11 Things Every Scuba Diving Virgin Needs To Know
So. Many. Finding. Nemo. Gifs.
For those new to diving, here are some things you might want to know (or didn't realise you should ask).
1. Who can't go diving?
Most people are fine to dive unless you have ear or sinus problems, a cold or will take a flight in the following 24 hours. Some medical conditions (usually those affecting the heart or lungs) impact your ability to dive so take a dive medical before you start your course.
You don’t need to be super fit or a really strong swimmer but you should be comfortable in the water and able to swim 200 metres and tread water for 10 minutes. Basically, if you don’t look like this in the water, you’re probably OK to dive.
2. Will I get eaten by a shark?
According to shark conservation charity Bite Back, more people die from bee stings than shark attacks. So, it's unlikely you'll end up as fish food even if you do see a shark…
3. How much is it?
It varies but an Open Water course usually takes around three days and costs £200-300.
4. Can I dive after drinking?
No, it’s not safe if you've had alcohol. That said, divers are a sociable bunch and will be keen to crack open a beer once you've finished diving.
5. What if I need to pee during a dive?
Hopefully you’ll have the common sense to go beforehand. But if nature calls, it’s down to you whether you can hold it or… not. Many divers do pee in their wetsuit…
6. What equipment will I need?
It looks like lots of complicated gear but it’s simple when you’ve learned to use it. You’ll need a snorkel, mask, fins, wetsuit, weights, air tank, buoyancy control device (BCD) and regulator to breathe through. While it’s good to own your own mask and fins, you can hire them.
7. How deep will I be able to dive?
During training you’ll go to around 9-18m. Open Water divers can reach 18m and Advanced 30m.
8. Will my ears hurt ?
If you can’t travel on a plane without your ears hurting, diving probably isn’t for you. Everyone else should be OK.
9. How do I get my wetsuit on more easily?
You’re never going to look sexy trying to get into a wetsuit but to avoid looking like
Check it’s on the right way. Sounds silly but different brands put the zip at the front or back.
It’s easier to put on wet.
Put plastic bags over your feet when you're stepping into it. Looks uncool but makes it easier to slide on.
Don’t zip it up all the way before arriving at your dive site - you could be on the boat for around 45 mins and in a hot country you'll be sweltering!
10. What will I see?
The great thing is that you never know: sharks, rays, turtles, dolphins, lobster, octopus or even shipwrecks!
11. Ooooh a cool fish… can I touch it?
No, don’t touch the marine life. Firstly, it could be poisonous. Secondly, humans’ germs are alien to underwater creatures. Poking or touching underwater species can hurt, kill or just annoy them.
Also, don’t take souvenirs - it may seem harmless but damages the ecosystem.
Most of all, enjoy!
Written by Melissa Hobson