5 Tips

Five Tips: How To Spot Hidden Marine Life During Your Dive

Underwater Photo of a Nudibranch


Nudibranchs and other camouflaged creatures are waiting — here’s how to find them.

Camouflaged critters include some of the most interesting in the ocean, but spotting them can feel like a game of Where’s Waldo. To give you an edge, here are five tips for finding these elusive creatures.

1. Slow Down The slower you swim, the better chance you’ll have of spotting those camouflaged creatures waiting for you to pass by.

2. Get Low Swimming close to the bottom and scanning the top of the reef line is a good way to spot sneaky fellows, such as octopuses, as they attempt to slink away unnoticed.

3. Learn Their Habits Many hard-to-find critters have adapted to blend in with certain backgrounds, such as pygmy seahorses that only live on like-colored gorgonians. Learn where they hang out, and focus your attention there.

4. Look for the Eyes Even when their bodies blend with the background, their eyes will give them away. A stingray can bury its body in the sand, but if you see two dark eyes jutting from the seafloor, you’ll know what’s underneath.

5. Ask a Local Local divemasters often know the locations of resident critters. Men- tion what you hope to see, and chances are, the divemaster can take you right to it.

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How to Prepare for your First Night Dive

Scuba Diver Underwater at Night

Exploring the underwater world at night can be even more incredible than diving during the day.



Night diving is one of the most magical experiences you can have as a diver. But diving in the dark does require a little extra preparation to stay safe. Here are five tips to get you ready.

1. Be Gear Savvy

Night dives include equipment you might not use during the day, such as underwater flashlights and tank strobes. Be sure to install the batteries, check the bulbs and familiarize yourself with how these items work beforehand so you’re not fumbling in the dark.

2. Give Yourself A Hand

Hand signals are hard to see at night, so night divers use their flashlights for modified signals. For example, wave the beam of your flashlight on the bottom in front of your buddy (never in the eyes) to get her attention.

3. Dive It During The Day

The best way to prepare for a night dive is to explore the site during the day beforehand. You’ll know the layout of the reef, your entry and exit points, and exactly which sections of the dive site you want to see.

4. Brush Up On Compass Skills

During the day, it’s easy to navigate by underwater landmarks in good visibility. At night, you’ll only see the patch of reef illuminated by your flashlight, so your compass is the most reliable way to get around.

5. Practice Going Slowly

Slower is always better underwater. You breathe less air and see more when you take your time. That goes double for night diving. Not to mention that getting lost or having to make a long surface swim can quickly turn from frustrating to dangerous in the dark.

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Five Tips for Handling Underwater Scuba Diving Emergencies

Happy Diver Under the Water


You will survive: Five tips to handle anything the ocean dishes out.

While rare, underwater emergencies can — and do — happen. Here’s how quick-witted divers prepare for crises.

1. Learn Self-Reliance You can’t help others if you can’t help your- self first. Knowing that you can take care of yourself is the first step in pre- paring for underwater emergencies; a rescue-diver course is a great way to build skills and confidence.

2. Maintain Your Gear Equipment problems are the easiest underwater emergencies to avoid. Have your reg and BC serviced regularly, check your mask and fin straps for cracks, and do a predive check before you enter the water.

3. Follow A Plan “Plan your dive and dive your plan” is about more than just sticking to your dive profile. It means understanding the challenges you might face on each dive, and en- suring everyone who is going into the water has the proper skills and equipment to deal with those challenges.

4. Be Proactive The best way to deal with an emergency is to stop it before it starts. Keep an eye on your dive buddy or group, watching for telltale signs of trouble, such as a diver with wide, unseeing eyes who might be on the verge of a panic attack.

5. Know Your Escape Route In a crisis, your top priority is getting yourself and the victim out of the water quickly and safely. On shore dives, this means knowing how to reach your exit point from the surface. On boat dives, it means learning the crew members’ emergency protocols.

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5 Tips to Streamline Gear for Easy Diving

Wearing just enough weight underwater allows your BC to save air.


Wearing just enough weight underwater allows your BC to save air

Staying streamlined underwater has many benefits, from reducing your risk of snagging hoses on delicate corals to improving air consumption by reducing drag as you swim. Follow these five tips to help stay sleek on your next dive.

  1. CARRY ONLY WHAT YOU NEED: Loading down the D-rings with so much gear you look like a Christmas tree is a common mistake divers make. Instead of clipping on every gadget you own for every dive, be selective according to your dive plan. Shallow reef ? Leave the stage bottle behind. Wreck penetration?
    Trade your fish ID cards for a reel and dive lights.

  2. MINIMIZE AND SECURE HOSES: Never leave your hoses hanging, and cut out extra hoses when you can. For example, using a computer with a remote air sensor will eliminate the need for a high-pressure hose. Otherwise, make sure your octopus and gauges are clipped securely to your BC, with the hoses routed properly under your arms.

  3. STOW THE SNORKEL: For many divers, a snorkel can be cumbersome underwater, and a snag hazard. Sure, your open-water instructor said it was required equipment. But honestly, when is the last time you used it while scuba diving? Instead of clipping it on your mask, opt for a collapsible model that fits in your BC pocket.

  4. DIAL IN YOUR WEIGHT: Wearing too much weight underwater forces you to over inflate your BC, which causes drag and burns more air. Wear just enough weight that when you exhale completely at the surface, you sink to eye level. You’ll have to work a little to descend at first, but once you’re 5 to 10 feet down, you’ll have near-perfect buoyancy, without adding any air to your BC.

  5. GET THE RIGHT FIT: Comfortable, well-fitting gear is another key to staying streamlined, and the most important pieces to consider are your wetsuit and BC. The best way to get the right fit is to visit your local dive shop, where you can take your time to find the make, model and size that suit you perfectly. However, if you plan to use rental gear, show up at the dive center a little earlier than normal so you have time to try on a few sizes before heading to the boat.

For more information on getting the right scuba gear click here

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