Scuba diving is a fantastic recreational activity that has been a favourite among outdoor adventure seekers for years. However, a lot of people find it a fussy activity with all the equipment and training; well it is if you compare it to your usual adventure of leaping from cliffs or boarding a plane for a weekend scenic flight. The equipment and training that scuba divers go through is preparation for the most rewarding underwater experience of a lifetime. Take for example the air tank, surely a participant would need to be familiarized with how to operate and utilize it, but if all this learning means you can spend an hour breathing 40 feet underwater as you swim in awe at the marvelous spectacle surrounding you, then don’t you think it is worth the fuss? As you prepare and start booking that scuba diving adventure, here are 5 more things that you can expect from this activity.
1. Preparation For The Dive
This is where all your questions that fuel your anxiety or tensions are addressed. In the initial briefing, divers are paired off, dive leaders and buddies are designated, responsibilities are assigned and explained and safety regulations discussed. Site details such as terrain, depth, tide, visibility and exit & entry points will also be reviewed during the briefing. Weather will also be part of the talk with instructions should there be a need to use an alternative dive site. More topics that are also apart of the talk include procedures on buddy breathing, decompression stops and embolism. Expect information overload, and try your best to absorb as much as you can, every single piece of knowledge is essential to your diving success. You’ll also need to complete a medical form at the briefing indicating any medical conditions that may adversely affect your scuba diving experience.
2. Equipment Familiarization
You will undergo equipment briefing and learn how to properly utilize scuba diving gear. All equipment is categorized as such: protective, basic, safety, breathing, and ancillary (i.e. surface marker buoy, compass, and torch). You and your designated dive buddy will learn how to responsibly keep tabs on each other’s equipment before and during the scuba dive. You also learn the different types of suit and gear that will help you adapt to different types of water temperature. Kitting up is learning how and when to attach each piece of equipment which will become full gear when scuba diving. Your instructor shall tell you when, where, what and how, when it comes to kitting procedure.
3. Pool Sessions
Scuba diving is an exhilarating sport that entails strict adherence to standard procedures. After a thorough briefing, it is now time to apply your newly acquired skills. You will suit up, complete with your tank to get the feel of being in your scuba gear. Everything may seem to be heavy and bulky at first, but wait until you get into the water, everything will be amazingly weightless. You will learn how to operate your equipment and how to effectively breathe using compressed air.
4. Practice Makes Perfect
You may not execute diving skills perfectly and this is expected. Most first time divers find buoyancy control the most difficult among all diving tasks. It is a skill that must be practised to be perfected. Your scuba dive guides and instructors will closely monitor participants and in any event that you feel uncomfortable during the dive for any reason, they will be on standby to give you help and support. The key to any scuba diving activity is to keep calm and inform your instructor or diving buddy of any concerns.
5. Dive Log and Debrief
You are expected to log your scuba dive. Details such as how you felt about it, what you observed, what went right or wrong and which part you thought you struggled with. From these dive logs, your diving instructor will then conduct a debrief for the students to learn from each other’s experience and ensure post dive concerns are appropriately addressed.
Scuba diving is an organized and detailed activity that makes safety the priority. Like any new activity, you need to know and learn how it’s executed, and with scuba diving as soon as you learn the ropes and master the skill, succeeding dives will be jam packed with exhilaration and new discoveries.