Frequently asked questions
General Scuba Diving Questions and Answers
If I am new to scuba diving is it difficult to learn and do I need previous knowledge on how to swim?
Scuba diving is easy to learn, the skills are well defined in the training material and your instructor will guide you all the way. You do need to be a comfortable swimmer.
What is the difference between scuba diving and snorkeling? Which one gives the best experience?
Snorkeling is much more difficult than scuba diving. People don't often realise it, but you work far harder while snorkeling on the surface, with the water splashing and the waves and currents moving and needing to hold your breath while you dive down. However, when you are scuba diving, you are under the water, so you move with the water and you are breathing normally all the time. Now you can relax and enjoy the view.
If I am asthmatic can I still go diving? Is there any danger to hold my breath while diving?
While asthma does not automatically exclude you from diving, any condition that affects the respiratory system influences safety while diving and brings special individual consideration. Therefore, you will need to speak to and get clearance from your treating physician or diving doctor.
I have prescription glasses, will I still be able to scuba dive?
Absolutely, you can dive with contact lenses if you choose, or you can have your mask fitted with your prescription lenses. Depending on the reason for your glasses and how strong they are, you may even find that the fact that everything looks bigger and closer under water helps you.
Why do the divers fall backwards into the water?
Because if they fall forward they fall into the boat. ;-) Sorry, oldest diving joke. Divers fall backwards so that their body breaks the surface tension of the water and protects their regulator from an unnecessary free-flow and decreases the risk of losing your mask on entry.
Can you scuba dive without being certified and how long does it take for me to become a certified diver?
While it is not illegal and there is no scuba police, it is dangerous to dive without the proper training and everyone is encouraged to dive only within their qualification level. All academics are done online at the student's speed. We then do 1 academic session to clarify any questions, teach dive planning and discuss the skills you will learn. The skills are taught in confined water (a pool) and typically takes 4 - 8 hours in water followed by 4 dives totaling 2 hours dive time done over 2 days.
Beginner Scuba Diving Questions and Answers
What is it like to dive for the first time? Is the diving experience different between day and night?
Diving for the first time is one of those experiences that cannot be explained, because until we can hover in mid-air and move there, we have no frame of reference. The combination of the sights you see and the freedom of movement all makes for the experience of a life time. Different animal/fish are active at different times, therefore you will see things on a night dive that you don't on a day dive and vice versa. Also, you are far more focused when diving at night, because you can only see properly where you are shining your dive light. This makes you aware of all the fine detail that often gets lost on a day dive.
What should never be done while scuba diving? What is the biggest safety rule for diving?
1) Never hold your breath. Holding your breath can lead to serious injury.
What happens if I can't sink down while scuba diving? Is there a weight limit when diving?
Your instructor will do a weight check with you in order to see how many weights you need to sink. The aim is, to be able to descend, and then to establish neutral buoyancy so that you don't hurt the environment or yourself. This is called buoyancy control and is the most practiced skill in scuba diving. There is no weight limit to diving, a person should be in good health and reasonably fit. It is also important to remember that fatty tissue isn't as well perfused as muscle and therefore if you tend to have more body fat you should dive a more conservative profile, which we willl teach you how to do.
Can I run out of air while diving, if so what happens?
Every set of dive gear has a submersible pressure gauge (SPG) which tells the diver how much air they have in the cylinder. In your course you will be taught how to read this and to decide on a safe turning pressure (the reading at which you end your dive). This means that if you check your SPQ regularly through your dive, you should not run out of air. This said though, you will also be taught the emergency procedures for dealing with an out of air situation.
How do I talk while I am diving?
You don't ;-) Scuba divers use hand signals to communicate basic messages, however most of the talking happens before and after the dive. For divers who have to be able to talk (like research divers or tv presenters) there are full face masks with built in communication devices.