We recently added a new addition to our live aboard scuba diving boats. As mentioned in the last post, snorkeling is a great way to enjoy downtime in between dives, and spending 24 hours a day on a boat it is a good way to stretch your legs! Grabbing a snorkel mask is open to any of our clients as long as they are certified divers, and accept responsibility for their own safety if not in a group. We recently added a new collection of the super cool Easybreath snorkeling mask to our equipment supplies. The response from all the recent guests has been fantastic!
This mask is a full face snorkel mask that allows you to see almost 180 degrees and breathe normally without the need to have a traditional snorkel jammed in your mouth. This makes it good for people looking for a more relaxing experience, and the air intake system stops the mask from fogging in almost every condition which is really nice. Most of the snorkeling experiences we have are on shallower reefs, so having a massive view below can really open up your world and increase the enjoyment level. When compared to a traditional scuba mask, the level of fogging is almost non existent. Not only that but any water that could leak in through the dry snorkel style top, is funneled down the clear plastic lens and vented through a mouth valve below, so sea water does not get into your eyes during your snorkel adventure.
On the Italian coast line, the seas can be a bit rough so even when scuba diving it is a good idea to bring a solid dry snorkel. When resting on the surface it can be a little too easy to get a massive mouthful of water if you are not careful, and we are happy to report that the snorkel style antenna on the top keeps out any rouge waves that could splash water in.
During our last outing we had amazing weather as the summer is kicking off and there is no nicer place to enjoy it than Italy. With a fully loaded boat we set of for the local islands and had a really awesome time scuba diving and snorkeling around the rock outcrops. There was so much to see thanks to the sunlight causing huge plankton blooms, and while the visibility was not too amazing, the flip side was the huge amount of sea life. Large schools of fish were zipping around and devouring the small little sea plants and animals that make up the microscopic plankton. It was a completely surreal experience!
Many scuba divers enjoy snorkeling as a complimentary hobby when not diving. On our dive boats we always bring a few extra sets of snorkeling equipment to ensure anyone who wants to hop overboard during their surface interval can just grab a mask and fins and start exploring. This is a great freedom that comes with spending a lot of time on the ocean. while most snorkel gear is fairly similar to traditional scuba diving equipment there are some key differences to consider when looking to get yourself a snorkel set.
Image Credit: www.DiverWorld.com
Snorkeling fins that come bundled with most sets of snorkel gear tend to be quite a bit more compact that the usual long blades of scuba fins. This makes you a bit more maneuverable in shallow water where you will benefit the most from using snorkeling equipment. The shorter fins allow you to pivot more naturally and because you are carrying less heavy equipment, they can still propel you through the water easily enough. The compact nature of snorkel fins means they are easy to travel with if you like to visit various snorkel spots around the globe with minimal luggage in tow.
Most of the best snorkel masks are actually high end scuba masks with an accompanying dry snorkel. Scuba gear tends to have a higher quality overall and most serious underwater exploreres already should have their own scuba or snorkel mask that fits well and leaks as little as possible. A mask should be form fitting to your face and remain in place if you inhale slightly through the nose even without the mask strap in place. A strong tempered glass lens is common in most scuba and snorkeling masks, which means it is going to be far less foggy than some of the cheap plastic lenses included in budget snorkel gear. Investing in a good snorkel mask is something you will definitely not regret, as seeing the underwater environment is the goal for any snorkeling trip! You can find some more info on how to pick the best snorkel gear for your needs over at Diver World.
The benefits of having your own snorkel gear!
One of the main benefits of using your own personal set of snorkeling gear is the fact you know it all fits properly and you are familiar with the equipment. This leads to a higher level of confidence in the water and that is never a bad idea. Also, you will not have to worry about your group not having enough snorkel gear for the entire group in between dives or if some sightseeing people decide they want to try snorkeling as well. Also, there is the fact that if you have your own equipment you will never have to worry about the condition of rental gear before your trip and the less stress when traveling the better!
We recently had some of our clients compliment us on the dive watches we wear on our expeditions, which is always nice to hear. Now we fully recommend representing being a diver no matter if you are on the ocean or not. A great way to do this is to pick yourself an awesome mens diving watch. They are both extremely stylish and fully functional while scuba diving as they are usually waterproof up to 200 or 300 meters, which is far deeper than your average scuba diver will ever be diving down to! You can find a good list of the best mens dive watches currently on the market right here: http://www.scubadivingdreams.com/scuba-gear-reviews/the-best-dive-watches-for-men/
When looking for a great divers watch, there are only a couple different brands you really need to be looking into that are simply dominating the market at the moment. Citizen dive watches are considered some of the best watches for men who love to scuba dive. They also make a full lineup for female diving enthusiasts as well. The other major player in the market at the moment is Seiko. Seiko dive watches tend to be a bit more expensive and on the higher end of the spectrum but are still considered quite affordable diving watches as most of them are easily found under 500 dollars. The Seiko SKA375 in particular looks very similar to the amazing Omega seamaster, but is about 1/10th of the price! Do yourself a favor and check out some of the reviews online before making a decision for yourself on which is the best scuba diving watch for your needs. We would highly recommend looking into one that is made from stainless steel as they can take a real beating while moving dive equipment around or loading a dive boat.
Citizen dive watches tend to be a bit more affordable and are still very high quality. Most of them tend to be solar powered which is a cool feature and it avoids ever having to change the battery or open them up, which could compromise the waterproof seal. They usually have a scratch resistant crystal bezel and this is good as it helps them avoid any usual wear and tear. This is a major thing to consider when looking for the best dive watch, you need something that is high quality and can really hold up to your daily adventures on and off the water. A scuba diver relies on high quality equipment to get the most out of this fantastic hobby, and when you are looking for at diving watches, this should be the same! Hopefully our pointers can help to steer you in the right direction.
Whenever we take groups of people scuba diving here in italy, we always make sure each of our guests or students is equipped with a dive computer. This helps everyone have the right peace of mind, regardless of their level of experience when it comes to diving. Being able to quickly monitor your current depth and dive time is a great way to help build confidence in newer divers. Being fully aware of the current levels of nitrogen in your blood stream can mean the difference between life and death, so using Dive computers is a quick and easy way to stay safe.
Below you will find the top 3 reasons why it is important to always use a wrist dive computer and why you should get one for future dives if you do not currently own one.
Dive computers keep you safe on every dive!
As mentioned before, a wrist computer will constantly monitor your change in depth and pressure levels. Deeper depths means you will be consuming your air supply more rapidly, which in turn means more NO2 dissolving in your blood stream. This can be extremely dangerous if you leave it unchecked. The Nitrogen bubbles can rapidly expand while ascending and cause the bends, or decompression sickness. This is a scuba divers greatest fear, and not something anyone should ever experience. By monitoring your ascent rate and providing your with a correctly calculated safety stop time, a diver computer makes the chances of getting DCS almost impossible. As long as you remain in control of your ascent rate and gear, while monitoring the readout of your wrist computer, you will end each and every dive safely and with a great piece of mind.
Wrist Computers help you log your dives!
These days keeping a log book of your dives is a good way to track your progress and is highly encouraged. Scuba divers looking to advance their dive career and become a scuba instructor or dive master must have a minimum of 40 logged dives before beginning any professional level training. Luckily almost all modern wrist dive computers have an internal dive log that can help you track the important info about each dive. From water temperature to maximum depth and dive time, these statistics are great for having a fully fleshed out dive log. Even entry level diving computers like the Suunto Zoop and Cressi Leonardo have a basic internal tracking system for about 25-50 dives, which is plenty for a beginner!
Serious scuba divers take their gear seriously
Any scuba diver worth their salt knows that they have to take their gear seriously, scuba diving is a serious action sport and your life can depend on your equipment. This is why every scuba diving professional will recommend you invest in your bcd and dive computer, they are the two most vital pieces of scuba equipment that your life depends on.
We hope this article has been helpful and that you now have a good idea on the importance of using a dive computer on your next dive outing!.
As a nation nearly surrounded by water, Italy has many exciting dive sites to explore for any level scuba diver. Visiting St. Elmo’s Rock, near Sardinia, will leave you breathless. There are caves crisscrossing the area that are simply teeming with wildlife for a diver to enjoy. You can see an immense diversity of marine life all over the coast of italy, a true sampling of what the Mediterranean has to offer. If you’re into in wreck diving during your trip to Italy, be sure to see the Saint Lucia, which is just off the coast of Rome and not to be missed. This WWII wreck is excellent to photograph and penetrate, as the propeller waits in frozen in time, as if trapped in long lost days past. Don’t miss out on the many small islands that surround the exterior of the peninsula which are a fantastic location for divers of any experience level, beginner or pro. Especially recommended is the volcanic islands of Aci Trezza, that are referred to in ancient Roman mythology and offer an amazing jagged landscape to explore, both on land and while scuba diving. Be sure to bring your own scuba gear or feel free to rent some of our own top notch equipment. if you are looking for some scuba gear reviews from scuba divers around the world, check out: www.ScubaDivingdreams.com
Sicily, Italy’s largest island, has many opportunities to scuba dive in some of the country’s warmest and most beautiful waters. In the Tuscany Archipelago, Elba is the island made famous by Napoleon’s extended exile and the film The Count of Monte Cristo. But for more adventurous divers, the island offers much more welcoming possibilities like large marine animals and breathtaking drop-offs into the deep. Isole Pontine, a volcanic archipelago between Rome and Naples that includes Ponza and Ventotene Islands, offers mind blowing topography for divers, including caves, caverns, grottoes and wrecks. So as you can see there is certainly something for everyone.
If you enjoy snorkeling, you will also be happy to know many of the more shallow reefs contain a wild abundance of corals and sea life to enjoy, even if you are not a certified scuba diver. While Greece might steal most of the spotlight when it comes to Mediterranean scuba diving, many people forget about the beautiful oceans surrounding italy. Do yourself a major favor and book your next dive trip with Casa Monica, and we will be more than happy to show you some of the best local scuba diving locations around!