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Hello!

Discussion in 'Introductions and Greets' started by Froggienp, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. Froggienp

    Froggienp Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Massachusetts
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    excited to learn more about scuba. I was certified in the last 6 months and have only done a few dives (live far away from dive sites). I already had a taste of equipment malfunction as my LPI orang started leaking 10 minutes into my 3rd post certification dive.

    I am looking for tips/hints on how to work on descending skills (relying on breath control, not bcd air) in a pool. I think it is only 8 ft deep at the most and limits my my practice. On my first dives I struggled with free descent - initially due to not enough weight, But also getting that first several meters below surface.it was bit embarrassing being the slowest of the group every time!

    I have good buoyancy once at depth in general.
     
    Compressor likes this.
  2. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    8,027
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    Welcome aboard. Recently certified and focused on improving your skills...that's a good sign! I find descent hardest in the first few feet of water. Sometimes if I get under, I turn and fin down a bit (and can fin myself down a bit even if upright); I don't always passively sink. Not saying this is the right way, just my way sometimes.

    Richard.
     
    Compressor and chillyinCanada like this.
  3. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
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    Welcome to ScubaBoard. I do a lot of shore diving and find that if my (7mil farmer john) wetsuit is completely dry it can be a little difficult to start the descent where I usually do (in 5 foot depth). A complete exhale is often necessary. For the second dive and a wet wetsuit, I don't really have to exhale to descend. I wear 42 pounds of lead. Someone will surely respond saying that's way too much.
     
    Compressor likes this.
  4. formernuke

    formernuke Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New England
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    Welcome, first let's go diving I also live in MA.

    The key to this is pratice, practice and did I mention pratice.

    The first 5-10 is the hardest to get down so even a 8 foot pool can be used to pratice descents. But descending slow is not a bad thing as it allows for better ear equalizing.
     
  5. RyanT

    RyanT Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
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    One common issue for new divers is that when they hit the water (without even realizing it), they take a huge breath. Then, when they exhale, they really only exhale a relatively small portion of their lung capacity. So they end up fighting the inherent buoyancy provided by their lungs. Learn to relax and make sure that you fully exhale.
     
  6. RyanT

    RyanT Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Maryland
    1,801
    1,460
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    And welcome! :)
     
    Compressor and chillyinCanada like this.
  7. Froggienp

    Froggienp Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Massachusetts
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    Maybe in the warmer months :). But thanks for the encouragement (everyone). I will try to get some pool practice in then...
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  8. Schwob

    Schwob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Illinois
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    Hey, Tom, surly, that is way too much!:wink:
    Not of course if that‘s what you need.

    @Froggienp : Welcome!
    Disclaimer: I am neither an expert, nor a hero diver, instructor or super experienced diver ... or anything really. Just like to be practical.
    You are doing good keeping your buoyancy very much in mind early on.
    The craze about not being over weighted is not really a craze... proper weighting does matter, for both efficiency and safety and more so the deeper you might go with compressible neoprene. But the part where a divemaster or instructor sizes you up and proclaims to, educatedly, guesstimate your weighting right just may not always work so well with everyone. People vary more than people think...
    Read Up on proper weighting.

    This is my take, maybe the experts can correct where I am just seeing it wrong...:

    Keep in mind that this is supposed to be done with a tank at 500 PSI or such. If you then are weighted such that at mid breath (or half exhaled) you float, with empty BCD, at mid eye level (vertical in the water, arms in the water), then you can hold a safety stop at 15 feet neutrally buoyant without having to fin down.
    Really, as far as I am concerned you should be able to hold 3 feet depth also when at 500 PSI... I see no point in shaving that one pound or so ....

    Anyway, But if you do this test with a full tank, like at the beginning of a dive, if it‘s an AL 80, after you found the weighting to float at eye level (BCD empty, half exhaled) , add 6 lbs. You may use 5 lbs of air during the dive and still need to hold a stop... 5 lbs is hard to divide between left and right, ... 6 is just fine. Then, with a full tank and empty BCD, you should sink just fine. If not something is off. Maybe you did not get your BCD empty? Picture where on the BCD the air comes out of the bladder when you dump it. Make sure that point is highest at least when starting to sink so the air can come out.

    Now, if you are doing pool practice and depleted your tank to say 700 PSI You‘ll have more trouble sinking, it‘s because your tank is lighter. Exhale a bit more. You should sink. Lift that arm holding the inflator up higher. That weight above water will help to push you down a bit. Use the other arm too? If all else fails with empty BCD, kick up a bit, get yourself out of the water to your breast, and while dropping down make sure you exhaled... the momentum should carry you down to beyond sinking difficulty. Don‘t forget equalizing very soon after your head is below.

    Try things, be sure your envision the BCD dump valve you use to be at the highest point when dumping and orient yourself to that vision... and you should not really have trouble sinking. Yes, you can swim down... but remember, if you need to do that, how will you hold buoyancy with a near empty tank at 15 feet for your safety stop at the end of your dive? ... Or how will you hover neutrally at 2 feet in the pool practicing (or look at something in the quarry or just practice buoyancy in the shallows, because it‘s harder...

    So if you have to swim down at the beginning of your dive in order to get down, you either still have a good amount of air in your BCD or you are weighted too light. Once you are weighted correctly, there is absolutely no problem with swimming down. No need to pop up to breast level just to gain momentum to get down. You may have reasons so to start your decent in that vertical fashion. Maybe to watch your partner who descents thus... just go with what your instructor says there. ... or anywhere... just offering my take in case it helps...

    Try, practice try again, Don‘t weigh yourself way heavy, but also not too light. Don‘t sweat it if you are 2 lbs heavy... Fine tuning your weighting to that level can wait a few more dives. 2 lbs heavy imho is quite good and quite better than 2 lbs light. 6 lbs heavy is too much, 10 is bad, More is very bad...
     
  9. Compressor

    Compressor ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: NYS
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    Welcome to ScubaBoard @Froggienp. Glad you decided to join our forum. Be patient with yourself and give yourself credit when you do well and learn when things are a problem. Enjoy this beautiful sport.
     

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