A brand new year of diving. So far the weather has been good and many have already dusted off the cobwebs of the winter and got into the water in one form or another.
For my own motivation, in a year already overly hectic due to family commitments culminating in our son’s wedding, the call of the travel agents became too much to resist. So the holiday clothes have been checked for continued fit, the dive kit is packed, the swimming pool has been hit to get in shape (sic) and the logbook dugout for that all important evidence…
However, whenever and wherever you plan to jump back in the water some appropriate degree of preparation will undoubtedly be necessary and now is the traditional time when everyone seems to make so why should I be different?
Getting ready for the 2019 diving season
Historically, the Easter weekend used to be seen as the point when everyone came out of hibernation and made a beeline for the coast.
In more recent years there is evidence that many are delaying their return to the water until much later in the year. The trend has been identified in the Annual Incident Report since 2013 and has continued since that time with a reduced amount of incidents, which we believe reflects a reduce amount of diving during the early months of the year. Anecdotally this is supported by the views of dive charter skippers, coastal dive centres and generally by dive club members.
The central component of your diving system is you yourself. It is all too easy for the excesses of the festive season to take their toll and with all the demands on our time, it can be difficult to find the motivation to get out of any self-imposed winter rut.
Setting an objective at least can instil some motivation and anything you can do to prepare yourself for the coming season can only be a good thing. One of the tricks is not to try and immediately get back to absolute peak fitness because you are not aiming at the Olympics.
Trying to do too much initially can not only increase the risk of injury and a setback but also can be frustrating and may undermine your initial motivation. A simple first step would be to get down the pool for some initial swimming practice.
Prepare your diving kit
The time to ensure your kit is still fit for purpose is before you commit to the lengthy travel to the coast. A little preparation and forethought will help avoid a sudden failure that could result in a lost dive or two.
So check all your kit, have essential servicing done and make sure your cylinders are in test. If you are reliant on any group equipment such as O2 kits and/or an RHIB then make sure the club ensures that that is fit for purpose as well (the annual Menai boat run began precisely for that purpose).
Have an objective for your diving this year
Getting the motivation to get everything above done (and more) is a major part of the process. Having a fixed objective, such a dedicate trip or a project, can have a real positive result in getting you into the right mindset to achieve everything in time and be properly prepared to enjoy your diving for another year.