Tips to get back on the saddle

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

swamprat

Registered
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Location
Florida
My wife and I are open water trained and nitrox. We were on day 2 of our advance open water course in rocky seas and we went down for our dive. My wife freaked out first at about 10 feet down went back up. Then we both went down with our instructor. My wife has had a lot of issues when she cant see the bottom - but she got over it this time - and i went down with her too. We got to 77 feet and all the sudden I felt like I couldn't catch my breath. My regulator was in obviously - my instructor and wife were there. We were at the bottom - all we had to do was cruise along, see some cool fish and boom the dive woulda been over. I felt the need to pull my regulator out which I obviously didn't do - I surfaced and I called it quits. We were instead going to finish the course the next day but I was so mentally drained I canceled and thus far we have no dived since. It has been a couple months. We plan to do a shore dive maybe this weekend, max depth 20-25 feet - easy stuff. Any pointers - has this happened to anyone else - that panicky feeling want to pull your regulator out take a deep breath. So discouraged - I feel like I was nervous for my wife and to make sure she is OK but she was. Diving is awesome, its so freeing - I just know that I need to get along and take that deep dive again to get over this and the shore dive I do not think will do it. Im in south florida - plan to go to the keys next month - any moderate dives maybe 30-40 feet to get our feet wet again before redoing the advaned open water?
 

Doc

Was RoatanMan
Scuba Instructor
Messages
10,270
Reaction score
3,157
Location
Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year
# of dives
None - Not Certified
Understandable and not uncommon.

Select the day with care looking at conditions. Flat seas, go with a DM and a plan.

Alternatively- Ask to use the gear in a swimming pool. Spend two hours just fiddling about, practicing skills...all on your own. It may well fix a lot of your issues. Going to 77 feet... for what?

Get super comfortable with the gear. That swimming pool diving really does help.

This “AOW” card will come in time. Learn to dive, not the curriculum.
 

UCFKnightDiver

ScubaBoard Supporter
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
1,099
Reaction score
165
Location
Florida
# of dives
200 - 499
Sounds a bit like a panic attack but also make sure your regulator is tuned for easy breathing. Shouldn't feel like work to take a breath
 

Mark Newland

Registered
Messages
22
Reaction score
17
Location
Washington
# of dives
50 - 99
Understandable and not uncommon.

Select the day with care looking at conditions. Flat seas, go with a DM and a plan.

Alternatively- Ask to use the gear in a swimming pool. Spend two hours just fiddling about, practicing skills...all on your own. It may well fix a lot of your issues. Going to 77 feet... for what?

Get super comfortable with the gear. That swimming pool diving really does help.

This “AOW” card will come in time. Learn to dive, not the curriculum.

Absolutely fully agree with this. I have about 60 dives over the course of 4 years and still haven't gone for my AOW. I just dive to a comfortable level and have fun. More than enough for me to see at 40 feet.
 

stiebs

Contributor
Messages
745
Reaction score
204
Location
Melbourne, Australia
# of dives
500 - 999
You told us that you're OW and nitrox trained, but haven't given any indication of your experience - how many dives have you done? In what sort of conditions? To what depth? Have they all been DM led, or have you and your wife dived together independently?

To me it sounds like you just need more time in the water to get more comfortable in the water.

AOW doesn't really teach you anything. It's more a checkpoint that you're a confident diver. Take it slow, take it easy, and before you know it you'll breeze through AOW without thinking about it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Doc

mc42

Contributor
Scuba Instructor
Messages
134
Reaction score
160
Location
Vancouver, Canada
# of dives
200 - 499
There’s no hurry to finish as there is no time limit to finish the AOW as long as you go back to the same instructor or shop (assuming PADI). Go for some nice shallow dives to ease back in, practice what you’ve learned so far and just have fun.

Regarding the breathing difficulty, did you check your gear as someone else asked, or a basic item like your air not having being fully turned on? If so, it might just have been anxiety caused by a combination of suboptimal surface conditions, being evaluated on a course, doing a deeper dive, worrying about your wife, and possibly some CO2 buildup. Remember that in most cases, slowing down and taking longer, deeper breaths can help the feelings pass without needing to bolt. You’re breathing fine, and you have buddies nearby to help out. I’m glad you’re safe and hope you get back on the horse soon.
 

oly5050user

Contributor
Scuba Instructor
Messages
4,147
Reaction score
903
Location
Westchester NY
# of dives
5000 - ∞
Sounds a bit like a panic attack but also make sure your regulator is tuned for easy breathing. Shouldn't feel like work to take a breath[
My wife and I are open water trained and nitrox. We were on day 2 of our advance open water course in rocky seas and we went down for our dive. My wife freaked out first at about 10 feet down went back up. Then we both went down with our instructor. My wife has had a lot of issues when she cant see the bottom - but she got over it this time - and i went down with her too. We got to 77 feet and all the sudden I felt like I couldn't catch my breath. My regulator was in obviously - my instructor and wife were there. We were at the bottom - all we had to do was cruise along, see some cool fish and boom the dive woulda been over. I felt the need to pull my regulator out which I obviously didn't do - I surfaced and I called it quits. We were instead going to finish the course the next day but I was so mentally drained I canceled and thus far we have no dived since. It has been a couple months. We plan to do a shore dive maybe this weekend, max depth 20-25 feet - easy stuff. Any pointers - has this happened to anyone else - that panicky feeling want to pull your regulator out take a deep breath. So discouraged - I feel like I was nervous for my wife and to make sure she is OK but she was. Diving is awesome, its so freeing - I just know that I need to get along and take that deep dive again to get over this and the shore dive I do not think will do it. Im in south florida - plan to go to the keys next month - any moderate dives maybe 30-40 feet to get our feet wet again before redoing the advaned open water?
was this a rental regulator, if so, and you want to be a diver, invest in your own gear
 
OP
S

swamprat

Registered
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Location
Florida
Thanks for the tips everyone. Yeah we are not very experienced - we prob have like 4-5 dives logged after our open water. Of those dives, they were all shore dives 20-25 feet. We have been on the boat 2x - both rough seas. First dive got extremely sea sick - wife couldn't make it down I did but I couldn't find ppl I was chilling at 70 feet and after about 8 minutes I swam up. Second time was in our AOW and that is what happened as above. We have also done 2 night dives. I am itching to get back out there so I think we will just continue with some shore dives. The regulator I used is a rental I have all my gear owned except a regulator and tanks. I prob should just invest in one so I know it like the back of my hand
 

Belzelbub

Contributor
Messages
915
Reaction score
566
Location
Largo, Florida
# of dives
200 - 499
You told us that you're OW and nitrox trained, but haven't given any indication of your experience - how many dives have you done? In what sort of conditions? To what depth? Have they all been DM led, or have you and your wife dived together independently?
Yeah, this.

Some info on your experience level will help. Lots of divers do OW, then immediately go to AOW. That can be a lot to handle so soon depending on the specific curriculum for AOW. PADI AOW, or actual specialties such as Deep, Night, etc. IMO, regardless of curriculum, it’s just too soon right after OW. Take some time to do shallow, good vis dives, and work into slightly more challenging conditions.

Boat/Ocean dives can be challenging. If you are near any springs or quarries, that might make things a bit easier. Plenty of shallow spots in the Keys. What part of the Keys you heading to? I’m more familiar with the Lower Keys, but there are good shallow spots all throughout.

For now, it sounds like your problems are mental (assuming your reg is working properly). Work to get the confidence back wit easy dives. Might also not be a bad idea to have your reg checked out. A simple IP check could confirm that it’s in spec.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

Top Bottom