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Thread: How many times...?

  1. #1
    Grouper
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    How many times...?

    Looking for the most number of tries it took someone to pass open water and then go on to be a regular diver. My fiance has tried twice so far but with no luck; she's not comfortable enough when it comes time for mask clearing or reg recovery. I think she wants to give it at least one more try so I'm hoping to offer her some encouragement that it takes some people a few tries. I also need to make sure she wants to do this as much for herself and not just because I have advanced certification and will be starting master diver soon.

  2. #2
    Grand Master Spammer Founding Member
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    It depends on how motivated they are. If she has failed twice, she should give some serious thought to how much she wants this for her, as you noted.

    At this point, though, she should be spending quite a bit of quality time in a pool, trying to get comfortable. No scuba gear needed, just the mask and snorkel, practicing these basic skills to increase comfort. Frankly, sticking your face in the sink (full of COLD water so there is actual challenge) with only a snorkel, so you're comfortable breathing with no mask and without using your nose can help with this considerably.

  3. #3
    My instructor told me that they had a lady who took 9 months and quite a few weekends of hand holding to get it done. I think some people probably need a lot of repetition and practice to feel comfortable.

  4. #4
    Strong medecine alert:

    Comfort in the water is critical. People who have trouble doing this probably don't have the amount of comfort they need to be safe divers. What are they going to do when someone kicks their mask off at 60 feet? Panic and shoot to the surface? Of course comfort can be developed, but it might be easier to look for another hobby. Some soul searching is required here.

  5. #5
    About 5 years ago I had a student with a lot of determination but not a lot of aptitude or comfort in the water. She in fact learned to swim so that she could learn to dive. It took her 5 or 6 weekends in the pool and then 2 weekends to successfully complete her dives. She is now a divemaster and does more diving than most people I know!
    I agree with CD in that she really should be striving to become very comfortable with the skills in the pool. If she has been taken to an openwater site twice before nailing the skills in the pool, she has been done a disservice. If the pool sessions went well but OW didn't, then she and her instructor need to examine the new issues that come into play - hood, gloves, lack of visibility, anxiety about critters, etc. Or, perhaps another instructor is warranted, sometimes teaching styles and learning styles just don't mesh.
    Best of luck!
    Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.

  6. #6
    Long Tailed Thresher Shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by BouzoukiJoe View Post
    Strong medecine alert:

    Comfort in the water is critical. People who have trouble doing this probably don't have the amount of comfort they need to be safe divers. What are they going to do when someone kicks their mask off at 60 feet? Panic and shoot to the surface? Of course comfort can be developed, but it might be easier to look for another hobby. Some soul searching is required here.
    Agreed, but you and I are used to battling the Atlantic. Hopefully, if she does end up choosing to certify and doing so successfully, she will choose her dive environments very carefully (35 feet, no current, etc) until she is very solid in the water.

    OP didn't speak to her swimming skills. If she is a strong swimmer and just hasn't gotten the mask thing down, then practice makes perfect. If she is generally uncomfortable in open water environments, they I would be encouraging her to find another hobby.


  7. #7
    Grouper
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    She never went out to the lake, just two weekends in the pool about a month apart. She'a a good swimmer, actually spent some time on her colleges swim team. I can't figure what freaks her out so much about mask off or regulator out.

  8. #8
    Long Tailed Thresher Shark
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    Quote Originally Posted by russp View Post
    She never went out to the lake, just two weekends in the pool about a month apart. She'a a good swimmer, actually spent some time on her colleges swim team. I can't figure what freaks her out so much about mask off or regulator out.
    If she was a competitive swimmer, then there is certainly hope for her. Have someone work with her. She will have an "ah ha" moment when it will come together. The mask thing freaked me out for a brief moment when I was doing my OW skills in the pool. I can't open my eyes under water, I have contacts, and I was underweighted. So I'd close my eyes, start drifting out of position, while trying to flood/remove/replace my mask. So we added some weight. And then I figured out that just because you can't SEE doesn't mean you can't BREATHE. Ah ha. My instructor beat that skill to death. On my first OW dive I hate a crappy mask and it flooded 10 times or so. No problem.

    The reg think doesn't make as much sense to me. She is used to having her face in the water breathing out little bubbles. And used to holding her breath during a lane turn or finish. Just not as deep. Just practice to fix that I think.

    I read this interesting article in some mag, can't remember where, about how competitive swimmers have to un do some of their habits when diving. They are used to powering through water, not aspiring for perfect buoyancy and air conservation.

    Good luck.


  9. #9
    not for not, does she wear any type of corrective lenses??? the only way to get over that kind of fear is to practice, but if it causes that much discomfort or distress then maybe do another option for a past time
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by russp View Post
    She never went out to the lake, just two weekends in the pool about a month apart. She'a a good swimmer, actually spent some time on her colleges swim team. I can't figure what freaks her out so much about mask off or regulator out.
    First, excellent question Lulubelle. My gut was saying why do it if it doesn't come naturally. But that is me. If I don't enjoy something I find something else to do.

    However, if was on the swim team then it shouldn't be a water problem.

    Maybe she has to stop and think about how she feels just before she freaks out. If the mask has a black skirt it could be making her feel closed in. A clear skirt helps. If the water coming in freaks her out how about going the reverse route. Go underwater WITHOUT the mask on. Get comfortable breathing on the reg without a mask on then put the mask on (it will be full of water but that is okay). Clear the mask then swim around a little.

    For the regulator, is she a checklist sort of person? Have her create a list of steps for doing the exercise. Keep fleshing out the list so it becomes more and more detailed. If she can break it down into some robotic like steps she should be able to practise that for a while then start working on variations. For example,

    1) Take a few breaths and relax.
    2) Once you are breathing normally and feel relaxed, breath in (slowly).
    3) Remove the regulator but hold it firmly in your hand.
    4) Blow just a LITTLE bit of air out.
    5) Put the regulator back in your mouth.
    6) Stick your tongue in the regulator.
    7) Push the purge button.
    8) Breath INTO the regulator.
    9) Breath slowly back in.

    After she gets comfortable with those nine steps, change something up. Like don't press the purge button, just breath into the regulator. Or don't hold onto the regulator in step 3. Drop it in front of you but keep your hand so it cannot float behind you. Final change for step 3 would be to toss the thing over your head (could end up stuck between you and your tank).

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