Dive Tips

Kelp Diving

Diving in a kelp forest is what makes California diving so wonderful. Kelp diving, however, requires knowledge of a few diving techniques to make it more enjoyable and safe. First, let me start by saying that diving in kelp is not dangerous, but it does present its hazards —hazards that can be easily overcome. Entanglement is the fear of most new kelp divers—an unfounded fear. Avoiding entanglement is easy. Equipment preparation is important. You need to streamline as much as possible, which means tucking in […]

Better Beach Diving, Part 1

Beach diving is a great way to fill out your diving itinerary. Scheduling is flexible, diving almost anytime you want (conditions permitting), as long as you want (air supply and bottom time allowing), and as often as you want. And it’s cheap. Beach diving is not much more difficult that boat diving, if you just make some proper preparations, actions on site, and cleanup after. The purpose of this article is to give you some tips on how to make your beach diving easier and, […]

Practical Buoyancy Control

Buoyancy control is one of the most difficult skills to master. This skill requires the coordinated use of many of the skills acquired in class and the confidence and comfort that come from experience. However, proper buoyancy control is not that difficult to achieve with a little understanding and practice. Buoyancy is an upward force exerted on an object in a fluid that is equal to the weight of the fluid that the object displaces. The force of gravity counters buoyancy, and neutral buoyancy is […]

Better Beach Diving, Part 2

WATER ENTRY AND EXIT At water’s edge take a moment to again study and time the wave sets. Using the timing you gathered observing before dressing in, you will be timing your passage through the surf zone. Now is the key time to decide on a go or no-go. Remember, nobody ever got hurt from a dive they did not make (Ken Kurtis, circ. 1993). Ask yourself: Can I handle the largest wave I have observed to this point? While in theory, with proper timing, […]

Gear to Service You Don’t Always Consider

We should all know that regulators should be checked and serviced once a year. Tanks need a visual inspection (VIP) annually as well. Then there is the pre-dive inspections and self-servicing you should be doing on your own—fin and mask straps, hoses, regulator mouthpiece, etc. But there are a number of regular maintenance items that are often ignored, sometimes for years, that you should be part of your regular gear upkeep routine. How often you maintain each of these items depend largely on how often […]

How to Pack Your Dive Bag

Packing your dive bag correctly can make your diving more enjoyable and easier. There are three philosophies or combinations thereof. First, pack for easy unpacking at the dive site. Second, pack for maximum protection of the gear. And finally, pack for organization—a place for everything and everything in its place. I recommend that combination of one, two, and three, which just makes sense. Pack with what you put on last at the bottom of the bag. This is usually the fins. This is also a […]

Beach Diving Navigation

When we dive, wandering around the bottom is usually not beneficial and can lead to a boring, pointless underwater excursion. The adage “plan your dive and dive your plan” is not just for safety but also for enjoyment. A plan of where you are going, how long it will take you to get there, how long you will be there, and path back will help your diving pleasure immensely. This is especially important in beach diving. Underwater navigating for beach diving takes additional knowledge and […]

How to Avoid Seasickness

Few things can put a damper on a great boat dive trip like seasickness. While seasickness cannot always be completely eliminated, its effects can be dramatically reduced. The causes of seasickness are simple. Primary cause is the confusion caused in the brain when its sense of balance tells it one thing and the eyes show another. This leads to dizziness, nausea, sweating and vomiting. Secondary causes include a sloshing in the stomach and fumes. Prevention and even treatment during a bout is easy. PRIOR TO […]

Oil Platform Anatomy

Diving on oil platforms has become a popular activity. And rightfully so. These fantastic vertical hard structures far offshore, islands in vast open ocean stretches, attract huge amounts of marine life. Water clarity is generally great, and although the platforms are almost universally in very deep water, even intermediate divers can usually handle the a dive here because the are various levels at a variety of depths. Knowing a little bit about how an oil platform is laid out underwater will help you navigate this […]

Easy Freediving

Many divers would not even think about entering the water without a tank on their back. Yes, a tank extends the depth and range of a diver, but there are many times when a tank is not only unnecessary, but also inappropriate. Some game may not be legally taken with tanks, some critters may not allow you to photograph them while blowing bubbles, or you just may not want to haul the extra gear around. Freedivers, also known as breath hold divers, have less equipment, […]

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