7 things you should not do after diving

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7 things you should not do after diving

As divers, we focus heavily on the time before and during the dive. We take the time to make sure our equipment is in good condition and the service history is up to date. We organize the travel and boat trips to get there. We make sure our insurance is in order and we have our certification cards and logbook ready to go. On the trip we listen to briefings, follow the rules and make sure to dive safely within the limits of our training and experience. But what about after the dive? Aside from blissing out and reliving the amazing underwater adventure we just experienced, there isn’t too much that we should definitely DO after a dive. But there are a few things we definitely shouldn’t do after a dive. Here’s our rundown of the top things we should NOT do after diving.


 

1. Fly

Flying in an airplane is probably one of the most well-known thing to avoid post dive, so much so, it’s even been the subject of an episode of House MD. Travelling in a plane, even at low altitudes causes a further reduction in ambient pressure compared to at sea level, and therefore can be associated with causing problems with off-gassing after a dive. Most training agencies recommend waiting 18 – 24 hours before flying after a dive. We like to stick to 24 hours to be extra safe.

parked-airplane-on-a-runway

 

 

2. Travel to altitude

Perhaps you are lucky and have a dive destination close enough that you can drive there. But do take care of the location and route. For the same reason that you should wait 24 hours before flying, you should also wait before travelling to altitude. What is altitude? PADI term any dive conducted 300m or more above sea level an altitude dive, where special training and considerations are required.

 

3. Exercise

It’s well established that you need to be in good overall physical health for diving, but there are some concerns regarding the timing of intense exercise and diving. So if you are a professional who dives regularly for work, or are on a diving holiday and wish to maintain your exercise program, it’s worth to plan carefully for this. According to DAN, intense physical activity, muscle movements and applying forces to joints can increase bubble formation after a dive. The best advice is to plan carefully and get your cardio workout a good few hours away from when you have been diving.

girl-a-the-gym

 

 

4. Get a massage

One of the best things about being in a location like Koh Tao, Thailand is the availability and affordability of massages. With a 1 hour massage costing just 300 THB – that’s less than 10 dollars – many people take full advantage and have daily massages. But if you are diving it is worth to time your massages carefully. The general advice is to wait a few hours after you dive before having a massage. People reason that the effect of tissue manipulation can affect the decompression and off gassing, therefore potentially increasing the risk of DCS.

thai-massage

 

5. Take a hot bath or shower

Gas solubility decreases as temperature increases meaning that if you are putting your body into a hot environment such as a hot bath, hot tub, sauna or very hot shower, you run the risk of forcing out inert gas that was dissolved in the tissues thus causing potentially symptomatic bubbles in the tissues. To help stay safe make sure you don’t get cold during a dive, and try to turn the temperature down just a little bit on the shower.

 

6. Drink alcohol

For many people, cracking open an ice cold beer and watching sunset is the perfect way to finish the diving day. It’s something that the sociable crew here at Master Divers do regularly – we’re lucky enough to have Coconut Monkey right next door and their decking is right on the beach facing the sunset. However do make sure you are already properly hydrated from your dives before you reach for the beer. Alcohol (along with caffeine) are among the top diuretics out there, so make sure you have plenty of water (with added electrolytes if you feel it’s necessary) before you start to fully relax.

dog-at-sunset

 

7. Forget to log your dives and take care of your gear

As tempting as it may be to leave your equipment care until later, don’t do it! Even if you forget for a minute how much of your hard earned cash you invested in your beloved gear, if left without rinsing, salt water can cause crystal build up on vital pieces of gear and potentially can affect its safe operation. Just 5 minutes of after care can extend the life of your gear as well as reducing the frequency of equipment servicing you need.

Same goes for your log book, we see divers all the time who no longer log their dives. There are several reasons why your definitely should take those few minutes after a dive, in addition to any log you have in a dive computer.

  • This is proof of your recent dive experience and dive history. Even if you have no intention to become a pro and make diving your career (yet!), there are several recreational PADI courses that require a minimum number of logged dives to join, such as the PADI Self Reliant Specialty that requires minimum 100 logged dives to join. There can also be local regulations that require a minimum number of logged dives to be able to dive some of the more advanced sites in certain locations

 

  • It provides a place to record your memories, great dive experiences, new marine life sightings, memorable dive buddies and even lessons learned during the dive. We love to flick through our old log books to reminisce about the fantastic and varied experiences we’ve had underwater. What’s the best thing you “forgot” about from a dive that your logbook helped you remember?

 

What else do you definitely not do after diving?

 

(Photo credits: private, Master Divers & unsplash)

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