So you’re certified, now what?
I once read that the ultimate goal for most divers was to become a Master Diver or a Dive Master. Yes, they are different and I will go into a more in-depth look at those differences in another post at a later date.
Obviously, though your first step is to get comfortable diving now that you’ve gone through a “try scuba” and your Open Water Certification classes. Advancing on past the basic open water certification comes from experiences in diving and getting comfortable underwater. Scuba Diving Magazine lays out 5 rules that every diver should follow. Let’s look at each of these more closely.
1. Seek training. Before attempting any new type of diving, you should seek appropriate training. The more complex the diving technique, the more time you will spend in training.
- This is an extremely good point, “the more complex the diving technique, the more time you will spend in training.” At Extreme Sports Scuba, our dive instructors are trained to assess each individual and their diving comfort level. There are guidelines that are set forth for the different diving classes and that criteria is based on getting a diver comfortable before they perform the next diving class. The instructors just want to make the best and safest scuba diver out of you.
2. Have a dive plan and follow it. It’s important to understand the limitations of your dive and follow your plan.
- Each diver has a comfort level. Sometimes your diving buddy will be more experienced than you are. Sometimes you will be more experienced than your dive buddy. Sometimes you will be on the same comfort level as your dive buddy. It is always best to plan out where that comfort level is while you’re above the surface and what the game plan for the dive is, whether it is leisurely to take pictures and watch the fish or if you are to complete a requirement for a class. It’s always best to know how the dive will go above the surface so no one is taken by surprise underwater.
3. Stay with your buddy. Diving is a social sport and the shared experience is what makes diving exciting. Buddies can also help should you get into trouble on a dive.
- There are exceptions to pretty much every rule and the one exception to “stay with your buddy” would be if you are solo certified, but if you are not solo certified, for best diving practices, make sure to stay with your buddy. Should you get separated, take a minute or two to try and find your partner and if you can’t, head to the surface making sure to follow to the 30ft per minute ascent rule and to look for your buddies bubbles on the way up, once on the surface waiting for your buddy. They’ll be up to look for you when they don’t find you. Once you are back together, reconvene the diving experience.
4. Discuss details like appropriate communications with your dive buddy. When you are diving with a new buddy, you should always discuss diving techniques, planned descent speeds, and communication techniques.
- Good communication skills are a must when diving. While your planning out the diving plan above water, talk to your dive buddy and let them know how far down you want to go, how fast, etc. Obviously underwater you can change communicate plans but it is always best to make sure that you are both on the same plan when starting your dive. Then underwater, keep communicating, checking with each other that you are okay, checking air, and if you see something fascinating, definitely point it out! That’s the fun of diving!!
5. Don’t let a goal cloud your judgment. No dive is worth dying for. Use your head when making a dive. Don’t let your desire to achieve a goal get in the way of making a safe dive.
- There are exceptions to every rule, but this one I wouldn’t break. No dive is worth losing your life over just because definitely know your boundaries and stay within your limits. If you have a goal, once you’re back on the surface, come to the shop, discuss your plans and goals with the instructors and they will definitely see to it that you will get the experience and training to take your diving to the next level, safely.
The ultimate goal when diving is to have an enjoyable and safe dive. Now, it’s spring, Let’s. Go. Dive!