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I dove with two new buddies the other day. Just met the one guy at the LDS as I was getting a refill.
The dive was in a lake that is used by several shops for checkout dives. There are several UW platforms built to do skills on as the bottom is 12-18 thick muck. Two platforms at 20 some feet, one at 50 and one at 100.
I have been to the 20s and 50 and knew where the 100 was but judging by the darkness at 50 feet I have not felt compelled to go any deeper.
The first thing these guys wanted to do was go deep, neither knew where the platform was but got a bearing from someone else.
I asked just what they wanted to do at 100 feet and how long they wanted to stay, cause one- we would not be able to see a thing and two- it would be cold. They just wanted to go there so I agreed to take them so they knew where is was then we were to come back up to 30 feet or so and explore.
Once we got to 90-100 it was so dark that my light beam went about three feet and just stopped. They had one light between them and were writing on a slate and then one took off swimming and the other followed, as this was not the plan I was confused and decided to stay put.
The one without the light lost his buddy and made his way back to my light. Having lost one with no chance of finding him under water we did a slow ascent to the surface and there was the buddy. I never got a straight story but for some reason he just started swimming and so his buddy tried to follow, he then swan into a wall, freaked and popped to the surface
I did see one thing while down there, something white on the bottom caught my eye, it was a slate lost by a previous diver. I picked it up and put it in my BC pocket and did not think much about it till later after the dive. When I got it out to look at it I saw it had one word on it. Which after what I just experienced really made me think. The one word was "DIZZY".
As I was reading your post I was thinking to myself, this is an accident waiting to happen. How many of you dove beyond your limits and/or training that day? I'm glad to hear everyone made it back to the surface okay.
Glad you all made it back. Lakes are a unique experience and you add narcosis to it and it can make for a dangerous combination. Hopefully you and the other divers learned something and will remember it on future dives.
I certainly learned many lessons that day, and yes we all were diving beyond our training. Funny thing the other two both had twice as much experience as me ( at least on paper) and both were AOW certified. I felt at first I was in good hands.
Which was another lesson learned, on making assumptions.
During our surface interval I discoverd both had rushed through their OW training just to get cards to go on trips. Some questions they asked me like, do you use more or less air the deeper you go? And, Do you put air in or take it out as you ascend?
This blew me away, but lends to many threads I have read on the PADI rush them through and get gear on them on out the door training methods.
I took my training very seriously, I watched each video at least three times, I read, highlighted, and reread the book and studied hard. I did extra pool sessions and ACED all my written tests.
But, with all that when I was told you "You are now certified", I did not feel ready to just go off on my own.
I'm not sure if that was slam on PADI or not but I would like to just say what seems to have been said alot is it all comes back to the quality of the instructor. I was originally certified with NAUI and remember basically nothing of my open water trainning. Since then I have done AOW, Rescue, DM, and several Spec classes with PADI and have the utmost cofidence in my self and my trainning. Students attend the class and take away with them what they want. Some only want enough to get by and others like yourself put the extra effort into it. Confidence comes from training and experiance. The instructor that I work with could be called the "Dive Nazi" He is very efficent and demands "mastery". There are other instructors in our shop that are looking for certs. I think you did the right thing short of going beyond your trainning. You should have stuck with your first thought. we all know there is no SCUBA police out there and we have to use the best judgement we have. I also think you found two guys not to go with anymore. Only my opinion