On Girls that Scuba we’ve heard it all; stories involving bodily functions, dive boat slip ups, lack of toilets(?!) and many more in between. And because we are a friendly sharing bunch - who knows how to laugh at ourselves - we thought we'd share some of these with you! Before we put you off, please remember, diving makes us incredibly happy! We all agree that the experiences you are about to read are worth it for what we gain in return; our love and passion for scuba diving!
We are (vomming) Girls that Scuba
We learn quickly that the pressure changes on ascent can leave our face covered in snot at the end of a dive. We can get over that, and we can certainly help out our fellow scuba girls with a subtle cue to wipe our face. But vomit is harder to hide, and once sea-sickness takes hold we are all at it’s mercy:
“ I tried to stop it by putting my hands over my mouth, it went through the space in my hands like a projectile & hit the person opposite me in the face. It was like a chain reaction then he started vomming then the next person started. Oops!”
And it can get worse. A lot worse! Hot sun and holiday food can sometimes lead to a little bit of chaos in our digestive systems, combine that with a neoprene suit and an ocean swell and you have a recipe for the “brown-water, wetsuit flushing” event! Or in a drysuit?! ... moving swiftly on ...
We all need training - and it's ok when things like this happen!
We have our fair share of embarrassing training experiences on Girls that Scuba!
“on the deep dive of my advanced course I became transfixed by the moving propeller of a boat above as we were ascending. I lost awareness of my buoyancy and started floating up towards it! my instructor went into super-hero mode and pulled me down so everything was fine – but I certainly felt stupid afterwards”
The thing is, this stuff happens when we are learning new skills. That is the whole point of taking the training in the first place! We need to make some mistakes in order to learn, ironically this can happen when we are learning to prevent injury. During her rescue course, one of our scuba girls admitted she made the mistake of performing a tow straight over the mooring line and ended up with a ...
...“butt-full of stinging hydroids. ... had to excuse myself to run to the restaurant kitchen for a cup of vinegar and ask the dive shop manager to pour it on my butt"
(Yes, its ok to laugh.. we did too)
Which brings us neatly to the accidental flashing stories!
Ever been stuck in your own suit? It is more common than you might think. We’ve heard many tales of wetsuits ordered online and tried on in haste and even getting stuck in familiar dive apparel ... neoprene can be really tricky! It begins with mild alarm that leads to a mounting panic that we may never escape, and then, the horrible realisation that we may need to be cut out of our lovely scuba suit! It is not unusual to need a helping hand and that is when it can get embarrassing!
“I was changing ... and got stuck in a new hooded vest. Literally thought that was how I was going to die....had to call one of the guys to help...boobs had popped out in the process. Everyone got a show as I clawed my way out of that f*#%ing thing.”
Of course, sometimes the wetsuit comes off easily enough, perhaps too quickly ... and it takes the swimsuit with it!
“I went to unzip my shorty at the end of the last dive but didn't realize my string bikini had untied in the back and I unzipped my top and had not one boob but both boobs out and flashing the entire boat!”
... or we sometimes forget the bikini altogether!
“ I pulled off my wetsuit to my knees only to remember I had decided to skip bathing suit bottoms under the wetsuit that morning. “
Yes, it does happen girls! And if it has happened to you, be sure it has probably happened to most of us at some point in our diving career. Honestly, no need to beat yourself up over it.
But we are never too ashamed to ask for help!
As if being ill or seasick in the water is not bad enough, we are also subject to injuring ourselves during diving: falling and tripping, smacking ourselves (or someone else!) in the face while exiting a suit, .. you know the sort of thing. There were many stories of girls falling over in dive kit and not being able to get up without help, lying in the sand, not hurt just feeling silly. We all said – yep, me too! That has happened to me!
On a serious note, sometimes fear of embarrassment can get in the way of diving safely:
“Going back to my first time on a rib boat . I was feeling a little anxious about the backward roll. But did not say, all the other divers look so experienced you don't want to look inexperienced”
If we can let the guide know these things, they can help and that means we can be calmer and safer and ready for the dive.
There are rare times when we need a lot more help, like being picked up by the boat after being washed away by a current or being the focus of a full blown search and rescue operation! We can try our best, but sometimes it is unavoidable: “once my friends boat broke down ... and we had to be rescued by the US coast guard. I went up to the helicopter in a basket and everything . I'll never live that one down. “
It is embarrassing to have all that fuss, but sometimes we need help, and we can always remember to support our local rescue services. Embarrassment and shame are also significant in psychological reactions to diving accidents.
Sharing these stories also reminds us to consider our dive plan and preparedness for emergencies. Consider EFR or specialities such as the PADI RNLI Sea Survival Specialty and remember to practice the basic skills such as buoyancy and mask clearing.
But, why are we embarrassed?
What really stands out here is that we are most embarrassed by situations where we need help from other people: Whether that is because we are sick or injured, or just learning something new and making mistakes. The thing is though, scuba diving is challenging and these things happen. If we can accept a little embarrassment we can learn more and we can be safer divers! The antidote to embarrassment is sharing stories and helping each other to feel okay, for that there is no better place than Girls that Scuba!
(And remember, these are just the stories are just the ones we were willing to share in public! If you want to hear the rest and share your own stories you can join the conversation on our Facebook group.)