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This happened a few months back, nothing particularly spectacular, but definitely a good lesson in "check your self, before you wreck your self." Was down in Miami for vacation for a week and went to Key Largo for an afternoon of diving. Went solo so I was buddied up with a guide. I've been overweight for a long time, but put on a good bit in the year since I had last been diving. My mask broke in my luggage, which I had realized until I went to put it on. Thankfully (?) there was an extra on the boat. I struggled into what was once a well-fitting 3mm shortie and then again getting my fins and also ill-fitting BCD on. Hot and getting short of breath, I thought it would be a great relief to be in the water. But even 3-4 minutes after my giant stride entry, I couldn't get my breathing under control on the surface, largely due to how constricted I was in my shortie and bcd.
Finally, I swallowed my pride and thumbed the dive on the surface. And spent the next two hours paying an awful lot of money to watch bubbles, work on my tan, and consider what I would be doing to get back into diving shape. But, money's money and I've only got one life to live. $$$ and pride were a cheap price for an important lesson learned. I have no doubt that if I had descended, I would have overbreathed the hell out of the reg and very likely ended up in a more life-threatening situation. I'm very thankful that my instructor drilled into me that I should never be afraid to thumb a dive.
Amen. Excellent post. Thanks for sharing and a learning experience for all.
When I worked in Key Largo, I saw more folks than I wished push their limits in similar cirumstances only to end up requiring the assistance of the dive master/crew, not enjoy their dives to the point of quiting diving altogether, or worse...
I have no shame in calling a dive when everything isn't just right. Live to dive another day.
Thanks for sharing... I expect some people feel there must be something significantly wrong like an equipment failure to thumb a dive. You did the right thing I have been on the verge of that same feeling but had plenty of time to regroup - in a more rushed dive I hope I would have the courage to do the same. As posted above... With mindset like that I expect you would make a great buddy. Happy diving...
Would you care to elaborate on this a bit? I know that in very cold water, overbreathing a reg could result in freeflow but what are the disadvantages of overbreathing a reg in Floridian waters?
CO2 headache is one thing. I found when I was first diving, going below 20m with a rental reg would leave me with a giant headache. It also happens now if I overexert myself underwater, so I try to avoid it as much as possible.