Sara's Top Ten List for Dive Prep
If you’ve ever picked up one of the free Dive Training magazines that we have here in the shop, (and if you haven’t, you should, they are not only loaded with pretty photos of fun dive destinations, but there is a lot of good info in there as well!) you’ll see that motto in bold type against a red background: Good Divers Are Always Learning.
When I became an Open Water Scuba Instructor last year, I thought that I had finally attained a level of diving where I could do some teaching and not just be on the learning end of things for a change. What I soon discovered is that becoming a teacher is only the tip of the iceberg, and that once you become an educator, there is a LOT more that you need to learn!
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing like watching a new student progress from a flopping and nervous hand-swimmer to a streamlined and confident diver, and it brings great joy to my heart every time I see that light bulb come on in a student’s eyes when they have finally overcome an obstacle. I find instructing scuba very rewarding and I couldn’t be happier… but I have learned that I have a long way to go as well! One of the first things you learn as a new Instructor is to be prepared for anything (as prepared as possible anyway!), so based on things I have seen and heard, here is my top 10 list of the things that I have learned not to forget in the last year, maybe some of you can learn from my mistakes ;)
1. Carry a full set of extra gear with you when you can, especially when at a remote location-there is no telling which piece of gear will fail or be forgotten (not that I’ve ever forgotten a piece of gear…ever…). ;)
2. Not all of us have access to a full spare set of gear, so a save-a-dive-kit is invaluable! You should have one near your first aid kit in your vehicle.
3. I’ll mention again having a First Aid Kit in every vehicle, they come in handy for all sorts of boo-boos (in fact I have rarely used it while diving, and rarely for myself, but I have used it many times).
4. Do your pre-dive safety check twice, once before you leave the shop, and once again before you leave your vehicle (to avoid getting back out of the water before diving, we all hate that walk or drive of shame…).
5. Always carry a dive flag when diving from shore- mine now lives in my truck so that I never forget it.
6. In addition to defog, have a tube of toothpaste on you (for when the defog just isn’t enough and a new mask needs re-scrubbing).
7. Have something to write on and something to write with (preferably pen) so that you can leave notes when needed or give information to someone. I now carry Maui Dreams business cards with me all the time so that I'm not always needing to write down their number and address!
8. Always carry at least drinking water with you (hydration is important when diving!) and if you are going to a remote spot, a few gallon jugs to rinse your gear (or a camera bucket) come in handy.
9. This probably doesn't need mentioning to most of you, but having a cell phone or way to communicate (preferably not locked inside of your car) can be invaluable, not only if you forget or need some gear, but of course in the case of an emergency.
10. And last but not least, if you are really good at choosing your dive buddy, they'll not only be fun to dive with, but they'll have #1-9 taken care of for you as well ;)
Are there any essentials that I left out? Give us a shout-out on Facebook and let us know what you're sure to never leave behind! Go out there and have a wonderful time diving, and be sure that as a good little diver, you're always learning...just like me!