Text by Lauren Kieren, SDI
Image from Shutterstock
Picture a clear sky, a slight breeze, warm sun beating down on calm flat seas, and limitless visibility underwater…What could make this picture-perfect dive day go from fantastic to terrible? Having to skip out on a dive! If you are a new diver or this is your first dive of the season, there are a few do’s and don’ts to consider before taking a giant stride in and having to skip out on a dive.
This list by no means covers every item to consider, but it’s a good head start to dive back in.
5 DOs of Diving Back In
- Participate in an SDI Inactive Diver or refresher course if you have not been diving within the past 12 months. It’s better to go through a tune up in a pool or confined open water setting under the guidance of an active dive professional versus trying to figure everything out during your initial descent
- Check in early for your dive trip. You might be able to pick the best spot on the boat or find an empty bench if you’re shore diving. Allow yourself some time to set up your gear without rushing and verify all of your equipment is on, functioning. and ready to dive.
- Make a checklist of necessary dive equipment for the day. Lay everything out before packing it, and only bring what you need. If you are diving off a boat, store your empty gear bag under the bench and be attentive to keeping your equipment streamlined and confined to your space.
- Keep an eye on your personal dive computer and pressure gauge during the dive, in addition to your depth, time, no decompression limits, and air consumption rate. Get to know the functions of your computer and learn how to read the displays before making the dive. Take a proactive approach to safety in the water and be aware of your limitations.
- CYA – computerise your ascent. Your dive computer is a necessary piece of equipment, no different than your mask and fins. It’s a fantastic tool to utilise to enhance the safety of your dives. During your ascent, pay close attention to your computer. Most modern-day computers have an ascent alarm to warn you if you’re going up too fast. If your computer does not have an ascent alarm, watch your depth and time to ascend no faster than 18 metres (60 feet) per minute.
6 DON’Ts of Diving Back In:
- Compare scuba diving to riding a bicycle. We all know the saying. “If you don’t use it, you lose it and the saying applies to diving as well. Regardless of how many certification cards are in your wallet or how many dives you have logged, after a period of inactivity. your skills will diminish over time.
- Forget your certification card while prepping for your dive trip. Nothing is worse than having your gear packed while you’re getting excited for the dive, and you get turned away during check in for not bringing your certification card. If this happens and the location has Internet access, you can verify your SDI certification online without missing the dive and order a replacement card.
- Be “that guy” (or gall on the dive boat or at the shore site with a suitcase full of scuba equipment exploding all over the place. This can cause people to trip over it and it can be invasive to their personal space to set up.
- Get yourself in trouble or put yourself at unnecessary risk of decompression sickness (DCS) by not paying attention to your personal dive computer. Don’t be “that guy” (or gal) who ends up back on the dive boat or shore location with a screaming dive computer sounding like a fire engine coming down the road.
- Ascend faster than your bubbles.
- Forget to have fun!
To find out more tips about diving as well as recommended diving gear and courses, check out Asian Diver Issue 3 / 2019 here.
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