Years ago, one of my divers famously came up with the line ‘la plongée, c’est vraiment pas un sport pour draguer’ which loosely translates as ‘scuba diving really isn’t a sport made for flirting’. She said this after wiping snot off her face, which was still embossed with the imprint of her (overly tight) mask and whilst struggling to remove her fins, trying her hardest (and failing) to do it in a cool and elegant manner.
Even if you’ve not planned to meet the love of your life during your scuba diving holiday, there are quite a few embarrassing moments intrinsic to diving that we’d all like to avoid; but which we enjoy having a good chuckle about, especially when they ring true with our own personal experiences.
Clearly, most of us, once we’ve got a few dives under our belts and have mastered some level of buoyancy control, manage to look pretty gathered and in control underwater. The problem lies in the before and after, because even after hundreds of dives wet suits are still a pain to put on and bikini straps can still come undone at the most inconvenient moments.
Here are a few of those uncool moments and a few tricks to avoid them and stay suave and casual before and after diving.
This is a classic one. Most of us will come up from a dive with some amount of snot around our nose. If you are not aware of this, you could be that awkward person chatting away with a large glob of phlegm on their nose. Meanwhile, the person you are talking to is trying to think of a polite way to tell you and can’t stop staring at the snot on your face to the extent that everything you might say fades away into the distance. The usual first approach is for the person to wipe their own face, hoping you’ll get the hint and do the same. To their dismay, you carry on waxing lyrical about the manta rays and mola molas you just saw and ignore their helpful movement. They now know they are going to have to tell it to you straight, diving etiquette will not allow otherwise. They take a deep breath. “Do this” they say as they make a wiping gesture. You look surprised. You do as they say but, alas, miss the blob. Levels of awkwardness are in the red zone now; they are actually going to have to tell you: “Sorry but you’ve got a big blob of snot just on the tip of your nose”. Now it’s your turn to feel embarrassed, you’ve been talking to this gorgeous hunk/ pin-up for 10 minutes with a fat bogey right in the middle of your face. They are relieved now however, they’ve done their duty and the offending phlegm is gone. You rethink your chatting-up approach and swear to wipe/ rinse your face immediately upon surfacing after every dive from now on.
TIP: As soon as you reach the surface and remove your mask, give your face a quick rinse or at least wipe carefully around the nose and cheeks area. Make your buddy promise to tell you immediately and discretely if you’ve missed a bit.
You’ve finished your dives and have got out of the top half of your wet suit relatively effortlessly but as you pull your rashy over your head you realise the straps on your bikini have come loose. Your head is still stuck in the rash guard, but you can feel the breeze on your nipples, and you know that the whole boat is enjoying the spectacle of a headless lady with her boobs out. You then bend over the attempt to cover your dignity whilst still pulling the rashy over your head, two pretty much incompatible actions; thus, adding some exotic movements to the comedy show. Depending on your audience, you will get applause or people pretending nothing ever happened when you finally pull your head out of the lycra and tie your bikini top back on. You stand proud as you brush your hair back and put everything back in its place nonchalantly but inside, you’re weeping, mourning your long-lost dignity.
TIP: check the ties / straps on your bikini (tops and bottoms, mind) are properly secured before you attempt taking anything off. If in doubt and unable to double knot everything, keep the rashy on and remove later in the privacy of a loo or changing room.
Baring all, the unisex version
This one works for gents just as well as ladies. In the last struggle to remove your foot from the leg of the oh-so-tight wet suit, your legs spring wide open, knees flying into the ribs of the person next to you and offering a fantastic view to the one sitting opposite. All is revealed in a flash, nether regions and parts meant for the darkness and safety of lycra protection suddenly pop out brazenly, hairs n all. It often takes several seconds for the struggling owner of the said parts to realise what has happened. Meanwhile amused chuckles, awkward faces and averted eyes surround them. Onlookers all have the same sentence going around in their head ‘don’t stare, don’t stare’, but it’s a car crash moment, everyone’s eyes keep zooming back in on the offending ball or labia, they just can’t help themselves ('my eyes, my eyes!'). Ah! The torture! (for all parties involved)
TIP: When removing your wet suit, do it with minimal audience, turn your body away from potential onlookers, towards the sea or a wall. Keep your knees in and check yourself for anything that might have popped out!
This one is a classic with fairly novice divers but can still sneak up on you if you forget to readjust the mask strap in your excitement and impatience to dive in. When you surface the mask is embossed on your face, usually with a particularly flattering red mark just between the eyebrows. More often than not, that will be the moment when the instructor will decide to snap a picture of you for your certification card so you can keep a memory of the imprint for evermore. Even if they are kind enough to wait a while, if you’ve really had it on tight, the mask imprint will take a while to fade and the redness even longer. Alluring and sexy, clearly.
TIP: Readjust your mask strap at every dive and dive looooooose, if it’s too loose you can always give it a tug and tighten it a bit more when you’re down there.
Sexiest tan marks ever
After a long day enjoying several awesome dives on the boat, you head back and have a shower and put on your favourite hot pants / tank top to go dance the night away and meet some dreamy person. You catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and realise that last weeks efforts at getting the perfect tan have been blown to smithereens by today’s antics. Legs and arms are now two distinctly different colours, pale beige and dark pinkish brown, and there is a very clear and distinct line between the two, running halfway up and across your biceps and thighs. The infamous shorty tan line. How many fancy sexy evening dresses have fallen because of it, how many sexy manly tank tops… Whichever way you look at it, the shorty tan line will add a touch of comedy to any outfit, the slinkier, the more so. At this point you realise it might have to be long sleeves and trousers and lucky for you, have the goods needed, or you may just embrace the new style and wear it proud, hey, after all, it’s the mark of a diver!
TIP: Wear a full suit (though the tan lines are on your wrists then…) cover up, wear reef safe sunscreen, plan a long sleeve/ pant wardrobe for just in case.
That's all for today folks, however we have many more embarrassing and funny stories so this blog post may call for a part 2. Help us out by sending us some of your own comedy moments, we’ll add them in to the sequel.