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Questions about my first dive

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by JuanScuba, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. iamrushman

    iamrushman Great White

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: ft. lauderdale, florida
    3,183
    869
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    a good reason to log dives and keep track of your progress.
     
  2. Cleavitt

    Cleavitt Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Central Florida
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    28
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    We would need to know your max depth on the second dive, but there are a few possibilities...

    1) The max depth was less than 30' so a safety stop would not be called for since the whole dive is basically a safety stop.
    2) The last few minutes of the dive were in less than 20' of water. In that case, you did do a safety stop, it just wasn't formal so you didn't notice you were doing it.
    3) The instructor was aware of some issue and felt is was best to surface sooner rather than later. Safety stops are optional (although always recommended and should be part of your dive plan) for that reason.

    When one of the first two scenarios happen while I'm teaching, I usually ask my students why we didn't do a safety stop. It's a trick question since it was either not called for or we actually did, but their answers give me an indication about how aware they are about what is going on during the dive.

    Pro tip: don't do that. :wink:
     
    Capnhook likes this.
  3. Foxfish

    Foxfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Perth, Australia
    717
    117
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    First it's usually called an air tank or air cylinder not an air tube. It sounds like they didn't fill the tank properly which while not a serious problem should not happen. People make mistakes. The incident highlights the need to check the air pressure before the dive as part of the buddy check.

    My open water instruction book says if the depth is less than 18 m then you should surface with 35 bar or about 500 psi. Sounds like your buddy had 40 b which was okay if you didn't exceed that depth. If you are going deeper then the normal requirement is to surface with 50 b. The reason you surface with extra air in the tank is that if you get into trouble, you and your buddy can get to the surface safely on only one person's air supply.

    The safety stop is highly recommended but not essential. Safety stops reduce the risk of getting the bends and help control the ascent.

    I'd be a little more concerned about you first comments regarding freaking out in the water. To me that suggests that you are not particularly comfortable in the water and with diving. That is not uncommon with inexperienced divers. I've spoken to several people who say that just putting their head under water with a mask made them panic. While the incidents of injury and fatality in diving are relatively low, many of the problems that do occur are the result of inexperienced divers panicking. It's not the kind of thing that will disappear after a few dives and it is something that you can regress back to if you don't dive for an extended period.

    Learning to dive is a bit like learning to drive a car. A lot of things are happening at once and till they become second nature it is easy to lose control especially when there is no longer an instructor or guide telling you what to do. A small problem quickly becomes a big problem underwater if you panic. How do you get comfortable in the water? The answer is simply by diving and being in the water. I think snorkeling and freediving are a great place to start and relatively inexpensive. Do it regularly over a matter of weeks. When you start scuba diving, do a number of shore dives in calm relatively shallow water until are comfortable with things like finning, ascending, descending, gaining neutral buoyancy, clearing your mask, monitoring your computer and navigating become second nature. At the same time you'll get used to the underwater environment. Again do it regularly over a period of weeks. When the feelings of panic subside and disappear and doing the routine things you need to do on a dive become second nature you're getting comfortable in the water.
     
  4. SPARKMEL

    SPARKMEL Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: ABERDEEN SCOTLAND
    31
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    Hi Juan, Having just passed my padi OW in JULY, like you i done the discover scuba and loved it. Once you begin proper training and read the padi OW manual things will become much more clearer and you will understand the reason things are done and why. Confidence and practise are the key elements when training, i found myself doing the drill out of the water in advance so when i did dive it became second nature. I was a complete novice and knew nothing about diving but you will love it, The actual learning part is as much fun. I found myself very lucky as i had fantastic instructors in the U.K and Spain which makes all the diffenrence. The instructor in Spain where i done my OW dives was an ex navy diver who was maticulous on set up and the BWRAF , when you concider the events you can see on this site could have been avoided if this had been carried out correctly really hits home the inportance of gear and checks.
    Happy diving
    MARK.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  5. JuanScuba

    JuanScuba Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location:
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    I'm concerned about that as well. For what is worth, I'm an OK swimmer and I have snorkeled several times without any problems, so I don't think it was a matter of being uncomfortable in the water--it was rather, I think, a matter of not trusting the equipment at a visceral level.

    What I find interesting is that I did not have any problems at all in the open waters. Once I was below the surface, I just found it natural to breathe and all I could think was "How cool is this?". The difference was so notable that after the dives were done I wanted to go back to the pool to see what would happen. Is this difference between the experience in the pool and that in open waters common?

    ---------- Post added January 3rd, 2014 at 05:53 AM ----------

    Oh, also, yes: we were at about 10-12 meters down.
     
  6. iluvtheocean

    iluvtheocean Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Hollywood, FL
    1,368
    464
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    a pool is an confined unnatural environment - nothing to see in there -- open water has lots to see :) and if you really slow down you see even more.

    always check your pressure if possible before getting on the boat -- i wasn't able to and i know i don't have any leaks but one tank on my last dive was down about 700 psi to 2800/2900. although my nieces/nephews were staying with us for over a month so i'm betting they are the culprits... the dive was to about 90 feet and we decided on a turnaround at 1000. if it had been a smaller tank i either would have called the dive or used the other tank first since the 2nd dive was going to be a 30' reef dive.

    so yes the predive checklist is there for your benefit and like it has been said... anyone can call a dive for whatever reason. stay safe, not sorry.
     
  7. Foxfish

    Foxfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Perth, Australia
    717
    117
    0
    Maybe it was just gaining confidence in the equipment. Most people who learn to dive seem to be okay.
     
  8. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

    36,349
    13,587
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    Discover Scuba dives are limited to quite shallow depths. The purpose of a safety stop is to deal with nitrogen you have absorbed into your body during the dive; at the shallow depths and short times of a DS dive, the safety stop is very much optional. In the event of a client with any kind of problem, having an instructor skip the stop was probably an appropriate and prudent act.

    I'm actually not worried about your initial problem with anxiety in the pool. We have had many students who have had issues with anxiety, choking, or just plain fear on their initial pool session, who have calmed quite nicely once they took a little time and worked through whatever the problem was. I've also seen people with persistent anxiety issues, but your description of your open water dives sounds like somebody who had gotten past some initial apprehension and learned to relax.
     

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