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First Dive Tomorrow

Discussion in 'New to Scuba Diving' started by Will101, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. Will101

    Will101 New Member

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    Hi All

    I'm currently on holiday and did my PADI discover scuba diving on Thursday and I'm going out for my first proper dive tomorrow. I got on really well with the DSD and passed all the tests fairly well (I have had some previous experience with scuba gear in a pool) and have a good history with the water sports centre and find them extremely professional and safe as I've used them many times for various things.

    Still I am a little nervous about tomorrow as I'm told the max depth we're allowed to go is 12m and 10m is probably the max we'll actually go to. Considering we went to 3.2m on the DSD this does seem a little daunting. However my main concern is if I do accidentally inhale a small amount of water (for what ever reason) what is the best way to deal with this? To cough into the reg and purge or surface? Would it be safe to panic surface at 10m??

    I am confident about tomorrow and imagine the above circumstances will not occur but always like to stay well informed.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    Hi Will - firstly, you be well looked after on a first dive by the instructor; you will be briefed beforehand on what you will be doing. Tell him/her about your concern before the dive and they will discuss it and explain - that's what they do! You don't have to worry about inhaling water as you will be breathing through your mouth. If you get water into your mouth, which is not likely, breath hard out of the regulator and it will be clear on the next breath. If you get worried underwater, look at your instructor, giving him a hand sign and point at what you are unhappy about. He/she will sort you out. Surfacing from 10m is possible if you do it properly but only in emergency - trust me, you will be a lot safer staying with the instructor who will help you sort out any problems.
    Pretty much all of us were nervous in the early dives, Do what the instructor tells you, try to relax and then you will start enjoying it.
     
  3. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    What @JohnL said.

    It's the unknown which makes one anxious. Let the instructor know and all will be well.

    To rest this anxiety, all divers breath underwater (free divers excepted!) and there's rarely an issue. If there is, then it's simply a matter of changing over to another regulator, be it your own or your buddy's.

    Once you've had a couple of dives, things should become a little easier as you get used to breathing underwater.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on :)
     
  4. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

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    Also, 10m won’t feel very diffferent from 3m... Just enjoy it and go with the flow! :)
     
  5. Will101

    Will101 New Member

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    Thanks for the kind words guys. Really does help. I will have a good chat with the instructor before the dive. Really looking forward to tomorrow and I know it'll be a success!

    Will let you know how it goes.

    Many thanks
     
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  6. puddle fish

    puddle fish Well-Known Member

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    Inhaling water is surprisinlgly uncomon considering your underwater. Ayou will be breathing via the regulator and your mouth. You will have been shown how to clear your mask and although a bit strange at first. Your tounge can make an effective spalsh guard if you ever have to remove and replace the reg again a skill you will have done.
     
  7. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    It's the unknown aspects that worry.

    I have a little "captain" sitting on my shoulder constantly whispering in my ear about all the things that could go wrong. He's a little sod to be honest and frequently lies to me as I'm clearly still alive...

    Which is why in your first few lessons of your Open Water course you'll learn about removing and replacing your regulator underwater so you can change over to your backup (octopus) regulator or your buddy's. Also the mask too, which isn't actually that bad when you do it.



    For the first time the other day I jumped off the boat into the sea (you float up to the surface and wait for your buddy). I took a breath and got a mouthful of seawater which I quickly spat out. Damn I said as my captain started going on about the regulator's broken and your dive's over. As I bobbed up to the surface, all was fine and I could breathe from it without problems. I'd grabbed hold of the mooring line (the shot line), so no problems. Ducking my head in the water to see if it was working, I again got a mouthful of sea water.

    Hmm, better switch over to the backup and see what's wrong. So I reached to my mouth and... no regulator! The mouthpiece had parted from the reg in the splash and it was sitting in my mouth but the regulator was dangling down in front of me

    Thankfully it was really calm and the boat had tied onto the mooring line, so I handed my regulator and loose mouthpiece up to the dive assistant on the boat who pushed it all back together and we went diving.

    I think the regulator had been snagged on the boat and I'd not noticed that the mouthpiece had almost come out; the shock of the jump in completely dislodged it.

    Couple of lessons for me: 1) look at the thing before I stick it in my mouth! 2) should really hold the regulator in place whilst jumping in; 3) Training works; no panic; I would have simply reached down for the backup if necessary.
     
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  8. Zubar

    Zubar Active Member
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    Tut Tut school boy error. That’s Giant Stride entry 101.

    Glad your ok though.
     
  9. Matt Jordan

    Matt Jordan New Member

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    Echo the above statements - a trick I also found worked for me was to test out concerns prior to the real situation so you have all the time and comfort in the world so alleviate your fears or understand them better which will help your instructor.

    Try a regulator in the sink at home, swallow some water, test the purge, take a mouthful of water and then try to clear the regulator with and without purging, purge a regulator (hold it down) and try to breath from it, breath from a regulator with really loose lips so you get water and air together. Do it all very slowly so you can experience all areas, then you will either know that your concerns were unfounded OR you can explain to the instructor exactly what the issue is.

    Instructors are typically great, but they can only go on the information you give. It's like a GP if you go in and say 'my head hurts' they will get to the bottom of it eventually, if you go in and say 'every Saturday morning I wake up with a splitting headache across the top of my head and behind my eyes, I feel nausea and tired, it only happens after I have been in the pub friday'.... The GP can get to the bottom of it REALLY fast haha.

    Another thing I found useful was to (one the sofa at home!!) breath a regulator and turn off the tank, so you know exactly what that feels like. Then breath a tank down to nothing (leave it until about 20 bar or you will be there forever) sit and watch TV and breath until it's empty, as you feel it changing try slow deep breaths, quick deep, slow shallow, quick shallow and so on so you know how it feels.

    My greatest fear for many years was running out of air/not being able to breath (understandable really!) because I was worried I would take my last breath and then not be able to take another leaving me no time to react. When you run through the above tests you will see that the only way that can happen is if your tank is turned off....so you would reach back and turn it on.

    Other than that, a wet/flooded/free-flowing /completely failed (the vast majority fail open - check your brand), detuned, unserviced regulator is breathable (albeit not pleasantly) in calm, slow measured breaths. Even an empty tank will give you plenty of warning 10 - 15 minutes at the surface, 5 - 7 minutes at 10m and 2 - 4 minutes at 20m that if its about to go completely dry. Enough time to have a perfectly sensible ascent to the surface from within recreational depths with no decompression obligations.

    That said assume everything I said is nonsense and try it out for yourself, once you have shown yourself something works your belief in it will be massive and that will all work to your advantage IF you ever needed to rely on it.
     
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  10. Will101

    Will101 New Member

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    Hi All

    Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. Overall the dive went great and I really enjoyed myself after a few initial hiccups. The trip consisted of two dives, the first was myself an instructor and 2 experienced divers. After attempting to descend the 7m to the sea floor a couple times I eventually did it but felt very nervous and out of my depth with knowing that the two experienced divers were keen to swim around the little island and the idea of a 40 minute dive was too daunting and I sat it out.

    On the second dive it was just myself and the instructor (a second instructor took the other divers) taking things very slowly and ended up doing a 23 minute dive reaching 7.4m. It was great and fantastic to experience a whole other world down on the sea bed.

    I did struggle with equalising occasionally did push too hard a few times and now do feel a little dizzy. A bit of googling suggests maybe some ear barotrauma. I've always had sensitive ears and they pop at the slightest altitude change so this doesn't surprise me tbh. I'm sure this will subside soon enough.

    The instructor suggested doing the PADI open water course next as I'll be with other inexperienced divers.

    The question I have now is whether to wait until next July and do it on holiday or get started in the U.K. Can anyone recommend any dive centres around the Nottingham / Lincoln / East Midlands area?

    Many Thanks
     
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  11. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    Well done, Will. Just looked at my first dive in my logbook, which was very similar. Descending comes with experience - any movement of your fins tends to take you back to the surface and it takes a while to get the control to go down without flapping them. I have to be careful with my ears too - a hint is to equalise first at the surface and then frequently as you go down. You might be surprised that you have already been through the worst ear changes - to 10m halves the surface air volume, the next 10m has a smaller change, so easier to equalise.
    As to now or later - July is a long time to wait but UK waters are cold and you need to learn to dive in a dry suit, an added complication. A third option (which I did) is a referral course, you do the theory/pool dives in a UK centre and the open water dives somewhere warmer. I went to Madeira, which is not a cheap island, but there are many choices. The upside of this route is that it gets you diving quickly in warm water and good visibility, the downside that, when you want to dive in the UK, you have to master a dry suit.
     
  12. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    One of the first rules when learning to dive is don't push it.

    Once an issue is realised then it can be easy to mitigate by being selective as to the dive and site.
    So if you have sensitive ears try and avoid vertical descents and do more shore dives where you
    can profile down and vary depth to suit. If you get a twinge then go parallel at the same depth and
    go down gradually once it's ok again.
    .
    Even if you have to do a vertical descent don't rush and even swim around the line slowly at the
    same depth (if the tide permits). In this way the combination of taking longer to get down and the
    repetitive action of regular breathing without pressure on the ears usually does the trick.
    .
    Remember that this is for fun and if doing a course etc. you are the paying customer, so don't be
    afraid of making it clear at the outset that you "might" have an ear issue and use the above to
    recognise that while the Instructor is in charge you are still the one responsible for saying NO :)
     
  13. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    It's an amazing privilege breathing underwater, sharing the same environment as all that flora and fauna. Life is so different down there as up on the surface. Then there's the enormous buzz from being weightless and moving in three dimensions.

    Diving in the UK is really good, some wonderful stuff to discover. However, it's a lot colder than 'abroad'** so we tend to dive in Drysuits which are pretty warm in the water although they do need some practice to master.

    A lot depends on your attitude to diving, the cold, and how fast you want to progress. A lot of the early skills can be done in a pool so you can get used to mask clearing, swapping regulators, etc.

    There's a few options for you to consider:
    • Do a referral course, half in the uk, half abroad;
    • Do a full course in the UK, try to get it done in a drysuit as well;
    • Join a club, such as BSAC, where they often have access to pools on club nights;
    • Wait until next year when you're back somewhere warm -- you can buy the PADI course books if you want to do the background reading in the meantime (any questions just ask on here)
    Have fun:)

    ** abroad meaning a nice, warm holiday location
     
  14. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    There is of course the option of doing it somewhere warm sooner than next year.

    Even places like the Canary Islands or Malta will be reasonably warm, affordable, easy to reach and have plenty of good dive centres who can take you through the PADI OW course over the next 6 months.

    Personally, I think referral courses and PADI's 'online' option are just expensive cash cows for PADI and UK dive centres.

    Unless you choose somewhere expensive (like the Caribbean), it's always cheaper to do the whole OW course overseas.

    I did mine in Sharm in 2010 and it was cheaper to do the whole course there than JUST the theory/pool stuff here!

    People drone on about 'wasting' holiday taking courses, but you're not going to be diving 8 hours a day on a diving holiday and watching fish swim past you, whilst waiting for Darren and Shania (or Igor and Tatiana) to master reg recovery is a lot more fun than spending 30 minutes doing it in a swimming pool! :D

    M
     
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  15. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    Why waste your holiday learning when you can go diving?

    I'd suggest do a PADI OW in the UK as soon as possible and join a BSAC club and spend the winter getting used to being underwater and getting to Sports Diver. If Sports Diver looks like being slow then do PADI AOW so you can join in with most club and holiday diving.
     
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  16. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    Because you'll be diving for some of the time when you're learning and the rest of the time you'll be learning, instead of just lying around in the sun :D

    I never get the "Don't waste your holiday learning to Dive" argument at all, but then I'm not the sort to sit on a beach for a week, so having things to do on a holiday suits me fine!

    On the other hand, once you're qualified I'd recommend joining a BSAC club to maintain and improve your skills.

    M
     
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