To a large degree, you care for your mask the same as you would any other piece of dive equipment.
Here are a few items you can include in your logbook to help you stay organized and honest, track progress, and work on self-improvement as a diver.
Your open water course just can’t cover everything there is to know and I’m here to provide a few answers.
Before we can determine our weighting requirements, we have to look at what factors are affecting us.
The following are sensible suggestions of things divers should never do, based entirely on common sense.
We get questioned a lot on what the difference is between SDI, TDI and ERDI courses, so we decided to put it out there where it’s easy for everyone to find when they start doing research.
There are many factors that can help a diver at any level conserve breathing. The following are six basic suggestions that may help you reduce your gas consumption.
by Bob Meadows:
Back when diving was perceived as dangerous and intimidating, a small group of divemasters (DM) and instructors asked me to go diving in some springs and caverns in what was considered my back yard at the time. That place was Ginnie Springs in High Springs, Florida. This weekend adventure is still fixed in my mind, like that first car you owned! These early “tech” divers invited me into their world, when I was only just a kid with some good buoyancy skills.
They were fantastic mentors, providing me advice and training on how to use a reel, lights, communicate through light signals, air sharing, the importance of buoyancy in a cave (to not disrupt the bottom), and how to calculate air consumption. Three days came and went, leaving me hooked and excited to dive in places where few could, or even wanted to. All because a few of the DMs and instructors I was with at that time thought I had good buoyancy skills.
Those early mentors of mine contributed to the great passion in my love of diving; not just to dive pretty reefs, but they encouraged me to ask questions such as, where did that ship sink and why? Where does all the beautiful spring water come from? They enabled me to have a lifelong passion for diving and it all started at a far away time in Florida, and has literally taken me around the world since.
Diving has it cast of characters for sure. The better divers and mentors are not judgmental or arrogant in any way. They are genuine, they inspire, and they instill a sense of passion for learning, even when one does not know it. Yours truly, might not have become a technical diver without the early invite from mentors guiding me through their non-intimidating instruction.
Most divers today have the ability to efficiently technical dive once they receive the training and have the requisite experience under their belts. There are plenty of instructors and divers from all backgrounds to teach and mentor technical divers, while the truly good ones do not beat their chest over their accomplishments to the world. These divers instill and inspire the next generation of divers to be the best diver they can be; whether it’s on is a 10 metre/30 foot reef dive or a wreck in 60 metres/200 feet.
As a community of divers we should always be learning and evolving. We should represent our community, whether sport or technical endeavors, with the same understanding and empathy needed for one learning how to dive. There are plenty of instructors with varying degrees of experience that do a great job of that – taking a student and instilling confidence and passion for diving in their life.
On the other hand, the elitist attitudes of some have pushed away potentially great divers over the years. On several occasions I have witnessed divers stating they cannot start a technical dive course because their instructor requires 500+ dives, perfect buoyancy skills, and jet fins for training. These are great opportunities for mentors out there to guide divers in the right direction, foster the basics, and allow the diver to learn, grow, and gain more experience along the way – not just the right amount of dives or fins. Arrogance is the last thing our dive community needs, everyone should be working together towards promoting our sport and all that it encompasses whether it is shallow dives, long cave dives, deep dives on a wreck, or an exploration on a virgin reef.
Sport and technical diving have differences, such as going deeper and staying longer. Most people who are curious or want to technical dive shouldn’t be discouraged by bad attitudes. There are a lot of dive facilities and instructors that will help turn their desires into realities. Technical diving isn’t for everyone, but everyone should have an equal chance at exploring options and not be discouraged by chest beating scuba super heroes. Every mentor in the dive community should inspire confidence, passion, and a willingness to learn and do better in every diver they encounter. Technical diving takes commitment, training and an open mind to new ideas that emerge.
The moral of the story is, there are a** holes everywhere, but there are also plenty of empathetic, caring, encouraging divers out there to help the new aspiring divers along the way. Whatever level we’re at in diving, we should always be mindful of our attitudes and encourage a mentoring type relationship to bring up divers to come.
– Bob Meadows
Owner – World of Scuba, Boca Raton, Florida
by Cris Merz:
Diving with Nitrox has brought divers many benefits over the years including longer bottom times, shorter surface intervals, longer repetitive dives, and much more. However, with the good, comes the bad… often followed by the ugly. Nitrox has depth limitations because it increases the risk of oxygen toxicity, among other issues. It is a common misconception that Nitrox benefits deep divers during the dive.
The best way to prepare and plan is to follow three core tips when diving Nitrox.
- Set Computer
Once you have gone through these three steps, you can establish your maximum operating depth.
Analyze. Take the initiative and put the responsibility in your own hands. It is up to you, the diver, to confirm the mix you have in your tank. Since each “flavor” of Nitrox has a different MOD, you need to make sure yours is safe at your maximum depth and which partial pressure of oxygen is right for your conditions. Many experienced Nitrox divers use a PO2 of 1.6 in warm, calm water, but back the PO2 down to 1.4 in colder more challenging conditions.
Once your tank has been filled, the blender will either check the mixture in your cylinder for you – we advise you to watch – or have you check the mixture yourself. Either method is acceptable, provided you are satisfied that you have the correct gas mixture in your cylinder: because after all, it’s you that has to breathe it!
Label. To complete the process, mark the cylinder Contents label with date, FO2, MOD, Limiting PO2, dive operation name and the name or initials of the person conducting the analysis. Your signature indicates that you take responsibility for the Nitrox that has been delivered to you, and that you are satisfied that your cylinders have been filled properly.
It is important to analyze every cylinder and label the mix on each cylinder. While repeatedly stating this may seem redundant, we know that most Nitrox diving accidents occur when the diver grabs the wrong cylinder because it was not properly labeled, or fails to analyze the cylinder. You need to know what is in your cylinder prior to diving so that you can adequately plan your dive, set the mix in your dive computer and avoid an accident.
Set computer. Prior to every Nitrox dive, you must check your Nitrox dive computer to be sure that it is properly set for the mixture you are using. It is important to remember that there are two settings that you must take note of; the percentage of oxygen and the maximum PO2 to which you are willing to expose yourself. Remember, some dive computers, and their manuals use the term “FO2” (fraction of oxygen). In other words, 32% oxygen is the same thing as .32 FO2 in these cases.
While different dive computers have different default settings for both the oxygen percentage in the mix and the maximum PO2, most default settings tend to be conservative. In many cases, the default setting for the percentage of oxygen will be 21% while the default setting for PO2 is often 1.4. If you do not check these settings and adjust them to your dive plan you will not be getting the full benefit of the capabilities of your computer and Nitrox.
Excellent! You can now plan your maximum depth and bottom time. If you always remember to analyze, label, and set your dive computer to the settings according to your mix as well as your dive plan, you are good to go. And remember, when diving Nitrox; don’t dive below your MOD.
This article will discuss 3 mistakes that are common for new divers, how to avoid them, and how an experienced diver could easily end up making the same mistake..