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  • Writer's pictureDrew McArthur

Five Dive Related Things to do During Lockdown

Five Dive Related Things to do During Lockdown

If you are a scuba diver then it probably hasn’t escaped your notice that its currently not so easy to enjoy the sport you love. Curfews, lockdowns and travel restrictions have really clipped our wings but although for most it means the longest surface interval since before we started diving, there are still some things we can do to keep out toes metaphorically in the water. Here’s five things to think about while you are in scuba lockdown.

Personal Development

One thing that I love about the sport of diving is that the potential to learn is never exhausted. Whether you are an old salty sea dog or straight out of scuba school there will be something that you can learn that will enhance your future experiences by making you more proficient.

You could think about enrolling in a course like a specialty or tech training or even looking towards your next certification level. Pretty much all agencies nowadays offer elearning which you can enrol for online but not have to complete the practical side of things till a much later date. If you go down this route then instead of trying to work through the training modules as quickly as possible, take time to research each subject to stretch out, solidify and deepen the learning process.

If you live in an area that allows some movement around your local area then it may be possible to get in a pool to practice some skills. OK of course the local swimming pool is nowhere near as much fun as diving in the Caribbean sea but if it stops the gills from healing up then it’s gotta be worth a go. Pool sessions will help you stay fluid with skills, practices and keep your brain working as well as your gear, just remember to wash the chlorine off properly afterwards.

Instead of looking towards new learning opportunities, how about revisiting some training materials from previous courses. There is so much information that is imparted onto the student during a scuba training course that losing some along the way is unavoidable. I also find that when dealing with a practical subject like diving I can only grasp so much of a concept by reading about it until I actually try it. As such, if I read theory on the subject then did the practical side of it then it is quite possible that I missed the value of some of the theory due to not being able to relate it to the practical reality. I have found in the past that going over course materials and re-reading the content makes much more sense the second time around.

Look to the Future

The coronavirus restrictions will eventually end and you will soon enough be able to dive again in the soothing warm waters of the Caribbean. So how about trying to broaden your knowledge about the things you might see when there. Fish ID is a great way of adding a new level of interest to a dive as well as make yourself sound like more of a pro on a dive boat when you give a fish a name as opposed to something like the slim, fat ,spotted thingy with an eye. If you are feeling rich then there are some really nice books out there that will be specific to the area you choose, an example of these would be the series by Paul Humann & Ned Deloach.

Alternatively there is a mountain of information online and you can even find a series of quizzes like for example THIS ONE to test your knowledge on Caribbean reef fish, why not turn it into a friendly competition with your dive buddies?

Where will your next dive destination be? Who will you dive with? What do they have on offer that others don’t? Where should you eat at night? Where is best to stay? Visas? Currency? Language? Getting there from the airport? There are so many things that can be researched about your next scuba adventure that we often never have the time to do. Now is a perfect opportunity to get online and start searching.

Get Your Gear in Order

You have to agree that it would be a bummer if after six months of being starved of scuba you make it to a dive and are just about to go down only to find that your regs have blown a hose or your BCD sprung a leak. Now is the perfect time to get everything inspected, serviced & maintained.

Common points of failure are mask and fin straps. You can check these by pulling and stretching the straps while looking for small tears that will soon enough turn into big tears. If your local store is open then you can get these replaced now or put them on a “to do” list for when you can.

Try orally inflating your BCD, put it in the bath and look for bubbles, there should be none. If there are some then you’d best get it checked out. You could also give the inside of the bladder a thorough cleaning while you are at it.

If your regs haven’t been serviced in a while then now is the perfect time. Some scuba centers are open, those that are not may still be able to take your regs and work on them, shoot them an email and see what they say.

How’s the battery on the dive computer?

Catch up on the Past

I hear very often of people who say that they have their last x dives on their computer but have yet to transfer the information onto whatever format it is that they use to record them. Lots of people use the paper booklets which are nice, others use online logging software packages or perhaps one that is specific to the brand of a computer. I personally use an excel spreadsheet and am more than happy to admit that every now and then I get behind. Use the time now to get up to date with your dives and maybe think about making the switch to an online logging option if that’s the route you want to go down.

Perhaps even worse than logging dives, I hear all the time of people taking a ton of footage on their dive trip that they then do nothing with. Whether you have video or stills there is so much you can do with them once you get home and in front of a computer. Editing, cataloguing, uploading and sharing. Research how to use different software to enhance your images and then learn about what you can do with them with regards to presentation once they are done.

Let’s Talk About It

This final suggestion comes with a warning - proceed with caution. There are a bunch of scuba forums out there that you can join absolutely free of charge and in doing so be linked up with a whole mob of people that share your passion for the sport. The most popular of these forums is called Scubaboard and in my years of using this, I have gathered untold amounts of exceptionally useful information.

I have unfortunately however also found myself in bitter arguments, fall outs and disputes with trolls, armchair pundits and know alls (who usually know very little) from all over the world.

Take a look, proceed with caution and don’t believe everything you hear on there.

The most important thing to remember is that while we are all working through this under whatever restrictions we have, the world’s water systems are still out there doing what they always do. There will come a point when we look back at this period in our rear view mirror so if you use the time to your advantage then it means that you’ll come out of this a lean, mean scuba diving machine ready to pounce. Stay sane guys, looking forward to seeing you in the water when we can.


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