PDA

View Full Version : I am scared of diving without a purge mask!



luvspoodles
October 28th, 2004, 10:05 PM
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?

mstudley
October 28th, 2004, 10:12 PM
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....

luvspoodles
October 28th, 2004, 10:27 PM
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....

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?

TwoBitTxn
October 28th, 2004, 10:31 PM
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

sprange
October 28th, 2004, 10:36 PM
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

luvspoodles
October 28th, 2004, 10:48 PM
[

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!

luvspoodles
October 28th, 2004, 10:52 PM
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

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?

SeaJay
October 28th, 2004, 10:54 PM
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.

sprange
October 28th, 2004, 10:55 PM
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

mempilot
October 28th, 2004, 10:58 PM
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.

alcina
October 28th, 2004, 11:09 PM
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!)

luvspoodles
October 28th, 2004, 11:09 PM
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


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.

jbd
October 29th, 2004, 12:27 AM
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.

Bob3
October 29th, 2004, 12:40 AM
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.

verona
October 29th, 2004, 02:42 AM
I unfortunately had an instructer who did not make me take off my mask.

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?

padiscubapro
October 29th, 2004, 05:14 AM
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.

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..

MikeFerrara
October 29th, 2004, 08:00 AM
What are you going to do if you catch a fin in the face that knocks your mask off?

TwoBit



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!

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.

HammerNoMore
October 29th, 2004, 08:23 AM
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

MgicTwnger
October 29th, 2004, 08:25 AM
I am also able to just exhale and clear my ears without pinching my nose with the purge.
I do that with my non-purge mask. Seems that it would be easier without the purge valve.

MikeFerrara
October 29th, 2004, 08:33 AM
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

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.

Nemrod
October 29th, 2004, 12:17 PM
"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?"

Actually no. What might happen if you are down say 60 feet and get a little bit of seawater in your nose? Depending upon a purge valve to prevent water from getting in your nose is very scary. OK, what do I suggest?---get in a pool with a mask and flood it over and over and intentionally stick your nose in the water and suck WATER right up into your nose--over and over until you get over the fear--I am serious. On the other hand, some people have certain inate fears, for me it is certain stinging insects--it is irrational and uncurable--my solution is I stay away from them. N

whitedragon13
October 29th, 2004, 12:26 PM
When I was trying out for special ops, there were a couple friends of mine who were, "dirty, nasty nose breathers" and couldn't clear their masks without gagging and rushing to the surface. Here's a trick:

Fill your mask 1/2 way in the sink/tub/shower and wear it. Watch TV with it on, take a shower with it on, just as long as it has water covering your nose. This will teach you not to inhale water through your nose while breathing through your mouth. The second step is to speak while your mask is full of water. .

This will work, plus you won't have the added fear of being under water. Once you hammer the nose breathing shut, you can work on doing it in the pool or whatever.

The SOF instructors I used to train with used to have us fill our masks, lie on our backs, and recite our name, rank, etc while pouring water in our mouths. Cures the nose breathing QUICK

FreeFloat
October 29th, 2004, 12:32 PM
When I was trying out for special ops, there were a couple friends of mine who were, "dirty, nasty nose breathers" and couldn't clear their masks without gagging and rushing to the surface. Here's a trick:

Fill your mask 1/2 way in the sink/tub/shower and wear it. Watch TV with it on, take a shower with it on, just as long as it has water covering your nose. This will teach you not to inhale water through your nose while breathing through your mouth. The second step is to speak while your mask is full of water. .

This will work, plus you won't have the added fear of being under water. Once you hammer the nose breathing shut, you can work on doing it in the pool or whatever.

The SOF instructors I used to train with used to have us fill our masks, lie on our backs, and recite our name, rank, etc while pouring water in our mouths. Cures the nose breathing QUICK
LOL

That would work!

luvspoodles
October 29th, 2004, 08:30 PM
When I was trying out for special ops, there were a couple friends of mine who were, "dirty, nasty nose breathers" and couldn't clear their masks without gagging and rushing to the surface. Here's a trick:

Fill your mask 1/2 way in the sink/tub/shower and wear it. Watch TV with it on, take a shower with it on, just as long as it has water covering your nose. This will teach you not to inhale water through your nose while breathing through your mouth. The second step is to speak while your mask is full of water. .

This will work, plus you won't have the added fear of being under water. Once you hammer the nose breathing shut, you can work on doing it in the pool or whatever.

The SOF instructors I used to train with used to have us fill our masks, lie on our backs, and recite our name, rank, etc while pouring water in our mouths. Cures the nose breathing QUICK


Wow, what a great idea. I am definitely going to do this. Thank you for the encouragement.

luvspoodles
October 29th, 2004, 08:39 PM
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?


No, my instructor shouldn't have signed me off. I did do mask removal though a few months later in Mexico and it was scary but I did it. I had forgotten my cert card and I had to show all of my skills before they would let me dive. I told him I had never done mask removal and so he made me do it several times. So I can do it, but I am uncomfortable with it. It gets better with every dive, and I wasn't even thinking about it during my AOW. But, it still bothers me. So, I am not totally freaked out about it but uncomfortable. I guess I shouldn't have said that I am scared. I am uncomfortable.

luvspoodles
October 29th, 2004, 08:42 PM
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.


Thank you. It is nice to know what would happen if I did inhale water. I thought that my lungs would immediately flood and I would be a goner!

luvspoodles
October 29th, 2004, 08:54 PM
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..

I got my OW and my AOW with Naui and PADI. Yes, my instructor violated the rules, but whats done is done and I did not know it at the time. Since then however, I have immersed myself in diving and diving education, and I now know that I should have been made to do this. My AOW instructor however was excellent, and had to pick up the slack of where my first instructor had left off. Believe it or not, until my AOW I did not know how to set up my own equipment! We did work on the mask clearing, but I still have that fear. I know that from of the responses to this thread some think I should not be diving...When I said that I was "freaked out" that statement was too strong. I have a little fear about it. However, after admitting it and reading what people have written here, I already feel better about it. I am a calm diver, and am not as crazy as I made myself sound. As I said before, with every dive I feel stronger. I am admitting my fears so that I can get help.

fmw625
October 30th, 2004, 07:09 AM
Mask clearing was hard for me in class, but I mastered it. Since then I use this skill every time I dive. No big deal.

Mike, did I take your signature or did I take yours.

whitedragon13
October 30th, 2004, 01:20 PM
luvpoodles, have you tried watching TV with a mask full of water yet?

cancun mark
October 30th, 2004, 02:15 PM
Poodles......... do you get water in your nose when you are in the shower?? if not why not,, are you scared of whashing your hair??

You shouldnt be right? so get in the water and spend 30 mins to an hour breathing in shallow water WITHOUT a mask (you could do this in the bath with a snorkle). once you have mastered no mask breathing, apply this to mask clearing.

In the event that you ever feel paniky while underwater because water is entering your nostrils. HOLD YOUR NOSE. you shold be able to avoid this, but rather than panic, holding your nose will stop water going up it.

android
October 30th, 2004, 02:30 PM
Believe it or not, until my AOW I did not know how to set up my own equipment!

Ummm, you must be really cute! ;)

SueMermaid
October 30th, 2004, 03:43 PM
You say you are going to Cozumel, there are excellent shore dives there where you can practice taking off your mask underwater. Sit on the bottom at like 5' with your knees in the sand and do it. Then do it again. With practice and experience, you will lose your anxiety over it. We fear the unknown, so the best tack to take is to make it Known!

luvspoodles
October 30th, 2004, 09:51 PM
You say you are going to Cozumel, there are excellent shore dives there where you can practice taking off your mask underwater. Sit on the bottom at like 5' with your knees in the sand and do it. Then do it again. With practice and experience, you will lose your anxiety over it. We fear the unknown, so the best tack to take is to make it Known!


That is a fantastic idea! I am staying at the Occidental Grand. Is there a shore dive near there for me to practice at?

luvspoodles
October 30th, 2004, 09:53 PM
Ummm, you must be really cute! ;)


Its my husband who thinks I'm cute! But now I have to set up my own equipment ever since my AOW instructor made me do it. Boo hoo!

luvspoodles
October 30th, 2004, 09:55 PM
luvpoodles, have you tried watching TV with a mask full of water yet?

Okay...I'll do it tonight and let you know how it goes!

whitedragon13
November 2nd, 2004, 02:45 AM
well???


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1