Gas Consumption Rant

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by ACR, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. ACR

    ACR  

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Waterloo, Ontario Canada
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    Ok, so there I was in Cozumel on a cattle dive drifting peacefully along looking at all the pretty fish, turtles and alike. I check my gauges as I am prone to doing from time to time and I notice that I'm nearing the pressure at which I would typically turn a dive... I like to leave a small safety margin such that if there's any oddness that happens I won't drown, typically this means being on the surface with about 500psi in an AL80.

    So I signal to my Buddy that I'm low on air (the agreed upon turn signal) and he looks at me as if to say "***??" and signals that he'd prefer to give it a few more minutes. Now I'm the first to admit that I'm not the kind of guy that can breathe of an 80 all day long and still have gas for the next day of diving but give me a break, if someone calls a turn you turn and you don't give your buddy a hard time about it... maybe it's just me.

    Next time I'm bringing along my own buddy.
     
  2. Blackwood

    Blackwood SoCal DIR

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Redondo Beach (SoCal, not Washington)
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    It's not just you.



    We may razz eachother about gas consumption now and again... on the surface. But during a dive, when anyone says it's over, it's over.
     
  3. dkktsunami

    dkktsunami Loggerhead Turtle

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    Find a new buddy. Indicating low on air and turning a dive is not a request, it is a demand.
     
  4. Guba

    Guba Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Central Texas
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    Okay, let's think about this...
    Signalling that you are low on gas is stating a fact that is not in question. In other words, it's not like you can say, "You don't want to turn? Okay, well, we'll do it your way."
    You don't have another practical option. Your partner should heed your judgement and turn, just as the dive should terminate for ANY reason provided by EITHER diver (I'm cold, my ears are having problems, or "I just don't feel comfortable and want to go up" are ALL valid reasons to turn the dive.) All your partner has lost is a few minutes underwater. He has to get over it and be a buddy.
     
  5. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Tech Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kentucky
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    For me with an insta- buddy or any buddy,...... Any diver, can end any dive, at any time, for any reason, no questions asked. Make sure you clarify that with your buddy BEFORE the dive
     
  6. StreetDoctor

    StreetDoctor Surface Interval Member

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Front Range, CO
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  7. J.R.

    J.R. Divemaster

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    ... no cookie!!!

    AMEN... and I'll add that, when I'm diving as a DM or as just yer' buddy I make it a practice to state PRECISELY what tstormdiver just said. A lot of times my buddy(s) may say, "Yea... we know that." To which I'll respond, "Well, I'm stating it anyway... as much for my benefit as for yours."

    Time to find a new buddy...
     
  8. ScubaSteve

    ScubaSteve Wow.....what a DB

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Acton, Ontario
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    What??? Are you selfish??? If he is not ready to turn then you do not turn. That simple. :D Of course this is a ridiculous scenario that should never have happened. You reach the turn pressure you turn. 'Nuff said. I say that guy deserves to be diving alone. The good thing is, you were in the right and hopefully you never have to dive with him again. It seems like a common sense thing....but as tstormdiver said....clear the air before the dive even if it should be known and clear. Now we all know.

    So what happened after he said let's wait a bit? I hope you were already safely ascending after grabbing the guys fins and dragging him :)joke:)...seriously I hope he smartened up immediately and you surfaced with air to spare.
     
  9. texdiveguy

    texdiveguy Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: DFW,Texas
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    There are certain underwater universal dive signals that are in the command category......'turn the dive' is one of them!
     
  10. ACR

    ACR  

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Waterloo, Ontario Canada
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    I convinced him to turn by signaling and then starting my accent... There was still plenty to see at the 15foot safety :)
     
  11. don Francisco

    don Francisco Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Metro New York
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    There's a material difference between a buddy and someone who just happens to be in the water near you. You were diving with the latter.

    Since you were drift diving in Coz. I assume that by turn the dive, you really mean end the dive, meaning begin the ascent to the surface. In either case, the turn or end the dive sign is a command not open to debate, and can only be considered a question if clearly signed as such.

    Suggestions for the future: pick your buddies more carefully, and get agreed on communication, estimated dive time, and what you'll both do if one needs to terminate the dive early, meaning way before the estimated time.

    Also, you could work on your air management somewhat (though it has no bearing on your buddy's faiulure in this case). One thing I do is get my buddy to agree that whoever is first to half tank let the other know. This way, both of know fairly early what our relative air consumption is and we can sometimes modify the dive accordingly. For example the lower on air buddy can focus more on the reef tops, while the long on air buddy can prowl the bottom. The difference of 5-10 feet of depth will help both divers to equalize their air use and get the most out of the dive.

    With good communication and cooperation 2 mis-matched divers can each enjoy their dives to the fullest, but if they don't plan to work together they might as well admit they're really diving solo.
     
  12. sambolino44

    sambolino44 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island, WA
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    This just reminds me of all the times I have failed to do a good job of talking this kind of stuff over with my insta-buddy. Fortunately it's always worked out so far, but mostly because of good luck. Every time I read something like this I vow to work harder to do a good pre-dive brief with my buddy, no matter who it is.

    I have a checklist so I won't forget any gear; I think I'm going to work on a pre-dive brief checklist.
     
  13. NudeDiver

    NudeDiver Loggerhead Turtle

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    Reach over and turn his air off and see if he is still interested in continuing the dive.
     
  14. Rick Inman

    Rick Inman Advisor ScubaBoard Supporter

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    People have died due to peer pressure and ego. Not immediately returning the thumb and ending the dive without question is a safety issue. And anyone who I see giving anyone else a hard time for turning a dive for any reason will not be my buddy.
     
  15. diver 85

    diver 85 Orca

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: SW Louisiana
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    OR, next time try Aldora, they dive HP 120's......make sure your buddy has one of their HP 80's---that ought to work......
     
  16. vicdiver656

    vicdiver656 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: North Saanich, B.C. Canada
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    That's not cool....
    In many of the OW textbooks, there is the following statement: "ANY DIVER CAN TURN THE DIVE AT ANY TIME FOR ANY REASON."

    I'd find another buddy. There is no way that he should say no to turning a dive just because he has a few more PSI left in his tank. It's like a doubles diver forcing singles divers to continue the dive even when they're getting low on air just because he has the extra air in his tank and wants to use it.

    I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with your buddy.

    Taylor
    vicdiver656
     
  17. diverrex

    diverrex Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: LA - North Hollywood
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    I quess I have a different take on this after having made two trips to Coz this year. The water is typically clear, 70+ viz, warm water, little surface chop, the diving is easy, you are usually in a group dive with a DM and a boat following at the surface. My buddy is my wife, she uses less air than me. When I get down to about 500 PSI I ascend by myself. She stays near the group and DM. I can still see the group below, they see me. I see the boat above, they see me. I do a safety stop then surface and the boat picks me up, no problems.

    Now our typical California diving with maybe 20-40 viz and it's just my buddy and I, when one wants to surface the other does also. Different conditions, different actions. This weekend we did three boat dives. My insta buddy warned me he was a heavy breather. I had my HP 130 just in case I ended up with a very light breather. With the heavy breather I never used more than half a tank. No problem, I'll gladly pass up up some dive time to make sure my buddy is safe.
     
  18. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

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    Diverrex, what happens if you are on ascent and you find out your gauge was wrong, and you're out of gas? I guess you CESA . . . I wouldn't like to be in that position, and if I were your wife, I'd feel HORRIBLY guilty if something happened to you because you were ascending alone.

    To the OP: As so many have said, anybody can call a dive at any time, for any reason; a buddy who ignores the thumb is not really a buddy. But that as a given, it would help to review with your instabuddy what your signals and protocols would be. If you have agreed that either of you can thumb the dive, you might be more likely to get a positive response.

    If I were on a Cozumel dive with an unknown buddy and got the thumb at 20 minutes or so, I have to admit I'd be irked . . . But I'd go. I might try to arrange not to do the next dive with the same buddy, but I am not going to be responsible for keeping someone underwater longer than they want to be there, whether the reason for leaving is gas, NDL, comfort, or something entirely other. But you cannot reasonably expect from your buddy something you have not discussed beforehand. What you might assume is normal buddy behavior, may not be at all for the person you got paired up with.
     
  19. diverrex

    diverrex Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: LA - North Hollywood
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    TSandM - I respect your opinion more than about anyone else on this board. You make a valid point. And if I'm at 100 feet I definately agree. But if it's toward the end of a dive and we have multi-leveled up to 50 feet or less I am willing to trust my gauge or CESA if needed. But I'd never let my wife surface alone.

    I consider the dive op we go with in Coz very high quality and safety minded, yet on many dives they would have divers ascend solo, once they dived with the diver a few days and were comfortable with their experienc level. I quess many disagree with that practice and I can understand that position. I have always ascended with my buddy when they want to go up first, but I am willing to ascend on my own.

    Not to change the subject much but I do always dive with a buddy (except a few Coz ascents I guess). It always surprises me how many people dive solo in So Cal and without redundant air. I'm quessing the boat I was on this weekend had 6 solo divers out of the 30, none with redundant air, mostly photographers that want to be left alone.
     
  20. don Francisco

    don Francisco Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Metro New York
    993
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    With all due respect, this is a highly unlikely situation, bordering on the "never happen".

    Gauges are among our most reliable pieces of equipment, and the risk of one to being off 300-500psi at the low end of the scale is negligible, bordering on zero. I'm far more comfortable trusting my gauge than I am about most other things or people. If that weren't so, I'd replace it.

    Those who aren's so sure about their gauges can test the low end readings once in a while by closing the tank valve and slowly breathing the air in the lines down to zero. The reg should start breathing harder as the gauge reads about 100psi and should deliver air until the gauge bottoms out.
     

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