Many perspective divers are put off scuba diving because they fear it’s not safe, but in reality only 1 in 211, 864 dives results in a fatality. This makes diving considerably safer than other sports and daily activities, like driving a car or going for a run. The costs involved aren’t as high as expected either as equipment can be rented and once you decide to dive more regularly you can purchase the gear. Scuba diving and traveling go well together as you can explore reefs and oceans and see species in their natural habitat while marking destinations off your bucket list. Your traveling could even be based on where you want to dive so you can quickly gain experience and become an experienced diver in no time.
Getting The Gear
When you see a diver with all their equipment it can look a bit overwhelming, especially when imagining yourself going for your first dive. One of the main components is the diver cylinder or scuba tank. This is what contains your air, making up about 21% oxygen, the same as you breathe on land. You’ll also need some weights to help keep you balanced during and towards the end of your dive. Despite all the equipment, you’d float without weights, especially as your cylinder empties. Most people rent cylinders and weights from training centers as it’s cheaper and saves the hassle of trying to travel with them. The next thing you’ll need is a buoyancy control device (BCD). These come in various designs and help with buoyancy when you’re underwater and on the surface. The final essential piece of kit is a regulator, which basically makes the breathing gas from your cylinder safe and delivers it to you through the mouthpiece or a full-face mask.
Suits And Essential Accessories
Water temperatures are often lower than the body’s temperature, so you’ll need a good suit to reduce heat loss. Wetsuits are often used in tropical water and dry suits are used for cold water dives. Your suit will also add some buoyancy and protect your skin from stings and scrapes that you may encounter. You’ll also need a mask as these create a space in front of your eyes so that they can focus underwater. A pair of fins will help you to move in the water and they come in two different styles: open heel and full foot. Open heel fins can be used in any water, so these are a better option if you’re purchasing instead of renting.
Descending And Ascending
Your descent should be straightforward. Your goal is to reach your destination, but not too quickly because you need time to equalize your pressure and adjust the air in your BCD. Your ascent will be a little trickier to ensure your safety. You should ascend gradually so that you can be on the lookout for dangers on the surface, like boats and their propellers. You need to be aware of how much air and time you have left on your dive to ensure a slow ascend. Slow resurfacing is important as it decreases the risk of developing decompression sickness. This is caused by nitrogen building up in your blood and fatty tissues that then form gas bubbles as pressure changes while ascending. These bubbles can cause damage to whichever part of the body they’re in. You should aim to ascend at a rate of 9 meters a minute as this is considered safe.
Best Locations Around The World
The Bahamas is an ideal beginner’s diving spot and great for relaxing on beaches and soaking up the sun in between. Visibility is good and clears up to an average of 80 feet and conditions are reliable. This makes the Bahamas an ideal location for becoming certified. Thailand is another great spot for divers working towards their certificate because there’s a high volume of dive centers, making it cheap enough to do two courses for the same price as one in many parts of America. Molasses Reef in Florida is current-free and part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, so it’s full of interesting marine life to enjoy during dives making this another top spot for beginners.
Diving is a unique experience that more people are getting involved with than ever before. Working towards your certification and following basic guidelines will ensure safe and enjoyable dives that you can continue to build on each time you dive. Incorporate diving into your travels so that you can visit different dive spots while you’re on your journey.
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