Posted by JRM on November 20, 2000 at 10:36:11:
In Reply to: Not ready/qualified/trained/etc. to make a dive posted by Ken Kurtis on November 19, 2000 at 21:46:29:
I know exactly what I'd do: swallow the pride and either skip it, practice freediving for a bit, or go with the DM (I would prefer to go with the DM). Many people are probably scoffing that a 26 year old male could possibly stand to have his ego deflated. Well, I almost bought the farm in a similar type situation while climbing in Yosemite several years ago.
My buddy and I had what we considered ample climbing experience. We both have time on the big stone, and we were in really good shape. I had been working out all year for a winter ascent we were planning, and I was in decent shape. So my buddy and I decided that since we didn't really have time to take two or three days to climb the "Leaning Tower" (which he had solo'd the year before while I was gone), we'd knock it down in a day. Hey, guys climb that stuff in a day all the time. Well, the ranger we met told us we probably were in over our heads, as did a couple of other local climbers. But our egos convinced us we could make it. We started walking at 3:am. At noon, we realized we weren't going to make it, and that we didn't have the proper gear to weather the night. So we bailed off, on one of the scariest experiences I've ever had. It took all we had just to survive, and we ended up sacrificing a couple of hundred dollars worth of gear as insurance. When we got back down alive, we both collapsed, and it wasn't until a few hours later when we had recovered enough to thank God that we scrambled back to the truck. That was the quietest drive I've ever had (prior to getting married, but that's another post entirely :-).
So for all the folks out there, LISTEN!!!!! I'll never do anything that stupid again. Even when typing this, I can still remember when I made a clip-off mistake on our retreat, and watched a pair of aiders fall a thousand feet. It could have been me.
As a side note, I think that the shops and boats should be a bit more informative about some of their dive destinations. Luckily it was cancelled for weather, but my first scheduled boat trip was headed for Farnsworth. In hindsight, I shouldn't have made that dive then (and arguably now, I'd have to be feeling pretty good that day, and I'd still take additional company). But that ended up getting cancelled, and we took the GE to Catalina instead. And Capt. Tim has forever spoiled my boat diving experience. His crew was *really* helpfull to the newbie. Even the "wierdo" (sorry, couldn't help myself). I asked for some extra tips, etc., and told them that it was my first boat dive, and they really bent over backward to help me out, and kept a bit closer eye on me.
I've been deeper than 80' twice, and have been accompanied by the more experienced both times. I feel confident that I can handle myself and not panic, but I don't feel that I would be of much value to my buddy should he/she panic. I just don't have the experience yet.
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