Ears are one of the most important part of a Divers anatomy and as a working professional we spend a lot of time making sure that we are fit to work and when not working just fit to dive.
Have you asked yourself if these 'rules' that your Dive Professionals talk to you about during your training and on dive trips they actually follow, well here at Dive Rutland we do.
Today was that day for me here in the Philippines - you have to live by what you preach, hard as it can be especially when you are away and no one would know any different. But how can you stand up in front of students and tell them one thing when you know that you have done the exact opposite. YOU CAN NOT!
I woke up this morning and my right ear was sore and squeaky. Swallowing and the normal equalising techniques did little or nothing to relieve this so I made the decision to bin the first dive of the day, squirt some swim ear in and see how it reacted to that over the next hour or so before making a decision on the rest of the days dives.
As we warn all of our students during their training about the perils of decongestants and diving due to them wearing off and reverse blocks on ascent, the dangers of forcing the equalising of their ears and the correct method of ascending slightly and trying to equalise again before continuing any further plus that anyone can cancel a dive at any time for any reason how could I not practice what I preach.
So I attended the briefing to see where the rest of the group were going to, a sigh of relief as they were revisiting the one of the house reef sites we had dived on the first day so I wasn't missing out. I chatted with the group, saw them off and retired with a coffee and enjoyed the sunshine.
As time passed it became apparent that the ear was not going to improve sufficiently for me to be happy diving that day so I made the decision to cancel that days dives, luckily all were house reef dives that I had previously done.
As I was not going to be diving I took a walk around Puerta Galera dodging the mopeds, buses and tuktuks to see what the little town consisted of and it is a maze of little alleys and streets, each one full of small shops, dive shops, mini markets, bars, restaurants, clubs of which some looked slightly dubious, massage parlours - even more dubious, tattoo parlours and endless street vendors trying to sell you things even coral and shells you wouldn't even want to buy let alone be able to get back through customs. They are worth MORE if left in the sea
So even the true professionals live by the rules, we don't just tell you why you should do something and the reasoning behind it, we also DO IT. I could have dived and pushed my ears, as I am thousands of miles away with no one keeping an eye on me (not that I need keeping an eye on!) so who would have known?
But does that mean I should be irresponsible and not practice what we teach you? Not in my eyes it doesn't, so I missed out on a couple of dives but my ear has had a rest and I am good to dive tomorrow and the day after plus had time to do a little sight seeing in between.
Remember there is ALWAYS ANOTHER DAY
Written by Rick Smith
Dive Rutland is the trading name for Dive Rutland Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 9433835.
Registered address: 8 Horn Close, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6FE