Every diver knows the number one rule of SCUBA diving. Okay, all together now…
“Never hold your breath.”
But what is the number two rule of SCUBA diving? If you ask ten different instructors what the number two rule of SCUBA diving is you will likely get as many answers. Here’s one…
Never Miss a Chance to Use the Restroom
You’ve probably heard the saying: “There are two kinds of divers. The ones that pee in their wetsuits… and the ones that lie about it.” Well through some planning and maybe a bit of luck I fall into that third category of divers who haven’t peed in their wetsuit (or drysuit) and aren’t lying about it.
I understand when you gotta go you gotta go and I’m an advocate of diving comfortable. The ocean will probably never know (I’m not a marine biologist and I don’t play one on TV but assuming whales pee… by volume I’d say your environmental impact will be comparatively low) and you can certainly rinse/wash a wetsuit and minimize any negative effects if it’s infrequent. Search the web for the pros and cons if you want and having done so I can say you’ll lose an hour of your life and find lots of colorful commentary that will validate peeing in your wetsuit. Okay, but I’ve yet to meet a diver that said ‘Man I can’t wait to get in the water and pee in my wetsuit.’
Let’s face it, if possible we want to avoid it.
Unless you have gills most recreational dives will run around an hour or less so; as a rule (alright – more of a guideline than an actual rule), peeing in your wetsuit can be avoided with a few simple tips.
Stay away from caffeinated drinks (I trust it goes without saying that drinking alcohol before you dive is… well… not a good dive plan.) Drink water Use the restroom as close to your dive time as practical
As recreational SCUBA divers, add the restroom to your dive planning – you’re wetsuit will thank you. As instructors, operators and dive masters we can point out restrooms when they are available and make sure divers know if they will not be at the dive site (on small boats for example).
I know it all sounds kind of funny but the truth is that when we dive we are entering a foreign environment that requires life support just to be there. Anything we can do to reduce anxiety and increase our comfort level creates a more positive dive experience for us, for our dive buddies and for our students and better experiences generate divers for life!
If you’re interested in learning why you need to pee when you dive you can get more information from this Divers Alert Network (DAN) article: Immersion Diuresis (Urge to Urinate) There’s science for everything!
The surface interval’s over … get out there and dive!
© 2013 Stephen Krausse – All rights reserved.