Thursday 1 October 2009

Diving Terminology, Part I

As one continues to dive / read diving books / hang about aimlessly on, one accumulates random diving terminology, which I shall attempt to eludicate here for the enlightenment of all.

Here's probably as good a place as any to throw in an important disclaimer: I'm not a trained diving instructor and I have a grand total of 13 dives under my weightbelt. If you seriously want to learn to dive, go learn from the nice people who have trained specifically to do that. Don't rely for your safety on anything I say here. If you would like to point out something I've got wrong, please do so, I welcome all polite and helpful correction. (Impolite correction can bugger off.)

So, a term for your enlightenment:

Nosebreather. Rather derogatory diving term for non-divers. So-called because divers breathe only through our mouths, since that's where the nice large mouthpiece connected to the air tank goes in. To answer a question I've been asked, yes, the mask covers your nose (as I am demonstrating to the left, here) partly to stop the water from getting up your nose, but more importantly, so you can breathe out through your nose to blow air through the mask and get rid of any water that might have leaked into it. (Yes, the mask does stay on if you do this - you hold the top of the mask and look up whilst blowing out. Like so.)

Diving opinion is divided on the merits of diving vs non-diving partners. Those favouring divers as partners wax lyrical about the joys of floating effortlessly through some of nature's most awe-inspiring sights with your loved one by your side, and having a partner who understands the need to have the smell of wet neoprene permeating the house for two days. Others point to the frustration that occurs when your beloved appears to have been inexplicably replaced with a wetsuit-clad moron who seemingly cannot understand the simplest hand signals and keeps wanting to stop to look at the pretty fish.

For their part, non-divers display a bewildering inability to grasp the importance of not drinking on a Saturday night so that one can rise at 6.30am on Sunday morning to get changed into a cold layer of thick neoprene whilst standing on a towel behind a stranger's Land Rover so you can go submerge beneath the grey North Sea. On the other hand, obliging nosebreather partners can be most useful in terms of acting as surface support, keeping an eye on the car / kids / dog, and making the all-important thermos of hot tea. Thus the debate rages on.

More diving stuff as and when I can.

In far more important news, today the Oldest Friend and her hubby had their first baby! A little girl, 6lbs 9oz, mum and baby doing well. Yay! Can't wait to see the little one.

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