Public Safety Diving – A New Adventure!!!

So I have started on a new journey with diving. I have decided to do something with my dive qualifications. I recently joined an Underwater Search and Rescue team. This is a team that deals with search, rescue and recovery. This can range from saving lives, recovering bodies or evidence or even vehicles.

Now because of my location located in the middle of the United States, there isn’t much in the way of real scuba diving, therefore, I do not get much dive time. The kind of diving I will be doing will be Black Water Diving. I will explain more about this down below.

Make sure to check out the short video from Youtube on black water diving….

The Dive Test!

The dive test was one that takes a bit of physical shape to do. It involves a 10-minute float, a 200-meter swim (freestyle), a 400-meter mask, snorkel and fins swim and finally end with a tired diver tow. All of these events are timed and you get a score from them. Basically it takes 12 points to be able to join the team.

Your score is calculated on how quickly you do each event except for the 10-minute float which is self-explanatory. Your score for the swimming depends on how fast you do it. I forget exactly how it breaks down but the faster the better obviously.

This was especially tough for me since I am not much of a swimmer, I am a sinker! Although, I suck at swimming I was able to complete each task mostly getting my points from the float and the tired diver tow. The tired diver tow is 25 meters in less than two minutes. Easy Day!

Not only do you have to show that you are proficient at swimming you have to do some basic scuba skills demo. You have to be able to flood and clear your mask, remove BCD and put it back on, and be able to demo out of air and buddy breathing when the instructor cuts off your air supply.

Academy

Academy starts with being issued a Public Safety Diving book that you have to read. Once you are so far in the book you are then taken into the class room for videos and discussion. Then there is pool time to do more training as well as training in actual black water.

During academy, you will learn how to use the lingo such as 10-code, search patterns, and learning how to be a tender (someone provides you directions from atop the water).

Academy is pretty self-paced with the book readings but the real meat and potatoes comes from the actual pool or black water diving. This is where you will learn the most of what you will be doing.

I think that the most important thing you can take from this is the search patterns. This would be most critical in recovering any item or body (and yes you will be searching with your hands and touching anything you are searching for.)

For Fun or for Glory

If you are seeking to join a team such as this for the fun of it or for the glory of saving/recovering someone than you are in it for the wrong reasons! This is something that is done to give back to the community. You won’t be getting TV time or rewards for doing any of this.

You should be doing something like this for the right reasons. The team that I joined is totally volunteer work. I am not getting paid for any of it. Which is honestly not a bad thing cause it is for the greater good as it gives back to the community and helps others.

Giving back to the community is an important part of being on a volunteer team. There should be no glory hound looking to become famous overnight for rescuing/recovering someone or something. Now there is a fun aspect to it but that is not something that happens very often.

For fun, we get together as a group and do BBQ’s that involves the families of the team members. This is something that should be looked forward to as this is the “fun and glory” that you will get with being part of a team such as this.

Dry Suit Training

I am also going to be getting dry suit training. Which is something that I am looking forward to! Things that I do know about dry suits diving is that you stay dry! Also, you can remain warmer because you will have clothes under your suit that will help insulate you from the cold water that you are diving in.

I also know that I will be learning how to maneuver in a dry suit because it is possible to get stuck upside down if you get a bubble down at your feet. This is possible because you do not have a BCD for your flotation aid, the dry suit itself is the BCD when you are diving in this fashion.

Conclusion

This is a great opportunity for me to be able to give back to the community and be able to dive. This something that is easy to do being stuck in the middle of the United States. Black water diving can be extremely dangerous for someone that does not know what they are doing. Being part of a team that has experience to pass on down to you is the best way to go.

Make sure that you are in some sort of physical shape to be able to complete the dive testing so that you can make the team. The float, the swims, and the tired diver tow are what you need to be able to do with in a certain time frame.

Academy is where you will get all your training for black water diving. It is essential that you pay attention during this training because it could result in saving someone or recovering property or evidence. Knowing what to do is important in looking professional and getting the job done safely and effectively.

This is not something for those that seek to be rewarded or looking for glory. It is all volunteer work that should be rewarding enough plus getting to meet new people and have the ability to participate in the BBQ’s or other get togethers’. You will get more out of it if your heart is in the right place.

Keep in mind that this is not for everyone. There is always the chance of having to recover a body whether it be an adult or child, you have to the ability to deal with this sort of thing.

If you have any comments or questions feel free to leave them below in the comments and I will get back to you as soon as I possibly can.

As always happy diving

Things to do While Scuba Diving – That May not have Thought of.

There are many things to discover while scuba diving. You may automatically think of treasure hunting and hey who wouldn’t? However, there are plenty of other things you can do while diving. You can help the environment, you can identify fish in your local area, you can join a rescue team or just dive to simply dive. No matter what your pleasure of diving is there is always something new to explore. Diving for the first time you say? Do not know what to expect? Here are a few things that you can do while diving that may put your mind at ease to help you dive better.

Ocean Clean-up

I recently read an article of a Guiness World record being set for an ocean cleanup. Divers collected more than 1,200 pounds of fishing lead from the ocean floor along the Florida beach. This is a tremendous amount of lead that came from the ocean. It would have been amazing to be part of this adventure and part of a world record.

Things like this do not happen every day but when they come about the opportunity should be pounced on and completely taken advantage of. The key thing with this is you had to be a certified diver so this leads to a previous article I wrote on Why You Should Scuba Dive. This just adds to the adventure and feelings of self-worth that you can get from diving.

Although, you do not need to be part of a group or event to clean up the ocean floors, you CAN do it on your own just to preserve the natural environment that you can see around you while you are under the water. Not only does this help the environment but it also allows for sea critters and coral reefs to flourish.

Fish Classification

It is always a good thing to know what critters are swimming with you while you are diving in the surrounding waters. So fish classification is something that comes in very handy. Not only do you get to search for fishes that you know but you can also make a game out of with your dive partner. You can play fish bingo or see who can spot the most fish that they can identify.

There are fish identification cards that you can take with you underwater that help you identify the fish or slates that you can write on underwater to list all the fish you see. Better yet try capturing them in pictures so that can prove what you have seen with an underwater digital camera! No matter how you decide to use your knowledge of fish identification, it is always a useful tool. This may also help you stay away from harmful fish such as a sculpin or otherwise known as a scorpion fish.

Safety is key when diving and knowing what you may encounter is right there at the top as well. Should you come across a poisonous fish you will know to stay away from it or how to handle it if you are spearfishing. So look into fish identification courses offered through your local dive shops. They will be able to point you in the right direction and more than likely have some fish identification cards that I was telling you about.

Underwater Rescue

Underwater rescue is something that can be divided up in many different areas. Of course, you have just the basic water rescue for people or animals but it can get deeper than that. For example if there is a vehicle that crashes into the water whether it be a car or boat, you will be able to aid in the recovery of it. By being a rescue diver does not limit you to just saving humans and animals but you can also collect evidence in instances of foul play.

This can open you up to many different job opportunities that you may have never thought about. Check out my article on scuba diving jobs for more ideas.

Along those lines of “jobs” cause who can really say that diving, as fun as it is, can really be classified as a job. Would be a safety diver support or water safety education. These are some perks that can go alone with being a rescue diver whether you are paid for it or you are volunteering to do so it can really make a difference in someone’s life. Or you may touch the life of someone that wants to follow in your footsteps. No matter how you view it or thinks about diving, there is always something good to be said about it.

Simply Relaxing

Relaxing and beaches are something that goes hand in hand. You feel less stress when you are near the ocean hearing the waves crash against the sandy shoreline. Heck I can picture myself there now, lounging in a hammock with a fruity cocktail in hand…. Ahhh what a wonderful way to make some money….. Back to scuba diving though…. Scuba diving should be just as relaxing as sitting on the land you leave behind when you enter the water. If scuba diving become too much of a chore than what is the point of it all. You should be leaving the problems of the land world behind you and entering into a whole new word.

Scuba Diving is one of those things that you have to work hard at during your training so that you retain the information and remain a safe diver because LITTERALLY your life depends on it. When you are certified and ready to enjoy the cool water surrounding you, you get to play A LOT more. Being able to have fun while diving is key to anything that you enjoy. If you are not having fun than the activity becomes a bore and you can easily get burnt out on it.

Conclusion

As you have just read there are many activities of what to do while scuba diving. I may have just scratched the surface of things to as I am sure you can think of something else that can be added. Whether you are doing a civil service such as cleaning up or just relaxing the key is to always have fun. No matter the direction you are headed in with scuba diving; if it is going to be a job, recreational fun, or simply volunteer work be safe and do not over tax yourself and remain safe. Getting burnt out on scuba diving is a surefire way to stop diving in general.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below and I will get back to you as soon as I possibly can.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Pintrest which all links are at the bottom as well.

Until next time.

As always, Happy Diving.

Scuba Diving Knives Review

A Useful Tool

When you are in the water diving you want to be able to have a quality knife at your side, leg, or on your BCD. They come in handy for many different reasons. The most common reason would to be cut clear of an obstacle that is keeping you from continuing your dive or surfacing. This is a crucial tool that could result in life or death if you do not have one and get trapped in something under the water.

Superday Scuba Diving Knife Diving and Spearfishing Knife,Tactical Stainless Knife,Water Sports, Black

  • High quality stainless blade: Our tactical knife made of high quality stainless steel blade material that is corrosion-resistant & never rust.
  • Lightweight: This pocket knife is very easy to carry. Survival knife with its extreme spear point blade with sharp and razor edge blade for scuba diving, snorkeling.
  • Adopt all condition: The diving knife includes a black diving knife, a heavy-duty plastic sheath for the knife, two leg/arm straps and a nylon material sheath for the knife.
  • High performance: It came sharp and ready to use for snorkeling, fishing, swimming, boating, shallow scuba and cutting fish line, also for combat, self-defense.
  • Overall Length: 8.46 inch.

The price of this knife is $7.99.

The rating for this knife is would get a 3.5 out of 5 from me as it seems to be a bit low grade material and the paracord handle looks rather cheap. You would get what you pay for in this instance. Click on name to be linked to purchasing this beginner knife.

SEAC Bat Tactical Dive 120mm Knife, for Scuba Diving, Snorkeling and Water Sports, Black, 120mm

  • Knife with stainless steel blade and featuring a built-in line cutter
  • AISI 420 tempered stainless steel blade. Stainless steel hilt. Release button on grip
  • Blade 120-mm long
  • Straight edge on one side and serrated edge + line cutter on the other
  • Hand grip covered in thermoplastic rubber for a safe grip

The price of this knife is $21.90.

This knife would rate a 4 out of 5 for me. The serrated edge gives you the advantage to saw through small obstacles and has a gut hook that would be good to cut fishing lines. This knife would be another beginner to intermediate diver knife.

Cressi Predator Knife – Black/Silver

 

  • Tried and true small knife
  • Easy to handle and blade penetrates well
  • Pointed tip knife
  • Complete with sheath and leg straps
  • Straight edge/partial serrated

The price of this dive knife is $39.95

This intermediate dive knife is a great tool to dive with. The hard sheath gives you added protection from the knife itself. I would rate this knife a 5 of 5 and it comes at a great price.

Scuba Choice Scuba Diving Compact Black Stainless Steel Blunt Tip BCD Knife

  • 420 Stainless Steel
  • 2.3″ Blade
  • Total length: 7″
  • Molded nylon grip for comfort

The price of this dive knife is $16.98.

This is an excellent tool as it has many functions. The blunt tip allows you to pry objects off or open them such as clams or oysters. It has both a sharp smooth side as well as a serrated side plus a gut hook. Another great aspect of the knife is that is has a metal pommel that would be good for banging on your scuba tank to get your partners attention. I would rate this BCD knife a 5 of 5 due to its multi functions.

Underwater Kinetics Blue Tang HYDRALLOY Dive Knife

  • Choice of two blade styles: traditional drop point or blunt tip divers tool
  • UKs own HYDRALLOY steel blade for durability and corrosion resistance
  • Stainless steel signaling pommel insulated from blade to eliminate metal to metal corrosion
  • Quick disassembly for cleaning. No tools required!
  • Large coil for power grip on blade

The price of this knife depends on the tip you choose. The blunt tip is $59.97 while the drop tip is $73.95. This knife seems to be a solid knife that allows you to disassemble for cleaning. I would rate this as a 3.5 out of 5 based on the reviews that it got on Amazon. This knife does have multiple functions which helps make this a decent knife.

TUSA FK-910/920 X-Pert II Dive Knife

  • 420 Stainless Steel blade
  • FK-910 features a drop point blade, FK-920 features a blunt tip blade
  • Newly designed ergonomic grip with counterweight
  • Includes a serrated edge plus a line cutter
  • Single button sheath lock release

This is a quality knife that allows for multiple functions as well. Giving the $59.95 price tag it is a reasonable knife for the price. I would rate this knife a 4.5 out of 5 especially since it has the sheath locking mechanism that allows the knife to stay in place and not fall out while diving.

Conclusion

No matter what knife you choose you need to make sure you carry at least one. Dive knives come in handy when you least expect it and it could be the difference in saving your life or your dive partners. I dive with only one knife but I am looking to dive with more. I think that a knife on your leg/arm is imperative as well as keeping a knife on your BCD. I hope that the review of some of these knives helps you choose a quality knife and that you never have to use them to save your life.

As always, Happy Diving.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comment box below. I will respond as soon as possible to you and point you in the right direction.

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Scuba Diving – The Job

There is a lot of fun things to do while scuba diving. Most importantly is the dive itself which can be very relaxing and enjoyable. For those of you that want to make a job out of it that is possible too. After getting certified to a certain level you are able to apply for jobs. From working in a dive shop to working as a dive instructor or even a commercial diver are various ways to make money from your certification.

Salaries range depending on where you are geographically but nonetheless you are able to get back what you put into your training. I myself was on the path to making a career out of being a diver but I fell short due to time lines.

I would think that anyone interested in get out what they put into diving should absolutely do so. Although it may cost up front for your scuba gear and certifications, it will pay off in the long run. I have always been an advocate of trying to get something out of everything that I do, which is why I tried to make a career out of scuba diving.

I have had the most experience with PADI so that is what I will be referencing. There are other scuba diving institutions that are just as good as PADI, I just however do not know much about them so I will stick to what I know. So without further delay, let us talk about getting a scuba diving job!

Master Scuba Diver or Dive Master?

Both qualifications indicate highly experienced and knowledgeable scuba divers.

If someone is a Master Scuba Diver, that means he or she has significant experience and scuba training. Fewer than 2% of divers ever achieve this rating, which makes them an elite group.

  • At least 12 years old (12-14 year old earn Junior MSD)
  • PADI (Junior) Advanced Open Water Diver certified
  • PADI (Junior) Rescue Diver certified
  • Earned five PADI Specialty Diver Certifications
  • Have logged a minimum of 50 dives
  • Complete application to be a Master Scuba Diver

A Divemasters help instructors teach scuba courses and can have leadership responsibilities that result in payment. Getting paid for scuba diving means you’re a dive professional.

Prerequisites to take the Dive Master course:

  • At least 18 years old
  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certified
  • PADI Rescue Diver certified
  • EFR Primary and Secondary Care completed within past two years
  • Medical Statement ‘fit to dive’
  • 40 logged dives before starting the course
  • 60 logged dives when finishing the course

What you have to do to get this rating:

  • Complete eight Knowledge Development sections
  • Pass the Divemaster Final Exam
  • Pass water skills exercises, workshops, and practical assessments

The best divemasters are also Master Scuba Divers.

Dive Instructor

Being a diving instructor is not a job for everyone. You have to deal with many different personalities as well as have a lot of scuba based knowledge. Most of the time you will be working 40 plus hours a week depending on the location you are teaching at. Being an instructor is a very demanding job but it does have its benefits.

When being an instructor you need to be aware of every person and their actions at all times. This is a good reason to keep groups small or have a certain ratio of instructors to students so you can bring in dive masters to help you out if needed.

The salary varies for dive instructors based on where you live geographically but it can go up to and exceed $100,000 per year. This is not going to be your starting pay by any means but if you work hard to establish clientele then it is possible. Especially if you work for a resort or cruise line.

Becoming a dive instructor seems to be very lucrative until you really break it down and look at it. You really should not quit your day job until you have successfully researched it and gotten down the dirty truth. Such as the fact that only 2,000 of the 8,000 certified instructors will gain full-time employment each year.

Dive Shop Owner

Being a dive shop owner is sorta self-explanatory. You own a shop that sells scuba diving gear and employs instructors to teach others how to scuba dive. Now if you are not a scuba instructor it does not mean you cannot own a shop. It just means you will have to budget in an instructor.

Shops are using run by instructors but it does not have to be. So not only will you sell equipment for diving but you will also be in charge of repairs on equipment (if licensed) and having scuba tanks filled and serviced. These always come with additional skills and training to be able to do certain things.

You would not want someone that has no training working on your regulators let alone doing a hydro static test on your tank. These are crucial parts of survival while diving. Not everyone can do it and you would not want that either.

Since running a business has many different realities to it such as accounting, sales and people interaction, you will want to employ the best personnel to work for you. They do not necessarily need to be scuba certified but they do need to know what they are talking about when a question is asked of them or a problem arises.

Commercial Diver

Commercial diving is a lot different from scuba diving. It still gets you under the water and seeing some cool stuff but it would be a job at which you would potentially live just to be under the water. It is far riskier from scuba diving but I believe the pay off in the end is better.

You can do quick searches to find that the salaries for different types of commercial diving is pretty good. On an average commercial divers make $56,300 a year for their efforts. You must admit that getting paid to do something you love isn’t something to shake your head at.

You can go to school to learn how to be a diver which will teach you what you need to know to become a certified commercial diver. In most cases you can become certified in as little as 4-5 months.

Conclusion

If you love diving to the point that you want to make it a career take some steps into getting qualified for whatever level you are comfortable with. You can always start small and keep expanding from there. If your love of diving is just that and that alone, maybe you should just stay as a qualified diver since you will have to deal with difficult people from time to time.

Advanced diving practices can really bring in some extra cash especially when you love what you do. A dive master or master scuba diver are always needed for taking dives out, helping instructors, and leading practical exercises that the instructor puts out are always of contributing to the diving world.

Always remember though that when the job becomes too much of a job and you are no longer enjoying yourself that is when it is time to step back and refocus. Diving, no matter what kind you’re doing should always be something that you enjoy. It is not only a passion but it is a lifestyle for most people.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pintrest as well. Those links are located at the bottom of the page.

As always, Happy Diving

Relaxing Underwater – What Helps You?

I have been approached a few times about people asking what to do when they are underwater because they are claustrophobic to a certain degree. There are many techniques that can help you push through this, but if in the long run you can not calm yourself you need to abort your dive.

The calmer you are when diving helps you preserve your oxygen as well as your enjoyment of the dive. Diving should be one of the most relaxing things you can do. It helps you forget the problems you face everyday on land.

Aborting Your Dive Safely and Effectively

If you are feeling like you are having a bit of anxiety or claustrophobia when you are diving it is imperative that you calm yourself down or you will have to safely abort the dive. When I say safely abort the dive I do not mean that you should race to the surface as fast as you can. This will put you in further risk of danger.

To safely abort your dive no matter what depth you are at you need to slowly ascend so you do not get nitrogen build up in your blood stream. This will cause the bends or decompression sickness and put you into a decompression chamber if you survive. Getting the bends is the last thing you want to get when you are diving. This comes from not taking your time to surface properly or not taking the recommended safety stops.

You will always want to make sure that you have a safe dive no matter what you are doing or how you are feeling. Sometimes the best course of action is to abort your dive and calm yourself down to possibly dive again later or the next day. DO NOT FORCE the issue just to make a dive.

Deep Breathing

When you are diving and feel like you are having a panic or anxiety attack the best thing to do beyond aborting your dive would be to take deep breaths to try to regain your composure. This happens to the best of divers and it has happened to me before. You breathe deeply, which may use a bit more of your oxygen but you will more than likely calm yourself down.

When you are taking these deep breaths you want to maintain your depth as this will help you in the long run. If you continue to descend it may make it harder for you to breathe because of the added pressure that you will be under. So, slow deep breaths are the way to go when having some anxiety.

If you are truly unable to calm yourself then you should abort your dive. There will be no one that ever would give you crap for aborting a dive if you feel unsafe to be under the water. It should be done in a controlled manner so you are able to safely return to shore, boat or point of entry that you started from.

Stay At A Depth Until You Are Comfortable

As you are diving you may have an anxiety or panic attack happen while you are under the water. This can and does happen to anyone. Not just those that are claustrophobic. If this happens to you then you should make sure that you remain calm and stay at the depth you are currently at.

By remaining at the current you will be able to focus on your breathing and calm yourself down before descending any further. This helps because you will not be adding anymore pressure from the water surrounding you as you descend. The deeper you go the more pressure you have put on you and your lungs and it will be harder to calm yourself.


If you need to ascend some to help you catch your breathing that is fine too just DO NOT shoot to the surface. This will put you in worse shape then you already are. Ascending some will help alleviate some pressure that you are feeling as you breathe. The pressure is called atmospheres and is measured in bars. Although, you will learn this when you take your diving courses, you really do not use it much in depending on what system of measurement you use.

Descend Slowly

Once you have gotten control of your breathing and plan to continue the dive, it is always best to descend slowly so that you do not get panicky again. Remaining calm while diving will help you in this as well. Once you have gotten control of yourself and you are enjoying the dive, you will probably forget that it started out badly.

There are many things that will help you relax while diving. The biggest one being the surrounding environment. Seeing the coral reefs, fish and other creatures from the world beneath will get you out of your mind and let the world on land fall to a distant memory. It relieves stress and can be very therapeutic if you take your time and enjoy yourself.

Conclusion

You should always have a safety plan in place when you are diving but when it comes to having a bit of anxiety or claustrophobia follow these tips and you will have a successful dive. Even if you have to abort your dive that is still better than having bigger issues down the road because you can not catch your breath.

Breathing deeply and slowly is going to be your best chance of overcoming a panicky situation. By doing so you will learn from practice that you can overcome any obstacle when you are diving and be able to enjoy yourself as well. Always descend in a manner that you are comfortable with and do not ever shoot or race to the surface.

Happy Diving!

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below in the comment box and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Full Face Snorkeling Mask – The Hottest Thing on the Market

Having new equipment is like having Christmas come early. Having something that is on the cutting edge of technology is even better. I can recall when I got all my new gear and was stoked to hit the water with it. Being excited is only part of the fun, when you actually get in the water that is where the experience begins and the fun overloads.

Pros of the Full Face Mask

You get more viewing area. With the full face you can see just about any direction you look besides behind you for obvious reasons. The crystal clear viewing area allows you to see beyond what normal masks provide.

Providing you with complete anti-fog based on the design of having a separate breathing chamber that leads air away from the lens.

It also fits to your whole face to allow maximum security and minimizes water leakage. Since it is a full face mask it allows you to breathe through your nose or mouth while snorkeling.

It has dry snorkel breathablity, meaning that the water can not get into your mouth and gag you while breathing. This technology works when the snorkel gets below the water level it closes at the top preventing the water intrusion.

There is also a camera mount to mount a GoPro to capture everything that you see while on your snorkeling adventure. This can come in handy for those who want to be able to have their hands free but still capture the sites.

It comes in a variety of colors for your choosing pleasure.

Cons

  • Can only be used for snorkeling and not diving.
  • Possible build up of CO2 making it potentially dangerous.
  • Not recommended for free diving either.
  • You get what you pay for.

Where to Purchase

Amazon is always a good place to find things and this item is no different. It can be found there for as cheap as $18.99 or you can go as expensive as $79.99. You can find them on Amazon by clicking HERE.

There are various other places you can find them by doing a web search but you will probably get the most bang for your buck on Amazon.

Rating

I would say that this would get a 7/10. The reason I would rate it as such is that I am more partial to diving than I am snorkeling. Also, with the potential build up of CO2…. well that is just a bit scary in my opinion.

I do like the fact that it has the 180 degree viewing area though. Allowing you better visibility than your common scuba masks.

I also think that the mount for a camera is a good idea as well. This can help you capture

Conclusion

These are the hottest thing on the market right now and can be yours for the right price. It is all about snorkeling with this mask and is can be the best fit for your needs.

However, be careful when you submerge yourself and do not get that build up of CO2 in the mask. The last thing you want to do is pass out in the water face down.

The Best Wet Suit for Caribbean Diving – To be the Most Comfortable

Here is a topic that comes up when people go diving. They wanna know what to know which wet suit they should wear. As there are several options for different wet suits, you can find your answer here.

More specifically I am going to address the wet suit you would want to dive in when you are scuba diving in the Caribbean. Also, I will talk about other ways you can remain comfortable in the water while you are diving or snorkeling.

Since the sport of scuba diving goes hand in hand with snorkeling, I want to express to you that you can use any combination of wet suit that you are about to read about.

The Shorty

Many people know what a shorty wet suit is. I would have to say that a shorty is probably the best for Caribbean diving. It allows you to be mobile while having a little bit of warmth. The shorty is not very thick at all, it is about 2 – 3 mm in thickness.

A shorty looks is a one piece suit that zips in the back. It can be many colors or a solid one as well. You can get these at House of Scuba by clicking the picture.

As you can see they come in both men and women sizes. These are great for warm water scuba diving, surfing, or even snorkeling. They are comfortable to wear and easy to put on.

I think that overall this would be my number one pick of wet suits to scuba dive in the Caribbean with. Also, you can see that they are not too expensive either.

The Full Monty

You can still get a full length wet suit if that is what you prefer for scuba diving. Even if you are diving in warm water. Again, the thickness is only about 2 – 3 mm and adds just a bit more protection than the shorty. Especially if you are around a lot of coral that you could scrape against.

Coral reefs have the most creatures around them because of the diverse habitats that it forms. So if you are worried about getting bit by a fish or stung by a jelly fish this would be the way to go. Covering as much of your body is not such a bad idea as it helps protect you from the sunlight streaming through the water.

You can find full wet suits at House of Scuba as well, they even have some there that are camouflaged for spearfishing. If you have not read my article on spearfishing click here. This will give you the down low on what you need to spearfish.

You can get a full wet suit in either a one or two pieces. The one piece is a bit harder to get on unless you have dive socks that help your feet slide down the neoprene. A two piece wet suit or farmer john as they are called for men or farmer Jane for women are like a pair of overalls that you put on that have suspenders and than a top to go over that.

This would be my second recommendation as far as scuba diving in the Caribbean.

Swimsuit with Rashgaurd

Sometimes you just do not want to be bothered with a wet suit and you wanna jump in with your rashgaurd and swimsuit on. That is not a bad idea at all. You can very easily get away with a rashgaurd and swimsuit in the Caribbean but again you are limited on skin protection.

This outfit would be best for snorkeling in the Caribbean as it provides the best protection from the sun. Rashguards are simply a type of t-shirt, long or short sleeve, that offers UVA protection from the sun.

This is typically a good thing since the water you are in amplifies the suns rays causing you to burn much easier than you would if you were on land.

Although, I have gone scuba diving in the Caribbean in this manner of a swimsuit and rashgaurd, I still think it is one of my least favorite ways to dive. So I would rank this as my second to last option for diving but it would remain as my number one for snorkeling.

Regular Swimsuit

You are more than welcome to wear a normal swimsuit when you dive. There are no laws saying you can not do so. Especially in the Caribbean where the sun, sand, and water are all warm. However, not wearing anything offers very little protection from anything in the water or from the sun.

A regular swimsuit would probably be my least recommended method due to the fact that you have no protection at all. Jelly fish can be very small and sting easily if you are not paying attention and swim right through a group of them.

Trust me I have done this and it is not a pleasant experience and it is more of an itchy annoying pain than anything else. It also lasts for some time well after you get out of the water.

Conclusion

So there ya have it folks! If you are ever looking for the best wet suit to dive in the Caribbean with it would be a 2 – 3 mm shorty in my opinion. It offers you enough protection that you will need while diving in the Caribbean but still allows you to enjoy the warm water around you.

If you feel you need more protection go with the full wet suit; one piece or farmer john the choice is yours. Just make sure that you do not overload yourself with a wet suit by getting one that is too thick for the Caribbean.

If you have any comments or questions feel free to drop them in the comments box below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pintrest the links are down below as well. Thanks

As Always, Happy Diving

Why You Should Scuba Dive – Adventuring into the Unknown

There are many reasons as to why you should scuba dive, but the choice should be your own. It is a commitment in getting certified to the level that you want to be at.

Here you will ready my opinion on why you should scuba dive. You can take it to heart or with a grain of salt but the point is, it is your choice.

You do not even need to be in a place that you are able to scuba dive. You can find places throughout the world that has many opportunities to get you in the water.

So let us get into my opinion and see what you think, shall we?

Relaxing

Scuba diving can be one of the most relaxing things that you do on planet Earth. As long as you do it properly that is. When you are in the water nothing else seems to matter.

You have put all the worries of the land world behind you and submerged into another world.

When you are floating along under the water looking at the wonders that can not be found on land you truly get lost in the moment and find that you are enjoying yourself. After all this is a hobby that you are supposed to enjoy yourself!

Once you step into the water you begin a new journey. You never step into the same waters twice, even if it is the same location. A new journey is always waiting for you under the water. It can be dangerous but relaxing is what you are going for.

You never have to dive to a certain depth or race to the finish of anything. Just float along at your own pace and observe what you and your partner see. There are many creatures in the oceans that can be found in shallow waters so you can do as you wish almost.

I enjoy getting the surrounding fish into a frenzy by scooping up sand and scattering it through the water. This makes the fish think that there is food being released and swarm after it. This can be simply done by sitting on the ocean floor or better yet floating like a genie out of a bottle in the middle of the water.

This is also known as neutral buoyancy. You will bob up and down a little as you breathe but for the most part you float in the middle of the water.

Gets You Out of the House

Just as the heading says, scuba diving gets you out of the house, off the couch, from in front of the TV. It allows you to make new friends or just simply have a family adventure. Always remember to dive to the lowest qualified person’s skill set though.

Getting out of the house is healthy for you as well. Not only do you get to go on a bit of an adventure you get a little exercise as well. Do not let people tell you there is no exercising when you scuba dive.

You have to pack on a bunch of clunky gear and weight, walk to the water fight the waves coming in to get your fins on and then there is the kicking of your legs the whole time you are underwater. Then when everything is soaking wet it feels even heavier when you leave the water.

Even, if there are no places around you to dive you can book scuba vacations to just about anywhere in the world.

(See the search bar to the right for reasonably priced dive trips.)

This gets you away from home and the stress of work and family. Even if you are vacationing with your family it will still reduce the stress by allowing you to focus on your dives.

Diving truly is good for the mental state because it gives you a break from the real world problems that everyone deals with on a day to day basis.

Specialty Diver

A great reason to scuba dive is you get to customize your diving experiences. You can choose a few or all of the specialty certifications that are offered.

Feel like lobster diving for that romantic dinner with your significant other? Check out night diver specialty. This brings the ocean to life in a way that you will not see when the sun is up.

Not only are there other creatures to be seen during the night but something about it seems a lot more calming than normal. Maybe cause you can only see where your flashlight points you too or that tidal currents are at a lull. Whatever you decide it to be is up to you. Making your dreams come true is completely up to you.

Are you an adventure seeker beyond the normal diving tasks? Do you want to experience sunken treasure? Maybe you are cut out to be a wreck diver. This specialty brings you to another venue that you will not experience in your normal dive life.


There a number of specialties that you can get to customize your diving experience. It is all in what you want to do. For instance, I am a deep diver and nitrox diver. These are the two that I have been qualified to do during my diving lifetime. I hope to get more soon.

Job Oppurtunities

Being a scuba diver does not mean that you are just a weekend hobby diver that does nothing but go diving on the weekends. You can actually attain a status where you can make money from being a scuba diver.

This would be your master diver or your dive instructor. Many times these go hand in hand with working or owning a dive shop that can be a very lucrative experience if in the right location.

There are even people that will pay you to dive with them when times are hard and need someone to dive with and no one can go check out the want ads. You might be surprised as to what you find.

You might be able to solicit yourself to be a dive buddy. The possibilities are endless to make money with scuba diving.

Conclusion

Diving truly is an experience of a lifetime. Once you start you will be hooked and want to keep getting into the water as much as possible.

Remember to do it safely and you will have the best adventures under the water as humanly possible. With friends, family or even complete strangers who are not your friends (yet).

Scuba diving is like a family community. It leaves behind the world of stress and takes you to the unknown. So remember if you want to get out there and experience something new for yourself, get into scuba diving. It may just change your life!

If you have any comments or questions please leave them in the comment box below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.


As always happy diving.

Spearfishing When Scuba Diving – Catching the World Beneath

There can be some fun things to do while scuba diving and one of them is spearfishing. Spearfishing is a way of fishing in which you have some gear that spears the fish to capture it.

It can be a fun way to catch fish but it does take some skill. You need to be

know the rules and regulations for what you are after. Which includes size and limits of the fish you plan on taking.

You also have to be licensed and qualified to fish and scuba dive.

Spearfishing Fun

There are several creatures in the deep that you can spearfish for. A few that come to mind are rock fish, lingcod, and lobsters. Not only are they fun to catch but they taste a lot better when they are fresh!

Spearfishing can be done in more ways than one. You do not have to scuba dive to capture all your fish. You can do it by free diving as well.

I have done both and I think that scuba diving is easier to spearfish because you do not have to keep resurfacing to get a breath. Also, you can see things a bit more clearly the deeper you do (usually).

When you are spearfishing while scuba diving you have to be careful as always. You need to have the right equipment and know what you are doing.

When I say you need to know what you are doing I mean you need to know the rules and regulations for what you are after. Such as BUT not limited to; legal size to be taken, limits, catch cards, time of day.

All of these factors play into your spearfishing experience. If you do not have all your ducks in a row you could be caught with your pants down by a Ranger or Wildlife Services.

Getting caught when you are not following the rules can lead to some hefty penalties, which you do not want to incur.

There are lots of creatures that you can capture on your spear fishing adventures, not to mention the things that you could see that are not on the menu for spearfishing.

Having the Appropriate Gear

Whether you are scuba diving or free diving while spearfishing you need to make sure you have the right gear with you. Obviously you need your basics to scuba dive or free dive but you will need a few more items.

To spearfish you must have a spearfishing device of some sorts. There a few different kinds of spearfishing devices with the most common and probably the cheapest being a Hawaiian Sling.

A Hawaiian sling is a pole with spears at one end and a large rubber band at the other. To use it, you stretch the rubber band the length of the pole while holding the pole near the spear tips. Once you find your target you simply release your hand and off it shoots.

The downside is that you have to chase after it. You might have to chase down your dinner too if you are not careful.

There are more expensive spear guns out there as well. By spear gun mean just that. It is a gun that can shoot a spear out of it toward your intended target.

This is what I mean by a spearfishing gun. They take the work of the Hawaiian sling out of it for you and put it all in trigger form.

Again, this is just a basic model. There are more advanced ones out there that have double bands, reels attached to your spear and so on.

If you want to try spear fishing out I would suggest starting with something that is not going to break your bank and know how to work it.

Now that you have stuck your target. What are you going to do with it? There are such things called a catch bag.

These are mesh bags that have a small clasp at the top to keep your catch secured. You can have them trailing off you or have your dive buddy hold the bag for you.

There are also metal stringers that you can hook your catch to. They maybe a little easier to use than the bag especially if you get a large fish that will not fit into a bag.

Extra Weights?

Extra weights would be required when you are free diving and spearfishing. This will help you get down to the fishes level without having to struggle so much.

You do not want to weigh yourself down to the point that you can not float at all. This would be counter-productive and a waste of your time and energy.

You will need to find a balance between what you need for weights and what it is going to take you to easily dive to spear a fish.

When you free dive while spearfishing, you probably won’t go to very deep water. You can find rock fish in 10 – 20 feet of water, obviously among a rocky area.

So you are not going to need a lot of extra weight, if any at all.

My Experience Spearfishing

As I had previously mentioned, I have been scuba diving and free diving while spearfishing. Sometimes you will be successful other times you will not be.

I have had the fortune and misfortune of both experiences. While free diving off the coast of Whidbey Island, Washington me and a group of co-workers were able to collect a pretty good hull of rock fish.

They were not easy to spot but one of the guys had a very sharp eye and was able to pick them out easily. It was a fun experience for my first time spearfishing.

After we got done we cleaned and cooked them up and ate them for dinner that very night.

Another time I went scuba diving off the coast of Whidbey Island with some friends to spearfish for lingcod. This was a difficult dive for me as I was having trouble catching my breath on descent.

We did see some lingcod but we did not spear any on that trip.

Those are my two short stories about spearfishing. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. The experience is what really matters though.

Conclusion

When you go spearfishing, you can have a lot of fun and that should be one of your main goals. No matter if you scuba or free dive spearfishing is something almost anyone can do.

Be sure you are properly equipped for what you are spear fishing for. You do not want to get stuck with a huge fish and miss the chance of bagging him because you have no where to store it.

Also make sure you know your rules and regulations. This will prevent you from getting in trouble by having the wrong fish or size or too many.

Make sure you are properly weighted when free diving it will help you swim down when attempting to spear a fish.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments below. I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pintrest. The links are down below as well.

As always happy diving.

Why is it Important to have a Scuba Diving Buddy?

There are many reasons to have a scuba diving buddy EVERY time you scuba dive. With A dive buddy you can escape a near death experience, to have more fun, and to just simply be safe.

Diving with a buddy you can enjoy yourself more while being safer. You can explore more areas and share your experience with your buddy. You also have someone there to verify your dive or take pictures of you next to a great creature.

Your Life Crisis

Your life could become in danger if you dive alone. There would be no one to help you if you got caught up in something to where you could not cut your way out of. Say you did not have your dive knife or could not get to it, your buddy would be there to help.

There is a chance you could run too low on air to get back to the surface and may need to buddy breathe with your partner.

Buddy breathing is something you learn during your qualification, but it means to use your partners emergency regulator and head for the surface.

Diving can be a dangerous if you are not properly trained. Having someone that is just as qualified as you are is not needed but you should only dive to what that person is qualified to do. You do not want to take them on a diving adventure that puts their lives at risk if you are the most experienced diver.

To Have the Most Fun

You will have more fun with a fellow diver with you. You can explore more areas and see different things as you share them with your dive partner. You can also have someone to chase around, someone to float in place with or have a competition of buoyancy underwater with.

There are a number of ways you can have fun with your dive partner. You will experience different things at the same time while diving the same reef. When you surface you can share your experiences of what you both saw.

It gives you a sense of security, there are strength in numbers and the same is true for under the water. Say there is a shark that comes around. You are likely to be left alone if there are more divers in the water huddled together than if you are solo.

To be Safe

You will always be safer when you dive with a buddy. The reasons for this are endless. Some of the biggest reasons have already been listed but there is also the ability to have your partner to do a buddy check over your gear before you even enter the water.

This can alleviate some problems that may occur when you are under the water. There is never a good time to have a problem while diving but if you do the best place to have it is before entering the water.

That is where the buddy check comes in handy.

Conclusion

So no matter the kind of diving you are going to do make sure to dive with a buddy at all times. You will have more fun when you dive with a partner and you will definitely be safer for it.

Plus you get to have your buddy sign your log book proving the kind of dive you had and what you may have seen.

Diving with a buddy can save your life if something goes horribly wrong, which you hope never does.

Feel free to comment, discuss or ask questions in the comment section below.

As Always, Happy Diving.