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  • Writer's pictureBrian

Diving Awareness

Happy New Year everyone! It is a new day and a new year!

 


 

Yesterday, I was riding bikes with my son to enjoy the temporary lapse in the rain, and I was reminding him to be aware of his lane position when passing others or when being passed. He was having so much fun, going fast and just enjoying the outdoors that he wasn’t aware when someone came up behind him.

 

This reminded me of diving with friends and how we sometimes lose track of each other or miss the whale swimming by. You know, when your friends are all excitedly dancing underwater waving their hands up and down pointing at nothing. Yup you missed the whale that just swam by. So why is that? Diving is a sensory deficit sport.

 



 

Sensory Deficit:

What does that mean? Well, if you compare it to being outside you have a much greater sense of what is around you. You can hear the birds chirping nearby, you can feel the wind blowing across your face, you have full peripheral vision, and you can smell the roses (unless you are nose deaf like myself, hahaha!)

 

Underwater you lose most of those senses. Sound travels too quickly for us to differentiate where it’s coming from. The wetsuit inhibits your sense of surroundings, or if you don’t wear a wetsuit the immersion in water is enough to inhibit your senses. Masks, while helpful in seeing underwater, minimize your vision to a narrow 3x6. And there is no sense of smell unless you like sniffing sulfur clouds.

 


 

Fun Fact: When diving in sink holes, caves, cenotes, or any freshwater location with a sulfur cloud you can actually smell the “rotten eggs” through your mask. And it doesn’t go away…it lingers there for your aromatic pleasure.

 



 

So, because we cannot easily sense what is around us it is important to maintain a greater awareness of your surroundings. Next time you go diving I want you to start with keeping an eye on your buddies. If you are in the lead turn around and make sure they are still there. If you are behind them, keep an eye on them or any other buddies nearby. If you can’t find them, look up or look down. Chances are they are hovering slightly above you or down below.  

 

Do this every time. Doesn’t matter who you are with or if there is dive leader or someone more experienced in the group. This is a team sport and we all need to be accountable for each other.

 


 

As always, this Brian (owner of Bamboo Reef) your fearless leader. I’m always lost, but happy to share the journey with you.

 

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