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thoughts on getting a DM for gear check dive?

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by jjufon, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. jjufon

    jjufon Angel Fish

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    I'm be arriving at the SCC on the 17th of April around 2:00 pm and i need/want to do a shore dive to get my weight and boyancy dialed in before heading out on the boat Sat. this will be my first blue water dive and i wanted to see what the opinions were about paying a DM to go with me and assist with getting everything trimmed out.
    any suggestions on who to use? prices? etc?

    thanks!

    JJ
     
  2. RonFrank

    RonFrank Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Conifer, CO
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    Just tell the Dive OP about your experience. They will overweight you, but that is not all bad. As you dive more, you will gain the skill to better manage your weighting.

    One dive with a DM is not going to do a LOT. I've worked with divers over months who refused to remove weight.... while they may be idiots, that did not seem to matter!

    The only way to figure your weight out is to do so by diving. Your best bet maybe to do this in a local pool (an LDS pool might be good). Still, dive overweighted. While many seem to have a stigma about this, over weighted is better than under weighted.

    I tend to dive 2 lbs over weighted if that gives you a sense of what I am talking about. BUT, I dive a lot, and have been working on weighting for 5 years, so be patient.

    When I first started diving, no one could convince me I could dive with less than 17lbs in salt. I now dive with 8lbs in salt (similar setup), so experience does make a difference.
     
  3. Sue Sue

    Sue Sue Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
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    You know, Considering this is your first blue water dive, and, you have thoughts about checking your gear/buoyancy, I am thinking why not?? By taking your gear out for an initial spin you will get the first plunge out of the way. You will have the opportunity to fiddle with weight, your gear and perhaps experience a little current. Then of course, as you do more dives you will find you are more comfortable and alter weight and gear as needed. As far as prices..my guess is that it would be the cost of a 1 tank dive and then of course the Private DM fee. Contact SCC to inquire about this. Have a Great trip !!
     
  4. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
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    Ron I gotta disagree. Hire the DM for the first dive and see if you can hire the same one as a buddy on the first boat trip. Money well spent I think. I suggested this to many, I suspect that some here did, some I have seen first hand do it, but I never saw or heard anyone say they wish they hadn't bothered.

    You could probly do just as well buddying up with an experienced diver like Ron, but I feel that would be an imposition on his vacation dive time when he's got an average of $200/tank dive costs for the vacation.

    Hehe, I had a newbie ask me to dive with him here last month, and looking at how many problems I had on the first dive - he'd be lucky to have survived it. :eek:
     
  5. Zman96

    Zman96 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Illinois
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    I hired a private DM last year for my first boat dives and I thought it was money well spent. Not only is it great to have your own guide on the dive pointing things out for you, but they also give you very valuable advice after the dive.
     
  6. jjufon

    jjufon Angel Fish

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    Thanks for all the info guys!
    i really like the idea of having one for my first boat dive.
    i'm quite comfortable underwater and i had no problems with any of the skills taught during my training (NAUI) but as excited as i am to finally get on a reef, i think i would have a better "first time" if i had a privte DM to show me around.

    Thanks again!

    JJ
     
  7. Christi

    Christi PADI MSDT/Dive op owner ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Cozumel, MX
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    If you're diving with SCC, just tell them you need a private DM for the first day. Many of the good operations would actually require that you have a private DM the first day considering it's your first dive.
     
  8. RonFrank

    RonFrank Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Conifer, CO
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    I was not suggesting that hiring a DM is a bad idea. A DM can help provide a comfort level, act as a guide, point cool stuff out, and help keep you safe.

    What I was suggesting is that if weight and/or buoyancy is the only concern, those are skills a diver must develop, and a DM is not going to be a magical fix. The best place to figure out weight is likely in the pool. Get an empty tank (around 500psi), get in the water, and try to sink. If you sink like a rock, subtract weight, if you can't sink add weight. Use the same exposure protection/setup you will use in Coz. If renting gear, I suppose this becomes more of a problem, as you would have to rent at the pool, and the configuration may not be the same.

    Once you get to Coz, add 6lbs to your belt/BC, and you should be fine in saltwater. If you are concerned about being under weighted, add 8lbs. Most new divers are NOT under weighted. When I did OW, my LDS gave me 28lbs, and as it turns out, I could have done it easily with 20lbs even as a newbie.

    Buoyancy/trim is a bit more difficult. However attaining good buoyancy in salt water is generally easier than in fresh. If you are feet down, you can strap some lead to the top of the tank. If you are head down (rare), you could use ankle weights.

    For a new diver having a private DM is a great idea. I just don't think one needs a DM for JUST figuring out weight or trim as that should be done to your best of ability before you arrive at an expensive dive destination. You want to arrive with good knowledge of your gear configuration. Cummerbunds/belts should be adjusted to size if necessary, hose routing should be correct and ready to go. Weighting, and weight placement should be for the most part a known quantity.

    Adjustments can certainly be made upon arrival, and at the suggestion of a DM, but they should be minor. I think a shore dive to get things smooth is a great idea. If you are renting gear, I know that Christi for example spends some time at the shop making sure things fit before you go out on the boat. I would assume ALL shops do so as well.

    You did not indicate where you are staying, or whom you are diving with? Finding a DM should be easy. I'd contact your hotel and/or Dive Op and discuss that with them.
     
  9. jjufon

    jjufon Angel Fish

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    I'll be at the SCC (OP).
    i have my own gear but this will be it's first run.
    My OW dive was done in Feb with a water temp of 45 so i i had about 12mm of suit.
    i guess my point is i just want to make sure i don't wind-up sitting on the boat or ending my first day early.
    i sure many of you remember when you got started with this hobby and how excited you were. I've been kicking myself for not doing this a lot sooner and i just want to make sure i spend as muck time in the water as possible.

    Thanks again!
     
  10. ggunn

    ggunn ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX, USA
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    Just relax. Make no sudden moves and don't kick against the current and you'll be fine. You probably will go through your air a bit faster until you get a few dives under your belt; don't worry about it, it happens to all of us. Check with the op; larger tanks may be available.
     

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