Hi Leslie ONeill here with Scuba Explorers.
Over the past 27 yr of teaching…one commonly asked question:
How deep do you dive & how long are you underwater? We do our deepest dive of the day first…around 100′. I know people say -” That sounds SO deep”. One of the many things students learn on the 2nd day is how far they can swim on one breath.We never hold our breath while scuba diving- but it does seem to put people at ease when they know they can reach the surface in the worst case scenario. We do a horizontal swim in the pool.
Because of the propulsion of your fins- swimming up from 30′ to the surface is not much different than swimming up from the bottom of a swimming pool. A person that is more physically fit may easily swim from the depth of 100′ on one breath. Whereas others not as fit may swim up from about 30′ which is the perfect depth to see some of the most magnificent underwater life.
How long we stay depends on how deep we are and your personal air consumption. The deeper we go limits our time at that depth based on the amount of your nitrogen intake. You will learn this detail on the second day of the two-day course. Your air consumption depends on your comfort level in the water. You will learn to breathe slowly & deeply while underwater.
Nervous people (which by the way is quite normal for new divers) will use more air. Moving your arms like a swim stroke or trying to kick too fast will make you use air faster than if you remain streamlined with minimal movement. This all comes with proper training, time & experience.
Like anything in life- once equipped with knowledge —you gain the comfort and confidence to try a new sport. If you don’t at least try, you’ll never know! Remember we start in 3′ of water. If you become scared—just stand up.