Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of taking Madeline, the editor of the Vallarta Tribune newspaper into my pool to teach her some basic scuba diving skills. I have to say I did this mainly because I wanted to write an article on how bad she was, but she was so good I have no content. She brought her young son along who was more than willing to get his ears wet and we all had a fun time. So, I suppose all I have got to write about is what I did with them.
Firstly, I also gave them a thorough briefing on the equipment and how it works, how to relieve the pressures on the eardrums when we descend, a ton of hand signals, safety rules and what we were going to do.
There are a few compulsory skills I have to teach before taking anyone into the open ocean. I demonstrated these skills very slowly before having them repeated to me. Firstly, I taught them how to take their regulators (the bit we breathe through) out of their mouths and put it back in and then we take it out of our mouths and throw it over our shoulders and retrieve it. Why did I teach this skill? Well, imagine seeing something really cool, the 1st thing most of us do is to go wooooow. Funny thing is, our regulators fall out and we need to get them back. It´s also cool to have your photo taken underwater without a large piece of equipment shoved in it. The regulator fills with water when we take it out of our mouths, so we teach how to get rid of this so no one chokes.
Another skill I taught was how to clear a bit of water from your mask. This is useful as masks sometimes let a little bit of water in. Hairy men have a problem with this as the mask doesn’t seal properly. I have a problem with this as I am old, and when I smile underwater, which is often do, my wrinkles cause my mask to let in water! Having a bit of water in the mask is sometimes useful as masks often get a bit of fog in them. We can rinse the water around inside to remove this and clear it out without having to go to the surface. If you put a little bit of pressure on the top of the mask, tip your head up a bit and blow out of your nose, the water comes out the bottom of it. Always good to remember not to breath in through your nose when it’s got water in though. Washing your sinus´s out with salt water stings, but certainly clears the head! I do believe Madeline had a chlorine sinus flush yesterday, so maybe she can tell you what this feels like!
Now they are ready to do some open water dives. Let´s hope Madeline gives me some good content. If not, I will just have to make it up!