Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ascents - 5 Point Procedure

A few blogs ago I covered how to do a 5 point and comfortable descents. Now I will cover how to make a 5 point ascent, followed by Part 2 which will be how to ascend safely.

The five points are as follows:

As always you and your buddy are diving close to each other. After looking at your SPG (Submersible Pressure Gauge) you have determined that it is time to start to head up. You signal your buddy using your pre-determined signals that you want to go up or need to go up. Your buddy in turns returns the "up" signal. Again, you do this as a buddy team, and only when you are both agreed and facing each other do you start with the next step.

If you remember from the five point descent, you looked at you watch for the start time of the dive. Now you must again look at your watch for the end bottom time or BT. This is not really your end dive time but for calculating your dive profile using standard dive tables, this is the time that you use. A little confusing ? Let me try to clear it up. The actual dive time for a profile is the start of your descent till the time you start up again. This is of course considered a straight line profile. In other words you are using a standard table and not the PADI wheel. The PADI wheel is used to help calculate multi-level stops along the way up. I may cover this in more details, if I get a question on it.

Once you have the time you locate with your left hand the BCD controls, ie, where you will release air. And with your right hand you raise it up over your head. This may seem obvious, but I have seen many divers who do not do this step. You need to have your hand up to make clear the approach to the top.

Step 4: LOOK UP
As you raise your hand up you look up to see where you are going. You want to make sure that you are noting going to hit a boat, or a boat hits you. Although boatings are required to stay a certain distance from divers. Each state has a different distance, so check with the local dive shop to find out. Bare in mind that you are required to dive with a dive flag, so boaters will know where you are. Just a thought for safety. This flag says, "Divers down, stay away". But to be safe, still reach up and look up.

Last step is to swim up slowly while turning in a 360 deg rotation. Again, this lets you see all around so if anything is coming from another angle, you will be able to see it.

You are doing all of this while staying as close to your buddy as possible. These are the 5 basic steps to a ascent. On my next blog, I will cover how to make this 5 steps comfortable and how to ascend in a safe manner. I made mention to some of it already.

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