Re: DIR question

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Posted by Gerry on November 12, 2000 at 19:09:18:

In Reply to: DIR question posted by Frank on November 12, 2000 at 07:44:41:


How many of the people you dived with 30 years ago are still in the sport? For me, that number is tiny. The point is that divers today are probably no less dedicated than were divers in the river-rock-and-goat-bladder days. It’s just that a (stubborn) few of held out longer than most. Now to your DIR query, which I want to generalize into ”what can recreational divers learn from DIR.” To make the discussion more precise, my remarks are meant to apply only to recreational divers. (less than 130', short of NDL, no overhead environment.)

Something to remember about DIR is that it evolved in an environment that was way beyond recreational diving. Overhead Environments, depths beyond 130 fsw and run times beyond NDLs all take us out of the realm of recreational diving. IMO it was conjured up with no thought toward making it applicable to the majority of divers. While some DIR folk may want to expand their coverage to short ‘n shallow, I doubt if that would be a priority of the gurus.

That said, here are some thoughts on applicability of the precepts of DIR to us tea-baggers.

Over-training – without question, rec(reational) divers could benefit here.

Fitness, Dive planning – important for all divers, but more so for someone a mile back in a North Florida sump than a guy on Isthmus Reef. Dive computers are OK for rec divers.

Minimizing gear clutter, KISS – great idea, if you don’t need it don’t take it.

Standardized gear and arrangement – yeah, but only if we all agree to MY standard ‘cause I’m the smartest – my mommy said so ;-) The point here is that, like it or not, we have to deal with personal preference and ego.

Passing the primary in an OOA – Makes perfect sense to me.

Wearing a 7’ hose on the primary. – The long hose is to allow serial egress through a constriction in an OOA. I can’t imagine circumstances that could put you behind a constriction but not in an overhead environment. The hose then becomes an entanglement risk without a corresponding benefit. In addition, I don’t want a panicked OOA diver on the end of a long hose; I’d rather have him under my close control. Not applicable to rec divers.

Wearing the backup reg on a necklace – Great idea, it even fits PADI’s “golden triangle”.

Diving dry even in warm water – Too cumbersome, too expensive and too many additional failure points. Drysuits are great if you need them for warmth, otherwise they violate the above-mentioned KISS.

Non-ditchable weight worn for trim – non-ditchable weight should be anathema to any diver outside of an overhead environment. This is your last ditch way to get buoyant. If you have that much trouble maintaining attitude while submerged, something else is wrong with your rig. Along the same line, wearing a $300 canister light for weight seems the height of folly. You may look tough, but in an emergency, you just might be a tad more reluctant to dump that sucker.

Backplates and wings – Less clutter, more stable for doubles (but if you need doubles in rec diving, you ought to work on your RMV.) They are more likely than some jacket-style BC’s to float you face down if you’re unconscious. Seems to me to be a tossup but I might be missing something.

One-piece webbing harness – unnecessarily cumbersome – these are supposed to avoid a possible failure point (shoulder quick release) that I’ve never seen fail. I know that DIR says that this failure means death, but in truth, the consequences of a failure would be a nuisance not a catastrophe in a rec diving environment. In a rescue situation, you’d have to cut the victim out of the rig. Web cutters are available, but refer to KISS above.

OK DIR guys, I’m sure I need correction on some obscure point, I might even be wrong (shudder.) Just remember, we’re discussing, not attacking.


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