Re: Fun vs. intense

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Posted by MHK on August 30, 2000 at 08:53:14:

In Reply to: Re: Fun vs. intense posted by Eins on August 29, 2000 at 22:20:02:

Eins and others,

Tech diving is a tremendous amount of fun, but it does not allow for the freedom of personal preference as much as recreational dives do. And what I mean by that is that the margin for error is much smaller and a stricter discipline is required. We have had several go arounds on this list and others about certain dives and certain recomendations that I and John Walker have made. While some may appear to restrictive for a typical recreational dive, they clearly have there rationale in the tech environment.

Tech diving is a demanding medium of diving that requires disciplne and does not take kindly to some of the typical personal preference discussions that we endure. Approaching tech diving form any other standpoint than you are starting all over, is going to get you into trouble.

The hardest part of the transisition from a recreational diver to a tech diver is the mindset. Most tech divers are already experienced divers before they venture into this area. Accordingly it is difficult to tell someone who has been diving such and such a way forever, that you must change. Tech diving is much more than strapping on a set of doubles and going a little deeper.

Tech diving, unlike our recreational counterpart, is a less forgiving environment. We had a few discussions last week about the Yukon and overhead environments. Well in tech diving you have what's called a *virtual* overhead. That means that given the fact that you are in decompression you are precluded from a direct ascent to the surface. To do so would mean that you would be bent. SO a tech diver must anticipate and solve problems at depth. You loose the luxury of calling the dive and immediately surfacing if a problem arises.

This is a general overview and the biggest problem I have seen ( and am most fearful of now that PADI has gotten into it ) is that this mentality that tech diving can be done by anyone. The fact of the matter is that tech diving can not and should not be done by everyone. The all inclusive, family friendly mentality that exsists in teh recreational world *may* be ok, but it tech diving it will kill you.

Too some this may sound harsh, but it is also a necessary reality. The game changes when you start decompression diving, and so to should the rules. If you don't want to obey them, don't do that kind of diving.


I would also like to add my 2 cents about Walker. John is one of my primary dive buddies and we have done some really seriously deep and challenging dives. John also shares my passion respecting an approach to a dive. After this weekends solo death at Catalina it brought the total of solo deaths in our area to 7 this year alone. After seeing this and trying to speak out against it, it is understandable that a frustration builds. We keep speaking out against the dangers of certain aspects of diving, we often times hear from divers without a great deal of experience that *it is there right....* ( you all know the discussion ) and then when yet another fatality occurs the silence from that crowd is deafining.. So the *rudeness* on John's part is really a expression of frustration so take it for what it's worth. John's a real ggod guy, a helluva diver and really does care about these issues.


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