Whether you scuba dive frequently or the occasional dive during vacation, you should not forget some things about it. Some might be as routine as brushing your teeth, others we might not think about. In this article, I will provide you a few that will make your experience safer and easier.
1) Plan Ahead
Dive your plan, usually starts well in advance of the actual dive. Time of year, destination and travel arrangements all affects the type of dive that will be done and equipment you will need. Experienced and well travelled divers usually know the best time of year, are familiar with locations and have the scuba gear for that type of diving. A little homework goes a long way.
2) Be Ready For the Dive
Many dive trips are tied to a vacation. Having fun, staying up late and just plain enjoying oneself is easy to do. Don't let it get in the way of having a great dive. Getting plenty of rest, hydrating by drinking plenty of water and watching what you eat before the dive can make the difference between a great dive and no dive.
Stay within your limits both physically and mentally. Not comfortable going below 100 feet, never dove in a strong current before... just say no. Think about what you are getting yourself into prior to just going along with crowd. Check your equipment and your dive buddy's equipment to make sure it is working and both of you know how it functions. Finding out you have no idea how that alternate air operates at 100 feet is not the best plan.
4) During the Dive
Diving is fun and comfortable. If something... anything is uncomfortable, stop and find out why and then correct it. It could be as simple as a fin being too tight and starting to cramp your foot. Working hard against a current can cause you to hyperventilate, slow down maintain a pace that does not over exert you to the point exhaustion. Keep track of your dive buddy and your air consumption. And carry a safety sausage and whistle just in case you surface farther from the boat than you thought.
5) After the Diving Day
Soaking your equipment in fresh water prior to rinsing will clean it better. For drying the gear, hang it up out of the sun. Want a dry wetsuit for the next day? Hang the suit up and place it in front of a small fan. This should cut the drying time down considerably.