Not only should you be able to remove and replace the mask, you
should be able to make a safe ascent and a safety stop without it.
Until you can do that, I suggest not doing dives that require ascents
or safety stops.

I suggest doing some free diving, first with the mask, then without.
Start in the pool first.  Without a mask you can still see, albeit
not as well.  You can certainly make out your buddy.

You can also practice removal and replacement of the mask without
SCUBA gear, in a pool.

Good luck, and have fun in the water.

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???
>Welcome to diving, and to the list!
>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.
>When I remove my mask, I blow a little air out my nose to keep water out,
>until the mask is in place.
>Dive safe, and all my best,

Paul B.