Understanding Scuba Diving: Dive entries
It is known by all that for diving you first need to get to the water, since the beginning of commercial diving and freediving human kind developed some techniques to make it with safety and comfort.
There is not such thing as a best entrance for all environments, better said, each situation have one entrance that fits the most the given conditions, weather, equipment, height and accessibility determine the entrance to use.
There are 2 entrances that are among the most populars these are:
The Giant Stride:
This entrance is recommended from boat and rocks as well, also if sitting on the border is unconfortable or impossible and if you need to put a little extra distance in between the entry spot and you. To execute this entrance, orientate yourself first, look underneath for obstacles, establish positive buoyancy and touch with one hand the mask covering the regulator, this mask holding solve 3 issues so it gets repeated in several kind of entrances:
-It hold in position the mask
-It hold in position the regulator
-The most important one, that most people does not know, it helps by breaking water surface tension in case you hit the water wrongly, preventing the mask´s glass to break.
with the other hand we hold the weight belt in case we wear it or the harness buckle and execute a stride. This is crucial, a stride, not a jump, this means that if you stride with your right leg, the left is in contact with the boat or rocks, so you enter the water with one leg extended and one flexed. That position prevent you from jumping like navy seals in the movies and it also give you some more margin to correct your positioning. Is not uncommon that if your fins are long, and you are close to water you may kick the water with the tip of them, making resistance and consequently falling with the head upfront. As long as you have the tank well fixed in height and mask hand covered nothing very serious but completely undesirable.
Classic entrance for low hull boats where the tank is the first element of the gear entering the water. This entrance way is popular when diving not too big boats and semi-rigid (zodiac style boats). To execute this entrance, as in the previous one, establish positive buoyancy and touch with one hand the mask covering the regulator with the other hand we hold the weight belt in case we wear it or the harness buckle, wait for someone that can actually see the water where you are intended to fall, surroundings of diving boats are surprisingly often surrounded by guess… Divers, you don´t what to lose your buddy by a cylinder hit. Other than this, if your mask straps are loose or you use neoprene you may find that your mask strap is off. Other thing that is sensible in this entry is the tank position, if the manifold is too close to your head you might hit against it, place your cylinder in the adecuate height.
This two entrances can be done if the weather is very rough can be performed as well as negative entries, this means that you don’t establish positive buoyancy prior to the entry, this require some skills and making orientation time and agree the conditions of meeting with your buddy in advance, like meeting at 5 or 10 meters deep where the waves are not a hassle, all this must be according to the conditions. Remember that cancelling a dive can save your live. Dive always according your experience and skills.
There are also some other kind of entries that are not as popular but also adequate in some conditions.
This is the appropriate entry for most of the shore diving, excluding jetty and some other places, In this entry there are 2 versions, one is with the fins on from out of the water or putting the fins in the water. If the water conditions are kind of rough you might have your fins on your feet so you reduce the hassle of putting them in the water, while if sea conditions are calm you will rather prefer avoiding the hassle of walking on fins. Once you wear the fins you will only be able to walk backwards , giving your back to the waves.
Tip: To wear the fins make a 4 shape, help with your right hand to wear the left foot and viceversa, meanwhile, with the other hand hold on to a buddy.
If you plan to wear them in the water walk backwards or straight depending on the amount of waves, establish positive buoyancy while you can still stand and then wear the fins following the 4 shape. with positive buoyancy you prevent the event that while you wear the fins or walking you slip and hit the tank against the bottom.
This entrance is popular in Ice diving and cold environments, is a slow entrance for conditions where a fast temperature change could accelerate the degradation of equipment, it is also a very suitable entry for amputees and people with movement difficulties. it works only when you are close to the water. Sitting with the face looking to the water, twist your waist and put both hands on the surface, then balance your weight to the arms and making a 180º turn and avoiding to hit with the cylinder the surface you are turning from you will find yourself in the water with your hands holding to the boat or ice or even the border of the pool!
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