Learning the Basics of Diving
SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) diving is the term used to describe the action of swimming underwater using specialist breathing equipment and you will need to know the basics before heading out on a Similan Island dive trip, so let us take you through what you should know. Learning how to dive is safe and easy, and the basic skills needed can be learnt surprisingly in just three days. The recreational underwater sport is popular with a wide range of people from travelling backpackers to retirees looking to experience something new.
First of all let’s get started by learning some of the terminology for the most commonly used diving apparatus including:
- Face masks
- Breathing regulators
- Buoyancy devices (such as a BCD)
Face masks are placed over your eyes to protect them from the water, and are used in snorkeling as well as diving. Breathing regulators regulate the air that you breathe when underwater, while buoyancy devices such as BCDs are used to establish neutral buoyancy levels under the water and positive buoyancy when on the surface. When visiting the Similan Islands Thailand, gauges can be used to determine the depth of the water as well as the temperature and fins are another term for flippers that you put on your feet to provide a more powerful swimming thrust.
Now that you know what does what, let’s move onto the primary reasons people go diving…
Why Should you SCUBA Dive?
The Similan archipelago attracts avid divers from all over the world due to the beauty of its local reefs and the marine creatures that call the national park their home. For some, the uninhibited splendor of Mother Nature at its best is reason enough to dive and for others; the adrenaline rush of swimming through a submerged wreck or a secret hidden cave is what makes them pull on their fins in excitement. From being thrilled by the exhilarating experience of diving with gentle Manta Rays and awesome Whale Sharks, through to the calm feeling of swimming alongside a friendly turtle or colorful seahorse – diving offers a little bit of something to everyone. The great thing about diving in the Similan Islands Thailand is that the local dive sites provide visitors with a range of different diving opportunities from exploring reefs and wrecks to discovering underwater caves and caverns.
Who Can Dive?
Almost anyone can enjoy diving but three factors will need to be considered before you squeeze into your BCD, namely:
- Your health: While you don’t have to be in tip-top physical condition, you will need to be in good overall health to dive
- Your age: There is no upper age limit for divers, however, children should be 10 years old before they begin diving in open water
- Disabilities: You will need to be able to do basic activities such as tread water, swim and float. Physically challenged people can take advantage of the natural buoyancy of the salt water that will support their body, allowing people with physical disabilities the opportunity to enjoy diving
What Types of Diving is There?
If you are new to diving, then you will find that there are a few different types of diving opportunities available including recreational, commercial, military and technical.
Where Can I Dive?
As more than two thirds of the planet is shrouded in water, you can dive nearly anywhere! The Similan Island archipelago in Thailand often ranks in the top 10 places in the world to dive and is always a popular diver-draw with its tropical reefs and varied marine life. Diving can also be enjoyed in freshwater lakes, rivers and even quarries but reef diving remains a firm favorite with recreational divers.