Introduction to Scuba Diving

James Bond sneaking up on the bad guys while wearing all kinds of cool scuba gear is what many people picture when they think of scuba diving. For me it was seeing Jacques Cousteau films of him and his team diving the coral reef and finding all kinds of cool undersea animals. Both of these images are popular because they highlight the fascination the general public has with scuba diving.

Scuba diving assisted by various types of equipment has been around for well over a century. It was not until the Second World War that a guy named Emile Gagnan, assisted by a young French Naval Lt. named Jacques Cousteau designed and built the first scuba air tank, called the Aqualung.

Did you know that Scuba is an acronym for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus? SCUBA developed rapidly after the war for commercial, military and recreational uses. Some of the gear developed included item such as buoyancy compensators, wetsuits, drysuits, goggles, fins and the like. It was during the 1960s that scuba technology and gear really surged forward.

Selecting the right or best equipment is just part of diving. You also have to study and know about sea creatures, safety issues and practice, physics and physiology.
The deep sea will quickly claim those who are impatient and or don’t take the time to learn and equip properly.

The good news is that anyone with a lick of common sense can follow basic science and thus learn to dive safely. Scuba diving is one of the most exciting adventures one can have in life.

Scuba diving is great for all ages. Youngsters can us SASY (supplied air snorkeling for youth) gear. Teenagers all the way to senior citizens, can dive and see the wonders of the deep, including things like coral reefs and kelp beds. Yes, senior citizens can dive safely with proper training, as long as they don’t go too deep.

You don’t have to be certified to be a scuba diver, but it’s highly recommended. Things you’ll learn include how to avoid common dangers, how to ascend properly and safely, how to breath properly and how to prepare your gear. Other helpful things you’ll learn include how to use your regulator and how to clear your mask.

In a brief twenty-hour course from a recognized dive school you can learn skills that will serve you well for a lifetime. You are best off going with a PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) or NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) certified dive school. It’ll only cost you a few hundred dollars and it’ll last a lifetime.

You will also learn how to select gear like masks, regulators, buoyancy compensators, dive watches and or dive computers. Not to mention air tanks, snorkels and fins. Your instructors will always be experienced divers and not just lecturers with no real dive time under their belts. More of the topics they will teach you includes selecting dry suits and wet suites, knives, spear guns and even underwater phonography tips.

Often times your dive instructors and or other students will share dive “war stories” and good places to dive. The world is full of amazing places to dive including Thailand, Caymans, Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Bermuda and of course, Australia’s Barrier Reef.
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