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

    135
    0
    0
    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 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: East Greenwich, RI
    633
    1
    0
    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

    135
    0
    0
    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 Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Texas
    3,984
    62
    0
    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

    267
    5
    0
    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

    135
    0
    0
    [

    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

    135
    0
    0
    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

    2,360
    2
    0
    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

    267
    5
    0
    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 Loggerhead Turtle

    2,489
    3
    0
    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.
     
  11. alcina

    alcina Missing Diva. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Western Australia
    10,996
    134
    0
    Go with whatever makes you happy.

    BUT you must get comfy with having your mask flooded or off. Get in your tub, get in your local pool - get practicing BEFORE your dive trip so you can enjoy your diving.

    Don't worry about it so much, relax and have fun! (And, yes, it is OK to still have questions and concerns about your diving skills...but you need to DO something about them by getting wet wherever you can!)
     
  12. luvspoodles

    luvspoodles Nassau Grouper

    135
    0
    0

    We practiced flooding but not removal. I was certified in California, and it was freezing! Of course, this is NO reason for not having to remove my mask. I think that my instructor just didn't want to have to deal with me flipping out under water. Looking back, I don't know if I would have passed if I had to do that. But then again, look at me now and I am totally afraid of it being knocked off. I actually freaked out and had to retry it the next weekend. Anyway, I need t deal with this fear and take it head on.
     
  13. jbd

    jbd Scuba Instructor

    4,743
    4
    0
    You mentioned earlier something about being afraid of accidently inhaling when of if your mask was off. Even with the mask off you can inhale through the regulator with no problem.

    If you are afraid of inhaling through your nose when the mask is off that really isn't a big issue. During the rescue portion of the OW courses I frequently get water up my nose if the student doesn't remove my mask when its partially flooded. It does burn a little and it can make causing coughing and a little choking sensation(similar to getting a drink "down the wrong pipe") but thats about it.

    In your mind you are letting it be more of an issue than it really is. Find a good instructor and arrange for some time in a pool to work on this. With proper assitance you can get past this in pretty short order if you have the desire to do so.
     
  14. Bob3

    Bob3 Dive Shop

    4,111
    12
    0
    Gee... I used to be so distrustful of purge valves that I'd put tape over the things so they wouldn't leak on me.
    I'd suggest getting some more practice in, maybe do some snorkeling with a half mask full of water so you can get a bit more used to it.
     
  15. verona

    verona Scuba Instructor

    374
    0
    0
    Which agency did you do your OW with? This is one of the skills which has to be mastered in PADI OW and without mastery a student shouldn't be signed off. It worries me that you say you have been to 105 feet yet you have this significant issue about a very basic skill. Use whatever mask you prefer but I think you should go back to confined water and work with an instructor to master the skill. The others are right - what happens when someone kicks your mask off at 105ft?
     
  16. padiscubapro

    padiscubapro Tech Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: New York
    2,084
    13
    0
    I can't think of any agency that does not require taking off the mask as a basic skill.. If you didn;t do it your instructor was violating standards and should be reported to whatever agency your card is from.. this is a skill that must be mastered and the instructor is letting divers go on their own without an absolute essential skill...

    Its not a question of if another careless diver kicks you in the face its when.. There are alot of scary divers out there and this skill is as important as being able to breathe from a regulator.

    If your AOW instructor was aware of this problem, he/she should have worked with you on it because you should never have been allowed to go deep before mastering this.

    California isn't an excuse, year round the temps aren't that bad in most parts of california (the north can be a bit chilly).. I remember when I was certified way back when.. the water was a balmy 35f degrees.. There was no doubt when you removed you mask..
     
  17. MikeFerrara

    MikeFerrara Scuba Instructor

    14,095
    18
    0
    This is pretty scary. All open water classes that I know of absolutely require mask removal and replacement to be done numerous times.

    What kind of skill pre-assessment was done prior to starting your AOW?

    DO NOT DIVE UNTIL YOU GET THIS SQUARED AWAY!

    Get in a pool. Get with an instructor if you need need one. What ever you do, though, don't go diving in open water until you have a handle on the basics. You need a mask to see...not to dive.

    I really want to make sure that I don't under state the importance of this. Mask replacement, clearing and no mask swimming/breathing are all skills that need to be mastered before ever leaving the pool.

    You should also contact the agency and see what can be done about getting that instructor the boot before he kills some one. You might also want to see if you can get your money back.
     
  18. HammerNoMore

    HammerNoMore Scuba Instructor

    3,669
    2
    0
    You guys dive with a mask? Wow, never thought of that. Why? Is there something to see down there?


    Serously though, I am not a fan of purge masks at all. Mask clearing is a tough skill for some, the first few times you do it, but it's also one of the easiest skills to pick up and become proficient at. If you hadn't been using that purge mask, you would have probably cleared your mask at least once on each of those 39 dives to get a little seepage out and by now you would be an expert clearer, able to do it automaticly at almost any attitude. Instead you've relied on a device that really serves no purpose other than to add a failure point to a simple piece of equipment and never leared to do something you should have learned long a go.

    Mike is right. 90' down in Cozumel is no place to panic. As a relativly new diver, chances are you'll be hovering close by to the DM where things are a bit more crowded and there's a better than average chance of getting a fin in the face. You need to practice and get used to the idea of not having a mask, purge or not. One of the skills we had in my OW class that does not appear to be part of the PADI course is haveing your mask placed on the bottom of the pool 15 or so feet in front of you. You then have to swim with no mask, locate, don and clear it. This might be a good place to start. (Don't do it alone of course).

    James
     
  19. MgicTwnger

    MgicTwnger Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Springfield, IL
    1,018
    3
    0
    I do that with my non-purge mask. Seems that it would be easier without the purge valve.
     
  20. MikeFerrara

    MikeFerrara Scuba Instructor

    14,095
    18
    0
    I used to like to put students in a circle and have them tear their mask off and pass it to the right. They take the mask from the person on their left, put it on and clear it. As soon as it's on and clear, they take it off and pass it to the right. The fact that the other masks may not fit...just makes it more fun.

    The excersize ends when every one has their own mask back...unless I'm enjoying it and then I'll have em start over.
     

Share This Page