Scuba Diving Certification
One thing you’ll notice when you first begin your scuba diving certification, is the importance of maintaining neutral buoyancy. It can be a bit of a challenge but in time… it’s a piece -a-cake!
Once we learn equalization, mask clearing, regulator recovery, breathing through a free flowing regulator and a few other easy skills, repetition makes these procedures become second nature.
For a safe comfortable diving our goal is to be neutrally buoyant in the water. This allows us to be weightless in the water, change position freely and easily with little effort, expending the least amount of energy and minimal amount of air.
By simply understanding how each effect the other will help control buoyancy. Three factors of our body compositions effect on underwater buoyancy, the type and amount of:
Muscle mass versus bone mass versus body fat
Fat is buoyant, and yes we all have it to some degree; after all fat does float. Dense bone and muscle sink. The two off set each other. Some do not have dense bone and some have very little muscle.
We are taught a person should use 10% of their body weight in lead to become neutral in the water… it’s only a guest mate, a point of reference. We don’t know for certain until we actually submerge.
Typically lean people sink & heavier people float, most think it’s the opposite. Yet some may appear large, if they have extremely dense bone and lots of strong muscles mass; they will sink like a rock. It may only take an a few pounds of lead with their BC & 3 ml wetsuit. Conversely, a thin person with hardly any body fat may need 16 lb of lead for their particular bone & muscle is not dense enough to offset their body structure.
Other consideration that will make a person more positively buoyant are: excessive breathing, salt water, a wetsuit (the thicker the more buoyant), a buoyancy control device (some BC’s have larger bladders and more material which means more buoyant) along with other objects weighing less than water i.e. camera, flashlight, net bags, etc. Thus being the reason we compensate with weights to neutralize ourselves in the water. Otherwise we would be like a cork bobbing in the water, fighting to get and stay under, wasting precious air & energy. Wouldn’t you rather use your precious air & energy to follow a ray or a turtle?
When more weight is required to sink, more drag is put on our bodies; more air is needed to breathe; the less weight needed the better.
The deeper we go the more negatively buoyant we become; water pressure compresses everything as we continue downward, everything becomes more dense. If a person sinks too quickly, it’s not a good thing! We never want to be too negatively buoyant; otherwise we could be on the bottom with our BCD fully inflated and have a difficult time, using air & energy… a bit dangerous, wouldn’t you say?
We always want to begin & end our dive neutrally buoyant, then as we descend we add small amounts of air into our Buoyancy Compensator’s (BC’s) to maintain a neutral position, as we ascend we deflate our BC little by little all the way to the up, making certain all air is depleted before reaching the surface. It’s not good for the lungs to pop out of the water like a bottle rocket.
We also do a safety stop 15 ft below the surface to breathe off excess nitrogen while under pressure. This is a good reason we cannot be too positively buoyant at the end of our dive. At the end of our dive our tank is low of the compressed air we began with making our tank weigh even less, therefore making it more difficult to remain 15 ft under for a given amount of time before surfacing. When weighted properly, we can focus on the fish and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Then there is breathing, movement and streamlining, but that a whole new topic, we won’t go into now!
Like any sport, once you learn the safe procedures, scuba diving is safe, simple & fun! This is why we have 16 hrs of quality instruction plus two full days for cuba diving certification. Once equipped with all the safe diving knowledge, we are totally safe & competent divers.
Tagged with: dive gear • dive trips • Diving Certification • Kansas • Kansas City • KS • Lee's Summit • Lenexa • Missouri • MO • Olathe • Overland Park • Parkville • scuba certification • scuba dive equipment • scuba diving • Scuba Diving Classes • Scuba Explorers • scuba gear • Shawnee
Filed under: Scuba Diving
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!