Unusually close because it was a baited shark dive in Honduras
If you’re like me, one of the first things most people ask when they find out you scuba dive is, “aren’t you afraid of sharks?” I always answer “Oh no, I so rarely see a shark; it’s always exciting, and I swim towards them to get a photo.” They eye me skeptically, so I follow up by saying that I’m more afraid of the stray dogs that live on my street than I am of sharks. So, here are some interesting statistics to share with these dubious folks.
According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), between 1958 and 2016 there were a total of 548 fatalities from sharks. That is an average of 9.45 fatalities per year. Of those fatalities, only 8% were snorkelers or divers (more than half were surfers).
So, what kills more people each year than sharks? Here’s a list that may surprise you:
ANIMALS & INSECTS
Mosquitoes – 800,000 worldwide
Hippos – 2900 worldwide
Bees – 100 in the US
Ants – 50 in the US
Jellyfish – 40 worldwide
Dogs – 30 in the US / 25,000 worldwide
Cows – 20 in the US
Horses – 20 in the US
Texting (while driving) – 2900 in the US
Falling out of bed – 450 in the US
Falling coconuts – 150 worldwide
Popping champagne corks – 24 worldwide
Taking selfies – 18 worldwide
Falling icicles – 15 in the US
So, now that you’re armed with some statistics, go out and convince all your friends to discover scuba diving!
If you use a weight belt
If you use an integrated BCD
To finish up this series, let’s discuss what is probably the easiest conversion to make–pounds to kilograms. A kilogram is 2.2 pounds, so a good rule of thumb is to take the amount of weight you use at home and divide it by 2. Most people usually dive with a little extra weight anyway, so this should work out just right.
Having said that, if it’s your first dive in a long time, or if you have a brand- new wetsuit, this shortcut might not work for you. If it’s your first dive in awhile, you will probably be just a little bit unsure/anxious, your breathing will be affected and you will need more lead. After a couple of dives, you will be back in the groove and can take off the extra. If you have a brand-new suit, the neoprene bubbles haven’t been compressed yet. In both of these instances, make the conversion and add 1 more kilo.
If you are someone who has perfected your buoyancy and you have been diving recently, ask the DM if they have weights in half-kilo or one-and-a-half kilo sizes. Together, you’ll be able to come up with the right combination for you.
So, my metrically-impaired brethren, I hope you have enjoyed this series and found it helpful. Happy bubbles everyone!
Speaking as an American, when I hear the water temperature is 29 degrees, I momentarily freak-out until I remember that this is in Celcius. But even then, I’m not exactly sure what that means (if I don’t have my trusty Smartphone to make the conversion for me). So here’s a guide, plus some exposure suit recommendations from scubadiving.com.
||EASILY CHILLED DIVERS
||bathing suit or dive skin
||1-2mm shorty or full suit
|27° – 29°
||80.6° – 84.2°
||dive skin or 1-2mm shorty/full suit
||1-2mm full suit
|23° – 26°
||73.4° – 78.8°
||2mm shorty or 2-3mm full suit
||3mm-5mm full suit
|19° – 25°
||3mm – 5mm full suit
||5mm-7mm full suit
|15° – 18°
||59° – 64.4°
||5mm-7mm full suit
||7mm full suit + 2mm shorty
|| below 59°
||You are not likely in Bali
Currently the water temp in Pemuteran is 28-29 degrees. Only once in Bali have I experienced the 15-18 degree range–September 2015 down in the south at Crystal Bay to see the mola-molas. Last year it was much warmer and apparently not many molas were found due to the higher temperatures.
You can always contact the Sea Rovers office before your trip to decide what exposure protection you need to bring. Here’s a tip for those easily-chilled: invest in a hood; it’s small and light-weight and can make a big difference in your comfort level.
Both systems in one plus color coding–I like it
Today’s topic in our series ‘Guide for the Metrically Impaired’ is tank pressure. Those of us familiar with the Imperial system measure tank pressure in psi while the rest of the world uses bar. So if the divemaster says that you need to turn around and head back to the boat when you have 125 bar, or you need to be back on the boat with 50 bar, how do you comply if your gauge is in psi? Most importantly, listen to the dive briefing and pay attention to the guidelines and hand signals. Here are some handy conversions:
Full tank 3000-3200psi 200-250 bar
Turn-around point or start
ascending to a shallower depth 1000-1250 psi 100-125 bar
Safety stop / low on Air 750 psi 50 bar
Low on air / Very low on air 500 psi 30 bar