A few weeks ago, I took my very first diving lesson with Captain Mikes Diving. I began working with Captain Mike on his marketing team, promoting various dive equipment’s, paddle boarding, and of course, diving lessons. Without any experience with diving, it was tricky to truly understand the diving world. I needed to actually get in the water, and Captain Mike made that happen.
I learned a lot in my first diving lesson, and as a true beginner, it was a little nerve wracking at first. (Even though we were diving safely in a pool!) I’m going to outline the 5 main takeaways that I found to be most important when learning the basics of how to scuba dive.
1. As Captain Mike would say… “NEVER ever ever ever ever ever ever hold your breath”
As we’re all sitting around the pool, casually dipping our toes in the water, Mike begins with the most important rule of diving. To NEVER hold your breath. We were all chuckling at him as he repeated “ever” at least 10 times, before he gave us the harsh reality of how important this rule was.
A natural reaction as a new diver is to hold your breath as you submerge yourself under. That is completely normal for anybody who has been swimming before, which is why this rule is detrimental to your well being. As Mike explained, and Deep Blue Diving explains, if you hold your breath while you’re ascending to the surface, the air in your lungs will expand which can lead to serious lung injuries, or even have fatal consequences. Your number one rule is to continue breathing normally, as you would on land.
2. RELAX and breathe
The thought of having my lungs explode really put me through a loop, which is why the second takeaway I had from this experience was to RELAX. Captain Mike saw my face pale, and he assured me that everything was O-K! The next key takeaway was to relax and breathe.
As a beginner, it is important to note that if you’re panicked and uncomfortable, the entire experience is not going to go smoothly. Deep, slow, and calm breaths help not only conserving oxygen, but also with your state of mind. Breathing is a natural thing, but as soon as you go underwater it is not. You must remember to be relaxed and take deep breaths to completely expand your lungs. If you breathe short and shallow breaths, you could become light-headed, or even pass out.
3. Know Your Equipment
Now for the fun part! Gearing up! First, we cleaned our masks with toothpaste. Toothpaste you ask? This is used to prevent the masks from fogging up. We then each got strapped into our AquaLung BCs, equipped to inflate and deflate at ease, carry our oxygen tanks, and essentially hold all our gear in place. Other equipment included our regulators, which converts the high-pressure air from our oxygen tanks to ambient pressure so that we could breathe it, and lastly our fun fins that helped us float and move through the water with ease.
Because we clearly cannot talk underwater, divers need an effective way to communicate with one another. This is where hand signals come in handy… no pun intended!
This diagram from PADI shows the most common and helpful hand signals you should know as a new diver. As Captain Mike was teaching us various tips to he used the “Watch Me” signal often. We also were all using the “OKAY” signal to show him we were not distressed.
5. Have FUN!
This was by far the most important takeaway from my first diving lesson. I went into it nervous and came out of it excited to continue my diving lessons, and get my diving certification. I would definitely recommend taking lessons from Captain Mike, not only because he is an expert in this field, but he also made the entire experience stress-free and fun.
If you’re interested in taking your first diving lesson with Captain Mike, please fill out the form below!