I always find it funny how putting on a black silicone mask can give divers tunnel vision…figuratively as well as literally. As soon as we get geared up the world around us ceases to exist and all that matters is the water. We forget about stresses at work. We don’t feel hungry or tired because the ocean nourishes us. We live in the moment and become a part of the underwater environment that called to us all week at our desks. Our landlocked lives temporarily pause.
And that’s fine. In fact it’s great. Most of the time. But oftentimes we can get so distracted thinking about our upcoming dive that we miss the little details that can drastically affect the entire diving day. Forgetting something as small as a snorkel keeper can nag at you and keep your day from being the absolutely blissful diving adventure you imagined all week.
So in an effort to bring our heads back to planet earth and keep as many of us from looking foolish when possible- here are a list of some of the most common things I’ve seen divers forget as they head out into the water.
Ladies, you can’t wear swimsuit bottoms that tie
Guys, you probably shouldn’t either, but for different reasons. The knots will sit in the EXACT wrong spot under your weightbelt and will annoy the unholy crap out of you until you get out of the water and relieve the pressure. Heaven forbid the ties sit right on your hip bone…it’s enough to drive a person insane!
Guys, silicone/petroleum jelly on your mustache DOES look like massive boogers
By all means, use the silicone to keep your mask from leaking through your mustache. But also try to remember that when you get out of the water and take off your mask…you look like you just blew the largest and most unsuccessful snot rocket known to man. Maybe wipe it off on a towel before posing for a post-dive check-out-my-catch photo.
You should eat before diving
I’m not saying to have a double bacon cheeseburger right before hopping in the water, but you’re about to go burn hundreds of calories very quickly, if not more, so fuel up! Try and pick foods that will digest quickly so that your stomach is not overly full, but also so that you get energy for your dives.
You should’ve fixed that tiny hole in your wetsuit
It didn’t look that big when you stuffed your suit into the bag, but now that you’re in the cold water that 1mm hole feels like a mega-watt A/C unit turning your warm wetsuit into a meat locker. Brr!
You shouldn’t have had so many beers last night
Sure, it was loads of fun at the bar last night when that cute girl was making eyes at you while your buddy rocked the house via karaoke, but this morning’s 7am wakeup call and 8am dive time are just not as enjoyable as normal. It’s never fun wondering if you’re seasick or just hungover!
You should have taken the seasick pills
“I never get seasick…” said everyone who followed up the statement by puking all over the dive spot. Maybe add seasick pills to the pre-dive checklist.
A side note: Getting seasick does not make you a wuss. I know lots of amazing freedivers who get seasick. It’s better to accept it and to take pills for it.
You should have brought more lube
There is no such thing as bringing too much lube. Ask the guy waddling around in his bone dry wetsuit. And even if you don’t need extra, one of your dive buddies probably will. Friends don’t let friends chafe.
Well that’s a good start, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there are many more. Feel free to leave more ideas in the comments and we’ll amend from there!
***Some additions from readers***
-If you’re diving in cold water, always bring warm lube in a thermos!
-Always bring a post dive cooler for beers