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At 02:32 PM 9/20/2001 -0500, Don Ward wrote:
>At 07:10 PM 9/20/2001 +0000, you wrote:
>>I am a new scuba diver and had a terrible time in the certification dives
>>with taking my mask off and replacing it.  Is there any secrets to doing
>>this without panicking underwater???

I somehow got through my entire certification pool time without ever having
to tale my mask off.  Then I did my open water dives and the instructor,
who had never seen us before, took my wife's mask off and handed it to her
and she dealt with it so calmly that he didn't bother doing mine.

Thus I ended up going through divecon training, rescue, working with
students and so forth, and never had to take my mask off until I was doing
my instructor course and it came time for skills demonstration.  You see,
part of being an instructor is that you actually have to be able to do all
of those drills you teach, and do them smoothly and well.

I had significant apprehension about taking my mask off, for the first
time, after 200+ dives.  You know?  It really was no big deal.  You just
don't breathe in through your nose or you'll drown.

Wet the back of your hand.  I lick mine, some people think that is
gross.  You are doing it for the same reason that you lick a finger to see
which way the wind is blowing.

Now hold your hand under your nose, palm down, and breathe out with your
mouth open.  If you just relax, you'll feel the air coming out of your nose
and mouth.  Tense up like you are blowing the candles out of a
cake.  Exhale.  No air should be coming out of your nose.  I do not know
how to describe it, but everyone can do it.  Practice tensing just enough
that the air comes out of your mouth but not your nose.  Now tense that
way, and that much when your mask is off.  If the water gets up your nose,
it will be uncomfortable, but you won't drown.

There is no secret that I am aware of, and you are not alone.  Many, many
>students have this problem.  It is just a matter of practice.  I would ask
>the instructor if she will allow you to go with a class to the pool and
>practice, until you are comfortable.

This is another good idea.


>When I remove my mask, I blow a little air out my nose to keep water out,
>until the mask is in place.

As long as you can hold your head upright and maybe slightly forward, this
works as well.

I should have pointed out that once I had done this as a drill once, I
probably had my mask kicked off, knocked off by current, elbowed off,
pulled off by people rescuing me during rescue drills and  for various
other reasons about once every 25 dives or so.  I have no idea how I kept
it on as long as I did.

--
We often hear of war described as if it were some kind of impersonal
affliction, such as the Black Plague or famine.The fact is that war is not
just something that happens, it is something that people make happen, and
they make it happen for reasons. As Clausewitz said, war is the continuation
of politics by other means. Exactly. War is neither a hurricane nor a flood.
It is, on the contrary, the cutting edge of ideology.
   -- Jeff Cooper
Nick Simicich - [log in to unmask] - http://scifi.squawk.com/njs.html