Although this is a scuba class, you'll start this confined water dive skin diving without scuba - but you'll be into your scuba gear and back to breathing underwater soon.

But what does skin diving have to do with learning scuba diving? Actually, quite a bit, because scuba diving often takes you into circumstances where it might be better to snorkel or skin dive. For instance, you may find some very shallow sites where there's no advantage to scuba. Or, you may want to tour a bit with your buddy to see if it's worth scuba diving - you can swim much more quickly as a skin diver. Sometimes you may want to dive a site, but the scuba weight and bulk get in the way, such as if diving from a small boat with maximum passengers.

For skin diving, You'll use all your equipment except your scuba unit, and you'll either use less weight so you're positively buoyant, or a snorkeling vest . Your instructor may have you set up your scuba gear while you're gearing up for skin diving so it's ready to use later.

Since you don't use scuba for skin diving, you hold your breath to leave the surface (or not, but you'll be back in a big hurry ). Most people have trouble holding their breath for more than a minute, especially when they're doing something that takes lots of energy like swimming underwater.

To hold your breath longer, you can use hyperventilation, which temporarily suppresses your urge to breathe. Intentional hyperventilation is nothing more than taking three or four deep, rapid breaths before a breath-hold skin dive. After hyperventilating, it takes longer for you to feel the urge to breathe, so you can stay down longer

Confined Water Dive Four
Skill Requirement 

Here's what you'll be able to do when you successfully complete Confined Water Dive Four:
Note: Skin Diving Skills may be completed on Confined Water Dives Two, Three, Four or Five.

Skin Diving Skills
1. Demonstrate the use of proper hyperventilation when skin diving.
2. Dive vertically headfirst from the surface in water too deep to stand up in (without excessive splashing or arm movement).
3. Clear and breathe from a snorkel upon ascent.

Scuba Skills
4. Swim underwater without a mask for a distance of not less than 15 metres/50 feet, and replace and clear the mask underwater.
5. Using buoyancy control only, hover without kicking or sculling for at least 30 seconds.
6. Buddy breathe sharing a single air source for a distance of at least 1E metres/50 feet underwater both as a donor and a receiver (optional skill).

Hyperventilation works because the urge to breathe comes from rising carbon dioxide in your body, not from low oxygen. The three on four breaths drop your body carbon dioxide levels below normal, so when you hold your breath it takes longer for the levels to rise high enough m trigger breathing.

If you've never tried it, you may be amazed how Well hyperventilation works - but it's important that you limit it to only three or four breaths. Excessive hyperventilation – more than three or four breaths - can be dangerous because you can lower your carbon dioxide levels so far that your body runs out of oxygen before you get the urge to breathe. This would lead to sudden unconsciousness - with –out warning - and drowning. Don't hyperventilate excessively.

Besides limiting hyperventilation to three or four deep, rapid breaths, rest a minute or so between breath-hold dives so your body can restore its normal oxygen level. If you feel fatigued, dizzy or light-headed, stop diving down. Float, relax and rest.

You may be familiar with unintentional hyperventilation, which results from anxiety or -tress, and causes someone to breathe rapidly Old shallowly. This leads to respiratory difficulty, and contributes to the overexertion and air starvation problems you learned about earlier. By using proper diving techniques, you'll normally avoid this, but if you find yourself reacting to stress and anxiety with rapid, shallow breathing, force yourself to stop, breathe slowly and relax.

And even better: The Advanced Open Water program Adventure Dive happens to be the first dive of many PADI specialty courses. So if you try, say, a dry suit Adventure Dive (by itself or as part of an Advanced Open Water Diver course) and decide that you just have to have a dry suit and finish the whole course, you've already got the first course dive under your weight belt (at the instructor's discretion).

It works the other way, too. If you know now that you love, say, underwater photography and go straight into the Underwater Photographer course (which is a really great program, by the way . . . but we digress, the first dive from the course counts toward your Advanced. Open Water certification (at the instructor's discretion). Discover Local Divingh, not a course, and you already know about this from the discussion on getting a local orientation when diving in a new area. The Discover Local Diving Good things to know. The Rescue Diver course refines and further develops your accident prevention and handling skills, plus teaches you to manage an emergency. Experience provides a single, supervised open-water experience to some place new, with a briefing covering local conditions, hazards and points of interest, as well as an orientation to special procedures and techniques used in the area. During the dive, you'll see some of the interesting points, as well as the potential hazards to avoid. It's a good way to plug into the local dive community when you go some place new, and find out what activities suit the local environment. Meet people, go places and do things.

Scuba Review. Ditto, you already learned about this, but it's worth a reminder: If you go several months or longer without diving (it happens, best laid plans notwithstanding), you'll want to brush up your dive skills and knowledge. In Scuba Review, you complete some short self-study (with a workbook or CD-ROM) and review it with a PADI Divemaster. Assistant Instructor or Instructor. Then you make a confined water dive to put the polish back on your skills. Usually take, only a couple hours - easy way to limber up mentally and physically for diving.

Rescue Diver Course. Serious fun. You learn a pile of skills, most of which you hope you'll never use. It's a demanding and challenging course. You'll love it. Virtually all who take this course cite it as one of the most rewarding courses they've taken. Though challenging, you don't have to he an athlete - you learn rescue techniques suited to your physical characteristics and fitness level - what works for You.

During the Rescue Diver course you learn to refine and further develop your accident prevention and handling skills, plus learn to manage an emergency if you're even faced with one. Good things to know.

Emergency First Response. Like the Rescue Diver course, in the Emergency First Response program you learn skills you hope you never need, but will be glad you did if you ever do. Emergency First Response combines CPR and first aid into a single course, teaching you (at a lay level i the same emergency protocols used by paramedics and doctors. Your non diving friends can take this course with you, and it can make a big difference - even when you're not diving.

Master Scuba Diver. The PADI Master Scuba Diver rating is the highest nonprofessional rating in recreational diving. This prestigious rating means you've developed skills and experience in a broad number of dive activities and environments. What makes a Master Scuba Diver? Earn the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, the PADI Rescue Diver and five PADI Specialty Diver certifications.

Turn Pro. At some point, you may decide to make diving a full or part time profession. For a lot of people, it beats working at a desk, and if you love working at a desk, you can still turn pro. Does all this seem too far off`? No worries - you don't need to look this far ahead yet. But this will give you some idea how Your instructor and the instructor's staff got where they are.

To hover, first adjust for neutral buoyancy on the bottom (you'll probably use the. fin pivot). Once you're neutrally buoyant, push gently off the bottom just about a metre/a couple of feet. Then, without holding your breath. Use lung volume to maintain a stationary position in midswater. 

If you begin to rise a bit, decrease your buoyancy by breathing With your lungs somewhat less full. If you begin to sink a bit, increase your buoyancy by breathing with your lungs a little fuller. It helps to have a stationary visual reference to judge whether you're rising or sinking, so you may want to do this near a pool side' next to line, or anything else that gives you this reference. You cant fold your legs under you, stretch out, whatever work. 

As you gain experience diving, you'll subconsciously and automatically adjust your buoyancy so you remain off the bottom can stop and hover without even thinking about, it. It only takes a little practice, and you'll find hovering easy.

In Section Three, you learned about the options you have in the unlikely event you run out of air, and you've practiced your two primary options, using an alternate air source or making a controlled emergency swimming ascent. Another option you may practice (at your instructor's discretion ) is buddy breathing, which requires you and your buddy to share a single second stage.

Buddy breathing is a less desirable option than the other options because it is a more complex skill. which increases the possibility of error. By remaining close to Your buddy and making certain you and your buddy ahi-avs equip s ourselves with alternate air sources, you shouldn't ever need to buddy breathe. However, it remains a practice in a few area; so your instructor may have you learn it.

To initiate buddy breathing, swim to your buddy and signal "out of air" and "share air." Your buddy - should respond by passing you the second stage and allowing you to take two breaths. Your buddy will not let go, but will hold the second stage by the hose near the mouthpiece without covering the purge button (so you can use it if you need to).

When buddy breathing, remember not to hold your breath and to blow bubbles, when the regulator isn't in your mouth. Your buddy takes two breaths and returns it to you for two breaths.

As you begin buddy breathing, you and your buddy grasp each other face-to-face for stability. Your buddy holds the second stage with the right hand and grasps your BCD or tank straps with the left. You grasp your buddy similarly with your right hand and guide the second stage to your mouth with your left

After your two breaths, your buddy the second stage back. Remember not to hold your breath and to make an aaaahhh sound, blowing bubbles, when the regulator isn't in your mouth. Your buddy takes two breaths and returns it to you for to breaths. Continue the exchange back and forth until you and your buddy establish a natural, relaxed rhythm.

Once you've got the rhythm set, you and your buddy would ascend to the surface, buddy breathing all the way. Your instructor may have you practice buddy breathing first in a stationary position. and then swimming along the bottom to simulate how long it would take to ascend while buddy breathing.