Dive Watch Questions Answered

What is a dive watch, and should you get one? We answer your questions.  As a dive instructor, I am often asked questions regarding equipment purchase. And one topic I get a lot of questions about, are dive watches. So I’ve put together the most common questions I’ve heard over the years here, along with the answers. Consider it you dive watch cheat sheet. What is a dive watch? A dive watch is essentially just a watch that is waterproof enough to withstand the pressure at the depths that divers dive to. A dive watch was an essential tool...

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Keep An Eye On Your Contact Lenses While Diving – Eye Parasites Live In Water

British (and other nationalities’) media recently reported on an 18-year-old British girl, Jessica Greaney, who suffered an attack by an eye parasite. The parasite entered her eye by way of her contact, which she had cleansed in contaminated water. Her story can be read in-depth on British news media The Daily Mail (note: some imagery in the article might be unpleasant to some readers!). Can this affect divers using contact lenses? As scuba divers, we spend a lot of our time in water, and while we do wear dive masks which theoretically should protect our eyes, these do leak...

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ORB Dive Helmet: Is This New Diving Helmet The Future Of Scuba Diving?

New diving helmet seeks to revolutionize scuba diving Scuba diving is an equipment-heavy activity. In fact, ‘equipment-heavy’ doesn’t even do it justice, scuba diving is equipment-dependent. As in, without fairly large amounts of equipment, it is simply not possible to dive. And by and large, the equipment we use today, is the same as was used in the early years of the sport. Here's Dive Equipment 101 Is this the new gear we need to bring diving into 2016? Scuba diving gear hasn’t changed much, in its basic form, since Jacques-Yves Cousteau invented the Aqua Lung in the 1940’s. There have...

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5 Things Not To Do During A Dive

Scuba diving the do-no-harm way In a previous article 10 Things Not To Do If You Love Scuba Diving And The Ocean, I covered ten things you should not do, if you want to protect the ocean. But where these focused on general, everyday behavior, this article will focus on things that you can do (or rather, should not do) during a dive. #1 Harass Marine Life This one really should be a no-brainer, and yet we do see all too often videos uploaded to YouTube showing people (non-divers and divers alike) entertaining themselves by (inadvertently) harassing marine wildlife. So...

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Shark Series: The Great Hammerhead Shark

Hammerhead sharks (lat. Sphynidae) are in fact not a single shark species, but rather a collective term for a sub-species, or genus, of shark. They count nine different sharks, though there is still some debate of the exact number of unique genera. Common for all of them is the unique head shape from which they get their English name; a wide, large head structure resembling hammer’s head. Shark Series: Diving With Blacktip Reef Sharks Unlike most sharks, most hammerheads are schooling sharks during the day, becoming solitary only at night. The most common hammerheads for divers to encounter are...

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Why Diving Should Be Done Slowly

Most new divers are told the same thing when diving with more experienced buddies: slow down! Most inexperienced divers swim too fast, and fidget too much under water. The immediate result is that they consume too much air (ending the dive prematurely), scare off wildlife, and probably miss a lot of great sites in their effort to cover as much ground as possible. But there’s another, more serious reason why diving should be done slowly: it may save you from decompression sickness(DCS). Diving, decompression, and the role of physical strain Swimming fast underwater is tough. Water is 800 times...

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10 Things Not To Do If You Love Scuba Diving And The Ocean

How to protect the ocean, even when you’re not diving Scuba divers, by and large, love the ocean. And as a natural consequence of that, they’re interested in protecting it for ocean conservation. And there are a number of things you can do while diving to that end, but what about when you’re diving (which, unless you’re a dive instructor or commercial diver, is most of the time)? What can you do to protect the ocean when you’re away from it? Turns out, a lot! Here are 10 things you should not do if you want to protect the oceans....

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Diving In Brothers Islands: The Twin Pinnacles Of Egypt

In the area of the Red Sea known as the “deep south”, one of the legendary dive sites are two very small islands known as Brothers Islands. They are located some 60 miles from the Egyptian coast, off of El-Quesir, meaning that they don’t see any day boat traffic. The only way out there is by way of liveaboards. The larger one, fittingly named Big Brother, is some 400 meters long, and features the only structure of the islands, a lighthouse and a few buildings associated with it. Here a handful of Egyptian soldiers do tours of duty manning...

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Do you DIR? – Part II The DIR Equipment Setup

The DIR Equipment Setup The approach to the dive kit is probably what DIR is most known for, and many producers of dive gear now sell “DIR-style” equipment. The setup is actually known as the “Hogarthian setup”, after renowned cave diver William Hogarth Main. Did you read the Part I of our Doing it Right Series? He evangelizes a simple, streamlined setup, where anything that was not directly needed on the upcoming dive was left out of the kit. Also, he urged that all divers use the same setup, as this would make emergencies, such as out-of-air situations, easier...

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Do You DIR?

What is DIR? DIR, unlike PADI, NAUI and the other diving organizations, is not a distinct training organization, but rather a diving philosophy or methodology that encompasses skills, planning, equipment, and much more. It is quite possibly both the most celebrated and most criticized diving methodology currently. DIR in scuba diving stands for “Doing It Right” and they are best known for their philosophy of dive kit setup, but actually, DIR encompasses a series of principles of diving that spans the entire palette; from skills to gear to planning to logging, and more. Here's Practice Makes Perfect – Tune Up...

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Hick’s Law – Making Choices In Scuba Diving

Ever found yourself in a situation where you’re struggling to make a choice between a number of options? Then you already know Hick’s Law. The psychology behind making choices A British psychologist, William Edmund Hick conducted a series of experiments exploring the time it takes a person to choose between several options. His finding was that the time it takes to make a decision is directly proportional to the number of options available. So more the more choices, the longer it takes to make a decision. Here's more on Safer Diving: Situational Awareness. What does this mean to everyday decision making?...

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Deploying A Safety Sausage: How To Effectively Launch Your SMB

DSMB’s, or Delayed Surface Marker Buoys, are a diver’s best friend. Used for communication with surface crews or boats while the diver is still at depth. They can be used to signal the need for a boat pick up, as a distress signal, a marker of a location (maybe of that sunken treasure you found?), or to indicate the need for additional air on long decompression stops. Basically, they are tubular buoys made out of PVC or similar materials, and attached to a line reel or spool. They are typically orange, red, or yellow, sometimes with various colors used...

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Dive Film Review: Sanctum (2011)

Tight spaces and conflict as cave dive goes wrong Sanctum is a 2011 adventure thriller directed by Alister Grierson and produced by James Cameron. It is based on a script by Andrew Wright, who was inspired to write it when he participated in a cave dive trip at Nullarbor Plains in Australia, where the entrance collapsed as a result of a freak storm. The Plot The film follows an expedition to explore a massive cave system in Papua New Guinea, lead by experienced cave diver Frank McGuire. An early tragedy puts the team on edge, but they press on...

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Shark Series: Diving With Blacktip Reef Sharks

The black tipped reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) is a favorite among many divers. It is of reasonable size, lives in warm, shallow, tropical waters, usually stays within the same quite small area, and isn’t overly shy. It is also easy to recognize, and quite photogenic. Generally considered a “safe” shark, and one of the most abundant in the IndoPacific, this is the shark that many divers see as their first ever shark sighting. Shark Series: The Great White Shark Characteristics The blacktip reef shark is easily recognized by the black tips on its fins, in particular on the dorsal...

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5 Ways To Stop Your Dive Mask From Leaking

Fix that annoying leak with our five tips Few things can be more annoying than a persistent mask leak during a scuba dive. While not critical or dangerous in any way, the constant seeping in of water, not to mention having to stop routinely and empty your dive mask. A mask leak might indicate a faulty or ill-fitting mask, and the only fix that is to replace the mask with an intact, well-fitting mask. But before chucking the dive mask altogether, try these fixes first. Ensure a proper fit The first thing you need to do is to make...

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Diving In Gili Islands : Island Living, Island Diving

The Gili Islands, or “The Gilis” as they are affectionately known, are three small islands off of the coast of Lombok in Indonesia. The islands are called Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air (pronounced “a-yer”). The name “Gili Islands” is somewhat redundant, as the word “gili” simply means “small island”. The islands can be reached by fast boat service from Lombok and Bali. The Islands Gili Trawangan is the largest of the three, and the most developed, from a tourist perspective. It features more restaurants, bars, and dive centers than the other two, and is supposedly the smallest island...

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Diving In Malta: Europe’s Small Treasure

Malta may be Europe’s smallest, independent state, but the rocky island in the southern-most part of the Mediterranean boasts some of the best diving in world. Lists of “best dive sites in the world” are always problematic, but it has to count for something that Malta has a tendency to make it’s place on most lists compiled in dive magazines. And with good reason. With dramatic underwater landscapes, balmy sea temperatures, great visibility, and lots of wrecks and caves to explore, there’s enough to keep divers coming back year after year. And due to the compact size of the...

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Beat The Heat: Overheating While Scuba Diving

How to deal with the heat while scuba diving in the summer! Summer is here, and with it, many people take to the water to swim, surf, and our all-time favorite: scuba diving. But with summer also often comes higher temperatures (one of the motivators for heading to the shore in the first place), and the risk of overheating while diving, or hyperthermia. Here’s how to avoid it. What is Hyperthermia Most people know the term hypothermia as an expressions for being very, very cold. In fact, in Greek, hypo- means “below”, and thermia means temperature, as in the...

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Diving In Egypt: The Charm Of Sharm El-Sheikh

Sharm el-Sheikh is a resort area on the very southern tip of the Sinai peninsula, first developed as tourist destination in the early 1980's. The area is known for the weather, with temperatures ranging from 40 degrees in summer to 20 degrees in winter, and the easy access to the Red Sea. Diving in Egypt has been very popular for years, for good reasons, as the area has numerous good dive sites. Great Diving, Low cost! First of all, costs are low and access is very easy, with many airlines serving the well-run international airport, and there’s no shortage of...

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