Listings for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
Most people understand what is implied by the term Scuba Diving but I wonder how many actually realise that Scuba actually comes from Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. The first aqualung was invented in 1943 by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and as the sport became popular with recreational divers so the equipment improved in safety, comfort and ease of use. Today we have buoyancy compensators, sophisticated diving regulators, rebreathers and even dive computers.
However now, as in the beginning training, is essential. This can be at club level with the BSAC - British Sub Aqua Club being a good example. It was formed in 1953 and has become the governing body of recreational diving in Britain . There are about 1600 clubs in the country and the training is top class. Members also are knowledgeable and experienced in the local waters which can be invaluable.
Training is also available at a professional level. The largest such organisation is PADI - Professional Association of Diving Instructors with 130,000 professional members world wide and over 5000 dive centres and resorts.
There are other notable training organisations, a few of which are listed below
ACUC - American Canadian Underwater Certifications Inc.
CEDIP - European Committee of Professional Diving Instructors
CMAS - Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques
NAUI - National Association of Underwater Instructors
SSI - Scuba Schools International
There are some diving environments were more specialist training. These include include Cave Divng, Wreck Diving, Ice Diving, Deep Diving and Night Diving.
Considered by many to be one of the most dangerous sports in the world, caving diving hold a great fascination to many divers. There is the chance to explore places never or rarely seen before, to find very unique wildlife and to see the incredible beautiful un-spoilt features in some of the caves and caverns. Perhaps the greatest satisfaction though comes from the knowledge that you have mastered this hazardous environment with the correct training and preparation.
It is not surprising that wrecks attract most divers. Firstly they are large structures which means there is always plenty to explore. As they tend to form artificial reefs they are usually teaming with marine life. Lastly they always have an interesting history associated with them . However, wreck diving can be hazardous, partly because wrecks are often deep and because penetrating into the wreck presents a new set of dangers.
Free diving, sometimes called skin diving is the art of swimming underwater while holding your breath. Although it is used in activities such as snorkeling and spearfishing it has now become a sport in its own right. There are a variety of disciplines within the sport, some using aids to achieve the greatest depths or distances covered on one breath. The sport is known as Competitive Apnea
At it simplest snorkeling is just swimming on the surface of the water breathing through a plastic tube called a snorkel and using a mask to watch the fascinating marine life below. Snorkels have developed in recent years from the simple tube to clever devices with purge values and systems to stop water going in. Fins are also normally worn. Once a snorkeler becomes more confident and experienced they will use a certain amount of free diving to enable them to enjoy the underwater environment to the full.
Spearfishing has been carried out for hundreds of years, but the sharpened wooden poles of the past have now been replaced with various powered spearguns. In the past it was a means of catching food - now it is considered more to be a sport and for this reason spearfishing with scuba gear is frowned upon. The spearfishers will normally use snorkeling gear and often hold their breath for about a minute diving down 15 - 20 metres to hunt their prey. The very best hold their breath for 2-4 minutes and can dive down to 40 metres.
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