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How far is 100 yards?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Likes2Cruise, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. Likes2Cruise

    Likes2Cruise Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Tampa, Florida, United States
    Ok, just to set the record straight:
    100yds = 300 ft = 1 football (American) field = a bit less than 100m....

    BUT - my ability to judge such things is abysmally poor.

    I know my OW Instructor mentioned about counting kick cycles and such, but never really got into it. Also, when swimming against or with current or surf, that changes.

    I'm a new diver and looking to do more shore dives, and all the descriptions discuss how far out to swim before getting to the reef/ledge/wreck. Since I have no good sense of distances, I was wondering if there are any good pointers or 'tricks' that can be shared.
  2. emttim

    emttim Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Santa Clara, CA
    Well, when my instructor went over this (briefly as well), he said that the best way to figure out how much feet you've gone is by looking at markers underwater and see how far along the contour of the bottom you've traveled. From the sounds of it, it seems like it's definitely an acquired skill..
  3. nkydiver

    nkydiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Northern Kentucky
    I'm not sure about the dive sites that are close to you, but at the quarry we train most of our students at, we've installed a 100 ft. line 20 feet underwater. We take students and practice swimming the 100 foot line in a nice easy manner, until they learn how many kick cycles it takes to go 100 feet. This give them an idea when we tell them to run a search pattern across a given area, how many cycles it'll take to cross that distance. Given that it'll change of course when you run into surf, current, etc., but if you have a spring or other location you can measure a given distance, it would be a start.
  4. Teamcasa

    Teamcasa Sr. Moderator Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Near Pasadena, CA
    Many divers depend on underwater landmarks. The counting fin cycles is only useful for taking a navigation test, after that, you will never use it again.

    For me, accurate compass headings, paying attention to currents, sun location and landmarks serve me quite well.
    When exploring a new site I;
    Take an initial heading and note the reciprocal course. Set the compass. I swim to the first landmark, stop, look around and note other landmarks. More importantly, I look back at the reciprocal and make a mental picture of what it should look like on my return. Continue to do this at each landmark.

    If you have a hard time with seat of the pants navigation then take notes of the initial heading and the reciprocal course on your wet notes or slate.

    Good navigation comes with good practices. Be observant and aware of everything, don’t just stare down as the bottom slides by. There is a great deal to see if you will only stop and look around.
  5. applebarnharry

    applebarnharry Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Pompano Beach, Florida
    It depends on where you are diving. Many shore dives are clearly marked and the water is clear enough to see to the bottom (unless you're past the ledge). Most of the time distance does not come into play as you can stay in one area and most things will swim by you.
    If you are shore diving and the conditions permit, swim on the surface to the marker or near the marker before submerging. This saves air. lots of it. Always keep an eye out for boats. A good quality dive operator is aware of divers in the water and will see you but the safety responsibility is yours.
    Some shore dives have plenty of things to see right away so you go down and get your bearings, use your compass and remember that this particular coral head you are considering to use as a reference point, looks just like every other one so don;t rely too heavily on using it as a reference point. After a bit of practice you will feel much more comfortable and begin to automatically feel the distance between point A and point B. Just ust the rules you have learned about air consumption and you will have a great time
  6. Likes2Cruise

    Likes2Cruise Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Tampa, Florida, United States
    The dives I've been doing on the West Coast of Florida have 5-15' viz. A surface swim out of 50-150 yds. Without being able to judge how far out I am, I'm afraid of overshooting the target (or undershooting too much).
  7. Walter

    Walter Instructor, Scuba

    100 yds in kick cycles will vary from diver to diver and vary with current. Off Palm Beach I can do 100 yds in zero kick cyles, but would take thousands to return if it's even possible.
  8. Charlie99

    Charlie99 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Silicon Valley, CA / New Bedford, MA / Kihei, Maui
    You probably have a certain swimming speed that you are comfortable maintaining for a long time. For me, that is about 1 kt, which is conveniently 1 minute per 100'. So if the description says "500' offshore", then you'll know it is about a 5 minute swim.

    Much less hassle than counting kick cycles.
  9. ChrisA

    ChrisA Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Redondo Beach, California
    We have about the same conditions here. 5-15 is normal. So just "looking around" is usless. I know how to count kicks and I've calibrated by use of a 100ft line. But I never do that, unless I'm doing some kind of survey. I use time and air pressure. If you swim out for 500 PSI and back for 500 PSI you will be close. But there is an art to it. Likely you were swimming fast on the way back. So you also make use of depth and natural landmarks. It is an acquired skill Most divers use multiple techniques. Worst case is that you have a short surface swim.

    After a couple years you just "know" many of the local dive sites and you see some rock you recognize and know where you are.
  10. sewcopp

    sewcopp Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Paradsie NL

    As many people have said good practices take good pratice to get. The times you have that surface swim because you've fooled something up help as well. As long *** you can figure out what you've fooled up.

    If you want to spend all your time figuring out how far you swim in kick cycles remember when you're concentrating on kicking and countind cycles you'll be kicking differently than when you're relaxed and just swimming. With thime you'll get the hang of the about how far you've gone in about what time, and you'll pretty much know you're psi before you look at it (keep checking anyway).

    The skills you'll develop over time and familiarity with your local site will actually translate well to site you haven't dived before. You'll realize that the good habits check the compas and set the reciprocal before you descend, or note the reciprocal on a slate or wenotes. then you'll see the differences in the environment and make mental note of how they look on the other side (the side you'll see on the way back). The thing to always remember though is "The Compas Is Right" when you're narc'ed, or have some vertico, "The Compas Is Right". That's becasue you set it to the correct bearing so don't ever let yourself believe it might be wrong.

    Enjoy your diving, take your time and take in all the sights, not just the thing you came to the dive sight to see. You'll be amazed what you might see "by mistake"

    Sue Copp
    Ocean Quest Adventure Resort

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