Diving at night is diving in another world and it should not be taken lightly… even if you have dove the same site, time after time during the day, doing so at night will bring you to a new world, with new shadows and new life.
Three topics will be covered that may assist a diver with mask leakage issues: hair, mask size, and mask quality.
by Cris Merz:
Conversation starters among any group usually includes three categories of people; those who genuinely want to know more, those who are being polite and are making some small talk, and those who are looking to inject their own twist or expertise in the matter and “one-up” you. “How many dives do you have? I have a billion…” Diving as a community certainly has its fair share of the latter. We will, for arguments sake, ignore those people in this article and focus on the fun, the education, and what makes for good fun conversation over a cold beverage after a day of diving.
- Equipment. It is always fun walking around a dive deck looking at other people’s gear. “Whoa! What is that? What does it do?” It is a great way to view diver’s choices of what works for them and why. You learn firsthand from a consumer who may either be happy, or not so satisfied, with the product and the “why” behind it. I once actually saw a man with two rearview mirrors attached to his mask so he would not miss any whale shark sightings. This was in Galapagos where most of the marine life is present due to several strong currents such as the Humboldt Current. On the inflatable heading out to the dive site, we learned that he was an eBay fanatic and that was where he found these interesting accessories that clipped on to his mask. Did it work? Well, in 2 knot current, those babies went flying off the moment he turned his head into the current. It was a great idea though!
- Travel. I have always loved to hear stories of travel experiences. Far beyond just the dive sites, I have wanted to know how the taxis were coming from the airport to the resort or the boat. What was the boat like? The crew? The food? These conversations about the occurrences top-side are often more interesting than some of the diving, although I definitely want to know about that too. “Dude, they picked us up in this 60’s minivan and we had to weave through Vespas, mopeds, and bicycles that often carried 7 people or more – I’m talking whole families.” “The food was awful… way too spicy”. “The food was amazing… so spicy.” But more than anything, I like to hear about the people they met and the new culture they just experienced and their thoughts.
- Experience. Far beyond the certification ratings a diver may have, the amount of dives some people have accumulated say a lot. We encourage people to take classes and continue to dive in those areas that interest them. Photography? Perhaps wreck diving? These are the types of fields where a diver may take one or two additional courses and then progress as divers in those fields by diving. Diving, diving, and diving. Looking at sunlight a certain way or the approach toward a certain marine creature while trying to get that fantastic picture is not something you will learn overnight. As a wreck diver, experience and control is what will give you the calm and collective head to figure out what you are doing if something deviates from the original plan. For the most part, people love hearing about these experiences, how you handled yourself and how you prevailed. “Wow…I would have been freaking out if I was surrounded by all those tiger sharks after I exited the wreck. And they didn’t do anything to you? What did you do? Do you have any pictures?”
I have found that though I may have used these conversation starters often, my favorite part was often comparing notes. I am often able to bring something back to the conversation but what I enjoy the most, especially if the person is a great story teller, is listening.
The best way to prepare and plan is to follow three core tips when diving Nitrox. 1. Analyze 2. Label 3. Set Computer
View some of our amazing underwater encounters, and send us yours too!
There is so much out there with continuing education, sometimes it can be a little bit overwhelming trying to choose what the next steps should be. A lot of it may also depend on the region you live in and what your local dives may entail. The bottom line is… the adventure has just started.
by Cris Merz:
The fantastic stories about voodoo gas seem to have mellowed out a little in the last 20 years. From, “It’ll kill you” to “You will have soooo much energy after the dive”, it never ceases to amaze how nitrox, as a topic for discussion, has always been a leader in misconceptions.
With many reasons in favor of diving nitrox, the reasons for doing so may hold a little more scientific value today than they did 20 years ago.
Few advances in the realm of diving have had a more profound impact during the past two decades than the widespread availability of Enriched Air Nitrox. And nothing has made the switch from diving air to diving nitrox more straightforward or more enjoyable than nitrox programmable dive computers.
Simply put, nitrox – air with additional oxygen content – allows divers to enjoy longer bottom times (and shorter surface intervals) than their air-breathing dive buddies, while staying within the limits that were stressed in their open water training.
Nitrox makes this possible because it contains reduced levels of nitrogen compared to air and less nitrogen translates into more bottom time! But of course there is a price to pay. Diving nitrox does present risks that are not present while diving air and these risks require divers to take additional steps during their pre-dive planning and then adhere to that dive plan.
The number one reason for diving nitrox is safety. When diving with a greater amount of oxygen (32% or 36%) in the mix, rather than air (21%), you decrease the risk of decompression sickness because you’ve lowered the amount of nitrogen you are breathing in at depth – and as we know, nitrogen is the number one culprit associated with decompression sickness.
When should we dive nitrox? Well, whenever the opportunity presents itself. It may not make a great difference but it certainly will not hurt. Unless you go diving beyond the Maximum Operating Depth (MOD) of the mix in your tank, it is beneficial to you every time, though sometimes those benefits are much greater than others based on your diving profile.
The moments when nitrox will make the greatest difference is when you are doing multiple dives over multiple days and are getting close to some of the no-decompression limits your personal dive computer is telling you about.
As stated, when you dive using nitrox you can take advantage of increasing your maximum allowable bottom time. This happens because the extra oxygen added to your breathing gas when it was filled has displaced nitrogen. Because there is less nitrogen in the mix to be absorbed by your body you can spend longer at depth before you reach the nitrogen limit – which is the decompression limit. Secondly, since you are absorbing less nitrogen on a given dive, your surface intervals can usually be shortened.
Being on a live-aboard, hundreds of miles from home where you are doing 3 to 4 dives a day will allow you to see a huge difference if you can compare yourself to those diving on regular air. You have paid a lot of money to get there and you want to make each and every dive count. You do not want to get back in the water for the fourth dive so you can zip about at 50ft/15 meters just because you have reached your no-deco limits for the day – especially when the schooling hammerheads are hanging out around 70ft/21 meters. That is where you want to be… for as long as possible.
Despite having depth limits to be aware of due to the risk of oxygen toxicity, and perhaps some additional costs for the fills, the benefits of nitrox will play a role in your steps to keeping your dives within safer limits than if you were on air.
If you are not yet nitrox certified, find out more about diving with enriched air from your local SDI or TDI instructor.
You will discover that diving nitrox is not rocket science. The concepts are straightforward and easy to understand. Of course, like most things relating to diving, the subject does have another side and if the science and technology behind the basic concepts of nitrox interest you or if you find yourself wondering how nitrox with higher levels of oxygen than 40 percent would affect your diving, you may want to consider continuing on to Technical Diving International’s (TDI’s) Advanced Nitrox Diver course.
Recently, La Media Luna Facilities joined the growing ranks of worldwide facilities integrating into the SDI Family.
SDI’s own National Sales Manager, Cris Merz (Cris.Merz@tdisdi.com) asked Saul Martinez to describe in his own words his unique Dive Resort. Hold on and get your passport ready, what you will read will have you booking your next trip by the time you read what Saul had to say!
We have been working for 36 years, providing and serving recreational and technical divers from Mexico and all over the world. Our services include: sales, rent and diving equipment maintenance, Instructor certified, air and Nitrox service, the best T-shirts and souvenirs from La Media Luna.
Stop waiting and Contact us! We are proudly a 5- Star SDI/TDI Instructor Training Center #1003153
“We are as proud to have you as you are to join us” stated Cris, “but tell us more about this unique site.”
Laguna de La Media Luna, Rio verde, SLP México
The lagoon: La Media Luna is at México´s center, more specifically at the middle zone of San Luis Potosí, between the mountains, at 3300ft above sea level, in the Rioverde valley. La Media Luna is a spring of GEO-Thermal waters with a very comfortable temperature that goes from 79 to 90 Fahrenheit, with a maximum depth of 118ft ideal for snorkeling, swimming, camping and diving all the time. Even at winter when the lagoon reaches it´s maximum temperature of 90F!
Temperature between 79 and 90 Farenheit
What mysteries does it have?
What is the history of the lagoon?
Did the lagoon exist 20,000 years ago? Some researchers believe so…
La Media Luna is an ecosystem that has housed several forms of life during thousands of years; there have been great archeological discoveries including the bones of a mammoth belonging to the Pleistocene fauna. It has been said that La Media Luna was a giant natural trap, in which some animals were caught thousands of years ago, thereby leaving their remains for us to encounter during the last 40 years in several expeditions made by Mr. Juvencio Martínez Flores; the INAH (INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE ANTROPOLOGÍA E HISTORIA) for its acronym in Spanish, granted him the ward of the pieces and its preservation.
Thousands of Tiny Fossils
A pioneer diver in the country with a deep respect to the environment, Mr. Flores has preserved all of the archeological pieces under his ward. Owner and founder of Media Luna Hotel y Resort, all of the findings can be seen at the Mammoth museum, at Media Luna Hotel y Resort at (Carr. Rioverde-San Luis Potosí km. 3 esq. Canal de la media luna, CD. Fernandez, SLP México).
Juvencio Martínez Flores
There is no doubt that after the mammoth era around the year 650 A.C.-before the Spanish conquest-Rioverde was inhabited by the indigenous natives called the Pames, Otomíes and Grupos Chichimecas. The natives, who lived at the shore of the lagoon, left us some evidence of their inhabitance. These vessels were placed in the depths of the lagoon using free diving, arrow heads made form obsidian, figurines, pots, among other things from the Pame culture that have been found inside the lagoon. Thanks to the ceramic that was recovered, we know that this zone was of great value, dating back to 100 years after Christ.
Media Luna characteristics:
• 3300 ft. above sea level
• Temperature between 79 and 90 Fahrenheit
• Max depth of 118ft
• GEO-Thermal waters
• Cristal clear water
• No dangerous animals
• Endemic fish
• Thousands of tiny fossils
• Petrified trees
• Springs water
• No currents
• Pleistocene lagoon
• Prehispanic culture PAME
• Prehispanic culture PAME
The crystal clear water, the biodiversity and the colorful fauna create a calm, peaceful and beautiful underwater world. This place is one of México´s natural wonders. The amazing contrast that La Media Luna has to offer is in part thanks to its vegetation and waters. During a visit, try to envision all of the wonders and moments this lagoon went through and realize that we are just one being coexisting with this vast underwater world.
Now, it is time for action and to book your next “out of this world” unique adventure….
To do so you can simply contact the SDI/TDI Facility nearest you and simply ask them to book it! They will do so through Scuba Travel International (STI).
Visiting your local SDI/TDI facility will allow you to focus on the preparation for your trip or find the local diving facility near you.
For more information you can contact Saul directly:
Media Luna Hotel y Resort®
5 Star SDI/TDI Instructor Training Center #1003153
Boulevard El Refugio-CD. Fernández-Rioverde #650 Esq. Canal Media Luna CP 79650
CD. Fernández. S.L.P. México.
TEL: 01(487)872.1473 FAX: 01(487)872.8255
To learn more about SDI/TDI and the services that are offered please visit https://www.tdisdi.com or Contact Cris.Merz@tdisdi.com or call 207-7294201 xt 202
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