What I did wrong on my Dive Sunday in WPB.

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jbop65

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Spring Hill Florida
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Ok yesterday I was down in WPB and did a dive with Ocean Quest (Sandy's Bottom).
Let me set the stage for the things I did wrong with my dive. I am open to everyone letting me know what I did wrong and what I can do better as a diver.

This was my 10th dive so as you can tell I am still very new at this. I do realize I will make mistakes hopefully nothing that will cause pain or worse.

Weather for Sunday was to be a bit chilly winds blowing and 2-4 foot chops at sea.
Ok here is how the morning dive went. I took someone's advise on the board about diving with this charter. I also listened when someone suggested I eat a few banana's and a power bar.

I arrived at the boat 1/2 hour ahead of time extremely excited.To the point my wife thought I was acting like a kid in a candy store.

First mistake I made was driving 340 miles and not making a list of dive stuff to bring so I forgot my booties .Thanks to Sandy and Vickie they had a pair for me.

I noticed everyone was wearing a wind breaker or heavy jacket,In my mind I was thinking wow that's a overkill.
The ride out the inlet was calm,I set up everything hooked my bc and reg to the tank and enjoyed the rest of the ride.

Got a very short briefing from a Dive Master?Where life jackets are things like that.But Nothing on the dive.That to me seemed strange since on my last dive in the keys thedive master went into detail what we would do and see and if you got lost.

Ok first mistake I made.Not enough weight I had to little weight and fought like crazy to sink.
So next time either I make sure I have enough weight or don't be afraid to ask for more weight.

Next problem my fault before I stepped off the boat I adjusted the knob on my reg that allows min or max air. I had it set at min and then turned it up bad part on my side I guess because it seemed like I used my air up way to fast.

I was first one out of air and first back on boat.

Now time for me to head up wanted to make a safety stop at 15 feet.Nope I go to hit the button to let some air out of BC instead I inflate bc and shot up to the top like a bat out of hell.
again mistakes like these can become problems if I don't get my act together.

Now I am back on boat.and I am freezing shaking like crazy to the point I look like a break dancer.Note to self wear a jacket next time.
Next thing is sea was a little choppy so I started getting sick.Note to self again take a pill before setting sail.

As for the charter boat well didn't like it.Here is why and again this is just me.
I am a new diver so of course diving with 11 others and they all are there for one thing Lobster had me feel uncomfortable.I didn;t want to hang with them and mess stuff up so more or less i was on my own down there.I spent more time looking at my gauges and where divers were instead of enjoying the dive.

Though I was happy to see a huge nurse shark so that made my dive.But again if I knew that everyone on the boat was diving for lobster then I might of choose another boat to dive with.
Guess I just feel like I am not ready to be left on my own to navitgate around myself.

Ok so anyhow it was a learning experience for me and i need to do things better next time.
Each dive I hope to be better and learn from my mistakes

John B
 

metaldector

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Don't beat yourself up too much. Every diver on this board has had problems with their first few dives. You are learning. And now you know what you must learn more about. You consumed your gas too quickly! Yes, but you were excited. Slow down and with experience your gas consumption will come down. Good Luck and keep diving. OFTEN!
 

dive_forever

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Ok so anyhow it was a learning experience for me and i need to do things better next time.

Each dive I hope to be better and learn from my mistakesJohn B

Sorry that your dive didnt go as planned. At least you have the right attitude about it. None of us are perfect.

Just a suggestion, you may want to try some lake, river diving. This would be more convienent and cheaper too. You can hone your skills there, and then ocean diving will seem easy, by comparison.

Keep learning.
 

Bubbletrubble

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Ok first mistake I made.Not enough weight I had to little weight and fought like crazy to sink.
So next time either I make sure I have enough weight or don't be afraid to ask for more weight.

Next problem my fault before I stepped off the boat I adjusted the knob on my reg that allows min or max air. I had it set at min and then turned it up bad part on my side I guess because it seemed like I used my air up way to fast.
@John B: Thanks for sharing your experience with us. It sounds like you had a really good learning experience. I'll address just 2 points and I'll let others address the others.
First of all, there could be several reasons why you had difficulty with your initial descent. You were in a wetsuit. It's possible that your suit was trapping air, making you more buoyant at the beginning of the dive. It's possible that you were unknowingly kicking up -- this is why some novice divers are asked to cross their legs during descent. It's possible that you weren't exhaling fully -- due to nervousness. It's possible that you didn't vent all of the air out of your BCD -- this can happen if you're unfamiliar with the gear. Of course, it's also possible that you didn't have enough weight. :D As others will explain, if you're properly weighted at the beginning of your dive, once you exhaust all of the air out of your BCD, you will be negatively buoyant by the weight of your gas. If you were diving an AL80, that means you should be about 6 lbs. negatively buoyant. That's definitely enough to make initiating the descent very easy. If it's not coming easily, then something is wrong. Since you didn't mention feeling "light" at the end of your dive with an empty tank, I suspect that you might have been wearing enough lead. Do a proper weight check to determine your weighting requirements.

Secondly, the Venturi adjustment knob really shouldn't affect your air consumption in any significant way. Even if left in the pre-dive (-) position, your reg should deliver plenty of gas at depth. If you're interested, you can read up on how Venturi adjustment knobs work (redirecting the flow of gas through the second stage by repositioning a vane) and how they differ from inhalation adjustment (cracking pressure) knobs. Most reg manufacturers suggest positioning the Venturi knob to the "-" sign pre-dive and the "+" sign during the dive. Depending on how the reg is adjusted, you may or may not detect much of a breathing difference.

Have fun and dive safe.
 

Dtaine

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Ok yesterday I was down in WPB and did a dive with Ocean Quest (Sandy's Bottom).
Let me set the stage for the things I did wrong with my dive. I am open to everyone letting me know what I did wrong and what I can do better as a diver.

This was my 10th dive so as you can tell I am still very new at this. I do realize I will make mistakes hopefully nothing that will cause pain or worse.

Weather for Sunday was to be a bit chilly winds blowing and 2-4 foot chops at sea.
Ok here is how the morning dive went. I took someone's advise on the board about diving with this charter. I also listened when someone suggested I eat a few banana's and a power bar.

I arrived at the boat 1/2 hour ahead of time extremely excited.To the point my wife thought I was acting like a kid in a candy store.

First mistake I made was driving 340 miles and not making a list of dive stuff to bring so I forgot my booties .Thanks to Sandy and Vickie they had a pair for me.

I noticed everyone was wearing a wind breaker or heavy jacket,In my mind I was thinking wow that's a overkill.
The ride out the inlet was calm,I set up everything hooked my bc and reg to the tank and enjoyed the rest of the ride.

Got a very short briefing from a Dive Master?Where life jackets are things like that.But Nothing on the dive.That to me seemed strange since on my last dive in the keys thedive master went into detail what we would do and see and if you got lost.
On my dives that I've done here in the Keys I've noticed that the DM's usually only cover basic details, if anything, about the site and let divers dive how they please. Other places have different rules about time and depth, etc, and have a more detailed briefing. A good tip is to talk to each shop and charter you dive with about their policies and the type of operation they run, and to do your own research ahead of time about the sites.


Ok first mistake I made.Not enough weight I had to little weight and fought like crazy to sink.
So next time either I make sure I have enough weight or don't be afraid to ask for more weight.
As has already been mentioned you might have unknowingly made it harder to sink by fighting like crazy. Do a proper weight check and just relax on the descent, I find it gets easier every dive I do.

Next problem my fault before I stepped off the boat I adjusted the knob on my reg that allows min or max air. I had it set at min and then turned it up bad part on my side I guess because it seemed like I used my air up way to fast.

I was first one out of air and first back on boat.
Don't worry about your dive time compared to everyone else, it's a good way to get worked up about what really should be a non-issue. Everyone has different rates of consumption. Was I a little annoyed when a buddy of mine was out before I hit half a tank (twice on the same day) ... sure, but it wasn't anything to get angry about.

Now time for me to head up wanted to make a safety stop at 15 feet.Nope I go to hit the button to let some air out of BC instead I inflate bc and shot up to the top like a bat out of hell.
again mistakes like these can become problems if I don't get my act together.
Again, just make sure you're properly weighted and keep practicing your buoyancy skills by diving. Uncontrolled ascents really aren't good, but working on your skills and gaining experience will help to solve these simple problems.

Now I am back on boat.and I am freezing shaking like crazy to the point I look like a break dancer.Note to self wear a jacket next time.
Next thing is sea was a little choppy so I started getting sick.Note to self again take a pill before setting sail.

As for the charter boat well didn't like it.Here is why and again this is just me.
I am a new diver so of course diving with 11 others and they all are there for one thing Lobster had me feel uncomfortable.I didn;t want to hang with them and mess stuff up so more or less i was on my own down there.I spent more time looking at my gauges and where divers were instead of enjoying the dive.
Did you have a buddy? That's one thing you can insist on with just about any charter (at least the one's I've dived with).
Though I was happy to see a huge nurse shark so that made my dive.But again if I knew that everyone on the boat was diving for lobster then I might of choose another boat to dive with.
Guess I just feel like I am not ready to be left on my own to navitgate around myself.

Ok so anyhow it was a learning experience for me and i need to do things better next time.
Each dive I hope to be better and learn from my mistakes

John B

Don't worry to much about things, relax and have fun. It's good that you're aware of the mistakes, you'll be a better diver for noticing your shortcomings and working to better your skills. Keep diving and dive safely.

-Dave

oh, I'm somewhat new to this too - I can relate to your experience
 

dazle

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I've guided over 100 dives and what you have described is what I've seen and expect from divers with relatively few dives.

Sounds like you got a boat brief. I'm alarmed that you didn't get a dive brief!

Your guide sounds like a bit of a dick. His job is to show you the sights of a site and do their best to ensure that you have as good a dive as possible. This involves carrying spare weight and may be the odd anorak.

Unless you have telepathic skills, you cannot be expected to know the ins and outs of a dive op.

Even the cool dudes that were on your boat started off with bouyancy problems etc! Your air consumption will get a lot better the more you dive and the more relaxed you are

Were they fishing for lobster on the dive then!!! Yikes. I would of turned their tanks off!

I veteran diver told me recently after a bad dive that no dive is bad! All diving is good. The bad dives are good as make your make you a better diver, also it gives you a story to tell in the bar
 

don Francisco

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John-

Your a new diver and made new diver mistakes. This shouldn't be a surprise to you or anyone else.

I suggest you print out your post, and make a few copies, One for the refrigerator, since some of the lessons like prior planning, and making check lists apply to other things besides diving. While you're at it make a list of required dive gear, and stick it with your BC or regs, along with one of the copies of the post.

One place you think you erred, was in thinking you erred with the flow control on your regs. The
adjustment is mainly to fine tune the cracking pressure to prevent free flows at the surface, while allowing easier breathing during the dive. Regardless of the setting it has nothing to do with your air consumption which is controlled by your breathing pattern. You used up your air because you're a new diver and were also using more air because of the hardships you were encountering.

Lastly, while it's good to learn from ones mistakes and you should definitely reread this post before your next dive, the flip side is that you don't want to work yourself into a frenzy over it. You have to get comfortable with yourself, and somehow stay focused and relaxed at the same time, so as to enjoy your dives.

You'll repeat some of these mistakes and think up some creative new ones, that's just part of the growing process, but they'll become fewer and farther in between.

Years ago someone told me that wisdom is the ability to recognize dogs*** when you step in it,....again.
 

shakeybrainsurgeon

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For my first boat ocean dives, I hired a professional guide in the Keys to go with me. It cost more, of course, but for the money I got a wealth of information from a master instructor who knew the waters and the boats over decades of experience.

The guide met me an hour before and, with the captain's permission, gave me a tour of the boat, helped me set up my equipment, taught me the etiquette of diving on a "cattle boat" (don't hog the space, don't rinse your mask in the camera tank, etc), gave me useful tips on seasickness (set up in the middle of the boat, bring crackers, and so on). He explained to me how to check the local wind directions and speeds, sea conditions and temps on-line to see how likely the trip was to be "rough"; he called me the night before to tell me when to eat and what clothes and exposure protection to wear.

The first trip was calm, so he held me back from the other divers and spent some time doing weight checks to be sure it was correct. He did all the navigating on those initial dives, allowing me to work on buoyancy and simply enjoy the experience without worrying about coming up 100 yds from the boat. He explained before, after and during the dive what could be touched safely and what will burn you (no mention of this fire coral in the OW class, I might add). He taught me respect for the dive sites, both ecologically and from a safety point of view, and told me what sites we would NOT go to because of depth, current, etc.

On one dive, we got into a bit of a current and I was struggling, and he showed me how to descend to the bottom and use (gingerly) fixed rocks or the sand as "hand holds" to pull myself to an area behind a large coral finger where the current was shielded. These aren't things you can learn from another inexperienced buddy, or from an experienced stranger who is rightfully interested in doing the dive they paid for without babysitting a novice.

Ican't stress enough that OW training doesn't make a diver, any more than an internship makes a doctor or law school makes a lawyer. Spend some cash and hire some instructors, DMs or other pros to help during those initial dives, particularly at new sites or in challenging conditions, unless you have an experienced friend. It may be cheaper and safer in the long run than doing it yourself and trying to learn all the tricks yourself; most major dive locations have people willing to do this.
 

CoralSeaMan

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Someone mentioned it before, but it is very important for new divers to have a buddy. You need to do a safety check before getting in the water. You need to be able to know there is someone to help with an underwater problem. Lastly, you won't be alone when you are the first ones out of the water.
As you progress you may decide you don't want buddies and will learn skills that make one less necessary. At this point you need one.
 

emttim

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Ok yesterday I was down in WPB and did a dive with Ocean Quest (Sandy's Bottom).
Let me set the stage for the things I did wrong with my dive. I am open to everyone letting me know what I did wrong and what I can do better as a diver.

This was my 10th dive so as you can tell I am still very new at this. I do realize I will make mistakes hopefully nothing that will cause pain or worse.

Weather for Sunday was to be a bit chilly winds blowing and 2-4 foot chops at sea.
Ok here is how the morning dive went. I took someone's advise on the board about diving with this charter. I also listened when someone suggested I eat a few banana's and a power bar.

I arrived at the boat 1/2 hour ahead of time extremely excited.To the point my wife thought I was acting like a kid in a candy store.

First mistake I made was driving 340 miles and not making a list of dive stuff to bring so I forgot my booties .Thanks to Sandy and Vickie they had a pair for me.

I noticed everyone was wearing a wind breaker or heavy jacket,In my mind I was thinking wow that's a overkill.
The ride out the inlet was calm,I set up everything hooked my bc and reg to the tank and enjoyed the rest of the ride.

Got a very short briefing from a Dive Master?Where life jackets are things like that.But Nothing on the dive.That to me seemed strange since on my last dive in the keys thedive master went into detail what we would do and see and if you got lost.

Ok first mistake I made.Not enough weight I had to little weight and fought like crazy to sink.
So next time either I make sure I have enough weight or don't be afraid to ask for more weight.

Next problem my fault before I stepped off the boat I adjusted the knob on my reg that allows min or max air. I had it set at min and then turned it up bad part on my side I guess because it seemed like I used my air up way to fast.

I was first one out of air and first back on boat.

Now time for me to head up wanted to make a safety stop at 15 feet.Nope I go to hit the button to let some air out of BC instead I inflate bc and shot up to the top like a bat out of hell.
again mistakes like these can become problems if I don't get my act together.

Now I am back on boat.and I am freezing shaking like crazy to the point I look like a break dancer.Note to self wear a jacket next time.
Next thing is sea was a little choppy so I started getting sick.Note to self again take a pill before setting sail.

As for the charter boat well didn't like it.Here is why and again this is just me.
I am a new diver so of course diving with 11 others and they all are there for one thing Lobster had me feel uncomfortable.I didn;t want to hang with them and mess stuff up so more or less i was on my own down there.I spent more time looking at my gauges and where divers were instead of enjoying the dive.

Though I was happy to see a huge nurse shark so that made my dive.But again if I knew that everyone on the boat was diving for lobster then I might of choose another boat to dive with.
Guess I just feel like I am not ready to be left on my own to navitgate around myself.

Ok so anyhow it was a learning experience for me and i need to do things better next time.
Each dive I hope to be better and learn from my mistakes

John B

John, I'm sorry your dive probably wasn't as enjoyable as you hoped for (although it sounds like you still did enjoy it due to the shark), but you have an excellent attitude as far as your mistakes go by being able to objectively analyze what went wrong, what you could have done better, and sharing it with us. Plenty of good advice has already been given on this thread, so I can't offer much, but I would like to point out that while you may not have enjoyed this dive that much, you learned a great deal from it and for that reason it's probably good that you had the experiences that you did.

We don't learn from the dives that went great; we learn from the dives that went wrong.
 

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