Happy New Year! It’s a brand new year and a perfect time to think about resolutions… As divers we get a unique perspective on the world that few others have… and our resolutions should reflect that. Some suggestions in no particular order:
Resolve to get plastic out of your life… Most of it ends up in the ocean and causes harm in the most insidious ways… animals ingest it and it kills or maims them, creatures get caught in it and it kills or maims them, it pollutes indiscriminately and does not break down, not in our lifetimes or our children’s lifetimes… Stop using plastic water bottles and plastic bags… We dove in the Maldives in early 2016 and it was heartbreaking to see how many water bottles littered the beaches… Recycling is a great idea – not using the product in the first place is even better.
Resolve to take care of your dive gear! It’s time! Get it serviced and keep it in good working order… Make sure it is well rinsed and cared for before you store it. Your life depends on it, literally! Take it seriously. Salt and sand don’t play well with dive gear, but they are definitely present in the places we like to dive… Just ONE exposure to salt water that isn’t properly rinsed can cause tremendous corrosion in your regulator, power inflator, valves, and the inside of your BC… If you’ve never been shown how to care for your gear, ask! Maybe consider replacing or upgrading some pieces that have outlived their intended life spans… Even “barely used” wetsuits will have lost their elasticity and insulating capability after 5-7 years, and after 150 dives, most are ready to be replaced.. Hoses that are over 15-20 years old should be replaced, even if they don’t show signs of cracking “yet”… It is not a badge of honor to use gear from the 70s…. really. New gear is often lighter and more efficient, and can often be far more budget friendly than imagined.
Resolve to stay or get physically fit. Scuba diving requires physical exertion – sometimes more than you anticipate. Plunging into a dive vacation after 11 months of a sedentary lifestyle may work out perfectly and be exactly what you needed, but you will enjoy the diving more, be more efficient with your air consumption, and have more energy if you exercise regularly. Yes, diving is relaxing, but you need to have the strength and stamina to get in and out of the boat or ocean… and to be able to maneuver if conditions change during the dive. Walking, running, biking, swimming, working out at the gym – whatever aerobic activities you like to do – make some time in your life to do it! Diving on a regular basis, especially locally, is the BEST way to stay in good diving condition.
Resolve to keep learning! Read dive magazines and diving related materials. Talk to divers with more experience and local knowledge, especially trained divemasters and instructors. Take classes. We offer many continuing education courses – learn to dive with nitrox… During these chillier days, try diving in a dry suit… Consider underwater photography – light behaves differently underwater – learn how to create memorable images underwater. Take an advanced class – a great way to work on navigation skills, peak performance buoyancy skills, night diving, deep diving, and boat diving. Take a rescue class! Be a better buddy and learn to be more aware of your surroundings as a diver. Attend product information seminars – like the one we have scheduled for January 12 at 6PM – and educate yourself on what is new in the industry. While the basics haven’t changed much, certainly equipment has… and some “common practices” have… Take a refresher course and reacquaint yourself with the gear and diving etiquette. “Learning to dive” is an ongoing process – it’s fun and it will make your diving experiences even more fun.
Resolve to dive new locations! Whether you try a new dive site locally – remember we offer Fun Dives monthly to introduce divers to some of our amazing shore dives – or plan a dive trip to an exotic or not-so-exotic location – there is SO much to see underwater! Even familiar sites can be completely different from one dive day to another. You have to get in and DIVE because you never know what might swim by. We all have our favorites, but your newest “favorite” could be just a dive away… Join us for a Travel Night – and be open to some destinations you may not have considered.
Resolve to be considerate. Think about those with whom you share the ocean – your fellow divers and its inhabitants… Many dive operators ask that we “Take only pictures, leave only bubbles” – and that is a great start… Good buoyancy, not flashing the latest photo opp “victim” into blindness, not “riding” or “chasing” turtles, mantas, whale sharks, whatever… and just observing them in their natural environment… these are but a few suggestions for ways we can continue to enjoy the amazing underwater experiences we seek out for years to come…
Challenge yourself and resolve to become a “better” diver in 2017!