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Who’s your bubble buddy?

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As it was Valentine’s Day yesterday, it got me thinking about Scuba Diving buddy teams. Do you dive with your partner?

I can imagine that there are many benefits of having Scuba Diving as a hobby together…. The fact that you do not need rush back home from a dive to spend quality time together; the wrongly booked cabin with a double bed instead of a single, doesn’t matter…. it is an activity whereby you can be together, but physically cannot talk to each other…. ! Whatever the reason, having your life long partner as a dive buddy possibly has it’s advantages.

Understandably, not all of us dive with our partners, so what is it that makes a good dive buddy? How fun they are to be with? The trust that they instil? How good they are at finding your lost dive torch or spotting the dog fish that you would never have seen? Whatever it is, there is always that one person that we love to dive with, and diving with others, just doesn’t have the same connection. You know what the person is going to do and when, or when you turn around, exactly where they are going to be.

Scuba divers undoubtedly share a bond that others undertaking different activities could never have. We all have a love for the ocean… to protect it and to witness the spectacular scenes that others never will. Seeing the gracious Mantas at a cleaning station, or entering the long lost Thistlegorm. Literally putting our lives in the hands of another person and travelling the world together. For me, diving is the best hobby, not just for the actual activity, but for the special bonds that it creates. Hopefully you feel just as lucky to be a Scuba Diver, and a bubble buddy to someone! 

Thanks to Dutton’s Divers dive couples for sharing their photos…

Clare Dutton, is a PADI Course Director and Director of Duttons Divers and Vivian Dive Centre. At the age of 25, Clare was one of the youngest to be accepted on the PADI Course Director course. Her work in the industry has involved promoting cold water diving, putting sites such as the Menai on the map for divers, and assisting others to chase their ambition as a PADI Pro. Get in touch with Clare at www.duttonsdivers.com

Dive Training Blogs

When is it a good day to dive?

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By Rick Peck

The standard answer is “It’s always a good day to dive.” The real question is: When is it a day we should not dive?

There are several factors that go into a decision for a dive day.

  • Weather
  • Waves
  • Tides (if applicable)
  • Physical condition
  • Mental condition
  • Water visibility

Weather

We would all like to dive in bright sunny conditions. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. It is always a good idea to check the forecast before a dive day. The weather directly before a dive might be bright and sunny, but in some areas, thunderstorms roll in quickly. While it may be an interesting experience to see a lightning storm underwater with the strobe effect, we do have to come up sometime. A 30+ pound lightning rod strapped to your back makes for a very dangerous exit.

Wind is also a concern. Storms that roll in quickly can bring gust fronts that make for dangerous conditions. It could be flat and calm when you enter, and you may ascend after the dive into 5-6 foot chop with a dangerous exit onto the boat. Having a boat drop on your head or getting tangled in the ladder is not fun.

Waves and Tides

Shore diving in a coastal area makes waves a concern. Waves are generated by wind speed, duration and fetch. If there is a storm offshore you could be seeing big waves with very little wind in your area. Linked to the wave action is the tide. At some sites, waves tend to fizzle out at extreme high tide, making for easier entry and exits.

Tides can also affect your dive in an inlet. There is a popular dive site in my area that normally dives from a half-hour before high tide to a half-hour after high tide because of the current generated by the tidal change. The tidal currents can become so strong that an average diver can’t overcome them. The question is: does the tide change match the time you have available to dive? Your local dive shop should have recommendations on where and when is the best time to shore dive. As we learned in our Open Water class, local knowledge is the best.

Physical Condition

Are you healthy enough to dive? Do you have the physical conditioning to safely do the dive you are planning? Pushing your physical limits directly after a cold or allergy attack could lead to an ear injury or worse. If you have been sick, maybe you don’t have the energy reserves to rescue yourself or a buddy if required. The typical “Oh, I’ll be alright” could put not only you but your dive buddy at risk as well. Don’t let your ego write checks that your body can’t fulfill.

Mental Condition

You could compare diving to driving a car. We have all heard of distracted driving. If you are mentally upset or dealing with a great deal of stress, it might be prudent to evaluate whether it’s a good day to dive. Frustration and an urgency to get into the water to “relax” could mean you are skipping items on your buddy checks and self-checks. Unless you have the mental discipline to set these worries aside, it is probably better to dive another day.

Water Visibility

While there is a segment of the diving population that likes to “Muck Dive,” in general we prefer to see what is around us. One type of diving where visibility is important is drift diving. It is a two-fold problem, if you stay shallow enough to avoid obstructions, you can’t see anything. If you go deep enough to see the bottom, depending on the speed of the current, there is a possibility of being driven into a coral head or some other obstruction that you don’t see approaching. It is also much easier to become separated from your buddy. Remember to discuss and set a lost buddy protocol before the dive.

Summary

While it seems like all the stars and moon must align in order to safely dive, it’s really simple. Check the weather, check the tides (If applicable), do a self-assessment, and don’t be reluctant to cancel a dive if the conditions warrant it when you arrive at the dive site. A little planning and forethought will lead to a safe enjoyable dive. Always remember to dive within the limits of your training, conditioning, and skill set.


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

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Dive Training Blogs

Jeff chats to… author, avid cave diver and professional adventurer Steve Lewis (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to author, avid cave diver and professional adventurer Steve Lewis about life in general with a bit of diving as well!

Steve Lewis is also Director of Diver Training for RAID.

For more, visit Steve on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/Steve.Lewis.Doppler


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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