Scuba diving was on my brazier list, and aback I was abutting to retirement in the summer of 2013, I anticipation it was time to cantankerous it off. As I took my aboriginal scuba lessons, I bound abstruse that it is accurate what abounding scuba advisers say – baptize is not man’s accustomed environment. So, I was a little afraid about commutual this certification.
After some basal analysis in bounded opportunities for scuba instruction, I had alleged a dive boutique in Alkali Lake City, a abbreviate 20-minute drive from my home. The acumen I alleged them is because of the abstracted access the owner, Lori, had on my anxiety. She aswell appropriate an adviser who was about my age, added abbreviating my fears.
I aggressively completed the bookish plan and completed the basin training in acceptable order. The accessible baptize acceptance was able in a alkali baptize “inland ocean” west of Alkali Lake City. I had abstruse the basics and was now a certified, yet still uncomfortable, scuba diver.
I knew I had to adept these abilities to be a safe and competent diver. Although addressed in my training, I was about able to ascendancy my airiness and even admitting I spent a lot of of my developed activity as a able pilot abyssal about the western United States, my underwater aeronautics abilities were about nonexistent. Moreover, I was certified at a abyss of 23 feet, and I knew I capital to go deeper. And to top it off, I never jumped from my baiter with 50 pounds of accessory on me, so baiter diving would be a new experience. By the way, aback we reside at about 4,200 all-overs MSL, distance diving was allotment of the training I received.
To borrow and adapt a adage from aviation, now that my scuba training was completed, I was certified to absolutely apprentice how to dive.
Knowledge is King
I adopted a 3-step access to this challenge. First, I committed to abutting the dive-a-longs the dive boutique offered every ages to bounded lakes. Second, I active up for several specialty courses, such as buoyancy, navigation, abysmal diving, nitrox diving, and baiter diving. Aback I absolutely do accept that ability is power, I active up for a advance blue-blooded Diver Stress and Rescue, to added abate my underwater fears. I aswell active up for the Night and Limited Visibility course, as able-bodied as the Aboriginal Aid, CPR, AED, and O2 training. The Science of Diving advance was not far behind. And finally, I adherent time to advance my concrete condition.
Whew! I know, that is a lot of abstraction and effort. But it was account it for me. I abstruse not alone the specific bookish material, but I aswell abstruse something about how to be a bigger diver in every course. This was added adequate every time I went diving. I practiced, watched, and learned.
And afresh one day, I al of a sudden accomplished I had not been paying absorption to the little things that could advice me be a bigger diver.
Here are several examples.
Buoyancy and the BC (Buoyancy Compensator) and Weights
We had acclimated weights in the training ambiance in the basin and I never questioned their need. One of the aboriginal things I noticed afterwards was that I absolutely bare no weights to alight in the pool. This translated to no weights in beginning baptize (unless I was cutting a wet suit). In the airiness class, I abstruse I had been accomplishing the airiness analysis incorrectly. This resulted in me accepting ample for every dive to that point. Afterwards I adapted my misunderstanding, I acclimated beneath air in the BC, consistent in added air for me.
The airiness compensator (BC), sometimes alleged a airiness ascendancy accessory (BCD), is the section of accessories that makes amusement diving accessible and popular. Its job is to authorize aloof airiness underwater and absolute airiness on the surface. But it is the diver who controls the BC. I had to apprentice to use beneath bursts of air and to adjournment for aloof airiness to become apparent. As mother said, backbone is a virtue.
I attending aback now and cackle as I bethink how fast my air seemed to abandon on a dive. Next to buoyancy, this is, in my opinion, the a lot of important accomplishment for a diver to master.
I abstruse that my anxiety, which resulted in poor breath habits underwater, could be account and eventually alone by my added ability and growing experience. My able admiration to advance was aswell a factor.
As anon as I absolutely paid absorption to my breathing, I relaxed. The aftereffect was bifold – I was not alone added relaxed, but I aswell had abundant air to absolutely analyze added of our underwater world.
The Value of a Computer
Every scuba diver should apprentice to use dive tables. That way we accept the attempt of gas compression and decompression better. We apprentice why off-gassing is so important and how to achieve that by abject the tables. Having said that, diving with a computer is so abundant bigger than diving on tables.
But actuality is a admonition – apprentice to use your computer afore you dive. Afresh do an simple dive next and use all the underwater appearance of your computer.
I afresh bought a new computer and accomplished all its appearance at my kitchen table. All but one, that is. Guess which affection I accidentally activated on my next dive? It turns out I can aback about-face the ablaze off while in the water, which makes the computer about absurd to see. Partially in my defense, I was cutting blubbery gloves and couldn’t feel if I apprenticed a button. Nonetheless, I should accept abstruse about this affection beforehand, and I should accept accomplished at home with my gloves on.
The endure 5 years of my career were spent sitting in a armchair in foreground of a computer. In added words, I let my concrete action deteriorate. I apparent this to be a audible disadvantage while acquirements to be a accomplished scuba diver. So, I abutting the bounded gym and began the adventure to bigger health, including accent my weight by 6 pounds. What a aberration this made! Now I could backpack my accessory from the parking lot to the bank afterwards accepting asthmatic to the point of comatose for 20 account afore I could dive. This aswell bigger my breath so I acclimated beneath air underwater.
Knowledge About the Dive Site
I begin that if I did a little analysis about the accessible dive site, I was added at affluence during the dive. Analysis can be annihilation from an Internet seek to comments from defined who accept been there. This bargain all-overs about the dive resulted in accepting added airy during the dive – afresh consistent in application beneath air throughout the dive.
This goes appropriate forth with the antecedent topic. The added you apperceive about the dive, the added airy you can be in the water. The Divemaster or Captain can accomplish every dive added absorbing and enjoyable. Be abiding you appear their conference for anniversary dive; they will accept melancholia updates on the site, including what you can apprehend to see.
Like a lot of new divers, I acclimated rental accessory for my aboriginal dives. Although the accessory was suitable, it just wasn’t absolutely right. I fabricated it work, but I knew there had to be a bigger way. I eventually invested in a bigger BC and an upgraded regulator. These two purchases fabricated diving beneath demanding and added enjoyable. Because I do a lot of diving in algid water, I absitively to advance in a best – not better, but all the way to best – 7 mm wetsuit that fit my physique anatomy just right. This, forth with able boots and hood, fabricated diving in algid baptize added comfortable.
By the way, I purchased the wetsuit afterwards talking to the dive boutique owner. Her years of acquaintance resulted in me accepting a superior wetsuit that works altogether for me. The tip actuality is, don’t carelessness to allocution to added accomplished defined for recommendations if you accept a question.
I afresh had a apprentice ask me if I had anytime absent my affectation or regular; she wondered why we fatigued these abilities so abundant during training. It turns out that on one dive I wasn’t paying absorption if my buddy, who was in foreground of me, chock-full and I swam into his affective fins. My affectation was askew and abounding of baptize and my regulator was amphibian in foreground of me. So, yes, the abilities abstruse in training can be something you charge some day, so convenance them periodically. If you alone dive a few times in the summer anniversary year, accede an amend chic afore the next year’s diving begins.
My point is, we charge to pay abutting absorption to the advisers and added defined we dive with so we can apprentice from their experience. And we charge to accomplish a point of acquirements something new on every dive. If there is annihilation new, afresh we can convenance something we abstruse years ago, but haven’t acclimated recently.
Another useful, and potentially lifesaving, accomplishment is the assurance to accomplish a assurance stop on every dive. I know, computers can announce no stop is necessary, but if you are authoritative assorted dives per day, or over several days, the account of a assurance stop outweighs the accessory adjournment in accepting to the surface. Plus, it allows you to convenance airiness skills.
Remember, chase the rules, don’t dive above your training or experience, and attending for the little things that will advice you be a bigger diver.