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The Big Thumb



“Thumbs – up” in any situation other than diving is the universal signal for having an awesome time, and it is a pretty hard habit to break when you are having fun. As a recreational scuba instructor in Cyprus it is part of my job to teach hand signals to use while underwater, and nothing irks me more than this sign’s continuous misuse. I know diving is fun. I know diving is the most liberating feeling in the world. I know that photo opportunities to share on Facebook are hard to turn down. Seriously guys? Listen to your compass and your course instructor more than your feelings!

The big thumb means one thing and one thing only…..GO UP! It is time to end the dive, slowly safely and according to plan. If a diver “thumbs” the dive, all other divers in the group repeat the thumbs up sign and the entire team surfaces. There is no room for discussion and no one questions the signal. The dive is over.

Alright! Ok! I get it! Stop going on about it! I will, very soon – I promise.

Why am I going on and on about the big thumb? Well, many times on a dive with experienced divers I have watched a diver give the thumbs up only to have his buddy question the signal. This generally leads to a lot of confusing, rapid gestures from the whole team – a whole conversation of hands and fingers as to whether or not to really end the dive. This only makes matters worse. If the diver is starting to run low on air this confusion only wastes time. Problems should always be communicated, but the decision to end the dive should never be questioned. All instructors stress the importance of the thumb on an open water course, but sadly – when we release students into the wild they often let their bad habits kick in again. This post is a reminder, diving is serious fun – so treat hand signals with the respect they deserve.

Alexandra Dimitriou is a dive center owner in Agia Napa, Cyprus. She became a diver in 1992 and received her bachelor’s degree in Oceanography at Plymouth University in 2003. Her love of the ocean has always been her driving force, and this has led to the natural progression of becoming a diving instructor in 2005. She is currently a PADI staff instructor and owner at Scuba Monkey Ltd.

Gear News

Gear Maintenance: Episode 1 Masks – Sponsored by Dive Rite (Watch Video)



Everything you need to know to make your scuba diving mask last a lifetime! Welcome to Gear Maintenance!

If you want to support Divers Ready! (for free!) support our sponsor for this series of videos: Dive Rite

To enter to win the ES155 Mask from Dive Rite, you need to:

  1. Subscribe to Divers Ready! if you haven’t already:
  2. Enter the contest here:

A scuba diving mask is a seemingly simple piece of kit, but there are things that can wrong with it. Proper care, cleaning and preventative maintenance will help you keep your scuba mask in the best condition for years and years. We’ve packed this video full of hints and tips covering storage, protection, cleaning, defogging and maintenance to help you protect the investment you’ve made in your dive equipment.

Oh, and here’s the soft case I recommend. (Yes, this is an affiliate link. Purchases made through this link m ay earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

Mask case:

Good luck to everyone!



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Miscellaneous Blogs

5 Women Divers With YouTube Channels That Inspire Divers Ready (Watch Video)



Another in the series of weekly videos from Divers Ready! This video was originally produced to coincide with PADI Women’s Dive Day 2019 but it’s worth celebrating everyday!

Ahead of PADI Women Dive Day 2019, it seemed appropriate to shine a light on the awesome content these 5 women divers are putting out.

We made this as a tribute video to 5 female rockstars of the diving world whose YouTube Channels have inspired Divers Ready in one way or another.

Links below! Head over and hit their subscribe buttons!

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