The benefits of a shakedown dive are numerous. Before I partake in any sort of technical dive, a dive in a new environment, or a dive with a new dive buddy or piece of gear I go to a local site and do a shakedown dive. This helps me to get comfortable and practice any skills that may be rusty. Since I am a certified technical diver I always begin my dives by descending and performing a safety drill. This involves using my isolator manifold to shut one tank valve, breath the regulator to the last breath, switch to my alternate, pen the first valve that I shut, then close the other valve that I am breathing on until the last breath. I then switch back and verify I can reach the isolator valve. This training ensures that in the event of an emergency I know what an out of air situation will feel like and that I can act accordingly. Once that is complete I either shoot a bag to practice or just enjoy the dive. The below video is of two new dive buddies and I all doing a shakedown dive at Edmonds Underwater Park. The sunset itself is worth it.
How do you perform shakedown dives?
This was my second dive ever in Washington State and the first time I have ever used my Go Pro. This dive starts off very dark because of the tides in and around the Puget Sound. I entered the water about 10 minutes after slack tide and as you can see in the video it is very dark. Once the tide started to shift again it cleared up as you can see towards the end. It is very interesting diving in the PNW because you have to really match the tides with the dive. I saw one Giant Pacific Octopus and many anenomes and sea stars. I hope you enjoy.