Enter with your reg, IMHO

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on October 31, 2003 at 16:34:32:

In Reply to: Regulator, or snorkel in mouth when leaping off a boat posted by Kaz on October 31, 2003 at 13:53:07:

I'm starting with a couple of assumptions:

1. You like to breathe air.
2. That the intent is to jump in, bob back up to the surface, get comfortable, and then start the dive.

There's nothing "wrong" with entering with a snorkel. But there can be a couple of downsides.

It's possible for you to snag on something during the entry (like kelp) and not bob back up to the syrface. With a snorkel, that's a problem. It's also possible for you to forget to switch to the reg and begin the dive with the snorkel in your mouth. (Absent the "what's-this-idiot-doing-diving" comments, I've seen it happen.)

The most commonly stated downside to jumping in with a reg is the concern about inadvertently embolising by taking a breath at the bottom of your entry, and blowing a lung as you bob back up to the surface. While it's theoretically possible (you can embolise in as little as 4 feet of water, so I'm told), I think it's highly unlikely. Especially given the fact that human nature is to take a big breath and hold it anytime you jump into water, so it's the same as if you had a snorkel in since it's 1ATM air you're holding in yoyur lungs, thereby eleininating the chance to embolism. (You simply hold the breath all the way through the entry until you bob back up to the surface.) And on a REALLY good giant stride, the top of your head never goes underwater.

I think the advantages of the reg-in-mouth are that if something goes wrong, you can breathe. Perhaps you get snagged on kelp. Perhaps a current pushes you under the boat. Maybe you slip and go in head-first instead of feet first. Maybe you've got on too much weight and no air in the BC and you continue to sink. Etc., etc.

Seems to me reg's the best choice. I think the embolsim is almost impossible to induce and that's the only argument against entering with the reg.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, CA

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