5 Things You May Not Know About SCUBA Diving

We’re going to different depths with this post and I hope you’ll join us in diving into deep, new territory! If you couldn’t tell by that punny opening, I’m talking about SCUBA. If you’ve been following our journey for the last 5 years, this won’t come as a shocker to you. To those of you who are new, SCUBA has been a MASSIVE part of our lives and has gone a long way to shaping my career as a picture taking fool.

Since 2005, I’ve been part of the NAUI diving family, and I’ve risen through the SCUBA ranks to become an IT or instructor trainer.

SCUBA instructor certification card

To put it into perspective, roughly 1/3 of our wedding guests were our scuba family.

SCUBA family at Mead wedding

photo credit: Nikki MayDay Photography

 

I have seen and heard a lot in these 12 years as SCUBA diver. Here I want to share some things that non-divers might not be aware of. There are so many of them, but I decided to narrow it down to five.

1.You don’t have to be a strong swimmer to be a SCUBA diver. That’s right, you do not. The reason is that your fins literally do all the work! To get certified by NAUI, all you have to do is be able to swim a few laps of the pool, any stroke, swim 50ft on a single breath hold and survival float for 10 minutes (The worst part about that skill is having to listen to me tell bad jokes).

SCUBA diver and Kittiwake shipwreck in Grand Cayman

 

2. Breathing underwater through a regulator is easy. That’s right, it is simple to breath underwater. All you have to do is breathe like you do normally on land. ALWAYS BREATH NORMAL ON SCUBA!!!  Did you know that you can also sneeze, burp, cough, laugh, and talk through a regulator? It’s just like being at the surface, only you have your air with you on your back.

SCUBA diver with hawksbill turtle

3. SCUBA divers do not breathe pure oxygen. We breathe compressed air, or Nitrox. The reason for that is pure oxygen becomes toxic to scuba divers at depth.

SCUBA diver using NItrox

4. You do not get claustrophobic while diving. The number 2 reason I hear from potential students is that they are claustrophobic and fear that all that gear will constrict them and restrict their breathing. Actually, the opposite is true. SCUBA diving is the closest thing you can do to become weightless on this earth. When you achieve neutral buoyancy, you are literally weightless underwater!!

SCUBA divers in action

5. SCUBA divers are NOT on the menu for sharks. I know this is contrary to what a certain week of programs on a certain cable television network would lead you to believe.  In my 12 years of SCUBA diving, I’ve never heard of a diver being deliberately attacked by a shark. If you get stung or bitten, it is a defensive action. Animals do not just randomly attack divers. However, you need to have a healthy respect for them as one of the top predators.  While underwater, we are in their environment and are not the top dogs anymore. I teach my SCUBA students to take pictures and leave bubbles. In other words, LOOK BUT DO NOT TOUCH.

black tip reef shark

If this post piqued your interest about SCUBA diving, I know a guy who can certify you!!  The staff at Divers World of Erie runs classes several classes a year. We also run trips to exotic locales like Little Cayman and San Salvador, Bahamas.

Got more questions? Fire away in the comments below. Or head over to our contact page for more info about seeing the other 3/4s of our planet.

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  1. Steve Woytek

    May 4th, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Great post, Matt, and congratulations on becoming an instructor trainer!

  2. Matt Mead

    May 4th, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Thanks, Steve!

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