How to Dive into Water

That sinking feeling

To leave the surface of the water, you need to jettison all the air previously put in your BC because this air is causing you to float. If you are properly weighted, you will not sink on your own. You may need to perform a duck dive to push your body in a downward direction.

Duck diving

To duck dive, you should pivot at the hips to almost touch your toes, and then turn to move into an underwater handstand (although obviously your hands aren’t standing on anything!). Pointing your legs with the fins straight up will cause them to protrude from the surface. At this time, their extra weight when no longer underwater should be enough to propel you downward and start you on your way.

Feet first

Descending feet first is often regarded as more sensible than duck diving, especially in conditions of poor visibility or if you are using a drysuit. You should keep an eye on the depth by watching the depth gauge or computer display so that there is no danger of going deeper than planned.

If there is a strong current, and it is important to reach a certain point on the reef (it usually is), it may be better to fin strongly downward headfirst, releasing any residual air that may be in the BC by pulling on a bottom dump valve.

Stay together!

It’s very important that you do not lose sight of your buddy at this time or you may find yourself on the dive site without any company at all.

Descending feet first, the diver constantly keeps a check on the depth gauge or computer to monitor progress, and as a precaution against going deeper than planned.

Sites with big currents

At dive sites that have big ocean currents swirling around small islands, you will find that the headfirst technique is needed. Such sites include the Maldives, Indonesia, the Cocos Island, and Papua New Guinea -all popular areas for diving. Often it is necessary to travel down at a 45-degree angle.

Descent lines

If you are diving at a very small site, such as a wreck, that location may be marked with a descent line attached to a buoy at the surface. The descent line is often held on the seabed by a large weight or anchor, or even tied to the seabed by the dive guide who descended first.

You should be careful not to pull yourself down on the line. If it is held in place by a weight, it could be dislodged so that it drifts from the dive site. This can result in a dive in the wrong place for you and the divers who came down behind you. You will be less than popular with them!

The line should be used as a guide to mark the route to the right place. Run your hand down it by all means but try not to use it to aid your descent (you may be tempted to do this if you are a little too buoyant). Should you need to ascend prematurely for some reason (perhaps you had difficulty clearing your ears or you forgot something), the descent line also marks the quickest route back to where the crew of the boat will expect you to surface.

You can drop as fast as you like and as quickly as you are able to clear your ears. Many instructors suggest that you should not descend at speeds greater than about 30 m (100 feet) per minute for normal leisure dives but there is no real scientific reason for this.

Filed Under: Sports & Fitness


About the Author: Cody Riffel is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo. She likes to write on variety of topics, whatever interests her. She also likes to share what she learns over the Internet and her day-to-day life.

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