First padi open water course help?

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First padi open water course help?

Postby Talr » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:18 pm

Okay so i completed my first day of my padi open water course and i was woundering if anyone has any tips advice to help me?. also i found this one task soo hard and i really struggled to do it...it was filling my mask up half way then clearing it under water also filling it up all the way taking it off and clearing it...i cannot open my eyes under water and i think i really need to practice not breathing in through my nose its horrible feeling..also my mask seems to always have a little water under my nose is that normal? i have it really fitting on my face?
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Re: First padi open water course help?

Postby ChuckyBob » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:45 am

A lot of people can struggle with this and its an important skill to master.
Something that may help is lying face down in the water with no mask and breath through a snorkel. Keep doing this for a few minutes at a time until you feel comfortable with it. You may even find it relaxing after a while as it triggers the mammalian reflex which lowers the heart and breathing rates.

Water in your mask should never be anything more of a slight inconvenience and you will do yourself a huge favour by persevering with this skill until you have mastered it completely.

Good luck with the rest of your course.
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Re: First padi open water course help?

Postby Frosty » Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:59 am

My lovely wife had the same problem. It turned out she wasnt pulling the bottom lip of her mask far enough off of her face to break the seal. so basicly the water had nowhere to go and she was just blowing air bubbles upwards.
Ive just recently done my OW course and I definitely push a little at the top and pull the bottom edge of the mask clear of my face before breathing out my nose.
(But keep in mind ive got the grand sum of 7 OW dives under my belt so far from an expert.)
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Re: First padi open water course help?

Postby SonnyL » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:18 pm

Talr wrote:Okay so i completed my first day of my padi open water course and i was woundering if anyone has any tips advice to help me?. also i found this one task soo hard and i really struggled to do it...it was filling my mask up half way then clearing it under water also filling it up all the way taking it off and clearing it...i cannot open my eyes under water and i think i really need to practice not breathing in through my nose its horrible feeling..also my mask seems to always have a little water under my nose is that normal? i have it really fitting on my face?


Try looking down when you take off your mask.. ie. lower your head so that you are kinda looking at your chest. It helps to keep the pressure in your nostrils, and preventing water from flowing in.

And if you can't open your eyes, then close it.... I love scenarios thrown at me when I lost my mask, which means my buddy has to take care of me :P

In the meantime, as what ChuckyBob said, go practise with a snorkel in a pool. It will help. You don't really need to like the feeling without mask. I know people who has lots of experiences and still don't like to remove their mask...but you need to be comfortable without it.

As for the fitting of the mask, get someone (your instructor) to look at it. Hard to tell what is going on without looking at it...

In the meantime, good luck with the rest of the training. And remember.."Do everything slowly!..it will help as well"... hope to see you soon underwater someday :D
"Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast"
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Re: First padi open water course help?

Postby Talr » Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:06 pm

Thanks for the advice..it was my second day today and i thought i was done with the thing but we had to dive to the bottom of the pool (4m) take off our mask swim a lap of the pool and put it back on again and clear it but the instructor was so nice he said everyone could have a play while he helped me and after about 6 frustrated times i finally got it and went first to get it over and done with :D great instructor so now i can do it yay haha....but i was scared because he said he has hardly seen someone clear there mask in one blow hahaha...so skill mastered course is nearly done just got two dive up at leigh tomorrow and Thursday then im done :) pretty excited.

any hints on how to get water out of your ear some is in my right ear and was causing me a little trouble today
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Re: First padi open water course help?

Postby ChuckyBob » Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:23 pm

Talr wrote:...so skill mastered ......

Please dont get me wrong.... but doing it once does not mean you have mastered a skill.

To master a skill you must be able to do it at any time any place with out problems or delays. I highly recommend you keep at that skill ( and others) until water in your mask is nothing more than a slight inconvenience.
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Re: First padi open water course help?

Postby Frosty » Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:31 pm

on this subject sorta. Other that taking a HTFU pill how do you get the salt burn out of your eyes if you have a maskless experience?.
My maskless swim was at about 6.0m and it stung like mad trying to see where we were swimming. Sure makes ya apreciate what 25mm of air does for ya.
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Re: First padi open water course help?

Postby Andy » Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:37 pm

Part of the problem here is that you are "task loaded"... you've got a whole bunch of things going on, bulky gear that is unfamiliar and it all just creates stress.

When I teach an OW class, I spend about 2 hours or so doing mask skills with no scuba gear on - just mask and snorkel. It takes away all those extra stressors and lets you focus on the skills and come to term with the feeling of water on your face (and up your nose). There are a whole bunch of exercises that you can do that help build up to the skills. For example, one that I use a lot is to get students to put their mask on backwards - the only real purpose is to hold the snorkel in place! Then, breathing through the snorkel slowly lower your chin into the water, then your mouth, then nose.... and finally eyes. As an instructor, I'm looking for different things throughout this exercise and depending on how a student reacts different breathing techniques can be introduced to help you.

I'd head down to the pool with your mask and snorkel and just practice the skill in the shallow end with no gear. You will also find that you *can* open your eyes underwater - particularly in the Dive Centre pool, which is a salt water pool isn't it?? Salt water doesn't sting your eyes - they are covered in saline fluid anyway! The only thing stopping you is self-belief.
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Re: First padi open water course help?

Postby Frosty » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:32 pm

andy --I must just need a HTFU pill then because I was in the sea and it was a real burning sensation.
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Re: First padi open water course help?

Postby ChrisB » Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:21 pm

Salt water doesn't sting your eyes - they are covered in saline fluid anyway! The only thing stopping you is self-belief.

Is this a skill that can be learnt, Andy?? Because ever since a kid, I have never been able to endure that irritation of eyes open underwater... whether in a pool or in salt water. Have you got any tips/techniques that will "break the cycle"?
Sometimes I think I understand EVERYTHING ---- then I regain consciousness
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Re: First padi open water course help?

Postby ChuckyBob » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:00 pm

I think its just something you get used to.

I avoid opening my eyes due to the fact I wear contacts and dont want them washed out.
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Re: First padi open water course help?

Postby Andy » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:45 pm

Frosty wrote:andy --I must just need a HTFU pill then because I was in the sea and it was a real burning sensation.


Everyone's salinity levels are different, I guess. Are you sure it's not sunscrean running in to your eyes, though?? That's what kills me....... :evil:


ChrisB wrote:Is this a skill that can be learnt, Andy?? Because ever since a kid, I have never been able to endure that irritation of eyes open underwater... whether in a pool or in salt water. Have you got any tips/techniques that will "break the cycle"?


Take up surfing! You don't really get much choice about whether or not the salt water gets in your eyes!

I used to be the same, mind you - particularly in pools. I used to not even be able to get into a pool without swim goggles for fear of water in the eyes. I only really got used to it after I started teaching and was having to keep track of students whilst demonstrating no-mask swims with no DM.
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Re: First padi open water course help?

Postby Frosty » Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:49 pm

Actually Andy ya might be onto something there I never thought of that. That test was done during dive 3 and it was the first dive of the day.
My father laughed so hard he nearly cried when I told him. He's an ex RN diver from the 50's/60's so it was him that said to HTFU
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Re: First padi open water course help?

Postby Andy » Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:27 pm

Yeah, I have yet to find a sunscreen that is truly "waterproof". Nearly all of them run, no matter how long ago it was applied.

The two I now use around water are a Clinque product that is specially formulated for around the eyes and doesn't sting and also an 'all day' product that got recommended by a dermatologist. It's pretty pricy, about $60 a tube, but actually soaks into the skin and does last all day.
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Re: First padi open water course help?

Postby Phantom Menace » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:51 pm

Underwater Rugby is a good way to build your in-water confidence :)

You might laugh but come along and give it a go!

We play at West Wave, Henderson on Sundays 8pm - 9pm in the dive well (yes, mixed teams and players range in age from 14 - 60 yr old)

For more info see this thread:
http://www.scubadive.net.nz/bb3/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=3757
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