I'm doing my open water dives sometime soon and I am really nervous. During the pool classes, it took me at least a dozen tries until I could remove and clear my mask underwater. The sensation of drowning was awful. Can you give me some advice on how to prevent my mask from falling off? That is my greatest worry. Has it ever happened to you?

I had to get my partner’s advice on this since he is a dive instructor.

What you need to do is become comfortable breathing through your regulator without even having a mask on. If you can just stand in the pool and get to used to just breathing through the regulator while holding your nose and then eventually to the point you can breathe without holding. Then you can try breathing in through the regulator and then out your nose.

Once you are comfortable using the regulator to breath the presence/absence of your mask won’t matter and you wont feel like you will drown. You will still be able to breathe without a mask on and therefore can take it off and put it back on if you need.

It is an extremely useful skill. I mean, my mask is never falling off, but sometimes I have to take it off to adjust it or my hair. 

I hope this helps and don’t rush it- take as long as you need to become comfortable breathing.


Hello Meg. I just graduated high school and plan to take a year off before I reapply to Guelph for Marine Biology. I was wondering if you could tell me about your pathway through university because I want to travel just like yourself. Also I am very fond of marine animals, I want to go into Marine biology for that sole purpose. Is there anyway I can find a job after somewhere to work with just animals or is that too broad? - Alexia

Hi Alexia!

I wanted to get my school out of the way as soon as I could. I mean, I am still young even though I have finished my degree with still lots of time to travel. My personal concern was that if I stopped or took a break from school I wouldn’t want to go back.

But if you are passionate it shouldn’t be a problem for you, and that was just me personally. I think it is a great idea to travel first- it will give you greater life experiences that going to school doesn’t offer (although it offers experiences travelling can’t give you as well!).

I took a lot of elective courses that I just personally found interesting and would be relevant for what I could possibly do in a wide range of jobs. I don’t think it is too broad, I took many courses that people majoring in zoology took. Your degree will still apply- and can apply to more specific positions as well.

I hope this helps! Happy travelling!