The snow is piling up on your back deck, your driveway is like an ice rink, and the kids school has been cancelled because of inclement weather for 3 days now. It seems like your SCUBA skills would be the last thing you think of this time of the year, but nothing could be further from the truth! While you have obvious options like risking hypothermia and dislocated joints from wrestling yourself in that thick farmer john wetsuit to dive the iced over quarry, invest in a drysuit(not a bad idea whatsoever actually), or pack up the family and jet off to a tropical destination(your boss will approve…yeah right!). There is another option most don’t even think about, that is grab your SCUBA gear and hit the indoor heated pool!
Yes, I said it…chlorine, kids screaming, angry lifeguards and all. While it isn’t “real” diving it can be an outstanding option for blowing some bubbles and keeping your skills sharp in anticipation for that dream dive vacation you are spending hours planning and working for all year. The pool worked well for all of the basic skills for your open water class and it is still a great option to practice those skills and learn some new ones. With that in mind, lets take a quick look at what can be accomplished in a couple of hours at the pool;
Run through a basic skill circuit with a buddy. Stuff like mask clearing and removal/replace, regulator retrieval, BCD/weight belt don and doff, out of air emergencies, and underwater communication.
Dial in your weighting and buoyancy. While you don’t need a wetsuit in the pool, throw on that 5 mil wetsuit and hood you usually wear for ocean diving and get your weighting and buoyancy dialed in.
Test out and dial in that new equipment you got for the holidays. There is no better place than a pool to get the kinks worked out on that new BCD and regulator set than a pool. That way you have it all ready to go when you get ready to board that dream liveaboard trip!
Just blow some bubbles. Sometimes just breathing off of a regulator for a little while without the kids screaming, phone ringing or door bell chiming can be rather therapeutic.
While you may not have access to an indoor pool, or your pool may not allow SCUBA it doesn’t hurt to inquire about it. In addition, most if not all local dive shops either have a pool or access to a pool for training and would be willing to get you in the pool with their classes or groups for free or a small fee. This is surely an instance where being active in your local dive community comes in handy. So, stop sitting around dreaming about 88 degree clear water and get to your local indoor pool. Your skills and comfort level while underwater will surely thank you for it!