The idea of scuba diving conveys a sense of wonder and exhilaration to divers and non-divers alike. Just thinking about that deep blu e ocean filled with amazing coral architecture, colorful marine life and new discoveries unfamiliar to us terrestrial beings is definitely an experience of a lifetime. The challenge now is where and how to begin with that dreamed about underwater sabbatical.
Getting into scuba diving as a form of recreation or as an occupation requires the mastery of standard diving skills, entry-level diving experience and of course practical knowledge on safety and equipment use before a diver certification can be issued by a PADI-affiliated diving school or organization. Find below a checklist of things to do that would help you get started on your ocean adventure.
Enroll at a local scuba diving school. Check your local directories for listings or ads featuring diving lessons and how you will be able to obtain an open water (OW) certification . A certification gives you the authority to dive alone or with a divemaster at a depth of up to 60 feet for a basic OW certificate.
Shop around for scuba equipment. Once you’ve been issued with a certification and now intending to pursue frequent dives, it would be practical to purchase a few, if not an entire set of scuba gear than rent diving equipment each time you dive. You will definitely need the following:
- Scuba mask. Choose one that provides an excellent field of vision and something that fits your face very well. As much as possible, get a mask that is outfitted with a comfortable, flexible strap.
- Snorkels are used to help the diver breathe when dallying close to the surface, particularly on a pre-dive. This device will help conserve compressed air in the cylinder tank and preserve it for use at the depths.
- Wet Suits are available as one or two-piece items. Make sure that it fits your body snuggly to give you better insulation and protection on those dives.
- Swim fins are essential accessories that provide better mobility underwater.
- Scuba booties insulates and protects your feet in varying underwater temperatures. Make sure that it fits well with your swim fins!
- Regulators (First and Second Stage) refer to a set of devices connected to the valves of the cylinder tank that converts compressed air into a breathable one when the diver breathes into the mouthpiece of the second stage regulator.
- Buoyancy Compensators are inflated through the hose of the first stage regulator and is worn to support diver buoyancy underwater and aid his vertical movements as well.
- A Pressure Gauge connected to the first stage regulator allows the diver to check the volume of air available in the tank.
- Cylinder Belts help offset the buoyancy of a diver in relation to other scuba equipment
- Cylinder Tanks are filled with compressed, high pressure atmospheric air (and not just oxygen) that is much needed for underwater breathing.