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mm2002
03-30-2008, 19:09
First of all, this is an experience that I'm not real proud of, so be gentle. :smiley36:

After being out of the water since late October, the wife and I bought some pool time at a LDS about 40 miles from here. They have a very nice pool; indoors, temp controlled, 12 ft deep (the whole pool). We are both freshly OW certified with 16 dives, but again, our last dive was Nov 2007. Now, the experience:

First of all, we left late, had babysitter issues, and just had a bad start in general. We had to be back in town at a certain time, so now the clock is ticking. We arrived at the LDS, and went straight to the pool. We had to use their weights, and their tanks, because the owner is super anal about what goes in their pool (understandable). We both have new BC's that we've never got wet until that day. I also have a new mask, fins, shorty suit, etc that I'm trying out. The tanks they provide are AL63's, which is what my wife dives, but I'm used to an 80. We got all geared up, got the weights situated, and all was well. We jump in, and that's where things went silly for me.

First of all, my old BC was a jacket, and my new BC is back inflate, and I was trying to descend to no avail. I finally figured out that to descend, I needed to get upright so I could get all the air out of the bladder. After I figured that out, I found that my mask leaked badly. I got to the bottom and spent 5 minutes trying to figure out the mask leak (my other mask has a nose purge, and I guess I was spoiled). I finally figured out how to clear a mask that didn't have a nose purge, and how to get THIS mask to seal. I found myself stressed out and breathing heavily trying to work out all the problems that I had assumed wouldn't exist. It was seriously like learning all over again. After I got all that worked out, I couldn't seem to get decent buoyancy. My upper body (from the waist up) was perfectly level, but my feet wanted to "hang low" unless I finned to compensate. I fought with that for awhile, and finally got a decent grasp on it, but still not where I want to be with this equipment. Now, by the end of the day, I was swimming around without a mask, hovering, practicing various skills, etc., but it took some time to get comfortable again.

Here's what I learned on this "dive";

1. With a low number of dives under your belt, don't make too many equipment changes at once, especially if you've been out of the water for awhile.

2. Don't assume that, after a bit of dry time, that you'll get right back in the water and take up where you left off. Some things may seem "new" to you again.

3. Dive, dive, and dive some more. Practice the skills until they are second nature for YOU.

4. If you introduce new equipment, do the above again and again until you're 100% comfortable with the gear. Don't change everything at once.

On a final note, I now realize exactly how much I still need to learn.

Splitlip
03-30-2008, 19:21
Point 1. I just had dejavu. Gladd you figured that out. You should never introduce more than 1 piece of new equipment for any dive. That goes for things like cameras and wetsuits even, IMO.

When I introduce a new piece of equipment I dive it first on a shore dive then do a one tank ocean dive with the Scuba Club. Goes for fins, regulator, BCD, camera even a new gear config like going from an SS1 to a necklace.

mm2002
03-30-2008, 19:27
Point 1. I just had dejavu. Gladd you figured that out. You should never introduce more than 1 piece of new equipment for any dive. That goes for things like cameras and wetsuits even, IMO.

When I introduce a new piece of equipment I dive it first on a shore dive then do a one tank ocean dive with the Scuba Club. Goes for fins, regulator, BCD, camera even a new gear config like going from an SS1 to a necklace.

Yes, and I'm humbled by this experience. Twas a real eye opener for me. :smiley2:

CompuDude
03-30-2008, 20:16
Point 1. I just had dejavu. Gladd you figured that out. You should never introduce more than 1 piece of new equipment for any dive. That goes for things like cameras and wetsuits even, IMO.

When I introduce a new piece of equipment I dive it first on a shore dive then do a one tank ocean dive with the Scuba Club. Goes for fins, regulator, BCD, camera even a new gear config like going from an SS1 to a necklace.

I'm not sure I completely agree. mm did it right... he got into the pool the first time he used his gear, instead of taking on a real dive.

I think as long as you realize you've made changes and test things out in a safe environment (like the pool at your LDS), you've done things right.

Now, if you're going on a real dive, I agree, it's playing with fire to change more than one piece of gear at a time.

Splitlip
03-30-2008, 20:24
Agree Compude completely. I am guessing MM took this as lesson learned had it been a real dive.

"don't make too many equipment changes at once"

ReefHound
03-30-2008, 20:24
I don't see the problem here. Maybe your expectations if anything.

You did the right thing to check it all out in a pool. It's best to introduce one new piece at a time but you just about bought a whole new kit plus you didn't really have an old kit tweaked out yet. Experienced divers have spent dozens of dives tweaking and fine tuning things.

Buoyancy and trim control is hardest in shallow depths like in a pool.

mm2002
03-31-2008, 09:41
I don't see the problem here. Maybe your expectations if anything.

You did the right thing to check it all out in a pool. It's best to introduce one new piece at a time but you just about bought a whole new kit plus you didn't really have an old kit tweaked out yet. Experienced divers have spent dozens of dives tweaking and fine tuning things.

Buoyancy and trim control is hardest in shallow depths like in a pool.


You're probably right about the "expectations". Looking back, I'm not sure exactly what I expected, but I guess I just plain didn't expect any problems. Honestly, I felt like a real idiot with the problems I DID have. I know I'm not an idiot though, just a VERY inexperienced diver.

I am now convinced that I'll always make any major gear changes in the pool first. I have read tons of threads on this board where you guys preach that exact thing, but now I know why.

Compudude, man I'd really like to take the credit for the pool adventure being my "choice" to try out the new gear, but I must be honest and say it was not. The pool was there, and the water was warm, and I really wanted to go diving. If the lake was warmer, my experience would have been there, which could have been a disaster. What really opened my eyes was the fact that about three weeks ago I had planned to go diving with a few of the members here, and just couldn't wait to try out the "new stuff". Luckily, it didn't work out for me to go, and the water temp would have been way to cold for my exposure suit anyway. If I had went, I'm now positive that I would have likely ruined it for the others, and I wouldn't have been worth a damn as a dive buddy. I'm thankful that it didn't happen that way. Lesson learned.

divingchef
03-31-2008, 10:51
I don't see the problem here. Maybe your expectations if anything.

You did the right thing to check it all out in a pool. It's best to introduce one new piece at a time but you just about bought a whole new kit plus you didn't really have an old kit tweaked out yet. Experienced divers have spent dozens of dives tweaking and fine tuning things.

Buoyancy and trim control is hardest in shallow depths like in a pool.


You're probably right about the "expectations". Looking back, I'm not sure exactly what I expected, but I guess I just plain didn't expect any problems. Honestly, I felt like a real idiot with the problems I DID have. I know I'm not an idiot though, just a VERY inexperienced diver.

I am now convinced that I'll always make any major gear changes in the pool first. I have read tons of threads on this board where you guys preach that exact thing, but now I know why.

Compudude, man I'd really like to take the credit for the pool adventure being my "choice" to try out the new gear, but I must be honest and say it was not. The pool was there, and the water was warm, and I really wanted to go diving. If the lake was warmer, my experience would have been there, which could have been a disaster. What really opened my eyes was the fact that about three weeks ago I had planned to go diving with a few of the members here, and just couldn't wait to try out the "new stuff". Luckily, it didn't work out for me to go, and the water temp would have been way to cold for my exposure suit anyway. If I had went, I'm now positive that I would have likely ruined it for the others, and I wouldn't have been worth a damn as a dive buddy. I'm thankful that it didn't happen that way. Lesson learned.

I don't think you should feel bad at all about the experience, aren't you doing this type of pool dive to become a better diver? You were in confined water, limiting your risk. Thats how you learn. You are a better diver due to your experience like this, it shouldn't affect your mental confidence at all. Better to have it happen in the pool, than at 100' with 5ft vis and 60F water, no? Even better, now that you shared the experience on the forum, others can learn from it as well....bravo.

mm2002
03-31-2008, 17:15
I don't think you should feel bad at all about the experience, aren't you doing this type of pool dive to become a better diver? You were in confined water, limiting your risk. Thats how you learn. You are a better diver due to your experience like this, it shouldn't affect your mental confidence at all. Better to have it happen in the pool, than at 100' with 5ft vis and 60F water, no? Even better, now that you shared the experience on the forum, others can learn from it as well....bravo.


Thanks chef, and you're right, it was a good experience. Honestly, the reason I posted it here was #1, to discuss it with experienced divers, and #2, hopefully help other new divers to avoid a mistake I made. Actually, it did affect my mental confidence in a way; it reminded me to not be overly confident at this point in my diving career, and to take things slow and practice. I'm not embarrassed to talk about a weakness, and I feed off the suggestions of more experienced folks. I have several real good dives that I've not posted anything about, but then again, what would I learn from that! :smiley36:

cummings66
03-31-2008, 21:53
One other thing I'd add. I consider a new buddy a new addition and to limit my task loading I won't take my camera on a dive with them until I see how they do.

My first dive with a buddy is treated like a first dive with new gear. It's time to play with it and see how it reacts. To be honest, it's saved me some trouble because I pay more attention to them than I would had I taken a camera with me.

I think you did fine in the testing and since you're doing that work and reporting on it I'll bet you are better than average when it come down to brass tacks. An average diver wouldn't think about trim, just hop in and dive. I've seen them upside down and vertical, and they didn't seem to care. You care, that's important and shows good judgement.

barnaclebob
04-01-2008, 00:18
I'm new here and wanted to say hi, and add that the most important lesson you came away with from your pool session,was one you taught yourself.
("I now realize exactly how much I still need to learn.") You've been given some good advice in the previous posts and I also strongly agree with
CompuDude, and Cummings66 suggestion ("My first dive with a buddy is treated like a first dive with new gear."),after all, if you make enough dives sooner or later even a minor mishap can occur.When it happens you have two things to rely on,your training and your dive buddy.
If the picture under your member name is you with the beard,this may be part of your problem with mask flooding,although minor it can be annoying.
All my diving in the past has been with a full mustache and a trick I use is to take some petroleum jelly and smear on the facial hair that your mask comes in contact with.(and yes I've heard all the jokes that go with this), it will provide a better seal. There are some that might bring up the point about a mask material conflict,but I dove with the same two masks for many years using this method,provided you thoroughly clean the mask when done.Hope this helps and have a safe dive.

cummings66
04-01-2008, 11:55
Mask is silicone, no conflict. Like on like dissolves so you're fine.

Foo2
04-01-2008, 13:08
mm2002, thanks for sharing your experience. Being a newbie diver as well, I have also experienced some things like you mentioned. It is very humbling. It's so very important for us to remember that we are NEVER done learning. Thanks again!

mm2002
04-04-2008, 11:21
I'm new here and wanted to say hi, and add that the most important lesson you came away with from your pool session,was one you taught yourself.
("I now realize exactly how much I still need to learn.") You've been given some good advice in the previous posts and I also strongly agree with
CompuDude, and Cummings66 suggestion ("My first dive with a buddy is treated like a first dive with new gear."),after all, if you make enough dives sooner or later even a minor mishap can occur.When it happens you have two things to rely on,your training and your dive buddy.
If the picture under your member name is you with the beard,this may be part of your problem with mask flooding,although minor it can be annoying.
All my diving in the past has been with a full mustache and a trick I use is to take some petroleum jelly and smear on the facial hair that your mask comes in contact with.(and yes I've heard all the jokes that go with this), it will provide a better seal. There are some that might bring up the point about a mask material conflict,but I dove with the same two masks for many years using this method,provided you thoroughly clean the mask when done.Hope this helps and have a safe dive.

Welcome barnaclebob, and thanks for the tips. Actually, I've kept the stache trimmed below my nose when diving, and never had any leak problems with my old mask. The problem with the new mask was that when I initially tried it out, I didn't have a reg in my mouth. It seemed to fit perfectly. At the pool, with the reg in, it leaked under my nose. After a bit of working with it, I figured out a way to seat the seal by pushing it under my nose a bit after clearing. One thing I've been told a million times is to always check a new mask with a reg in your mouth. Did I do that? Nope, but I'll bet I do in the future! :smiley36:


mm2002, thanks for sharing your experience. Being a newbie diver as well, I have also experienced some things like you mentioned. It is very humbling. It's so very important for us to remember that we are NEVER done learning. Thanks again!

You're welcome Foo, glad I got to share the experience with you guys. It's really nice to have a great board like this one so we can learn from each other!

skdvr
04-04-2008, 11:41
What really opened my eyes was the fact that about three weeks ago I had planned to go diving with a few of the members here, and just couldn't wait to try out the "new stuff". Luckily, it didn't work out for me to go, and the water temp would have been way to cold for my exposure suit anyway. If I had went, I'm now positive that I would have likely ruined it for the others, and I wouldn't have been worth a damn as a dive buddy. I'm thankful that it didn't happen that way. Lesson learned.

I too think that you did it right by hitting the pool first, and now you know what you need to work on.

Do not worry about tuining a dive for others. I have seen people trying to fight a dive the whole time because they did not want their buddy to be out of a dive. If there is a problem then it is what it is. Things happen all the time. It could be something like a blown 0-ring or any number of things that can cause a dive to be called. Do not worry about having to call a dive because you do not want to put your buddy out.

Phil

cummings66
04-10-2008, 19:05
The sacred tradition is, a dive may be called by any diver for any reason no questions asked. Don't ever razz them, it might make them continue a dive they should have aborted the next go round. Any diver who questions the abort should rethink what he's doing. That's why it's a sacred rule not to be questioned. No questions asked.

Never be afraid to abort, a good diver will always respect it and not question why.

mm2002
04-14-2008, 14:08
The sacred tradition is, a dive may be called by any diver for any reason no questions asked. Don't ever razz them, it might make them continue a dive they should have aborted the next go round. Any diver who questions the abort should rethink what he's doing. That's why it's a sacred rule not to be questioned. No questions asked.

Never be afraid to abort, a good diver will always respect it and not question why.

Sounds good to me!

EuphoriaII
04-14-2008, 16:25
Sounds to me like you are conscientious about becoming a better diver and improving skills and thats a good thing. So things went a little rough at the pool but you learned from it. Every time you hit the water you learn a little more and get more experience and get better at it.

I'm at a point now that I'm pretty comfortable and never get flustered, but still have a lot to learn. I would say you are well on your way.
Many new divers just get certified and head to a dive boat once a year without any regard for improving skills or gear checkouts.

Sounder
04-15-2008, 11:45
Agreed. Anyone can thumb a dive, anytime, for no reason at all with no problem whatsoever.

mm2002
04-15-2008, 11:55
Sounds to me like you are conscientious about becoming a better diver and improving skills and thats a good thing. So things went a little rough at the pool but you learned from it. Every time you hit the water you learn a little more and get more experience and get better at it.

I'm at a point now that I'm pretty comfortable and never get flustered, but still have a lot to learn. I would say you are well on your way.
Many new divers just get certified and head to a dive boat once a year without any regard for improving skills or gear checkouts.


Yes, I take diving very seriously, and it's a lot more than a vacation activity to the wife and I. She says I'm much too critical about myself, and I'm never happy with what I do, but I guess that's just me. We plan to dive a LOT this summer, mainly practicing skills and getting to know our equipment. The winter layoff was tough for both of us, but we'll be diving dry by next winter, so that's not going to happen again. We're also moving to Florida next summer, so the diving will even be a bigger part of our life. We've only begun our journey!

cummings66
04-15-2008, 15:07
I'm very critical of my skills, never happy with what I can do. Practice is an essential part of any hobby.

PS, after you move to Florida do we get you call you a WWW? Maybe you could find a spring somewhere to stay in peak condition for the inland lakes? Forget it, I know what I'd do if I lived in Florida...

mwhities
04-15-2008, 15:37
MM, next time in the pool, move your bc down the tank a few inches. My first dive this weekend with a LP121 had me butt heavy. (My legs kept dropping down when I tried to hover motionless.)

So every dive after the first one, I slowly dropped my bc down on the tank (the valve is higher than the top of my bc (BP/W)). On my 5th dive, I seemed to have hit the sweet spot. Well, almost, I only had to fin a very little to keep my legs up. I stayed right on top of the bottom 1' +- a few inches and didn't silt once.

I looked up and my instructor was clapping. :)

Michael

mm2002
04-15-2008, 16:08
I'm very critical of my skills, never happy with what I can do. Practice is an essential part of any hobby.

PS, after you move to Florida do we get you call you a WWW? Maybe you could find a spring somewhere to stay in peak condition for the inland lakes? Forget it, I know what I'd do if I lived in Florida...

Ok, ya got me there. What's a WWW?
Oh yeah, we still plan to do lake diving, it's too much fun not to. Besides, we'll be coming back around here, Oklahoma, and Wyoming to visit friends and family, so we won't lose our "inland" skills!

Splitlip
04-15-2008, 16:12
Warm Water wimp. And I resemble that remark. ;)

mm2002
04-15-2008, 16:15
MM, next time in the pool, move your bc down the tank a few inches. My first dive this weekend with a LP121 had me butt heavy. (My legs kept dropping down when I tried to hover motionless.)

So every dive after the first one, I slowly dropped my bc down on the tank (the valve is higher than the top of my bc (BP/W)). On my 5th dive, I seemed to have hit the sweet spot. Well, almost, I only had to fin a very little to keep my legs up. I stayed right on top of the bottom 1' +- a few inches and didn't silt once.

I looked up and my instructor was clapping. :)

Michael

Thanks, and yes I have already discovered that. I wear my tank so high already that the back of my head hits the reg sometimes. I've got the trim worked out fine from the waist up, but if I totally relax, my feet still drop. I've even got 8 lbs of my weight in the trim pockets at the top of the BC (I only wear 10 so that only leaves a couple in the lower weight pockets). I've been told that since the problem isn't drastic, maybe buoyant fins would help? They say the Scuba Pro splits float, so that may be something to try. I'll toy with it until I figure out the problem.

mm2002
04-15-2008, 16:39
Warm Water wimp. And I resemble that remark. ;)

:smiley36: In that case I'll gladly be a WWW!