When the thought of taking your mask off underwater just freaks you out

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rabe

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It happens to time from time to time...
Not a problem at all, it's part of the dive, and everyone should be able to do it without any big struggles.
 

KatieMac

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I used to tell students that there are skills that are required, such as mask removal and walking backward in your fins during a shore entry, but once you get certified you may never need those skills. I have nearly 2500 dives and have never taken my mask off in the water and walk into the surf holding my fins.
I have less than 100 dives and have had my mask kicked off twice. So this skill has come in handy.

Now before you say what I would say - why are you swimming near people's fins - you should know that people really seem to want to get past me. I guess I look at things too much for the people around me.
 

rabe

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Now before you say what I would say - why are you swimming near people's fins - you should know that people really seem to want to get past me. I guess I look at things too much for the people around me.
...there are also a lot of divers completely unaware of what is around them, including you and your mask.
 

Diving Dubai

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I'll own up.

When I took OW, I was okay in the pool on day one, but an over exuberant DM (trainee) on day 2 kept pushing skills (while waiting for the instructor to finish with some DSD's) I was tired cold, snorted water and headed to the surface

In OW I refused to flood at first. While I did in the end scrape through, for the first 50 dives or so I would dive with an almost opaque mask before I'd summon up the courage to partially flood.

It took another friend (instructor) to mentor me (nee constantly harangue me on SS) before I got the confidence

Because of all this Mask off swim etc are my fav skills to demonstrate. I have empathy for those who struggle.


A friend I was teaching was really having issues in OW (fine in the pool). I needed to find some motivation for her, so on my slate I wrote

" No mask remove No wine tonight!"

The mask came off in a flash, and then she did it another 3 times to prove to herself it was not an issue (or in her words to ensure she got that wine)
 

Neilwood

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I'll own up.

When I took OW, I was okay in the pool on day one, but an over exuberant DM (trainee) on day 2 kept pushing skills (while waiting for the instructor to finish with some DSD's) I was tired cold, snorted water and headed to the surface

In OW I refused to flood at first. While I did in the end scrape through, for the first 50 dives or so I would dive with an almost opaque mask before I'd summon up the courage to partially flood.

It took another friend (instructor) to mentor me (nee constantly harangue me on SS) before I got the confidence

Because of all this Mask off swim etc are my fav skills to demonstrate. I have empathy for those who struggle.


A friend I was teaching was really having issues in OW (fine in the pool). I needed to find some motivation for her, so on my slate I wrote

" No mask remove No wine tonight!"

The mask came off in a flash, and then she did it another 3 times to prove to herself it was not an issue (or in her words to ensure she got that wine)
Bribery works!!
 

jgttrey

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I find it helpful to have folks practice in the shallow end or on the steps - a place they are totally secure. Just breath off the 2nd stage and slowly submerge face and get comfortable with that again and again. No distractions with a mask, buoyancy, clearing, worry about being submerged and getting a lungful of water. Snorkeling with no mask or just swim goggles too. Just master the one skill of knowing you can breathe without a mask before adding the other things.
 

scrane

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I have conscious control over those muscles. I have no problems removing my mask for extended periods of time, and practice it with an instructor (solo skill refresher) once in a while.

Where I struggle is the unconscious state of those muscles. If I don't pay attention I end up nose-breathing a little out my mask. Although not a big problem, it does sometimes accelerate mask fogging. Also, as that air bubbles out of my mask, I think a little water comes in. It doesn't bother me and I clear most of it. However, when I invert (looking over my shoulder or above me for my buddy) it drains straight down my nose. Yuck.

Any tips to help me minimize my nose/mask exhale?

If you have bubbles coming out of your mask it means there is positive pressure and water cannot enter.
If your mask is properly cleaned exhaling through your nose won't make any difference in fogging.
I sometimes exhale through my nose while diving. It is a natural phenomenon and not a big deal.

More generally, the ability to remove and replace a mask underwater IS a big deal. A big deal as a safety issue and a big deal as far as your comfort and confidence in your adopted underwater environment.

Mask removal underwater is something that can be practiced in a hot tub or even a bath tub. It should be practiced under controlled conditions until it is second nature.
 

tridacna

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I have a lot of dives. On every single rec dive, at some point, I remove my mask and dive for about 15 seconds without it. Replace and clear. Practice makes perfect.
 

Neilwood

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If you have bubbles coming out of your mask it means there is positive pressure and water cannot enter.
If your mask is properly cleaned exhaling through your nose won't make any difference in fogging.
I sometimes exhale through my nose while diving. It is a natural phenomenon and not a big deal.

More generally, the ability to remove and replace a mask underwater IS a big deal. A big deal as a safety issue and a big deal as far as your comfort and confidence in your adopted underwater environment.

Mask removal underwater is something that can be practiced in a hot tub or even a bath tub. It should be practiced under controlled conditions until it is second nature.
I agree with pretty much everything you have said but I have to take issue with the section in bold - if you are exhaling into the mask through your nose there is a pretty good chance it WILL adversely affect fogging.

With every exhale, you are adding moist air to that air space which, especially in cold water where there is a larger delta between the temperatures inside the mask and the mask lens itself which will be at water temperature, will condense on the inside of the mask once the combination of humidity and temperature have reached a certain point (dewpoint).

All that good cleaning/defogger will achieve is to delay and make that process harder by the action of a surfactant on the glass surface.

There is a substantial difference between warm water diving and cold water diving with regards to fogging.

IMHO the ability to part flood and clear or do a full remove and replace is a very important skill and one that should be practised regularly (if not every dive).
 

dmaziuk

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I have conscious control over those muscles. I have no problems removing my mask for extended periods of time, and practice it with an instructor (solo skill refresher) once in a while.

Where I struggle is the unconscious state of those muscles. If I don't pay attention I end up nose-breathing a little out my mask.
...
Any tips to help me minimize my nose/mask exhale?

Free Flowing Nose
 

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