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Preparation for our Scuba Adventure

My husband and I are getting ready for our week in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, where we will be lazy on the beach, sleep in, hike through rain forests, biplane above the rain forest canopy and go subsurface for our second time. We completed our SCUBA courses and PADI certifications back in October of 2016, we got pregnant just a few sort months later. Now that our baby boy is almost two, it is time for us to try our hand at SCUBA diving again.

Before we head out for our adventure, I wanted to get a refresher course, so we booked an hour long refresher with Christina at Dive World in San Antonio. She fitted us for some masks and fins so we can be a little more comfortable in our own gear. In case you are wondering about fins, Jeremy got the Scuba Pro Nova, and I got the Aqua Lung Phazer fins.

Once we were set up, we hopped in the pool. I won't cover everything that we went over, but here are the main 10 things that I needed refreshed.

1) When your regulator is not in your mouth, always release small bubbles.

2) Don't EVER inflate your BCD subsurface. You could lose control as you ascend, and never ascend faster than your slowest bubble.

3) If you are out of air, and are executing a controlled emergency swimming ascent (CESA) always keep your regulator in your mouth as you ascend (assuming that you are not using someone else's secondary). As you ascend, remember that air expands, so you might have an extra breath hiding in your tank.

4) Always be prepared to manually inflate your BC

5) Check your gear, check your buddy's gear. Use the acronym BWRAF to help you.

B-BCD. Test the inflator as well as all of the releases on your BCD before you get in the water.

W-Weights. Next, check your buddy's weights and weight belt. Make sure they are securely fastened and won't fall out.

R-Releases. Check all of your releases and make sure they are secured and won't get caught on anything. Once in the water, have your buddy run through the releases on your gear and vice versa.

A-Air. Make sure your buddy's air is turned all the way on. Be sure to purge both of your regulators and inflate your BCD for a second to make sure everything is functioning properly.

F-Final. Do an overall final check. Do you have your fins, mask, snorkel in hand? Is all of your gear streamlined? Is all of your gear secured (GoPro, dive lights, etc.)?

6) When connecting your air tank, the air valve always faces your neck or back, and the tank sits at the same height as the BCD, or there should be four fingers above the strap on the tank.

7) Always put your mask around your neck, never on top of your head. It is too easy to lose.

8) Remember when you do your regulator sweep to bend to the side, touch your thigh, sweep back and around. Our first instructor did not have us bend to the side which helps your regulator move to a more locatable area.

9) Buddy check- Remember to review your hand signals before submerging to make sure you can properly communicate.

10) Remember to give the okay if you are okay after entering the water. The signal is above your head, not the regular ok signal.

Just a quick review can keep you prepared for your next SCUBA adventure. We did our SCUBA refresher with the Dive World Scuba Center in San Antonio, Texas.

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