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webwidejosh
10-29-2007, 12:29
Well, I did my 5 dives (actually 6) this weekend for SSI open water, but could not get past mask 4.

Early on in skills the mask clearing didn't go so hot and it became completely psychological. I could regularly clear the mask when I acquired water, but I couldn't do it myself without extreme anxiety.

I've always had problems in the pool with my nose in water, and when I did the pool test and practice I went right through Mask 1, 2, 3, and 4 without a hitch. Apparently my mind thought open water was a little different. I did great on the other skills, as well as actually passing through mask 3.

I have a dive trip planned to Jupiter next month as I expected to be certified. Has anyone had this problem, or needed to get signed off on just the skills for some reason? From what I hear I just need to hire an instructor to dive with me and sign me off.

Any suggestions for Mask 4 other than more pool practice and swim lessons? I'm looking for crazy ideas. The early two and perhaps more practice swimming around without a mask I already plan to do.

NitroWill
10-29-2007, 13:13
What is "Mask 4"? Not all agencies have the same procedures.

In general, it comes down to:

Getting comfortable being in the water - repetition and practice (Spending a lot of time in/under the water {swimming/freediving})
RELAXING! - Once you gain comfort - just relax and enjoy it - this goes a long way!
Practice! - Practice your mask clearing and all other skills over and over in the pool on a daily basis. This will get you comfortable with the water and comfortable doing the skills! Then they become second nature

BobbyWombat
10-29-2007, 13:45
There was another thread that was talking about this:
http://forum.scubatoys.com/scuba-stories-comments-questions-dont-fit-elsewhere/5775-mask-clearing-water-up-nose.html

Some good advice from Larry and others. Give it a read.

Yeah, you may have to get an instructor to go through the skills with you to get certified. If a lot of it is mental, just getting some perspective on the situation might help.

Lot's of people have trouble with mask clearing. Lot's of folks have been where you are. Don't stress, you can do it.

torrey
10-29-2007, 13:51
It might help to stop yourself at any time of the day and work on Miyagi-Do breathing...in through mouth, out through nose. In through mouth, lift mask bottom, out through nose. Again!

Dive-aholic
10-30-2007, 09:11
Here's (http://www.divematrix.com/showthread.php?p=20939#post20939) a link to a thread I started recently on another board. It describes the process I go through to teach my students how to remove their mask and replace it. I haven't had a student with mask removal issues since implementing this process.

My wife had similar issues as you and almost didn't pass the skill during open water. She was finally able to do it, but probably shouldn't have been passed at that time without more practice and showing true accomplishment of the skill. Now she's an instructor and cave diver.

H20newbie
10-30-2007, 09:52
Dive-aholis technique for teaching students mask removal is very similar to my self taught technique. I too struggled with removal- I wear contacts and had to close my eyes to accomplish this. At this point, I would feel disoriented and anxious. To overcome this I spend time snorkeling both with and without mask in a deep bathtub, flooding the mask and clearing it and then moved to the neighbour's pool to continue.
I actually had no problem at all with mask removal and the water temp was in the cool 50's.
Don't give up...work at it and you will get it. If I can do it, anyone can!:smiley20:

DZorn00
10-31-2007, 13:50
I had trouble clearing my mask too. Every time water would hit my nose my throat and brain said, no more breathing and i could not breath. I had to just keep practicing and now I have no trouble with or without a mask and water on the nose. I actually dive with a little bitr of water in my mask now to help when my mask fogs up. The other techniques on the other links look like they would work great to.

Puffer Fish
10-31-2007, 14:01
Here's (http://www.divematrix.com/showthread.php?p=20939#post20939) a link to a thread I started recently on another board. It describes the process I go through to teach my students how to remove their mask and replace it. I haven't had a student with mask removal issues since implementing this process.

My wife had similar issues as you and almost didn't pass the skill during open water. She was finally able to do it, but probably shouldn't have been passed at that time without more practice and showing true accomplishment of the skill. Now she's an instructor and cave diver.
I'm with you, had lots that were nervious about it, never had one that could not, with practice, get over it.

RonFrank
10-31-2007, 17:10
From what I hear I just need to hire an instructor to dive with me and sign me off.

Any suggestions for Mask 4 other than more pool practice and swim lessons? I'm looking for crazy ideas. The early two and perhaps more practice swimming around without a mask I already plan to do.

What did your instructor, and the LDS have to say about this? Seems like since they are the ones that failed you, they should be the ones that work with you to get this skill down, and certify you.

Crazy Ideas? Like what? The reason you need to be able to do these skills is NOT because you have a Dive Trip planned and are not certified, but because you need to be able to do these very Basic skills to be safe diver.

PADI does a referral, maybe SSI does as well. But You would have to redo all open water dives if you do a referral. Generally if a shop fails a student, they work with them until the student quits, the student passes, or the shop gives up.

When you say Jupiter, do you mean FL? If so that is the last place a new OW student should start diving in the east coast of FL. Profiles are flat at 80feet and these are drift dives. Deep drift dives are NOT what a new OW diver needs to cut teeth on. Throw in some poor vis, and you have placed yourself in very dangerous conditions for a new diver. Maybe there are some shallower reefs I'm not aware of as I've only done that area a couple of times.

IMO you need to work this out with the instructor or LDS, not try to bypass one LDS in favor of a second unless you have a fundamental issue with your LDS. Good Luck!

GruPoo
11-05-2007, 14:19
...
I've always had problems in the pool with my nose in water, and when I did the pool test and practice I went right through Mask 1, 2, 3, and 4 without a hitch. Apparently my mind thought open water was a little different. I did great on the other skills, as well as actually passing through mask 3.

What makes the pool different from the open water or puddle. All are wet. Works for height's as well.

Most importantly, you did not fail, you just didn't quite pass. If you want it and when you are ready you will get that card.:smiley20:

Puffer Fish
11-05-2007, 14:29
From what I hear I just need to hire an instructor to dive with me and sign me off.

Any suggestions for Mask 4 other than more pool practice and swim lessons? I'm looking for crazy ideas. The early two and perhaps more practice swimming around without a mask I already plan to do.

What did your instructor, and the LDS have to say about this? Seems like since they are the ones that failed you, they should be the ones that work with you to get this skill down, and certify you.

Crazy Ideas? Like what? The reason you need to be able to do these skills is NOT because you have a Dive Trip planned and are not certified, but because you need to be able to do these very Basic skills to be safe diver.

PADI does a referral, maybe SSI does as well. But You would have to redo all open water dives if you do a referral. Generally if a shop fails a student, they work with them until the student quits, the student passes, or the shop gives up.

When you say Jupiter, do you mean FL? If so that is the last place a new OW student should start diving in the east coast of FL. Profiles are flat at 80feet and these are drift dives. Deep drift dives are NOT what a new OW diver needs to cut teeth on. Throw in some poor vis, and you have placed yourself in very dangerous conditions for a new diver. Maybe there are some shallower reefs I'm not aware of as I've only done that area a couple of times.

IMO you need to work this out with the instructor or LDS, not try to bypass one LDS in favor of a second unless you have a fundamental issue with your LDS. Good Luck!


Boy, I don't know about anyone else, but I sure hate when Ron is so right...I mean being somewhat right is ok.. but being dead on...

I never had a student fail that.. and I never sent someone to another instructor...but I did have to work with some a fair amount. Perhaps because that is my secret fear, I am far more sensitive to it.. don't know.

As this is a human issue, it does make a difference if you are in a pool or in the ocean... not rational though

webwidejosh
11-05-2007, 14:38
What makes the pool different from the open water or puddle. All are wet. Works for height's as well.

After practicing for 3 days in the sink with a snorkel it appears that temperature is a large irritant in my nose.

I've gone from sniffling and choking on my first attempt to breathing fine with cold tap water. That coupled with some pool practice an I'll have far more confidence with going to open water. The trick is, how to get checked out before my trip to the Key's in 2 weeks.