Course Outline

You will practice descents in your confined water sessions and your open water sessions.

Although some divers are taught to do a feet-first decent and heads-up ascent, this program encourages divers from the very beginning to start their dives in trim (horizontal body orientation). This is an excellent habit to adopt early and does three important things: maximize water resistance that makes control of descent and ascent speed easier, keep fins from contacting the bottom first, and orient divers correctly for swimming position.

Your instructor will teach you correct positioning and proper equalizing. There are a few points to remember when you descend in open water.

  • You may be changing from fresh water confined water to salt water for actual dives, so adjust your weight accordingly.
  • There are dive sites in the ocean that have currents. Pay attention. Keep visual contact with your buddy or the dive leader. Orient yourself to the direction you wish to dive.
  • Descend, together with your buddy. After a few meters or feet, look where you are going, and drift or swim down slowly while equalizing. (This is a skill that will take time to master. Go slowly and practice.) Before you reach the bottom, establish neutral buoyancy to avoid kicking and silting up the bottom or destroying the reef.
  • It is always a good idea to descend down a reference line or the boat anchor line. Stay oriented, and enjoy the dive.
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