UnderwaterMartini - 2/12/2021 6:34 PM
Nothing. Pool, open water, and 150fsw next to a wreck are almost completely the same. If you’re good in the pool, you’ll be fine elsewhere. Just remember that it’s only different in your mind.

I’m pretty certain that I completed all of the drills in a pool during a ’’discover scuba’’ class near Cincinnati.

My exam in the Dominican Republic was one dive of drills followed immediately by a short dive:

-Go down to about 40’ deep and hover over the bottom.
-remove goggles completely, look my instructor in the eye, get my picture taken, goggles back on, and then clear the goggles. You can use a few breaths to clear, there’s no time limit. Contacts, no contacts, doesn’t matter. No excuses, must be done. Goggle clearance drills are a pretty consistent way to see if divers are confident in the water. I once lost my dive card on a cruise, and he made me complete this drill to prove that I could dive ok.

-switch from one regulator to the back up second stage regulator, clear the reg however you like, I exhaled through it, and purged.
-switch back to my long hose regulator
-throw my long hose reg over my shoulder and out of sight. With no reg in my mouth, reach back, find the reg hose near the tank valve, and drag the hose back to my face and put the reg back in and purge.

-complete a follow the leader dive for about a half hour around a shipwreck with statues, and then surface behind a boat without chumming my head on a spinning prop (way back under the boat).

Just kidding, the engine was off for our beginner dives. But you had to perform a safe and proper surface behind the boat, and approach from the rear. If you got near the prop or nose of the boat, you failed. On Cozumel dives though, that prop will be spinning, keeping the boat off the reef or shore. If you surface behind the boat you’re 95% not going to get near it, if you surface in front of it, you’ll end up in someone’s ’’Lionfish tacos’’.

She explains the tests on the surface so you know what to do. She’ll demonstrate the drill underwater, then point to a diver, and that diver simply completes the same drill. Monkey see, monkey do. Then she points to each diver one at a time and they each complete the drill one at a time.

-after that dive, she told me to give my entire scuba unit to the dive boat captain from the water, and complete my swim test. Basically, she took the rest of that class to complete their first training on another dive, and I just had to stay afloat in the water without touching the boat, bottom, or anything, and not die, until they came back. Pretty easy, in floaty salt water. I was a little out of order because I was originally in another group, but obviously already squared away, and had a different vacation schedule.

-In the pool I had to jump in without the scuba unit. Free dive to the bottom where my scuba unit was sunk. Grab the reg, clear and start breathing off it, and completely put the unit back on. Swim around for a bit. Then remove the scuba unit completely without touching the surface, and put it back on again. Also easy, because I had a BP/W not a BCD. BCD’s with all their damn quick releases and snaps look easy to do this with, but are actually a PITA. You have to find and snap or un snap all of those. A BP/W can just be flung over the shoulder, then other shoulder. Some people cheat and ignore the crotch belt for this drill, or simply tuck it away. Lolz.

Don’t freak out if you fail some of the tests. There’s nothing wrong with that. You can keep practicing until you beat them all. But on the check out dive, you really should feel that the entire test is completely cake, before moving on. If you feel like you’re struggling, and they pass you, try to find some personal instruction. The basics really need to be perfectly easy, to the point that you can do all of them blind folder, or one handed, before you’re really safe.