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A Diver’s Guide to Surviving the “Off Season”

So it’s the New Year and it’s been 4 months since being underwater.  After 3 great dive trips in 2010 – spending the better part of 6 weeks submerged, I find myself longing desperately for a saltwater fix.

Photos, new friends and depleted finances attest to the trips taken but as the craving takes hold it becomes more difficult to take solace in those memories.  The dreaded bone-dry blues have commenced.

How does the avid but unfortunate land-locked diver deal with the times in between those dive trips?  Some would say, and actually have said to me, “Get a life”.  Regardless of those dry, pitiable uninitiated and their unkind comments, there are ways to endure a prolonged period above water.

First and foremost is having a trip in the works, something to look forward to.  Even if its months away, it’s absolutely vital to scuba well being and mental health to be in planning mode.  This preparation leads naturally into another coping method; surfing the web.

Seemingly endless sites offering destination reviews, water temperature charts, flight schedules, resort comparisons and Dive Op evaluations.  Or change course a bit to consider going the Live-aboard route (safari-boats outside the US). These sites provide sustenance and hours of diversion; not to mention great research opportunities and are just the tip of the iceberg.

Conservation organizations have expanded their web presence and supply enthralling information for those who care; scientific research and education, ongoing preservation projects, statistics, volunteer opportunities, fish reports and sometimes even reef cams.  For the ocean addict, it’s kind of like methadone on the web.

Need a little interaction in your survival strategy?  Email some of those resorts, live-aboards and dive ops to get more detailed and personal information; it never hurts to ask about specials or discounts.  There are hundreds of chat rooms and websites where you can lurk, read and gather information or join and share stories and your own words of wisdom.

RESOURCES: Some of the more popular websites for divers include:  ScubaBoard.com, Wetpixel.com, DivePhotoGuide.com and TheCyberDiver.com

Feeling better yet?  If not, drag out the dive bag and go through your gear.  Of course it was cleaned thoroughly prior to being stored, but it can always use a little extra cleaning, rearranging or maintenance.  Check your save-a-dive and first aid kits for necessary additions or replacements.  Make lists for restocking shopping trips and/or handy gadgets that you’ve been forgetting to pick up.

Still in crave mode, languishing for some immersion?  If all else fails, bury your humiliation right next to any remaining pride, peel on the wetsuit, grab your gear and jump into a local pool.  If worse comes to worse the bathtub does hold water.  Do whatever it takes, other divers will always understand.  Make no mistake they will be laughing, but more ‘with’ you, in sympathy and without malice.

As for anyone else, who cares what the ‘dry-contingent’ thinks?  Everyone knows that they’ll never ‘get it’.  Keep your chin up diver, eyes on the horizon and head in the waves (we all know it’s the ocean and not the clouds where a diver’s fantasies reside) until the next time you’re able to take the plunge!

Popular DiverWire.com contributing writer Stacy Amberson is back! This avid diver talks about how a diver can deal with the “off-season dry spells”.

To Read some of Stacy’s other story’s click here: Stacy Amberson’s DiverWire.com Features!

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