Long Island, New York Scuba Diving

Our Long Island Scuba diving adventures and events

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

So, you are going scuba diving.. Are you ready?

So you are going scuba diving.. Are you ready?
Showing up to dive and being ready can make all the difference in the world in how your day turns out. Beyond safety and preparedness it just makes sense to have your stuff together and really enjoy yourself. Too many times I have seen divers show up to dive at the wrong time, with the wrong gear, not enough gear or any real sense if their gear is operating properly. Sometimes it’s laughable, sometimes it’s dangerous and when the guy who is unprepared is your dive buddy it can downright tick you off. So let’s take a look at the very simple ways a diver can anticipate a dive and show up loaded for bear.
The first issue is timing. On Long Island a large majority of beach diving or inshore diving opportunities are based on tide. This means that a diver is going to avoid strong tidal currents by beginning the dive at the start of slack tide and ending the dive as the current changes again. Logically, one has to know when slack tide is and then can plan in reverse for travel time as well as the time it will take to put on gear and get into the water. You can usually see this done very poorly at the Ponoquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays at the height of Long Island’s dive season. The tidal currents there are extremely heavy and you are going for a ride if you misjudge them. Many divers show up as slack tide starts and begin the dive when the tide is about to change. Poor planning? You bet. There are many services on the web that will help you find tidal information. I like to use http://www.noreast.com/. It’s a great site with a lot of fishing info as well so it also helps to inform a diver as to where the fish are. Look up your tides and plan accordingly. Let’s say a high slack tide is at 12PM. I know it takes me 10 minutes to suit up and 10 minutes to be in the water and start diving. That tells me I want to be there no later than 11:40 AM. Plus, the drive takes me another 40 minutes so I want to start out no later than 11AM. That was pretty easy right? Now onto gear.
The biggest mistake divers make with gear is when they show up to dive with a tank, a BC and a regulator and none of them are connected. I don’t know what it is but some people think it’s cool to assemble all their stuff in the parking lot. I think it’s the dumbest thing you can do as a responsible diver. The best time to set up your gear is when you still have time to fix it if there is something wrong. For example, if I put by rig together and turn the air on the night before the dive I can test it. If an O ring blows I can fix it. If a regulator malfunctions I can swap out the regulator or in the worse case I can cancel the dive and give my buddy options to find someone else to dive with. And oh yeah, don’t forget about your buddy. If you both follow these tips you’ll be better friendlier buddies. I have a few guys that messed my dives up more than once when I really needed a partner. I don’t dive with them anymore. Now if you have your rig setup just turn the air off and pack it in your car. When you arrive at the dive site all you have to do is turn the air on and throw on your rig. Easy stuff…. Now for the rest of it.
How do you keep from forgetting something? That is also easy. First, think about what you’ll need for the dive and make a note of it. If you are not sure call a local dive shop, boat captain or look online for water temperatures and such. Write it down if you are a new diver it’s just easier. Next, place everything on your list in your dive bag or your plastic bin. But, the key is to touch every piece, say its name and place it in the bin in the reverse order you will need it. For example, If I was doing a summer night dive you would hear me in the garage saying this as I filled my bin: “Fin Fin, Glove Glove, Boot Boot, Mask, Hood, Light, Catch bag, knife, Suit, weights” My rig is all together and tested so that’s taken care of. I have touched every piece I need. It is placed in the bin in the order I need it. I am ready. And remember when I told you it takes me 10 minutes to suit up. I lied, it only takes me 5. I’ll be in the water long before you shut your trunk. And I’ll be relaxed and ready to go.
It really is that simple. You can show up ready to go every time and really reduce any stress prior to your dive using and sharing these guidelines. And there is one more tip for those married men out there. If you set your gear up the night before the dive and it won’t work and you need to cancel your dive, call your dive buddy immediately. Then go right to your wife and explain that you haven’t been spending enough time together and that you have cancelled your dive to spend the day with her.
If you have any questions please feel free to email me at info@longislanddiving.com


  • At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love your article, this is the best report that I have read in a long time

  • At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You are a very smart person. This piece is so far the best, please keep writing.

  • At 7:01 PM, Blogger Quit Smoking said…

    Hello fellow fisherman,

    Did you know that 16% of the U.S. population goes fishing at least 16 days a year?

    Did you also know that over 75% of the nations fishermen do not fish during "prime time"; fish feeding hours?

    Those precious few moments before twilight can be absolutely magical. Even up until 11pm at night, the largest predators of any species feed ravenously.

    Don't believe me? Check out Daniel Eggertsen's story, and a picture of a couple of his catches here : "Evening Secrets plus more"

    I want you to do me a favor and try it out so I can see what you think of it, and if it works for you as well as it did for me.

    You will be one of the first to try it out.

    Gone Fishin',



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