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Dust off your open-water scuba manual and review the chapter summaries. If you're unsure about anything, read the chapter. Check with your dive school and or your dive instructor.

Review your medical condition.

Especially if you have been inactive for six months, it's time to think about improving your cardiovascular fitness. Otherwise you could arrive at the resort and discover you can't make all the dives you planned to do. If you suspect any medical condition that could affect your diving, or there's been a change in your condition since certification, see a doctor before travelling.

Get wet before you go.

Underwater Adventures offers a scuba review course which is a refresher course. Leave yourself time to have equipment repaired or serviced, especially your regulator,

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Muscle cramps, nausea and ear pain--don't let annoying problems like these end your dive.

Text Box: First-Aid to Save Your Dive


We learn during certification that water magnifies objects. It can also magnify problems, making minor physical ailments loom large at 20 meters. Identifying problems and knowing how to deal with them under water can make diving safer and more enjoyable. So next time one of these problems strikes, stay calm and use these techniques to end the problem before it ends your dive.

End Ear Pain

Problem: I get pain in my ears when I'm descending due to difficulty equalizing. I blow and blow and it doesn't seem to help.

Diagnosis: Squeeze. Once you feel that pain in your ears, it's already too late to start equalizing. It only takes a small pressure difference between the inside of your ear and the outside to squeeze the Eustachian tube shut, preventing you from equalizing no matter how hard you blow. In fact, blowing too hard at this point can cause damage to your inner ear.

Quick Fix: Relax, ascend until you no longer feel any pain and then equalize. Resume your descent, slowly, making sure that you equalize continuously. If ear

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