Do you scuba dive? Do you love the excitement it brings into your life? Scuba diving is an underwater activity or sport which uses a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus to help you breathe. Scuba diving allows you to experience the underwater world like no other method can, allowing you to get up close and personal with the amazing and colorful fish, rock formations, or coral displays, depending on where you decide to take your dive.
When you scuba dive for long periods of time throughout your life, you find parts of your life change in many strange and exciting ways. The following is a fun guide to the 10 things that change when you start scuba diving.
Signals in Everyday Life
When scuba diving, you tend to use certain hand signals to communicate with your fellow scuba divers. Regular diving buddies will generally start to form additional signals for more in-depth communication under water. Because of this underwater communication, it’s not uncommon for you and your diving partners to use the hand signals out in public.
Not only do these hand signals work really well over great distances, but in noisy places, as well. Many active scuba divers use these hand signals when driving, in the supermarket, when walking along the streets, and more. For more technical scuba divers, hand signals will be more pronounced than for those who have been doing it for a short amount of time.
When scuba diving, it’s essential to equalize your ears for a comfortable diving experience. Those who suffer from allergies or congestion may find it much harder to equalize the pressure within their ears. You may have noticed a diver pinching his or her nose and breathing out, a few times a day. This is generally to check their ears before an upcoming excursion or diving trip.
Something that can cause issues with your ears is the use of air conditioning in a car or hotel room. Another could be common allergies, which may affect your sinuses and ears. This can be anything from hay fever to cat allergies. Colds and flus can also affect your sinuses and ears, so it’s important to make sure, before diving, that you’re feeling great and in full health.
Some divers who have had previous problems with ear equalization issues will seek advice and help from an ear, nose, and throat doctor. Other options a diver may use include anti-inflammatories, ear drops, and decongestants.
Over the years of scuba diving, you may suddenly realize that you have a whole separate bedroom that caters to your scuba gear. This isn’t uncommon in those who love to scuba dive. You may even find you have multiple items that you probably forgot about. Some scuba divers have said they have a room with some of the items they scavenged on a diving trip. Liken it, as you will, to a hoarder of scuba gear. Although some of it may not be useful, you will find it very difficult to get rid of any of it. If this is the case, you’re a true scuba diving lover.
Across your months and years of scuba diving, you may have experienced the dwindling of some of the coral reefs and underwater ecosystems. Some long-term divers have said they have observed a decline in the amount of living coral and fish numbers at their favorite destinations. Some of the factors which contribute to the coral reef decline include poor diving practices, invasive species, warming of oceans, overfishing, and pollution.
Many younger and inexperienced divers may not know the difference between damaged and undamaged coral. However, when you fall in love with scuba diving, and the underwater world, you’ll find yourself becoming a conservationist, as you see the impact humanity has on underwater ecosystems. Many serious scuba divers tend to make different lifestyle choices in their everyday lives.
These changes may include picking trash from the beachand choosing sustainable fish on menus, along with removing debris and fishing line from the reefs. You may also find yourself discussing concerns with those around you who don’t scuba dive. Caring about the underwater ecosystems and their declining health is one of the positive attributes you experience and pick up when you become an experienced long term scuba diver.
Weekend and Vacation Plans
When you become a lover of scuba diving, you’ll find that your plans on weekends and when planning vacations will change more than expected. Your trips will start to revolve around whether there are available scuba diving options at your desired destinations. Instead of going to Rome, you might travel instead to Fiji, and dive every day, despite the risk of food poisoning, seasickness, mosquitoes, and more. You’ll find that pristine dive sites and remote locations will take priority when it comes to planning your vacations.
For the more serious and fanatic divers, you may find it takes up your weekend and evening plans. Many serious divers have admitted to skipping dinner dates to take a night dive with their diving partners. Although you may arrive home late, your mind will feel mentally more relaxed, making the dive worthwhile. Other things in your life may feel boring, compared to scuba diving. Although it may sound crazy, it’s not. It’s just a common trait of scuba divers and nothing to be ashamed of.
Functions with Strangers
When diving for long periods, it’s not uncommon that someone in your group has to go to the toilet. Serious divers may find themselves becoming more comfortable talking with other divers they may not know about their toilet habits and other habits that most people can’t discuss over dinner.
Most times divers will come together and end up learning about each other’s hydration levels, indigestion, congestion, ear health, muscle cramps, and any other physical conditions which may affect them or their safety in the water. Most of the time you’ll find these topics coming up in diving boats, and, often enough, with people you just met.
Group of Like-Minded Individuals
Scuba diving, just like any other sport, allows you to become up-close and personal with people from all walks of life, careers, and backgrounds. You will become friends with people you may not have met in your normal life.
It’s not uncommon for businessmen or women, yoga instructors, or construction workers to be diving together and sharing their wonderful life experiences. In many cases, unusual pairings may lead to a lifelong friendship.
Scuba diving has a great way of creating strong bonds despite the background of where each diver comes from. If you feel the desire for diving, just like other divers, you can appreciate and understand how strong bonds are formed. Even though you may be a doctor, pilot, or bartender, you will always be a scuba diver at heart, and that’s all that matters.
Before you started your scuba diving adventure, you may have had all your retirement plans set in place. Now, with the prospect of new diving sites, you may find when you retire that you’re looking for something more than that cottage in the mountains. It’s not uncommon for serious scuba divers to change their retirement plans from the mountains to the coastline. In some ways, once you’re a scuba diver, you’re always a scuba diver, even when you retire.
Who Misrepresent Scuba Diving
You know you’ve turned into a true scuba diver when you find that many media outlets tend to misrepresent the underwater activity. You may find yourself shouting out the TV, saying things such as “A real scuba diver wouldn’t do that,” or “Where is the diving buddy?” You may also find these misrepresentations offensive, and you have a strong urge to correct them.
These factual errors, unfortunately, aren’t really an issue to the normal everyday person who doesn’t know the difference. They are just there to watch the movie. Although you can’t do anything about the misrepresentation of scuba diving in media, you can’t help but feel strongly about it.
When you start scuba diving, you’ll find yourself feeling the need to tell everyone about it and just how good it really is. As an active diver, you’ll feel that many people on the planet are missing out, and, unfortunately, you are right. This is where you’ll have the urge to create a list of all the amazing experiences you’ve had, the creatures you’ve come into contact with, and the places you’ve visited.
You will also have a strong urge to show your friends home movies, Facebook posts, and slideshows, as much as you can, and this is because you want people to enjoy the experience and feeling that you get when you scuba dive.
Along your ambassador journey you will find yourself coming into contact with those who don’t care for the sport. This is okay;not everyone will be interested. However, if you enlighten just one person’s life, you have done extremely well and achieved your goal. You never know. You may just find a brand new scuba diving buddy along the way.
When it comes to scuba diving for the first time, it’s important to know the basics to ensure you and your diving partners’ safety. The following are some of the top tips that all new scuba divers should take into consideration.
When you first begin your diving experience, you’ll find your tank will drain faster than the average more-experienced divers. This is because you haven’t mastered the necessary breathing techniques needed, due to excitement or nervousness. To help lower the consumption of air you consume per dive, you simply need to complete more dives; it’s that simple. The more dives you master, the easier and more experienced you will become with the proper breathing techniques.
When you first learn to scuba dive, at times you may come across those who want to do more experienced things than you have skills for. Don’t fall victim to peer pressure. You don’t have to do any diving experiences you don’t feel you’re ready for. It’s okay to say no.
When scuba diving, there’s nothing more uncomfortable than having an uncomfortable mask on your face. Not only will it cause you discomfort, but distress, as well. The point of scuba diving is to have fun and enjoy the underwater experience. If you find your mask is leaking air constantly, you’ll find it distracting, while impairing your vision. Always get a mask that fits you well and which is comfortable for long periods of time.
When diving, it’s important to relax and take your time. There’s no rush when it comes to enjoying the wonders of the underwater world. If you feel you’re tense, take a moment to stop, relax, and be in the moment. A relaxing dive is more enjoyable than an anxious dive.
Before you take your dive, make sure you take a moment to check and adjust all your equipment properly to help save time in the water. Check the straps on all your gear so they’re comfortable and not too tight. Gear that isn’t properly taken care of will cause problems if you have an emergency in the water. The time it takes to fix your gear is time well spent.
Diving in the ocean can be unpredictable; this is why it’s important for all divers to have a skilled and qualified diving buddy with years of experience. A diving buddy can help in an emergency and can raise the alarm if something serious is happening. Although very rare, remember that you are swimming in the ocean with many different and, sometimes, large lifeforms.
Scuba diving, just like any more extreme sport, has its limits. It’s important, when scuba diving, that you don’t exceed your own capabilities and those of your diving equipment. Exceeding the limits may cause an accident to occur which can be potentially life threatening to you or your companions around you.
Scuba diving is an underwater activity which can really open your eyes and minds to the unseen part of the Earth that so many people don’t get to experience. When done right, scuba diving can give you the same effects of what meditation or any other relaxation techniques can.
Remember, when scuba diving, make sure you always have a diving buddy with you on each dive, to ensure the safety of you and of them. So, when did you start your scuba diving adventure? How often do you go scuba diving?