Although space is often considered as the last frontier, so to speak, the ocean represents a vast unknown area that spans over 70 percent of the earth’s surface. Understandably, professional scuba divers spend their careers exploring the world’s underwater domains documenting geological conditions and sea life.
However, scuba divers also engage in the more leisurely activity of taking in the sights, and it is in this capacity that most people first experience scuba diving. For these beginners, the following tips will help them understand the three most critical factors of diving: safety, collaboration, and distance.
The gateway to scuba diving is a clear medical report. Asthma, for instance, no longer bars people from diving, but it can create a definite problem while you are submerged if you have an attack. You should honestly fill out the medical survey and allow your trainer to identify all the red flags that can pose dangers.
Once you are in the water, safety begins with your equipment. You should be able to recall, identify, and operate every piece of your scuba gear while standing in a completely dark room.
Shutting your eyes does not work as you will have your eyes open under the water, and dimmed visibility while your eyes are open can be frightening and disorienting. Learning where your gear is in the darkness can provide confidence in tense situations, allowing you to calmly address a situation, for instance, in which your tank valve becomes stuck or your mask slips down.
Other beginning safety techniques involve learning measured breathing. When first descending into a pool during training, you might find yourself breathing fast as a result of the strangely unsettling sensation of breathing while being submerged in water. However, you need to learn to breathe in a measured pace. Doing so will allow you to conserve energy and oxygen.
4. Diving with a partner
In terms of safety, scuba diving is never a solitary sport or endeavor. You should have a dive buddy with you, and you should ensure that you remain in peripheral view of one another. It is very dangerous for a beginning diver to become sidetracked by underwater scenery such that he or she becomes unaware of his or her partner.
5. Depth gauging
Diving is a sport that is measured in feet or meters. Generally, you should remain within 15 to 30 feet of your partner. Of course, you can gauge your depth by taking a look at your depth gauge, but you should also learn to assess depth according to the light levels in the surrounding water.
Diving under water positions you in a hostile world where you will drown if left exposed, so the topic of breathing warrants a dual entry into this list. In terms of distance, you should be able to calculate the time it takes to rise to the top on a single breath of air slowly exhaled.
Although many people only dive once during a vacation, if you are the type of diver that intends to take up diving as a professional or recreational pursuit, you should build up your cardio strength and practice breathing exercises that enable you to breathe calmly. In an emergency situation, your final breath of air is important.
Exhaling calmly is equally important because you should never hold your breath while diving as the compressed gas expands in your lungs as you rise.
Once you are certified, you should relax and see the sights. Some of the best places for beginning divers include the following places:
- Koh Tao
- Grand Cayman
- Black Rock in Maui
- British Virgin Islands: the best place to go for seeing shipwrecks
In terms of diving in Koh Tao, divers will enjoy the affordable Thailand delights as well as the underwater seascapes that abound. Additionally, it is home to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), so you can easily get certified by some of the best divers in the world.
In Koh Tao, you can visit White Rock, one of the best places to experience sea turtles and other native wildlife. Other amazing dive sites include the following:
- Twins: a beautiful and shallow diving site for beginners
- HTMS Sattakut: a sunken warship
- Chumphon: a giant granite pinnacle covered in a variety of sea life