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Tag Archive: scuba


scuba diving Weighting

Scuba Buoyancy Masterclass Series #4 PERFECT SCUBA WEIGHTING by Andy Davis Divers seeking perfected scuba buoyancy can achieve precise and correct weighting through the application of several assessment methods.  As the diver progresses in experience, whenever they change equipment or whenever they change diving environments (salt/fresh water) they should re-assess their weighting. During the initial […]

Trim-Thrust-Buoyancy scuba diving

Scuba Buoyancy Masterclass ACHIEVING GREAT SCUBA BUOYANCY CONTROL by Andy Davis Scuba buoyancy control is determined by a number of different factors, such as breathing control, BCD/Drysuit inflation/deflation, weighting, trim and propulsion. As we know from our initial scuba training courses, our relative buoyancy underwater is dictated by whether the weight of water we displace […]

Scuba diving for fun and relaxation

Scuba Buoyancy Masterclass Series #2 PRECISION BUOYANCY CONTROL BENEFITS by Andy Davis Let’s have a look at 7 specific reasons why effective scuba buoyancy control is critical to the scuba diver: Environmental Considerations Fragile marine life is easily damaged The underwater world is a fragile environment and unintended contact from a diver is going to […]

advanced wreck diving course subic bay

ADVANCED WRECK DIVING – COURSE NOTES by Andy Davis Disclaimer:   These notes accompany a professionally supervised advanced wreck diving workshop, aimed at developing specialist skills for qualified wreck divers.  This information is not a substitute for gaining proper experience under qualified direction.  Wreck penetration is a very hazardous scuba diving activity.  Divers should not […]

5 Minute Photoshop Edit for Underwater Photographers by Andy Davis, PADI TecRec, ANDI, BSAC and SSI Instructor Many divers don’t have the luxury of using underwater strobes to provide effective directional lighting for their underwater photography.  With a basic point-and-shoot underwater camera, the resulting pictures are often washed-out and contain too little red light.  When […]

Wreck Diving Subic Bay

Scuba Buoyancy Masterclass Series #1 Scuba Buoyancy Control for Divers by Andy Davis Effective scuba buoyancy control is, without doubt, the most important attribute that a diver needs to develop. Control of your buoyancy has a direct impact on air consumption, comfort, relaxation and the control of descents and ascents – which have direct safety […]

best ascent speed for scuba diving

Best Ascent Speed for Scuba Diving by Andy Davis Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and they do not reflect in any way those of the dive training agencies to which he is affiliated. Information presented in this article is not intended to advocate breaching the Safe Diving Practices taught […]

Autonomous Progressive Scuba Skill Development

 A Guide To Expert Scuba Diving Skills Development by Andy Davis Many scuba divers struggle for years to improve their scuba diving skills, becoming exasperated that performance seemingly refined and perfected in a training environment does not replicate in actual open water dives. Even worse, it fails them when they are confronted with the need […]

technical diving subic bay philipines

Using Your Hands Whilst Scuba Diving by Andy Davis Many novice divers wish to improve their air consumption during dives and increase their relaxation and fluidity underwater.  A major obstacle to these goals is using your hands for control and/or propulsion I think that most novice divers have an instinctive tendency to try and ‘swim’ […]

OXYGEN EXPOSURE MANAGEMENT by Richard D. Vann Oxygen metabolism is the primary energy source in higher life forms, but when oxygen enters the metabolic process prematurely, reactive oxygen species can form which interfere with normal function and cause convulsions or other symptoms of oxygen toxicity. Immersion, exercise, and inspired carbon dioxide increase susceptibility to oxygen […]

decompression theory technical diving

Decompression Theory – Links and Resources Here is my selection of educational articles and resources for further reading on scuba diving decompression theory… –  Bubble Decompression Strategies by Eric Maiken –  VPM Decompression Site by Eric Maiken –  Confessions of a Mortal Diver by Richard Pyle –  The Importance of Deep Stops by Richard Pyle –  Half-Times Explained by Mark Powell –  Deco Lessons by Erik Baker (pdf) […]

Scuba diving skills and techniques

 How to Judge Your Ascent Rate Without a Dive Computer by Andy Davis Novice divers often express frustration about how to best conduct safe and controlled ascents from their scuba dives. In particular, I see many new divers questioning the best technique for judging their ascent speed.  The common use of dive computers has automated […]

technical diving subic bay philipines bcd

Choosing Your Buoyancy Control Device (BCD) by Andy Davis Shopping for a scuba buoyancy control device (BCD) is like completing a jigsaw.  There is a huge variety of products and options available for the diver to chose from. The diver needs certain functions, but may also want certain additional functionality.  Manufacturers/retailers will always try and make divers want […]

gradient-factors-use-settings-decompression

The Physics of Diving – Scuba Gas Laws A concise explanation of the critical scuba gas laws for divers by Andy Davis Scuba diving is all about getting gas into your body while you are underwater. What complicates scuba diving is the way gasses behaves at depth, under pressure, in your body and in your […]

technical diving subic bay philipines

Confessions of a Mortal Diver – Learning the Hard Way (Decompression Sickness, Treatment and Recovery) by Richard L. Pyle (deepreef@bishop.bishop.hawaii.org) ScubaTechPhilippines note:  I’ve posted this article as it represents a serious lesson and learning text for technical divers.  It was originally posted via a washington.edu website, but sadly that location hasn’t remained online. The true story, […]

scuba-tips-advice-how-to-professional

Scuba Q and A: QUESTION:  I am a recreational diver and I dive mostly with my husband. Our relationship issues (bickering) caused me stress.  Is this a factor I should consider when scuba diving? Andy’s Answer: I know of at least one diving fatality that could otherwise have been avoided if intra-relationship dispute and/or the […]

Scuba Cylinder Specifications for Buoyancy and Weighting Calculations When scuba divers calculate their buoyancy with an aluminum cylinder,  it is essential for them to know the relative buoyancy characteristics of their chosen cylinder – at full pressure capacity and also at their minimum reserve (500psi). The following tables provide buoyancy information on the common Luxfer […]

technical-wreck-diving-philippines

How To Evaluate A Wreck Diving Course by Andy Davis In this article, I will be looking at what differentiates basic wreck diving courses – the good, the bad and the ugly. In particular, I want to examine specific wreck penetration issues, so that the reader may find some guidance in their selection of a […]

Sidemount Technical Wreck Diving Subic Bay Philippines

Stress Management in Scuba Training – What can be done about the Panic Reaction? by Andy Davis I’m not a psychologist, but I have noticed some trends when it comes to diver reaction to scuba diving incident stress, and how those trends can be, to a greater or lesser degree, influenced by the effectiveness of […]

Sidemount Technical Wreck Diving Subic Bay Philippines

How to Dive with ‘Insta-Buddies’ by Andy Davis The term ‘insta-buddy‘ is popularly used within the scuba community to define a diver of unknown skill, capability and mindset – that you are paired with on a dive boat.  Typically, this term is used to describe the worst case scenario; of a scuba dive buddy who […]

Sidemount Technical Wreck Diving Subic Bay Philippines

Choosing and Using A Redundant Air Source By Andy Davis Pony cylinders are a popular choice amongst divers who seek a redundant form of air supply as a contingency for Out-Of-Air (OOA) emergencies when scuba diving. There is a lot of debate about when, or if, a recreational open-water diver should need a redundant air […]

buying-scuba-equipment-guide-tips-advice

Buying Scuba Equipment – How To Avoid Noobie Mistakes by Andy Davis Scuba equipment is an expensive investment.  But take one look at eBay and you’ll find a mountain of nearly-new kit that is rapidly replaced or upgraded by divers.  It’s a sign of costly, regretful, purchasing decisions.  To put it succinctly; there’s a lot […]

Scuba Diving Philippines

Are You Ready For Solo Diving? by Andy Davis The issue of solo diving often comes up in conversation amongst divers and the activity is increasingly being seen as a more ‘mainstream’ pursuit, now supported through formalized training courses and qualification by most of the primary scuba training agencies. As a technical diving instructor, I […]

cheap quality scuba courses

Are Some Scuba Courses more Equal than Others? by Andy Davis There are some big discrepancies in course pricing for seemingly ‘identical’ scuba courses. Cheaper courses, that result in the same certification and adhere to the same minimum agency standards should all be equal…. shouldn’t they? Why shouldn’t a prospective student simply shop around for […]

Sidemount Technical Wreck Diving Subic Bay Philippines

Pony Cylinders and Redundant Air Sources for Wreck Diving by Andy Davis Recreational wreck divers often question whether they need to carry a redundant source of air when conducting specialist wreck diving activities.  Most agencies and instructors will generally recommend the use of redundant air sources to be a prudent measure for wreck divers.  However, […]

The Value of Progressive Scuba Training – ‘Putting Another Dollar In’. by Andy Davis When I talk with divers and read the online scuba forums I see a lot of scepticism about progressive scuba training courses. Novice divers often question the value of courses X, Y or Z.  Many intermediate and advanced divers will profess […]

Technical versus Recreational Scuba Diving:  Why is there a need for Rules, Boundaries and Limitations? There is currently a strong debate about the need to differentiate between recreational and technical scuba diving. Some people believe that ‘diving is diving’ and question the need to draw a distinct boundary between recreational and technical diving pursuits. In […]

technical diving subic bay philipines

Ten Tips to Attain a Better Horizontal Hover – Scuba Diving Techniques by Andy Davis Scuba diving techniques to improve your comfort and capability underwater. In this article, I list ten simple techniques that will allow you to develop a better horizontal hover whilst scuba diving. Get Your Weighting Right Fine-tune & confirm your max weighting […]

scuba diving Trim-Water-Resistance

Scuba Buoyancy Masterclass Series #1 STREAMLINED SCUBA EQUIPMENT by Andy Davis Streamlined scuba equipment is a critical factor in making overall improvements to your comfort and control in the water.  Scuba divers should consider streamlined scuba kit to be a high priority when purchasing and configuring their equipment for diving. This article explains the benefits […]

the balanced rig scuba diving

Scuba Buoyancy Masterclass Series #8 THE BALANCED RIG by Andy Davis When considering the configuration of their scuba equipment for precision buoyancy and weighting, scuba divers should pay heed to the safety issues arising from having non-ditchable weight.  To mitigate those potential problems, it is worthwhile to devote some attention to the principle of a […]

Scuba Diving Buoyancy

Scuba Buoyancy Masterclass #7 ASCENT, DESCENT & BOTTOM PHASE by Andy Davis Scuba buoyancy plays an important role in all the phases of a scuba dive. In this article, we look in detail at particular elements of a scuba dive, with an emphasis on the impact of scuba buoyancy control on the safety and enjoyment […]

Breath control for scuba diving lung volume

Scuba Buoyancy Masterclass #6 SCUBA BUOYANCY AND BREATHING by Andy Davis Breathing plays a critical role in scuba buoyancy control.  As we breath, the inflation and deflation of our lungs is continually affecting our buoyancy, but providing the breathing remains steady, slow and controlled it is rarely noticeable on a scuba dive. The Lungs are […]

Scuba Diving Philippines

Scuba Buoyancy Masterclass #5 PRECISION TRIM & POSITION CONTROL by Andy Davis Whenever we use our fins for propulsion in the water, we create directional thrust. If our body is not horizontally trimmed (‘flat’) in the water, then we will be accidentally directing that thrust at an angle (upwards or downwards) that will interfere with […]

Hazardous Marine Life – The ‘Demon Stinger’. (Inimicus Sp.) Inimicus is a genus of venomous fishes, closely related to the true stonefishes.  These benthic fishes are found on sandy or siltysubstrates of lagoon and seaward reefs, in coastal regions of tropical oceans. They are collectively known by various common names, including Bearded Ghoul, Sea Goblin, Spiny Devilfish, Devil Stinger, Indian Walkman and Stingfish. Lifestyle and peculiar habits Demon Stinger is an ambush predators. They are nocturnal and […]

cone snail philippines

Cone Shell Hunting Video Some footage of a hunting Cone Snail (Conus Sp.) taken in Subic Bay, Philippines. Cone snails are a type of  predatory sea snail of the species Conus.  Conus species have shells that are shaped more or less like geometric cones. Most sub-species have colourful patterns on the shell surface. Conus snails are all venomous and should be handled […]

Sidemount Technical Wreck – Teaser Video A short (4 minute) HQ video showing highlights of the sidemount technical wreck exploration and training dives in Subic Bay, Philippines.  ANDI, PADI and skills clinic training and videography by Andy Davis (PADI MSDT 634077) and Bruce Konefe (ANDI I.T.D. #15). Dives filmed on (in): the USS New York, […]

Scuba World Depth Records – Science versus the Human Factor – Perspective on the future of scuba world depth records; the issue of human versus scientific & technological limitations on extreme diving depth.  by Andy Davis The way I see it, there are two ‘types’ of serious world records; those primarily dependent on human factors […]

Regulator hose diving emergency

Nylon-Braided Regulator Hose Diving Emergency WARNING! by Andy Davis On Wednesday, 22nd July, I had to complete an emergency air-sharing ascent (real) with a technical diving student because neither of his regulators was delivering sufficient gas. The Out-of-Gas Incident Both of my student’s cylinders were full and valves fully open. The regs (Apeks Tek3) were functional […]

Kick-Start Your Diving Development in 2015 with Personalized Scuba Mentoring Workshops  In addition to a wide range of specialized diving courses, I also offer personal scuba mentoring workshops that provide divers with access to expert coaching on scuba skills.  This coaching identifies and progresses the student’s goal to become an all-round better diver and/or develops […]

ANDI Techniques of Wreck Diving Course Philippines

ANDI Techniques of Wreck Diving Course Subic Bay, Philippines  Some photos from the first dive of the ANDI Techniques of Wreck Diving course, run by Andy Davis in Subic Bay, Philippines on the 7th Sept 2013.   The course is ANDI Level 2 (advanced recreational) and is very similar in scope and protocols to the […]

Sidemount Course in Subic Bay During March and April 2013, I ran several sidemount courses in Subic Bay – covering recreational and technical diving skills for a number of students.  Divemaster Tim Mathieson joined me to continue his progress in Tec Sidemount towards completion of his Tec50 qualification.  William Kao did a combination Sidemount Diver […]

Technical Sidemount Diving

 The following commentary was first published as a post on the Scubaboard internet discussion forum. I felt that it provided a very beneficial perspective on the positive and negative aspects of sidemount configuration; particularly in comparison with back-mounted alternatives.  It’s a useful read for those divers, of all levels and backgrounds, who are considering their […]

Diving the Showa L2D ‘Tabby’ Wreck – Subic Bay, Philippines  This week I took several newly graduated technical divers onto an unidentified aircraft wreck in Subic Bay.  Within a short time of descending on the first dive, it seemed very likely that the wreck was some variant of a C-47 Skytrain (DC-3 Dakota). The wreck lies […]

M-bungee-sidemount rig

‘M Bungee’ Super-Minimalist Sidemount Rig I had some spare time the other afternoon, so I took the opportunity to test-dive a concept I’ve had brewing for a while.  Basically, it is a harness-less sidemount rig, using an ‘M’ shape continuous bungee to secure the upper wing whilst providing traditional mounting points for sidemount cylinder valves.  The wing […]

PADI Sidemount Diver Course   – Promo Teaser Video Sidemount Diving is a ground-breaking new approach for streamlined, convenient & safe diving, at both recreational and technical levels.  It is time that you learned more about the fastest-growing revolution in scuba diving… Sidemount training provides a structured approach for recreational and technical divers who wish […]

Silt Out – Wreck Danger! This video, filmed by myself in Subic Bay, graphically shows the danger of silt out to wreck divers conducting penetration dives.   What looks like a nice safe and benign compartment, with plenty of light and an obvious exit (well within recreational wreck diving limits) turns into a potential death […]

technical diving subic bay philipines

VIDEO – DIVING THE LST SUBIC BAY WRECKS This video, by Mathew Payne, is one of the  nicer insights into the LST wreck available on Youtube.   One of the premier Subic Bay wrecks, the Landing Ship Tank (LST) is a phenomenal dive for those with experience to dive safely below 30m/100ft. Following the end […]

Sidemount Technical Wreck Diving Subic Bay Philippines

TecRec Technical Diving Log Book Page Insert Click on the link below to open a PDF copy of the TecRec log-book insert.  Save and print… hey presto!…. you can now log your technical dives! TecRec Technical Diving Log Book Insert

Sidemount Technical Wreck Diving Subic Bay Philippines

ANDI Ascent & Descent Procedures – Open Circuit Diving During all ANDI training courses, students are taught to follow a set system of procedures for ascent and descent.  These procedures include a number of stops, to enable team cohesion, increase safety and conservative off-gassing. You don’t need to be an ANDI trained diver to appreciate […]

instinctive drowning response padi rescue diver scuba

Instinctive Drowning Response – Vital Knowledge for Scuba Divers and Swimmers by Andy Davis All divers should be aware of Instinctive Drowning Response.  Those scuba instructors (and agencies!) responsible for teaching rescue diver courses should make a priority to update their syllabus and materials in recognition of the ‘real-world’ signs of a drowning victim. Several […]