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

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BRT

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IIRC, be careful when you handle a scopolamine patch; if you touch your eye with some of the ingredient on your hand, your pupil can get quite large for awhile.

Bit of a tangent but may be of interest. There used to be a pill form called Scopace. It left the U.S. market, but a pill form of scopolamine can still be formed by what's called a compounding pharmacy, with a physician prescription. So if you're worried about making sure it stays in you rather than sticking on a patch, there's that.

Also...scopolamine is a prescription med., at least in the U.S. If you're on other med.s, and/or have health problems, talk to your physician and make sure adding it isn't going to create trouble. Sometimes overlapping side-effects (e.g.: anti-cholinergic) can be bad news.

I know in theory everybody who would check anything on the PADI-style questionnaires required by dive operators see a physician and get medical clearance to dive...but I've long harbored this nagging suspicion some people don't do that! Amazing, I know...
And the pills work, when other seasick meds don't. And you can buy them from outside the USA and have them shipped in.
 

rob.mwpropane

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If you go the scopolamine route, I'd highly recommend testing it out on land first- I used to get really sea-sick and asked my doc if I could try a patch. Turns out, I don't have the blood pressure to support it (100s/50-60s is my normal). Put it on before bed, woke up, stood up and promptly fell over. I removed the patch, but it took close to an hour before I could stand without getting crazy dizzy, and my vision was blurred for a good chunk of the day. Definitely glad I tested it out beforehand!

Now I take meclizine, which doesn't make me sleepy, and not only keeps the queasiness at bay, but lets me chow down during a surface interval in choppy seas!

Thankfully that didn't happen. I didn't even know it was a side effect. My blood pressure is usually either perfect, or slightly low.

With the patch I can eat, hang out below deck, look at my phone all on the boat... it's pretty amazing.

Good call to test it out first though. That would have been smart.
 

Hoyden

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D
Weight belts use a buckle release. So does my BP/W waist strap. With dive gloves on, they feel a lot alike. In some settlings, it's expected divers should take off their BCD rig to be pulled aboard a dive boat or panga, and in some places it's not practical to go find dropped weight belts. Turns out a weight belt loaded with weights costs money.
--------------------

I found an easy solution to this issue - I use one of the "shark" design weight belt buckles for my weight belt. It feels very different from my harness buckle.

matte-ss-weight-belt-buckle-shark.png
 

Kimela

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I found an easy solution to this issue - I use one of the "shark" design weight belt buckles for my weight belt. It feels very different from my harness buckle.

And it looks really cool!! :)
 

Edward3c

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Weight belts use a buckle release. So does my BP/W waist strap. With dive gloves on, they feel a lot alike. In some settlings, it's expected divers should take off their BCD rig to be pulled aboard a dive boat or panga, and in some places it's not practical to go find dropped weight belts. Turns out a weight belt loaded with weights costs money.
Why not get into the habit of having the bcd release to the left and the weight belt to the right. That way you know which one you’re undoing.
 

scuBecca

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I found an easy solution to this issue - I use one of the "shark" design weight belt buckles for my weight belt. It feels very different from my harness buckle.

View attachment 634345

^^^ I do the same thing, except I use the shark buckle for my harness and a regular buckle on my weight belt (since I'm usually renting/borrowing weights), and I flip the weight belt to release opposite the harness:

Why not get into the habit of having the bcd release to the left and the weight belt to the right. That way you know which one you’re undoing.
 

lairdb

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Why not get into the habit of having the bcd release to the left and the weight belt to the right. That way you know which one you’re undoing.

^^^ I do the same thing, except I use the shark buckle for my harness and a regular buckle on my weight belt (since I'm usually renting/borrowing weights), and I flip the weight belt to release opposite the harness:

I kicked off a thread here last summer (Reason for RH release waist buckle?) about right release vs. left that has some discussion. Notably: if you are using a can light or similar slide-onto-the-right-side object, you need the harness buckle to be on the left strap; some other pro's and con's discussed.
 

Storker

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^^^ I do the same thing, except I use the shark buckle for my harness and a regular buckle on my weight belt (since I'm usually renting/borrowing weights), and I flip the weight belt to release opposite the harness:

I kicked off a thread here last summer (Reason for RH release waist buckle?) about right release vs. left that has some discussion. Notably: if you are using a can light or similar slide-onto-the-right-side object, you need the harness buckle to be on the left strap; some other pro's and con's discussed.
I do hope you guys brief your buddy thoroughly or dive with just one buddy.
 

Janie88

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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?

Great thoughts Kimela. I don't wear much makeup either, but I always wear eyeliner. I have a couple of different brands I like that are waterproof (Bobbi Brown is one I like) and stay on for all my dives. I also bring lots of creamy chapstick. My dentist has the best chapsticks so I always ask for extra when I'm there for a cleaning.

I am now very careful about how much coffee I drink in the morning. Had a little too much one morning on a rough crossing and....yeah, I just made it outside to the dive deck BUT ran to the wrong side. WOOSH, right back in my face. Good thing I hadn't eaten yet. Now I always wear a scopolamine patch and keep it on the entire trip, exchanging for a new one every 72hrs/3 days. It has worked beautifully for me.
 

Janie88

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I don't know if anyone mentioned it, but scopolamine patches?

As suggested by much smarter people than me.... put on the night before and eat a light breakfast.

I have never felt better in my life, even in some chop. I can go below deck, eat... I feel great.

Agree on scopolamine patch. I had one experience with seasickness and started using the patch ever since. Has worked great for me. No issues. The only time I had an "issue" was when I thought it'd be fine, and I took it off. We had a rough crossing the next morning and....
 
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