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Random things I'm learning along the way ...

Discussion in 'Women's Perspectives' started by Kimela, Dec 20, 2020.

  1. Kimela

    Kimela Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Missouri
    I don't have a specific issue to throw out there ... more a list of little things ... and not just for women, but I wasn't sure it belonged anywhere else either. This got longer than I intended. Guess I'm more random than I realized.

    Bring a bag of candy for the dive boat. Everyone loves candy, including the crew. Helps get the salt taste out between dives and it's yummy (I got butterscotch chewy candies at Chedraui - like the Werthers, but not brand name) and helps to make things friendlier on the boat. Also bring some form of ginger (I like the sugared ginger they sell on amazon) for heartburn. If I have eaten too much or had coffee, I sometimes get heartburn during the first dive - ginger helps.

    I noticed a dive guide using a tooth brush to clean his mask and thought "why not?". It doesn't matter what kind of soap you use. A guide on one boat was using powdered laundry detergent; on another boat they used dish soap. So I brought my own toothbrush from home (use one you're getting ready to throw away). Put a little soap in and brush away - get the skirt too. The idea is to get all the oils off to keep the mask from fogging. Keep the soap in there just until you're ready to jump in. Dip it in the ocean to rinse out the soap, dip one more time to keep it wet until you splash or go ahead and put it on. This works really well for me.

    I've been looking for the 'holy grail' of headbands or solutions to keep my hair out of my mask and out from under the skirt so I can get/keep a good seal. I think I found it (for now). I wet my hair and put a little bit of creme rinse (Stream to Sea, of course) to slick it back. Put on a headband to hold it back ... and here's the magic ... use those cheap hair clips to clip the hair band to your hair - but do it from the back, not the front, so the headband doesn't move when you jump in or during the dive. This worked really well for me. Otherwise, headbands just move off my head and it's annoying. Those silicone strips do nothing for me - I think I have a teeny head so everything is too big.

    I always take my weight pouches out and hand them up before I climb back on the boat. I've found I can climb the ladder with the weight of my tank, but the extra lead makes it that much harder. I dive with a Zeagle Zena, with a crotch strap also, so I first unhook the crotch strap and loosen a bunch of buckles to make it easier to get to the weight pouches. This exercise also doubles as 'practice ditching weights' for an emergency.

    I carry 8 pounds of lead when diving in rash guards in 86 degree water. This last trip, I started out with 14 pounds in a 5 mil in 81 degree water. After 2 dives I went to 12 pounds; and after another 3 I went to 10 pounds. Really, the only factor that changed over time was my comfort in the water. As I got more relaxed my breathing became more calm so my need for lead decreased. I held my safety stop at 10 pounds as well as I do with 8 in rash guards. It always amazes me how much of this stuff is 'all in my head'.

    No matter how much I pare down how much I pack, it's always more than I should have packed. Clothes, toiletries, etc. The only thing I have down to a science is my dive gear. I pack no more or less than is necessary.

    I'm 5' 1" and 130 pounds. My gear is fairly 'little'. If I undo all the buckles on my Zena and unlace the tank cam band, I can get my BC, a 5mil, boots and regulator into a carry-on (and some clothes). I can get my camera, light and batteries into my second 'personal item'. If I do have to gate check my carry-on, I have everything packed really securely. I'm toying with the idea of taking my hoses off my first stage so my regulator can pack even more securely. Tell me if you think that's a dumb idea. I figure if I have the wrench and plugs it's not a big deal, but I may be wrong.

    I've discovered that I can get by with just eyebrow and eyeliner makeup. The rest is 'fluff'. Ten years ago, when I began, I really hated the idea of people seeing me without at least half of my makeup. I'm finally letting that go.

    If I'm not carrying a camera I carry a flashlight. If I'm not carrying anything I start finning with my hands. I have pretty good buoyancy and can control my direction and speed with just using my fins and breathing - but if my hands are free I WILL start to use them like I've suddenly grown fins at the end of my wrists! What is up with that? Seriously, there are limited situations in which hand finning accomplishes much - mostly it gives me a false sense of "this is propelling me somewhere" as absolutely nothing actually happens, and that makes things worse! Now I know why I see dive masters holding their hands together while diving!

    I learned this a while ago, but I learn it more strongly with each dive: slow down, put your head in the sand and/or coral and LOOK at what's there. Don't put your hands down just anywhere. The place where I might have put my hand last year just might be where I find a cool blennie that I didn't know existed last year! Same with the sand - someone recently pointed out a flounder, and just as I was getting ready to put my finger down to stabilize for a picture I noticed there was a second, smaller flounder where I was going to put my finger! And that's not even counting all the cool sea slugs that are half the size of a grain of rice, or the pipefish that literally look identical to a piece of sea grass until you get in really close. We can NEVER control all variables, and we ARE going to accidentally touch, kick, run into coral or bang the bottom or top - but that doesn't mean we shouldn't make our best effort.

    I had a heck of a time putting on my 5mil but figured out a way to 'hack' it. Once I have the bottom part on (what a sight!) I keep the arms inside out, put my hands only through the holes, and then push my hand/arm through until my whole arm is in. It works really well! And of course rash guards and socks always make it that much easier.

    Wondering what others have noticed about this one: it seems fresh water evaporates faster than salt water. We tested this theory. My husband's lava core would not dry out with just a salt water rinse, but when he gave it a good fresh water rinse it dried out overnight (with a few spots that were a bit damp still).

    If you're going to use shredded Fels Naptha soap to wash your stuff make sure it's completely dissolved first. My 5mil has white spots all over it - they come off with a wet wash cloth, but that could have been avoided. At least it doesn't have the scuba funk smell. :wink:

    Once again, scuba people are pretty cool people. I love meeting new fellow divers.

    Anyone else have some random thoughts to share?
  2. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
    Eyeliner, that's it.never again:)

    Nice list...oh, and tootsie pops rick.
    Kimela likes this.
  3. jonhall

    jonhall Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Indianapolis
    After reading yours, I don't know where to begin so I'm just going to give a +1 for the following. :cheers:

    Changed my mind: I've discovered that the better rum an island produces the better the diving will be!
  4. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    If you have a drysuit leak (old one, not the new one!), and all your drysuit undergarments get soaked, you need to take off your underwear (aka unmentionables) and go commando. Staying in wet unmentionables with warm and dry suit undergarments makes you miserable. :D
    Esprise Me and Kimela like this.
  5. -JD-

    -JD- Eclecticist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Greater Philadelphia, PA
    Corollary: Bring spare underwear - low-mass, low-volume. (Codicil to the corollary - product idea: SCUBA Spare UnderwAIR - I'll sell thousands)
    Esprise Me, Kimela and Marie13 like this.
  6. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    I had spare underwear but I wanted to have dry undies for the long drive after. :D
    Kimela and -JD- like this.
  7. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Torrance, CA
    Use plastic grocery bags on your hands and feet to make sliding into a wetsuit quick and easy.

    Never walk backward into the water the way you were taught in Open Water class. Carry your fins with a death grip until you are deep enough to stand behind the surf zone. Put each fin on while floating with the other foot touching the bottom.

    Anything works to keep your mask clear, gel, shampoo, or spit. The trick is to wipe the liquid of your choice around the entire inside surface of the glass and rinse just before getting in the water. Cleaning your mask more than two minutes or so before getting in dries it out, causing it to fog.

    Makeup is not required while diving. It only runs after sweating or getting water on your face.
  8. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    Lemon Softscrub works as well as toothpaste for cleaning a new mask and rinses off MUCH easier.
    Kimela likes this.
  9. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    I'll add a couple of anecdotes with self-preservation reasons.

    1.) In Key Largo in 2013, diving fairly shallow over flat, sandy bottom, I noticed stingrays were fairly common. Sometimes mostly covered in sand. Good to know...

    2.) I think it was Devon Diver in the Philippines who put one finger on the bottom to stabilize himself, and got nailed by a juvenile stonefish (note: that's stonefish; not lion fish or scorpionfish), which put him into great pain and an extended ordeal including some cardiac symptoms. Here's a link to the thread.

    Lycra socks are your friend on multi-dive live-aboard trips. Someone on Scuba Board told me.

    Use OTC swimmers ear drops prophylactically about every 2'nd or 3'rd dive; if you wait till you actually get swimmers ear to start using it, it burns like fire.

    On live-aboards, between dives and eating, head up top and doze on a lounge chair to recharge. On dive boats, I sit with my eyes closed and semi-doze. People keep checking on me, but it's how my chubby, out-of-shape aging self stays ready for more dives.

    Greasy breakfast food is not your friend when sleep-deprived the first morning of a dive trip after a rough trip, with long boat rides.

    Triple antibiotic comes in handy for varied abrasions.

    Dive computers can fail; the SDI Solo course recommending taking two. That's good advice even when not soloing. My console crapped out and had to be replaced, and my wrist unit gave me some freakish bad data on one dive...but never again since. No idea why.
  10. Joebar

    Joebar Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Switzerland
    - Fold your arms while diving
    - Take a position like a skydiver with arms outstreched
    or just hold your camera :)

    If you do that, please put your first stage in a separate (plastic) bag or seal the holes with tape. If you seal the holes with spare plugs be very aware not to pressurize the first stage without a hose.
    Seal the hoses with a dust cap.
    Diverlady13 and hilljo88 like this.

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