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Scuba - Merry Christmas to me

Old 12-25-2012, 08:27 AM
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Default Scuba - Merry Christmas to me

Girlfriend got me scuba lessons for Christmas, a nice mask, and a gift card to the dive shop.

I have lived, boated, and fished on the water all my life but this is a new experience to me. I admit I am excited but a little nervous also. Hopefully I am not a chicken shit when I really get under water.

Eventually I would like to spearfish and that has renewed my excitement about going offshore given all the stupid regulations. The thought of being able to pick off hogfish and mangroves sounds nice.

Any tips, suggestions, gear etc is appreciated.....

Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:31 AM
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Associate yourself with the local dive shop. Don't buy your equipment online even though it may be cheaper as the local dive shop may not service it so buy from them.
Go on the dive trips they arrange...Keep taking dive courses. Enjoy!!
Just my two cents....
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:35 AM
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Get a snorkel, fins, and booties. The class should supply the rest of the equipment.
Scuba diving is awesome, and it'll give you a new area of boating. Uses as much gear, if not more than fishing though
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:45 AM
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I got certified back in Feb when the wife and I went to Exuma. I was a little reluctant. at first but it was a blast.

As others have stated, get fins and a mask. I only had the rental fins available and they tore my feet up really bad after 4 days of being in the water.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:11 AM
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I had trouble with my ears. A simple adjustment meant I could have been diving for 30 years. The hardest thing you will do is remove your mask and clear it. Get the long Cressi fins. Don`t buy anything else yet. Talk to the masters and ask for advice. We may have the best reefs in the world, we just don`t tell anyone. You are now ruined for life.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:11 AM
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Spearfishing is addicting. spearfishing planet is a great forum and has alot of great reading for newbies.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:17 AM
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You will thoroughly enjoy diving if you like fishing. Opens up a whole new world of adventure. Relax and enjoy for a while and get real comfortable with your gear and find some friends with similar interest, then go kill something for dinner.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by gofastsandman View Post
I had trouble with my ears. A simple adjustment meant I could have been diving for 30 years. The hardest thing you will do is remove your mask and clear it. Get the long Cressi fins. Don`t buy anything else yet. Talk to the masters and ask for advice. We may have the best reefs in the world, we just don`t tell anyone. You are now ruined for life.
Could you explain the "simple adjustment" with respect to your ears?

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:41 AM
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I became NAUI certified about 20 years ago here in Delaware. The course I took was a lengthy one compared to some "courses" (I've seen some people get "certified" with only a few hours total instruction. I don't remember exactly, but the course I took, was a few nights a week, for about a month, as I recall, for classroom and in-pool instruction. Did all my open water dives in the Bahamas.

What I would add is that if you take the time to do it right, learn and practice over and over, all the safety measures, and equipment checks, you will have a blast once you start real open water dives.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by gofastsandman View Post
We may have the best reefs in the world, we just don`t tell anyone. You are now ruined for life.
We do have some great reefs (on this side of FL) for being "a regular place you can live and work" but they don't hold a candle to some of the more exotic destinations, IMO.

To the OP: Buy your basics - mask, fins, boots, snorkle and weights. Don't keep the mask the GF gave you unless it fits outstandingly well - spend some time in your local dive shop trying on every single mask, they'll help you figure out what works well for you. A leaky mask will ruin the experience for you, and they are very face-shape dependent. If you have a goatee or mustache it's even worse, so make sure you get that right! I buy a new mask every couple of years, although much of my other gear is from when I got certified 10 years ago.

The rest of the stuff isn't a big deal just stuff you've got to buy. Spend the $ on good fins, don't spend the $ on a fancy snorkel.

I wouldn't buy any of the expensive gear until you have at least 4-10 dives under your belt.

It is a great hobby, many people never do it again after their intro dives. Just as many keep at it for a year or two and then that's it. I think I've done somewhere around 80-120 dives, that's about 80-100 in my first 5 years and 20 in the last 5.

You need a dive buddy. Get one of your friends into it, (unless the girlfriend is doing it too) that makes all the difference.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:58 AM
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congrats, get to know local dive shop, they always sell rental gear, still in great shape but not the current models.

I assume that its a PADI course, I was NAUI instructor for many years in the '90's

Once you get over the "oddity" of breathing underwater its a blast.

Also complete Open water II and a specialty to hone your skills...
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Reel Irie View Post
Girlfriend got me scuba lessons for Christmas, a nice mask, and a gift card to the dive shop.
Merry Christmas!

Sorry for being a stick in the mud on Christmas morning, but the safety of scuba diving can never let its guard down.


Forget your lovely girl friend bought you a nice mask....the look of it means absolutely nothing - exchange it for one that actually fits your face. There are masks that will never fit the shape of your face, masks that in a pinch an experienced diver could get away with, masks that have an ok fit and then there are the masks that fit like they are custom made for your face. All divers should be wearing a mask that fits like it was molded off of the diver’s face.

Masks are not something someone can buy for another person, period!
Masks need to keep the water out and therefore the fit is paramount!
The cost of a mask is not a measure of a good quality mask....if a mask is worth a million dollars but it doesn't fit it is worth nothing! A mask that keeps the water out is worth everything!
An improperly fitting mask has turned more people off of scuba diving than probably anything else! * The human mind does not want to see water sloshing around inside that little bubble of sanity!!!
An improperly fitting mask is one of the major causes of deaths in scuba diving!!!!! So please offend your girlfriend by exchanging her mask for one that fits like a mask should….the decision could actually save your life.


My intension is not to scare you away from scuba diving before you even start. My intension is to inform you of the dangers associated with a mask that does not fit properly. Your girlfriend bought you total happiness with the gift of scuba diving, let’s do what we can to keep it that way….you’ll live longer that way.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:46 AM
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Focus on becoming a good diver first, then get into the spearfishing. Get your Open Water certification, then get your Nitrox certification (The nitrox cert only takes a couple of hours, and diving nitrox let's you greatly increase your bottom time). Spearfishing is considered to be heavy task-loading, so get yourself comfortable in the water with things like managing your buoyancy and air consumption.

I'll be honest with you... Your open water training will repeatedly stress the importance of diving with a buddy. When you get into spearfishing, you'll find that most guys dive solo. I dive with a large and divers bunch of spearos and we all pretty much dive solo. Hone your dive skills, and don't be dependent on others for your safety. As previous posters have pointed out, your first purchase should consist of mask/fins -- buy good ones and you can rent the other gear for now. Consider buying a pony tank and regulator when you can, they may save your life someday.

Have a great time!
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:13 AM
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Some great opportunities for some fantastic snorkeling, and future scuba, in inland Florida too.


Springs of Florida
https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...w=1024&bih=572
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
Could you explain the "simple adjustment" with respect to your ears?

Thanks,
Pete
Sure Pete, it`s x mas!. As squids we dove deep from a high fence holding our breath. Probably damaged my ear. As an adult I could not go 6 ft without hard pain. Then 3 yrs ago we were @ a csc gathering in the keys and a 14 yr old girl said tilt your head vertical when you equalize. Presto! From the mouths of babes. I equalize at the surface and all the while going down. Lots and lots. We have been diving on cracker air hookahs these last 3 mini seasons and I love it, but was being irresponsible. I got certified at the scuba club here last Sept. Awesome place!!! We love buggin and find it very effective to hunt in teams.

Last edited by gofastsandman; 12-25-2012 at 04:55 PM. Reason: none. ever.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:11 PM
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You will love it, I have no desire to take a fish anymore other than with a spear gun!! As soon as I finished my open water cert, I went straight into my Nitrox class. I have always been glad I did. Welcome to the addiction!! Oh yeh, I'm no brain surgeon, but don't let those dive tables get you down. Once you catch on how to read, and use them it will be very simple. I wanted to snatch my hair out the first time the instructor started going over them.
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:45 PM
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Here is some reading for you as you think about equipment:
http://www.globalunderwaterexplorers...uipment/config

Its pretty hard-core, but can be tailored down for your use...and skip the "don't use a computer" part... The PADI instructors and shops will make fun of it, because it doesn't allow them to sell enough crap to hang off your BC. But you can start off streamlined and enjoy the diving, or realize after 100 dives that you bought too much or too bulky stuff and feel like you are stuck with it.

This old-school set up really does make diving better, and safer. Anyone thats done more than a couple dives alongside it usually is ready to switch.

If you take a PADI Open Water class, go ahead and sign up for the Advanced class so you can learn what you actually need to know.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by gofastsandman View Post
tilt your head vertical when you equalize.

You're saying that as equalize you're tilting your head back? Sorry -- just want to make sure I get it...
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Old 12-25-2012, 05:59 PM
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Thanks guys all great advice. The mask and any other equipment I get from the dive shop is 100% exchangeable for another item if I don't like or it doesn't fit me right.

Interesting the part about taking my time, and taking more classes........I have been debating putting the boat for sale for sometime. Being boat less may push me to take more classes and even take dive charters......The new larger boat will come eventually.
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:03 PM
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Funny were talking diving, Just got back from my dads. I'm certain with advice from my wife he bought me a worthington hp steel 100 tank for Christmas. Man what a nice surprise. Good luck with your class.
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