One of the best things about scuba diving is that it is easy to do yet it is fun and exciting. Scuba divers can be as young as ten years old and many divers are in their retirement years and are still scuba diving on a regular basis. At Aquatic Adventures Scuba Academy, a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Center in Alexandria, Virginia we train a very large range of divers from young to older on a regular basis.
Since scuba diving is done in many different underwater environments, a wide variety of conditions can be experienced. One of the best ways to insure your fun, excitement and safety is to make every dive a stress free dive. Today we will discuss some simple tricks to accomplish that goal.
Use an Appropriate Dive Entry and Exit:
Choosing an appropriate entry and exit comes easier the more experienced you are. One easy tip is to listen to the Divemaster when he or she gives the boat and dive briefing. They will tell you the best way to enter and exit the water from the boat that you are on. If you are diving from shore feel free to ask the Divemaster at the Dive Center at the resort what entries and exits that they recommend.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Assistance:
It is not a good idea to jump into the water while holding your camera or other extra dive equipment. Ask the Divemaster to hand it down to you once you enter the water. If you find it difficult to climb out with all your equipment on ask the Divemaster if you can hand it up to them and then climb out. If you are diving from shore and there is no Divemaster, your dive buddy can hand your camera down to you. If necessary you can use a line with a clip. Clip your camera to the line and lower it in the water. Once you enter you can take your camera and complete your dive. Since the line is still there you can use it when you return at the end of your dive for exiting the water.
Evaluate The Conditions:
Double check the current and conditions prior to your dive. If strong currents are present you may want to rethink your plans prior to entering the water. Kicking against a strong current will not only tire you but may cause your to use your air faster. That is something that you should plan for prior to the dive. If you are uncomfortable with the current consider an alternate dive site or plan your dive as a drift dive.
In addition to evaluating currents you should take the water temperature into consideration as well. If you overheat or are chilled on the dive you will not enjoy it as much and consequently might find the dive more stressful. I make it a point to check water temperature prior to any dive trip that I take and to bring along appropriate exposure protection.
Divemasters are Great Dive Guides:
One of the best things about diving from a boat is that there is often a Divemaster to lead the dive. Following someone who knows the area greatly reduces stress on the dive. Most dive resorts have several Divemasters on staff and if you are uncomfortable diving without a dive guide you can often ask the dive center if they can provide one for you. The extra cost is worth the peace of mind.
Choose a Compatible Dive Buddy:
Your dive buddy should be someone that you are compatible with. If your buddy wants to dive deep and you are not comfortable doing so it can cause undo stress on the dive. Other factors to consider is how fast you fin, whether or not one of you is taking underwater photographs or your navigation skills.
Good dive buddies stay together. Often times underwater photographers want to go slowly and take pictures. The non photographer dive buddy has to slow down and keep the team together. If one of you prefers to cover greater areas and one wants to take pictures this can add stress. If one diver is much stronger then he or she has to slow down for the other buddy. Make sure that this is not an issue prior to the dive.
If you are diving without the assistance of a Divemaster one of you will need to navigate. If both of you are challenged in navigation your dive will be more stressful. One of you should be more comfortable with a compass to make your dives more stress free.
Maintain Your Scuba Equipment:
Many dive problems are the result of equipment issues. By having your own scuba equipment and having it serviced on a regular basis it will prevent many equipment related issues that could cause stress during your dive. Just being familiar with your equipment will go a long way in helping you relax while scuba diving.
Dive Frequently & Continue Your Diving Education:
The more you scuba dive the more comfortable you will be during your dives. Taking additional courses like underwater Navigation, Night Diving or others will add to your dive skills and will in turn make your dives less stressful.
Scuba Diving is a fun sport and if you take a little bit of time to think about what you are doing you will find that it also a relaxing and stress free sport. This in turn will help make your dives more enjoyable Aquatic Adventures.