Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers! Welcome to our FAQs page where you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions.
I don’t like the idea of having to be so deep underwater.
There’s absolutely no rule in scuba that says you have to dive deep. In fact, by far the most color and life in the oceans is near the surface, where the sun penetrates the water. Dive sites vary, with some dives starting by wading in from shore, and others by stepping off a boat into the water. Also dives in the ocean, especially, tend to be in very clear water, so depth isn’t as intimidating as might seem in murky water. From the surface, you can look down and clearly see the bottom, and from whatever depth you find yourself in, you can look up and see the boat bobbing on the surface above you.
What if I don’t have anyone to dive with?
There are hundreds of divers in Nebraska and the Midwest, and many of them don’t have a regular dive partner or buddy. When you learn to dive, you’ll meet other divers. Your Open Water Diver certification class is the first place to meet potential dive buddies. At AquaTrec, we maintain a “buddy board” in the dive shop where anyone looking for a dive buddy for an outing can list their info. Your instructor or Dive Control Specialist (assistant instructor) can also recommend good dive buddies. If you go on a dive trip, the trip, resort, or boat staff will do their best to match you with a compatible buddy. Diving solo is not recommended, but don’t worry – there’s never a shortage of people to go diving with!
Do I have to own all that equipment?
Other than your mask, snorkel, fins, and the neoprene boots most people wear under their fins, you don’t have to own your own equipment. However, since items like the regulator you breathe from and your BC (buoyancy compensator – the “vest” that holds air and keeps your tank on your back) are crucial life support equipment, most divers prefer to own their own rather than rent. When you own your own equipment, you know exactly how to use it and can do so without even thinking, rather than having to learn a different piece of gear every time you go diving if you rent. Your own equipment will be fitted and adjusted specifically for you. You also know exactly how and where your own equipment has been stored and serviced. When you rent, you don’t know the condition the equipment is in, if it’s been regularly serviced, how it’s been used or by whom. Most divers feel safer, more comfortable, and more confident when they own their own scuba equipment. Plus, you can take your gear and go diving any time you feel like it when you own your own!
What about sharks?
There are over 400 species of sharks. While a few species are considered aggressive, sharks do not significantly interact with divers, as a rule. And sharks are not always seen while diving – many divers count it a special treat to be able to actually see a shark while diving. The best practice when diving where sharks are is to remain calm and keep your movements controlled. Local dive-masters know the waters they dive and take groups to, and they know what species of sharks frequent those areas. They take that information into consideration when choosing where to send divers down.
I live in the Midwest, and there aren’t any oceans around here. Why learn to scuba dive?
There are almost as many directions to take your scuba certification as there are scuba divers. Do you like photography? Underwater photography provides you with a whole new world of images to capture and fun challenges you won’t find on land. Have an adventurous spirit and like to help others? There are many dive teams in Nebraska and around the Midwest who conduct search, recovery, and rescue operations. Love to fish? Spearfishing adds a whole new element to bringing home your supper, and divers who fish have a definite advantage over their topside counterparts because divers see fish habitat and fish behavior first-hand. Looking for career options? Scuba divers can get into scientific research, marine biology, law enforcement applications (think drug interdiction), military applications, underwater photo-journalism, leading dives at resorts, and scuba instruction, to name a few.
Isn’t it expensive to be a scuba diver?
Becoming certified to scuba dive costs less than a weekend of downhill skiing, when you consider travel costs, lift tickets, ski rental, meals, lodging, and clothing. And scuba certification is good for life! Beyond initial certification, it’s entirely up to you how far you take your new underwater lifestyle.
Where is there to dive in Nebraska? Can you see anything?
Sandpits along I-80. The underwater visibility varies during the summer months in the sandpits, but is often good enough to spot several freshwater fish species, such as bluegill, crappie, and bass.
What should I do if I have more questions?
Aquatrec staff is made up of divers who love to talk about diving. Call us or send an e-mail. Wed be happy to answer any questions you may have.