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Things You Should Never Ask Your Instructor

There are no stupid questions… That’s what we tell our students, to try and get any worries or fears out in the open because some questions that may appear stupid might actually help prevent an accident or help you understand scuba diving better.  That being said there are definitely stupid questions out there, like the girl that asked me if Madagascar was “one of those countries that doesn’t have the moon” because she hadn’t seen the moon for a few days. If you have something you’re unsure on then definitely ask your Instructor but maybe try to work it out yourself first before you verbalise.

Can you help me take my flippers off?

No, do it yourself, I’m not going to be there for all of your dives in the future so you do need to grow some independence and learn to do it yourself. And also the F-Word? How dare you say ‘flipper’ in my presence, there are kids around, they might start calling them flippers too. No, I don’t know why it’s such a big deal not to say flipper but at this point, it’s a cultural thing with scuba divers.

Can I reset my dive computer?

Between dives? No. There’s a reason it locks you out and won’t let you dive again and that’s because either it’s broken and you shouldn’t dive with it or you did something silly and you shouldn’t dive with it. Your dive computer has one reason to live and that’s to get you back to the surface safely, while it doesn’t have a PHD in physiology it has an algorithm inside of it written by some pretty smart cookies so it probably knows more about what’s going on inside of you than you do so don’t ignore its advice.

Nobody ever told me you had to defog your mask…

Really? That’s like the super basics, we also get a surprising number of masks back that are faulty because they “fog up”. No, all masks will fog up if you don’t prepare them properly and it’s usually the first thing I tell students in the water and yes, your mask will need to be prepared again every now and then to keep them fog-free and crystal clear.

Can you fill this up with Oxygen?

Yes, but I don’t think that’s what you really want. Yes, we breathe and respire oxygen but air only consists of around 21% Oxygen so I think what you’re asking for is an air refill. If you want pure oxygen then you should hopefully know that it’s toxic below 6 meters and is incredibly flammable, and expensive. If not, then it’s probably best to stick to air until you’ve at least done your Nitrox course.

How deep will this snorkel go?

Yes, I have been asked this. yes, it’s a pretty silly question but not as silly as being asked: “how long you can stay underwater with a dry top snorkel”. Snorkels are the other end of the spectrum from scuba gear. Scuba gear lets you go down to deep depths but for limited times. A snorkel has an unlimited air supply but a really restricted depth limit. And there is a really good reason why you don’t get 5 meter long snorkels, it’s called dead air space and the strength of your diaphragm, which if you don’t exercise at the gym won’t be strong enough to suck the air down the pipe at any depth.