Posted by Jason on November 20, 2001 at 16:59:55:
In Reply to: 60ft is real posted by Bill Johnson on November 20, 2001 at 13:32:26:
I'm one of those magically capable ones, I guess. Long before I hit 200 dives, I did many 130-150' dives. 150' would be a hard limit in my mind for no helium, and that would be for brief exposures only. That's the recreational limit. Somewhere around that threshhold you need to make a commitment to more serious training and practices. Since I'm not prepared to spend the time for deeper advanced diving, I'm content to hold for now.
I've taken many classes beyond the initial AOW cert (combo - never got OW), but none of them were signficant for this sort of diving. You said yourself that Rescue means nothing. Most of the specialty courses provide very little return for the $$. I'm glad to see the GUE courses popping up - those are of the few that are worth it for the moderately experienced recreational diver.
I got better by experience. By seeking out veteren divers and going to new challenging places with them. That's how I met Mike, Terry, and Troy - on an attempt at the Moody. And they did invite me along to a Matterhorn trip that ended up cancelled. I wasn't going to go very far down that pinnacle, but I was suitably prepared for what I would do.
The virtual communities that the net has created are a tremendous resource for new divers. Many people I've met online, and then in person from all over. Rocky Daniels chartered the return to the Farallones, and later introduced me to ab diving. Chris has been great to talk with, particularly with hunting practices/gearing. I know cavers in Florida, and have friends in Vancouver. Phil Sammet and the rest of the crew of the Cypress Sea are in person resources I've learned a lot from. Nevermind just talking with other divers at beaches and on boats. The dive club is a similar resource one would be crazy to do without.
You can learn some of this from instructor lead courses. But only some. We've all encountered the type that went from OW to DM in a year. Half their dives (or more) are within a class. They've read all the books. But they know so very little about actual diving. The rest you need to do on your own at a slow and steady progression.
ps: I didn't really touch on night diving because I consider it too basic. Any competent diver can adjust from it being gloomy to dark. Add a light, and 2 new signals. Go dive.
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