I have returned from a SCUBA diving trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, and I am inspired to share the joy of diving with those that may never learn to dive. PADI, a leading SCUBA diving organization that certifies divers, has certified over 23 million SCUBA divers. That means (assuming most of the certifications from PADI were in the USA) less than 1% of people in the USA have gone diving.
Here’s a description of what it’s like to suit up on a boat dive and actually enter the water:
(This assumes that the gear is already setup, which also takes time to do and will be a part of a different post)
Gearing up for me starts with a fleece-lined dive skin. This layer helps keep me warm, and it helps the wetsuit slide on more easily. Then it’s the farmer john wetsuit layer (think overalls). After sliding it on, I get help with the Velcro shoulder straps. The shortie part of the wetsuit (it covers the chest, arms, crouch and part of thighs) is next. I put on the booties on my feet under the leg portion of my farmer john wetsuit.
It’s time to defog my mask with defog drops (others use spit, dilute baby shampoo or defog gel). I rub them on the inner windows of my mask, and rinse in water. It’s then time to sit down on the bench in front of my gear. I check that my tank and dive computer are on. I put my flippers on. I strap on my BCD (Buoyancy Compensator Device) on like a backpack, and clip or Velcro several straps to me. I shimmy my way out of my seat and shuffle to the back of the boat. Take a giant stride off the dive platform, signal I’m okay to the boat, and get camera from crew member.
I let all the air out of my BCD and start to descend. I clear my ears frequently (it’s the same as when you pop your ears on an airplane). Near the bottom I add air to my BCD so I don’t hit the bottom, especially if it’s a coral reef. I always marvel at some point during my dive at how I’m breathing underwater. It’s a weird yet exhilarating feeling. I look around at all the fish and coral, and look around frequently for large visitors such as dolphins and tiger sharks that prove quite elusive.
I usually follow a dive guide so I don’t get lost. More experienced divers, especially photographers, go off on their own. I take lots of pictures even though I know they aren’t good. They serve as a reminder of the fish and coral I’ve seen. I check my dive computer frequently to monitor depth and air consumption. By 500 psi I signal to my buddy and dive guide that I need to surface (a thumbs up) and the guide points up to the boat above and waves goodbye. I do a safety stop for 3 minutes at 15 feet. Then I kick up to the boat’s ladder and take off my fins. I give them and my camera to a crew member on the boat. I haul myself out of the water and waddle over to my spot on the bench. Once the tank is in place, it’s time to unstrap myself and share what I saw with my fellow SCUBA divers!
The Real Fish of Finding Nemo
The Real Fish of Finding Nemo Part 2
The Real Animals (and Fish!) of Finding Dory
10 Amazing Facts About Sea Otters
10 Interesting Facts About Killer Whales, or Orcas
10 Awesome Facts About Cuttlefish
10 Fascinating Facts About Piranhas
10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Sea Sponges
Subscribe to Blog via Email
10 Questions About Sharks Answered
- Book Review: Escape Galápagos by Ellen Prager
Review of documentary Sharkwater: Extinction by Rob Stewart
Meet the Pink Manta Ray!
Duffy the Sea Turtle: Children’s Picture Book Review
Manta Rays Have Social Lives!
Interview with Shark Scientist Melissa Cristina Marquez
Interview with Shark Researcher Kristian Parton
Meet Deep Blue—the Largest Great White Shark Ever Filmed
- Wisdom the Albatross Has Hatched a New Chick!
Ocean Animals and the Mirror Self Recognition Test
10 Fabulous Facts About the Sea Cucumber
What Is Bioluminescence and Why Do So Many Deep-Sea Animals Have It?
10 Fun Facts About the Opah Fish, or Moonfish
Interview With Dr. Deni Ramirez Macias, Whale Shark Researcher
Follow me on Twitter!Follow @@protectoceans
- 10 facts
- Book Reviews
- Endangered Animals of Finding Nemo
- Guest Posts
- Marine Mammals
- Other animals
- Other Marine Animals
- People and the Ocean
- Sea Turtles
- Tweets of the Week
Search this Blog
- 10 facts
- book reviews
- endangered species
- Finding Nemo
- global warming
- Great White Shark
- guest post
- guest posts
- humpback whale
- manta ray
- manta rays
- marine mammals
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- ocean acidification
- plastic pollution
- sea level rise
- Sea otters
- sea turtles
- shark finning
- tweets of the week
- whale shark