Diving accessories such as a computer or an underwater compass are must-have items for experienced scuba divers. Although diver safety is of the highest importance, there are still too many divers that do not carry a Surface Marker Buoy. Here are a few accessories that every diver should consider purchasing.
Dive Computer. Nowadays, a dive computer is an almost essential part of your scuba diving equipment and many divers will not enter the water without one. A dive computer will track your depth, your dive time, and your ‘No Decompression Limit’ (NDL), You can plan your dives and you can change the function between Air mode, Nitrox, and Freediving. It will log your dives and it will count down your no-fly time. Even the most basic dive computers will include all of these features.
If you are making multiple dives over several days such as diving from a liveaboard or in a dedicated resort then you will need your own dive computer. You can still use the old dive tables, but really, if you are thinking of diving regularly, then you should purchase a computer. It’s a great piece of equipment that is well worth the money. 5_Reasons why you should own a Dive Computer.
Divers Compass. For navigation purposes, it is certainly handy to have your own compass. New divers are often impressed with their dive leaders’ navigation skills but the truth is that they have probably dived the same site many times and are familiar with the local terrain. An experienced dive leader will already know which way is north and south and navigate comfortably with the natural underwater features. So why do I need a compass then?
Sometimes, a compass will be required, even for a Diving Instructor. What if the visibility is bad and you can’t rely on the terrain for navigation? What if you are in a flat sandy area during a dive? Then you will need a compass to navigate your way back to your starting point. Many divers are interested in improving their navigation skills, so if your instructor carries a compass, then it’s probably a good idea for you to have one too.
Surface Marker Buoy (SMB). An SMB is an inflatable signal tube that every diver should carry in their BCD pocket. If you become separated from your dive team or you are caught in a strong current then you will have to deploy your SMB to let the dive boat know that you are ok and so they can track you from the surface. If you ascend a long way from the boat without an SMB it will be difficult for them to see you. Get yourself a Surface Marker Buoy, even a cheap one is good enough.
The basic use of a Surface Marker Buoy is now taught to beginners during the PADI Open Water Diver Course. The student diver will have to demonstrate how to inflate an SMB either at the surface or underwater. The surface marker buoy is an industry-standard safety item that all Dive Leaders must carry. It’s unlikely that you will use it often but it’s there just in case and it will give you peace of mind. Read More
Diving Lights. If you are planning a night dive then two dive lights are required, a quality primary light, and a backup light but what about during the daylight hours? If you are diving in crystal clear water then the answer is no, you should not need a dive light. If you are diving in low visibility then it would certainly help you to get someone’s attention and it is also particularly useful for illuminating dark nooks and crannies to search for hidden marine life.
For exploring shipwrecks then yes, you should take a dive light with you. Wreck dives are generally deeper where there is less natural light and no doubt you will want to peer inside the dark areas of the wreck. What about Underwater Photography? then yes, there is another good reason to have some extra light and illuminate your subject area. There are many occasions during your underwater adventures where a dive light might be needed.
Underwater Camera. After you have mastered your buoyancy control, you may become interested in underwater photography. a good camera might become an essential part of your dive equipment. Video clips, macro shots, take your pick, but there is always an interesting moment during your dive when you wish you had an underwater camera. Camera quality is improving all the time and with it, there is also a growing number of photo editing software to enhance your images.
There is a multitude of digital underwater cameras on the market but, new divers do not need to go crazy with all the expensive camera accessories. To begin with, a basic sports camera such as a Go Pro would suffice as they are small, compact, and easy to use. You will need to purchase a camera housing of course but after that, you are good to go. Compact sports cameras are especially good for video clips either in or out of the water.
Diving is a highly enjoyable recreational activity but you must also dive safely. By the time you have become an Advanced Diver, you will already be considering purchasing some small items that are easy to travel with. A few of your own accessories will make all the difference on your next dive trip.