oceans. One of the worst types of garbage to end up in the oceans, lakes and rivers of the world is not plastic bags, tires, paper, aluminum or steel cans — it’s batteries, which are toxic, and poison marine wildlife as they deteriorate.
Is there anything to be done about this seemingly intractable problem? The answer is complicated. No individual can fix the world’s dumping dilemma alone, but collectively people can come together and bring worldwide awareness to the problem. Demand that international organizations such as the United Nations nudge industrial countries to lower, limit, and hopefully cease dumping their garbage into the ocean. Divers working together on a regular basis around the world can also help by picking up garbage off the ocean floor when they dive. This may seem a small contribution, but it won’t be seen that way by the turtle that doesn’t choke on the six-pack ring you picked up.
Scuba divers: Cleaning the ocean one dive at a time
Scuba divers working together around the world could theoretically make much more than a dent in the global garbage problem. According to PADI, there are more than 22 million certified divers in the world, in over 120 countries. Add in the world’s NAUI- certified divers and that’s a lot of potential unsung heroes. Conservative estimates predict that each diver will average two dives per year; suddenly you’ve got a number that can make a difference.
If divers started collecting garbage on a regular basis, even one or two pieces per dive, at popular dive sites around the world, it would bring a huge amount of public awareness to the issue.
Organized garbage cleanups already exist via organizations, but all scuba instructors, divemasters and recreational divers can add to the database by logging the amount and types of garbage they collect on their dives. Logging such information can be a great way to engage other divers in conversation about keeping the oceans clean.
Collecting garbage is, of course, a good thing to do, but recording what you find, along with its approximate weight, may be more important. Why is that? This information, when collected from divers around the world, can be a powerful tool to encourage world governments to focus on the serious consequences of dumping garbage into the world’s waterways. As garbage is collected and recorded, a picture will begin to form about the areas of the world that are most affected.
Garbage isn’t going away anytime soon, but if each of your dives is a cleanup dive, your efforts will at the very least positively impact that dive site. The best way to get this movement going is to spread the word. Get your dive buddies to clean up when you’re on a fun dive. You won’t miss any of your diving by picking up a few pieces of plastic and other trash, and you may just be some turtle’s hero.
Free Things To Change Your Diving
By James Sanderson
1) Lace up your running shoes
When I’m asked what’s the best piece of dive equipment I’ve ever bought, my answer is always the same — a good pair of good running shoes. No one needs to be a superstar athlete to have more fun diving, but time to exercise regularly can only be a good thing. Good cardiovascular health will promote good circulation and improve gas transport from the tissues to the lungs during ascent. This means that you are more efficiently off-gassing the excess nitrogen from your body tissues during ascent, as well as the waste carbon dioxide. This last function is particularly important, as it’s increased levels of carbon dioxide dissolved in the blood that triggers the breathing reflex. So if your CO2 levels rise, so too will your rate of respiration, and you’ll find yourself burning through your gas a little (or sometimes a lot) faster than you would like. In my opinion, excess CO2 (or hypercapnia) is overlooked by recreational scuba divers and is responsible for a whole host of common troubles, from high gas consumption to post-dive headaches, nausea, dive stress and narcosis (CO2 is several times more narcotic than nitrogen.)
I would of course recommend consulting a health and fitness professional before starting any exercise regime but you can start small right away. Set some small goals and rewards; for example, aim for a really good time on the swim tests that are part of most scuba diving courses. Use it as an incentive to start gentle training. Although not a solution by itself, better physical health will make diving a whole lot easier. Just remember that something as simple as a good walk will cost you nothing, and you can get started as soon as you’re done reading.
2) Sort out your dangles
Here in the U.K. we describe divers with all sorts of gear hanging off of them Christmas trees. As divers, we are mindful of impacting delicate coral and damaging the environment, but are often unaware of our own loose equipment causing a little train of havoc. A loose SPG can badly impact sensitive environments but a loose octopus is the worst culprit because apart from possible environmental damage, it may be gently bubbling, wasting precious gas and limiting your dive time. Worse still it may not be in a convenient location if needed. Finally, it may have collected debris that an out-of-air diver will inhale on his first breath from it. Not a nice prospect. A simple silicon snorkel keeper looped back on itself through a shoulder d-ring is the best and cheapest option I have ever seen for securing an octopus. With no kit dangles, not only will you find that you can get closer to critters without surprising or stunning them with your SPG, but you will also use less air, as your drag through the water will diminish. And you’ll probably be able to respond to a buddy better as well.
It will cost you nothing to take some time to properly secure your gauges and hoses and to look at all the potentially loose elements on your dive rig. So right after reading this, go get your gear from the garage and tidy it all up. After you go for a walk.
3) Lose some weight (lead, that is).
The simple truth is that you probably dive over-weighted; most divers I have trained wear too much lead (at the start of a course anyway). Diving heavy is a bad habit that you’re taught during your first scuba classes, and it’s a very one difficult to break. Keep in mind that every pound of extra weight you have means more mass you’ve got to carry, as well as a bigger volume of gas to manage in your BCD or suit.
But what is properly weighted? You’re aiming for neutral buoyancy, with almost no air in your BCD, with your exposure suit compressed a little and with nearly empty tanks, simulating the end of a dive at a safety stop having shared air. Before your next course do a proper weight check at the end of your diving day. If you can still easily descend with only a little air in your tanks then don’t be afraid to start removing weight in small increments over your upcoming dives until you are neutral with your minimum amount of tank pressure. Don’t forget to adjust your weight as you move from saltwater to freshwater, or move to a larger or higher-pressure tank. Every lump of lead you can remove is less weight you’ve got to move around on a dive, Remove the weight and you’ll use less air, thus increasing your bottom time.
The Philippines – a photographer’s dream
Posted by Andrew Jenkins
The Philippines is a photographer’s dream. The astounding landscape both topside and underwater glistens with colour and is calling out to be explored.
Start your adventure by passing through Manila, Philippines manic capital, perhaps stopping to take a ride on a rainbow coloured Jeepney – a kitsch vehicle that is one of the most popular forms of transport in this busy city. Once out of the city hub the variety that exudes within this tropical archipelago is hard to look past.
A perfect destination for scuba divers of all experience levels, the Philippines is in the heart of the coral triangle and is world renowned for nutrient rich currents and consequently some of the world’s most fascinating marine life.
Below are some fantastic diving locations to visit when traveling the Philippines:
- Cebu: placed neatly in the centre of the Visayan Archipelago, Cebu is a great place to learn to dive. With the second largest airport in the Philippines, it is easy to access and has a great range of dive sites. It is not uncommon to spot green turtles, giant frogfish and banded sea krait.
- Bohol: growing increasingly popular with backpackers visiting Panglao Island, Bohol is about an hour plane ride from Manila and usually offers a divers the opportunity of spotting huge schools of jacks. Colourful coral of hard and soft varieties make diving off Bohol a rainbow adventure you’re sure to love. The topside is also well known for the Chocolate Hills and the tiny Tarsier monkeys.
- Malapascua: this is an island that cannot be missed. Malapascua is one of the only places in the world where you’re almost guaranteed daily sightings of the rare and fascinating Thresher shark.
- Boracay: it is here that you’re likely to see grey reef sharks, manta rays and a plethora of tropical fish that inhabit the large assortment of corals. This is the most popular holiday destination.
- Subic Bay: this world renowned wreck diving destination is home to a plethora of historical stories that even the most advanced divers are sure to be impressed by.
- Tubbataha Reef: Although this reef is only accessible for three months of the year (March- June), this World Heritage Marine Park is well worth the visit. Accessing this area by liveaboard is the only option but the pristine corals which are populated with intriguing macro life, turtles and a wealth of tropical fish make this location a real gem.
- Puerto Galera: Ideal for those interested in drift diving, these current rich waters are imbued with snapper, barracudas and smaller tropical fish. There is the opportunity to do a night dive and potentially see the gorgeous Mandarin fish. Puerto Galera is based at the Verde Strait, which has the some of the world’s greatest biodiversity.
- Dumaguete: here you can experience the magnificent beach dives that macro enthusiasts are sure to love. In the deeper waters, the strong current often brings large schools of big-eye trevally and Spanish mackerel.
- El Nido and Coron in Palawan: There is no denying that Palawan is a picturesque tropical paradise. The topside is decorated with the most magnificent lime stone cliffs, and below the crystal clear horizon is the awe-inspiring wrecks in Coron and a range of tropic fish off El Nido.
What You Need to Know About Currents
The thrill of flying over a reef, pushed onward by a strong current, can be one of the most exhilarating experiences in diving. But diving in currents can lead to problem situations if you’re not vigilant.
A number of factors cause currents, including the tides, wind, and thermally unstable water columns. Usually currents run horizontally, parallel to the earth’s surface — these are perfect for drift dives. Certain situations, however, cause currents to run vertically up (up currents) or down (down currents), while other currents can create a horizontal vortex. If a diver gets caught in one of these currents it can quickly lead to a dangerous situation. Down Currents
A down current occurs when a current hits the face of a wall or when it runs at a right angle to a drop off. Down currents are also possible when two currents moving in opposite directions meet or move over each other. These types of currents have a nasty reputation among divers, and for good reason: they can quickly drag you far deeper than your planned depth. Sometimes this occurs gradually, and you won’t realize it until you feel the need to equalize, or until you look at your depth gauge or dive computer. But in some situations, a down current can pull you from 15 feet to 65 in a few seconds.
Most down currents lose strength the deeper they go, but don’t just wait for the ride to end, though, as there’s no telling how deep the current will take you. If you get caught in a down current, try to remain calm. Stop. Think. And then act. Maintain natural breathing to conserve air, and swim out into the blue. Although you may be in a scary situation, remember that down currents generally become weaker further away from the wall or drop off. While you’re swimming out, you also want to swim up — aim to swim a 45-degree angle.
If the current is especially strong you may want to inflate your BCD, but remember, an inflated BCD creates a larger surface area for the current to push against, so it might not help as much as you think. If you do inflate your BCD, prepare to deflate it rapidly once you’re out of the current to avoid a run-away ascent. Avoid dropping your weights unless you absolutely must.
Another option is to get as close to the wall as you can and climb up. The current is likely to be strongest here, and you might need to hold on to the coral to pull yourself up. If you must use this option, do so with caution and try to keep yourself and the coral as safe as possible. Try to hold on to dead coral and avoid stinging hydroids. Up Current
As with down currents, up currents can occur when a current hits the face of a wall. These are dangerous because they can pull you up to the surface very quickly, which can lead to a host of problems, including decompression sickness, a lung over-expansion injury or arterial gas embolism. Try to maintain the same calm as with a down current, and react similarly by swimming away from the wall or drop off into the blue. Deflate your BCD and swim down. Washing Machine
A washing-machine current occurs when the bottom typography bounces currents around. These types of currents can push you in all directions, creating a feeling of extreme disorientation, which can be amplified when your bubbles get swirled around, making it very difficult to tell which way is up. As with up and down currents, try to swim out of the current horizontally while swimming slightly against the push of the water to avoid drastic changes in your depth. Vortex
Very little information is available about vortex currents as they only occur at a few dive sites around the world. The best way to deal with this kind of current is to avoid getting caught in it all together. If you do get caught in one, try to conserve as much energy as you can, wait until you feel it weakening slightly and swim perpendicularly out of it. This video
of Socorro shows how easily a diver can get caught in a vortex. Note the horizontal snake of bubbles that acts as an early warning that this kind of current is present. How Do You Recognize Types of Currents?
You can often predict strong currents, horizontal or vertical, by looking at the surface of the water. Areas where the surface is choppy without a moderate to strong wind, mixed with areas of very smooth water, could indicate a strong current. If the boat that you’re diving from is tied to a mooring buoy, look at the direction in which the boat is turned. If the boat is tied off at the bow, the boat will be facing into the current; if the mooring line is tight, the current is likely moderate to strong.
Underwater you can tell which way the current is running by observing the sea life around you. Soft coral sways in the direction the current is traveling, and fish face into the current, so if you see a school of fish pointing in one direction, that’s where the current is coming from. If a school of smaller fish is swimming around freely in different directions, there’s probably only a slight current, if any at all.
Bubbles can also tell you a lot about the current. Strong down currents can sweep your bubbles into the depths, as can horizontal currents. One of the only ways to identify a vortex is by its distinctive, serpent-like horizontal river of swirling bubbles.
Current diving can be exhilarating and safe if you stay vigilant and practice good judgment. Learn to recognize different types of currents, and be prepared. If you’re diving in an area known to have currents, always carry a DSMB, or safety sausage, in case you get separated from your group and must surface alone. As with any dive, if you feel uncomfortable or find the currents too challenging, better to abort your dive and move to a site with more favorable conditions.
OSLOB WHALE SHARKS
By Atilla Kaszo
Whale sharks originated about 60 million years ago, and today, they are listed internationally as a vulnerable species, but still commercially targeted in some Asian countries. Fortunately, not all Asian countries hold the same harvesting view, and many fishing communities have turned to tourism as the main source of income.
Donsol and Oslob in the Philippines are such examples. Whale sharks had been visiting these regions for decades and during those decades were hunted. In 1998 at Donsol, they were apparently “discovered” and after international support hunting turned into whale shark watching which turned into eco tourism. Oslob went much the same way but later in 2006.There appears to be some controversy and confusion regarding the Oslob site, in that feeding the whale sharks by the locals has somehow upset the ecosystem and accordingly drawn criticism from some quarters.
Clearly, feeding any wild animal is not something that should be encouraged, but given the relatively small amounts of fish “burley” that is put into the water and the area in which these sharks are being fed poses little impact on the regions biodiversity. More important to the animal’s welfare is the extent of physical human contact with these giants. As human nature has it, people get a bit excited when a 14-meter fish swims past, so the impulse to touch it and grab that Kodak moment seems to prevail over common sense. There is certainly a case in keeping people at a “safe” distance, and I would completely support such action.
On the flip side however, whale sharks like most wild creatures have the ability to leave the area or move away from a hazard almost instantly. So if the shark wants to it does just that, as do whales I have worked with and so on. In fact some of my best work has been outside the “viewing areas” where the sharks had left the feeding zones and were swimming about 200 meters away and in a blink almost on top of me having a close up and personal and then gently swimming away.
Before I went to Oslob, I read a number of petitions against visiting the area, mainly for the reasons I have outlined, and that some reports indicated that the sharks had severe rub marks on their necks, apparently from trying to get into the boats carrying food, and other reports suggesting that the sharks had deep cuts and abrasions over their bodies from boats crashing into them. I saw none of this at all. The only cut I saw on a shark was on it’s back and it could well have been an outboard propeller, I don’t know. All the sharks I saw, about thirteen, looked very healthy and active, and had no problem swimming away from people in the water.
My research also indicated that the sharks at Oslob were transient and that different individuals moved through the region during the year. Unfortunately there is still relatively little known about these sharks, which makes management of them difficult. Nonetheless, erring on the side of caution may be the prudent way to go, along with considering the needs of the locals who depend on some form of income for their survival. From my perspective, it’s a better option to accept how the village manages its resources now than to entertain the harvesting practices of the past.
The Proper Scuba Dive Weighting
Guidelines for Proper Weighting. We all know that most new divers tend to need a bit more weight than seasoned ones because Buoyancy Control takes several dives to master. Common types of weights include pouchstyle with lead pellets (left) or solid lead style.
Here is the best rule of thumb for weighting:
Swimsuit or DiveSkin- Begin with 1 to 4 pounds / 0.5/2kg
Thin 3mm wetsuits or Shorty- 5% of your Body Weight
Medium Thickness 5mm suits- 10% of your Body Weight
Cold Water 7mm with hood/gloves- 10% of your Body Weight plus 3-5 pounds / 1.5/3kg
Neoprene Drysuit- 10% of your Body Weight plus 7-10 pounds / 3-5kg
Shell Style Dry Suits w/o under garment – 10% of your Body Weight plus 3-5 pounds / 1.5/3kg
Shell Style Dry Suits w/ heavy under garment – 10% of your Body Weight plus 7-14 pounds / 3-7kg
The undergarments vary quite a bit as they can realy add allot surface area to you thus increasing the amount of weight needed to stay neutrally buoyant.
Salt Water Diving (add to above calculations for Fresh Water)
100 to 125 lb (45-56kg) add 4 pounds (2kg)
126 to 155 lb (57-70kg) add 5 pounds (2.3kg)
156 to 186 lb (71-85kg) add 6 pounds (3kg)
187 to 217 lb (86-99kg) add 7 pounds (3.2kg)
Always do a buoyancy check before beginning your dive and also factor in that if you are diving with an aluminum 80 tank you will need to add a little more to compesate for the tank toward the end of the dive. If you are diving with a steel tank the same holds true except you will need less weight. That is why it is so important to perform a neutral buoyancy check before beginning your dive.
The Importance of Dive Tables
By Thomas Gronfeldt
With inexpensive dive computers on every wrist these days, do we even need dive tables anymore? Yes, in fact, we do.
There was a time when dive computers were for the few, the most dedicated or simply the most flush with cash. The sheer cost of a dive computer meant that most divers went without one, relying instead on a waterproof watch and an analog depth gauge. These were the days of dive planning and dive tables. Before a dive, divers would plan the maximum depth of the dive, which was not to be exceeded, and a maximum time for the dive based on the data their dive tables gave them. Once the dive was completed, the nitrogen load of the dive would be calculated using the table. And based on this, the timing, depth, and duration of the next dive could be planned.
But as Morse’s Law came into effect (any new technology will double its processing power and halve its price roughly every 18 months), dive computers have become accessible for every diver who wants one. Small, inexpensive and all very capable of giving you dive time, depth, remaining dive time and surface time between dives, computers have become for many divers a key piece of gear. I use one myself. And several organizations either have or are considering making the switch completely to the point where dive computers are taught during dive classes and dive tables are left completely out of the equation.
The reasons given in support of this policy are quite good: dive computers are everywhere and inexpensive enough that any diver can afford one, they allow for longer dives due to their on-going calculations of nitrogen loads (rather than calculating the diver as having spent the entire dive at the maximum logged depth, as the tables do), they’re reliable, safe and much easier to learn how to use for a new diver than the dive table and its principles are. So from one perspective, safety would be enhanced by using computers instead of tables.
But we should be cautious about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Having access to dive computers is great, and it’s a great safety asset for divers, but that shouldn’t mean we completely discard dive tables. Why? There are a number of reasons:
1. Dive tables are universal
. Dive computers are all slightly different from one another, both in design, user interface and in the algorithm that calculates dive times (hence the warning never to do to consecutive dives on different computers). A dive table is not this way. If you find yourself without a dive computer, the table can always take over. And by making sure all divers are able to plan a dive according to a dive table, there will be no confusion over which computer’s data is used.
2. Dive tables don’t crap out
. Yes, dive computers are safe and reliable. But they’re not 100 percent reliable. I have seen dive computers crap out during dives and on diving holidays, and I’ve had it happen to me. The normal advice when this happens is simple: stop diving for 24 hours to allow complete nitrogen degassing. However, if you’ve logged all your dives using a dive table you’re able to continue diving (after ending the dive at the moment the computer dies, of course) using any means of depth and time measuring available. That could be a backup computer in gauge mode, watch and depth gauge or a watch with a built-in depth gauge. Some of the more experienced divers out there will even make a note - mental or on a writing slate - of the time allowed at the maximum depth of their planned dive, just in case. If you have not kept a continuing log for all your repetitive dives and all you have is the dive computer’s log, there’s no other option than to abstain from diving for a full 24 hours should your computer fail.
3. Dive tables prepare divers for more advanced planning
. As divers progress in skills and experience, they may start learning how to dive with more advanced gasses in their tanks. And part of knowing how to dive with Nitrox, Helitrox or Trimix is the ability to do depth and dive time calculations based on dive tables - tables that are somewhat more complex than the ones used for diving on normal air, to boot. Knowing how to use the basic tables prepares you for learning how to use the advanced ones. And it doesn’t look like the requirement to be able to plan and calculate your dive and gas needs will go away from Nitrox courses or tec diving courses anytime soon.
4. Dive tables are good practice
. For many divers I’ve observed, it isn’t until they log their dives that the reality of nitrogen load really dawns on them. Working their way up the letters indicating nitrogen load is a very tangible way of experiencing that for each dive they came closer to their body’s maximum capacity for dispelling nitrogen. A dive computer doesn’t have the same effect on most people - there’s something too abstract about the digital numbers. So, in particular for new divers, it’s a good learning experience to work with tables.
The bottom line is that I believe dive computers have, in fact, made diving safer. But just like ABS braking systems and anti-skid systems in cars shouldn’t make us lazy drivers and unable to stay safe without them, dive computers should never take the place of the diver’s brain. Use them as an additional layer of planning and safety, but don’t let them replace sound judgment, good planning and reasonable conservatism. And dive tables – don’t forget the dive tables.
What You Should Never Do on a Dive
The golden rules of what NOT to do while scuba diving. Use common sense & scuba training to have fun and stay safe.
Never Not Have A Plan
Do your research. Plan your dive & dive your plan. Agree with your buddy on depth, time, safety stops & minimum air before you head to the exit point. Check your equipment! Don't Be Sick
Including hangovers. You'll want as much energy as possible to dive & you'll want to stay hydrated. Eat at least 2 hours before hand & drink plenty of water. Take sea sickness pills to build immunity. Do Not Go Outside Your Comfort Level
This isn't some reverse psychology ploy. If you feel uncomfortable diving that deep, DON'T DO IT. Stay within your comfort level, skill & training. Otherwise, you could panic and get hurt. Never Hold Your Breath
When you descend the pressure on your lungs increases & your lung volume decreases, it's the opposite for ascending. A diver who holds his breath underwater seals off his lungs, severely hurting them. Never Go Alone
Use the buddy system; one person below, one above and yourself. It can be incredibly dangerous (and difficult) to dive by yourself. If you are certified, bring another certified friend. Don't Buddy Breath
Unless you and a buddy have practiced breathing from a single regulator, do not do it. Typically, one of you will forget to control your buoyancy. Proceed with Bad Weather
Ask around about weather & conditions the morning of. Err on the side of caution: if it's too rough and it could lead to a dangerous situation, don't go.
The Benefits of Diving
By Jessica Shilling
For some it´s the adrenaline rush of the exploring the deep waters, for others it´s the beauty of the reef and the marine life that inhabits it. There are many reasons to scuba dive but most would agree that they dive for the pure enjoyment of experiencing the underwater world, so different from ours and truly amazing.
Scuba diving has it all, it’s an fantastic experience that can improve your emotional and physical health while learning new skills, making friends and expanding your environmental awareness.
Just starting out? Take a look at the following list of benefits for a little encouragement.
You don't have to be incredibly fit to scuba dive. It's a sport that's easily accessible to the average person. You do however need to be in a state of good health and free of any serious medical problems. Before diving you will be asked to answer a medical questionnaire and if your instructor has any concerns you will be referred to a doctor for a check-up.
If you dive on a regular basis your general fitness will improve. Exercising in water is an excellent way to strengthen your muscles. You spend hours in the water carrying heavy equipment while swimming against the natural resistance of the water. This may sound very tiring but it feels effortless because you are too busy enjoying yourself but in reality you are getting a fantastic work out.
Gliding underwater while watching the fish go by is incredibly relaxing. Many people find diving to be a great way to get back to nature and de-stress. With practice you will learn calming breathing techniques which will not only make the dive more enjoyable but you´ll use up less air and be able to stay underwater for longer. Once you master your buoyancy it will make your diving experiences even better, it will become even more relaxing and you will feel one with the water.
One great thing about diving is meeting fellow divers. By joining a scuba diving class or club you'll immediately come in contact with a lot of people with the same hobbies who may become life-long friends. While on a dive trip its common to make friends with fellow divers on the dive boat making your vacation even more exciting.
Diving makes you appreciate the ocean even more and will bring you in contact with people that can educate you about fragile underwater habitats and the importance of preserving them. You can even join ocean advocacy groups like the Making Waves in Colorado event and volunteer to help protect marine environments.
Join the 3rd annual Making WAVES in Boulder, Colorado on September 20th to the 22nd where you´ll have the chance to enjoy insightful presentations on ocean advocacy and more from an exciting list of attendees. This multifaceted symposium and celebration highlights ocean issues, solutions and is a change making event for engagement and national action.
How to Gear up your Scuba Kit Quickly, Easily and Efficiently?
Posted by Rutger Thole
How often have you seen someone dance around in circles trying to grip their wetsuit zipper or even spotted people walking into the water like frogs because they already have their fins on, or seen their masks fly off into the air as they tried to put it on?
All of this is a complete waste of time and an unnecessary one at that. If you know how to gear up quickly, easily and efficiently, you will have far more time to enjoy diving as well.
Organizing Your Scuba Gear
Always make sure that your scuba gear is organized. If everything is in its place, you will be able to get things on much quicker as well, as you won’t have to waste time trying to find your belongings.
Not just that, you will always be aware of the condition your gear is in, enabling you to replace it as and when necessary.
Make sure, of course, that you look after your gear, drying it off before storing it and keeping it somewhere dry and safe from the elements.
Bring a Plastic Carrier Bag
How hard is it to get your hands and feet into a wetsuit? Although once on, they are incredibly comfortable, getting the suit on can be an absolute nightmare.
Interestingly, a simple plastic bag can help you with this. It goes without saying this plastic bag should be stowed away properly so it will not end up in the water. Have you ever heard of the great pacific garbage patch?
You may be tempted to use lotions to make your skin more slippery, but this can actually be damaging to your suit whereas a plastic bag does not.
Simple put it over your hand, feet, or whatever it is that you are trying to get through and you will notice it slips on and fits like a glove straight away.
Always Help Your Fellow Divers
If you see that someone else is struggling or looks like they don’t know what to do, go help them out. Just share your knowledge, including the above two points, and you will make sure they can enjoy their time a lot better as well.
Remember that scuba diving is something that you do together, which is why it operates according to a buddy system.
You are not competing to be in the water first or to have your gear on first. If you have any knowledge you can impart on less experienced divers, then make sure you do so.
This will also show them that divers look after each other and that it is ok to ask questions.
Scuba diving is fun and should be a relaxing hobby. This means that there is no time or energy to waste by things such as struggling to get your gear on.