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How do you get over the nervousness/fear when jumping into unfamiliar dive sites?

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by alex_can_dive, May 25, 2021.

  1. hedonist222

    hedonist222 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai, AbuDhabi, United Arab Emirates
    If its a wall dive or a wreck, then its fine.
    Theres really no where you can go to get lost.

    But when diving out in the open, then I find bothersome because I don't if the reef really ended and now I'm just swimming over sand for who knows how long.
    Or after a few minutes of swim over sand, I'm onto another reef?

    Our coast is almost parallel to north, so swimming east brings you to the shoreline and west takes you out into the ocean.
    I usually either swim north or south and either ascend or head back.
    I suppose we're fortunate that our coast is parallel to north but then my navigation skills may dwindle..
  2. lexvil

    lexvil Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
    Just dive, every time you don’t die you will learn the nervousness is a waste of time, navigation is not easy but not that hard and there is always the option of heading up to see where you are.
    knuhol likes this.
  3. mac64

    mac64 Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Ireland
    Do your homework, learn everything you can about the site. Drop a guide line in very poor vis. You only have to worry about the 2 feet of water immediately around you.
  4. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
    first of all it is not unusual to be anxious. so try not to let that deter you from having new dive experiences. the key is to recognize how you are feeling and why. when diving with others, be sure to communicate this so they are aware as well. the worst thing you can do is keep this info to yourself.

    as with any situation that makes a diver nervous, my advise is always to take it slow. it is one thing to be nervous doing a new site that is 30 feet deep with clear water and no hazards. it is another to be nervous and jump into 130 feet in low viz on a new wreck with strong current.

    knowledge is power and it helps build your confidence. i would def suggest a navigation course to start. i have always felt that for divers with no knowledge of how to use a compass etc, this should be one of the first courses they take after their ow.

    after that you may also want to consider doing a night diving course. the ssi course is actually a night / limited viz course. you can work with a trusted instructor on nav skills in low light / low viz conditions to build your confidence.
  5. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    I did a diy project a year ago with an accelerometer. Works pretty good on land handheld. The problem I ran into was underwater I couldn't account for currents moving me along. Once you accelerate initially, you just kind of keep going and some travel gets lost. The variance adds up over time. Or, at least, that's what I decided the problem was when I gave up. Perhaps I was wrong.

    I could have sworn I saw a recent video about sub navigation and it was something along the lines of earth magnetics that they were using. Perhaps a combination of sensors. I'll have to go re-watch now...
    alex_can_dive and emoreira like this.
  6. ginti

    ginti Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lyon, France
    very interesting, but apparently they are not developing it anymore; facebook page and youtube are not updated.

    I think Suex developed something similar for DPV (maybe they actually bought ARIADNA?): Sinapsi Nose
  7. alex_can_dive

    alex_can_dive Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Massachusetts
    Thank you, all for your responses! =)
    To clarify a bit, my fear/nervousness has more to do with fear of getting lost (as in, after a few rounds underwater, I surface at the wrong points and have to swim 300+ yards back to the boat or worse somewhere else I can't even see a boat, etc). I got lost once as a kid and it just terrified me to "get lost" in any condition - on land or underwater. I usually refuse to go anywhere without a GPS.

    In clear water, it's pretty easy to control/visualize where I'm heading hence returning is easy. In low vis, it's just harder.
  8. Joris Vd

    Joris Vd Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Belgium
    In all honesty, it took me about 100 hundred dives to get really confident with the compass. Just make sure you try to navigate every dive, even if you aren't leading the dive.
    I also feel like you shouldn't put too much pressure on yourself and in a worst case scenario having to do a surface swim back to the boat or to the starting point is no drama either.

    I think every starting diver will have to go through this point of not being 100% comfortable on new dive sites, but after a while you'll just get the hang of it and gain confidence.
  9. emoreira

    emoreira Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: ARGENTINA
    For what I read, using only accelerometers is not enough owing to currents. That´s why the use of depth meter and compass to correlate all the available information, as depth and heading is easy to measure.
    There are already some apps developed for smartphones that use the built-in accelerometers, but the accuracy is only enough for a few tens of meters traveled.
  10. nolatom

    nolatom Captain

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Orleans
    I've dived in Mass and Rhode Island a little bit. Cold, 15' visibility average, and kind of dark as you get deeper. I think of it as broccoli--not always enjoyable, but you're ultimately glad you did it, and it's good for you.

    Remember to look back behind you occasionally, so you will "know what it looks like" on the way back. And yes, your compass is your best friend--I'm partial to them anyways, as a sailor. Out and back diving near your boat or entry point, then out and back again in a different direction. And again. Harder to get lost that way compared to one long out and back pattern.
    hedonist222 and alex_can_dive like this.

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