Confined water dive experience, from a freaked out newbie

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Skittl1321

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Regarding your fogging mask ...

If you mask is new, have you scrubbed off the film on the lenses? Take your basic cheap toothpaste (not get, not foaming, just regular toothpaste) and gently scrub the lenses a few times, drying them with a clean cloth in between. Then use a quality defog, and if not that, dish soap works as well.

No, the mask isn't new. The one I wore the first day had been on a few trips to the Caribbean with me, snorkeling. It was well scrubbed there. The one I wore the second day was an ancient demo in the dive box from the shop. They told us the defog only works if you keep the mask on, and while I did- I breathe out through my nose, so it just isn't going to stay clear. One of the assistant instructors took his mask off every time he surfaced (the guy is a cave diver, but says he doesn't like a mask on out of water), and would spit in it and clear it out, so that's clearly what is going to be required of me if I want a clear mask, but we were instructed that our masks were not allowed to be removed from our faces (and God forbid we put them on our forehead!) so I dealt with the fog. I tried to breathe out through my mouth, but I just can't do it while also concentrating on a lecture.
 

tamas970

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Scuba training means a lot of things to grasp at the same time - just like driving. From what you went through, I feel you need a somewhat "slower" training. 3*1 hour pool time each day, with long breaks, 1 to 1 with your instructor (or if you have the equipment, some very basic stuff, like breathing you can try with your husband). At first simply get use to breathing, then mask removal, etc.

As for the mask: I usually spit on it, and wash it with sea water. My mask is new, and keeps fogging anyway - > I let a little water in at depth, that does the cleaning.

No, the mask isn't new. The one I wore the first day had been on a few trips to the Caribbean with me, snorkeling. It was well scrubbed there. The one I wore the second day was an ancient demo in the dive box from the shop. They told us the defog only works if you keep the mask on, and while I did- I breathe out through my nose, so it just isn't going to stay clear. One of the assistant instructors took his mask off every time he surfaced (the guy is a cave diver, but says he doesn't like a mask on out of water), and would spit in it and clear it out, so that's clearly what is going to be required of me if I want a clear mask, but we were instructed that our masks were not allowed to be removed from our faces (and God forbid we put them on our forehead!) so I dealt with the fog. I tried to breathe out through my mouth, but I just can't do it while also concentrating on a lecture.
 

Skittl1321

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Scuba training means a lot of things to grasp at the same time - just like driving. From what you went through, I feel you need a somewhat "slower" training. 3*1 hour pool time each day, with long breaks, 1 to 1 with your instructor (or if you have the equipment, some very basic stuff, like breathing you can try with your husband). At first simply get use to breathing, then mask removal, etc.
Unfortunately, the pool is only available 2 days a month for 4 hours each day, the shop rents- they don't have one (And again, I'm in Iowa- there aren't really other choices). That's all I've got. I've been invited back to the second day of OW class next month (not the first day though, as they don't have extra instructors available, so they can't increase the number of students.) I think I should be okay with a bit more practice- I am 100% okay if I have the regulator in my mouth, and my mask removal skills went fine (except the one time with the hood and me thinking it wasn't clear when it was). The only issue was the skills where you have to remove the regulator (well, replacing it was the problem)- which is a number of them, but I'm getting more comfortable with it. We plan to go to the city pool to practice swimming with fins and snorkel.

I let a little water in at depth, that does the cleaning.
I haven't had any trouble seeing underwater. Just above water!
 

tamas970

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Whatever happens, you have to be confident and control your actions under water. Regardless where the regulator is: calm down, think you have a lungful of air supply = one entire minute to find your reg. Plenty of time to evaluate your situation.

Snorkeling practice is definitely a good idea. Besides finnig techniques and getting used to breathing underwater, you can practice good scuba behaviors as well: do not hold your breath, try to swim underwater while releasing a slow stream of bubbles for as long as you can. This way you'll hopefully feel more independent from your scuba gear and make sound - not instinct/panic driven - decisions. I also had an instinct to kill, while I was on the course: when I had to cough/sneeze, I always wanted to spit out the reg :shocked2:. That can be quite lethal at 100'...

Neutral buoyancy can be more important than regulator in the mouth! (Imaging yourself above a 1000' abyss being negative or coming back from a deep dive with deco obligation while you are positive)

The mask - I don't understand why one has to keep it always on... Anyway, coming out of the water if you have a few drops of cold water inside, that helps a lot. (condensation happens on the drops, not on the glass)
I think I should be okay with a bit more practice- I am 100% okay if I have the regulator in my mouth, and my mask removal skills went fine (except the one time with the hood and me thinking it wasn't clear when it was). The only issue was the skills where you have to remove the regulator (well, replacing it was the problem)- which is a number of them, but I'm getting more comfortable with it. We plan to go to the city pool to practice swimming with fins and snorkel.


I haven't had any trouble seeing underwater. Just above water!
 

TSandM

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You know, if the shop will rent you a regulator and a tank, you can practice taking the reg in and out of your mouth in the bathtub . . . :)

If not, taking the snorkel out of your mouth with your face in the water, and then replacing and clearing it, will be a similar stress.
 

Quero

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One other thought--is the mouthpiece of the regulator comfortable and easy for you to insert? I ask because I've recently spent some time trying out some DiveRite gear here, and I found that doing S-drills and out-of-air drills was frustrating since I had to physically stuff the mouthpiece into my mouth with my fingers. It was floppy or something and hard to insert. Maybe if the mouthpiece of the regulator second stage you're using is too big for your mouth or floppy or whatever, that could be making it hard to put in, allowing water to enter your mouth, etc.
 

Scott

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The only issue was the skills where you have to remove the regulator (well, replacing it was the problem)- which is a number of them, but I'm getting more comfortable with it. We plan to go to the city pool to practice swimming with fins and snorkel.
Practicing in the pool is a great idea, beats the bath tub any day. While your practicing your kicks and breathing from the snorkel, this is a great way to become more comfortable with mask clears, clearing water from a reg by exhaling..only using a snorkel, all while simulating real diving.
As your snorkeling along, partially flood the mask like you were taught in class, just don't stop to kneel, look straight ahead and clear the mask.
Do the same for practicing taking the mouthpiece out, replacing it and clearing the snorkel.
 

Skittl1321

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Quero I think you are right the regulator may be too big. It will be something to look in when I buy my own gear and husband gets an octo. I have a small mouth. But I need to be comfortable with standard gear since we will be renting awhile.
 

Hawkwood

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You can just buy a smaller mouthpiece and swap out the one on the rental gear. I have students do that all the time.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/perdix-ai/

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