As the skipper of the Abyss Scuba boat “Bidjigal Dreaming”, I am often asked “How can I make my diving experience even more enjoyable?” or “How can I improve my diving skills?”.
After 40 years on the water, these are my top 5 tips for a safe and enjoyable Sydney scuba diving experience.
1. Preparation for the dive is the key
Being well prepared is the secret to a great experience, so if you are on your own equipment, be very familiar with its operation, but don’t get complacent and assume that it will always be okay on the day. Make sure everything is in good working order in advance, and check it well prior to taking the dive. If you are renting gear, you need to arrive at the dive centre early enough to check all your equipment, understand how everything works and get properly set up.
2. Anticipate Sea Sickness
How do you know if you’re going to get seasick? Well, the answer is simple and obvious - you don't! You cannot predict who will get sick or not. The most effective way to solve the issue is to take seasickness medication and adhere to the instructions relating to the time before you journey, dosage and frequency. Maintain hydrated throughout the voyage and do not focus primarily on the interior of the boat. Appreciate the open ocean, the sea, and the horizon and breath in fresh air. See out Tips for Motion Sickness.
3. Listen to the briefing
The dive masters and your skipper are very familiar with all the dive sites and understand the sea conditions. These may involve diving in a current or tidal flow, direction to swim, whether we are doing a one-way drift dive or returning to the anchor and the list goes on. Listen attentively to the briefing because they are for your safety and enjoyment.
4. The Best place is under the water
As you arrive at the chosen dive site, be sure to keep the process of gearing up short and simple. The longer you take will make you more susceptible to sea sickness. Once you are in the water and you swim around to the anchor line you and your buddy need to descend as soon as possible. The bow of the boat bobbing around in the ocean is likely to crack heads, so it’s best to begin your ascent with your buddy as soon as practicable.
5. The anchor line is you friend
I cannot stress enough how essential it is to keep hold of the anchor line all through your decent. Not only will this prevent you from drifting off if there is a current or tidal run, but it is also your direct link to the start of your dive and the best areas of the dive site. The anchor line is without a doubt the safest method of descent from a boat.