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Ericka Villa // December 5, 2017

5 Common Mistakes That Scuba Divers Make And How To Avoid Them

As humans, we try to be the best we can be and Scuba Divers are no exception. However, sometimes we forget things or let emotions get the better of us, which can lead to mistakes under the water. It’s normal, we have all done it at least once in our diving careers, humans are not perfect however, knowing how to prevent these issues from happening is a good start. Remember that practice makes perfect, here are 5 common mistakes that divers and new divers make and how to avoid them…

No Buoyancy Checks

If you haven’t dived for a while, it is so common to jump into the water and get swept up by your feelings of excitement and thoughts of what you might see on your dive, that you forget to conduct a buoyancy check. There are so many factors, which can affect your buoyancy. Such as putting on weight, losing weight, what kind of wet suit you are wearing, what water are you diving in fresh water or salt water, are you using the same BCD you always use or are you renting one? If any one of these points mentioned above has changed, then you may be over-weighted or under-weighted throughout your dive, which in itself can ruin your diving experience. If you are weighted incorrectly, then this can cause you to exert excess energy throughout your dive, increase your air consumption and in the worst-case scenario, cause you to have an uncontrolled ascent. The majority of marine life injuries usually occur when a diver accidentally comes into contact with them, due to lack of buoyancy control. Remember that correct buoyancy control starts with the correct weighting and that is essential if we are to ensure our safety and the safety of the marine life surrounding us.

Do Not Maintain Gear Properly

When scuba diving, a diver is entering an environment that naturally, they should not be in. Your dive gear is your lifeline throughout a dive, so it should be treated like one. The way you can ensure that your dive gear remains at its optimum efficiency is by:

  • Rinsing your gear properly after your dives and cleaning it properly before storing it away.
  • Make sure that your kit has fully air dried in a shaded area before storing it away.
  • Ensure that your gear is stored in a dust free environment, which is dust and dirt free.
  • Check your equipment regularly for any holes, breakages or cracks.

Do Not Create a Proper Dive Plan

If you are diving with a DM (Dive Master) or a guide it is a common mistake to place all of your trust in that one person. Some divers, who are diving with a guide, don’t listen to the pre-dive briefing, as they believe that no matter what happens, the guide will take care of them. In my opinion, this is dangerous and bad diving practice as divers should be responsible for themselves. Dive plans are there for a reason, they are to prepare you, prevent and manage any dive accidents that can occur. If you are diving with a guide, make sure that you listen to them throughout their briefing. Be aware of various landmarks and currents, this will not only help you to remain safe throughout your dive, but it will also help you to become a better diver.

If you are not diving with a guide, you must NEVER ‘dive in and figure it out later’. Before you even get on a dive boat you should know the following:

  • What location are you going to?
  • What are the currents like at the dive site?
  • Do the currents change?
  • What kind of marine life is found at this dive site?
  • Depths of the site
  • Exit and entry points
  • Is there boat traffic?
  • Are there any environmental concerns?
  • Surfacing Technique

Before leaving for your dive, make sure to tell someone on-land where you are going and when you expect to be back. That way, someone knows that you are out there. Finally, make sure that you and your buddy are on the same wavelength. Make sure that you have discussed back-up plans if your situation changes. Always establish your maximum depth, maximum bottom time as well as minimum air supply to finish your dive.

Diving Beyond Your Limits

Once you are a diver, you will want to develop your skills and progress. When diving you will never be short of things to learn. No diving experience is alike. However, when you are fledgling diver on a dive boat, with a lot of experienced divers, it is pretty hard to say no. However, by saying yes, this can lead you into uncharted territory, which you are not prepared for and can be extremely dangerous. It is important to remember that you are only qualified to dive in the conditions in which you have a certification. If at any point before or during your dive, you begin to feel uncomfortable in any way, you have the ability to end it there and then. Remember that YOU are in control of your own safety. Starting to explore new places is a good way to gain experience before undertaking your next diving qualification. If you are particularly interested in wreck diving or cave diving, make sure to take proper training before entering a wreck or a cave as these new environments present new dangers. In addition, first aid training or emergency first response training is always a good idea when diving, as you never know when it might save you or your buddies life.

Over Loading Yourself

With all the amazing sites and magnificent marine life to take in, many scuba divers feel the need to over load themselves with expensive cameras, lighting equipment and filters, however scuba divers already have a lot to concentrate on and by adding more, this can be dangerous for a new diver. Try to avoid doing too much when you first start out as a diver. Gain as much experiences in as many diving environments as you can before taking your photography gear with you. Practice makes perfect and once you have practiced and feel comfortable in the water and remembering everything becomes second nature to you, then you are ready to take photos. Whilst your buoyancy control is off and you are racing through your air, whipping out the camera equipment will be not only detrimental to you and your group, but also to your surrounding environment.

Do you have any tips or stories about common mistakes when scuba diving?  Please share in the comments below.

 

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Chris White // November 29, 2017

Top Reasons To Be A Scuba Diver

Top Reasons To Be A Scuba Diver

 
 
scuba diver ascending
 
Why learn to scuba dive? Good question.
There are many reasons to learn to scuba dive. It may be something to mark off your bucket list, a reason to travel or even a way to escape the effects of gravity.
If you’ve been thinking about it and haven’t taken the plunge, here is a top 10 list of reasons to learn to dive.
 
Explore parts of the world that many don’t get to see
The ocean covers 71 percent of the earth’s surface. If your goal is to “see the world” then you’ll need to learn to scuba dive.
 
You have a place to escape everyday technology and Zen out
There are no phone calls to answer or emails to respond to underwater. Your attention is focused on breathing and what you see through your mask (which most of the time is pretty awesome!).
 
Experience weightlessness
Is gravity always bringing you down? Learn to dive and feel the sweet spot of neither sinking nor floating.
 
Improve your equalisation skills for flights and mountain drives
Once you master equalising your ears on a dive, you can do it anywhere.
 
Relive the vast amount of history that lies beneath the sea
You can explore wrecks that sit at the bottom of the ocean, including World War ships and planes.
 
Tank carrying muscles help you be better at bowling
#Strike
 
Master of non-verbal communications
Scuba divers learn to communicate underwater without speaking. The “this way to the exit” hand signal is very handy when you want to signal your date that it’s time to leave the party!
 
Impress others with your newly acquired knowledge
You’ll learn about PSI and compressed air in your scuba cylinder. Since you know an empty tank weighs less than full tank, you’ll know that a deflated football weighs less than one fully inflated.
 
You can one-up your friends on social media
This is especially useful if you have a lot of friends who run marathons…
 
You know that “Keep Calm and Carry On” is a real thing
After you get certified you’ll understand the importance of making your air supply last. The trick is to breathe slowly and move deliberately. Good advice for the surface too.
 
You really should learn to dive, don’t you think? Send us an email at info@turtlebaydiveresort.com
 
Article by: Julie Clarke-Bush
Featured Author // November 29, 2016

6 Things You Don’t Know About Dry Suit Diving

 by Brooke Morton
 

DrySuit

Rich Morin knows a lot about dry suits. Not only does he perform search-and-recovery operations under the ice for local police teams, he also teaches loads of Ice Diver certification courses through his PADI Five Star Dive Center, Rich Morin’s Pro Scuba Center in New York.

According to Morin, dry suits are a necessity for divers in his area who want to get as much time in the water as possible. “Because, we have nine months of winter and three months of bad sledding,” he says.

If you’re not already Dry Suit certified, here’s what you need to know to get started:

6. “The skills are nothing you can’t do,” says Morin.

One of the skills students must complete is to remove and replace the scuba unit and weight system.

“It’s something we’ve all done a million times, only now it’s a bit more challenging because of the bulk—and because you’ll need to disconnect and reconnect the inflator hose to the dry suit, which attaches on the bicep of the left arm, typically.

Dry Suit Specialty

 5. Yes, you will be upside-down in the suit at times, but that is part of the training.

Just as you did when you first got certified, you’ll learn to maneuver in a way that works with the equipment you’re wearing.

When you find your feet pointed skyward, you have a couple options. If you’re closer to the surface, ball up. Teaches Morin, “Tuck into a ball, then do a sit-up to be upright and vertical.” If there’s enough depth below you, kick down. “Swim down and then get horizontal—you’ll end up either on your belly or back, and if you’re on your back, just roll over,” says Morin.

4. Alpaca socks keep your feet the warmest.

“We’ve tried it all, and found that alpaca wool socks underneath the booties the manufacturer supplies do extremely well at keeping feet toasty warm.”

In addition to the socks, you’ll typically be wearing polypropylene t-shirt and pants. Then a fleece layer— shirt and pants. Then the undergarment/s supplied by the dry suit manufacturer.

drysuits

3. Everything happens in slower motion when it comes to buoyancy in a dry suit.

Air doesn’t escape the suit as quickly as it does a BC. A BC has no resistance thanks to the urethane coating. But, when you’re bundled up in layers of clothing under the dry suit, says Morin, “It takes time for the air to travel through the undergarments.” And so, he reminds divers to “really take your time adding and subtracting air—do it in small amounts but frequently.”

2. You have to move periodically to stay warm.

Your body heat will warm the air in the suit, but you’ll need to help it circulate. “If you’re always in a face-down position while diving, your back stays toasty but your belly gets cold, so every once in a while you have to roll to move that air around,” says Morin.

Dry Suit

1. It’s easier than you think.

“Unfortunately, a lot of dry suit divers like to dwell on the complexity of the dry suit,” says Morin. But there’s really no merit to this initiation-like speech. The whole course is typically taught in one day, with one confined-water session and two open-water dives. But that length of time should speak to how easily the skills are for most divers. Says Morin, “In fact, the number one thing that surprises people about dry suit diving is how easy it is.”

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Source: http://www2.padi.com/blog/2016/11/01/6-things-you-dont-know-about-dry-suit-diving/ 

 

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