As you slip under the surface it dawns upon you that you are breathing from your nose still. You can switch back to your mouth as you need to. The pleasant sensation of the first thermocline against your face is not there. If you have installed the communications package, you are in the middle of a clear-as-a-bell conversation with your dive buddy and the surface, able to discuss any subtle changes in the direction or conditions that have crept up. The light platform on your visor is illuminating the bottom of the lake like you’re in the tropics.
Then it really hits home, you aren’t cold, there’s no uncertainty of your buddy’s whereabouts, your hands are free with your visor-mounted lighting system, and you can have your shore support order pizza for after the dive if you choose.
A full face mask is the best money you’ve spent since getting your Open Water certification!
Some people will argue that you use more air while on the surface. Not so, by using the atmospheric port on the side of the face plate you are breathing surface air until you close the port and start the dive.
Most SCUBA fatalities occur with the diver being discovered with air still in the tank and the regulator out of their mouth. With a full face system, there is a five point strap to hold the mask in place making it extremely unlikely that the combined regulator/mask system will slip out of the diver’s mouth.
A Full Face Mask Specialty course is recommended for anyone wanting to use this type of system. Discover what it’s like to use a full face mask with a discovery dive in the pool.