ACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7598 posts, RR: 40 Posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1230 times:
So the girlfriend bought us Scuba lessons for Christmas and classes start this spring. I've already been reading the Open Water Diving hand book from SSI and while I'm really looking forward to getting certified and have some amazing vacations destinations open up for us, but I 'd be lying if I said that I wasn't scared sh!tless .
So are any fellow a.nutters certified divers? Are you enjoying diving? Are there any tips/advice one can give in regards to what one can expect when starting out (bouyance, pressurization)? Any "must go" to diving destinations?
AF340 From Canada, joined Jul 2007, 2786 posts, RR: 4 Reply 1, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1219 times:
Let me start out by saying welcome to the sport! Joining the leagues of certified Scuba divers is not something that many people can, or are willing, to do!
You will be amazed at the level of interaction you can have with sea life while Scuba diving, you really do become "one of the fishes!" In your Open Water classes (I am a PADI Divemaster, not SSI, but the differences are not too great). One thing I often find is a problem with some students is getting water near their eyes during mask remove and replace and mask flooding exercises. This should not be a problem for you, and is generally quite a minimal problem to boot.
In terms of buoyancy, practice is the only way to nail it. Your instructor will likely give you time to play around in the pool. Use this time to try and practice buoyancy by focusing on your breathing, not putting air in and out of your BC (too much). This will all become much clearer when you actually take your course!
For pressurization, again, this is something that most people have no problems with. Can you clear your ears on an airplane? Unless you have a specific medical problem, you'll likely be fine and the instructor will guide you through the method we Scuba divers use to clear our ears.
From what I understand of your description, this appears to be a 6-or so week long course, as opposed to a condensed weekend course. Since you will go a week between lessons, make sure you stay on top of the theory and do any assigned work at home (this probably goes without saying!) to keep your skills sharp. If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me and I'll do anything I can!
Diving is a relaxing and fun sport. Whether you dive in the tropics (Cozumel, Indonesia, the Red Sea, and Bonaire are among the best places to dive in warm water) or in fresh water (Tobermory, Ontario and the Great Lakes in general have amazing diving. Brockville is also another place in Canada to go) the opportunities are endless.
This course will open up the underwater world to you, have fun! And in the immortal words of Creed from The Office: "They won't let me Scuba. If I can't Scuba, then what's this all been about"
[Edited 2012-02-21 02:18:23]
He's faster than a speeding bullet, he can leap tall buildings in a single bound; he's Obamaman!!
airportugal310 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3056 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1176 times:
I have been diving for about a year now, and love every second of it. Before SCUBA, my biggest hobby was of course aviation. Now, though, it seems that diving is poised to take over as number one.
First off, you and the lady are going to love it. It is such an odd concept to grasp when you think about it...you'll be weightless when you are neutrally bouyant and think that its the greatest thing ever. It never seems to get old.
Second, you'll be seeing various fish and mammals underwater that you just can't close enough to at an aquarium. On one of my early dives, I came face to face with a 2ft turtle. Mindblowing. It's also fun to go and look at the lobsters up close in their little caves.
Thirdly...and my favorite part...no one can bother you with phone calls, texts, or emails. It's you and you alone with your thoughts
I could spend so much time going on and on. Its wicked addictive and I yearn for every moment to go diving. It's also fun to buy up new equipement thats not pilot stuff haha...I have everything now but a tank (no need to buy one in my opinion) and a regulator set. The reg is next on my list with my work bonus, then I will be all set. SO much stuff to choose from.
Heading to the Florida Keys in two weeks for a 3-tank dive one day, and then a 3-tank dive the next! It's going to be exhausting but it will be offset by the joy of getting away from reality for a little bit!!!
I did my first cold water dive last month in La Jolla, California and that's a whole different beast in terms of equipment required (neoprene really) but it had it's own joys in terms of flora and fish.
ipodguy7 From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 301 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1169 times:
I love to Scuba, I myself got certified back in 2004 (when I was 12 actually). So far, I've dove Cozumel (before Katrina damaged some of Palincar), Grand Cayman, Turks and Caicos, Key West, St. Maarten (2 different trips), and St. Barthelemy. Ranking wise I'd say #1 Cozumel #2 TCI #3 Grand Cayman, and the rest really weren't all too interesting. St Maarten was too foggy under water, St Barths didnt have too much fish variety, and Key West was way too shallow and the waves too big, buoyancy killed me on that dive haha. On my "to dive" wish list is Chuuk, Fiji, French Polynesia, Australia, Iceland, and Roatan (It kills me that I've been to Honduras about 10 times, but never made it up to the islands).
ACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7598 posts, RR: 40 Reply 5, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1111 times:
Quoting AF340 (Reply 1): You will be amazed at the level of interaction you can have with sea life while Scuba diving, you really do become "one of the fishes!"
That is something that excites me yet freaks me out
Quoting AF340 (Reply 1): am a PADI Divemaster, not SSI, but the differences are not too great
What exactly are the differences between PADI and SSI, if you find a diving establishment that is PADI and you are SSI certified, is that a problem?
Quoting AF340 (Reply 1): Can you clear your ears on an airplane?
Quoting AF340 (Reply 1): you'll likely be fine and the instructor will guide you through the method we Scuba divers use to clear our ears.
Only thing I've read so far was by holding your nose and blowing. How often does one have to typically do this on a typical dive?
Quoting AF340 (Reply 1): please feel free to PM me and I'll do anything I can!
Quoting AF340 (Reply 1): Whether you dive in the tropics (Cozumel, Indonesia, the Red Sea, and Bonaire are among the best places to dive in warm water) or in fresh water (Tobermory, Ontario and the Great Lakes in general have amazing diving. Brockville is also another place in Canada to go) the opportunities are endless.
We have a few diving lakes here, nothing spectacular and the visibility is pretty poor, but still, it would be quite interesting to see the rock formations along all the cliffs. One of the more popular dives here is a night dive under the Okanagan Lake floating bridge in Kelowna, its supposedly quite surreal being underwater in total darkness and just listening to the cars crossing the bridge above.
Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 2): Before SCUBA, my biggest hobby was of course aviation. Now, though, it seems that diving is poised to take over as number one.
Which is another worry of mine, another hobby that's gonna want me to spend more money
Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 2): On one of my early dives, I came face to face with a 2ft turtle. Mindblowing.
Sea turtles is one thing I'd really look forward too, my girlfriends daughter is planning to get married in Hawaii in the next 2 years so we are defienetly taking an extra week to dive around the islands
Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 2): Thirdly...and my favorite part...no one can bother you with phone calls, texts, or emails. It's you and you alone with your thoughts
What? No Facebook underwater? Thank God
Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 2): Heading to the Florida Keys in two weeks for a 3-tank dive one day, and then a 3-tank dive the next! It's going to be exhausting but it will be offset by the joy of getting away from reality for a little bit!!!
My girlfiend has relatives in Australia and is planning to visit again in the next few years (be a first for me) and again, she wants to stay an extra week to dive. Iceland is one place I really want to visit again, but she isn't too keen on it but I did pick up a diving magazine a couple of weeks ago that had some Icelandic freshwater dive pictures in it and now its on her list ... YAY! LOL!
Speaking of pictures, I've been looking at underwater camera's and most "waterproof" cameras are only really good for snorkling, so I'm thinking the best best is to buy a decent camera and the appropriate housing for it. Any experiences/suggestions?
AF340 From Canada, joined Jul 2007, 2786 posts, RR: 4 Reply 6, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1094 times:
Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 5): What exactly are the differences between PADI and SSI, if you find a diving establishment that is PADI and you are SSI certified, is that a problem?
Local Dive Stores (LDS) will not have a problem with your certification as all major agencies' certifications are transferable. You can also use your SSI certification, for example, as a prerequisite for other PADI programs, like Advanced Open Water Diver. As long as you have a card from a major agency (PADI, NAUI, SSI, SDI, or even BSAC, CMAS, or ACUC) you shouldn't have a problem. PADI, is however, by far the largest and most recognizable agency -- even if there is discussion over whether they are the 'best'.
Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 5): Only thing I've read so far was by holding your nose and blowing. How often does one have to typically do this on a typical dive?
Yep, that's pretty much the easiest way to do it. As you gain more experience, you'll likely find that it becomes automatic and you don't even notice yourself doing it. Depending on the sensitivity of your ears, equalization is done every 5-10 feet or so.
Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 5): We have a few diving lakes here, nothing spectacular and the visibility is pretty poor, but still, it would be quite interesting to see the rock formations along all the cliffs. One of the more popular dives here is a night dive under the Okanagan Lake floating bridge in Kelowna, its supposedly quite surreal being underwater in total darkness and just listening to the cars crossing the bridge above.
Well the West Coast does have some fantastic salt water diving! I'd check it out, if I were you!
He's faster than a speeding bullet, he can leap tall buildings in a single bound; he's Obamaman!!
1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1454 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1071 times:
Quoting AF340 (Reply 6): PADI, is however, by far the largest and most recognizable agency -- even if there is discussion over whether they are the 'best'.
From a BSAC diver I might have to argue that!
Seriously to the OP, there isn't need to be scared, take your training seriously, don't do anything you feel uncomfortable with and keep an eye on what's going on. It's a brilliant sport and there isn't really a feeling like it when your underwater and there's always a friendly community at the dive sites I've been to.
There's really nothing to be scared of. Once you've grapsed the basics and know your way around the equipment, you'll be having close encounters with Nemo in no time. The first time you put your head in the water it'll probably seem very strange and that's when many freek out but once you get used to it, the rest is just learning buoyancy control, a bit of dive theory and emergency drills and away you go. Just take things one step at a time, descend slowly to allow yourself to equalise and in good time and ascend slowly. Remember to enjoy yourself too.
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
geezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1403 posts, RR: 1 Reply 9, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1013 times:
The answer to OP's question is no; when I was attached to the Sub Base in New London, ( in 1954 ) sport SCUBA was still in it's infancy, and the only SCUBA used by the Navy was by the old "UDT" teams. I did do a little diving though;
Back then, the Navy had two main places to learn diving; Salvage Diving school at Bayonne, N.J., and 1st Class Diving School at Washington, DC However................
Any place there was a need for any underwater "drudgery", anyplace there were a few First Class or Master Divers, they could conduct a Second Class Diving School; at the time I was working in the ship fitter's shop on the Sub Base, a "need" arose, and I applied for, and took the Second Class course; I'll just say this......it's definitely NOTHING like sport diving; nothing what-so-ever; our head instructor was none other than the fabled Chief Mike Murphy; Mike Murphy held the record for the deepest hard-hat dive ever for many years, (which was set sometime during WW2, in the 1940's)
In those days, any mention of "SCUBA" diving would have drawn "looks" as if someone had referred to the deck as "the floor", to the bulkhead as the "wall", or the overhead as "the ceiling" ! In otherwords, it was a very "hard-ass" group, and when "in Rome" , you'd best "do as the Romans do"........or else ! All diving was done with what was affectionately known as "Hard Hat" and "Standard Navy Deep Sea Diving Dress"; why it was called a "dress" i have no idea, because it sure didn't look like any "dress" I've ever seen, and like everything else, best not get caught saying "suit", (which is what it was; a big, thick, heavy, stinky, always "leaky" SUIT.....( 'er...dress )
These things came in two models we were told; with one-piece, attached "3 finger "gloves", (which is all we ever saw in 2nd class course, and one with elastic ends on sleeves, (which we never ever got close to) They were only used by 1st Class divers in warmer water, and you could actually accomplish useful work with them.
Our "course" went like this; you sit on a small stool, 2 guys stick you in the "dress", which is only slightly "thinner" and more "plyable" than an old truck tire; after the "dress" is on, next are the "shoes"; each of which has a 5/8th to 3/4 inch thick lead soles, made from extremely heavy canvas, with thick copper toes, and each weigh like maybe 35 or 40 lbs; then the breast plate is "installed" ( big thick, heavy bronze "plate" which goes over shoulders, down over chest, with big hole for head to stick through, which has big heavy threads to which the :HAT is attached to, given 1/8 turn to engage threads; At this point, a decent NFL line-backer would have a problem standing up for more that 6 seconds, (but we're not quite "dressed" yet; they still had to put the weght belt on; about a half ton of lead to make you "stay down";
next the ( I actually forget what they called the damned thing, but it's a big heavy valve body, with a hand wheel, attached to the front of the "dress" , and other end to hose and cable; O.K., we're ready to go; except you are still out of the water, and you have about 200 lbs of various "junk" weighing you down; the weight of the breast plate with "hat" attached is like having a VW Beetle on your shoulders; ( I only weighed like 135 or so back then ) all you can think about is getting in the damned water and getting rid of all that weight; you have to walk a few feet, feeling like some bizarre creature in a "F' grade low buget movie; at this point, most are thinking, "what in the hell am I DOING HERE ? The you get in the "water";
I know, when you sport divers think of "water", youn think of this nice clear, transparent, easy to see through "liquid"; but YOU havent dove? dived? whatever.....in the River Thames ( which in the U.K. is caled "Tems", but which in New London, CT. is called "Thames"......like "James" with no "th"; the water here is different; it's black; NOT transparent; it's 3-4 miles up-river from the salt water, so it don't taste salty; but it DOES stink; if you drink some, you'll probably die pretty quick; what's it like "down there"? Ever been to a big scrap yard where you take junk, old cars, old anything that's metal ? It's exactly like that, only with 20, 30 or 40 feet of yuccky black, muddy, oily, water over the whole works ! You get to the bottom, the air in the "dress" is now holding all the weight, and you are now in your "class room"; welcome to second class diving school ! By this time, you are becoming aware of why they call it "Second Class School (or Course); you really do feel 2nd class! So.......what are we going to do, now that we are here ? We are going to learn how to WORK ! Under water, in the dark, in the cold, in the wet, etc. Did I mention, 2nd class school is NOT fun; it is Not "cool"......it is COLD as hell, cause it's December, your in Conneticutt, wou're all wet, you're gonna stay all wet all day, and you're also on the bottom of the damned dirty, stinky , oily, Thames River, it's pitch black, and those fools "up there" expect for you to actually do something useful !
O.K......imagine a big square tank, maybe 6 ft high, 4 ft square, with a 2 ft square hole on one side, and a 2 ft round hole on the top; each "hole" has a 2 1/2 in wide flange around it, and a 3/4 inch hole every 8 or 9 inches; both holes have a "lid" bolted onto the hole, your going to remove all of the bolts, (being extremely carefull not to lose any of those bolts or nuts, because if you do, guess what ? Those sadists top-side are gonna make you crawl around on your belly in that muddy junk yard, in the pitch black, trying to "feel" around with your hands in those ridiculous two finger, one thumb "gloves" till you find every single one of those bolts, ..................wait a minute.........I'm getting ahead of myself here.......we just got the lids off, now, believe it or not, now you're gonna climb /float/ swim/ what ever, INTO the hole, into the tank, then you're gonna put all the bolts back in, ( with a guy outside to hold the bolt heads, and you're gonna end up, boltrd up insided of a damned tank, at the bottom of the river, in the dark ! What's that ? ya say you got claustrophobia, arachnophobia, hydrophobia, or any other kind of phobia ? My best advice.........better join the infantry;
they don't do crazy shit like this ! They already asked you if you had any "phobias", butv most people have no idea what they have (or don't have); but "they" sure know how to find out !
You spend a week or so taking things apart, putting them back together, etc.
Then comes the "fun part; this part will really determine if you have any "psychological" "qualms"; this week we learn to "tunnel" ! They have a great big tank, maybe 8 ft in dia. 10 or 15 ft long, on the bottom, in the mud; WAY in the mud; you are now going to crawl UNDER it ! A big 2 1/2 fire hose comes down; then a big heavy bonze "falcon nozzle" comes down on a rope; a falcon nozzle has a 2 inch hole face out, and a row of maybe 3/8 inch holes all around it facing rearward; you screw it on a 2 1/2 in fire hose, get a real good grip, give a coupls of jerks on the rope, and a guy "top-side" throws a ball valve, and suddenly you have 125 lbs of pressure on a 2 1/2 in stream of water coming down that hose ! The rear facing holes keeps the water going out the big hole from taking you across the river to the Coast Guard Academy on the other side; one type falcon also has a ball valve, so you can turn it on and off.
You get by the tank, point the nozzle down at the mud, and you can bore a hole 2, 3 ft wide, 10 or 15 ft deep in very short order; you then get in that hole, with the hose; keeping it pointed the way it needs to point; what usually happens next, is the hole gets too deep, it caves in, and you're now buried under 10 ft of mud, in the dark, at the bottom of the Thames River; this is when everyone learns who has those phobias I mentioned, and who doesn't; and it's really quite impossible to predict who will, and who won't. It's kinda like a roller coaster; some people think it's a lot of fun, some people get the shit scared out of them; personally, I thjought it was a blast ! I mean, all you gotta do, is point the nozzle up, the mud goes flying, you increase your air, the "dress" gets more air in it, and up you go, just like a cork! Being in a hard hat and dress is like being a mini submarine; that hand wheel by your waist turns the air up or down, and the round hand wheel on your exahaust valve on your "hat" lets more (or less ) air out. A blind person would have a big leg up learning to be a diver, because they already are used to what you're trying to get use to; ( I'm surprised they don't have any blind guys, but far as I know, I don't think they do.
If anyone saw that movie that Cuba Gooding and Robert DeNiro made about Carl Brashear, you'll know what I'm talking about; it was all Hollywood Hyped up as is always the case, but there was also a lot more accurate stuff in it than most people realize. And besside, I don't have much use for Hollywood in general, but I love Cuba Gooding ! One Cool cat in my book. Hard hat diving is hard, hard work; you're ALWAYS wet, you're always freezing, crawling around in junk on a river bottom in the dark is always a great way to get hurt, but in spite of all that, it's so damned "different", that it's kinda "fun" (once in a while) ( But it sure isn't anything like SCUBA) Something else SCUBA guys never have to do, far as I know, ( correct me if I'm wrong ) When we got qualified as 2nd class, we had to "get in the tank" once a month, to stay qualified; the re-compression tank we had was about 4, maybe 5 ft high inside, room for maybe 5 or 6 guys, they close it up, turn up the air, and we had to "go down" to 300 ft, stay for about 5 or 10 minutes, and come back up; you don't really go any place, it's just how much pressure you're subjected to; believe this........don't EVER get in the tank if you have a cold, or any blockages; you're in very deep doo doo if you do; most people have to hold their nose, and BLOW to equalize the pressure in your middle ear; some people can't do it at all; I'm lucky, I just open my mouth and kind "wiggle my ears" and my ears pop easy as that. It was very nice to have in the second class course.
Oh.........what kind of "creatures" are on the bottom of the Thames River ? every now and then, on a sunny day, and no one stirring up mud working on the submarines, we used to see an occasional little white starfish, maybe a craw-dad… ˜never saw a fish. Just a lot of junk. On one occasion, a submarine lost a screw; ( propeller to you infantry guys ) a screw on and old WW2 Fleet Type Boat is like maybe 4 ft in diameter, I forget how heavy, I'm guessing, maybe 15-18 hundred lbs; a dozen guys, crawling around 2 weeks, never could find the thing in the "junk yard". That's the reality of "work diving".
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
corocks From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1199 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (1 year 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 975 times:
Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 3): It really is...the more dives the better. Im working on my breathing technique now, as I tend to be a bit of an air hog. I'll exhaust a tank to 500psi in 40min...not too happy about that
One thing that I have noticed with new divers is they tend to "flap" their arms around a lot to control their movements. This tends to burn a lot of air. The more relaxed you are, the less air you go through. I was bad about this when I was new, and it made a huge difference as I get better. Best way to do it is just long slow kicks, and only move your head to look around.
Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 5): How often does one have to typically do this on a typical dive?
In general, you only really need to do this as you descend. Once you are at your depth, you should not have to do it much. If you can pop your ears just by yawning on a plane, it will be pretty easy. I only have to swallow and they pop - don't have to hold my nose a blow.
Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 5): get married in Hawaii in the next 2 years so we are defienetly taking an extra week to dive around the islands
If you go to the big island, be sure to do the night manta dive off of kona. This is the best single dive I have ever done.
My favorites: Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Phuket, Bora Bora/Moorea (lots of big sharks), The aquarium in Atlanta (whale sharks and hammerheads!)
Just okay: Aruba (has airplanes), Red Sea (Really cold and the best wreck dives are far away), Bahamas, Hawaii (other than the above mentioned dive in Kona)
Poor: St. Martin (poor visability), Florida, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, the rock quarry where I did my certification
Wish List: Dominican Repulic, Roatan, Truk, Great Barrier Reef
The key is, don't do anything you are not comfortable with. I used to have an issue with being claustrophobic about having something over my head while underwater. When there would be a "swim-through" (especially in Cozumel where they are long and kind of dark) I would just go over the top and no one would care. Eventually I got over it. Just know your limitations.
Advanced Open Water, Wreck Diver, Rescue Diver here.
Welcome to the sport. It really is a different world down there. I've never met anyone who said they found it boring.
As far as advice is concerned, the best is KNOW YOUR EQUIPMENT. Not necessarily own-your-own, but when you look at a regulator/octopus, a buoyancy jacket, the valve on top of a tank, etc, you should understand how it works in a mechanical sense so that you can immediately react if something doesn't act the way it's supposed to.
One good example is your buoyancy vest. You have a couple of different vents you can use to dump the air, often one on top , and maybe a couple on the bottom (so that you can adjust your buoyancy whether you are upright or inverted). Sometime you might be relatively horizontal, along the bottom, and you want to vent some air but nothing happens, because the air bubble might simply not be where there is a vent, so you might have to move around a bit.
Know how things work, and pay attention to your divemaster, and you'll be fine.
One bit of advice. I saw this happen a couple of years ago of the South Carolina coast. Diving in the open ocean is NOT for beginners. I saw a beginners couple get totally dispirited when we went diving about 30 miles offshore, with big swells and choppy seas. Being on the surface waiting for your team to get in or out of the boat in such conditions is not much fun, and can be pretty dangerous if you are not really fit (you'd be amazed how tiring it is). Make your beginning dives in relatively calm waters, protected from the big ocean swells.
One more bit of advice when diving in open water - always take a little bit more weight on your weight belt than you (or anyone else) think you need. Even the divemaster can get it wrong. If he says you need 3 weights, take 5. If you have too much weight, it's easy to compensate with the buoyancy vest (or in an emergency, dump the belt), but there is NOTHING more frustrating than to get in the water with all your gear and discover that you need more weights. It's happened to me a number of times and I hate it.
ACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7598 posts, RR: 40 Reply 12, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 747 times:
Quoting AF340 (Reply 6): Local Dive Stores (LDS) will not have a problem with your certification as all major agencies' certifications are transferable. You can also use your SSI certification, for example, as a prerequisite for other PADI programs, like Advanced Open Water Diver. As long as you have a card from a major agency (PADI, NAUI, SSI, SDI, or even BSAC, CMAS, or ACUC) you shouldn't have a problem.
The school we're doing it through is both PADI and SSI but the books they gave us were SSI. I've also noticed that most magazines on the market are PADI. They do have an open house this weekend that we're hoping to make it too, so I'll defienetly be asking if the certificate is SSI or PADI.
Quoting AF340 (Reply 6): Yep, that's pretty much the easiest way to do it. As you gain more experience, you'll likely find that it becomes automatic and you don't even notice yourself doing it. Depending on the sensitivity of your ears, equalization is done every 5-10 feet or so.
We were at some friends for New Years who have an indoor pool thats about 10ft deep, so I took a few dives down to the bottom and the ears started to hurt, I thought that maybe my ears were too sensitive at that depth, but the more reading I've done about it it seems that thats quite normal so that is a relieve, I didn't try popping them though.
Quoting AF340 (Reply 6): Well the West Coast does have some fantastic salt water diving! I'd check it out, if I were you!
My better half wants to hit the west coast, pretty cold though but I'm sure we'll do it once or twice. A couple of our friends are divers as well, and they're quite interested in that dive, so I'm sure we'll check it out eventually.
Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 7): Seriously to the OP, there isn't need to be scared,
Quoting dazbo5 (Reply 8): There's really nothing to be scared of.
I think just the thought of someone's foot drifting by my face is kinda what freaks me out LOL!
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11): One bit of advice. I saw this happen a couple of years ago of the South Carolina coast. Diving in the open ocean is NOT for beginners. I saw a beginners couple get totally dispirited when we went diving about 30 miles offshore, with big swells and choppy seas. Being on the surface waiting for your team to get in or out of the boat in such conditions is not much fun, and can be pretty dangerous if you are not really fit (you'd be amazed how tiring it is). Make your beginning dives in relatively calm waters, protected from the big ocean swells.
How much harder is it diving in moderate current waters? Most of our fdives will be in local lakes, at least until we start travelling a bit more.
Thanks for all the responses, this is something I'm really getting excited about. I picked up a few magazines on the weekend and some of the trip articles are really amazing
signol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2948 posts, RR: 7 Reply 13, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 732 times:
When I was in Australia in 2001 I did the PADI Open Water course in Sydney harbour / Manly. Great fun! Then I went on a group dive on the Great Barrier Reef. Unfortunately I haven't been diving since, it's a bit cold over here!
That's what dry suits are for! It's the visibility over here that makes diving a little fun shall we say. Visibility on a good day around where I live is often less than 5m in the sea so it's inland sites mainly to play with Perch and Trout! I spend at least one day per week in water so water temperatures of 1 or 2c aren't unusual in winter. It was tropical this morning at 8c!
There's too many to mention really. As much as I enjoy Caribbean diving, I prefer Indian Ocean. The Red Sea is pretty good too but they are long flights for you. There's plenty of good diving destinations in the Caribbean. St Lucia I thought was excellent and the southern coast of the Dominican Republic can be pretty good although they are deeper dives. I'm off to Samana in 2 weeks, I hope the Humpbacks are still in the bay! I found Cuba disappointing really although there are supposed to be some good sites. Antigua is quite good too. My favourite is the Maldives closely followed by Mauritius.
Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 12): How much harder is it diving in moderate current waters?
Very unless you know what you're doing (training is key here). Anywhere with a moderate current you're in to the realm of drift diving. With the amount of drag the equipment creates, you'll soon become fatigued swimming against a current, hence it's better to plan the dive and drift with it. The closer to the bottom you are, the lower the strength of the current will be generally so it's sometimes necassary to descend quickly to get out of the current or use the shot / anchor line. In open water though, you'll need to plan a drift dive when the current is running which requires greater preparation and local knowledge of the conditions, eg the direction and rate of the current so you can plan your entry and egress points and make sure you pass by where you want to.
Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 12): so I'll definitely be asking if the certificate is SSI or PADI
Your certifying / training organisation isn't the most important thing really. PADI is the most recognised around the world, but BSAC, SSI, CMAS plus many others are too. It's the content and quality of the training that matters mainly, not the letters on the c-card at the end of it. You will find slight differences in the training by the different organisations and the way they do things, but as long as you're safe and understand the differences when diving with others, you'll be fine. That's where the importance of buddy checks comes in, in case equipment is arranged differently to what you might be used to but you'll get to that once you start diving.
[Edited 2012-02-28 08:49:53]
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
dazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2568 posts, RR: 2 Reply 17, posted (1 year 2 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 539 times:
Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 16): Where else can you dive inside a 727? They also have a Cessna 152, Cherokee 150
My local inland dive site has an ex Emerald Airways HS 748, a couple of Wessex helicopters and a Cessna 172 plus many other interesting things shown on the map here. The other dive site close to us has a Jet Provost and Shorts 360 forward section, details here.
[Edited 2012-03-07 00:40:42]
Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX