Scuba 101: What Should You Know?
Scuba diving is a worldwide passion. It doesn’t matter where around the globe you go, the ocean has thousands of treasures to see. And when you start diving, you’ll join a giant community of incredible people filled with the same excitement for marine life that you have! You’ll be able to explore hidden worlds, make likeminded friends, and get to know the ocean’s ecosystem in a whole new way.
Of course, diving requires training – but it’s so worth it to see the world below the surface. There is a hidden beauty there that is absolutely undeniable and can only be accessed through learning to safely dive.
But before you jump into the water, here are some key facts to know. After all, to be a scuba diver you’ve got to know your stuff and be safe in order to have fun! It can be scary at first, but we’ve put together the perfect list for beginners.
1. SCUBA is an Acronym
Yup, that’s right! Scuba diving, often called simply SCUBA, is named after the device you breathe with while diving! SCUBA stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (also known as the tank). Divers breathe a mix of gases from a tank carried on their backs: a combination of Oxygen, Helium, and Nitrogen with a few other gases. The combination ensures the safe ability to breathe underwater. But don’t worry, your DiveMaster will help you fill your tank.
Bonus fact: DiveMasters are trained and certified professionals who lead dives. They study a variety of SCUBA diving techniques, learn about how to plan a safe dive in any condition and are knowledgeable on Marine Life. DiveMasters are an essential part of safe dives. But back to our favorite acronym SCUBA!
By swimming with a SCUBA or breathing tank on their back, divers are able to explore freely as opposed to being tethered to an above ground air tank on either a spot on the shoreline or on a boat. And SCUBA, by nature of being self-contained, lets individuals customize what they carry and how long they want to dive with ease. All equipment carried is dictated by each diver themselves or the team of divers who work together. For instance, you’ll need a smaller tank for smaller dives, meaning you get to carry less weight.
2. Scuba Diving Communication Relies on Hand Signals
Being underwater is an incredible thing, but it does mean you lose the ability to talk. However, while scuba diving, communication is incredibly important. Whether you don’t feel well, there’s a problem with your tank, or you just saw the most amazing wildlife, you’ll need to be able to communicate with your DiveMaster and the other people on your dive. That’s where hand signals come in!
While some signals are based off ASL, or American Sign Language, the signals themselves are unique and specific to diving. The Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) is an organization that has actually come up with a set of hand signals that are universally accepted. And when you take your courses to get certified you’ll be taught some of them. This way you can safely communicate in the sea.
3. Scuba Diving Requires a Certification
Scuba diving still sounding good? Of course! But what some people don’t know is that you must do some training before you head out into open waters. Scuba diving certifications allow everyone to be safe while diving.
Bahama Divers offers PADI courses for getting certified. PADI stands for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. The organization was founded in 1966 and is designed to provide safety training and knowledge of the ocean. Bahama Divers has been open since 1965 – predating PADI.
We now offer a variety of different PADI dive courses! All of our courses are based upon skill level and desired specialization in diving. The wide selection is especially great if you’re a beginning diver, or if you decide to further your dive knowledge and skills even if you have experience. Once you see the new world below the waves, you’ll never want to miss it again!