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I am scared of diving without a purge mask!

Discussion in 'Fins, Masks and Snorkels' started by luvspoodles, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. luvspoodles

    luvspoodles Nassau Grouper

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    Help!
    I am sort of afraid of diving without my purge. I have about 50 dives under my belt, but my best ones after my open water were done with my Oceanmaster purge mask. How I love that mask! But I just bought a Hawaii 4 aqualung mask because I need the optical. I just found out that Oceanmaster has optical if I special order it...Anyways, I have become so comfortable just exhaling to clear my mask that I am afraid of feeling claustrophobic or like I will breathe in water without the purge. I am also able to just exhale and clear my ears without pinching my nose with the purge. Has anyone went from a purge to a regular mask? Is there any really good reason that I should stick with my non purge mask and not order my Oceanmaster? Or should I just stick with the purge because I love it so much? I was very fearful when I first started diving, and I feel like the purge really helped me to overcome my fear of getting water in my nose. I have grown a lot as a diver, but I don't feel like being afraid during my Cozumel trip in 3 weeks just because I don't have a purge mask. What should I do? Am I a wimp for liking the purge?
     
  2. mstudley

    mstudley Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: East Greenwich, RI
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    with 50 dives under your belt aren't you comfortable enough in the water by now to try out something new and adjust to the differences? Just give it a shot....
     
  3. luvspoodles

    luvspoodles Nassau Grouper

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    I know I know...But I just checked my log book and I have actually only done 39 dives. Is it okay for me now to be a little bit scared?
     
  4. TwoBitTxn

    TwoBitTxn Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Texas
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    If you are more comfortable with the purge, then stay with the purge. Get the optics for the Oceanmaster.

    I have dove with both, but then again, I am totally comfortable in the water without a mask too.

    What are you going to do if you catch a fin in the face that knocks your mask off?

    TwoBit
     
  5. sprange

    sprange Barracuda

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    I agree that purge masks appear to be a great solution for a common source of fear/discomfort among inexperienced (like myself) divers. BUT...it's inevitable that your mask will be bumped/etc (anything from adjusting a mask mounted divelight/snorkel/whatever) and water will completely flood your purge mask. The panic and (likely) resultant rapid ascent could be a problem depending on your depth. If you want to safely use your purge mask get over any fear of mask flooding first. THEN your mask won't be a crutch, and you can enjoy easier purges/equalization/etc.

    Sean
     
  6. luvspoodles

    luvspoodles Nassau Grouper

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    [

    What are you going to do if you catch a fin in the face that knocks your mask off?

    TwoBit[/QUOTE]


    I have agonized over this, and I am going to practice taking the mask off while I am diving (shore diving shallow) when I am in Cozumel. I am so afraid of inhaling accidentely if my mask comes off, or for some reason not be able to simply breathe from my reg without drowning. This is the thing that scares me the most about diving. I unfortunately had an instructer who did not make me take off my mask. My AOW was much tougher on me, but this skill was not needed for the AOW. So...any ideas would be helpful and appreciated!
     
  7. luvspoodles

    luvspoodles Nassau Grouper

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    Yes, I do think of the purge as a crutch. Do you mean that my purge mask will flood because of a malfunction, or because something will knock if off my face? Do purge masks sometimes flood because of a malfunction? Maybe I should get over this fear and just go for the regular mask?
     
  8. SeaJay

    SeaJay Loggerhead Turtle

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    Aw, it's no big deal. Don't let it bother you. The only reason that you're fearful is because you haven't done it yet.

    None of us like the "cold water in the face" deal when we remove a mask, but you get used to it pretty quickly and it becomes a nonissue. Don't fret over it. With the mask off, breathe in through your mouth, but exhale out your nose. Practice before you get in the water. It's easy.

    Purge masks: EVERY mask is a purge mask. Some have valves underneath the nose somewhere so that when you blow out through your nose, excess air goes out that way. Others are missing that valve, and so air escapes from between the mask and your skin around the perimeter seal of the mask. They both work fine - you'll be hard-pressed to tell the difference underwater.

    Nah, don't let it bother you. Try it out and see for yourself.
     
  9. sprange

    sprange Barracuda

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    I'm surprised that mask removal was not practiced and reinforced during (any?) of your training. My advice would be to simply go to an area where you are comfortable and practice the skill. You will convince yourself that you can breath through your reg while your mask is flooded (or better yet--removed). I still practice this on almost every dive regardless of depth--though I always warn my buddy in advance.

    --edit

    I wasn't suggesting that the mask will malfunction...BUT sometimes sand/etc can prevent the valve from seating properly resulting in a constant 'leak'. No experience here.

    Sean
     
  10. mempilot

    mempilot Rebreather Pilot

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    Back when I was a new diver, I used a purge mask. As my experience grew and equipment needs changed, I switched to a standard mask. I just put 2 fingers on the top of the mask and exhale through the nose. It's as easy as that. Remember, you don't have to blow very hard. Just a slight exhale from the nose will do it. The pressure change isn't that great. Most divers who have troubles with their mask leaking during this proceudure are using a forceful blow which is too much.

    Go for it. Practice in the pool or hot tub if you need to. PS, I have a big snoz, so the purgless mask is much more comfortable. I use the SeaVision Tech mask.
     

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