Scuba Refresher Guide

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Daniel!

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So I am still quite new to diving and this year I was only able to do a very few dives early in the season due to life being life.

Its now been months since I have been under the water and I am going to be diving in the Dominican Republic in a few weeks time. It seams that every time I stop scuba diving for a few months, such as at the start of every new dive season, all the important safety information and procedures are just a faint fog in the back of my mind. I do recognize this fog as being a danger to myself and possibly others on the dive, so I always try to do refresher research before getting back into the water though.

Long story short, I was hoping someone on this board could recommend or quickly create a sort of bullet point reference guide dealing primarily with dive safety and recommended procedures. Ideally this would be concise enough that I could print it on a small sheet and laminate it and keep it with my dive gear. Not only would this save me time with my yearly refresher research, but it would also be useful to provide to some of the much less diligent dive buddies I am stuck with.
 

crcobb

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You might want to consider a quick refresher course with your dive shop. This will give you a chance to review the basic skills and gear assembly plus a chance to get into the water before your trip. Usually isn't too expensive and you will be more confident for that first dive on vacation.
 

myshadeofred

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If your diving only about once a year, refreshers are great. CRCOBB is the best option, and some places, if they know you have dove in the last 12-18 months, they may not charge you. I would also recommend, writing it down in your log, a checklist. I find checklists to be great. Even if it's just to remind myself to bring toothpaste.
 

Daniel!

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You might want to consider a quick refresher course with your dive shop. This will give you a chance to review the basic skills and gear assembly plus a chance to get into the water before your trip. Usually isn't too expensive and you will be more confident for that first dive on vacation.
That is fair, but again life being life, I will be working myself to the bone until my vacation as this is the busiest time of year for the company I work for. So in all practicality, I do not have time for this.

The physical skills themselves are not really the issue. For me, physical actions, such as how to put my gear together, how to properly ascend / descend, properly stay buoyant, etc are easily retained. Its the numbers that always fade away - i.e. basically all the rules surrounding NDL. I'm essentially looking for a quick checklist that I can read to trigger my memory and go 'ah ya thats right, I remember now'.
 

nolatom

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Do you have a computer? That's what worked for me early on, and still does. I keep a close eye on my pressure gauge, and a close eye on the nitrogen-absorption "diamonds" or "ticks" that increase progressively along computer's edge, first in the "green", then in the yellow, then (major uh-oh), in the red. If you're close to, or in, the yellow, signal your buddy you need to ascend--show him your dial if you need to. Then start coming up, gradually, and you'll "clear" back into green. Computer also gives you how many minutes you can stay at your present depth, don't let that number get too small. That's your NDL.

If you're quite new to diving, it will probably be your tank pressure getting low, rather than nitrogen absorption, that will be your limiting factor. It was for me in the first year or two of diving, before more experience made my breathing slower. But still nice/necessary for me to have that computer, and those nitrogen "tics"

If you don't have a computer, this would be a good time to get one. It figures the NDL out for you, so you save your brain for other things, like when and at what PSI to "turn" the dive. 20 years ago, there were more divers using just the tables. Now, almost none that I've seen in my occasional diving.

If you can make time for the refresher (find a shop with their own pool so you can do it easily and quickly), it would be the way to go, as others have said.
 

TMHeimer

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Of course I agree with all that say to take a refresher, "Re-Activate"/whatever, or a simple dive with an experienced diver to review basic skills. My advice to augment that (or make it simpler) would be the advice I always give to someone who was been "dry" a while-- Review your course manual(s) regularly (or daily) and mimic on dry land doing the 24 or so basic skills taught in the pool. I rarely have a month without diving, but read a little each day and review the skills weekly anyway.
--I also review a page of my EFR (CPR) 2006 manual daily, and don't bother with the ones I got from 2009, 2011 & 2014 since they're gunna change things yet again by the time the new manual comes out.

OTOH, I don't know how good the above advice is as I can't recall anyone else giving it....
 

Esprise Me

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You can probably do a refresher on vacation. If you still have your OW course materials, review them on the plane. That and owning your own computer seem like good strategies.

I'm not sure what kind of information you imagine can be reduced to a couple bullet points on a laminated sheet but not memorized. If you're thinking of predive equipment/buddy checks, there are some preprinted slates you can buy, but you might consider buying some wetnotes and making your own, adapting the basic BWRAF or whatever your agency taught you to the specific stuff you dive with. If you're thinking of ascent rates and safety stop depth and duration, maybe consider a wrist slate so you have that with you underwater. (A computer helps here too.) If you're diving tables, you don't memorize the tables; you make a plan, write it on a slate if that helps, then dive your plan.
 

flyboy08

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Get a computer and take a refresher wherever you end up diving..

Google is your friend too...handsigns and such are just a click away.
 

Zef

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So I am still quite new to diving and this year I was only able to do a very few dives early in the season due to life being life.

Its now been months since I have been under the water and I am going to be diving in the Dominican Republic in a few weeks time. It seams that every time I stop scuba diving for a few months, such as at the start of every new dive season, all the important safety information and procedures are just a faint fog in the back of my mind. I do recognize this fog as being a danger to myself and possibly others on the dive, so I always try to do refresher research before getting back into the water though.

Long story short, I was hoping someone on this board could recommend or quickly create a sort of bullet point reference guide dealing primarily with dive safety and recommended procedures. Ideally this would be concise enough that I could print it on a small sheet and laminate it and keep it with my dive gear. Not only would this save me time with my yearly refresher research, but it would also be useful to provide to some of the much less diligent dive buddies I am stuck with.


Here is my 30 point list of things to remember:

1. Relax
2. Breath
3. Think
4. Breath
5. Act
6. Breath
7. Relax
8. Clear your ears at the surface and continuously while you descend.
9. Breath
10 Check your guage from time to time
11. Breath
12. as you descend inject some air into your bcd/wing in small increments and sense the change in buoyancy.
13. Breath
14. Kick
15. Breath
16. Don't touch stuff
17. Breath
18. Keep an eye on your bottom/No-deco time
19 Breath
20. Relax
21. Ascend slowly...keep an eye on the ascent rate indicator on your computer, or ascend no faster than your smallest bubbles.
22. Breath
23. As you rise up in the water column be ready to dump air from your bcd a little at a time and sense the change in buoyancy.
24. Breath
25. Relax
26. Breath
27. Do a safety stop at @ 5m (15ft)
28. Breath
29. Look up when surfacing and don't surface under boats or in the path of on coming boats
30. Breath
Bonus tip: Have fun!

-Z
 

Jcp2

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30 points? I was taught that people can remember a much smaller number than that, 5-7 on a good day, 3 on a bad one.
 
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