Tag Archives: diving

Underwater Navigation… Diving Tenerife

One of the divers who was diving with us the other day asked me a question which a lot of people seem to ask… 

How do you do it, lead a dive and know exactly where you are going and know how to get back to the anchor…???

Well it made me want to write up this blog and give an overview of how we do it.

The main 2 things that you need when you are navigating a site is to know where you are and where you are going, to do this you need to have good observation skills and know how to use your compass. This is the aim of the PADI Underwater Navigation Specialty course. Those of you that have done your advanced will have had to do the Navigation part which touches on some of these basic skills. 

Ok, so how do you improve your Navigation skills? There are many ways but here are some tips to get you started…

  • If there is a map of the site you are diving already then use it,  try to remember the main landmarks mapped so that you know where you are, there may even be bearings…
  • Before starting your dive take a compass bearing of the shore, boat etc vs the direction of travel, this will get you out of trouble if you get lost.
  • Use natural Navigation, start looking as soon as you start your descent, for example, is the anchor near a landmark you can use, a rock or a wall that will guide you back… as you follow the dive site, make turns at landmarks that you can remember so that when you are on your way back you know where to turn. Another way of navigating is to pick a path that you follow such as a wall, a cut on a wall or special rock formation, look ahead and pick a point to aim to, you will need good visibility for this..
  • Go slow… not only will you miss a lot of what’s there to see but the faster you go the more you will get lost and you will not be able to take in the information of the route and landmarks.
  • Trust and use your compass… know how to use it and take it on every dive, I personally now use a digital compass built in on my suunto and it makes it so much easier. If you have a compass on your console then it is also now a lot smaller than they used to be and therefore easier to carry and use.
  • Stay away from sand only sites… most of the divers will end up going round in circles without a compass, if you have to go across sand, then my advise is to check the compass regularly to check you are still on track.
  • If you are comfortable with Navigation, Don’t be scared of exploring beyond the known sites  but make sure that if you wonder outside of the dive site that you have information on currents, boat traffic etc… 

Tips for better Scuba Buoyancy

Always seen divers cruising along effortlessly like they were part of the environment, wish you could do the same, check out our 5 tips to better Buoyancy, test them out on your next Scuba dive.

  1. Weight

Being weighted correctly is essential for good buoyancy, on your weightsnext dive do a weight check before you exit, see exactly how much you need to submerge, use 1kg and 1/2kg blocks/pouches to get it right – don’t forget to breathe out to descend. Spread your weights out and don’t forget when you change equipment such as Cylinder or suit you also may need to adjust weight.

  1. BCD Control

Little by little is the key, make yourself negatively buoyant then add small amounts of air while breathing be patienbcdt it may take a few seconds after you add air to start to rise. After you have it set small depth change shouldn’t make a big difference – don’t keep adjusting if you don’t need to.

To let air out of the BCD use the most logical dump, you will have several, normally at least one button with the inflate button, one at the end of the inflator hose which you pull to use, a shoulder  dump and a rear dump – depending on your position in the water use the one highest on the body. Be familiar with all your dump valves how to use them ad where they are so you can instinctively dump air if required.

  1. Trim

A big problem a lot of people experience with buoyancy is due to incorrectPeak Performance Buoyancy position of weight, spread the weights out many BCDs have trim pockets and integrated systems use them wisely.

Don’t wear your weights too far back especially women, try to get the weight over your hips to help balance out the weight of the cylinder on your back. I recommend 50% of your weight on a belt and 50% in your BCD favouring more weight on the BCD than the belt.WeightTrim

Try ankle weights, they are not suitable for everyone but can help some with their position in the water.

  1. Breathing

Your lungs have a large capacity and breathing in and out is a lot like inflating and deflating a BCD, if you need to go over Just Breathean object then try it by just taking a big breath, you shouldn’t need to add air to do this. In normal situations don’t breath too deeply you may find yourself having to dump air due to you just taking a really deep breath and beginning to ascend.

Remember before heading straight for your inflator try using your breath to control your position.

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

You have probably heard it 100s of times, practice makes perfect, with buoyancy it really counts, the more you do it easier it gets, DSCF4719challenge yourself on your next dive try using breath control to go over objects, practice with your buddy, take a 1kg weight and pass it to each other trying not to change depth.  Make it fun and soon it will just come naturally and everything will just fit into place then you will spend more time enjoying the underwater word and less time worrying about controlling your buoyancy.

Why don’t you book yourself on the next PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty with us in Tenerife (1 day 2 dives) to learn more. Book online and get a 10% Discount.

Green Sea Turtles – Don’t Do it…!

Hi all, it has been a while since we have made a blog about our resident turtles.. After all we are surrounded by them in Tenerife..

This blog was written after an incident in one of our dives where another Dive Centre made a wrong move in front of our customers..

It was a sunny day (usual here in Tenerife) and we were just about to enter the water when we reminded our divers that if the turtles show up then no grabbing, no feeding, don’t be scared, stay still if they swim towards you etc… The usual stuff…

Just behind us, there was another Dive Cecropped-turtle12.jpgntre entering the water which I had spotted.

As we entered the water and descended to about 4-5m we were greeted by Jose and Juan (the two biggest turtles in El Puertito). They were very friendly that day and wanted to play and investigate our divers… All was good, and I again spotted the other dive centre coming towards us. At this stage, we were in a circle with the turtles over our head and the divers with their guide from the other dive centre slowly came to sit next to us. At this stage the turtles were going up to the divers, looking around then moving to the next and carried on being gentle as usual. To my surprise, the guide took out dead fish aDSCF2311nd started to cut and hand out to his divers, the only reason I see in doing this is to get the turtles even closer to his divers for his guaranteed photos. I am not going to get into the details but I have never seen Jose behave the way he did as soon as he was fed, he became very agitated and changed his behavior around my divers, I had to get in between the turtles and my divers, I must say, at this stage I exchanged some gestures with the other guide and he quickly took the fish off from his customers hand, but unfortunately the damage was done and I slowly pulled my divers away from the other divers and continued our dive as we usually do..

There is no excuse, there is a big sign at this dive site explaining not to feed the turtles but some people will always ignore things like that..

Feeding removes the greatest pleasures of venturing into the wild observing natural behavior. Marine animals that are fed behave completely differently from those that forage on their own.
Marine animals in the wild have very particular diets. Eating other foods can weaken and sicken wildlife.
Feeding causes wildlife to lose their natural fear of humans. These animals become easy targets for people who do not respect wildlife and would hDCIM100GOPROurt them intentionally. Also, people who become fearful may injure an animal in an attempt to defend themselves against a mistaken “attack.”
Feeding causes injuries and harmful interactions between marine animals by forcing competition and confrontation among individuals and species which otherwise would not interact. We see this at the same site, There is always a large barracuda swimming around the turtles… This is most probably due to the feeding happening at this site.

No doubt the feeding will continue, but we will continue to educate as much as we can..

Happy Safe Diving
Dan