SCUBA Lesson #2
Usually the scuba lessons would be on Sundays, but for class #2, Melissa and I had to take it Wednesday night due to a Christmas choir concert I have on Sunday. This class was great, we spent the first 3 hours in or around the pool, refreshing ourselves on putting gear together and the such, then the last hour-ish in the classroom going over the books.
There were two people that were making up class #1 before we got a good start on #2, so we chilled for a little bit, getting dressed and all. Melissa and I both used 5mm wetsuits this time around in hopes that we wouldn’t get so chilled… it was a good thing. Whenever I buy my own wetsuit, I think it is a safe bet for me to go with the thicker material. We got our tanks all hooked up to the BC and made our checks:
- Dip BC into water
- Put tank into the BC
- Attach 1st stage to the tank
- Attach hose to BC inflator
- Set instruments on the left, face down and blow the spiders out of the regulators making sure you can not breathe in
- Open up the tank all the way with a quarter turn back from the end
- Check instruments for air pressure
- Check regulators for inhale, exhale, and purge
- Inflate the BC and check all available release points
And that’s it… (at least I hope so for the sake of whoever is reading this)
Once we were in the water all suited up we went through basic skills. For some people this was their first time in the scuba gear. Luckily for myself and Melissa it was our second or first time with the gear on in the pool, respectively. Here are the skills we worked on:
- Lost regulator :: Take regulator out of mouth while under water and put it behind you. Make sure you are always blowing bubbles (never stop breathing!) There are two methods to get your regulator back. Method 1: Sweep. Lean slightly to your right (side with the regulator) and swing your arm down by your leg and up behind you. When your arms is back in front of you, the regulator will be hooked around it. Method 2: Trace. Reach behind you for the top of your tank with your right hand. The first hose you grab on the right side of the tank is your regulator hose. Trace it up to the second stage. Once you have the regulator back in your mouth you can purge the water either with the purge button on the regulator or if you have air left, a big puff into the regulator
- Water in mask :: We got water in our mask in three stages. 1st Stage (little water): Let a little water in from the top of your mask. Look up and push index fingers at the top of the mask while using thumbs to release pressure on the bottom of mask, then exhale through nose. Magic! the water is gone. 2nd Stage (lot of water): Same as 1st stage except fill the entire mask up with water and clear it the same way. 3rd Stage (mask off): Take the mask off while under water, put it back on and clear the water just as in the 1st and 2nd stage.
First we did these skills in the shallow end, then moved to the deep (10 ft) end. In pairs, we followed an instructor to a rope, signaled to our dive buddy that we were ready to go down, and released air from our BCs to sink. While going down, we had to equalize our ears by pinching the nose and exhaling through the nose gently. Once at the bottom we lounged around, I layed on my stomach and tried to inflate my BC enough to neutralize my buoyancy, somewhat unsuccessfully at first. Melissa tried to do the same, and over-inflated and went floating away to the top of the pool. I was laughing so hard my regulator kept almost falling out of my mouth.
The instructor came over and worked on our skills with us at the deep end. All was fine and if anything, the skills were easier at the deep end cause we were working as much to keep our heads under water. But all fun has to come to an end, so we made our way back to the shallow end and got out of our gear.
- Turn off air
- Purge regulator
- Detach hose from BC inflator
- Take off 1st stage from the tank
- Pull BC off of tank and empty out any water
All-in-all a fun Wednesday evening. One thing is for sure, swimming/scuba makes me both hungry and sleepy… later.