By Kerri Lusk-Barnes, of Pacific Paradise Dive Shop & Ocean Lovers en Pedasí
You did it! You completed your Open Water Diver (OWD) Certification by completing your 4 open water immersions. In those immersions you performed the skills that you perfected in the pool and your instructor has signed off on your achievements…making you an Open Water Diver. Yay you!
Now you are ready to go. You want to go for what we in the diving world call, “fun dives”. You want to use your new found skills and certification to explore and see the marine life….so now what?
Your dive training focused mostly on the skills needed to enter the water, to dive safely and to resolve minor issues that may come up during a normal dive. But, there is so much more to being a diver, as you will discover with increased experience. Here are a few basic responsibilities that no diver should ever forget.
First, while an OWD certification gives you the access to rent equipment and go diving on your own…don’t. Diving is a TEAM sport. You always, always, always dive with a buddy. We do this primarily for safety reasons, but it is also a lot more fun to share the experience with someone else that has as much love for the sport as you.
Second, as a new diver, remember that you only have 4 open water dives under your belt. You are far from experienced and it is extremely wise to go not only with your dive buddy but also a dive professional. From the first level professional of Divemaster through the upper ranks of Dive Instructors, these individuals have been trained to assess and assist in the event of an emergency. Dive professionals typically know the best places to dive and where many of the creatures are to be found. Take advantage of their local knowledge and experience to improve your own skills beyond the training sessions.
Third, while the professional diver will decide if conditions are right for the trip and which dive sites will be explored, as an individual you have a responsibility to decide if the conditions and locations are within your abilities to dive. If you do not feel good about going into the water on that particular immersion, don’t go. And KNOW that a dive professional will not force you into the water.
Fourth, while the dive professional will check your equipment and possibly even assemble it for you, ultimately, it’s the equipment that you will be depending on in the water. Know how to assemble your equipment and review it thoroughly! If you have questions or don’t understand/remember something with regard to the equipment, ask!
With these 4 “responsibility reminders” in mind…let’s go diving!
For more information about scuba diving, contact Pacific Paradise Dive Shop & Ocean Lovers at 6788 4572 or at www.PacificParadisePedasi.com