Manta Divers March 2010- Making Your Own Luck
Here we are in March and that gets me looking forward to the disappearance of the snow, the emergence of spring flowers, and with St. Paddy’s day just a ways off, the luck of the Irish! There is bad luck, good luck and dumb luck, but the best luck of all is the kind you make for yourself. This is especially true when applied to scuba diving. Foresight, preparation, and good planning all work to set the diver up for a good, safe dive. Or, to borrow from Roman philosopher Seneca: “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity."
So what can lead up to “good luck” in diving? It probably starts with training. Make the most of your dive class by asking lots of questions and be sure you thoroughly understand the concepts. If it has been a while since you took the class, or you are an occasional diver, take a scuba refresher class. It will not only help you remember the basics of dive planning and use of the dive tables, but it will give you confidence when you are assembling your gear and working to remain neutral under water. Even if you dive fairly often, it is always good practice to expand your knowledge base by taking a specialty class, such as Enriched Air diving or Deep Diver, or earning Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver or Divemaster ratings. Believe it or not, your dive instructor is full of little pearls of dive wisdom that are not found in books!
The next bit of luck comes from equipment. Owning your own equipment is always the safer route to go because you will be most familiar with it and you will have control over the maintenance of that gear. However, if you rent gear, be sure to thoroughly examine it before splashing into the water. Do you know how to orally inflate the BC? Does the BC stay inflated? Does the BC have back, wrap or fusion inflation, and are you familiar with techniques associated with this type of BC? Does the BC fit you properly? Are there clips to keep octopus and console from dangling and possibly becoming entangled in vegetation? Is the regulator mouthpiece intact? Does it breathe easily when put on the tank? Do you know when it was serviced last?
Use of a dive computer can go a long way to increase your “good luck” when diving, but you need to know how it works. Thoroughly read the computer manual and take advantage of dive simulations, if available on the model you choose. If you are renting a dive computer, be sure to keep asking questions about its functions until you are confident that you can operate it. Find out how old the batteries are. Again, if it is your own computer, you will know this and can have your dive shop change them before a planned trip, but you will have to ask the dive shop if you are renting. Most dive computer batteries are good for about 2 years or 100 dives. Rental computers from busy resorts can easily rack up 100 dives every couple of months. Do know how to scroll through the screens of dive information? Are you familiar with the various settings for altitude, personal fitness, enriched air, and depth and time alarms? Most importantly, LOOK at your gauges and computer during your dive. It would be cool if your dive computer could deliver a shock when you got close to your no decompression limit, or when your tank pressure approached 500psi, but for now, the diver must be responsible to monitor the information the computer and gauges provide.
Finally, plan your dive and dive your plan. Make sure you and your buddy are on the same page in regard to what the focus of the dive will be. For example, will you be taking pictures, exploring a wreck, or looking for the tiny and interesting creatures on the reef? Run through the various hand signals, and agree on the dive profile, including an ascent time and ending tank pressure. If you are diving with someone for the first time, discuss whether one of you will lead or if you will stay side by side while diving. Get a feel for one another’s relative air consumption.
A wise person once said, “Good luck is often with one who doesn’t include it in his plans.” The best luck is the kind you make for yourself, training, planning and preparing for every dive. That is the surest way to make you the “luckiest” diver around!
In Other News.....
For you athletic types, Manta Divers now offers swimming gear and Triathlon suits. Order yours today!
Click on this link to find out how you can lose up to 8 lbs. by updating your dive gear! Check out the super light weight Zuma BC, Apeks Flight regulator, and new Aqualung dive bags!
BC and wetsuit clearance sale continues. Don't let these great deals slip by you!
This just in! You can get a free Airsource 3 when you sign up for any scuba training course and purchase a new Aqualung/Seaquest BC, Aqualung/Apeks regulator and a Suunto computer.