When I was a little girl I would sit everyday after school on the couch and watch the Little Mermaid. And I would watch it over and over again, singing all the songs by heart. Later at night, I’d go to sleep dreaming of that underwater kingdom, dreaming how I was gliding through the water playing with all my cute fish friends. Then I’d wake up and feel disappointed that it was all in my imagination. But when I got older, luckily I turned that dream into reality. Scuba diving not only made my dream come true, but also expanded my consciousness by showing me a whole new hidden part of the world.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the organs to be able to survive underwater. However, the man’s burning desire to discover what lies on the bottom of the ocean has motivated him enough to develop a special equipment to do so. Now whenever you yearn to explore the blue depths, like I always do, you can freely do it. But first you will need to properly prepare yourself and invest in the crucial diving equipment to safely plunge in. These are the basic pieces you’ll need.
Our eyes are not designed for seeing underwater, and neither can our ears tolerate the increased pressure. A light-coloured or see-through mask can be the perfect window for the underwater world. Moreover, the air pocket in front of the mask allows you to decrease the pressure in your ears by holding your nose and blowing while you descend. Keep in mind that the mask should be made of a soft material and not PVC so that it does not injure your face.
Although a piece of snorkeling gear, the snorkel is essential for diving as it allows you to breathe when you’re on the surface, so that you won’t waste the air from the tank. I personally use it when waiting for the rest of the divers from my team to get in the water.
To feel like a mermaid, you’ll need to be able to move freely in the water like one. Fins will help you do so and will reduce the stress on your legs so that you can swim longer. There are two types of fins designed to fit different water temperatures and terrain conditions. Full foot fins are meant for warmer waters and smooth platforms. They are light and you won’t feel like you’re actually wearing something on your feet. However, once you’re outside of the water they can get very slippery, so be careful when you step on the boat with them. On the other hand, open foot fins offer more thermal isolation for colder waters and enough protection for swimming and walking around rocky terrain. Their only downside is that they can feel like a heavy shoe and wear you down.
Our skin is not thick enough to keep our body temperature stable when diving deep. A wetsuit is designed for that matter. Make sure the material is thick enough and resistant to scrapes. Also, it should fit tightly around your body so that there is no open space for water to get in.
The regulator is one of the crucial pieces that make diving hundreds of meters below water surface possible. Without it, and some other things, all the gear mentioned above is basically snorkeling equipment. This device is attached to the top of the tank to de-pressurize the air before delivering it to your mouth whenever you inhale. The regulator also has a safety backup called an octopus with a longer hose and a mouthpiece attached to it. Besides serving as backup, it can also be used by another person if there’s an emergency.
Buoyancy Control Device (BCD)
The BCD is the piece of diving equipment that ties everything else together in a functional unit. It is basically a vest that enables you to carry the heavy scuba tank with minimal effort. However, the main function of the BCD is to control buoyancy. It has a deflater that lets the air out of your wetsuit to allow you to descend, and a deflater for when you want to rise up.