The approprite flag depends on where and under what conditions you dive. A dive flag is either a red rectangle with a white diagonal stripe or a blue and white double - tailed pennant (Alpha flag), and large enough to see from at least 100 metres/yards away. In some instances you may be required to fly both flags, particulary when boat diving.

When diving from a boat, place the dive flag on a mast, radio antenna or other elevated location for maximum visibility. If you're diving from shore or have a long swim from the boat, you'll fly the flag.From a surface float. In this case, your flag should have a wire to extend it into the "flying" position, and should ride at least a metre/three feet high so boaters can see it in choppy water.

Local laws regulate how close you have to stay to your flag. and how far boaters and skiers must stay- away. For areas where no laws stipulate these distances, the rule of thumb is for you to stay within 15 metres/50 feet of your flag and for boats to stay at least 30 to 60 metres/100 to 200 feet away. Also, don't display the dive flag unless divers are actually in the water.Yourinstructor will All you in on local dive flag laws.

Unfortunately, many boaters don't know what a dive flag means, and sometimes they can't see your flag (like when they're coming from directly up wind so that it files directly away from them). These boaters may come much closer to you and your flag than they should, so don't assume that just because you have a flag that all boats will stay away. Even with a flag, always ascend cautiously, and if a boat sounds particularly loud and close, stay down, deep enough to be safe until it clears the area. Remember, too, that as a diver, you have an obligation to remain in the area with the flag. You can't complain about a boat zooming directly overhead if you're 300 metres/1000 feet from your flag.

As mentioned in Section Two, be careful of boat traffic. In addition to staying near the flag, you may want consider carrying an inflatable signal tube that allows you to alert boats to Your presence in the water.

You can get various types and sizes. with the typical collecting bag made from mesh nylon, so it drains quickly, and a wire frame to hold the top open or closed. Most have a lock so they stay shut.

When you're using a collecting bag, keep in mind that once it's full and heavy, you carry it in one hand so you can give it the heave-ho if necessary in an emergency. Don't attach it to yourself or your equipment. When you're not diving, you can use a large collecting bag for carrying your mask, fins and snorkel.

Besides their usefulness for diving in the dark at night, you'll find underwater lights have uses in broad daylight. A compact underwater light is useful for illuminating and restoring color at depth (remember that water absorbs color), as well as for looking into dark cracks and crevices (so you don't reach in without checking whether anyone's home).

An underwater light is both watertight and pressure-proof; you can take an ordinary flashlight.

There's nothing quite so frustrating as missing an entire day's diving because of something inane like breaking a fin strap and having no spare. It doesn't take much effort or investment to make a spare parts kit and with it, you minimize the probability of missing dives due to minor problems like a broken fin strap

You make a spare parts kit by collecting those sundries that war out, break or vanish at the worst time, and storing them, with a few basic tools, in a moisture proof container in your equipment bag. At first you won't need much room for this, but as you again experience, you'll add to it never throwing anything away until it's basically and equipment locker you need a fork lift to move. But that won't happen for a few years, so here are a few suggestions to get you started :

  1. Mask strap tip : fabric/Velcro type straps fit virtually all masks, making them "universal",
  2. Fin strap tip : when one goes, the other's close behind. Carry two and replace them at the same time,
  3. O-rings tip : different tank valves take slightly different sizes ; carry and assortment,
  4. Silicone lubricant tip : carry silicone grease, but spray and use it very sparingly according to the manufacturer or the particular equipment. A small container will last a decade or more, or until you lose it,
  5. Snorkel keeper,
  6. Cement for exposure suit repairs tip : different suits require different cements,
  7. Waterproof plastic tape,
  8. Quick release buckle, 
  9.  Pocket knife, 
  10. Pliers tip : even better, a plier-tool, like the leatherman tool,
  11. Adjustanle wrench, 
  12. Spare sunglasses, sunscreen ( will sealed so it doesn't goop up your kit), motion sickness medication. ( these aren't spare parts, but things you really don't want to be without so make them a permanent part of your kit).

Your instructor can suggest other items for your spare parts kits.

The certification you earn in this course indicates that you're a qualified scuba diver. It's sort of like a diploma it indicates that you've successfully completed the education. But if you were interviewing for a job, a prospective employer would want to see what you've done with your education a resume listing your experiences since you received your diploma. In diving, your " resume" is your log book.

Your log shows a dive master or charter crew how frequently you dive, what type of dives you've made, the environments that you have experience with and so on diver training, and when diving at resorts or on boats. It helps you assess how your experiences contribute to your diving ability and the dive opportunities open to you. And, you can check it once in a while to see how far the dive stories you tell depart from reality.

The three primary reasons to have a log book are to remember you dive experiences, to document your history as a diver, and to note specific details about a dive site for future references. Make a habit of filling out your instructor or buddy sign it ( your instructor will sign your log book after each open water dive you make in You can choose from log books ranging from simple ones with room for descriptions, to ones such as the PADI adventure log with more features such as space to record training, equipment purchases and maintenance, air use, dive site maps, personal information, and more.