Should I?

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Posted by seahunt on June 22, 2006 at 21:49:15:

In Reply to: A few thoughts for the dive community to consider posted by MHK on June 21, 2006 at 23:22:19:

Well seriously folks, the sun rises in the east. If I don't respond, it could show up in the West one morning. Michael is asking for a reality check. ... I'm OK with that. It seems like one heck of an issue. We've been over it before. it's not simple. Lets see if I can do better than I have before. I've thought about it a lot and looking at the points made already, I think I can bring up the important points and give my take. I've argued this before, but the arguement is a bit different now than just calling it recreational diving. This is a bit deeper.
A couple points are included, mostly from Michael, Elaine and Ken:
Michael mentions the mythical depth range. I was taught the limit of sport diving is 130 feet. Elaine mentions 150. Either way, that's pretty deep. This is a real issue.

Down below, I put the various arguements I wanted to consider, but my view I'll try to put here. I thought about it. Most things people say are true, but I think I am in Elaine's position. I'm a sport diver. I generally restrict myself to 130 feet because it is called the sport limit. I know it is arbitrary, especially when solo diving. The only valid arguement I see relevant to this in terms of depth is narcotic effect. The rest of the issues are not really about depth. You don't need depth for them to be issues. We rely on our equipment not to fail.
Well, I can't argue about the narcotic effect. I have always found it to be un-important unless I was cold, but that is just me. At 220 feet, I was so narked that I knew I was too narked for safety and had to surface. Not harrowing.
Still, depth is not to be ignored, so how does one make a judgement in a case like this?
I'm a sport diver, not a technical diver. I have no interest in technical diving. So what do I do if I am a sport diver and want to dive Osborne, Moody? Should I dive? I'm not a technical diver and have no interest in going that direction. An occasional deep dive comes along. Should advanced rec divers do it? Should I go ahead and dive it?
Well, the deep dives I have done, intentionally and accidently, didn't present problems. That is after the fact, but what I think it really comes down to is two fold. One is do I want to do the dive? I dive for the fun of it. That's the motivation. Two is it in my comfort zone (thanks Billy)? It always has been.

Michael asks a valid question, but perhaps it should be phrased as can an advanced recreational diver do occasional deep dives safely enough or can only tech divers make deep dives. Safety is a relitive thing. I'm not willing to skip a place like Osborne or Moody just because it is past rec limits. That does not necessarily mean it is not a safe dive. I've gone there before and I don't think it was thet relitively much more dangerous than an 80 foot dive. If it is raising the hazard by 10%, that's really not much and I rely on the odds not catching up with me on an occasional deep dive the same as I do on a mid depth dive. Life is dangerous. Choose your dangers with knowledge.
Besides, if I recall, Ken's main point was that most fatalities happen from a sequence of multiple things going wrong. It's not about depth. It's about diver judgement before and when things go wrong. An experienced diver can have pretty good judgement even at depth. That may be more important than tri-mix.
Enjoy the diving, seahunt


Michael mentions 5 minutes on a table. That may be so, but my computer gave me remarkably long dives at 165 (and 135) feet at Gordo Banks. So I don't see that limit as a relevant issue.
Michael mentions shooting a lift bag and/or running line. Again, I have made many lineless ascents from... well any depth I have been at. Not that difficult, not important.
Michael mentions "My issue is that Osborne, and sites like it,". I'll add the Moody to that.

Roger asks how much, or how quickly, can you push your skill level on your own, without training. I like it better that way, but that's just me. I'm a skilled diver and learned most of it on my own.

Clinton mentions "such as no deep air".

Ken mentions "Divers are dodging bullets" That one is interesting. In a way it is true. Often, if anything goes wrong with your gear and you are dead. This can especially be the case with solo diving. The reality is that we depend on our gear and it rarely fails.

Ken mentions "risks that I choose personally not to take".
I mention his comment last because it is the most germain.
Interesting to mention NITROX as technical, but not mention solo.

Someone mentioned complacency. I don't think that is a problem. This is an unusual dive and the divers were not complacent.

Lets see if I can do it simply this time. You ask a question Michael. Let me see if I can answer it. I think it is what Elaine would say if she had thought about it long enough.
Am I a sport diver or a technical diver? Well, I'd like to dive the Moody and Osborne Banks as well as a few other places. I've gone a few other places that were a bit beyond recreational depths, if not those two places. (I'd love to dive them, but making a current health evaluation and situational evaluation, I would rule them out anyway.)

Still I dove Gordo Banks at 165 and 140 max depths as well as a variety of other deep spots intentional and inadvertant. I know about impairment. I know the overwhelming factor of cold at depth. As a recreational diver, I am familiar with conditions beyond recreational diving.
All that BS said, am I a technical diver or a recreational diver? If I am a technical diver I get everything prepared to do a deep dive. If I am a rec diver I dive. As Elaine mentioned, I could not have gone on most of my good remote dives if I had followed more than a liberal Rec Diving approach.

seahunt mentions "I can still sense the madness out there".

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