Nothing compares to the experience of scuba diving. Gliding through the water and taking in the wonders of the vast ocean, where nothing exists but you and the sound of your breath. Before you meet Nemo and friends, you need to make sure you are very prepared for your first dive as the risks that come with an ill-prepared dive are unthinkable. Before you suit up, follow these steps to ensure smooth sailing.
The right equipment
This is one scenario where you cannot have all the gear, and no idea. Some beginner divers will get as deep as 32 metres on their first dive and this is not a scenario in which want to not know what the equipment is for. Any experienced diver will tell you that the clarity can change in an instant, so make sure you have a led lenser so you can see your divemaster and the wonders around you. Try and get a wetsuit that fits tight so you have freedom of movement, and when wet it will feel a bit more malleable. Your divemaster will provide a tank and BCD, and make sure you do a practises with this equipment in a pool before you dive in open water.
Check the conditions
Like the weather, your Saturday dive might be optimal condition on Monday, but very unsafe when the day actually arrives. Making sure the conditions are right for your first dive is crucial, as strong currents may fatigue you quicker and half the time of your dive, if you can dive at all. Things that impact your diving conditions is the weather, time of year and sometimes the patterns and schedules of sealife. For an easy first dive, go somewhere that is fine year round and not too far out.
Have an expert
Practise makes perfect. For a beginner open water diver to become an advanced open water diver they must clock a certain amount of hours. On every dive make sure there is a divemaster and a few advanced open water divers who can show you the ropes (literally). Diving works on a buddy system, so each time you go in you check your buddy’s equipment and keep an eye out for each other when you are underwater.
Make sure you are fit and well
This is good advice however you look at it, but even more relevant to divers. Any dizziness or cold-like symptoms can turn very ugly, very quickly. There is no reason to be a hero when diving, if you are not feeling well – pass on the dive. Any change to your airways, sense of direction and sound mind is not something to mess around with. Before you pursue diving as a hobby, it’s always a good idea to get the OK from your GP that this is something you can continue to do.
Describing the feeling of diving does not do it justice. The free feeling of gliding through the abyss needs to be experienced to be believed. But before you jump in, take the necessary steps to make sure you are prepared so that you can enjoy the dive in the best way possible.