3. What Do You Need for Drift Diving?
3.1. Drift Diver Course
Drift diving allows you to effortlessly cover a large area while taking in breathtaking scenery. The Drift Diver course can help you to enjoy this exhilarating adventure that’s both safe and fun. This course is a must-do for any diver who wants to explore some of the world’s most amazing dive sites while conserving energy, including Cozumel, of course!
The Drift Diver Course covers a comprehensive range of topics to ensure that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to safely and confidently navigate drift currents. The course will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the aquatic environment, including the causes and effects of tides, currents, waves, and surges. The course covers topics such as buddy organization, buoyancy control, navigation, communication, safety stop procedures, entries and exits, and problems and hazards associated with drift diving. You’ll also learn about the equipment used in drift diving, such as floats, lines, reels, and compasses, and the planning and procedures required for conducting drift dives
3.2. The Gear You’ll Need for Drift Diving Safely
A dive beacon or surface buoy is required for safe drift diving. This should be conspicuous and easily visible as it will be an indicator for the boat crew when they have to pick you up.
In general terms, there are two ways to do drift diving. In a first way, the group descends along a line attached to a buoy. The whole group holds on to it until everybody can start to move forward. When the dive is over, the guide unfurls his SMB. The boat, which will have followed the group’s bubbles, knows the exact pick-up point once it sees the buoy.
In the second option, the guide is the first to enter the water, and then the group gathers around him and follows him in the descent and throughout the drift dive. The boat will follow the bubbles on the surface and if a buddy team needs to ascend early, the SMB is sent up, to protect them and signal the boat. Finally, all divers ascend together and when they are all on the surface, they are picked up by the boat.
Should you need to stay in the same place despite the current, for example, on a famous spot to see pelagic action, in some places reef hooks are used. They were designed to avoid damaging the reefs. Before them, divers used to hold on to just about anything including the corals with their hands.