Tag Archive: scuba

Descending and Scuba Diving – Tips and Advice

Descending to the seabed is always an exciting experience, but while you may want to get there quickly, you must always descend in a controlled manner. The method you use will depends partly on the site and prevailing conditions, and partly on your own preferences.

Making Your Descent

Having met up with your dive buddy in the water, follow the preparatory steps below. If you find that you do not sink, cheek that no air remains in your BC (and drysuit, if applicable). If the problem persists, you probably do not have sufficient weight on your belt, and should return to the boat or the shore to get some more. It is a good idea to note how much weight you need each time you try a different equipment configuration record the details in your logbook for reference.

At a depth of 10ft (3 m) you should carry out a bubble check. This involves briefly stopping so that you and your buddy can check each other’s equipment for signs of air leaks for example, from an incorrectly fitted hose. This will allow you to return to the surface to resolve the issue before you resume the dive. By fixing minor problems now, you may avoid bigger problems during the dive that could lead to an emergency.

As you descend, you will feel pressure in your ears. Release this regularly by swallowing or holding your nose and blowing against the closed nostrils – a process called “equalization” or “ear-clearing”. If you feel you art-descending too fast, allow a little air into your BC. Your mask will also start to press on your lace; relieve this by exhaling gently through your nose. If you are wearing a drysuit, you will feel the water pressing it against your body, base this by letting air into the suit, but not so much that it alters your buoyancy too greatly and remember to release it again on ascent.

1. Meet up with your buddy on the surface, well clear of any boat cover. If using a snorkel, remove it, and switch to breathing from primary regulators.

2. Give an OK signal to each other when ready to begin the dive. If using a “buddy line” to link yourselves together (useful when one buddy is a novice), ensure now that you are both attached.

3. The “down” signal confirms your intention J descend immediately. If your buddy is a nervous, reassure them by holding their hand and helping them to descend.

4. Both you and your buddy should deflate your BCs and exhale together, so that you become negatively buoyant and start to sink simultaneously. If you have a problem sinking, address it now.

The Importance of Scuba Dive Buddy Check

Diving with a partner (or buddy) means that there is someone to help if you encounter problems underwater. For the system to work properly, however, you and your buddy need to conduct your own briefing before a dive and check that all equipment is functioning properly.

Making Buddy Checks

Just before the start of the dive, get together with your buddy and assemble your gear and put it on. There is no particular order in which to do this, but most divers find that to avoid overlooking anything, it is useful to develop a routine. When you are both suited up and before either of you enter the water, you should carry out a buddy check-sit or stand next to your buddy and carefully check each other’s gear, following the sequence shown below. Do not be tempted to rush these vital checks-you may regret it later. They ensure that you know how each other’s gear is assembled, how it works, and that it is functioning. They also serve as a double-check that neither of you has overlooked anything before you dive.

1. Check BCs so that you and your buddy know where each other’s inflation and deflation points are, and ensure that they are working. Do the same for drysuits, if worn.

2. Check that weights are present and securely fastened. You and your buddy must be especially aware of how each other’s weights are released, in case either diver is incapacitated.

3. Check harness is secure and note where, on your buddy’s kit, key fastening points and harness release clips are located, and how they are operated.

4. Check air contents gauges and breathe from your regulators to check they are working. Test each other’s octopus second stage.

5. Ready to dive? Give each other a last once-over to establish who is carrying any miscellaneous pieces of gear, such as reels and slates, and where they are fastened. When you are ready to dive, make a final OK signal.

Buddy Briefing

Suiting up provides a good opportunity to talk over a dive plan with your buddy. Ensure first that you are both agreed, as a pair, on the aim and course of the dive, your entry and exit points, and your predicted maximum depth and time for the dive. Check that you both have the required amount of air for your plan (including a reserve for emergencies). Agree on who will lead the dive and on whether you will dive to the left or right of your buddy. Decide on all communication signals, including how and when you will signal for the end of the dive, and on what you will do if you become separated. Once you have agreed a plan, stick to it unless it becomes impossible to do so. If circumstances change during the dive, use hand signals to discuss how, as a pair, you are going to modify the dive.

Preventing Fogging

Mask fogging is a very common inconvenience, and is caused by oils on the mask’s lens allowing moisture to bead. The traditional way to prevent fogging is to rub saliva onto the inside of the lens glass, then lightly rinse clear, before putting on the mask for a dive. Anti-fogging sprays are also available.

Scuba Diving South Lombok

Hi all, as I’ve been living and diving in South Lombok for 7 years now, I’ve read numerous articles, blogs, and forum posts about our region and many people think South Lombok is only for the “rough and ready” adventure diver, so I feel the need to clear up a few misconceptions about the south coast of Lombok.

South Lombok, in general, presents itself as a relaxed place (some people compare it to Bali 20 years ago), and travelers of all interests (not only divers) can find a very tropical and enjoyable region to visit. One will find beautiful white sandy beaches, simple to more luxurious accommodations, friendly locals, and lots of nature and relaxation.

There are 3 unique regions in the south of Lombok, Sekotong, Belongas Bay, and Kuta Bay:

Sekotong is a tropical little place with not much topside activity other than maybe renting a motorbike and exploring the coastline, snorkeling, swimming, or of course scuba diving. It’s quite perfect for couples and families who just want to relax and enjoy. There isn’t much touristic infrastructure (although it’s developing fairly quickly), but most accommodations have an adjacent restaurant so no one will need to go hungry (or thirsty). The scuba diving it’s relaxed, colorful reef diving at very intact reefs and lots of macro life can be found.

Belongas Bay, the place where the misconceptions actually come from, is truly only for the more adventures traveler and diver. The region is basically in the middle of nowhere, and the locals don’t see very much tourism there. So don’t be surprised if you are approached in a quite curios manner, for some this might even feel a little disturbing. The diving around this region can prove to be very challenging (especially during the dry season from July till October), but also can be very rewarding in a sense of pelagic life. Most certainly I would only recommend diving there only to the experienced diver.

Kuta Bay is comparable to Sekotong (from the diving aspect), but offers more infrastructure and topside possibilities such as, cafes, restaurants, and accommodations. The diving there is well suited for all levels of experience, and the dive shops there also have pool facilities etc. available for all levels of courses. But it should be mentioned that Kuta is best for diving during the rainy season (November till April), as during the dry season it’s subject to wind and waves (hence the time surfers love the place).

There are 2 or 3 dive shops located in South Lombok, and I’m sure they’ll be happy to give you some more detailed info about the general conditions for the particular regions.

Hope you guys come and visit, and have a great day;)