Re: Diving Freedom

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on September 10, 2002 at 16:06:42:

In Reply to: Diving Freedom posted by Alex on September 10, 2002 at 14:59:51:

Alex asked: "My question is: If I were to be certified as an Instructor prior to going, would we have a little more freedom to dive on our own?"

MY question is: Why do you perceive this as restrictive? What is it you intend to do that you're afraid they won't let you do?

As someone who's been teaching diving for 24 years, I've been on plenty of trips where the diving was escorted. No big deal. My view of it is that I'm being given someone who knows the area, knows what's in the cracks and crevices, and who should be able to enhance my diving experience. How can this NOT be a good thing?

By the same token, there are plentry of people out there with DM and Instructor cards who are disasters waiting to happen. In fact, on my August trip to Yap/Palau, there was an instructor on board as one of the guests who was contstantly smacking into coral, jamming a camera framer into anemones, and grabbing on to corals left and right to hold position in currents. Not exactly a reef-friendly person. BUT . . . they held an instructor card.

My experience has been that if you're a good diver, generally follow the dive plan, and are fairly considerate and competent, no one's going to say boo if you stray a bit. (I'm notorious for falling behind the group since I'm always stopping to take pictures.)

Give the guides time to get to know you and get comfortable with your diving skills and I'm sure you'll reach an accomodation. By the same token, apparoach this not with dread but with anticipatiuon of having someonme with you who can show you things you might otherwise miss, which in turn will give you a better experience than you'd have on your own. (And give some credence to the idea that since they may have been doing this or diving the area longer than you, they may actually know a thing or two.)

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, CA

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