There’s something about the sheer beauty of the underwater world that makes divers just want to let go of every care in the world. With vibrant reefs and mysterious sea creatures swimming past, it can be tempting to just go with the flow. But there is an art to following that flow in the ocean – it’s called drift diving.
When divers float along with ocean or river currents (that is, the movement of water in a prevailing direction) they are drift diving. Currents can be exhilarating and fast, or relaxing and slow, and many describe the feeling as flying underwater. With this movement of water comes a steady flow of nutrients that acts as a magnet for aquatic life looking to feed; jump into a drift dive and you’ll be amazed at the variety of life you’ll bump into along the way.
While this may all sound lackadaisical, the skill of drift diving requires divers to have already mastered basic scuba skills. Although the physical dive may seem easy if the current is doing the work, divers need plenty of experience before letting the current sweep them away. Familiarity with drift diving procedures is essential to stay safe – such as keeping in contact with the dive boat and learning use special equipment such as reels, floats and flags. Divers will also need to be continually aware of their immediate surroundings, controlling their buoyancy and navigation while keeping track of their dive buddy. While it can be magical to just go with the current, it’s best not to get separated from the boat or overshoot the destination!
Sign up for the PADI Drift Diver specialty course and enter the spectacular world of drift diving. You will learn important techniques such as how to plan a drift dive, using equipment, buoyancy control, safety and site selection.
Contact your local PADI Dive Shop to find out more!