How can the air we breathe be so harmful to us, after all isn’t oxygen good for us? Well, we do know from our Enriched Air aka Nitrox class that under pressure can become toxic to our body and cause a host of issues.
We can avoid all of those issues by paying attention to our dive computers and by setting our oxygen levels on our computers correctly. Let me provide an example that actually happen to me of all people. A day before we went to the crater I was showing a diver how to set the oxygen limits on one of my dive computers. This particular computer you can actually set up to 99% oxygen. By the way at that level the maximum dive depth is 13 feet. Well instead of making sure it was set back to regular old 21% air, I must have left it at 99%. Well you can just imagine the grief that the computer was giving me after only 5 minutes of the first dive at the crater. As most of you know that dive is usually between 16 and 25 feet. Well after 5 minutes my computer was telling me that I was approaching my oxygen limit for 24 hours. And after 10 minutes I was way past that limit. I knew I was fine and I knew what had happened. But of course my computer didn’t know that I was fine and actually diving 21% or just regular old air.
Of course I finish both of the dives with the class and one extra for the advanced open water students. At this point I was curious what the computer would actually do. I was definitely on the naughty list as far as it was concerned. But after 14 hours of being out of the water the computer was much happier and allowed me to reset it to 21%. After 3 more dives with the class the computer was showing only 5% of my daily oxygen exposure had been reached.
Happy New Year! That wonderful time of the year when we all resolve to be better at something, are scuba classes on your list?
Now I know scuba is fun and for most people the thought of education is anything but fun. But scuba classes are different. First you are diving, well in most of the classes you are. But you are talking about diving and improving your knowledge about diving and therefore having more fun diving.
What scuba classes can give you all that in the middle of winter? Well how about Enriched Air, aka Nitrox? Gain the potential benefit of having longer time underwater when using Nitrox. Or maybe one of the Project Aware scuba classes to help you identify different types of coral or learn more about our water planet.
One of the more popular scuba classes is the PADI advanced open water program. In this one you get to pick some of the more fun dives to experience such as search and recovery. Learn to tie knots and play with a lift bag underwater, it is a challenge and big fun. Or maybe taking underwater photos or video is more your style. You can develop better filming techniques, angles and different lighting options to help you on your spring or summer dive adventure. Or just maybe you want to be a better dive buddy? Then the rescue diver program is for you.
Maybe one of your 2017 resolutions is to gain some leadership training or even maybe develop a little future opportunity for increasing your income. Along with the Dive Master and Assistant/Instructor program, how about becoming an Instructor for CPR and 1st aide?
As you can see, there are many different options in scuba classes. From the simple and easy to the most challenging of options, I hope scuba classes are on your resolution list for 2017.
Happy New Year and Happy scuba bubbles
Many new divers ask this question just before they pack their bags for that tropical vacation, how much lead will I need for buoyancy? There are many ways to answer that basic question, but if you have taken your PADI advanced open water class with us, then you already know that there is a basic weighting chart in your adventures in diving manual and you also know that there is a small little typo in that same chart.
Let’s take a look at the normal diver and how I might weight you for your tropical island dives. First, what type of wetsuit are you using? A dive skin or a 2 mil shorty or maybe a full 3 mil. Maybe you run cold and are using a 5 mil full suit. They all add buoyancy to us and they all have very different buoyancy issues to overcome. For an average person in salt water let’s start with
- Dive skin or swim suit, since neither of these have any buoyancy start with 4 to 6 pounds
- 2 or 3 mil Shorty or full suit – 5% of your body weight plus approximately 4 pounds for the added buoyancy of the tank as it empties
- 5 mil full suit – 10% of your body weight plus the extra for the tank
These are not hard and fast rules, but a basic starting point. A person that carries a lower percentage of body fat, such as a weight lifter might use less weight that a person that is carrying a few extra pounds around their middle. I have seen very thin and in shape divers that needed extra weight and very large people who needed all most no lead. Every diver is different and every diver has different gear. If you have been diving with a heavy jacket style BCD and you then start diving with the Zuma travel BCD you will need to adjust your weight up to counter the lighter weight of the travel BCD. The same goes for a new wetsuit, add a few extra pounds of lead to counter the added buoyancy of the wetsuit as they are more buoyant when they are new.
Are you an ugly scuba diver? Do you know an ugly scuba diver? I know you have seen them. Ugly scuba divers are the ones that everyone laughs at and shakes their head in amazement.
What is an ugly scuba diver? Well, let me tell you a little story that happened on a dive trip to Cozumel. We were going along on a nice little drift dive and I was about half way through a little swim thru when this other diver just came right underneath me and pushed me to the top of the little tunnel. Of course my tank hit the reef and did some damage, but I didn’t say anything as I thought the guy probably didn’t see me after all he was carrying a camera. But on the very next dive he did it again this time crashing on top of me. That my friends is an ugly scuba diver.
The ugly scuba diver is not aware of their position in the water in relation to you or the reef. They have if you will tunnel vision. All they see is what is right in front of them and then some times they don’t even see that. So how do we prevent and help the ugly diver? Short of going all Sea Hunt on them and cutting their air hose? The ugly diver can use a peak performance buoyancy course or even the PADI advanced open water diver course for starters. They will also need help in becoming aware of where they are in relation to the reef and other divers. These are people who on land understand spacing and standing in a line and all the nice little common curtesies that we extend to our fellow human beings, but in the water they forget. The forget that their feet are now up to 3 feet longer because of their fins. We can help them by having a private talk with them and then role modeling the proper behavior and if that doesn’t help; then go all Sea Hunt on them.
So you just completed your PADI Open Water Course and are asking what’s next? Well, the PADI Advanced Open Water program is made just for you!
I can hear you now, Advanced Open Water? I just got certified? Yes, Advanced Open Water is for you! You can gain wonderful experience and dive with your instructor. The PADI Advanced Open Water program is 5 experience dives which include Deep Diving and Underwater Navigation as well as 3 more experiences of your choosing. You can pick from experience such as Nitrox, Boat Diving, Wreck Diving, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Digital Photography and many more all under the supervision of your favorite instructor.
What a wonderful way to gain confidence and experience and to try out a few other scuba diving activities that interest you. The PADI Advanced Open Water program is custom designed just for you as you get to pick and choose what dives you get to experience.
Already got some dives under your weight belt? Great, then the PADI Advanced Open Water program can enhance your scuba skills while introducing you to other fun activities that you can do while scuba diving. Perhaps Project Aware’s fish id interests you? You will learn how to identify more fish and make you the go to dive buddy for showing your fellow divers all the cool and interesting fish that you see while diving. Or maybe a night diving experience where you learn more effective ways to communicate on a night dive. Treasure hunting intrigues you? Then the search and recovery dive is right for you. Learn how to use and rig a lift bag while tying 3 different knots underwater. Learn about search patterns and how to effectively use them for the conditions and object you are searching for.
No matter your diving experience the PADI Advanced Open Water program is for you. Let us help design the perfect experience for you.