Scuba Diving Handbook: The Complete Guide to Safe and Exciting Scuba Diving

Overview

An essential resource for divers.

This comprehensive reference has information for divers of all levels, from the beginning basics to advanced skills and techniques for those with more experience. With its 350 full color photographs, easy-to-understand diagrams and tips from professionals, this book covers everything: the descent from the surface and the ascent back; all breathing techniques required; and advanced skills for cave diving, wreck ...

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Overview

An essential resource for divers.

This comprehensive reference has information for divers of all levels, from the beginning basics to advanced skills and techniques for those with more experience. With its 350 full color photographs, easy-to-understand diagrams and tips from professionals, this book covers everything: the descent from the surface and the ascent back; all breathing techniques required; and advanced skills for cave diving, wreck diving, and search and recovery using the latest technology.

Combining detailed instruction with step-by-step exercises and practice programs, The Scuba Diving Handbook guides divers as they explore all aspects of the sport. Among the topics:

  • Choosing an instructor
  • The science of scuba
  • Deep diving
  • Raising heavy objects
  • Equipment failure
  • Boat handling before, during and after a dive
  • Diving with big animals nearby
  • Exploring wrecks
  • Finding (or avoiding) shark-infested waters.

There is a wealth of information for planning diving trips in temperate, tropical and even arctic waters, as well as expert advice on conquering fear, using underwater cameras and avoiding the bends. This book is ideal for any diver — both newcomers requiring intensive guidance and advanced divers seeking a quick brush-up.

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Editorial Reviews

Winnipeg Free Press
Covers everything you need to get in touch with your inner Jacques Cousteau.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554072804
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/17/2007
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 952,233
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

John Bantin is a diving journalist and professional underwater photographer.

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Read an Excerpt

Why Go Diving? Watery world

Although we live on the parts of the Earth that protrude above the waves, nearly three-quarters of the planet is underwater. The world beneath the surface of the oceans is as varied as it is on land. The topography includes great mountain ranges, volcanoes and deep valleys. Yet the ocean floor is still largely unexplored and unmapped.

Discovering a mysterious, underwater world should be enough to inspire you to dive, but there are a lot of other reasons to give it a try.

How deep do you go?

People almost always ask those who scuba dive how deep they descend below the surface. Relatively speaking, scuba divers don't go deep. In fact, they hardly penetrate to any depth at all, but they do get an insight into a world that most are unaware of. The majority of marine life congregates in and around the first 660 feet (200 m) of depth, close to the shore, and around both natural and human-made structures. Most of it can be found within the first 100-130 feet (30-40 m) from the surface.

Coral reefs and rocks form natural habitats that give smaller animals protection from larger predators. Modern-day wrecks may be made of steel, but they perform the same sort of function as far as the marine animals are concerned. They, too, become a habitat for all manner of fish and other marine organisms. It is fascinating to explore these vibrant, underwater homes and learn about the creatures that live there.

Underwater treasure

Another question that people often ask divers is if they have ever found any treasure. Only dreamers think the captain's safe will be full of gold bars, but divers may find objects ofinterest on wrecks. Older vessels-whether they became shipwrecks because of incompetent seafaring, bad weather or war-were often furnished with a lot of brass fixtures. Some divers have made a hobby of collecting items made of this nonferrous metal from wrecks.

It is a wonderful experience to visit a ghostly ship lying in its watery grave. The coastlines of the world are littered with the battered wrecks of ships, many of them relics of the terrible devastation wrought by two world wars.

Incredible creatures

Those who explore the underwater world discover the truth about the creatures that live there. Sharks and other large predators are often portrayed as voracious, undiscerning hunters that eat humans. Few of these much maligned and misrepresented bigger animals are a threat to divers. Most are wary of humans and are easily frightened.

Many divers are willing to spend large amounts of money traveling to places where they can get close to the more spectacular animals, such as sharks and manta rays.

Underwater freedom

Being underwater, weightless in a world where you can travel up or down at a whim, is simply a joyous experience. Many people with mobility disabilities have taken up scuba diving because it frees them from the constraints of gravity. Diving is probably the closest you will ever get to flying without wings!

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Table of Contents

Why Go Diving?
The History of Diving

Getting Started

  • Snorkeling
  • Taking Lessons
  • Know Your Instructor
  • Getting in the Water
  • Basic Theory
Equipment
  • Masks, Fins and Snorkels
  • Wetsuits and Semi-Dry Suits
  • Drysuits
  • Hoods and Gloves
  • Regulators and Pressure Gauges
  • Buoyancy Control Devices
  • Watches, Depth Gauges and Compasses
  • Diving Computers
  • Safety Equipment
  • Diving Lights
  • Weights and Weightbelts
  • Cylinders, Tanks and Bottles
  • Compressing Gases
  • Other Gadgets
The Science of Scuba
  • Gases and Pressure
  • Breathing Compressed Gas
  • Sound and Light Underwater
  • Floating and Sinking
Basic Techniques
  • Water and Weather
  • Gaining Confidence
  • Get Ready to Dive
  • Look Before You Leap
  • Get on Down
  • Coming Up
  • Buddy Diving
  • Breathing
  • Clearing Your Ears
  • Clearing a Mask and Mouthpiece
  • Finning Skills
  • Buoyancy Control
  • Equipment Failure
  • AirSharing
  • Signs and Signals
  • Finding Your
    Way
  • Practice Makes Perfect
Advanced Techniques
  • Small-Boat Diving
  • Big Boats
  • Deep Diving
  • Drift Diving
  • Diving in Currents
  • Wreck Diving
  • Freshwater Diving
  • Underwater Naturalist
  • Recording the Scene
  • Camera and Action
  • Diving in the Dark
  • Hitching a Ride
  • Nitrox Diving
  • Diving Under Ice
  • Search and Recovery
  • Raising Heavy Objects
  • When Things Go Wrong
  • Boat Handling for Divers
  • Cavern and Cave Diving
  • Technical Diving
  • Rebreather
    Diving
More Than Just a Sport
  • Conquering Your Fears
  • Risk Management
  • Hazardous Marine Life
  • Conserving the Planet
  • Careers in Diving
  • Underwater Archaeology
You and Your Body
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Fit to Dive?
  • Feeling Unwell?
  • The Bends
Where to Go Diving
  • Planning a Trip
  • Maritime Laws and Regulations
  • Temperate Waters
  • The Caribbean
  • The Red Sea
  • The Indian Ocean
  • The Pacific Region
  • Diving with Big Animals
  • Small is Beautiful
  • Famous Wrecks
  • Artificial Reefs
  • Shark-Infested Waters
  • Health Hazards
Resources
  • Useful Addresses
  • Glossary of Terms
  • Index
  • Acknowledgments

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Preface

Why Go Diving? Watery world

Although we live on the parts of the Earth that protrude above the waves, nearly three-quarters of the planet is underwater. The world beneath the surface of the oceans is as varied as it is on land. The topography includes great mountain ranges, volcanoes and deep valleys. Yet the ocean floor is still largely unexplored and unmapped.

Discovering a mysterious, underwater world should be enough to inspire you to dive, but there are a lot of other reasons to give it a try.

How deep do you go?

People almost always ask those who scuba dive how deep they descend below the surface. Relatively speaking, scuba divers don't go deep. In fact, they hardly penetrate to any depth at all, but they do get an insight into a world that most are unaware of. The majority of marine life congregates in and around the first 660 feet (200 m) of depth, close to the shore, and around both natural and human-made structures. Most of it can be found within the first 100-130 feet (30-40 m) from the surface.

Coral reefs and rocks form natural habitats that give smaller animals protection from larger predators. Modern-day wrecks may be made of steel, but they perform the same sort of function as far as the marine animals are concerned. They, too, become a habitat for all manner of fish and other marine organisms. It is fascinating to explore these vibrant, underwater homes and learn about the creatures that live there.

Underwater treasure

Another question that people often ask divers is if they have ever found any treasure. Only dreamers think the captain's safe will be full of gold bars, but divers may find objects of interest on wrecks. Older vessels-whether they became shipwrecks because of incompetent seafaring, bad weather or war-were often furnished with a lot of brass fixtures. Some divers have made a hobby of collecting items made of this nonferrous metal from wrecks.

It is a wonderful experience to visit a ghostly ship lying in its watery grave. The coastlines of the world are littered with the battered wrecks of ships, many of them relics of the terrible devastation wrought by two world wars.

Incredible creatures

Those who explore the underwater world discover the truth about the creatures that live there. Sharks and other large predators are often portrayed as voracious, undiscerning hunters that eat humans. Few of these much maligned and misrepresented bigger animals are a threat to divers. Most are wary of humans and are easily frightened.

Many divers are willing to spend large amounts of money traveling to places where they can get close to the more spectacular animals, such as sharks and manta rays.


Underwater freedom

Being underwater, weightless in a world where you can travel up or down at a whim, is simply a joyous experience. Many people with mobility disabilities have taken up scuba diving because it frees them from the constraints of gravity. Diving is probably the closest you will ever get to flying without wings!

Read More Show Less

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