Diving, as exciting as it can be, could grow boring if all you could do was swim and observe. Fortunately, there are many other ways to enjoy an underwater adventure. What are some of the activities that a diver can get himself involved in on his next dive? These variations of diving require no extra certifications. They can be enjoyed by newcomers and veterans alike.
Special housings have been designed to fit many digital cameras. Although there are cameras designed solely for underwater usage, most photographers use a housing designed specifically for there regular camera. That way the same camera that they use on land is used in the water. Housings are made for conventional point and shoot cameras as well as digital SLR cameras. (The type with interchangeable lenses) Most underwater photographers use digital cameras, since it is impossible to change rolls of film while submerged. Its also much easier to take pictures when you can see the picture on a screen instead of through the viewfinder. When purchasing housings for your camera, make sure you can get a wide angle lens. When light is refracted in the water, your view becomes very limited. A wide lens compensates for the refraction factor.
Underwater videography is similar to photography. Video cameras must be encased in a camera-specific water proof housing to protect the camera from damage. Underwater videography used to be near impossible prior to the emergence of digital, but now the large view screens and smaller camcorders have made making underwater video a popular pastime for divers. Like photography, make sure your housing comes with a wide angle lens option, otherwise your view will be very limited. Camera equipment is very bulky, though. In order to get proper lighting, divers must carry flash units that attach to the housing. The entire setup is about as tall as a full grown man’s torso and twice as wide.
I remember, as a diving student, when my instructor showed me video from his latest diving excursion. It involved a large dive group, lots of dead fish and fish blood, a video camera, and about 30 tiger sharks. I was hooked on the spot. Shark diving, despite the popular myth the movie Jaws created, is actually quite safe. Sharks pay little attention to divers who rest on the bottom of the ocean floor. There are only 5 types of sharks that have been known to attack humans, the great white being the main culprit. Sharks not only create a prime photo opportunity, the spectacle of being in the midst of a school of flesh eaters is amazing.
Despite the good safety record of shark divers, fatal attacks have happened. Although special training isn’t required to do a shark dive, it would be wise to do your first couple of dives with a person familiar with the water. Not only will he know how to keep you safest, he will know the best locations to find sharks. Talk to a local dive professional to set up a dive.
The name says it all. Spearfishing is just that, fishing with spears while diving. Spearguns are basically large crossbows with a spear on the end. The spear is attached to a bungee cord and can be shot at large fish. Spearguns have an effective range of about 20 feet. A conventional gun will cost about $300. Like shark diving, spear fishing requires no extra training, but doing a few dives with an experienced diver would be wise.
Now that you know about some of the things you can do without any extra certification, lets take a look at some of the diving types that require extensive training and certification courses in order to safely participate in.