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Who is Gage?
Mike: Okay, so you didn't ask. But we want to tell you anyway. This is Gage.
Gage is a diveMonster. For a look at some other diveMonsters, take a look at our staff.Do you have to know how to swim to learn to Scuba dive?
Collette: Yes, you really need to be able to swim, not at an Olympian level, but you need to pass a 200m swimming test as part of the PADI Open Water course.How long will my air last?
Nancy: Due to differences in human anatomy, physical conditioning,dive experience, etc. there is no way to predict how long a tank will last. In general women tend to use air more conservatively than men because of smaller lung capacity and slower metabolism. Dive experience only increases ones ability to use air more efficiently. A key to conversative air usage is being able to relax while diving.
Tony: Another key element is the depth of the dive. The deeper the dive, the shorter the bottom time. At 66', the air consumed by the diver is three times denser than at the surface. Consequently, a diver will consume a tank of air at a rate three times faster than at the surface. In conculsion, the deeper you dive, the more often you need to check your air consumption gauge.Why do I have to flood and clear my mask so much during class?
Nancy: It has been determined that more panic situations arise underwater as a result of mask issues. We want to be sure that while you are a student, you have ample opportunity to practice this important skill. By performing the skill under close supervision, you will gain the confidence and ability to manage any mask issues in the future.Will your body, i.e. arms, legs, torso, feel some sort of "pressure" or "squeeze" as you descend into deeper water with greater density and pressure?
Collette: No, not at the depth that we dive at. The only time I have felt a squeeze was when I experimented with not putting any air in my dry suit; then I felt squeeze.
Nancy: No, since our bodies are primarily made of water, we don't feel any pressure from the surrounding water except in our "air spaces"... our ears, sinuses, lungs and mask. There is literally no difference in how our bodies feel in 20' of water or in 120' of water. However, the air spaces have to equalized during the descent, especially the first 33' (2 atmospheres) where the greatest pressure change takes place. Each additional atmosphere of pressure change (66'. 99', 132') requires equalization of the air spaces, but in decreasing degrees because the pressure changes begin to diminish in severity.Why do I need to wear an exposure suit in the water?
Nancy: There are numerous reasons for wearing an exposure suit. Divers can experience warm water hypothermia. 75 degree air feels great, but 75 degree water will quickly lower your core body temperature. An exposure suit will ward off this surprising dilemma. Also, many divers may need an exposure suit more so for protection than for warmth or buoyancy. Fire coral, jelly fish, or the coral itself can all pose problems for a diver. If you are in a curent or if you are having problems with your buoyancy, you may accidently brush into something that will "leave a mark" if you are not wearing an exposure suit. During a drift dive, you may enter the water in one area, only to ascend from the end of your dive in another area that may have a school of jellyfish floating at the surface. You will be glad you have that suit on in that situation.What is it like down there?
Collette: At times it is like swimming in an aquarium.Aren't you afraid of sharks?
Collette: No I really don't mess with them, and if there are signs of the dangerous ones around I'm out of the water fast.
Mike: No, because I always have my knife with me. I was fortunate enough to dive with a very knowledgeable marine biologist who gave me some advice about sharks after I pointed out the knife I had strapped to my leg. He said, "That's good. What you do is you take that knife and you show it to the shark. And while the shark is laughing you swim away as fast as you can."How do you remember everything you have to put on?
Collette: There is a system that we will teach you. In addition you and your buddy will learn to do checks and re-checks to make sure you're set.How do you avoid choking on water when you are breathing under water?
Collette: You have a regulator that is giving you air when you suck in. there maybe times when you might get a little water in your mouth, but we teach you how to avoid swallowing the water by placement of your tongue and such.