The Challenges of Wall Diving
If you are an avid scuba diver, you must have come across different perceptions about wall diving. There are those who caution that it is dangerous, but this is one activity you have to try if you really want to experience the thrill of diving. Like any other form of diving, you have to be properly equipped and trained to get it right. Remember that safety is a great consideration in any form of watersport and wall diving is no different.
Wall Diving Demystified
A wall in scuba diving is a near vertical underwater surface and can range from a coral outgrowth or a sea ocean rock façade. The reason most divers are cautious about such diving is the fact that the base of the wall goes beyond the normal depth of recreational diving. This not only calls for courage but exceptional skill. The depth at which the wall starts, its contour and distance from the shore are also used to consider how tricky a wall is to explore during a dive.
Every wall is unique and offers a great chance to explore the marine ecosystem. You will also experience passageways, crevices and other unique features formed over millions of years due to the action of the water. The marine life you encounter is also different and includes larger fish, rays, sponges and other interesting creatures, which recreational divers will never catch sight of.
Wall Diving Basics
Group wall diving is the most common way to explore a wall. There are mostly guides in front and at the back of such a group to enhance the safety of divers. You can also explore with a companion, but if you are new to wall diving this is not the best option. To explore alone, you must be highly experienced because all aspects of planning and navigation, air supply control and the features to explore are all up to you. You should learn the different aspects of the wall before the dive including the depth of the base. The best wall diving destination are in clear warm tropical water, such as Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Fiji, Catalina Island among others.
Skills in Wall Diving
You must have mastery of basic scuba driving in addition to good physical fitness. For walls requiring deeper dives (over 18m), you require special training to enjoy your dive. Consider all diving aspects including the bottom time, diligent monitoring of air supply, buoyancy control using the BCD. Slow the rate of descent by slowly inflating the BCD and establish neutral buoyancy at the desired diving depth. You should also have a buddy communication plan and ensure everyone is comfortable at the expected depth.
It is also important to know the currents to expect at that depth; you might get caught in a strong upward or downward current, which leads to panic. Avoid downwelling and upwelling areas and always carry an alternative air supply, safety signaling device and a diving light.
Choose a location that suits your current skills to enjoy your first wall dive.