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brianwferguson
07-07-2008, 06:40
Hi all,
I did my OW checkout dives this past weekend, Dive 1,2 and 3 went great, nailed every skill. On the 4th dive I freaked when I had to remove and replace my mask (I did the hovering and navigation skills correctly). I only have the one skill left to master. Any suggestions on how to overcome my fear? (I did this skill in the pool several times (4 or 5) correctly, just freaked in the quarry. I had minor issues equalizing my mask and was slightly congested, so I guess that could have been the problem.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
Brian

Vercingetorix
07-07-2008, 06:59
Continue to practice in the pool. Before my OW, I practiced this skill about 30 times in the pool.

And you're not alone. Everybody hates this skill. However, it is one of the most commonly used, and most important skills. During a dive, I normally have to clear my mask once (a little nose breathing, but I'm working on it). Of course, I don't do the full flood, simply crack the skirt.

Go practice and get comfortable with it so that it becomes second nature. After awhile, you'll think nothing of it.

brianwferguson
07-07-2008, 07:59
Thanks Vercingetorix!.
I practiced the partial and full flood several times, both with full gear and snorkel only. (and still don't like it, but it is not as nerve racking as the first time I did it!). Even on Dive 4, the flood part of the mask removal was not a problem, only when I removed the mask. I'll keep practicing that. Thanks

Vercingetorix
07-07-2008, 08:05
Breathing without the mask for several minutes is another valuable skill. We practiced that extensively in Rescue. You never know when another diver will accidentally kick your mask off, or a panicked diver rip it from your face.

brianwferguson
07-07-2008, 08:14
Thanks. I did that in the pool sessions (and in my pool @ home (without gear), and the no maske swim skill, no problems. I was very disappointed with myself that I panicked. (I did however attempt it a second time at the end of the dive, still could not do it, but at least did not panic and did a normal accent (.vs bolting to the surface like I did the first time).

I know it's not the same, but I plan on getting in my pool the next few weeks and practice with a snorkle.

mselizann
07-07-2008, 08:33
It seems all you can do is practice....do you have access to any other water than the pool where you can go snorkel- something with less vis, more like the quarry?

Sasha_K
07-07-2008, 08:36
You are not alone and I still don't like doing it. Like other guys mentioned, just keep on practicing - practice makes perfect. You'll be much more confident when you can do this any time.

Try blowing air through your nose as soon as you take off your mask, and continue doing so until the mask is back on, that may help.

A few nights ago, in training for AOW - night dive, we had to take our mask & all other equipment off, then turn off the air supply , turn it back on, and suit up, all with closed eyes. It was the freakiest thing ever, but after you do it, your confidence goes up big time!

brianwferguson
07-07-2008, 08:38
It seems all you can do is practice....do you have access to any other water than the pool where you can go snorkel- something with less vis, more like the quarry?

Wish I did, but the pool is really all I have access to. The nearest quarry is about an hour away, but then again, the chlorine level in my neighborhood pool is so high, you can't see anything anyway!

Thanks for the suggestion

Vercingetorix
07-07-2008, 08:41
A few nights ago, in training for AOW - night dive, we had to take our mask & all other equipment off, then turn off the air supply , turn it back on, and suit up, all with closed eyes. It was the freakiest thing ever, but after you do it, your confidence goes up big time!What agency did you do your AOW certification with? We did not do that! Mind you, it's a great idea and definitely a value-added service provided by your instructor. A real confidence builder.:smiley20: I assume you did this underwater?

brianwferguson
07-07-2008, 08:44
You are not alone and I still don't like doing it. Like other guys mentioned, just keep on practicing - practice makes perfect. You'll be much more confident when you can do this any time.

Try blowing air through your nose as soon as you take off your mask, and continue doing so until the mask is back on, that may help.

A few nights ago, in training for AOW - night dive, we had to take our mask & all other equipment off, then turn off the air supply , turn it back on, and suit up, all with closed eyes. It was the freakiest thing ever, but after you do it, your confidence goes up big time!


Thanks! that's what I planned to do. I'm pretty bummed that I panicked like I did, was not expecting that to happen.

Better to look down, straight, right, or does it really matter when putting the mask back on (I know looking up may cause bubbles to go up your nose.)

I can see how the AOW - night dive task was freaky, I'm not there (yet) but hope to be soon. Glad to know I'm not the only one. (in my OW class, no one had an issue with the mask removal but me (but they had other issues which I got NP. I'm more disappointed by the fact I panicked, than not getting the skill down correctly.


Thanks

brian

Navy OnStar
07-07-2008, 08:49
A lot of people have a problem with cold (relatively speaking) water hitting their warm face. It naturally induces panic. Try slowly flooding the mask and waiting a few seconds before you take the mask off. Wait long enough for the panic feeling to subside. (it should) Then take the mask off. Knowing that you still have your mask on and you have the ability to clear it easily, should you need to, will help reduce the shock of the cold water. After the wave passes then take it off and do the skill. After a lot of practice you will be able to do it with no delay and no no problems.

Sasha_K
07-07-2008, 08:57
A few nights ago, in training for AOW - night dive, we had to take our mask & all other equipment off, then turn off the air supply , turn it back on, and suit up, all with closed eyes. It was the freakiest thing ever, but after you do it, your confidence goes up big time!What agency did you do your AOW certification with? We did not do that! Mind you, it's a great idea and definitely a value-added service provided by your instructor. A real confidence builder.:smiley20: I assume you did this underwater?

NAUI. This may be some self invented drill by our instructor. While I thought she is nuts when she told us to turn off air, it felt REALLY good when I did it. Yes we did this in about 15feet deep pool. O ya, we touched our the pool ceeling with our backs the whole time, while she was watching us.

Sasha_K
07-07-2008, 08:59
Better to look down, straight, right, or does it really matter when putting the mask back on (I know looking up may cause bubbles to go up your nose.)

brian

Personally, I look straight while I do it. But I am not sure it really matters.

waytooslow
07-07-2008, 09:14
Try turning your head left or right slighly, this helped me, I about emptied the ST pool during mask clearing - well felt like it anyways,

for me the air hitting my nose for some reason caused an invoulintary response to breath in through nose - not good. and yep i eventually stood up in the pool. after a lot of practice and patience with the instructor, i made it though. We will see if I can handle in 20 feet this weekend,

Best of luck.

Vercingetorix
07-07-2008, 09:16
NAUI. This may be some self invented drill by our instructor. While I thought she is nuts when she told us to turn off air, it felt REALLY good when I did it. Yes we did this in about 15feet deep pool. O ya, we touched our the pool ceeling with our backs the whole time, while she was watching us.I'm NAUI-certed as well, and did not do this exercise. I thought she was having you do this on the night dive itself. We did gear removal in pool for OW, but did not turn-off air.

Sasha_K
07-07-2008, 09:34
I'm NAUI-certed as well, and did not do this exercise. I thought she was having you do this on the night dive itself. We did gear removal in pool for OW, but did not turn-off air.

Nope, this was in the pool, along with a lot more excercises with eyes closed, all to simulate night diving (or how day diving in St. Lawrence used to be :- ) )

navyhmc
07-07-2008, 09:38
Another thing to try is start in a pool, leave your mask on the side of the pool go to the deep end with the rest of you gear (scuba, not snorkel) and just swim around. blow air rings, or just swim around working on your trim and bouyancy or just wasting air.

After 10-15 minutes of getting used to not having a mask on at all with scuba, get your mask and take it to the bottom with you and put it on in the water. This you may want to do in shallower water just in case you need to stand up, I am an advocate of deep end to diminish standing up as an option, but some see this stance as risky and potentially unsafe-use your own judgement. After you have it on and clear, take it off and try again.

After this is second nature in a pool, if the quary is failry clear and if you're comfortable with this technique, try it again in the shallower water ofthe quary-start at the depth you will be comfortable in and get progressively deeper until you're at the depth that you are to do the skills at and your should be good to go.

Good luck and tell us how it goes.

crgjpg
07-07-2008, 13:30
I too do not like doing this. I have the problem of feeling that the water is going up my nose. I find it helps me if I tuck my chin down to start until I start breathing out my nose.

percussionist1
07-08-2008, 11:49
Honestly, I'm not sure anyone enjoys performing this skill. However, like everyone has said, it is a necessary one. I think another person mentioned this above, but I would suggest taking a couple of seconds to rest and get comfortable after you take your mask off. Then, take your time while putting your mask back on. In my opinion, the only way to reduce panic in this situation is to try to control it when it happens...this is done by focusing on that element first. Then work on putting the mask back on. Remember, you are in no hurry. Get comfortable and relax, then finish the task. You will only get better with time.

Good Luck!

oddbod
07-08-2008, 22:26
Having once had my mask ripped of by an errand fin and the strap break, I can say that without practice panic can set in, I had an old ex-british navy instructor for one of my courses and he made us take of our masks during our safety stops, still do sometimes, it really is just a matter of getting used to it. So the answer is as everyone says practice, practice and more practice. Try your bathtub/pool everyday for a while, anything not connected with scuba or depth.

dsteinberg
07-09-2008, 16:36
My instructor gave me a piece of advice for doing this skill during my quarry certification dives... looking down when removing the mask keeps water from shooting up your nose. Additionally, I found that while doing that, flooding the mask starting from the top and removing it after it was flooded helped as well.

Charles R
07-09-2008, 16:44
Try Closing you eyes in the pool before you take the mask off keep them closed until you replace the mask and then do the same in the quarry. it works for some people.:smiley20:

MSilvia
07-09-2008, 16:51
Honestly, I'm not sure anyone enjoys performing this skill.
I really doesn't bother me at all, but it took conditioning to get truely comfortable with it. In my opinion, Navyhmc gave you great advice. If you get used to not having the mask on at all, removing it isn't a big deal.

brianwferguson
07-10-2008, 05:57
My instructor gave me a piece of advice for doing this skill during my quarry certification dives... looking down when removing the mask keeps water from shooting up your nose. Additionally, I found that while doing that, flooding the mask starting from the top and removing it after it was flooded helped as well.

Thanks. After analyzing what happened and what I did before in the pool, I remember in the pool looking down, but for some reason did not in the quarry. I have my final checkout dive scheduled in a few weeks (soonest I could get it scheduled).

brianwferguson
07-10-2008, 05:59
Thanks all for the great suggestions. I know I can do this skill (have done it several time in the pool) but my comfort level is not what I would like. It's a mental thing I know, now just to overcome it. I plan on implementing the suggestion (practice, practice, practice in the pool) as most (if not all) have suggested.

You guys are a great group of folks, thanks for all the support

brian

mitsuguy
07-10-2008, 07:50
Couple things I did to learn this myself... I never really had a problem with it, but it was definitely uncomfortable at first... The two things I was uncomfortable with was the water up against my eyes and also trying to breathe through my nose underwater...

water against eyes - I have no idea why that was uncomfortable for me, as I have always swam underwater, eyes open, for years...anyways, the simple solution to this is to close your eyes at first, then work til you can keep them open the whole time, it comes with time... now, I am just as comfortable as I used to be with or without the mask...

breathing through nose - even though you are obviously making a conscious attempt to only breathe through your mouth, all of those passages are connected, and breathing through your mouth creates a small negative pressure in your nose, which can bring in a little water - even a little water inside your nose is very uncomfortable, and the brain automatically thinks you are going to drown... With practice, you can teach yourself to breathe off a regulator without a mask, and it is a great skill... I spend at least 1 minute every dive without a mask on for practice now, but it wasn't easy at first - what I did was simply hold your nose and breathe through your reg... remove your fingers from your nose and breathe - pinch your nose again if you have problems, then slowly remove again as you breathe... with practice, again, it becomes natural...

SlvrDragon50
07-11-2008, 23:53
I still hate especially since I have contacts. What I do is sai a few seconds before putting the mask back on so I can control my breathing and not use the nose. Once that is done, i put the mask on and clear it twice before opening my eyes. The whole process has to be done calm or clearing won't work too well.

Merrimorte
07-12-2008, 00:59
I too do not like doing this. I have the problem of feeling that the water is going up my nose. I find it helps me if I tuck my chin down to start until I start breathing out my nose.


Yes this is what i do too.. Much better! Wish I woulda known that BEFORE I took my mask off the first time! lol :>

ThunderAce
01-01-2010, 18:34
A hint:

I am guessing here but you say quarry and I hear "cold water"...

A lot of time the shock of the cold water hitting your face can cause a fear reflex response.

We teach in cold, cold ocean water in B.C. and we suggest that our students dip their faces in the water before putting their masks on - at the surface of course.
This allows them to get a bit more used to the cold water and it is a lot easier when it comes to the mask r&r.