.... Go back to Part 1: My First Scuba Diving Vacation
Back to our first diving trip off the Big Island on a tourist dive boat. On shore, the crew confirmed that we had all the necessary equipment. The dive company was supplying any equipment that we did not have. None of the tourists on the trip had brought any equipment of their own besides masks and fins, so all of us had to be fitted with oxygen tanks, breathing regulators, vests, and weight belts. Since this equipment was pretty heavy, we did not bother with it until we were on the boat and out near the dive site. It took about a half hour for the boat to arrive at the dive site and to set the anchor.
We looked down at an extensive coral reef that they told us was twenty five to thirty feet deep and seemed to stretch of several acres. Clearly we never could have gotten close to see this reef snorkeling. It was not because we were anchored at least several hundred yards of the shoreline, it was the sheer depth. While twenty five or so feet of water is not a lot for an experienced diver, it is about as deep as a novice should try on their first dive or dives.
While this does not seem like much depth, for about each fifteen feet of water you increase the pressure by about another atmosphere. So the pressure of all the atmosphere above you, when you are standing on the shore at sea level gets doubled when you go down about fifteen feet. If you go down another fifteen feet you add another atmosphere of pressure to the situation. It is like fifteen feet of water weighs about as much as all the miles of air above you on dry land at the shore. This turns out to be pretty important to safety when you are diving as Tina, in particular, found out.
All of us novice tourist divers were on deck listening to the crew tell us about what to expect and how to react if they had a problem. About 10 of us would be diving in addition to the three crew members who would be diving down with us to watch over things. We were told several things to pay attention to. The first had little to do with diving safety, but had more to do with the quality of our experience. They said that while with snorkeling it was often suggested that you spit on the interior of your mask and rub it around to ensure that your mask would not fog up, this would not necessarily be a reliable method for diving. While it could work for many, when the spit on the lenses method fails while snorkeling all you need to do is to get your head out of the water and spit again. This does not work thirty feet down.
There are ways to let water into your mask to clear the fog and then use your nostrils and air from the tank to clear the water from your mask by doing a scuba mask purge. While this is a technique that all divers learn, it is not something they wanted to have us complete novices try at thirty feet. It works and it is reliable, but water in a mask and an inexperienced diver could lead to panic at 30 feet of depth. Instead, they had a formulation of liquid to use to cut the fogging of your dive mask lenses. We each took a few drops on each lens and rubbed it around and nobody had any diving mask fogging problems that day. By the way, there are some home made recipes that you can find on the internet about how to use diluted clear dishwashing liquid or other alternatives to pre place good old saliva, but I have never bothered to find them. The reason is that I bought a small bottle of lens clearing fluid called No-Fog Goop from Snorkel Bob’s in Hawaii.
Snorkel Bob’s was this chain of dive shops and Snorkel Bob’s had these ubiquitous small advertising signs all over that show a shark mouth. These ever present advertising signs were pretty stupid looking, but there were some many of them that we got to chanting Snorkel Bob, whenever we saw the signs as we drove around. Well, at least Steven and I did. Tabatha and Tina tied of this game after the first day, but since women apparently are smarter than men, Steven and I kept it up for the whole trip. Anyway, the reason why I never got around to making some myself is that this Snorkel Bob’s No-Fog Goop has lasted twenty years and I still have a third of this small bottle left. And, it not as if I do not use it. I have a pool and a couple of kids and we use it on our goggles whenever we swim in the summer. The trick to conserving this anti-fog dive mask fluid is simple. Keep it up high on a shelf in the kitchen, so that the kids cannot reach it. If I let the munchkins dispense it, it would have been gone in one summer.
<< Go back to Part 1: My First Scuba Diving Vacation