Scuba diving is one of those vacation activities that we always hear about, but very few of us actually try it because it seems a little difficult or potentially even dangerous.
Scuba Diving on Vacation
After all, most vacation entertainment is meant to be lazy and laid-back. Most people don’t go on vacation expecting to swim in waters with marine life. It’s an amazing experience for sure, but it’s fairly difficult to convince someone to actually go scuba diving.
See the world from a different perspective
Over two-thirds of the world is actually covered in water. When you go scuba diving in different locations, you get to experience the other side of the world. Whether you’re touching the bottom of a warm beach or exploring old ruins, there are countless places to go and explore the history of the world!
It’s safer than you think it is
Scuba diving is actually a safe activity, but many people can get anxious because of things like diving equipment, swimming in deep waters and even sharks! Thankfully, most of these issues are handled professionally by your diving instructors and sharks don’t actually pose a problem.
But why do sharks not attack scuba divers? It’s generally because sharks know what they like to eat–small fish. A human is not a small fish, so they tend to avoid contact with most people. The majority of shark attacks actually occur because the sharks are provoked first. As long as you stay calm and avoid dangerous waters, you’ll be safe when scuba diving.
NOTE: Yes, sharks do sometimes attack divers, whether provoked or unprovoked. However, attacks are extremely rare, as sharks don’t view scuba divers as a particularly appetizing prey. Most sharks are cautious of divers although, over the years many feel sharks have become bolder around people because of baiting.
Diving is great at any time of the year
Unlike many seasonal vacation activities, diving is something that you can do at any time. Even if it’s raining, you’ll find that the waters are perfectly calm below the surface. This means you can dive at any time of the day and any time of the year. There are no conditions you need to meet first and it’s an activity that you can rely on to always be there.
Should you learn to dive before you do it on holiday?
Many people think that learning to dive first will help increase their enjoyment of scuba diving when on vacation. While it’s not necessary to get experience first, you may want to take a lesson or at least look at some videos so you know what to expect.
Not everyone likes to go in blind when doing something like scuba diving, so it’s never a bad idea. However, if you want to dive in more advanced locations, such as exploring old ruins and shipwrecks, then you’ll certainly want to take some lessons so you know how to use your equipment properly. Most diving locations do offer lessons, so you might not need to plan too far ahead.
The underwater environment is unfamiliar and hazardous, and to ensure diver safety, simple, yet necessary procedures must be followed.
A certain minimum level of attention to detail and acceptance of responsibility for one’s own safety and survival are required. Most of the procedures are simple and straightforward, and become second nature to the experienced diver, but must be learned, and take some practice to become automatic and faultless, just like the ability to walk or talk.
Most of the safety procedures are intended to reduce the risk of drowning, and many of the rest are to reduce the risk of barotrauma and decompression sickness.
- Water entry procedures are intended to allow the diver to enter the water without injury, loss of equipment, or damage to equipment.
- Descent procedures cover how to descend at the right place, time, and rate; with the correct breathing gas available; and without losing contact with the other divers in the group.
- Equalization of pressure in gas spaces to avoid barotraumas. The expansion or compression of enclosed air spaces may cause discomfort or injury while diving. Critically, the lungs are susceptible to over-expansion and subsequent collapse if a diver holds their breath while ascending: during training divers are taught not to hold their breath while diving. Ear clearing is another critical equalization procedure, usually requiring conscious intervention by the diver.
- Mask and regulator clearing may be needed to ensure the ability to see and breathe in case of flooding. This can easily happen, and while immediate correct response is necessary, the procedure is simple and routine and is not considered an emergency.
- Buoyancy control and diver trim require frequent adjustment (particularly during depth changes) to ensure safe, effective, and convenient underwater mobility during the dive.
- Buddy checks, breathing gas monitoring, and decompression status monitoring are carried out to ensure that the dive plan is followed and that members of the group are safe and available to help each other in an emergency.
- Ascent, decompression, and surfacing procedures are intended to ensure that dissolved inert gases are safely released, that barotraumas of ascent are avoided, and that it is safe to surface.
- Water exit procedures are intended to let the diver leave the water without injury, loss of, or damage to equipment.
- Underwater communication: Divers cannot talk underwater unless they are wearing a full-face mask and electronic communications equipment, but they can communicate basic and emergency information using hand signals, light signals, and rope signals, and more complex messages can be written on waterproof slates.