The Best Dive Training in Virginia: Why You Should Keep a Log Book

During your Open Water Scuba Certification course you were told to keep a log book.  At Aquatic Adventures Scuba Academy, a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center in Alexandria, Virginia all of our students keep track of their training dives by logging them immediately after each dive.  This is done whether an initial Open Water Training dive or a Continuing Education or Specialty course dive.  Once certified, however, many divers forget to log their dives, which is not a good practice.  Your log book is an important part of your scuba diving protocol.  By properly logging your scuba dives you will have access to a wealth of information that will come in handy during later diving experiences.  Some important information to keep track of it:

What Exposure Protection You Used:  By writing down the water temperature, what exposure protection you wore and how comfortable you were you will be able to look back and decide what to take with you on future dive trips.  If the exposure suit you wore still left you chilly you will know that you might want to add a vest or other piece of layering when next diving in similar water temperature.

How Much  Weight You Used:  If you write down the particular piece of exposure protection you used and how much weight you wore you can keep track of how much weight to use on future dives.  Be sure and write down whether you were comfortable with this amount, if you were too heavy or too light.  This will give you a guide of how much weight to use on future dives when using similar exposure protection.  Be sure and note whether it was in fresh water or salt water as this will change the amount of weight that you would use when diving in the future in different locations.

Note Equipment Condition:  By writing down any equipment issues that you might have had you will be able to remember the exact problem and have it repaired or addressed when you return from your dive trip.  Another good idea is to log when the annual service of your equipment was completed.  This will make it easier to keep your equipment in good repair and lessen the likelihood of forgetting an important annual service.

Special Notes & Special Events:  Writing special notes of anything that occurred during your dives you can keep track of these special events.  Milestones like your 100th dive, the sighting of a shark or rare fish are other notable events worth remembering.  Particularly good dive sites are another, and you will refer to this feature in later years should you return to that dive site, island or resort.

Where ever and when ever you dive if you take the time to write down a few particulars about the dive you will have an important record of your diving accomplishments.   Many dive computers keep track of bottom times and dive depths and can be downloaded to a laptop computer.  If you use a digital log be sure and add the information regarding temperature, weights used, exposure protection worn and things you saw.  This information will be invaluable at later times in remembering your past experiences and planning for that next great Aquatic Adventure.


PADI Dive Log with Training Record

PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center

PADI The Professional Association of Diving Instructors – 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center Rating

Oceanic Pro Plus 3 AI Computer

Dive Computer that can be downloaded to a laptop computer

Comments Off


The Best Scuba Equipment in Virginia: Sealife Sea Dragon Flash

I have often maintained that one of the most favorite aspects of scuba diving (at least for me) is being able to take photographs of the things that I see while scuba diving.  At Aquatic Adventures Scuba Academy, a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center in Alexandria, Virginia we sell a fair amount of underwater photography dive equipment and also teach the PADI Underwater Photography, PADI Underwater Videography and the PADI Digital Underwater Photography as well.

One of the first things that you learn when taking photographs underwater is that you lose a lot of the natural color in your underwater photographs unless you use a strobe or flash with your camera.  This is because the water filters light and naturally removes much of the color that would otherwise be present.

Over the years not only have underwater cameras improved and become smaller and easier to use but so have the underwater strobes and flashes.  The new Sealife Sea Dragon Flash is a fine case in point.

Bring Out Brilliant Color in Your Photographs:
The powerful and compact Sea Dragon Flash makes it simple to add light to your images down to 200 feet/60 meters.  Reducing backscatter and producing rich, deep colors in underwater photos, the Sea Dragon Flash is compatible with SeaLife camera models, and other brands of underwater cameras, that use an internal flash.

Fine Tune Your Brightness For The Perfect Shot:
The Sea Dragon Flash has a variable power adjustment and large controls make it easy to fine tune brightness, while leaving the flash in Auto Mode automatically adjusts brightness for optimal exposure. A quick-release button detaches flash head for aiming in hard to reach areas.

Easily Expand With Flex-Connect Accessories:
Quickly and easily expand Sea Dragon lighting with Flex-Connect – add grips, Flex Arms, trays and other accessories with just a “click!” Flex-Connect allows you to transform your camera set from compact to full-featured in just seconds, providing a quick way to adjust to any dive environment.

Sea Dragon Flash Features:
Universal - Works with SeaLife DC and Mini series cameras and other brands of underwater cameras that have a built-in flash (Not comptaible with the SeaLife Micro HD)
Auto Mode automatically adjusts flash brightness for optimal image exposure
Variable power adjustment allows user to manually fine-tune flash brightness for desired effect and image exposure
Easy to expand with Flex-Connect™ trays, grip and Flex Arms
Depth rated to 200 feet/60 meters
Quick-release button to detach flash and aim in crevices and hard to reach areas
Universal mount fits all SeaLife cameras and other brands of underwater cameras with standard tripod mount
Auto Learn Mode easily syncs pre-flash with any digital camera
Effective underwater distance range up to 8 feet/2.5 meters
Approximately 150 flashes at full brightness with 4 AA batteries (not included)
Waterproof battery compartment

Whether you are a casual underwater photography or a serious expert having good underwater camera equipment will greatly improve your underwater photographs.  The new Sealife Sea Dragon Flash is a compact easy to use addition that will add color and detail to your underwater photographs.  It is compact, easy to use and to carry.  The extra color will greatly enhance the quality of your underwater photography.  These photographs will make sure that you have great memories of your Aquatic Adventures.

Comments Off


Dive Travel: Cozumel Dive Trip in February

When you think of scuba diving in the Caribbean the “big three” immediately come to mind, Cayman, Cozumel and Bonaire.  Our trip this coming October is to our favorite resort in Cozumel, Scuba Club.

Scuba Diving Magazine awarded Cozumel “Top Five Honors” in eight separate scuba diving categories: Best Diving Destination, Best Diving Overall, Best Marine Life, Best Wall Diving, Best Advanced Diving, Best Underwater Photography Dives, Best Underwater Visibility, and Best Value in 2012.

For those of you who have never been to Cozumel, the Island is located just south of the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula in the state of Quinta Roo, Mexico.  It is directly opposite of the city of Cancun.  Cozumel definitely is Mexico’s premier dive location.

Cozumel is truly a dive destination that has something for everyone.  Beautiful drift dives loaded with sea life and corals, and arguably the best visibility in all of the Caribbean.  Large schools of fish, amazing critters like banded coral shrimp and arrow crabs, and even those special sightings, like turtles, sea horses and octopus can be seen on most any dive.  Cozumel is noted for its drift dives and boasts of what many consider to be the best visibility in the entire Caribbean!  What an incredible place to finish that Open Water or Specialty Dive Course?

When not diving spend your time either touring the Mayan ruins (Talum and Chechen Itza) on the nearby mainland of Mexico or walking through the quaint town of San Miguel.  San Miguel is dotted with restaurants and bars and hosts a local bazaar where you can find a myriad of local handicrafts.

At Aquatic Adventures Scuba Academy, a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center in Alexandria, Virginia we specialize in Dive Travel and Scuba Vacations.  We take great pride in leading scuba diving trips to some incredible locations.  This February, we will spend an entire week (February 14 – 21, 2015) at Scuba Club Cozumel.   Included in this 8 day, 7 night package is five days of two tank boat dives, and unlimited beach diving.   Scuba Club is known for its great cuisine, and our trip includes three meals per day at their great restaurant.  Airport to hotel transfers when we arrive and depart are also included.

Included: Not Included
8 days 7 nights at Scuba Club Cozumel
5 days of two tank boat dives
Unlimited shore diving
Tanks & weights
3 meals daily at Scuba Club
R/T Airport to hotel transfers in Cozumel
Divemaster Gratuity
Alcoholic beverages
Trip Insurance
Marine Park Fee

Scuba Diving Continuing Education Classes:
Our Winter Scuba Trip to Cozumel is also a great time to consider that next Scuba Class.  Drift Diver, Fish Identification, Night Diver and Underwater Photography are just a few of the great courses that are available and can be completed while on our winter vacation.

This is a great trip, at a great price.  It promises to be one of our best Aquatic Adventures!

Comments Off


Scuba Dive Travel: How To Prepare For Your Next Dive Trip

Traveling to exotic locations can be a fun and rewarding experience and an opportunity to explore and experience many new and exciting Aquatic Adventures.  With a small amount of planning prior to your dive trip you can assure that your trip runs smoothly and as a result your Scuba Trip is more enjoyable.

Why You Need To Plan Prior To Your Trip?

Every place that you go diving is somewhat different.  You don’t want to miss out on scuba diving because you did not know that a location required a special permit or a minimum certification or dive experience level.   Sickness can be avoided by having the proper immunizations prior to your trip. Knowledge about these shots or preventive medications requires some planning and research prior to your dive trip.  After choosing a dive destination, be sure to spend time getting to know the location and become aware of the necessary actions to take before the trip.

Travel Insurance:

Dive trips can be expensive.  Airfare, hotel. diving and transfers to and from the hotel and airport can often cost a sizable amount of money.  If things do go wrong you might be out of many of these costs.  In addition lost luggage or airline delays can also be costly.   Vacation Divers often use travel insurance to cover the cost of lost luggage or missed flights, but scuba divers may also need travel insurance to cover the cost of lost scuba diving activities.  Make sure your insurance includes coverage for medical treatments and equipment emergencies specific to scuba diving as well.  Scuba equipment and underwater cameras can be expensive if lost or damaged on the trip.

Bring The Appropriate Dive Gear:

Scuba diving can be different in other areas.  Night dives are great fun in the Caribbean so be sure and plan for them even if you do not night dive at home.  Dive Lights, marker lights and strobes make night diving easier and safer.  Yes, you can often rent these items on vacation but bringing your own is more cost effective and you know that your equipment works properly and you also know the way it works as well.  Be sure and check out what the water temperature will be where you will be diving.  That way you will be sure and bring the appropriate exposure protection or wetsuit.  Nothing can put  a damper on a vacation faster then to be cold and uncomfortable during your scuba dives.

Bring The Appropriate Knowledge & Experience:

Many dive destinations have rules about experience level.  The Cayman Islands require that anyone who has not dived in the last year or two take a Scuba Refresher Course prior to diving in their islands.  Having to take the first day or two of your vacation can be expensive and also cost you a day or two of great reef dives.  Knowing this a head of time will allow you to take a Scuba Review Course at home at your own convenience.  The cost of these courses locally is usually much less then the cost of them in the Caribbean.

Also make sure that if you will be doing deeper dives, wreck dives or multi-level dives that you have some experience with these prior to your dive trip.  Take that Advanced Open Water Course or Scuba Specialty Course prior to your trip.  You will be more relaxed on your trip and will definitely enjoy the diving more.

Make Sure Your Dive Gear Is Ready:

Be sure and have your scuba equipment checked and if necessary serviced prior to your dive trip.  Do not assume (and we all know what assume spells!)  that just because it worked fine the last time that it will work fine next time.  When you put your regulator and other gear away it was damp from diving and post dive clean up.  Things can get stuck and fall out of spec just sitting on a shelf.  Check your mask and fin straps.  Replace those Dive Computer batteries.  Take your dive gear, Scuba Regulator and Buoyancy Control Device or BCD in for servicing well before your trip.   Allow extra time in case a part needs to be ordered.


Where & How To Conduct Trip Planning Research:

One of the best places by far to find out this information is your local Dive Center.  They have often dived in many of these areas and have experience in both the type of diving but the better resort or dive destinations as well.  Many Dive Centers, like Aquatic Adventures Scuba Academy in Alexandria, Virginia specialize in Dive Travel and can even help you find and  book that perfect dive vacation.

Take these simple steps when getting ready for your next dive vacation and your scuba dives will be true Aquatic Adventures!

Comments Off


Scuba Diving Certification: Be A Good Dive Buddy

From your very first scuba diving class you were told to always dive with a buddy, never to dive alone.  This is a very good rule and when done properly will not only make your scuba diving safer but more enjoyable as well.  Lets look at a few rules to make you a good dive buddy.

Pre Dive Buddy Conference:
Once you select a dive buddy you both or in some cases all three of you need to sit down and discuss the upcoming dive.  You need to be on the same page so to speak.  What are your objectives for the dive.  Spotting critters?  Underwater Photography?  Spearfishing?  Perhaps you just want to cruise along and enjoy the reef or the wreck.  Discussing your mutual goals will help you both not only stay together and accomplish those goals but will help make the dive easier as well.  Decide who will navigate underwater?  Are you both diving with a scuba diving computer? Is one of you diving with Enriched Air – Nitrox?  How long you will stay down and what to do in the case of something out of the ordinary happening.  This simple precautions help ensure a safe dive and helps prevent things from going wrong.  This is also a great time to discuss dive hand signals and what to do if you are separated or run low on air.

Pre-Dive Buddy Check:
In your very first pool training session you were taught to do a Pre-Dive Buddy Check.  This not only assures that all of your scuba diving equipment is functioning properly and that your air is turned on but allows an extra degree of familiarization for you to learn your dive buddy’s Scuba Diving Equipment configuration and set up and for him or her to learn yours.  If something went awry during the dive like running low on air, your both would be familiar with each others gear and would be better able to assist the other.  I have been teaching scuba diving for 29 years and I still make it a point to do a buddy check prior to my dives.

Balance Your Dive Goals:
Make sure that you both enjoy the dive.  Just because you are taking photographs is no reason to block your buddy from seeing the cool critters.  I was diving with a very good buddy who was spear fishing while I was trying to take photos. The first time we dove together all I was able to photograph was fish with a spear in them.  Once we sat down and discussed our mutual desires we were able to share and both better enjoy the dive.  We spotted for each other and he made sure that I got the photo and then I made sure he had an opportunity to spearfish.  We both enjoyed many dives together after that.

Dive Within Your Training Limitations:
It is not uncommon for two divers of different experience to dive together.  Just because you have more experience then your buddy does not mean that you take charge and start teaching.  Teaching scuba diving is best left to the Professional Scuba Instructors.  That does not mean, however, that you cannot or should not give a few pointers or benefit of your experience.  It just means that you need to dive within the limits that you were trained.  If venturing beyond these limits consider taking a Specialty Diver Course or diving with a Divemaster.

Be Conscious Of Your Dive Buddy:
A good diver checks his or her air and depth frequently.  A good dive buddy checks with his or her buddy frequently to make sure that they are OK as well.  Remember you may not get cold but your buddy might.   You may have lots of air left but your buddy might use air faster then you do so always check with each other to prevent surprises.  If your dive buddy is not as experienced, uses air faster or tires more quickly make sure that you both get back to the boat or dock together.  Once your buddy is out of the water you can join another buddy pair but make sure that you have taken care of your dive buddy first.

Diving with a Dive Buddy is the most common way to dive and the safest by far.  If you take some time to communicate together you will greatly enhance the enjoyment and safety of your dive.  That means that your dives will be great Aquatic Adventures.


Comments Off


Scuba Certification in Northern Virginia: Buoyancy Control Tips

Appropriate Buoyancy Control Device:
Proper buoyancy control starts with a properly fitted Buoyancy Control Device or BCD that is also appropriate for the type of scuba diving you are doing.  Scuba diving in cold areas requires a thicker wetsuit then scuba diving in warmer or tropical areas.  The extra thickness of the wetsuit means that the scuba diver has to wear more weight then a diver with a thinner wetsuit.  The extra weight means that the buoyancy control device needs to have more lift capacity then that of a warm water diver.  You can dive in warmer water with a cold water BCD but you may not be able to dive in cold water with a tropical weight BCD.

Maintain Proper Weighting:
Scuba divers wear lead weight to offset the natural positive buoyancy of the human body and pieces of scuba diving equipment like the diver’s wet suit.  If you do not wear enough weight you will not sink properly.  If you wear too much you will have to over inflate your buoyancy control device to offset the excess weight.  This will cause extra drag and resistance when diving making the diver work harder.  Working harder means wasted energy and that the diver will breath through his or her air supply at a much faster rate.  You can check to make sure that you have the correct amount of weight by floating on the surface in a face up position.  Let all of the air out of your BCD and inhale fully.  You should float at eye level.  When you exhale you should start to slowly sink into the water.  Remember that an aluminum scuba cylinder will become more buoyant as the air within it is used up.  For this reason a diver should add four pounds of weight to offset the excess buoyancy that will be present during the latter part of the dive.  Thus the scuba diver will be properly weighted at the end of the dive when doing a safety stop.

Maintain Proper Body Positioning and Stream Line When Diving:
The best position when scuba diving at depth is to be as horizontal as possible.  This means that the diver will have less drag and resistance and will not have to work as hard during the dive.  A proper fin kick will insure that energy is not wasted.  Keep your hands together and do not skull or use hand movements when scuba diving.  Hand movements merely create more drag and causes the diver to tire and to use air faster thus shortening your bottom time.  Streamlining also means having your equipment properly secured and pinned to your BCD.  This will prevent entanglements and insure that you are more streamlined.

Scuba Continuing Education-Practice Peak Performance Buoyancy
The Professional Association of Diving Instructors or PADI has a scuba diving course called Peak Performance Buoyancy.  It is designed to teach the scuba diver to wear appropriate equipment, practice good and safe diving techniques, be streamlined and wear the correct amount of weight when diving. These are the same suggestions that we just discussed above.  The Peak Performance Buoyancy course not only reaffirms these concepts but adds new insight like using breath control for minor adjustments instead of relying on your BCD inflator.  Those scuba divers who practice Peak Performance Buoyancy find that their air lasts longer meaning longer bottom times and that they not only enjoy the dives more but are less tired post diving as well.

Comments { 0 }

Scuba Certifications in Northern Virginia: On Line Courses vs Traditional Classes

Scuba Certifications in Northern Virginia: On Line Scuba vs Traditional Scuba Courses

Scuba Diving is becoming more and more popular.  As a consequence there are more people wanting to learn to scuba dive then ever before, and since we are in a computer based world today, how does Scuba Instruction on line compare to traditional classroom instruction?

First, it is important to understand that there are three parts to learning to scuba dive:

1.    Classroom, where the theory and basic knowledge about scuba diving is learned.

2.    The swimming pool or other confined water where the actual scuba diving skills are mastered.

3.    Open Water Training Dives, a body of water larger then a swimming pool where the new scuba diver can demonstrate that they not only have mastered the basic skills of scuba diving but can do so without a Scuba Instructor assisting them.

Needless to say, the on line portion can only replace the classroom.  The pool and Open Water Dives cannot be mastered on a computer.

The Advantages of PADI On Line Scuba Training

If you’re looking for a flexible way to fit a scuba certification into your busy schedule or if you just prefer web based learning, then PADI’s online scuba programs are an excellent way to go.

You can get started immediately with scuba knowledge development and work at your own pace using the PADI eLearning system.  Since you log onto the classes at your convenience, any hour of the day or night, you have the opportunity to learn when you are best prepared to do so, not just when classes are scheduled.  You also have the flexibility of completing your knowledge  development at home, at work or on the go as it best fits your schedule.

The Advantages of Traditional Classroom Scuba Training over PADI E Learning

Since the traditional class is taught by Instructors who are present, they will personalize the classroom to include examples that match the type of scuba diving that you will be doing.  Needless to say, they are happy to answer all of your questions as well.  The most major disadvantage of On Line Instruction is that is very broad based to convey the general principles of scuba diving.  On Line programs do not necessarily answer personal questions.

Lastly, On Line Scuba Classes tend to be more expensive then traditional Scuba Classes.  The cost of setting up and operating a computer based system adds the the cost of the program.  Even though the Traditional Class  & Pool price is often discounted for those taking the On Line Program the extra costs of the computer learning exceed the discount for not taking live classroom.

Other On Line Scuba Training Classes:

In addition to the Open Water Course, PADI offers an array of classes that have portions that can be taken On Line.  Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver, PADI Enriched Air – Nitrox Diver and Scuba Tune Up – a review course for certified divers who have not scuba dived in a while are all popular options.

Which ever you decide upon, you can be assured that you will receive the most up to date knowledge available.  Scuba Diving is fun, enjoyable and exciting.  It is definitely worthwhile whichever way you take it.


Comments { 2 }


Scuba Courses in Northern Virginia: PADI Multi Level or Computer Diver

The amount of time that a scuba diver can spend underwater is called bottom time and is determined by how deep he/she is diving and how long he/she stays down.  This resulted because scuba divers absorb more nitrogen the deeper they scuba dive.   In the early stages of scuba diving your bottom time was set by the maximum depth of your scuba dive, whether or not the diver stayed at that depth the entire dive.  That was because there was no reliable way of calculating how long you were at each depth.  Now with the advent of scuba diving computers, bottom time can be lengthened if a diver spend part of the dive at shallower depths.

Scuba Continuing Education: Multi Level Diver

The Multi Level Diver Course teaches divers how to plan dives that extend your bottom time by crediting you for slower nitrogen absorption when you ascend to a shallower depth.

You learn how to:

  • Plan and execute multilevel dives (different depths on the same dive)
  • Back up your dive computer and plan multilevel dives
  • Maximize your no stop time

Scuba Diving Equipment: Dive Computers

Dive computers have made scuba diving not only more convenient but safer as well.  The accuracy of the depth gauge component and the ability to calculate the exact time at each depth adds to the accuracy of the calculations making scuba diving safer then ever before.  Since diving at multiple depths, beginning from the deepest depth and working to the shallowest, the scuba diver using a computer can be credited with the time at the shallower depths resulting in longer bottom times.  This adds to the lure of computer diving and makes it a great value as well.  Longer bottom times and thus more enjoyment for each scuba dive made using the computer.

In addition to the three course objectives listed above the course participant will learn about different styles of dive computers and desirable features of each.  The course consists of a classroom session and two open water dives using a dive computer.

At Aquatic Adventures Scuba Academy, a PADI 5 Star Dive Center in Northern Virginia, we value the importance of multi-level diving and we offer a multi-level dive as part  of our Open Water Course, the Advanced Open Water Course and as a Specialty Diver Course as well.

Comments { 2 }


Aquatic Adventures Scuba Academy – Learn to Scuba Dive in Northern Virginia: Dry Suit Diving

When people think of scuba diving they most often think about warm tropical exotic locations.  While this offers great scuba diving many other colder regions have a lot to offer in quality scuba diving.  In addition even more temperate areas are cooler in the winter.  In order to scuba dive in many of these areas, or to scuba dive year round a Dry Suit is very helpful.

Scuba Diving Equipment: Why Scuba Dive with a Dry Suit?

A scuba diving wet suit helps you stay warm by allowing small amounts of water to enter the suit and become trapped.  The trapped water is then heated by body temperature, thus helping to maintain body heat.  A Scuba Diving Dry Suit keeps water out.  Since you loose body heat in water 20-25 times faster in water then air, just being dry helps maintain body temperature.  In addition to keeping you dry, a Dry Suit is often accessorized with special insulated under garments to provide more warmth.  Consequently, a Dry Suit can be warm in much colder climates and conditions.

Learn to Scuba Dive: Diving with a Dry Suit

When you first start scuba diving with a dry suit it is a very good idea to obtain  instruction.  The PADI Dry Suit Specialty course is an excellent way in learning how to scuba dive with a Dry Suit.  This course is designed to safely introduce the scuba diver into the proper way to scuba dive with a Dry Suit.  The main focus is on safety and buoyancy control.  It also covers the different types of Dry Suits and Dry Suit liners and how to properly care for them.   A Dry Suit is a major investment and you definitely want to get the most of your Dry Suit.  In addition, scuba diving with a Dry Suit requires special buoyancy skills, not usually needed with a Wet Suit.  The PADI Dry Suit Diver Course is one of the very best ways of covering all of these bases.

Learn To Scuba Dive: What Skills Does the Dry Suit Specialty Course Cover?

The following skills are covered during the Dry Suit Specialty Diver Course:

  • Dry Suit Familiarization
  • Safety Checks
  • Entry Techniques
  • Bubble Check
  • Buoyancy Check
  • Descent techniques
  • Fin Pivot
  • Hover
  • Excess gas in feet emergency roll drill
  • Stuck inflator emergency drill
  • Stuck exhaust valve emergency drill
  • Ascent procedure·
  • Remove and replace scuba unit and weight belt on the surface
  • Exit techniques
  • Removal of dry suit, storage and maintenance

The Dry Suit Diver Course includes both classroom, a confined water or pool session and two open water dives.  It is a fun course and will not only improve your scuba diving skills but will enable you to dive in more areas and at different times of the year.

Comments { 1 }


Learn to Scuba Dive Safely: Pre-Dive Safety Procedures

Scuba Diving is a fun and safe sport.  Safety is dramatically increased, however, by following a few common sense safety procedures that are taught during the initial scuba diver training.

Dive Training – Pre-Dive Safety Checks: BWRAF

Every scuba diver should go through a routine Pre Dive Safety check with his or her dive buddy prior to the dive.  Even airline pilots do a flight check prior to taking off.   Similarly, scuba divers should follow the routine pre-dive check as well.  It consists of BWRAF and stands for Buoyancy Control Device, Weight System, Releases, Air and final OK.  The acronym “Begin With Review And Friend”  is taught in the beginner Open Water Course, and should faithfully be practiced prior to every scuba dive.

Scuba Diving Training: Listen to the Dive Briefing

Most of us have traveled on airplanes so frequently, that we often tend to tune out the pre-flight instructions from the flight attendants. Prior to all boat dives the Divemaster usually gives a dive briefing on the safety aspects and parameters of the dive such as depth and bottom time to be followed.  The Divemaster will also talk about any safety procedures to be followed as well as things of interest on the dive.  Since every scuba dive location is different, it is important to listen carefully to the briefing, you will be expected to follow these instructions, and that can often prevent problems.

Review and Discuss your Scuba Diving Hand Signals

Scuba divers speak to each other underwater by using hand signals.  You and your dive buddy should review these signals prior to the scuba dive.  That way you will both be on the same page so to speak, and that can prevent a host of problems that might arise due to a failure to communicate properly.

Review your Emergency Action Plan

Dive teams need to decide on just how to carry out the dive plan. Who will navigate and who will be responsible for other aspects of the dive.  Other dive procedures need to be discussed, such as how close the divers will be to each during the dive and what to do if they become separated.  This sounds very basic but by reviewing them prior to the scuba dive may make a major problem only a minor annoyance.

Scuba Diving Safety: Maintain Your Physical Fitness

Last but by no means not least, all scuba divers should maintain their physical fitness.  While scuba diving is not a cardiovascular sport, it does require some physical effort.  Being in reasonably good physical condition will help prevent or lessen the likelihood of over exertion.  It will also go a long way in insuring that the scuba diver has an enjoyable experience.

Maintain Your Scuba Diving Equipment

Scuba Diving Equipment, just like your automobile, needs periodic maintenance to run efficiently.  By having your scuba diving equipment serviced annually, you will prevent many of the possible problems that often occur due to worn or out of tune scuba equipment.  Regulators and Buoyancy Control Devices (BCD’s) should be serviced annually.

Maintain Your Scuba Fitness: Scuba Continuing Education

If you have not been diving in a while refresh your scuba diving skills.  Take a Scuba Review  Course to refresh those skills.  Consider taking a Scuba Continuing Education Course, like the Advanced Open Water or Rescue Diver Course.  The very best Scuba Divers are the one’s who scuba dive regularly and thereby keep their scuba skills sharp.

Scuba Diving is fun and exciting. By practicing these few safety rules and procedures you will make sure that the exciting part is not life threatening.


Comments { 0 }