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Five Ways To Overcome Pre-Dive Nerves

Five Ways To Overcome Pre-Dive Nerves
Whether you’re a first-time diver or a seasoned pro, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced acute nervousness before a dive at some time or another. For some people, pre-dive nerves are an rare occurrence that only affect them in particularly stressful circumstances; for others, they are a serious affliction that tarnishes the enjoyment of every single dive. There are many reasons for a diver to feel anxious before a dive- perhaps because of past experiences, like losing control in strong current or becoming separated from the group; or perhaps due to feelings of unpreparedness, inadequacy, the fear of evaluation either by an instructor or by an unfamiliar buddy, or simply the fear of the unknown. For many divers, it’s the thought of what could happen, rather than anything that has already happened, that causes pre-dive nervousness. Often, these nerves disappear soon after entering the water, but if left unaddressed there is also a risk that extreme nervousness could eventually translate into full-blown panic. Panic is a major factor in many diving accidents and fatalities, due to the inability of a panicked diver to deal with a situation rationally. Therefore, learning how to minimise pre-dive nerves improves diver safety as well as the level of enjoyment we get from the sport. This article explores five easy ways to help achieve this goal.

Communication

One of the biggest mistakes that nervous divers make is in thinking that they are alone in their anxiety. The idea that everyone else on board is both supremely confident and competent can be intimidating, and often exacerbates already existing nerves. Communication is therefore an important part of combating nervousness- if you share your concerns, you will often find that […]

By |October 2nd, 2014|blog|0 Comments

Five Tips For Aspiring Underwater Photographers

Five Tips For Aspiring Underwater Photographers

Post originally found at ScubaDiveDestinations.com

The advent of affordable compact digital cameras and housings means that underwater photography is no longer the exclusive remit of experienced professional photographers. It is now a realistic and accessible pastime for members of the general diving public, and with a little practice there’s no reason why even novice photographers can’t get good shots. Here are a few basic guidelines that will help make the learning curve a little less steep.

Leave the camera behind

This may seem like a strange piece of advice for those keen to start shooting underwater, but in reality it makes perfect sense. Before purchasing a fancy underwater camera and all the accessories to go with it, make sure that your dive skills are up to scratch. A diver that attempts to take on photography before perfecting basic scuba skills is a liability- a danger not only to himself, but to his buddy and to the reef around him. Buoyancy control is key- you need to be able to adjust your position in the water column without using your hands to add or dump air from your BCD, just as you need to be able to hover in one place in order to take a clear photograph without holding on to the reef.  You also need to be generally confident underwater, and to be aware of yourself as a diver- you need to be conscious of your air consumption and depth, and be able to juggle a camera whilst checking each of your safety gauges without becoming flustered.

Divers who attempt underwater photography before they are ready will end up task-loading and could forget to concentrate on the things that really matter- no photo […]

By |June 20th, 2014|blog|0 Comments

It’s Called Punta Gorda….

Dive Site Punta Gorda, Rocket Frog Divers, Costa Rica
There is a very well known dive site which is a favorite among local dive shops in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. The name of this dive site is Punta Gorda or as it translates “Fat Point.” This was one of the divesites which we frequently visited while taking tourist diving with Rocket Frog Divers, when I was doing my divemaster internship. The place was always full of life. Several species of rays, sharks, harlequin clown shrimp, huge schools of fish, eels, and we even had a Pacific Giant Manta show up on one dive. While it never occurred when I was visiting, there have been whale sharks visit the site as well.

While doing my divemaster internship with Rocket Frog, I was very keen to try and pick up the language from the locals. Being a guy, one of the first things I learned from the guys was the swear words. Mature I know, but true. One of the words we covered was “puta” which in english can translate roughly to “b!tch.”

So one day we were taking a group of divers out to the dive site from a University in San Jose. All younger people out for a good time and some great diving. My instructor told me it was a good time for me to practice my dive site briefings. So right off the bat I introduce the group to the dive site “Puta Gorda.” I get a bunch of laughs and asked to repeat the name of the dive site again. I of course comply thinking something may have got lost in translation. “Welcome guys to the dive site Puta Gorda. Today we will […]

By |January 12th, 2014|Costa Rica Diving|0 Comments

Is Diving With Sharks Safe?

Is Scuba Diving With Sharks Safe?
The sanity of scuba divers often gets questioned when non-divers and non-shark people see videos of us diving with animals that are for the most part feared in mainstream society today. Are these fears and questions of sanity warranted? The answer as far as I am concerned is both yes and no.

There is no denying the size, power, and potential danger that a shark poses to a human who has entered into their home environment. We are slow, unarmed, and extremely vulnerable. The biggest Great White which was ever caught was reportedly 21 feet long and over 7000 pounds and caught off of Cuba. This is an animal that can put a serious damper on your day. They are built to consume large prey and tear them apart with their razor like teeth. So yes, they are very dangerous but the next question you have to ask yourself is do they want to attack humans?

The number of shark attacks world wide has been increasing in recent decades. In large part this can be attributed to the growing population of the globe and the more humans who are entering the sharks habitat and putting themselves in potential harms way. Other factors which have certainly lead to the rise is that recreational activities such as surfing, scuba diving, and spearfishing have become much more popular.

I have used the website http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/ to get some statistical information regarding shark attacks. The first graph is showing the number of shark attacks which have occurred worldwide decade by decade and the percent of those attacks which have been fatal. You will notice that there has been a remarkable increase in the number of attacks in the past […]

By |January 10th, 2014|Costa Rica Diving|0 Comments

Top Shark Dives in Costa Rica

Top 3 Shark Diving Locations in Costa Rica
3) Shark Diving Site: Tortuga. Area: Gulf de Papagayo, Costa Rica
Tortuga as it is called is an absolute must when you are diving the Papagayo region of Costa Rica. It is a dive that is almost always home to a number of white tip reef sharks which throughout the day are often laying on the bottom in a sandy portion of the dive site, only minutes after starting the dive. These docile sharks are quite approachable and can be sometime seen in groups of 6 or more. This makes for a photographers dream as you can approach these sharks quite closely and get some great pictures.

What is also great about this dive site is that it is often used as a night diving location. If you think seeing sharks during the day is exciting, wait until you come across them at night when they are much more active. Aside from the white tips, this dive site is full of other marine life including rays, eels, lots of different species of fish, and the occasional turtle (odd that it is just occasional considering the name of the dive site). Also on this dive is a wreck of an old fishing boat which sits in about 65 feet of water and quite often has sharks lurking around it as well.
2) Shark Diving Site: The Big Scare. Area: Bat Islands, Costa Rica
The Bat Islands are located just off the coast of Santa Rosa National Park and are a protected marine area in Costa Rica. The huge schools of fish and other marine life goes to show what a ban on fishing can do in an area, as the schools and size of the […]

By |December 30th, 2013|Costa Rica Diving|1 Comment