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Getting frustrated...

Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by Cybes, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. Cybes

    Cybes Active Member

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    Training day today. I took 4kg's off last weekend. This helped my position and movement in the water massively but highlighted my need to improve buoyancy control.

    I had thought my buoyancy was good but now I've fine tuned my weighting it looks clunky and heavy handed.

    So in we go today, @ 6m following a line that rises and falls maybe 2m as it crosses the seabed. Bit of current. On the line and away we go..

    I struggled to stay on the line. Trying to hold position above it using my lungs to maintain depth was difficult and not always successful.

    I use my wing for buoyancy control, only putting enough in the 'suit to give me flexibility. That said, the first thing I always vent is my Drysuit. It's a habit that I've grown into. Usually if I'm going up I'm coming out, plus I like to keep the suit snug. Make the suit feel right then fine tune with the wing.

    First I lost position on the line, then my balance, then movement became ineffective.

    So. Get back to depth. Stabilise. Go again. And again.

    There is undoubtedly a sweet spot with buoyancy and you need to work at it when you find it to make best use of it.

    Very, very frustrating. I'm not happy with myself today.
     
  2. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    A number of things.....

    Firstly sometimes we have a bad day and don't meet our expectations, whilst we would like to aim for perfection, it isn't quite like ballet.... I've watched the best have ...'moments'.....(it may seem odd but this is one of the most important lessons I learned early on). If you've changed stuff sometimes it can take half a dozen dives to get acclimatized to the change....so whilst I'm the worst at this because I kick myself when I don't meet my own expectations.... Shallow takes no prisoners, and we all have bad days..so really try not to be so hard on yourself.


    ... that said, holding on your lungs? When I thought I started to get good with my buoyancy I used my lungs a lot... DONT, I quickly realised that its not lungs - seriously you should be in the middle of your lungs everywhere in the water column. Normal breathing, no holding. You need to take that time to find that, stabilise and get that middle, use your wing for rest.

    Shallow - leave the suit alone as much as possible, sticking gas in and out the suit is just a waste of time. Then you shouldn't need to be actively venting it and it should for the most take care of itself.

    Remember also that if this is the start of the dive the gas needed for your wing will be larger to offset gas in the tanks, this also will makes things tougher if you are going up and down as its easy to dump too much and you have a larger volume sloshing about.

    It is a skill that will click and you'll wonder at somepoint why you had these days. Finally remember SLOW, everything very very slow, don't do anything else until you are stable, don't be rushed into continuing before you are set.

    x
     
  3. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    Edit: just to make this clear - by holding I'm talking about adjusting your breathing pattern higher or lower in your lungs to maintain depth, don't do it! x
     
  4. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    In concert with the above if you dump too much to maintain depth, even if only a bit, don't be afraid to put more gas in the wing, the moment you compromise on the simple principles are the moment the window for it getting so much worse just gets wider and wider x
     
  5. MikeyH

    MikeyH Active Member
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    Like you I had/still have work to do in this area after 2 years of diving (you do need to spend time with someone who knows how to do this - so spend some time with Becky if you can - she knows what she is talking about).

    I am now using Steve Martin's video sessions https://sidemounting.com/ to try and get to grips and these give a good visual explanation of how he teaches this important area.

    Getting your weight spot on is key and once that is sorted you will be able to "breath in the middle" of your lungs and hold you depth (plus and minus a bit as you breath of course). If you want to descend you can breath less deeply and start to slowly ascend.....breath in the middle again and you should hold position again (you may need to adjust air in wing) and if you want to rise a little just breath in more air and you will slowly rise- then again breath in the middle of your lungs to hold position (again you may need to let a bit of air out of your wing).

    As Steve Martin suggests - and for simplicity 50% - or middle range of lung capacity to hold position (you breath in and out so I guess it could be something like 35% to 65% in reality, but hopefully you see the point that you are breathing normally around the middle of your lungs to hold station comfortably) and to gently start descending breathing shallower - say around the 20% area. if you want to start ascending from your holding position you breath around the 80% area then always return to the 50% breathing area with wing adjustments once new position is reached......but getting rid of excess weight is key.......Steve Martin has some very interesting things to say on how to do this accurately too.

    I hope I haven't muddied the water and you need to listen to Becks over me as she is much more experienced than I am.
     
  6. Cybes

    Cybes Active Member

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    I was using twin 12's. This was a training dive so they were full.

    As always I got to depth, took the squeeze off the suit and set the wing for buoyancy. I like the suit with just enough air in it to make it flexible.

    I use my lungs to initiate a change in depth then use suit and wing to stabilise. I aim to be able to breathe easy without changing depth. I tend to sort the suit out first as this is this biggest variable, get it comfortable then fine tune with the wing. The wing sorts my breathing out. I try and get most of this done as I approach the desired depth.

    This has worked well for me. I haven't noticed an issue when diving.

    I am trying to improve other aspects of my diving, notably balance and movement. To this end I looked at reducing weight, which helped. This was intended to be a test of balance and propulsion skills, I didn't expect a problem with buoyancy.

    I haven't worked on buoyancy control in the shallows for a while. Holding a stop is one thing, following a line up and down is something else again. I didn't expect it to be difficult. I got frustrated with myself which won't have helped.

    What I ended up doing was taking the suit out of the game. Belly on the bottom, suit vented, inflate hose disconnected, dump fully open. Deep breath in, hold, do I start to go up? No, then add a touch to the wing. Repeat until a deep breath held for a short time starts to move me up. I then tried to use my lungs to initiate a descent or ascent as I followed the line up and down. I tried not to add or vent gas as the movement was about a metre and reversed reasonably soon afterwards. It worked to an extent, though I was consistantly lower than I liked and found the tight suit restricted movement, I found it hard to get into trim.

    After a couple of circuits I reattached the inflate hose and took the squeeze off the suit. Movement was now easier but I was no better at holding position on the line.

    I think I'm a little too far from neutrally buoyant to control this movement on my lungs. I also think that the changes I made to suit and wing were too much, too much added, too much dumped.

    I ended the day going up and down a shot line, 4m to 3 then back. I understand that if I am neutrally buoyant (and correctly weighted) at either the move to the other and the ability to hold a stop before moving back to the first can be done on lung capacity.

    I have more to work on than I thought.
     
  7. Cybes

    Cybes Active Member

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    Slow is also something I'm learning. Looking ahead, making small changes and giving them time to take effect is much more efficient than large sudden movements made a little later.

    Or so it would appear

    This is the problem you have when you dive with those that can. Standards and expectations go up.

    If only I could find that magic button
     
  8. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    I won't offer any advice but stick at it. Recently probably about 75% of my dives have been shit in a similar(ish) way to that which you describe.

    One question though, why did you disconnect your suit? Surely just not pushing the inflate valve would have the desired effect of not adding air?
     
  9. Cybes

    Cybes Active Member

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    Disconnecting the hose was my mates suggestion. I think it was more of a mind-tool to help me accept the suit was unavailable.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
     

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