My opinion

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Posted by Captain Tim on November 20, 2001 at 16:25:43:

First thank you to everyone that has responded to my question. It is a little sad though, that the same people are still having the same argument, "less filling, taste great", aside from that, some very, very good points have been made.
I have to post this as PC as possible, because in today's world anything, and everything will be held against me. I am going to try and answer some of the questions asked and try to put to rest some of the myths. Also my apologies to Brent, I did not mean for his name to come up in all this.
I have been asked many times how I got into the diving business. I started diving in 1973 as a basic diver certified through "LA County". For the next few years I did mostly beach diving at Scotchman's Cove. Then I started diving on the "Rio Rita" where I crewed for my former partner Roy Kaiser. If any of you remember the way Roy ran the boat, he was different. I always enjoyed diving with him. In 1980 or 81 Roy sold the boat. I then started diving on the "Atlantis" with Tony and Holly. Then they sold the boat a few years later. I had to start using other boats and started running into an often too familiar problem. I almost always dive alone. My choice, my diving. Not for everyone.
Many shops would take my money telling me it was ok and then I would have to fight with the DM or Safety Diver, to get off the boat. After a couple of years of this I bought my own boat. Dove on her for about 11 years, until I purchased the GE.
Because of the way I was treated I have maintained; if you are a certified diver how you dive is up to you. The diver has to know his/her own limitations. Until I purchase the GE I only had a "Basic Card" although I had made thousands of dives. Currently I am an instructor, although I do not teach. Many of you have dove on the GE and know that I always try to put her in spots where divers can go deep or shallow. I have had to change a couple of things due to insurance issues, but basically I still run the GE the same.
Someone posted that he had never seen a Ca. boat check out the divers or c cards. That maybe true, but I still personally watch almost all divers putting their gear on the boat. I look to see how many cameras we have, spear guns, ect. After the trip has started the DM's come up to the wheelhouse and we discuss the divers and what level they appear to be. If we have a bunch of divers that cannot put their backpacks on the right way, their regs backward, are just putting their weight belts together, well we work with it. On the other hand, when I see a bunch of old tattered gear, with just game bags, well look out bugs here we come. I also screen on some dives. When a person calls and I tell that person that we are going to Nic for bugs, and they say where for what? I recommend that they not go on the trip. When the Second Captain takes the boat out, and I take over in the morning I go over the manifest and check to see how many divers I know, and look at the gear. Again to try and find out what level we have on board.
The DM's have talked divers out of some dives, and I have had to talk to a couple for the same purpose. I have had to ask 2 divers to leave the boat. One was on medication and could not even tell use his name or where he lived. This decision was made only after about 5 DM's told me the same thing. He has been back on the boat, but never knew he was here the first time. The other person we were warned about by a shop owner who had to rescue the person every dive the week before. After talking to the current shop on the boat, they did not want him to go. Except for those two, no diver has ever been refused the right to dive.
After watching thousands of divers for the last 5 years you can tell a lot by how they put their gear on, how comfortable they are, and a lot of times prevent an accident from happening before it does. You may be surprised how many divers may not want to dive a spot, but because of per pressure they go anyway.
One thing I tell any diver that I feel should not make a dive or they themselves are uncomfortable. "There will always be time to dive here again, you don't have to rush it. When you are ready, make the dive".
No your own limitations, do not dive beyond them. Remember there is always tomorrow.

Captain Tim Burke
Owner/operator Great Escape Charters

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