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Posted by seahunt on September 17, 1999 at 15:13:38:

In Reply to: wow... posted by kelphead on September 14, 1999 at 22:06:46:

Hey Taz,
There are a few ways to learn. Many times, one of the best ways
is to teach others. It sounds like you are going to be doing that
some anyway and yes, that is likely to be solo diving. But in the case
of diving, it is such a personal thing that the best way to learn is
always going to be to go out and do it. Perhaps after some booky learny,
but while that can help,it is only going to do so much for your
The suggestion of night diving solo was to suggest doing
something to stretch you experience. If you can solo night dive,
you will find yourself far more comfortable doing a solo in the
day. There are other ways to do this, but night diving is not
inherently more dangerous than day diving, but it is inherently
more challenging to your comfort. In many ways I actually prefer
night diving. I tend not to turn my light on until I am near the
bottom and I turn it off when I reach the surface. I also have it
off some during the dive. If there is any moon, you can see pretty
well and swim around easily. It's also good for spooking other
divers. I got my friend to drop his bag when he saw my bubbles
and thought it was F&G sneaking up on him.
I occasionally get to do a dive that I consider challenging.
The boat drops my friend and I off seperately along the island.
Then they go park the boat at a pre-arranged anchorage. We have
to swim for it then. We do know the area. It's a long swim and
you must relax to conserve air, but anyway you look at it, it's a
tough dive at 2 am. If you get low on air and swim the surface
across the sandy coves to conserve, it can get uncomfortable when
you realize just how far out you are as you get to the middle of
the cove.
I could just as well suggest going diving on the Santa Cruz
coast. If you can dive there confidently, you can dive anywhere
else comfortably. But then again, that is inherently far more
Do more beach diving. That is far more challenging to your
skills than boat diving.
Another thought is your boat entry. I learned from others a
technique that is sorta cool and fairly challenging. Gear up and
when you do your giant stride in, tip your fins up so that you
are entering into the water as deep as you can instead of stopping
at the surface. Then just flip over and go down. It requires that
your gear is properly prepared before you hit the water. The flip
over is fairly disorienting and you cannot see anything due to the
bubbles. If you have a buddy, you may have to wait for them, but
that's no big deal.
On a few occasions, I have had the opportunity to dive in a
completely new area that I have never been to and know little
about. I am solo and sometimes no one even knows where I am. That
can be a bit intimidating. While I like to solo dive, I do like to
do it with another diver around. Very often though that was not an
option for me.
Basically, if you want to learn more, don't always do things
the same way, the easiest way or the most comfortable way. Stretch
yourself. My hobbies include collecting skills. I fairly often do
things the dumb way, but I learn from it.
Really, so many people think they are skillful divers and have
a lot of dives behind them, but I have to wonder how far those
skills extend. They may have dove a bunch, but have they learned
much just doing boat dives in excellent conditions? You really
learn well when you are a bit scared.

Another point from your note. If you are at UCLA, you are far
closer to Malibu and Palos Verdes than you are to Laguna. I can
tell you of some excellent diving in Malibu that is fairly easy
to get to. Palos Verdes is a bit of a tougher entry and exit,
especially at night, but it's quite doable. Also, I expect that
enforcement at Laguna is light at night. Tell them your buddy is
right behind you. That's what I always do. If you want more info
on these areas, I can provide some and also much of it is on my
web site. There ain't no pesky revenuers there.
Enjoy the diving, seahunt

PS. This is true of life in general. You can do it the easy lazy way
or you can choose to challenge yourself. It's especially true of
movement. You can move clumsey and lazy or learn grace of movement.
The mind works that way as well. It's up to you.

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