Saint Brandon is home to unbelievable diving sites. Yet, there are many people that tend to think that scuba diving is much too risky and complicated and is something best left to the experts. However, this is not totally true and is mostly fueled by the many misconceptions and misunderstandings about the activity.
Here we’ll go over 6 scuba diving myths and shed some light on these myths about diving and you’ll understand that diving isn’t as scary, boring, or even expensive as many are led to believe.
Mythconception #1: Scuba Diving Requires Lots of Diving Gear
You will need some gear when you go scuba diving, but you actually only need three basic items to get started: a scuba mask, a diving snorkel, and a pair of scuba fins. As for the other scuba diving gear and equipment like your scuba tanks, dive regulators, scuba BCDs, and others, you can just rent them in dive shops.
As a beginner, you don’t have to buy any special gear right away. Once you get certified and are more serious about diving, then you can start buying your own diving drysuit or diving wetsuit and other equipment and travel to those underwater destinations you’ve been longing to explore.
Mythconception #2: Divers use oxygen tanks when diving
Often, when non-divers (and even trained divers) refer to the cylinders we all strap to our backs, the term “oxygen tanks” are used. However, most cylinders contain ordinary surface air, which is only 21 percent oxygen and a whopping 78 percent nitrogen.
Pure oxygen becomes toxic at around 8-10 meters, so diving on oxygen would mean really shallow dives or really dangerous ones. Some divers use Nitrox, an enriched air type, where additional oxygen is added to the mix, but even these rarely go beyond 40 percent oxygen.
Mythconception #3: If you ascend too fast, you’ll explode like a meat balloon
Ascending too fast is indeed dangerous, but not because you’ll explode. The real risk is bubbles forming in your bloodstream due to stored nitrogen being released faster than your body can dispel it. This is a condition known as decompression illness.
While there have been examples of tissue damage in old-fashioned helmet divers who have experienced a catastrophic drop in pressure from the air hose supplied from the surface ship (due to the hose being accidentally disconnected). These incidents are very rare and include only helmet divers with old-fashioned (pre-1960s) gear, and only at depths exceeding 90 meters.
Mythconception #4: You Need to Dive Very Deep to See Interesting Things
The ocean is filled with fascinating creatures and landscapes and many people think that you need to dive very deep in order to see them. However, there are plenty of interesting things that can be found in shallow waters, from vibrant reefs to schools of fish and more. Saint Brandon, being an atoll has many reef locations to discover and deeper waters too. Although there are an abundance of locations to visit that
Mythconception #5: Diving is only for people who live near the ocean
No matter where you live, chances are there’s a dive shop and a popular dive site somewhere nearby. In many cases, a local lake or beachfront is where people learn to dive — and it’s often where divers continue to dive, in addition to taking tropical dive vacations. Scuba diving is not just a sport, it’s a very social activity.
Mythconception 6#: Diving will make my ears hurt
This one is true, but only if you don’t “clear your ears.” Equalizing the pressure in your ears as you descend is one of the first things you’ll learn how to do when you begin your pool lessons. It’s called the Valsalva maneuver and it’s simple: Pinch your nose and blow gently against your nostrils until you feel relief. With patience, nearly everyone can learn to equalize.
We hope that we've been able to enlighten you on some mythconceptions about diving and we certainly hope that we'll have the pleasure of welcoming you to Saint Brandon and for you to discover the hidden underwater treasures across the atoll!