What are some tips for drift diving?

+3 votes
asked Jun 9, 2017 in Scuba Diving by hurfish (3,024 points)

4 Answers

+6 votes
answered Jun 11, 2017 by NinjaShark (3,775 points)
Just go with the flow! ;-)

Drift diving is fun and pretty easy. When diving in a group or with a charter the dive master will explain what the expect and what the plan is. Then you jump in and immediately descend (do not have air in your BC). Descend with the group and try to stick together and just go with the flow and enjoy the sights! the group will ascend typically when one of the group members reaches whatever the agreed PSI is to ascend, the dive master will launch a surface marker. In some cases you may have to launch a surface marker, when I did my advanced open water cert, this was one of the tougher parts for me lol, you gotta get a good breath then take the reg out and blow into a tube for the surface marker, and i managed to cut my lip... but with practice i'm sure I'll get better at it. anyway you also want to make sure you don't hold on to the marker because that will cause an unsafe quick ascent! so you let the marker float to the top and then you slowly ascend like you normally would, while reeling in the line for the marker as you go, then do you safety stop, and then continue ascent till you surface, at which point the boat will be near and ready to come around and pick you up, no need to swim to the boat! That is what makes Drift dives so nice and low key.

I guess one tip is to determine how deep you want to go, because you don't always have to go to the very bottom, so even if most people in the group want to go 80ft deep (example) maybe you want to stay more around 70ft, you can still see everyone, but you might get a little more bottom time out of it. Just be mindful because it can be easy to go deeper than you intended, so keep an eye on your dive computer(s) and so on. Sometimes a drift dive might be in a river, in which case it usually doesn't get too deep, those are some fun dives, like Rainbow River in FL.

Sometimes the person determining the direction of the drift dive might get it wrong, in the case I had with one of my drift dives in Hawaii. They thought it was a south bound current when it was actually more north bound... anyway, you don't want to fight the current, so when the dive master realized the current was the opposite, he made sure everyone was able to group up and then underwater, indicated the proper direction (which was easy enough to feel anyway) and we continued the dive going with the current, then when it was time to surface the boat was able to see our surface markers and come get us.

Have fun!
+2 votes
answered Jun 14, 2017 by Kenkatz (398 points)
Listen to the dive plan, check both your gear and your buddy's gear. Follow instructions to enter the water. Meet where the Divemaster tells you to. Buoyancy, buoyancy, buoyancy.  This is probably the most important tool in Drift Diving. Staying in the group, not being so distracted as to lose the group. Descend together, count the number of divers. Identify the leader by color. Remember everyone has a yellow tank. Stay close enough to see and be seen. Try to stay even with your buddy. It's hard to swim back against the current. Ascend as a group, make a tight group and listen for instructions to get back on the boat.
+1 vote
answered Sep 18, 2017 by Gatornbama (311 points)
RELAX, RELAX, RELAX!! You mist be prepared. Listen to your dive guide. Listen to the instructions given before the dive. If ANYTHING is unclear, ASK QUESTIONS. Your guide will tell you waht to do and what not to do, so just listen and do i! Drift dives are fantastic!
+1 vote
answered Sep 19, 2017 by George1224 (5,147 points)
Buoyancy control and trim are very important. If you can make yourself as streamlined as possible you can slow your drift in fast current. If you are spread out and vertical you have more surface area for the current to push and you will go faster. Most of all relax and let the current make you fly. Drift diving is the best plus you dont have to work hard, Just be observant because once you pass something theres no going back lol.
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