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Drift Diving – Considerations before your first experience

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By Roy Cabalo

Every diver has their preferred dive, be it reef, wreck, or cave diving.  And every diver knows that each type of dive has its nuances that they wish they would have known better when they started. In my case, it was drift diving.  Let me share a few things that you might want to think about before you get wet.

Negative Entry

The negative entry is one you don’t learn in the basic open water course and can be critical to a smooth descent and not missing your target.  In a negative entry, you aren’t waiting around on the surface to signal OK and wait for your buddy.  Communicate prior to make sure you both understand: you’re going in with your BCDs empty, equalizing early and often, using a long stride into the water on a deep exhale, keeping vertical body posture starting out, checking on each other at about 5-7 meters deep, and getting to the bottom as soon as safely possible.

A little extra weight doesn’t hurt

A little extra weight is just that – 1 to 2 pounds, not 4 or 5!  This goes hand in hand with your negative entry towards making your decent smooth and easy.  You aren’t racing to the bottom, but you aren’t making a leisurely descent!  A good captain will give you a reasonable lead to start your drift and the lead should be something that’s part of the dive briefing.  Remember, too little weight and you don’t sink fast enough, too much weight becomes dangerous!

The Dive Briefing

Remember the dive briefing that divers tend to overlook?  It could provide you with the information that makes the difference between a good dive and a GREAT dive.  A dive briefing should have a few routine things you’ve heard several times before – boat rules, where the dive guide will be (if you have one), time limits, depths and such. Some key parts are unique to each dive: identifying your objective – drifting over a reef, ledge, or wreck trek, key things for you to look for, geographic features that will indicate you are drifting along the correct path, and so on.  Really listen to this briefing!  I can’t tell you how many divers are having sidebar conversations and miss so much great information.

Don’t lose your cool if you surface and the boat isn’t right there

Different divers will stay down different amounts of time, and the boat will take time to pick everyone up.  Add a little air to your safety sausage while you’re waiting for the boat.  Stay close to your buddy; it’s very easy to unknowingly drift apart.  Take the time while on the surface to talk about the dive and what you saw.  If the waves seem to be a bit much, leave your regulator or your snorkel in your mouth.  This is a great time to relax and think about the things you saw that so many other don’t.  Divers see the other 71% of the world, so your memories are some of the greatest things you’ll be able to share with others.

Hopefully, these few thoughts will come to mind next time you get ready to drift and they become a valuable reference for future dives.  The weather is beautiful, let’s go Dive Dive Dive!


To find out more about International Training, visit www.tdisdi.com.

From its humble beginning in 1994 to today, the group of training agencies Scuba Diving International (SDI), Technical Diving International (TDI), and Emergency Response Diving International (ERDI) form one of the largest diving certification agencies in the World – International Training. With 24 Regional Offices servicing more than 100 countries, the company today far exceeds the original vision the founders had when they conceived the idea on a napkin, sitting at a kitchen table in the early 1990’s.

Dive Training Blogs

Dream Dive Locker Build Out. Part I: Demolition (Watch Video)

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It’s finally here! Time to start building the greatest dive locker the world has ever seen! Part I: Demolition! #dreamdivelocker

This is the first of a series of videos showing the evolution of building out my dream dive locker. My dream dive locker needs to be dive gear drying and storage, dry storage, workshop, office, editing suite, You Tube studio and classroom. That’s a lot of functions for a small space!

The first step is planning out the space and demolishing the laminate flooring. Then I taped up the walls to get a feel for the space. We have a lot of work to do!

But finally we will have a purpose built space to house all of our dive equipment! Subscribe to our channel to follow our progress! 

Thanks for watching, Team!

James


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Dive Training Blogs

5 Ways To Use Less Gas When Scuba Diving

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5 Ways To Use Less Gas When Scuba Diving. There is no magic wand to having an amazing SAC rate. You have to do the work!

We’re covering how to perfect your core skills as a scuba diver to help you use your gas more efficiently, plus how the art of zen can help you breathe less gas whilst scuba diving.

How can I breath less gas whilst diving? A very common question I get asked all the time and on the subject of breathing itself. There is a right way and many different wrong ways to breath whilst scuba diving. I’ll explain the difference.

Thanks for watching, as always! D.S.D.O James


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