Posted by Wayne on July 05, 2001 at 08:19:26:
In Reply to: "that" Wreck, from a wreck divers POV: posted by AADIVER on July 03, 2001 at 22:34:41:
You are right on target. In Florida, divers of all ages and experience dive friendly wrecks all the time. Same with other "dive destinations" that cater to the wants of divers. So what is different here?
One thing is we have very few play-wrecks to play on. The ones we have are generally for serious divers who carefully access them -- such as your group. They call themselves wreck divers.
Another thing is that there are some divers who wnat to dive wrecks which lie beyong the normal depths of recreational SCUBA. They have a different set of requirements in diving these extremly risky, technically challenging dives. They call themselves wreck divers, too.
The technical guys are a small close knit group -- well actually a few close knit groups who all seem to hate each other. They all seem to have a problem of being playground bullies. They say 'our way is the only way and you guys are not good enough to play here'. Street gangs wear colored rags, and these guys wear distinctive gear configurations. To make sure they can recognize a "real" fellow member, they have rigid rules of dress. Of course they will justify this as "this is the only way proven safe for our playground" -- but 30 years of CWD being safe says otherwise.
I think a lot of it comes down to an attempt to remain an exclusive club. A club that can look down at the great unwashed of the dive community. They want us to see and respect them as representing the pinnicle of dive technology and training. They want us to feel like insignificant little people barely able to breathe from our bottles.
This attitude is foriegn to California's oceans. Natives will remember how we all played in the ocean and it was for anyone who wanted to play. Whether swiming surfing, boating, or whatever, everyone was welcome. It was not competitive, and we did not spend our time trying to see who had a bigger one.
Look at the difference between the longboarders of diving, the CWD for example and the techno divers. CWD have meetings and will let regular folks come and join in. They will teach us and tutor us. They will accept us as we are and help us to enjoy diving.
The techno boys have a different approach. They will tell us we are unworthy to dive their playground until we do many things in our act of conversion. We must get certified by one of their instructors and must dissavow our past affilliations. We must sell our gear on ebay in favor of the uniform gear. We are expected by the culture to insult lowly non-believers. If we put them down, we will be seen as higher up the food chain, even if only by other true believers. And we will dive to 300 fsw because that will prove that we are better than those 130 footers. In fact, lets limit those air breathers to 100 fsw so they will really feel inadequate to dive.
For those of you who grew hanging out at the beaches of southern California, you will recognize this as a non-local influence. It is the kind of attitude that you find in places like New York and parts of New Jersey -- and places contaminated by them like Florida. People from other places think we are laid back. It is not true we are driven (economic figures show this really well), what we are is inclusive and open minded. We don't sweat the petty things (or is that we do pet the sweaty things- I always forget)!
Let's all act like the inclusive group of divers that we are. And when people try to carve us up into little competitive groups, avoid them. They may be vocal, but the majority of divers are just regular folks doing regular dives. Let's also face the fact that most divers do not dive very often. It's a hobby for crying out loud! It is up to those of us who dive more frequently to assist and uplift the out of practise and the newbie alike -- not humiliate and embarass them.
It is a big ocean and there are places for all of us and we all taste the same to the shark.
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