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in the Water!
"Ah heck, its like riding a bike, once you learn how you never forget. What's the big deal, I can go two, three years without diving and jump back in and remember everything. I only dive when I'm on vacation. I only took the class so I could get the certification card, now I can get air. I'm a certified diver, who needs more training. If the vis isn't a 100 feet, I don't even bother. I only dive in warm water."
These are popular "excuses" I've heard over the last few years. To those that have the same philosophy, I ask these simple questions, all of which are Basic Scuba Diver knowledge and skill level.
What is a "J" valve used for?
What is the maximum ascent rate?
How much weight should you wear?
What is an Octopus used for?
How long can you stay at 60 feet if you have a dive letter group G and stayed on the surface for 20 minutes?
What is Surface Air Consumption?
What is a lubber line used for?
Do you put air in the BC to ascend or let air out?
How much weight should you add for a hood and gloves?
Do you know how to get back to the boat underwater without surfacing and then swimming to it?
And then there's the what ifs...
What if your weight belt comes off? Do you know how to put
it back on in the water?
What if you run out of air. Do you know how to buddy breathe or make an Emergency Swimming Ascent safely?
What if you forgot to get your BC straps wet before donning the tank.
What if you go diving in current. Do you know how to ensure you'll end up at the boat?
All of the aforementioned happen nearly every time I go diving with groups. And guess what - in almost every case these people that have troubles "only go diving while on vacation". It's strange, they simply don't realize how much effort they are going through needlessly. People that go diving frequently don't have these problems. They have checklists and routines that are second nature. They concentrate on the equipment first, so they aren't annoyed by it during the dive.
"Ah come on, the guys on the boat take care of all that stuff - the hired hands rig my tank, put on the reg thingee and pick it up so I can put it on."
This is true, if you like the cattle boat style of diving. But be careful, they don't always rig it right. On one of the first trips to San Carlos, one of the "helpers" recommended 35 pounds of weight regardless of size. Luckily, the divers who were with me removed most of the weight to be neutral.
Wouldn't it be safer and more enjoyable if you were better informed, better trained, and a more experienced diver?
"Yeah but, it costs lots of money to dive all the time." No, it doesn't. There are a lot of weekend trips to inexpensive, relatively close places. We have at least one trip a month to the ocean and a least two or three trips a month right here in Lake Havasu. Or, just rig the gear and dive in the pool. How about going to Six Site Training cove and practice your compass navigation.
I'll tell ya what, I'll buy your air! That's right, if you will get out your gear and go diving I'll buy your air! Just mention that you have read this article when you come in to get your air.
Have fun and be safe...
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