Odly enough scuba divers have certain peculiarities.
You may not realize it but the fact that you scuba dive may pick up or a few traits common to scuba divers when you are not even diving. For example, if you are a diver you may find yourself using scuba diving hand signals in other daily activities.
You may even pay more attention to the ability to equalize your ears while others are concerned about chewing gum to equalize their ears. You may even find yourself becoming more of a conservationist.
Read on to see how you may have changed as well.
Not everyone who starts scuba diving falls in love with the sport. However, if you are one of the lucky people who finds release, peace, and (paradoxically) excitement in scuba diving, you will probably pick up a few of the habits and behaviors listed below. Perhaps you don’t exhibit all of these traits, but if you are addicted to scuba diving, I am willing to bet that more than a few of them apply to you!
1. You Use Scuba Diving Hand Signals in Everyday Situations
Since it is nearly impossible to communicate verbally underwater (unless you are diving a rebreather), scuba divers use hand signals for basic communication. Dive buddies who dive together regularly will often develop additional hand signals for common communications. So what happens when the buddies go to the supermarket? Attend a concert? Caravan on a road trip?
The hand signals come out. Scuba diving hand signals work well to communicate not only in noisy places, but also over great distances. A scuba diving couple grocery shopping together? She flashes the question hand signal across the supermarket, and then holds up an eggplant. He signals back using the okay sign. Car trouble on the road? The driver hangs his hand out the window, and signals “not okay” and “slow down” to his buddy in the car behind him. I have even observed divers use fish identification hand signals to secretly comment on the personality traits of people around them. This habit becomes even more pronounced with technical scuba divers, who have a much larger set of standard hand signals for communication. Admit it tech divers, you have used the “hold” sign in daily life before, and your dive buddy responded appropriately by giving the same signal back. You were pleased.
2. You Obsess About the Condition of Your Ears
The ability to equalize your ears for scuba diving is absolutely essential, and congestion and allergies can make equalization impossible. Days before a dive trip or excursion, it is not uncommon to find a scuba diver wandering around the office periodically pinching his nose and breathing out to check if his ears are working.
Air conditioning in the hotel room or car? No! It messes up my ears, and nothing so trivial as climate control is worth missing a day of diving. Going to dinner at a cat lover’s house when you have a cat allergy? Not before a dive trip. Does your friend have a cold? Cancel the coffee date until you are back from diving. Similarly, divers who have experienced equalization problems in the past will often travel with an apothecary of their favorite decongestants, ear drops, and anti-inflammatories, even if it makes passing through airport security a little more difficult.
We have highlighted only 2 of the 10 things identified by Natalie Gibb that change when you start scuba diving.