Re: California Waters

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Posted by Clay Phipps on January 08, 2000 at 20:34:42:

In Reply to: Re: California Waters posted by msblucow on December 16, 1999 at 02:28:48:

On December 16, 1999 at 02:28:48,
"msblucow" remarked:
>I recently took a friend out for her first Catalina dive
>(she was certified in Florida) and it was a disaster.
^^^ ^^^^^^^
>This was at Casino Point [...] in October.
>The weather was perfect and the swells were small,
>but my friend totally freaked out during the entry
>and wouldn't get in the water after that.
>The thick wetsuit, additional weighting,
>and colder water threw her for a total loop.
Was she absolutely certain these were the problems?
Can I assume that your friend was using a rental wetsuit?

Even relatively slight pressure on nerves in the neck
via a too-tight hood can directly create a sense of panic.

Constriction of the torso can produce similar results,
albeit indirectly, by restricting breathing,
so that once a person is out of breath,
she never seems to be able to catch up to a full breath.
A person can become short of breath while laboring under the load
of weightbelt and tanks exaggerated by overwarming in a wetsuit.

>It was not what she was used to and she just couldn't handle it.
^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
If the first 2 letters of "msblucow" indicate
the feminine honorific "Ms." (I won't speculate on "blucow"),
you may already be aware that women don't seem to be
as well served by off-the-rack rental wetsuits as do men.

>Just make sure that you and your friend know what to expect.
That's both of you,
but the burden really falls on you, because you're the only one
who really knows what the site provides and demands.
And if you don't bring your own leadership-type divers,
you may want to make a point of extroverted chit-chat with some
you encounter at the site, that you've brought your friend
for her first California kelp dive; those not already swamped
with responsibility at the moment might keep an extra eye out for you.
However, for the benefit of your friend the local novice--and
her potential anxieties, the remark should be made
with a convincing air of confident enthusiasm.

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