Turtle Bay Dive Resort Blog

Choosing Your First Regulator

Posted by Featured Author on Tue, Aug 02, 2016 @ 02:08 PM

By Andy Phillips

Once you’ve decided to invest in your own regulator, the number of options out there can be intimidating. Here are a few helpful tips to help you choose your first one.

Choosing your first regulator is almost as much fun as choosing your first car (in our opinion). But with the plethora of options out there — DIN or yoke, balanced or unbalanced, black or color, your instructor’s recommendation, etc. — how do you know what’s right for you?

Your regulator is one of the most important investments you’ll make. You’ll rely on it for life support, and any problems/failures with your regulator are obviously more immediately concerning. Poorly maintained rental regulators tend to leak more, which depletes your air supply and can raise anxiety. They’re generally harder to breathe from as well, and may not be the most hygienic.

In short, if I could travel with only two pieces of dive equipment, I’d choose my regulator and dive computer. Drawing on my 20 years as a dive professional, as well as advice from two well-seasoned colleagues, we’ve put together a few tips for you to consider when it comes to choosing your first regulator.

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DIN or yoke

Depending on where you’re purchasing and whether you ask, you may not have a choice. In North America, most retailers will offer yoke/A-clamp by default. In Europe or the U.K., you’ll most likely have the option to purchase a DIN. For more on the difference between a yoke and DIN configuration, check here. If you intend to do lots of deep or technical dives, or ones in overhead environments, we recommend DIN regulators. This connection tends to be stronger and is preferred for that type of diving. DIN regulators can easily be converted to yoke/A-clamp configurations with an adaptor (usually an additional purchase), or by removing a donut fitting from the valve face. That said, most first-time regulator purchases, at least in the U.S. and tropics, will be yoke-style, and these can be converted to DIN as well.

Budget or premium (often known as unbalanced or balanced)

While price shouldn’t be the only deciding factor on such a crucial piece of equipment, economics of course play a part in the decision-making process. Unbalanced regulators are at the lower end of the price spectrum. With both piston and diaphragm designs, these typically breathe a little harder as the tank pressure drops, when you’re breathing at deeper depths, or when two divers breathe at the same time. Balanced regulators tend to breathe evenly across the dive, both at depth and when your tank pressure drops. If money is no object, many are available in titanium or colored finishes. If you regularly dive at deeper depths, beyond 80 feet (24 m) or in challenging conditions, such as cold water or strong currents, then a balanced reg is the way to go.

Ease of service/parts

Frequent divers, especially those who travel a lot or aspire to a career as a dive professional, may want to choose a well-known brand such as Scubapro or Aqua Lung. These will be easier to find service or parts for those in remote locations. Your choice when it comes to unbalanced vs. balanced may also depend on how much you travel. On small islands and in remote locations you can usually get parts and service for an unbalanced regulator.

environmentally sealed regulator

Environmentally sealed

If you’ll be diving in cold water, an environmentally sealed regulator prevents potential freezing, which could result in a free-flow. In Europe, regulations require an environmentally sealed regulator for diving in waters as cold as 35 to 39 F (2 to 4 C). It’s also wise to purchase a sealed regulator to prevent debris build-up if you’re diving in waters that are high in silt, sand or other particulates. This type of regulator tends to be more expensive. If you cannot afford this feature when you buy it, you may be able to adapt or upgrade the regulator at a later date.

Additional features to consider

Venturi/inhalation assist: these valves make breathing from the second-stage diaphragm easier at depth and, when in the “off” setting, help avoid free-flows at the surface.

Miflex/length of hoses: While you can change hoses, they should configured in such a way that they’re comfortable for each diver to breathe from. If you’re using an alternate rather than an Air2 setup, it should be on a slightly longer hose (6 to 8 inches).Miflex hoses are popular with some divers due to their flexibility and versatility. If you pack your regulator in your carry-on luggage when flying, these hoses also make it easier to stow.

Number of ports: Ideally, you’ll have two high-pressure ports so that you’ve got the option to add an air-integrated transmitter as well as your submersible pressure gauge. The first stage should also have four low-pressure ports so that you can connect your primary air source, alternate air source, a low-pressure BCD inflator and a drysuit inflator hose.

Weight: As airlines get stricter and stricter on travel allowances, every bit of extra weight makes a difference. Many manufacturers have taken this into account and have made lighter or smaller first stages, but you should make sure this doesn’t affect performance or limit the features listed above. Many divers will travel with their regulator in their carry-on baggage to protect it, as well as reduce the weight of checked baggage.

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Source: http://scubadiverlife.com/2016/07/06/choosing-first-regulator/

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

Making a Proper Scuba Descent

Posted by Featured Author on Tue, Aug 02, 2016 @ 01:55 PM

By Thomas Gronfeldt

When it comes to safety, starting your dive properly sets the tone for the entire experience.

Making a proper ascent gets much of the attention when it comes to safety and scuba diving. From safety stops, to ascent rate, to avoiding traffic on the surface, a lot of training involves rising from the bottom. But descending for your dive is equally important, although course work does not emphasize it as much. Read on for tips on the best procedure for making a proper scuba descent.

Preparation for a proper scuba descent

Before you even start your descent, complete a few steps to ensure that you’re ready to descend at all. Preparing at the outset of a dive means that you won’t waste time remedying a situation once you’ve already begun.

1.     Check your gear.

Before getting in the water, make sure you have everything you need for the dive. Make sure that everything is in its place and secured. There’s nothing worse than trying to descend, only to find that you’ve forgotten your weights.

2.     Check the current.

Again before jumping into the water, check the current, both direction and strength. Knowing which way the water is moving will help you decide where to descend, or even if you should consider pushing the dive to a later time or date.

3.     Check that you’re at the right location.

Once you’re in the water and just before you’re ready to descend, look down to make sure you’re above your intended start point. Confirm the direction you’ll be heading in once you’re at depth.

4.     Check your brain.

You should already have checked in with yourself to make sure that you’re physically and mentally ready to dive, and that you simply feel good about the dive. But just as you’re about to descend, take a few seconds and a few deep, calm breaths to center yourself. Become present for the dive. Focus your mind on the activity at hand.

5.     Make eye contact.

Finally, find your buddy and make sure you’re both ready to dive, and are within a reasonable distance of each other before you begin your descent.

The descent

Now that you’re prepared, you can begin your actual descent.

1.     Let air out of your BCD and start the descent.

Start by letting all the air out of your BCD. You’ll float at about eye level in the water if you’re properly weighted. Exhale, pushing a bit more air out than you would during a normal exhalation, and feel yourself starting to sink. Once you’re a few feet below the surface, begin breathing normally again, but don’t take overly deep breaths, as these will make you buoyant enough to bring you back to the surface. This is probably the most common reason that new divers struggle to descend, a problem they often address with additional, and unnecessary, weight.

2.     Equalize your ears.

As the saying goes, equalize your ears “early and often.” Start your equalization as soon as your head goes below the surface, and continue to do so in frequent intervals as you descend. The more often you equalize, the less force you need to apply, and you may find you need only to wiggle your jaw a bit if you get it right.

3.     Keep an eye on the dive site and your buddy.

As you start to sink, keep an eye on your dive site, make adjustments for any current, and stay in touch with your buddy. Depending on the current or how far you are from your dive location, you can start slowly finning in the appropriate direction once you’re about 10 feet below the surface. Until then, you should be vertical in the water. This will not only help with your descent, but will also keep your sinuses above your lungs, which helps with equalization.

4.     Add air to your BCD.

As you descend, the inherent buoyancy from your exposure suit, the air in your tank, and whatever else is giving you buoyancy decreases, so you’ll start sinking faster and faster. To avoid descending too fast, add small amounts of air to your BCD to slow your descent. While we always talk about safe ascension rates, we should also make sure we don’t descend too fast. The deeper you go; the more air you’ll need to add.

5.     Come to a hover.

As you reach the bottom or your intended depth, add a bit more air to your BCD to achieve a complete hover. Stop here for a breath or two to ensure that you’re actually correctly buoyant. You should neither sink nor float up, and only change depth minimally when you inhale or exhale. Movement, such as finning, creates buoyancy, so taking a moment to hover without movement helps ensure that you are neutrally buoyant before venturing off.

6.     Make like Tom Cruise.

Whenever I have new divers on a course, I challenge them to do a Mission Impossible dive. I ask them to descend vertically until they’re almost at the bottom, and then assume a horizontal position. Whoever can come closest to the bottom without touching it wins. My students practice this challenge on every descent as long as the bottom surface is suitable, i.e., a sandy bottom without any coral or anything else that can be damaged.

With just a bit of forethought, training, and a few good procedures, a proper descent can help kick your dive off right.

 

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Source: http://scubadiverlife.com/2016/07/19/making-proper-scuba-descent/

Tags: diving moalboal, diving tips, scuba diving Cebu, visiting cebu, scuba diving, diving, cebu adventure

Court Rules in Favor of Marine Mammals in U.S. Navy Sonar Debate

Posted by Featured Author on Tue, Aug 02, 2016 @ 01:50 PM

By Jessica Macdonald

After a protracted legal battle, a federal appeals court in San Francisco has ruled that the low-frequency active sonar used by the U.S. Navy constitutes a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

In 2012, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) granted permission for the Navy to use low-frequency active sonar as part of its peacetime training and testing activities. The approval was valid for a period of five years, and applied to exercises in the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans as well as the Mediterranean Sea. In the same year, environmental groups led by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a counter-suit, claiming that the approval put vulnerable cetacean and pinniped species at risk and did not fulfil the terms of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

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On July 15th, California’s Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the environmentalists. The Marine Mammal Protection Act states that peacetime oceanic programs must have “the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammals,” a stipulation that the court unanimously agreed the approval had failed to uphold. The court did not place the blame on the U.S. Navy, however, which it stated “has been deliberate and thoughtful in its plans to follow NMFS guidelines and limit unnecessary harassment and harm to marine mammals.” Instead, the court pointed the finger at NMFS.

The terms of the original approval required the Navy to shut down or delay sonar use when a marine mammal was detected near the ships, and also banned sonar pulses near coastlines and in protected waters. However, the court ruled that the areas classified as “protected” by the NMFS were inadequate, in reality doing very little to shield vulnerable marine mammals from sonar-generated sound waves capable of reaching 235 decibels. To put that into perspective, the sound of a 12-gauge shotgun being fired is 165 decibels, while the average rock concert reaches just 115 decibels.

Underwater, sonar sound waves can travel for hundreds of miles. They are found in approximately 70 percent of the world’s oceans, and can measure up to 140 decibels at a distance of 300 miles from their original source. Scientists believe that this noise pollution causes severe stress for marine mammals by interfering with their echolocation and communication systems, and forcing them to alter their feeding and mating behavior. According to NRDC’s Marine Mammal Protection Project Director Michael Jasny, “marine mammal species perceive these [sonar] sounds as a threat and react accordingly.”

Navy sonar exercises have been linked to several mass strandings, including the 2002 stranding of 14 whales in the Canary Islands. Autopsies showed that the whales had gas bubbles in their tissues, leading some to hypothesize that sonar may cause decompression sickness in cetaceans. At this point, it is not clear what the court’s ruling means for the future of U.S. Navy low-frequency active sonar. The case has been returned to the district court for further consideration, but it is hoped that scientists will eventually find a way for marine-mammal conservation and national defense to co-exist.

 

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Source: http://scubadiverlife.com/2016/07/26/court-rules-favor-marine-mammals-u-s-navy-sonar-debate/

 

Tags: scuba diving, diving, mammals

Becoming a Drysuit Diver

Posted by Featured Author on Tue, Aug 02, 2016 @ 01:42 PM

Open up your underwater world by becoming a drysuit diver.


Although so much of the ocean qualifies as cold water, the majority of divers learn the basics of scuba diving in tropical waters, and remain there for their entire dive careers. But there’s no need to restrict your diving horizons: it’s time to try a drysuit.

If someone asked me if I’d like to visit the Alps in winter to ski I wouldn’t say no because “the snow looks a bit cold.” I’ve always held the same philosophy when it comes to diving: You just need the correct clothing and equipment. A drysuit opens doors to explore everything from winter diving in the Mediterranean, to Scotland’s Scapa Flow wrecks, to ice diving.

A drysuit can be worn anywhere but is typically used in water that’s colder than 59 to 68 F (15 to 20 C). According to several diving historians, the first drysuit was introduced by George Edwards in 1838. It’s evolved over the decades but does essentially the same job. Where a wetsuit lets in a small amount of water that is subsequently warmed against the body, the drysuit is water and air-tight. Zipped into your trusty drysuit, you’re sealed at the neck and wrists to keep the water out and a layer of air inside, which is used to maintain body temperature and help control your buoyancy and positioning while in the water.

What’s the first step?

If you’re ready to take the plunge into drysuit diving, there are a few considerations and a slightly amended diving style you’ll need to become familiar with. Although there’s nothing preventing you from simply buying a drysuit and jumping in, you’ll do well to first contact your local dive center and enroll in a drysuit specialty training course. Most major training agencies such as PADI offer such courses. The training allows you to become accustomed to drysuit diving under the guidance of a diving professional, as well as to learn about the suits themselves, their valves, undergarments and accessories. You’ll also learn basic repair and maintenance of drysuits. In addition to the classroom sessions, there’s also some practical assessment. PADI and SSI, for example, include two open-water dives in their training program, during which you’ll practice new techniques. For example, a large part of your buoyancy control comes via air you’ll add to the suit, usually through an “Iron Man”-style inflator button on your chest. Gas is then vented via dump valves, usually located on your left shoulder or wrist.  This new skill takes a little practice and is best done with the advice and supervision of an instructor.

What type of drysuit should I get? 

Once you’ve taken the class and decided you like drysuit diving, you’ll most likely want to invest in one of your own, if you’ve got the financial means. First, make sure you purchase the correct type of drysuit for your environment and undergarments. Most major manufacturers sell off-the-shelf suits in standard sizes, but a made-to-measure suit is the way to go for the best fit and comfort.

Drysuits come in a range of materials, but most divers opt for neoprene or trilaminate. The foam neoprene or crushed-neoprene suits tend to be slightly thicker; on first wearing one, people often report that they feel bulky. However, the additional thickness makes the suits tougher and slightly hardier than their trilaminate cousins, which can be important if you’re wreck diving or working in a tougher environment. In addition, in the unlikely event that a neoprene suit floods, it will retain some basic thermal protection — not much, but some.

Under a neoprene drysuit you’ll typically wear thermal base-layers; many manufacturers offer their own bespoke base-layers. The number of layers you wear will depend on your own thermal characteristics, the length of your dive and, of course, the water temperature. Be aware that the more layers you wear, the more weight you’ll need to carry.

Trilaminate or ‘shell’ suits are thinner and more flexible than neoprene, which makes them easier to transport and, usually, to get on and off. They’re not quite as hard-wearing as neoprene suits, however, and being thinner means they’re slightly more prone to puncture either in transport, storage or if you’re a little careless on a wreck. Typically, these are worn worn with a thick under-suit that resembles a sleeping bag.

Whichever construction you choose, fit is most important. Consider the following:

  • Is the construction right for the environment, both in terms of temperature and activity?
  • What undergarments do I need to wear underneath to stay warm? Will they fit comfortably and still allow the suit to vent air safely?
  • Do the neck and wrist seal fit snugly, but not so snugly that restrict blood flow?
  • Are the boots sufficiently large enough to wear the booties or thick socks I’ll be wearing underneath?
  • Are the arms long enough to allow me to make adjustments to my mask, BCD and hoses?
  • Will my computer fit comfortably over my wrist?
  • Will my fins fit?

Once you’ve decided on the suit’s construction, you’ve got a few other decisions to make — Front entry or rear entry? Shoulder or cuff dump valve? Neoprene or latex wrist and neck seals? Dry or wet gloves? Pee valve or no pee valve? Boots included or rock boots?

The drysuit is an amazing invention, and when you master its use, you’ll realize you no longer need to feel intimidated by either its operation or cold-water diving. With the correct training and experience, drysuit diving opens up a brand new world of water.

BY MARCUS KNIGHT (THE SCUBA MONKEY)

Source: http://scubadiverlife.com/2016/06/08/becoming-drysuit-diver/

Tags: diving tips, diving, diving gear, night diving

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/

BY DAVID BABINEC

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

4 Easy Ways to Find A Dive Buddy

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

by

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

by

Divemaster008

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.

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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!

Divemaster010

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.

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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
Shutterstock


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


Q: I SOMETIMES GET VERTIGO BELOW 60 FEET. WHAT’S CAUSING IT, AND HOW CAN I PREVENT IT?

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