Fun dives vs established rules?!?
Let me tell you this, I am not a big fan of established rules and on one side it is good that not everybody think like me and on the other side it helps me put my point across!
As you may have realised, if you follow the scuba diving industry news, that sidemount scuba diving is becoming very popular. More than a trend who is called to fade out in time, I think it is a way of life or should I say, a way of diving.
Couple of PADI courses are out there already and whoever tries it claim it is a revelation. More fun, more practical, easier to get to, as doubles are not as available as would be a pair of singles and also offers real redundancy.
A short historic on this practice places sidemount diving or sidemount scuba diving, in the cold and murky British sump. Yes, it is a Brit who came up with that, what we call today, gear configuration. All, if not most of the UK caves are sumps. What is a sump you’d fairly ask!?! Very simple… Or at least it should be!
When entering a cave, if it’s dry and your progression in this cave takes you to a water body aka pool of water, you will have to get wet to go and see if it goes any further. If it does and you eventually have to exit the water on the other side, then take a walk with your equipment that would mean you have just passed a sump. So in short it is a submerged passage in a cave. Some sump are short enough to be passed by holding one’s breath while others necessitate the use of scuba diving equipment.
If it does not look so appealing from a sump point of view, let’s transpose it in gin clear underwater caves, or on a reef in warm Mexican water… How does it feel now?
That could be your next scuba training headquarter, your Essential Scuba Training HQ! Mexico has both, sea and springs for recreational and technical diving. With the freedom of movement offered by sidemount diving it is a must scuba training holiday destination.
I could go on for hours and compare the good versus the bad, the sidemount versus the backmount but I think with all the videos available online and the opening of a new era, I’d rather leave it to you to answer. Come and give it a try, as a sidemount Guru once said:
‘Once you go side, you never go back!’