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Scuba Refresher Guide

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Daniel!, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. Belzelbub

    Belzelbub Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, Florida
    Agreed. Ingrained is a good word, and only the diver can gauge how comfortable they are with the skills. When I was allowed to join in on my oldest daughter's checkout dives, I found myself wondering if she would remember the regulator retrieval if confronted with it on an actual dive. It's one thing to take a regulator out of your mouth and do the retrieval when prepared. It's quite another thing to have to do it during when not expecting. I made a note that it was going to be something I would work with her on in the future to make sure she was comfortable with it.

    I got my answer the next day. During the first dive of the day, another student accidentally knocked her regulator out with their fin. The regulator went into freeflow, and was well behind her. I was right behind her, so she wasn't in any danger, but I held back as I wanted to see what she would do. She did the sweep and didn't come up with it right away, so she grabbed her backup, purged and continued breathing. At that point, I helped her with her primary, and she swapped when ready. As far as I was concerned, her response was perfect, no panic, and no fear after the dive. Now, I should add that she was practically raised in the water, so she was very comfortable with it. She started taking swim lessons at around 8 or 9 months old. A diver with less experience around the water may have had a different reaction.

    The instructor can only determine that the skills were performed. I'm pretty sure that no agency, at least for open water, includes surprise regulator retrievals as part of the checkout dives, so it's up to the diver to make sure they are very comfortable with the skill.
    Neilwood likes this.
  2. FinnMom

    FinnMom Divemaster Staff Member

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Finland
    Just in case you haven't left for your trip already...

    My understanding is that there will always be a checkout dive. Ask your buddy to run through skills with you on your checkout dive, he/she can do them too, or at least he/she can watch you practise (1) mask removal, reorientation with eyes closed, replace, clear (2) switch regs underwater, drop and find longer hosed reg (3) OOG and donating gas to buddy.
    Before splashing make a new habit of always (always always always) (1) breath both regs at least 3x while watching your pressure guage (2) check that gas goes in and also comes out from BCD, orally inflate a bit too so that you have done/still do it so often, that your lizzard brain will remember that oral inflation is an option (3) LOOK (really look and consider what you see, don't just glance as a OK-done reflex) that last second before entering the water so you don't hurt anyone by jumping on top of them, or hurt yourself by jumping onto something/someone.

    Lastly about being in a confined space with others for many days: Be humble, be helpful, be nice, say please & thank you and smile to others, don't criticize or complain - these are all for your own benefit 'cause you yourself will benefit from the happier atmosphere.
  3. Neilwood

    Neilwood Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Scotland
    A good set of checks.

    I would add - have a good conversation with your buddy (particularly if you are being paired with someone you don't know. So many possible issues can be taken care of with a simple 2-3 minute conversation on the surface where you can both raise your potential issues, agree plans in case of lost buddy etc, check on signalling (such as signalling gas remaining,turn point, setting a level, doing your safety stops etc). 15-20 mins into a dive is not the best time to realise that someone has a different signal for the amount of gas remaining than you commonly use and you have no idea what they are telling you.

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