Whether you are a beginner or a veteran diver, chances are you have been caught in a strong current at some point in time. There are two schools of thought when it comes to strong currents: some people are terrified at the idea of being stuck in a current they can’t control and others enjoy the feeling of gliding effortlessly while enjoying the underwater world.
Whatever your thoughts on currents may be, there are certain factors to keep in mind to be sure that you remain safe.
Don’t fight against the current
It is important to remember that if you are caught in a current, you should not fight against it. Doing so will just make you exhausted, and if the current lasts for a continuous amount of time, it could cause trouble. Instead, consider riding out the current. Most currents are short lived, and you might enjoy the chance to steer yourself through the water.
Get out of the way
You want to do the best you can to get out of the way of the current. You can do this by trying to seek shelter behind a reef or a rock, as this will keep you out of the current’s direct path. If there isn’t much around, try to swim towards the bottom as the current usually isn’t as strong towards the ocean floor.
You can also take a cue from the fish! Fish are used to being caught in currents, so they know where to go to get out of danger. Try to mimic and follow them when possible.
Remember to breathe
When you find yourself trapped in a current, it is important to stay calm. Pace your breathing and always keep an eye on your gauges. If you get dragged down or up, be prepared to inflate or dump air quickly.
If you are boat diving and you find that you are quickly being swept down current from the boat, lose any excess weight and try to regain buoyancy as soon as possible. The sooner you can alert the boat’s staff of your issues, the better.
These safety measures that are taken when caught in a current are just one of the many lessons you will learn when you take classes at SPE Dive School. We encourage all new divers to take our beginners course so you can be ready to take on any dive and offer advanced and specialty classes as well. Call us at 301-657-2266 today to learn more about our scuba dive school!
Oh no! Your trusty diving tank has failed hydrostatic or visual testing. What do you do now? Do you toss it? Why not think creatively and reuse your old diving tank to make something new and unique, or earn some extra money? Read on for a few ideas.
Turn old diving tanks into cash
Even if your tank isn’t usable for diving, you may be able to remove and sell the valves, or sell the entire tank for scrap metal. When in doubt, bring it to a local dive shop, where the staff may know how to reuse it.
Turn old diving tanks into bookends
Whether you collect books about diving or are just an all-around bookworm, old diving tanks make great bookends.
Use old diving tanks as a base for a one-of-a-kind lamp
Just flip the switch to bring back old diving memories. For other styles of tank lamps, visit Etsy!
Display flowers in a diving tank vase
Upcycled diving tanks make great vases. You can either buff your old tank to a high shine, or leave it rough for an industrial-chic touch.
Show the world your old diving tank
Your neighbors will know how much you love to dive when you turn your old tank into a fun mailbox, complete with a diver-down flag.
If you’ve always wanted to try diving but haven’t yet had the chance, or if you’ve gone underwater a few times and are craving more, try a class at SPE Dive School. We’ve been teaching people the art and science of diving in the DC metro area since 1972. Join us for your next adventure!
If you’ve taken a few classes at SPE Dive School, chances are you’ve learned to love scuba diving. Perhaps you love it so much you’re thinking of purchasing your own wetsuit! Your wetsuit is your first line of defense against the elements, so it pays to know a few facts before purchasing your first wetsuit.
Make sure your wetsuit is the right fit
Your wetsuit should fit tightly, but not so tightly that it’s hard to put on or restricts circulation. Make sure you’re able to bend at the waist and touch your toes with the zipper fully engaged. This movement shouldn’t cause any constriction at the neck. If it does, your suit is too tight.
When buying a wetsuit, choose the stitch for you
Many “bargain” wetsuits use a type of stitching called overlock stitching, which can be uncomfortable against the skin and can sometimes let water seep through. The blind stitch is the best-quality construction, but can be expensive. If you’re on a budget, try something in between these two extremes. For example, flatlock stitching is quite comfortable and is reasonably good at keeping out water, especially when the suit’s seams are taped.
If you’re planning on diving primarily in warm waters, a “shorty” wetsuit (one where the arms and legs end at the elbows and knees) may work for you. If you’re diving in colder climates or are particularly cold-sensitive, a longer and/or thicker suit will be better for you.
Want to learn more about diving? Try a class at SPE Dive School. We’ve been teaching people the art of diving in the DC metro area since 1972. Join us for the adventure of a lifetime!
If you love scuba diving, or are interested in trying it for the first time, you might think that your dive location and the sights you see are the most important parts of the experience. Not so! Far more important than either of these elements is the condition of your scuba diving gear. Poorly maintained gear can be dangerous, not to mention uncomfortable. For a safe, comfortable and enjoyable dive that lets you focus on the wonders of the underwater world, make sure to maintain your scuba diving gear in good condition.
Your regulator is your life support system, providing you with oxygen during your dives. For that reason, it’s absolutely essential that you take it to a reputable dive shop at least once a year to have it serviced. Even if you only went on a couple of dives during that period, the regulator’s many parts can deteriorate in time, so service it annually no matter how often you dive.
These come in either aluminum or steel. Aluminum tanks are more durable, but keep an eye out for dents and corrosion, and get valve service on an annual basis. For steel tanks, watch for rust. If you see any rust, a dive shop can take care of it with a composite rinse.
Buoyancy compensator devices
Each year, check to make sure your inflator is working properly, with no leaks, and that the washers that secure the valves and inflator are tightened.
Ready to give scuba driving a try? If you’re in the Washington, DC area and would like to book a scuba class, call SPE Dive School today at 301-657-2266!