A little more advice...

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Posted by Wayne on August 19, 2000 at 17:55:52:

In Reply to: Two novice divers rescued by Lifeguard at Leo Carillo posted by JC on August 19, 2000 at 06:19:04:

As the others have said:

Get training on Beach Diving. It is much harder that most newbies think.

Get out of the breaking surf as soon as possible.

On the way back, get buoyant and study the waves for a few minutes before the swim in. You will get a chance to rest, check your gear (tuck in your octo, for example), discuss with your buddy what you are about to do, look for a good spot to land, and signal your non-diving frineds on shore so they can help carry your gear!

Keep your reg in and relax. You canot fight the waves, but you can make steady progress and never need more air than a regulator provides. Sometimes it takes a while to get in or out. But steady progress is the key.

I prefer to to do a manly crawl on the bottom as soon as I can. Then the waves are doing their thing just above me. Kinda like a sand crab. But I look stupid coming ashore on my hands and knees breathing from a reg until I am well out of the water. Who cares what I look like, not me -- I am too old and fat to care anymore.

Be aware that the sets of waves are going to be different on the way back in. Recently at Long Point we entered with 3-4 foot waves (big enough to get my heart pumping) with reasonable pauses for entry. When we came back, we were greeted with sets that included some occasional 8 footers! Holy Crap! Had we not paused and studied the sets for a few minutes before exiting we could have been mincemeat with those suckers hitting us. Once we understood how they were behaving we were able to sprint through the surf zone in a lull and get our butts to dry ground before the next monster crashed on shore.

I think the secret is to get used to the ocean. Body surfing as a family taught all of us to be better at predicting waves and locating rip currents for easy swims out and to avoid on the way back.

Get back on the beach soon. Go with some EXPERIENCED beach divers and have them work with you on dive planning -- especially entry and exit planing. If you do not mind the sand in your gear and ears, Beach dives can be great!


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