I was kneeling on a shallow water platform during my open water course when my diving instructor floated up to me and signaled me to put a little water in my scuba mask. Forgetting the predive briefing, I glared at him in annoyance. My mask was fine. Why would I want to let water in to a perfectly sealed, water tight scuba mask?
Although it may be counterintuitive to purposefully let water into a well-sealed mask, the mask clearing skill is one of the most important skills of the open water course. Leaky masks are not fun, but every scuba diver will find water in his mask at some point in his diving career (usually sooner rather than later). He will need to be able to efficiently get the water out without surfacing and without panicking. With a little practice, mask clearing becomes easy and automatic. Here's how to clear your mask of water.