How much gas is enough?
“OK guys and gals, the reef is right under the boat, it is 40ft/12m deep, there is a slight current coming from the North and for the more experienced, the wreck is at bearing 160. Have fun and make sure to use the descent line and come back when you have 700PSI/50BAR. Have fun!”
How much gas is enough?
Accident Analysis & Normalization of Deviance
This post is not like any other one. It treats of a serious subject and is only the reflection of my personal thoughts. In no way I am here to judge ones act or decision. It is just here to bring to light a sad reality. Scuba diving and, even more cave diving, is deceptively easy. As one of my trainers have said, ‘any monkey can go in a cave but can they actually make it out..??’
Natural Selection is slow but…
Or how to keep your skills as fresh as the first day
For most of us, diving every day is not a possibility, although, if you really want, you can. That is, if you have a pool of water nearby.
Some of my friends enjoy diving in the cold sea of Sweden or Finland but they rather book a trip to Warmer climates such as the Red Sea or even Malta’s archipelago.
Safety drill aka S-Drill
Either way, this is an important step in the life of a scuba diver: keeping your scuba diving skills as fresh as the first day you got to learn them. Be it a simple mask clear or a more complex S-Drill. These precious skills, some call ‘survival skills’ are precious and need a constant care.
From incompetent to competent diver
IN the 70s, a theory was developed at Gordon Training International that was describing the different stages of psychological states during the learning process. These stages run from being unconscious incompetent to unconscious competent.
Let’s have a look how we could apply this to teaching/learning new diving skills. But first, I shall take the time to explain a bit more what these states are to us, as humans.
Four stages of competence
Light at the end of the … dive
Before going into details, we would first need to separate the primary dive light and the back-up lights aka BULs. The primary needs to have a stronger output that the back up light and needs to have a burn time of the planned total dive, plus reserve. We could say, time and a half to be conservative. On the other hand the BULs, have to offer, combined burn time of twice the total dive time as they’ll be used to exit the cave/overhead environment in the even of a primary light failure. They have to be bright enough not to delay the exit too much.
Cave or Tech diving primary light with Goodman handle
Hog rig or Doing it proper configuration
Apart from the obvious cylinders needed for cave diving, you must have a complete set of cave diving equipment, in working order, serviced and accessible. Keeping the KISS or KISS-ASS principle.
(Keep It Super Simple – Accessible Secured and Streamlined)
Tech Diver - KISS ASS principle
Modular or Sidemount only rig
It is not a fad! It is here to stay! Sidemount diving has been used for decades already and in the harshest environment imaginable. So NO, it is not just a fad.
For the last two years now there’s been a surge with manufacturers to introduce sidemount compatible wings or other BCDs. No blame, just to say that everybody is jumping on the bandwagon, that’s it!
Diver using Sidemount configuration
scuba cylinders markings
As I said earlier, it is vital to analyse your diving cylinders prior to go out diving. It is so important that there is a sort of ‘accepted’ way of doing it while keeping the KISS principle. Keeping it Super Simple so easy to read and identify as to avoid any confusion.
Unless you have a Marking Identification Team like this one, be careful!! 🙂
surface marker for ocean diving
Deep sea diving or should I say open water diving? In any cases divers will need to be able to signal their position and communicate with the surface by using a surface marker buoy aka SMB, DSMB, sausage or even a bolb!!
At a beginner’s level, surface suport is just the boat captain and maybe his crew, just waitng in the drift to see ‘where’ the client-divers are going to surface from their dive. Pretty basic you’d say…
It should be, as long as it is agreed before the dive, that an SMB must be used and the boat crew know the type and eventualy color of the surface markers in use within that group of recreational divers.
But on the other hand, we’d have the more experienced diver, possibly a technical diver, even a sidemount technical diver 😉 who absolutely need surface support for his or her safety. During your technical diving class with Essential Scuba Training, you will learn how to deploy safely an SMB.