Hydration can be a major problem to your health even when you are completely surrounded by water. In fact, all the delights of a dive vacation — a hot sun, rum punches, long hours spent on the water — can leave you as dry as desert sand. How can you avoid becoming dehydrated, which could put an early end to an amazing diving adventure, and learn to recognise the symptoms?
A few common symptoms like headache, fatigue, or feeling dizzy can be overlooked or attributed to other causes. But when these symptoms accompany others, such as a dry mouth or being excessively thirsty, dehydration is likely the cause. Some of the most common effects from mild dehydration is cramping because not enough water is taken to your muscles and overall exhaustion and weakness. While that may not sound very severe, the more dehydrated you are, the more difficult it is for you to remain focused and self aware of your surroundings. You are also at a higher risk of having decompression sickness. On a dive vacation, some of the factors leading to dehydration are:
1) Sweating. Perspiring is the body’s internal a/c, a cooling mechanism that releases a significant amount of water. It’s common to sweat in hot, exotic locations — and that’s without the extra stresses and workload a diver has. Divers sweat while loading and offloading gear from a boat, finning against a current, and wearing a wetsuit for a prolonged period of time.
2) Sunburn. Soaking up the sun’s rays can be dangerous. Relaxing on the beach can lead to sunburn and as your body struggles to repair the damage, water seeps into the damaged skin and the body loses fluids.
3) Immersion diuresis. This is the correct term for peeing in your wetsuit. Immersion in water, especially in water that is colder than the air, causes narrowing of the blood vessels in your arms and legs, sending more blood back to your body.
Nobody plans to get ill on a dive trip, but the fact is it can happen. It will be less likely and less traumatic if you are careful and prepared.
The first step is, of course, don’t get sick, so here are some effective preventative measures you can take:
1. Stay as far away as possible from others who appear sick (e.g., folks who are coughing, sneezing).
2. Wash your hands frequently while travelling and keep them away from your nose, mouth and eyes.
3. In the developing world, be prudent about drinking water from the tap. Stick to bottled drinks, especially water, and make that ice you use also comes from distilled or bottled water.
4. Avoid unshelled fruits and vegetables. Stick to fruits with hard shells and avoid berries. If you chance it with leafy greens, they should be very well washed with clean water.
5. If you are in an area with insects, wear long sleeves and pants, avoiding dark or bright colors, especially at dawn and dusk. Try to stay indoors at dawn and dusk when many flying insects are most active.
6. Wear a proven insect repellent or a picaridin-based repellant containing at least a 15% concentration.
7. Avoid scented toiletries and perfumes, which attract insects.
8. Get necessary vaccines before departure. You can check with your primary care physician but it’s very unlikely he will be travel-medicine savvy. Alternatively, locate a travel medicine specialist through ASTMH/ACCTMTH directory or my favorite, little-known gem, Passport Health to find out what’s currently being recommended for a specific destination.
9. Verify that your health insurance provider covers medical expenses abroad as many do not. Familiarize yourself with the details of your medical coverage, and especially with the process for documenting a claim (even DAN can be a problem if you don’t carefully follow the rules). In addition, it’s prudent to secure an IAMAT (International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers) membership. It’s free and the organization maintains a network of approved health professionals throughout the world who offer services to travellers at a fixed rate.
If your carrier doesn't cover you overseas, consider purchasing traveller’s insurance.
Thirteen Things You Didn't Know About Scuba Diving Gear - But Should
Divers have an intimate connection to their equipment. But the history, evolution and hidden inner workings of many integral pieces of our collective kit might be a mystery to many of us. Knowing more about your scuba diving gear is essential.Check out these 13 curious details, historical head-scratchers and surprising facts, including why dive watches glow and what the heck is the “Bends-O-Matic?”. In Turtle Bay Dive Resort, we not only serve you, but we give you more information about the diving world.
1. One of the earliest “dive computers”, the SOS Decompression Meter, was completely mechanical and simulated the process of gas absorption in the body. Its sketchy performance earned it the nickname “Bends-O-Matic.”
2. The first decompression tables, and the basis for modern dive computer algorithms, were published in 1908 by John Haldane. They were based on simulated dives using a hyperbaric chamber. The test divers were English goats.
3. Depth ratings for extreme deep dive watches have exceeded the known depth of the oceans. The Sinn UX is rated to 12,000 meters, more than 1000 meters deeper than the Marianas Trench.
4. Tritium, a radioactive material safely used in tiny quantities to make illuminated markings in many dive watches, is also used as a “booster” in multi-stage hydrogen bombs.
5. The rhythmic, mechanical breathing of Star Wars’ Darth Vader is iconic. It’s the amplified sound of a scuba regulator.
6. Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emile Gagnan invented the Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus in 1943. It was based on a diaphragm regulator design first developed more than a hundred years before.
7. Last year, Allen Sherrod, a dive instructor from Florida, spent 48 hours and 13 minutes breathing from a regulator while submerged off Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida. It was a world record time for a saltwater dive.
8. Many warm-water divers use their octopus as a defense against stinging jellyfish. A brief purge beneath an oncoming assailant will gently lift it out of the diver’s way.
9. An ancient bas-relief dating back to 900 B.C. shows Assyrian divers using animal skins filled with air, which they carried with them to increase the length of their dives.
10. Before the standard power inflator came along, horse collar BCs incorporated small CO2 canisters to provide emergency inflation when needed, just like many personal floatation devices do today.
11.The popular backplate-and-wing BC design came as a cave diving innovation and improvement over “belly bags,” which uncomfortably sandwiched divers between an air bladder and a pair of heavy steel tanks.
12. No welding is used in making a typical aluminum scuba tank. Instead, a 32-lb. aluminum slug, 7-inches across, is pressed into shape by 2,500 lbs. of pressure in just 20 seconds.
13. Everyone knows LED lights are more efficient than incandescent models. But how efficient is it? Tests have shown that burn times may average 30 times longer using identical battery power.
Are Split Fins Right for You?
When cruising the depths, do you find yourself nagged by ankle strain when kicking through the water? Does the most minimal fin stroke get your knees and leg muscles barking like a pack of dogs? Do you like the ability to kick into a current or chase a bat ray without getting overly fatigued or cramping up? Are you a big fan of the flutter kick? If so, you might be a candidate for split fins.
Split fins slice through the water with far less resistance than traditional paddle fins. That’s because rather than pushing against the water with brute force, the flexible blades of a split fin, when engaged in an up-tempo flutter kick, actually generate lift along with a jet propulsion effect, similar to a boat’s propeller. The faster the propeller turns, the more propulsion is generated. In other words, with split fins power comes from the speed of a diver’s kick rather than the force of the kick. The result: excellent acceleration and the ability to sustain speeds and cover a lot of ground with minimal effort or leg strain.
Of course, like anything else, there are good split fins and not-so-good split fins, so performance results will vary. Also, due to the principles of the design, the best kick for a split fin is a narrow (inside the body’s slipstream), rapid flutter kick. If that type of kick is not your cup of tea — if you prefer sculling or the frog kicking instead, or if you tend to do a lot of backing up — then a split fin is probably not for you. Clearly, there are distinct differences between splits and paddles. The question is what design approach is right for the type of diving you like to do?
Read Sport Diver Asia Pacific’s roundup on fins byjoining the PADI Diving Society today, and get a 1-year subscription to Sport Diver Asia Pacificwith your membership!
5 Tips for Dive Mask Care
I want to share with you 5 useful tips for looking after your dive mask. As we all know, having problems with your mask can really spoil a great dive so follow these 5 steps and ensure you always get a great view of your dives.
Scuba Diving Gear: Mask Care
Critical scuba diving gear requires annual inspection and service by a qualified technician, but even dive masks — your window to the underwater world — need some special tender loving care. Here’s our guide to keeping your mask in tiptop shape in 5 easy steps.
1. If you haven’t replaced your mask strap with a stretchy fabric one, stretch out the strap to look for fine cracks. If you do find any, immediately replace the strap.
2. Examine the silicone of your mask skirt. The most common failure area on a mask is the feather-edged seal on the skirt. This can become imperfect or irregular in shape with time and heavy use, and that irregularity can create leaks.
3. Check all the buckles, which can crack, split or become clogged with debris that can interfere with how they function. Then check the frame of your mask for cracking, chips or other obvious signs of wear, especially in the areas immediately adjacent to the glass lens.
1. To avoid mildew growth, rinse your mask in warm, fresh water and allow it to drip dry completely before packing it away.
2. Pack the mask loosely, so nothing distorts the mask skirt. Leaving it squashed into a weird position for a long period of time will cause it to take on an unnatural shape.
Take good care of your mask as this is our eyes, our access to the beauty underwater.
Based on article by DocVikingo
Look, Dont't Touch
Scuba diving is traditionally a look, don't touch kind of sport, but even careful divers can inadvertently run into trouble. By far the most common diving injury is the common scrape, usually from coral. Marine aware divers dive without dive gloves and many marine protected sites ban the wearing of gloves so that divers will not be tempted to touch marine life. So the chances of an accidental scrape become more likely to occur.
Types of Injuries
Irritations often occur as a result of a brush with coral or sponges. Coral scrapes can be painful and sometimes difficult to heal because the living organisms in the coral can get into the wound and cause infections. Contact with a sponge can leave irritating fibres in the skin, producing an itching rash that can range from mild to severe, possibly with pain and blistering.
Prevention & Treatment
Even if you're careful, it's likely you'll come into contact with coral someday. My first encounter with fire coral gave me an inflamed hand that lasted one week. If and when you get a scrape, here's what to do:
1. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make sure your body is covered, even if just by a dive skin.
2. Regularly irrigate a scrape with copious amounts of vinegar over a period of about 30 minutes.
3. Apply triple-antibiotic to the wound twice a day for a couple of days.
4. Scrapes can become infected even with proper initial care. Watch for hotness to the touch, redness or red streaks around the site, swelling, discharge of pus, or fever. If you see them, contact a doctor.
5. Fragments of coral sometimes become lodged beneath the skin and the body mounts a prolonged allergic reaction to them. In some cases, debridement is required to resolve the reaction.
Even in the absence of embedded coral remnants, it is not unusual for a marked hypersensitivity response to a coral injury to continue for three to four weeks before significantly improving. Sometimes the lesion will resolve but then return.
If a scrape doesn't substantially resolve within a month, or gets worse, you should consult a dermatologist.
Worst Case Scenario
Even innocent injuries can turn deadly if you have an allergic or severe reaction. After any accident, watch for severe swelling, dizziness, blurred vision, breathing difficulties, weakness, muscle pain, cold sweat and a rapid heartbeat. If any occur, call DAN’s emergency hotline immediately. CPR may be necessary until help arrives.
The Turtle Bay Dive Boat and Dive Centre carry first aid kits that can be used for on the spot treatment; however the nearest large hospital to Moalboal is South General Hospital which is 90 minutes drive from Moalboal. So my advice to all divers coming to Moalboal, or to a remote dive location in the Philippines, is to make sure you are a paid up member of DAN (Divers Alert Network) so that expert advice is just a phone call away.
As children we saw the world as an opportunity to try a new and exciting experience every day. Sights, sounds, smells and colours dazzled our senses with each journey we took and life held boundless discoveries for us to make. However, with every passing year the novelty of worldly delights begins to wear – until relief from the daily grind is all that we truly seek to discover on our annual holidays.
Imagine if there was a new, thrilling world that you had never seen before, just waiting to be glimpsed.
We’ve all seen trees, mountains, lakes and sunsets. But how many people have experienced the marvel of the world underwater? Only by seeing it can you truly believe the breathtaking beauty of life at the bottom of the ocean. This is the ultimate destination for anyone looking to escape a life of normality and to push themselves to learn a rare and most valuable skill.
Scuba diving is not just a sport, but a lifestyle. Those who learn the skill find that it becomes a passion that consumes them, and they soon find themselves always searching for the best diving spots and the most sought-after sights. With some of the top diving destinations containing around 40,000 square kilometres of intricate coral reef, there is an enormous variety of marine life to be found. There are hundreds of species of multi-coloured fish, along with sharks, rays, turtles and a whole host of plant species that you never knew existed.
The best way to begin the learning process is to take a break from your daily routine and discover the diving holidays Maldives, Philippines, India or Red Sea getaways can provide. Wherever there is sea, there is life to be a part of – and learning on holiday will make the experience even more magical.
Taking your first breath underwater will be something you never forget – the power to immerse yourself in nature that was never intended for human eyes. With the help of an experienced PADI trainer you will embark upon a course designed to slowly adjust you to the diving experience and gain the confidence you need to swim underwater for a prolonged period of time. Most diving holidays include lessons for children and adults, as well as even the more experienced divers, in order to build and sustain a safe level of skill for all the family. Courses usually follow the basic principles of:
- Starting off in a pool to learn the basic skills of diving
- Studying the theoretical part in a classroom at the resort or online
- Completing adventure dives with various challenges in order to build confidence
- Reviewing skills if you haven’t dived in a long time
- Practise, practise, practise!
There are also numerous other opportunities to develop your new skills further, such as completing courses in a specialist field such as underwater photography, emergency first aid, rescue diving and becoming a master diver. With such a lot of activities to choose from, it is little wonder why divers are continually seeking more unique challenges. So try it, and rediscover the child within you and a whole new world!
To Find out more about PADI diving courses you can take at Turtle Bay Dive Resort, click on this link PADI Dive Courses.
Article written by contentlobby.com
Our Spanish guests – Jose Mate & Alicia Garcia sent by Viajes Buceo – had the first whale shark sighting of 2011. They were diving at the Copton marine sanctuary on January 15, 2011 when they looked out into the blue and saw the whale shark. Sorry no pictures this time as they did not have a camera.
Most divers by now have heard of the thresher shark cleaning station at Malapascua, Cebu. It is great to get up close to a 3m thresher even if you have to get up in the wee hours of the morning. Now at Pescador Island, we have something really cooool! The huge sardine balls attract threshers and many more predator fish. On December 9, 2010, our group of divers was lucky enough to witness a thresher in action. It dashed in amongst the ball of sardines and with a few quick sweeps of its tail it stunned a few fish which it the n proceeded to feed on them. WOW what a sight. I plan to post the video very soon.