My whole point with this newsletter is to give divers all the information they need to be confident divers. The problem with this is that I run the risk of some of you becoming OVER confident. So let me tell you right now, dive confidently, just not too confidently.
What do I mean by too confidently?
Don’t be so confident that you dive past your limits or training
This one always bothered me when I was just open water certified. I mean if I knew the basics and understood the risks, it was my choice how deep I go, right? It wasn’t really until I got my Dive Master certification that I thought back on those days and marveled that I’m still here.
Each level of training, no matter what organization you were certified with, all training works the same. You are taught the basics, enough to get you safely underwater and to return safely to the surface. Then each additional course you take layers new skills on top of that initial training. There are thing you don’t know yet and until you do know them, the limits of your training should be absolutes in your mind.
Stay within your limits. If you want to increase your limits, take additional training. The more you learn as a scuba diver, the more you understand how little you really know.
Don’t be so confident that you ignore the environment
This one drives me up the wall. I teach ALL my students “keep your fins off MY coral!” Still, I was recently out on my favorite boat and we had a diver that felt that the absolute best spot to be was 6″ off the bottom at all times. This mean that with every kick this diver was stirring up silt and killing the coral.
This diver even managed to wake a sleeping turtle be shining his light in the poor beast’s eyes. I managed to get about 3 feet away from the turtle and get some fantastic pictures without disturbing it. But this diver had to keep at it till the turtle woke and swam off.
Don’t be that diver.
Stay 5 feet off the bottom at all times. If you see something small you really want to see, carefully float down to see it, then float back up and continue on.
If we all do this then the reef will be there for the next generation of divers to enjoy.
And for goodness sake, if you are going to be diving near sea turtles, PLEASE take a turtle awareness class from your local dive center.
Don’t be so confident that you are a jerk underwater
Lesson’s I had to learn as a diver.
- I do not have to be first
- The in-water guide is not my personal dive master
- My buddy is my best chance of surviving an emergency underwater so stay near them at all times.
If you want to be a good – a confident – diver, take those lessons to heart. If you want to be the guy on the liveaboard that everyone avoids during surface interval, those are three good ways to be that diver. Don’t be that diver!
Dive Confidently means that you know your limits, you know your place, and you are aware that others are down with you. That’s what I am trying to teach you because for the longest time I wasn’t that diver. I didn’t dive confidently. Diving confidently is a lot more fun!
Until next time,
Cal “Uncle Cal” Evans