Wednesday 9 April 2014

Easter Diving: Avoiding Hot Cross Bunnies and Broken Eggs!

So Easter is just around the corner. It is the time for long eared, pink Bunnies and chocolate Eggs a plenty, which we have to hunt out in the April showers with the little ones.

The real meaning of Easter

For many Scuba Divers the real meaning of Easter comes from the hunt for Scuba Diving Equipment abandoned over the cold months of winter.

We are extremely lucky that Cyprus offers favourable conditions for year-round diving but some resorts/countries just aren't so lucky and some scuba divers prefer to only dive in the summer months. So at this moment in time, there are divers from all around the world preparing for the summer season to begin.

Old wardrobes are being opened to reveal moth eaten BCDs.

Long locked garages release the fusty stench of damp wetsuits and drysuits left hanging in the hope that they will dry completely, quickly masked by the smell of Aquasure glue as leaks and tears are repaired in time for that first dive of the year.

Dive Tables come out, computer batteries are replaced and regulators are handed over to a frustrated repair/servicing technician who has had nothing to do for 6 months only to find himself with 50 sets of regulators that all need servicing by the next day!

The Dive

The treasure that we find at the end of this Easter Hunt, is that joyous feeling of getting back into the water again. The water looks clear and blue and the sun has even come out to watch you on this tremendous day, making the water appear warm and inviting.

The BCD fills and you execute a perfect entry into the water. As your buddy joins you, you signal, deflate and exhale to drop smoothly under the surface.

Now, for most, it will feel like you have never been out of the water. Everything clicks back into place and the familiarity of your scuba equipment is like going out for coffee with a good friend. Everything is as it is meant to be.

What if it isn't?

The problem with having extended periods of time out of the water is that the feeling of familiarity doesn't always come back immediately. There could be problems with your equipment after it has been sitting for a prolonged period that you just don't find out about until you are in the water. Maybe, after Christmas and New Year, you just haven't got back to the same level of fitness that you had at the end of the diving season last year. There are many variables!

A Dive Instructor's Advice

I am not trying to put people off getting back in the water nor am I suggesting that if you are a diver you should be forced to dive year round but there does seem to be an increase in the number of dive incidents that occur as we approach Easter and the May Bank Holiday Weekends.

Just consider your experience and how long you have been out of the water before you decide to head out on that first dive and plan accordingly.

After a period of inactivity, we at Scuba Tech always start off with shallow dives that have easier entry/exits and conditions to minimise any stress while we check everything is in good working order and re-aquaint ourselves with the underwater world. 

Even highly experienced divers can feel some anxiety when getting back into the water after a hiatus, so start off easy. Pick a shallow(ish) site and don't pile on the kit for the first time. 

If you are a Tekkie, consider starting out with just the twinset, then add stages and scooters etc on successive dives.

Photographers can get in for the first dive without the camera to make sure weights and buoyancy skills are all still in good practice before adding extra distractions.

Take your time, stay safe and remember, there is a full season of scuba diving to come. Make sure you are able to enjoy it :)

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