If snorkelling is something you enjoy when you go to the beach then why not learn how to scuba dive? Scuba diving is a skill which allows people to do commercial or sport like activities under water for a variety of reasons. Scuba diving allows the diver to spend time in the Sea without having to return frequently for intake of air. Scuba diving experts can assist archaeologist and explore shipwrecks. Help repair or construct structures underwater or choose jobs that a qulified scuba diver can do. It takes a few lessons to learn the basics of deep sea diving after which you are qualified to explore the oceans water.
Scuba Diving Lessons
It doesn’t matter which type of diver you become, training IS essential. Learning diving skills to become proficient is essential because you can risk to your life and the lives of others should you get into some difficulty. Some places offer basic scuba diving courses for children (8+) and adult beginners’ courses and all are covered by PADI instructors. A typical lesson lasts about an hour in the water and the depths is normally not greater than two metres and are designed to suit your needs and capabilities.
Advance courses will have more in-depth training which comprises of a few sessions, a mock exam, the exam itself followed by a certificate of qualification. There are usually a number of courses depending on your skill level and requirements. Scuba diving isn’t just for those who have 100% able functioning bodies, watch Sue Austin doing her sea dive.
Courses are available for those who want to take scuba diving seriously and to qualify as a deep sea diver. In these courses you will learn how to return to the waters surface safely and the combination tanks you need.
Where To Go Scuba Diving
Buy Scuba Diving Equipment
The initial outlay to buy the necessary equipment for scuba diving can be expensive. Scuba diving gear is manufactured well with your safety in mind. Manufacturers use the best materials that lasts for a long time. The most expensive part of the apparatus is the air compressor which is used for refilling the air cylinder.
It is recommended that you should buy and wear proper scuba gear and take lessons from a fully qualified sea diver before venturing into the sea alone. Here a quick list of equipment that you will need to purchase.
Drysuits are mainly used when deep sea diving but are also worn for other leisure activities such as kayaking, kitesurfing, or windsurfing. You should consider buying a drysuit instead of a wetsuit as dry suits are act as a water tight barrier. It is designed for the body to stay dry although you will need extra layers underneath to keep warm when diving in very cold, deep water.
These thermal suits are zipped and have waterproof “gaskets” around the neck, wrist and ankles and most come with attached boots. The gaskets seal tightly against body and keep the water from coming in. Most gaskets are latex, so any divers who are allergic to latex need to bear this in mind. Drysuits allow room for the diver to wear thermal undersuits underneath for added protection from freezing temperatures. Should your drysuit get damaged, there are some companies which offer a repair service.
Wetsuits are designed to keep you warm while in water by allowing a small amount of water into the suit to warm up to body temperature. The thicker the neoprene the warmer and less flexible it is. Full-body wetsuits are rated by two numbers which looks like 4/3 or 3/2. The first number represents how thick the wetsuits torso is and the second shows the thickness of the neoprene on the extremities.
There is an ongoing debate about which suit should you wear. People choose wetsuits for comfort, temperature of the water (shallow dive or scuba dive,) safety and of course price.
A diver needs to breathe underwater and will need a scuba tank. Tanks are usually made from aluminum or steel and have a supply of pressure depending on how far down you want to dive. It is important to learn and maintain the equipment as your life depends on it. Check the valves, regulators and monitors, but also check O rings and straps. It is probably best to buy equipment from new rather than used.
Dive boots are made from thick neoprene material from 4mm to 6.5 mm (5mm being most popular). The boots are designed to protect the diver’s feet from freezing temperatures and enable the diver to walk over sharp and awkward surfaces.
Dive Gloves are worn to give protection, comfort and warmth for the diver. They come in a range of thickness from 1.5mm to 6mm. Generally the thinner the dive glove the more flexible it will feel but less protection against cold temperatures.
Full foot fins are ideal for warm water diving and it’s like an extension of the foot. If it’s properly fitting the fin is easy to flick as the diver swims so it is a lot more effective. Read more here about the different fins you can buy.
It should be noted that not every snorkel mask will fit every face. When determining a proper fit of a mask, the mask strap should not be used. Simply place the mask gently to the face and inhale slightly through your nose whilst holding your breath. You also have to consider the tube diameter and size as well as the mouthpiece.
How to Scuba Dive
Before venturing into any dive you will be asked if you want to be an amateur scuba diver or do you have the seriousness to be a professional diver? The Open Water Certification process is quite similar although there is a difference in the required certifications for divers who want to go down the professional route.
Seek medical advice first before embarking on this adventure. Your diving school will also ask you to sign a document to state whether (or not) you are medically fit. Please note that deep sea diving requires a lot of physical exertion so there is an increased risk of injury.
Scuba diving isn’t for everyone, afterall there is a lot of things to bear in mind before anyone considers deep sea diving. However, snorkelling is another cool activity anyone can do. It involves, swimming or floating on the surface of the body of water. Discover the underwater world and admire the reefs and sealife.. Don’t be an idiot and ignore flags and other warning signs!.
To go snorkelling in the UK, you probably want to equip yourself with:
- A mask (or googles)
- a snorkel (a shaped breathing tube)
- swim fins (or flippers)
Snorkelling equipment are reasonably cheap but to get the most out of this cool activity, it’s worth paying for equipment that will last. Have fun discovering the mysteries of what lies beneth!