PREPARING FOR YOUR DIVE TRIP
- Certification Cards and Logbooks
We are going to want to see them. If you have misplaced them, let us know so we can do an online check. You cannot dive without proof of certification.
- Maintained and serviced equipment
It is important to check and service your equipment regularly. Your survival underwater depends on your equipment.
- Refresh your dive and dive emergency skills
You can do this at home before your dive holiday by going over your manual and talk diving with your buddy.
- Book your refresher course with us
If it’s been a while since your last dive or you have just bought a new piece of equipment, we strongly recommend doing a refresher course with us. Rather refresh your skills and get to know your gear in the comfort of a pool with one of our Instructors, than jumping into the unknown in the ocean.
BEFORE THE DIVE
- Are you physically and mentally fit to dive
You should ask yourself this before every dive. There is nothing wrong with cancelling a dive if you do not feel 100%. Here are a few examples of what to ask yourself:
- Am I congested, or have I recently recovered from a cold?
- Can I equalize easily and without difficulty?
- Do I feel tired, sick or cold?
- Did I party too much last night?
- Am I certified to participate in this dive? – if not talk to us about what course we can offer you.
- Assess the conditions
Although 9/10 times we have stunning, calm and easy dive conditions, these can turn into hair-raising conditions. Through years of experience in these waters, our team will make a safety call based on years of experience and good judgement. If at any time we feel the dive or launch is dangerous or that it simply will not be enjoyable, we will cancel the dive, as we are putting your safety and enjoyment first.
You also need to ask yourself, whether you should dive, based on your personal experience and comfort.
- Equipment prep and checks
It is your responsibility to do your equipment checks on the beach before we go out on the dive. It is important that each person in the buddy team understands and can use each others equipment, in case of an emergency.
- Dive briefing
Listen to the dive briefing, we cover all the emergency procedures so that every diver on the dive knows what to do should something happen.
- Hand signals
The basic hand signals are universal, but there are some differences – you don’t want to be underwater and not understand what your buddy or the dive master is trying to say.
- Boat procedures
We dive off a semi ridged inflatable boat and launch through surf. If you have never been on a boat like ours, make sure you get a full boat briefing from our skipper.
- Pre-dive safety check
On the boat, our dive master will perform a pre-dive safety check, but it’s important that you conduct your own check with your buddy.
- Buoyancy – make sure the low-pressure inflator hose is connected and that your BCD inflates and deflates completely.
- Weights – is your weight system in place (belt or integrated) and is it a quick release buckle.
- Releases – are all straps and buckles secure? Including the cylinder strap.
- Air – take a couple of breaths from your regulator while looking at your SPG and make sure your needle does not fluctuate. Should your needle fluctuate your air is not properly open.
- Final OK – have a look at your buddy from head to toe. Mask on, fins on, computer on
ON THE DIVE
- Descent procedures
It is important to equalize your ears early and often especially while descending. It is not a race to the bottom. Come down our buoy line at your own pace, in a controlled manner. We will not leave you alone and start the dive without you.
- Never hold your breath
This is the most important rule of scuba diving, as it can lead to serious injury. Overexpansion injuries can occur with slight pressure changes, so it is vital that you continue to breath slowly and normally throughout the dive.
- Show respect to the marine life
This goes hand in hand with good buoyancy control as well as the no touch rule. Having and maintaining good buoyancy not only makes your dive more enjoyable and helps with your air consumption, it also protects our marine life, by keeping our fins and gauges off the reef. We are only visiting and want to leave the reef exactly as we found it. We follow the three “T’s” of diving. No Touching, No Taking, No Teasing.
- Buddy teams
Besides Never Hold Your Breath an equally important rule is Never Dive Alone. Buddy teams are important for diver safety and enjoyment.
The more relaxed you are and the slower you move, the longer your air will last and the more you will see. It’s that simple. Diving is meant to be fun, if you surface from your dive tired and out of breath, you are not diving correctly.
- Take responsibility
Although all our dives are guided by a Pisces Dive Master, it is still your responsibility to stay in your buddy team, follow the dive master, check your own air gauges, depth gauges and dive computer.
- No-Deco diving
In your Open Water course, you learnt about dive planning and the different tools we have available to us to plan our dive. It is important to plan your dive and then dive your plan. Know your depth and maximum allowable bottom time and do not over stay your welcome – this could lead to decompression and air supply issues.
- Ascent rates
Slowly ascend from every dive. Your computer will work out the ascend rate for you, otherwise a rule of thumb is to follow your smallest bubble. Remember to never inflate your BCD for ascent, this will result in an uncontrolled run-away ascent that could lead to DCI.
- Safety stops
We make a safety stop at 5m for 3min after every dive.
AFTER THE DIVE
- Positive buoyancy
Once you have surfaced from your dive, immediately get positively buoyant by inflating your BCD until you can float comfortably. Stay with the buoy line, until our skipper has acknowledged you. Keep your eyes on the boat as it approaches. Keep your mask on your face and either your regulator or snorkel in your mouth. Once the boat is with you, hold onto it, don’t let go and follow the instruction from the skipper.
Take part in the debriefing. This is a fantastic way to learn from other divers, ask questions, talk about what you have seen and plan your next dive.