Friday, February 27, 2009

Scuba Diving Swim Suits

The time is coming. Luckily, I have plenty in stock.

I am talking about appropriate swimsuits for scuba diving and classes. And before all you "guys" run away, a little note about appropriate swimsuits for men who dive.

I don't care who you are or what you look like or where you are from. You really had better not wear one of the those Speedo suits to teach a class or work with a class. Jeez - that would just be crazy. First, no one would respect you, and therefore, no one would listen to you. Besides, it might be hard for everyone to hear what you have to say if there is a bunch of newbies in the back snickering. Its just too much like being naked.

Second, if you are going to wear one of those red suits with the white stripe across the front for the scuba diving flag, PLEASE make sure it is a quality suit and the white part isn't see through!

Enough said. Guys, you may now leave as the rest pertains to us girls.

This has just been something I have personally come up with. When I dive on my own with hubby, I don't care what suit I wear, as long as he likes it. That is completely different when we are expected to help with a class.

I would love to wear a one piece, like those sleek ones the real swimmers wear. But I don't have a swimmer's body. Or enough water resistant glue to hold down the back of the suit to an appropriate spot (like they do in the pagaents). Besides, when I get in one of those I look like a majorly overstuffed sausage. And while I don't strive to impress, I don't want to look like an idiot with tons of rolls lolling around.

I try to find conservative 2 piece suits. And then I usually wear a tank top over the top part. This helps in more ways than one. It keeps me warmer, it allows me to go to the bathroom more quickly, and it keeps important parts covered up.

Once you get in the wetsuit, everything is fine. It's just getting to that point that you have to think about.

Another thing I am always conscious of is color. My bright fun swimsuits are okay for the pool. But I wouldn't dare wear them in the lake or quarry. They will fade, get mud stains, etc. So I look for dark colors (black, brown, dark purple) to wear in the "pond."

I'm also not gonna pay an arm and a leg for a suit, no matter where I am going to wear it. The butt gets snagged on the side of the pool on concrete or on the door walking into the portapotty and then your done. 100 bucks down the drain to look cute for a smidge of time isn't worth it.

Then there is something to be said for the ones that have hooks everywhere, rather than tie. Those knots can really be uncomfortable at times (like when you are out of the water with your bc and all the gear on).

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any more advice for diving swimsuits. Except maybe to make sure you won't fall out the top, if you know what I mean.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm Cheating Today

This is a rough draft for when I finally finish my divemaster program.

Comments are welcome. Make sure to turn your speakers on (not too loud though).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How to See Underwater :)

Yes, I wear glasses. No, not just for the sun. My glasses are getting thicker and thicker every other year. But at least I am not as bad off as my younger sister! :) I'm at 100/20 or somewhere there about.

I love my bright hot pink new glasses. They have a magnetic clip for the sunglasses. They are cute and fun and funky. But they can't go underwater.

The first time I had contacts, I had a lot of problems. I kept getting major calcium deposits on them and went through them like crazy.

A lot has changed since 20 years ago. I have the extended wear now, and they are a beautiful bright blue that enhance my own blue-gray eyes. And they DO go underwater.

Lots of students in classes are worried about losing a contact in the water. I can honestly say I have NEVER had a problem. Never lost one. And being a divemaster candidate, I spent a lot of time in the water this past summer. Both the pool and the "pond."

Lots of mask on, mask off (which isn't quite as cool as the Karate Kid's wax on, wax off). Lots of open eyes under the water to demonstrate to students and to complete certain skills in the divemaster program.

I have been diving for 10 years. I have never lost a contact in the water. Now I am not saying it couldn't happen easily, but for those who consistently wear contact lenses, I would at least give it a try before buying a prescription mask.

A prescription mask seemed so limiting to me. I couldn't use another one if mine got lost, misplaced or forgotten. I couldn't use a buddy's spare. I would have always had to bring my own on every trip, even if the place would provide one. It just wouldn't have worked for me.

So for all you contact wearers who are just about blind without them, try a swim or snorkel with them in. The replacement of one contact is a lot cheaper than a prescription mask.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Scuba Favorites

I have declared it Favorite Day on all my blogs. This one will be focused on diving.

Favorite animal to see in the water - manatees and trigger fish

Favorite time to dive - night time, of course. I love the disco effect in the ocean.

Favorite place to dive - easy - anywhere warm! But really, we love going to Jamaica to the all-inclusives. I don't know that the diving is spectacular but you just can't beat the price deals. All your diving and meals and drinks.

Favorite diving TV show - we used to LOVE the Aquanauts series where they went all over. I don't think it is still on and I don't know why.

Favorite piece of dive gear - I've been thinking about this long and hard. I would have to say it is my custom fit mouth piece for my regulator. I hate using anything else. It really saves my jaw. Although I am pretty partial to my mask and flap strap too. And I kinda like having my underwater camera, even though it isn't anything fancy.

Favorite dive buddy - HUBBY of course. I am so glad it is something we can share and do together.

Favorite scuba memory - my first night dive :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Scuba Diving Hair

So who else but a girl would talk about hair when it comes to diving?? But this article isn't just for girls and women. Guys, keep reading too.

I have long hair. It is often a problem when it comes to diving. It has been tangled around the hoses, the tank valve, the snorkel and about every piece of velcro used anywhere on diving gear. But I so LOVE looking as much mermaid-like as I can underwater!!! Often though, reality takes control and I put it in a braid/ponytail, which curbs much of the problems and diminishes the mermaid look completely. I look more like a seal. No, not a Navy seal either.

Once out, the braid/ponytail is a much better choice again, as getting a comb or pick through the tangled masses of dirty, mucky, algaed wet hair can be a humongous chore that I often try to hide in a ball hat rather than deal with. And if I came out of the ocean, well even though my hair is straight as a board, it becomes this giant frizz ball.

Bangs - now here is a definite problem. Underwater they are ok unless you are trying to put a mask back on. I have also seen this problem occur with guys too. I have no answers or suggestions - guys might look pretty silly if they bobby pin their bangs back before heading into the water and putting their mask on.

Most men scuba divers I known opt for the easy way out. A shave of the head. Bald or military short. But this "hairdo" can bring on its own set of problems, with sunburn being the worst. Many men are turning to the skull caps and this had saved many a heads from sunburn and pain. From what I have heard, they also keep your head a smidge warmer while diving.

I guess if we went back to the old diving helmets, none of this would be an issue. We would be more worried about neck pain and not being able to see very easily. But I don't think that is the way of the sport.

Someone needs to invent something cute and divey like to keep everyones bangs out of their face and eyes, whether in water or on shore. I'll buy one!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hmm Never Thought about THAT

It dawned on me just the other day.

If you have a scuba blog and you don't post regularly, that might not be a good thing - for the sport.

A couple scuba blogs I have read and/or followed have basically disappeared. The site is still there. But where has the owner gone???

So I just wanted everyone to know I am alive and well. :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Importance of a Good Snorkel

When we bought our gear, snorkels and masks were one of the very first things we got. I was way more concerned about color than anything. I wanted it all to match.

The snorkel (a brand name in scuba diving) started breathing wet about a year into ownership. It never bothered me much. I didn't use it much diving, and when I did snorkel, I was able to just shoot the extra water it had taken on out. I looked just like a whale spouting, and it helped hubby keep track of me :)

Things changed when I had to complete the 800 meter/ yard (whatever, stinking long is all I know) swim for the divemaster program. We had to keep our face in the water the entire time, breathe through only the snorkel and we got to use fins.

Oh, and it was timed.

So I knew my snorkel wouldn't cut it and I couldn't use hubby's cause we would be doing it at the same time. I came up with the brilliant idea of just getting a cheapy one from the general all purpose store. Big mistake.

To make my idea even more brilliant, I cut it off so the tube would be a lot shorter, therefore having less "dead air." (a concept I had just learned about in divemaster class)

So the time came. We were lucky enough to do it outside in the quarry, as it would have been extremely difficult going back and forth in the pool with our big fins on.

The instructor said go. We went. And about 50 yards into it, I stopped and yelled to hubby "go on without me." And I swam back to shore. I was just about dying. I couldn't get any air at all. So I trudged back and explained I couldn't do it because of my snorkle. The instructor saw it and began laughing hysterically at my homemade cheapy contraption.

One of the other girls in the class offered hers. And one of the other students (who had just purchased the fabulous and wonderful scuba pro split fins) offered me her fins. I couldn't pass up an opportunity to try the new fins AND maybe get a great score.

So I cheered and rooted hubby on till he finished and then I started again, all on my own. No way to gauge my speed, but I could look at my watch for time elapsed.

The borrowed gear was great. The snorkel stayed dry and worked great. And those fins!!! I'm saving up for a pair.

I ended up passing and getting four point out of five for my time. It all worked out. But I learned that those cheapy snorkels are for nothing but pictures and a good laugh.