Manta Divers December, 2015 Travel Tips
Many of you are getting ready to get away from this cold weather and head to the tropics for some diving. Here are a few tips to keep you safe while on your travels.
- Get trip insurance. You may imagine that nothing will prevent you from going on your dive vacation, but what if you slip on the ice and break your wrist, or trip over a dog and break your arm, not to mention a death in the family or a disaster that destroys the resort you are planning to visit. Accidents happen, so protect your investment.
- Make sure your credit card company and bank know where you are going to protect your credit information. Invest in an RFID blocking case for your credit cards to prevent them from being "skimmed." Though there is controversy regarding just how big a threat RFID skimming is, it is worth the small investment to make your information as safe as possible, especially when you are traveling out of the country.
- Have your gear serviced. Duh! Your scuba gear has a maintenance schedule, just like your car, so keep to it. Even if the number of dives on your reg is not high, it is a good idea to still have it looked at before a trip. After diving in saltwater, all gear should be given a lengthy and thorough soak in freshwater. If this is not done, as the gear sits waiting for the next vacation, remaining salt crystals grow, causing damage to the inner workings of your regs. Do you remember how you cleaned your gear after your last outing?
- Make sure your batteries are at full power.
- It may be a good idea, especially if you tend to have a tender constitution, to take a Pepto Bismol tablet before each meal. This will coat your stomach and perhaps head off any reaction your body may have to bacteria that may be perfectly safe to the natives, but unfamiliar to your body.
- Don’t over pack for your outing, but after your gear, be sure you bring a hat, preferably brimmed with a chin strap (it’s windy out there), sun screen, sunglasses and a jacket to help you regain some of the lost body warmth between dives. Chammyz are perfect for drying divers off between dives and keeping them warm. Rewarm between dives. Even if the water’s warm and the sun is hot, each diver loses some body heat during the dive. Once out of the water, get dry and get warm. Remember to wear bug repellant on the land.
- On a recent tour of the hyperbaric chamber in Utila, the operator told us that dehydration played a role in about 80% of DCS hits. Drink plenty of water before, between and after diving.You will have ample time to rinse your wetsuit after the dive!
- Listen to the both the boat briefing and the dive briefing. Where is the emergency O2 kit? What is the boat's marine channel? How does the head work? What are the entry and exit procedures? Will the group descend together, meet on the bottom and go from there, or are buddy teams doing their own thing? What is the planned depth and bottom time? Answers to all of these questions should be in your head before you giant stride in.
- Stay with your buddy. Remember that you no longer have an instructor focused just on you, ready to swoop in if you do something stupid. Your buddy is depending on you and vice versa. Don’t be farther from your buddy than you would like to swim if you were out of air or your mask was knocked off your head.
- Use good technique exiting the water. A diver should never be looking at the bottom of another diver’s tank. Stay clear of the swim ladder until it is your turn to exit. If there is surface current, hang onto the tag line at the back of the boat so it is not a struggle to stay close the boat.
- Take the time, after each day of diving to rinse your gear and hang it to dry so it is ready for the next day!
In Other News...........
Don't miss out on the next Enriched Air Class, December 16 at 6PM. Learn how to safely extend your bottom time and relieve some of the post dive fatigue. This class is complete in one classroom session.
Sign up for Manta's popular Buoyancy Clinic! The classroom portion will be held at the shop on Jan. 7 and the Pool session will be Jan. 10 at 1pm. The spots fill up fast, so be sure to reserve your spot soon. For an extra fee, divers can complete open water dives with the instructor and earn the full Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty certification.
And now for something completely different: Night Diving at the Rec Plex. Let's up our confined water fun with an underwater hunt in the dark! I don't want to give it all away, but we have a fun game in mind. We will convene at the Rec Plex pool Jan. 10 at 5PM, set up our kits and then turn out the lights. Afterwards we'll celebrate with some pizza. Space is limited.
Congratulations to our newest instructor, Scott "Tater" Duban! Becoming a dive instructor is a very challenging goal, but with all his hard work and study, Scott did us proud!