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Starting my OW journey in less than a week!

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by teonchagi, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. teonchagi

    teonchagi ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: North Texas
    After falling in love with diving at adult space camp in Oct 2015, I am FINALLY starting my OW cert classes next week. On Sunday I'm flying to St Thomas (USVI) and Monday morning my class starts. The dive shop sent me the crew pack with the book and a loaner DVD ahead of time, so I've been studying. I can't wait!! I'm a little nervous, because I've only had one experience on scuba and that was in the tank at camp. I'm worried being in the open water will be too intimidating. I'm also concerned I will have ear troubles, though I never did at camp. Swimming to the bottom of my dad's pool (about 8.5ft) last weekend to test my shiny new dive toys, my ears were screaming. But I couldn't stay at any certain depth long enough to attempt to equalize so I think I'll be okay.

    Any advice for my first day? I'll be doing my entire course at Coki Beach, and I think even the confined water dives are still in the ocean, just in a shallow part. Everything will be a shore dive, though I can upgrade to boat dives for my last two check out dives for a small fee. I get motion sick easily so I'm not sure if I'll do that. I want to, just don't want to barf lol.

    I'll be taking my own mask, snorkel, fins, and computer, and renting the rest (included with my course fee). So excited!
  2. MichaelMc

    MichaelMc Working toward Cenotes ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Berkeley, CA
    Gentle equalization is important. It would be good to practice a few times while holding yourself just a few feet under water by holding the edge of the pool. Do not get to the point of your ears screaming, nor force the equalization.

    This thread has some basic, and advanced, information. Equalization education is poorly taught.. Just stick with the basics of the DAN article. Good luck and have fun. Take things slow and relax is good advice.

    Maybe also practice clearing your mask in the pool, tub, or sink. And being comfortable with breathing through your mouth with water in your mask. You can put some water in the mask, put it on your face, and then look at your self in the mirror as you breath through your mouth/snorkel. It might take a few times, and you can start out with just a little bit of water. Being comfortable with that, basic skin diving techniques, is an early start to scuba. It is not essential... but a good way to get comfortable with a bit of water in your mask. Being comfortable with mask clearing will make your transition to having fun underwater much smoother.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  3. npole

    npole Barracuda

    Be aware of the white sharks.
  4. Neilwood

    Neilwood Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Scotland
    As @MichaelMc says equalisation is very important. Learn to equalise early and often to prevent damage to your ears - if you ever feel pain, you have waited WAY too long to equalise. Better to do it a lot more than wait until the damage is done.

    During the course, remember that it is not a race. None of the tasks on an OW course have time limits so take it slow and smooth- slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Once you get a few dives and more practise you will speed up a bit but it is far better to get it right at a slow pace than rushed and messy.
  5. SNS-Mike

    SNS-Mike Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: N/A
    Discuss any equalization issues with your instructor. He likely has a few tips and tricks he can share.
  6. LowDrag

    LowDrag Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Portland, Oregon

  7. Decopus

    Decopus Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: London, Ontario
    Good luck with everything. I got pretty queasy last week in St Vincent on the boat. Never happened before. I took some non drowsy ginger gravol the next day and no problems. I guess gravol is made here in Canada. I'm sure you can find something similar.
  8. dorsal

    dorsal ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Midwest USA
    Equalize often. It’s not uncommon to do it 5 to 6 times in 30 feet.

    Above all, have fun. Then lock away your credit card.
    Seaweed Doc likes this.
  9. -JD-

    -JD- Eclecticist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Greater Philadelphia, PA
    This video, and daily dry practice, really helped my then 13 year old son figure out how to equalize. Some techniques work better for some than others. Try a few.

  10. nolatom

    nolatom Captain

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Orleans
    As you descend, remember also to exhale at least a little through your nose, so your mask won't squeeze you.

    If ears hurt, don't continue descending if you can't equalize. Just stop and give the "feels iffy" signal (rocking your hand back and forth sideways) and let an instructor come over and check you out. But you'll probably be fine. A little anxiety is healthy, but it goes away once you get going. The beautiful crystal clear Virgin Islands water is very "unintimidating", it's a great place to start

    Don't barf!! ;-) But if you're tempted to, be comforted by the fact that most divers who feel queasy on the boat, feel fine once they're *in* the water rather than on it.

    You'll be back here in two weeks telling us how great it was and how you weren't really all that nervous at all once you got going!

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