It's the Experience (or lack thereof) That Counts

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Posted by tleemay on September 05, 2000 at 11:57:25:

In Reply to: Think he says................................ posted by seahunt on August 31, 2000 at 20:04:56:

Sorry I didn't get back to this thread sooner, we
took took a group of 32 out for 4 days - plus I too
was diving.

First off - I have no agenda, in fact the boat I work on
regularly does not condone nor discourge solo diving.
Everyone signed up to dive on the boat is a certified
diver and is expected to dive withing his/her own
training and abilities.

Believe me when I say I am not preaching to anyone
that buddy diving is how it is to be done by everyone.
I am not browbeating (at least not intentionally)
anyone into doing something they don't. My initial
post was to relate to people that there are consequences
to face in your decision on how to conduct your dive

Solo or with 50 persons in tow - it doesn't matter
as long as you accept the risks. If you
get into trouble or have an unforseen medical
emergency at depth, your chances of survival are
greater if you have someone near you that can
assist and quite possibly save you life. If you are
solo, the help you need to possibly survive won't be
there when you need it.

Seahunt et al,

I respect any divers opinions based on "first hand
experience" - that is to say, someone that has
actually lived through events in the first person.
"I hear", "I think", or "so and so says" type of
justification isn't nearly as solid in proving a
point as, "I did" or "I didn't". People like
seahunt fall into the latter with their due
experience. I'm not a confrontation individual,
nor do I enjoy preceived pissing matches,

Aagin, there are many on this board that know me.
I'll I would be pleased to hear them speak as to
my abilities and attitudes as they relate to
diving activities.

I see MANY every month. I enjoy seeing them face
to face diving with them when the opportunity makes
it's possible. I dive every freak'n week'nd
partaking in many different UW activities - rec and tech.
I'm partiucularly fond of deep reefs. And like
'hunt I am a rabid bug collector - swell and surge are
my friends and I love 0 vis. I know of the Dr. Death
events and many of the usual participants. I'm too
young to have ever been part of an Animals event.
Sea Divers are one of our usuals. In fact, I have
worked MANY of the Sea Divers trips over the years
in many different capacities - fortunately I have yet
to lay claim to one of their "diving boob" prizes,
unlike another well known entity on this list...
Curt, the scallop incident at the Rigs w/Patty
doesn't count ;-). There is one group of divers you
do not mention that havegone oit with us every four
day opening trip for the last few years. They are
from Scaramento and are machines in the water, They
are efficient and quick. They hunt as buddy teams
working ends of the ledges and rock piles - the
legal bugs do not slip by these guys and gals.

A pair of SCUBA divers (bubbles and all) took a
nice yellowtail on the last dive of the day
yesterday at San Clemente, his buddy took one too
7 feet away and 30 seconds later... he also too
the barracuda that he said was following the
'tails. Successful hunting can be done with a

We have one photographer who frequents the boat
as a regular who shows up a single diver. She
seeks out a buddy, usually someone who is learning
how to do UW photo, and takes them along as she
does her thing. She wouldn't be considered a
orld class photographer, but her stuff is good
enough to receive a hefty number of hits on her
website from not only other divers, but educational
orgs too.

-shifting gears-

I too have been to the boilers at Nic & SBI,
been to Whale Rock off PV for bugs and scallop as
well at low tide. I have been to Begg in a high swell
watching a 600# tethered swim step come out of
the water 6 ft and slam down into the water with
such force it would surely kill an un-alert diver
under it when it came down (you have to time the exit).

I've been rolled like a cheap taco at Montastary
during an exit when the surf and wind came up after
the dive. At San Miguel I've been slammed so hard
in a wide UW surge that my old BC tank strap buckles snapped
due to being cracked into a rock back first - you'd
be surprised how easy it is to carry a steel 95
in front of you uw when you have to. I've been
swept in a down current at Maricaibo from 80 down
to 190 for a very brief time [I don't care what
people theorize, 44 lbs of lift on an alum 80 and
pony bottle is not enough to get positive when
the river comes - no matter which direction you

You see. we all have experiences that enable us to
decide how we dive. Some more extreme than others.
I also have a non-exclusive ability to see divers
f all types and skill levels at least every weekend,
sometimes more. I see many divers diving W-A-Y
beyond their training, skill and experience. As
an example, here are some more recent questions
I get asked by supposidly experienced divers;

"Which way do I turn my isolator knob if I want to
turn it on?" [this from a local well known techdiver].

"How can I get my computer to reset so I don't have
any more yellow boxes (pixels")" [This on the 4th
dive on day 1 of a two day trip after doing two deep
dives with 30 minutes of surface interval].

"I just lost track of time and got into trouble"
[doubles air diver following a 152' dive for 74
minutes inclusive of a 38 minute stop... his computers
were still telling him he needed to continue to
do his 30 & 20 footers].

"Do you have more weight? I only brought 38 and I need
another 8. [5-10, 180# in a single 7mm wetsuit compressed
from age/use, oh yeah - BC w/50# lift was his rationale].

and related to the one above...

"I couldn't do this dive, I just sunk down about 5'
under and I would'nt sink anymore, do you have a
second weight belt I can put use with 12lb?"

People dive the way they are told, or don't listen
to the voice of experience - that's a problem with
Internet discussion groups, lists and BBS like this
one. Just because someone spouts off that solo diving
is the only way to do it, they will try it with the
impression that everyone else is doing it, why can't I.
Do we want a recently certified diver redaing here
that they cannot be a successful photographer or hunter
unless they do it solo, that is an incident waiting
to happen.

It's the same old question... if you have to
ask yourself if you are ready to dive solo, then
you are not.

I have a follow up question for everyone else;

Other than the Bottom Scratcher, are their any
other boats operating in CA that *require* diving
with a buddy? Require in this term means, that
without a buddy or third, you do not dive per the
boat's captain - not Charter.

Also -

Point of question to Ken's KSDA death (was it KSDA?);
the diver didn't have the heart attack until he was on
the surface and at the boat in mostly full view of the
DM, crew and others on deck. If there was a chance
he could of survived the attack and it happened underwater
when diving solo, would he or would he not of have a better
chance of survival if he were diving with a buddy?
Add to the equation the possibility he could have
become unconscience.

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