During the Dive – The dive leader organising your scuba dive will inform you of the plan for your scuba dive; such as where, when and how it is going to take place.
Being nervous before your first ever scuba dive is normal.
It can even make the experience itself more rewarding, once you relax and can appreciate the beauty and serenity of the underwater world.
Some people find breathing underwater easy, however most people find that the first time they breathe underwater it feels quite unnatural.
This is perfectly normal!
It is a natural response for our brains to tell us that we shouldn’t breathe underwater and often overcoming this sensation is the most challenging part of the dive.
It’s important to relax and give yourself an opportunity to practice what breathing underwater feels like. Usually after a few minutes it should start to feel normal.
Once you are comfortable, during the dive and you have completed the pre-dive skills, your Scuba Instructor will lead you on an underwater tour.
Scuba diving for the first time is a magical experience and the beauty and serenity of the underwater world will capture your heart forever.
When diving for the first time it is good to remember to keep your body nice and horizontal in the water, just like you would snorkeling on the surface.
(Some first time scuba divers have their body vertical underwater as though they are walking around on land, however this is ineffective as they end up kicking to the surface).
Ideally, good scuba divers will do a modified version of the swimmers flutter kick, with elongated legs and pointed toes moving up and down naturally with the motion of the fins.
You are aiming for a slow, gentle kicking style – scuba diving is a relaxing activity, and you should not tire yourself out or at any time feel out of breath.
If you are completing an introductory resort dive, the dive leader will sometimes keep hold of the group at first by linking arms, leaving your hands free to communicate using hand signals – see section ‘Communicating Underwater‘.
Depending on the condition of the dive and the Scuba Instructor, the Instructor may let go of you during the dive if you are comfortable swimming along unaided.
Some Scuba Dive Instructors prefer to keep the group together by linking arms throughout the dive.
If you would rather keep hold of your Instructor underwater that’s fine, and it can sometimes make it much easier for you to enjoy the dive.
If your Scuba Instructor is happy for you to swim along next to them unaided, it is important that you stay within arms distance so that they can easily reach you at all times if they need to.
Never go deeper than your dive leader and don’t swim ahead of them …they know where they’re going, it’s a big bonus!
More often than not your Scuba Instructor will see things in the distance well before you do, and are able to point them out if they have your attention.
You’ll find that the closer you watch your dive leader, the more they will be able to show you – like colourful Great Barrier Reef Christmas-Tree Worms that ‘vanish’ when you swim past as they retreat into the coral, or glittering schools of fast moving fish.*
Staying close to your dive leader and following their instructions is the best way to get the most out of your scuba experience!