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5 Scuba Things You Can Do While Social Distancing
By Ryan Hoffman
We’re all feeling a deep sense of anxiety as countries start to lock down borders and workers continue to self-quarantine and hunker down at home. While it’s a great time to finally binge watch The Wire, you may be wondering how and when you can still partake in your true favorite hobby. The good news: you can do both. I have faith in you. On a serious note, remember we are all in this together. Nobody wanted this to happen, but while we are here, we can continue to make the best of it. Be kind to one another and this too shall pass. So, here are 5 ways you can continue your scuba learning while participating in social distancing and helping your local dive center at the same time.
You likely already know that continuing education makes a better overall diver, whether it’s doing an advanced course, specialty training or professional development. The more you know, the more self-sufficient you become, and self-sufficiency is one of the key fundamentals of being safe in the open water.
SDI was the first agency to institute eLearning on an agency-wide level. It’s called eLearning for a reason, folks! For any class you’ve ever been interested in taking, from dry suit to advanced technical diving, public safety diving, freediving, and even first aid, International Training has a built-in platform that you can take advantage of so that you can continue your diver development. Scuba Network stores have enacted Skype academic reviews as these are within standards. You’ll still need to do the dives and other practical training, BUT you have a full year to do them. So why not bang out the eLearning now?
Okay, I made that word up, but it’s catchy, no? Some dive shops, including mine, are offering scuba-based webinars for continuing education specialties like Equipment Diver, Computer Nitrox Diver, and Underwater Videography Editing. Some of these will grant you a full specialty. Some need to be combined with a practical which must be completed within one year, as per standards. Some have a certificate of participation. Ask your local dive shop what options they have available.
Read a Book
Yes, a book. Some wonderful true-story tales are out there, i.e. Shadow Divers and Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson, Sea Salt by Stan Waterman, and Diver Down by Michael R. Ange are some of my favorites, but you can check out these lists for more ideas:
As bad as this pandemic is, it won’t last forever. The shop I work at has trips booked through 2022, and it’s likely that your local scuba shop does as well. Find a trip that strikes your fancy and put down a deposit. Odds are, when this crisis is abated, you’ll want to get the heck out of your house/apartment anyway, so give yourself something to look forward to!
Send Your Reg in for Repair
At some point, diving will happen again, so don’t you want to have your gear tuned up and ready to go when it does? What better time than right now, when everything is shut down? Your local dive center will definitely appreciate the business, as pools, trips and even beaches are getting closed by local authorities.
BONUS: Fill up your bathtub
You heard me. Fill up your bathtub, put on your mask and snorkel, throw in Rubber Ducky and Sharky, and stick your face in the water. Will this help you in terms of scuba diving? No. Is this something I’m writing instead of, “All work and no Scuba makes Ryan a dull boy?” Absolutely. But maybe it will make you laugh, and that can be just as valuable. Just remember the rules still apply: don’t touch any wildlife and practice good buoyancy!
So, there you have it, folks. 5 key things that you can do to prevent yourself from going crazy, connecting with your local dive center and fellow divers, and continuing your dive education. Even if none of these options appeal to you, you can help your local dive center by logging on to Yelp and/or Google and leaving a positive review. It takes two minutes, it’s free, and when things calm down, people will be looking for a place to do their training.
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