Scuba Diving Practice and ethics. Silent World Divers Puerto Vallarta
It is a good habit to check the amount of air remaining in your tank and depth regularly. It is easy to get distracted on all the cool things you are seeing and not realize your depth.
(see photos & video links at the bottom of this page)
With an Open Water Certification, you should only go down 60 feet (18 meters).
Maintaining and mastering buoyancy control is something you should continuously working on.
Buoyancy is important to keep you somewhat in place so that you are not going up and down. You want to be able to get down to the desired depth and then move without drastic changes. If you have too much air in your BCD then you will tend to rise and if you do not have enough air or too much weight then you will tend to sink.
Knowing the correct amount of weight will make a huge difference. Once you get to the bottom or desired depth and feel you are too close to the ground then slowly add a small amount of air into your BCD.
Try to control your breathing and breathe evenly. After some practice, you can make small changes in your buoyancy with your breathing alone. If you come upon coral and are too close, take a deep breath (you will rise) and then slowly let out air as you go over a section of it.
You want to keep your arms still, out in front of you or down by your sides. It will keep you away from potentially hitting another diver, marine life or coral.
Beginner divers will tend to consume and go through their air a lot faster than experienced divers. There a lot of factors like being nervous, moving about more than necessary and struggling with buoyancy. Safe practice says that a group or buddies ascend back to the top when the person with the least amount or 500 psi of air, needs to go up.
That means if I have plenty of air but it is time for my buddy to go up, I need to go with him. The less air you consume means that you will likely get to stay down longer. I have noticed that men tend to go through their air a lot faster than women in general.
Stay calm and breathe slowly and deeply. Keeping your breathing even and slow will reduce the amount of air you use. Try to stay streamlined and learn to kick efficiently.
If you swim slowly and without a lot of movement then you will take in less air. Mastering buoyancy is key. Unless there is something in your way or a current that might require you to swim hard, take it easy…
It is smart to always dive with a buddy just in case you encounter any issues. Plus, it is more fun having a buddy! If you have booked a dive through a dive shop, then you will be matched up with someone if you are diving solo.
Having a great dive buddy can make a big difference! You should review the basic hand signals together, have a plan if you get separated and make eye contact often on a dive. That includes not swimming too far from your buddy so that you can effectively communicate.
Be considerate, helpful as this is about having a good time! Before heading into the water, do a check of your partner’s equipment and vice versa.
When you first start out diving, staying calm seems the least likely thing as you might be freaking out to remember everything.
Scuba diving can be very calming and peaceful…
This will help you relax and once in the water, do not rush or fixate in only one direction. For example, if you are focused looking at a wall or coral, you might miss out on seeing big fish, sharks or rays in the deep blue in the opposite direction.
Make sure you leave no trace. The same goes for being underwater where you should not carry with you anything that could be considered trash.
You will encounter and see the most incredible sea life and coral when diving. It might be super tempting to touch or pick up things you see but it is best not to! Some of the cutest and prettiest marine life can be quite deadly.
Soft Coral, hard coral, sea anemones and urchins are also marine life to protect. You may not avoid if marine life comes to you, just limit contact and try not to provoke them as they are still wild animals!
Go into each dive hydrated! Drink plenty of water the day before and the morning of a dive so that you won’t go into the dive dehydrated. DO NOT dive while under the influence of alcohol.
As much as this might be a buzzkill, don’t drink more than a glass or two the night before. You don’t want to go into a dive hungover. For many reasons, it can be dangerous and cause issues if you are sick and not as alert as you need to be.
Keep a dive log, it is really helpful, it is fun to look back at the dives you have done as over time some of them will tend to blend and also collecting the cool stamps divemasters have, some are pretty cool! Track how much weight you used on a dive. That way on the next dive when they ask you how much weight you need, etc… you will have a good estimate.
Every dive is so unique with varying conditions, marine life, corals and more that you will encounter. It is a good habit to write in your log-book all the different things you saw that made it stand out. That way it will make it easier to remember dives and reminisce!
If you are a certified diver, you likely already know that you shouldn’t fly within 24 hours of diving. But if you aren’t aware, it can be very dangerous to fly within 24 hours of a dive. If you do fly within 24 hours, then you are at risk of getting decompression sickness (DCS) or the “bends”. It results because your body does not have time to get rid of the excess nitrogen buildup in the body. If you do not then small bubbles can form in your bloodstream. Your body will have adequate time to flush out the excess nitrogen in 24 hours and then you will be fine to fly after that.
Bring An Underwater Camera. When you are a beginner diver, you might not want to worry about carrying or using an additional item. But once you feel more at ease with a few dives completed, having a camera with you is awesome. Just like when you travel anywhere else, you want to capture your travels and memories. Underwater is no different!
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