Fiji’s reefs are known worldwide as being some of the richest in the planet teeming with life and color. For the purposes of the discussion, the key aspects of this ‘existence and colour’ are that they appear in tropical waters – normally truk lagoon warm and obvious – and additionally at comparatively shallow depths.
Yes, naturally, Fiji has abyssal partitions and drop-offs and pelagic action to satisfy anyone’s taste but the truth of the situation is the most abundant life on coral reefs is at less than 20 metres. This is great news for anyone wishing to spend their time under-water instead of sitting on the dive boat. We usually do not have the extreme physiological effect of cold water and seldom are dives restricted by no-decompression times but rather by air consumption. Hence there’s a genuine chance to max out on your submerged time.
It is well documented there are physiological differences between men and women! In terms of diving, women mathematically do better than men in relation to air ingestion. Lung capability is generally smaller as is muscle mass – both are air consumption relevant. It is not a golden rule, however you can suppose that someone 5 ft tall and 110 lbs will consume less atmosphere at rest than somebody 6 foot 4 inches and weighing 200 lbs.
So, can we do something about our very own atmosphere consumption underwater or do we have to put up with what we are given naturally? As a dive resort operator who has finished over 1500 dives in the last 5 years in Fiji (largely as a guide or instructor) I ‘ve some private views and observations with this theme. Some you might trust – others perhaps not – let me know. Before I continue, I want to say the obvious. All of us realized on our first ever dive course (whichever bureau sanctioned) that it’s vital we breathe always submerged. That’s not to imply that we might not stop now and again however breath holding, withholding breathing, bypass breathing or whatever you want to call it may result in serious problems. See what you think of my ideas , try them out and then see if your breathing is even the true problem at stake.
For a lot of, however, short dives are the world and there is the frustration of needing to do your safety stop and end the dive although other divers are still loving being underwater with plenty of atmosphere still in the tank. This consistently prompts the macho ‘how much air would you have left’ discussion between everyone on the dive boat – (there obviously needs to be some competitiveness to diving!) – However, what are the underlying causes for the differences.
Comfort / abilities
This can be a reasonably obvious place to begin. Unless you are comfy in the water and confident of your diving abilities can you actually be calm enough to attain optimum air consumption? Being relaxed (or capable of being relaxed) is the key to every thing I discuss below – the more comfortable and natural you are underwater the simpler diving will become – it is a self fulfilling prophesy. until it becomes second-nature. After that, don’t stop – do it because you appreciate it!
Positive buoyancy in the surface
A good way to beat this is to to hold about on the area. If there is a quick swim to the dive site, it’s frequently better to do this several metres beneath the water than at the area – especially in choppy conditions. Believe me; if you’re able to avoid getting even slightly out of breath you’ll save masses of atmosphere.
This is a huge issue and should have been stressed time and again on your own initial dive course. In my own experience, over 30% of all competent (and seasoned) divers we consider diving are slightly out of breath before they begin their very first dive, particularly when they never have dived lately! Exactly why is this the case? They’ve been paddling, do not have enough atmosphere in their BCD’s, are unpleasant with the area conditions etc. It is not only air consumption at position here. A sizable percentage of diving incidents happen on the surface, mainly through over exertion.
Again, as you discovered in your dive course, gear causes drag through the water, drag means additional effort which means greater air consumption. You discovered so that the equipment you carry should be streamlined. What I’m about to say might not be popular as several divers are very attached to their ‘gear’. I can virtually place cash on the man that is diving for a long time and is carrying half a dive store under-water with him would be the be the first upward.
Why don’t you take off your dry suit inflator hose – you wont desire it. It feels so much better if you are perhaps not laden down with all the latest gadgets and it does wonders on your air eating (and extra luggage fees!). In case you don’t have the perfect tropical arrangement, consider hiring you tools – your dive re sort should have tons of high quality equipment available for rental.
If you get your self neutrally buoyant but find that you drop forwards, backwards or to one side or another then your trim needs fixing (imagine everyone on a little airplane suddenly standing up and all moving to one side!). You are able to correct yourself in the water, (using motion, electricity and therefore more atmosphere) as many instances as you desire however you will constantly fall straight back unless you correct the cause. The option is normally as simple as shifting a weight slightly. It won’t repair itself – don’t endure it!
As stated previously, it is not crucial to go deeply or remain deep on Fiji’s reefs. You may want to really go and look at something specific at depth but if you discover you use more air than your fellow divers, try lowering the typical depth of your dive. With clear water, you are able to happily be a few metres above the other divers and still remain in touch. Assuming a conservative air consumption of 20 litres per-minute in the surface and in addition assuming you breathe a tank from 200-bar in the start to 50 bar back on the surface (total 1800 litres) – at the average depth of 15 metres you’ll have sufficient atmosphere for a 36 minute dive. At a typical depth of 10 metres you’ll have enough atmosphere for a 45-minute dive. That is a huge 25% increase in time. Why not spend time researching the shallows throughout the latter portion of the dive. This is perfect in the tropics as you’ll view a massive quantity of existence in fantastic organic glowing light. It truly is also great on your dive profile and persistent dive no decompression limits.
Remember you’ll breathe 1.5kg plus of atmosphere during your dive so constantly correct your pounds for the air you expect to have at the end. If you’re correctly weighted for 1 dive are you always right weighted for another (assuming no modifications in wetsuit and so on)? Not necessarily! If diving in current, which is frequently in Fiji, I find it simpler to be marginally over weighted. You are able to use less energy if having to swim into a a present by ‘dropping’ into it using your additional fat. Additionally if there are upwards currents you are able to use the weight to your own advantage without needing to swim down. At any rate, look at the dive you’re doing and weight accordingly.
Right weighting is necessary for successful air intake. Weighting is an essential part in buoyancy control (mentioned below) but also has a tremendous impact on your own efficiency in the water. Overweighting tends to drag the reduced part of the physique down so even if neutrally buoyant, divers need to kick continuously to remain flat in the water. All that kicking demands energy which necessitates atmosphere. A double-whammy in your air consumption! Furthermore, the more weight you take, the more inertia you have (feel of a truck braking as against a auto) meaning it takes more effort to change direction and as we know attempt equals air – Is there anything as a triple-whammy? Under weighting could have similar impact on your own air eating as you struggle to kick down near the conclusion of a dive whilst your tank is looking to pull you upward.
Mastering your airiness is an essential ability related to any or all features of your dive. For those who have complete buoyancy control you can remove extraneous motions submerged. As water is so dense, all moves use a lot more energy compared to the same motion on land and thus use more air. There are several interesting exercises you certainly can do to hone your airiness but something you should do all the time on every dive is use rigid visual benchmarks to offer a consistent picture of where you are relative to the rest. In case you catch buoyancy lapses quickly, you spend less power correcting them thereby conserving more atmosphere.
In the event you’ve ever done an aerobics class, there’s a reason the teacher makes you do all those arm moves before you believe that they are going to fall off. It’s exactly the same reasoning that produced your diving instructor want to tie you arms to your side throughout your first dive class. Great should you want to burn calories within an aerobics course, disastrous for air consumption on a dive – enough said!
Rate / kick style / movement
Clearly all movement is unable to be cut out on a dive else you’ll never go anywhere. It is extremely important therefore that movements should be as energy-efficient as you can. Because of the density of water, slow steady motions are most effective – there is no use fighting water, it will win every time and rob you of your air to boot.
Divers frequently show their characters in how they dive – there are those that are very busy buzzing about the reef and those people who are laid back and going with the flow. Figure who typically lucks out on air consumption? During training, I often get my pupils to find out whether they could increase their dive velocity by just 50%. That specific dive doesn’t tend to last quite long!
I hear you ask. And my reply could be unpopular with plenty of individuals. In my opinion most divers shoot cameras to the water before they’ve sufficiently honed their diving skills. Destruction of the reefs aside (as out of control diver/photographers crash in to it) it is a discussion on air eating. A cam is just another piece of gear to deal with. It causes drag, is a distraction and can job load somebody who nevertheless h AS abilities like buoyancy to to understand. All of these variables will cause a growth in air ingestion. Using the revolution in digital-cameras and housings, underwater photography is is at reach of many divers and of course it’s great fun. If you’re concerned about your air intake and dive with a camera, do an experiment. If so (and I believe even the most seasoned photographers use more atmosphere when taking photographs than diving without a cam) you have a simple decision to make – enjoy the fun of photography or appreciate extra dive time. In time you’ll be in a position to do both but perhaps make the camera behind sometimes in order to hone your diving skills.
It’d appear to make intuitive sense that good cardiovascular fitness would result in higher air consumption. It truly is however a hard one to prove as you will find a lot of variables at play. I I cannot find any strong studies on this subject and believe that it would be interesting to conduct one. On one-hand you have fitter people being able to make better usage of air linking to exercise but on another you’ve increased strength ratio and higher metabolism burning more calories at-rest. Yoga has surely shown many benefits in diving; it aids stress-management, enhances mental alertness, educates you how to relax, improved utilization of senses, raises flexibility and attention to respiration techniques.
I have discussed 12 facets of our athletics where I believe you can really make a difference in your air intake. Some may only yield miniature consequences, some larger or none in any way. I ‘m convinced yet that should you be worried about high air utilization and tackle all of those areas you’ll visit a continuing and significant advancement. I hope that divers studying this will have their own views and also other suggestions that I’ve lost – it would be great to hear your comments. That is where we come full-circle in the discourse on boosting your air consumption underwater. Dive is like many sports, the more you do, the better you get at it and the easier it all becomes. As things become second nature you can relax your body and head letting you take full benefit of the air which you take under-water with you in your tank.
Notice how far down the list I have put breathing techniques and that is the one people feel holds the magic reply. I firmly believe that in case you address all the previously discussed headings, unwind and get the principles right, you’ll notice an improvement in your air consumption. Again, yoga teaches breathing methods included in relaxation and there are a few things that you’ll be able to try underwater. I and the others have discovered that reversing your ordinary routine of respiration can actually assist you to use atmosphere more economically consequently preserving it. At rest, your normal breathing pattern will be; breathe in, breath straight out, interruption with empty lungs for second or 2 and then repeat. Attempt turning this by inhaling slowly, pausing at the top of the breath, breathing out gradually then immediately in slowly again without any pause at the underside of the breath. I discover I embrace this pattern mechanically when diving – try it and see whether it works for you.