Next Meeting: Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Andrews University, Biology Amphitheater, Price Hall, Berrien Springs, MI
Meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. (Every 3rd Tuesday of every month except December)
Greet attending members, Introduce visitors, Present specific club related information and identify upcoming club events, MUD Club Picnic is August 23 (Saturday) River view Park in Niles – volunteer to assist needed; Discuss general dive related news, Present any Show & Tell, Open the floor for discussion of current diving experiences and lessons learned if any, Pizza at Roma’s after meeting closure. Samples of the July “Diver Training” magazine will be available at this meeting.
Last Meeting Highlights:
There were 9 in attendance, 8 called in with prior commitments, treasure report presented, talked about places that divers went, talked about how to use an “EpiPen” and passed around a training devise, Richard C spoke about his recent Africa trip, Jim S suggested we bring our back up dive gear or bring a list of our back up stuff, insured those in attendance knew about the update for the MUD Club picnic. Richard and Dane will be putting on a power point show at the Silver Creek Church July 20 at 7:00 pm of their trip to Africa. Several members were absent due to presenting the program “What Lies Beneath – Paw Paw Lake” at the North Berrien Historical Society in Coloma.
Safety Tip of the Month:
S-A-F-E D-I-V-E: You can start by remembering that each dive should be a SAFE DIVE, directly related to: Self-reliance; Attitude; Fitness; Experience; Diving skills; Involvement; Variety; Equipment. Let’s talk about:
Have the Right Experience Level andbe careful. It’s paramount to your safety and enjoyment.
If you’ve never been on a dive to 100 feet / 30.4 meters or if you’ve never made a dive at night, consider buddying up with an experienced diver or taking a course with a diving instructor to expand your comfort zone. If you feel uncomfortable about the dive, it may be because you feel you’re not ready. Proceed with caution. Slowly extend your diving experiences. If you’ve been diving to 60 feet / 18.2 meters, try a dive to 80 feet / 24.3 meters. For your first night dive, go at twilight. Also, make sure your buddy has the needed experience.
Another way to extend your diving range is to take a diving course for the environment or experience you want. Want to learn how to wreck dive? Sign up for the course so you’ll learn about the planning, hazards and techniques associated with it. While experience is a good teacher, a teacher with good experience can maximize your understanding of the skills involved in the specialized diving activities you pursue. Plus, you’ll be able to document your experience with a certification card so you can pursue your interests further.
Practice Your Diving Skills
Practice makes (almost) perfect. Diving skills can get rusty through long layoffs between dives, especially for new divers. When was the last time you practiced removing your mask underwater? How about out-of-air drills or removing your weight belt underwater? It was probably during your first scuba class. How long ago was that?
The Big Four. The four primary diving skills that you need to maintain are mask skills, buoyancy skills, emergency skills and general diving skills such as swimming and equipment handling. One of the best times to practice these skills is during your safety stop.
Weighty matters. To determine the amount of weight you should dive with, you should be neutrally buoyant during your 15-foot / 5-meter safety stop at the end of your dive with between 300-500 # in your tank and no air in your buoyancy control device (BCD). If you remain motionless and you sink, you’re over weighted. If you start floating to the surface, you’re underweighted. Adjust your weight on the next dive accordingly.
Review. In your pre-dive plan, review out-of-air procedures with your buddy and practice them at the end of your dive. During your safety stop, or prior to descent, locate and breathe from your buddy’s alternate air source. Practice buddy breathing if your buddy doesn’t have one. Remove your mask and replace it.
Learn to love snorkeling. Many new diver students haven’t had much experience or skill in snorkeling. If you become completely comfortable in open water, regardless of depth or whether you can see the bottom with just mask, fins, and snorkel, you’ll have much better odds of being a relaxed, safe scuba diver.
Taking a few moments at the end of your dive to refine and master these basic skills will mean that in the unlikely event that you’ll need to use them in an emergency, you’ll be ready.
“Always Dive Safe and Dive Smart”
Don’t dive if you feel pressured. Remember, if you’re not having fun, stop diving.