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Mike, keep up the good work, you have a higher tolerance for this stuff than I do. Some people just aren't worth the effort. I'm going back to see what I can do for people that don't actively support mediocrity in diving. I can do far more with less effort for people who have an open mind. Trying to pry one open is a poor return on my investment.
:10: Whew - for a moment there I thought you were actually going to make a logical arguement... I haven't seen anyone actively support anything on this thread - merely discuss. But hey, it's much easier to just throw out a few generalizations and bail.
I gotta ask - what were supporting for the 20 years before you took DIRF?
I've not seen much diving in CO, because there are no popular or interesting sites (at least none that I've found). A few high-altitude lake dives just to get wet, and the Blue Hole doesn't really give me the op to comment on a regionally-based ability issue. Incrimination by generalization is really not a valid arguement, Roak. Most of my diving was done long before I moved to CO. PM if you want a more complete description.
I haven't dived or witness training in Co either but I have in lots of other states including but not limited to Indiana, Illinois. Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, Ohio and North Carolina and it seems pretty much the same all over.
However, I guess I'm back to asking why there is disparagement regarding divers that go once or twice a year to warm water to get wet and led around by DMs? Obviously, there are those that don't exercise good judgement and blindly ignore their training and put themselves into dangerous situations. This is more of a personal failing than an industry failing. But there are also good shops in Coz and elsewhere that will cater to a casual diver and give them a safe, pleasant experience despite having poor trim... (I'm not saying that you *should* have poor trim, just that it doesn't necessarily prevent you from enjoying your Coz trip)...
I think this is a key point. I also really have to attribute my own wake-up call in part to the dive industry in Cozumel. Hearing accounts from divers who hurt their ears in resort courses and new divers who were taken to 100+ ft and even in overhead environments by a DM and barely having enough gas to get back to the boat and/or sharing gas or seeing some one have to share gas is part of what really got me thinking there was a problem in the first place. I cringe when I think of these dives or see a diver kicking through the silt and consider what they would do to a reef if there was one below them. Of course I've seen what they do to a reef too and even have some of it on video.
But to answer your question. I don't agree with giving some one a card and turning them loose without a minimum level of proficiency which I've described in detail on this board. That minimum seems to be a bit higher than much of the industry but it's not what was taught to me. It's what I arrived at through experience. I don't believe in doing trust me dives or teaching divers to do em or doing anything to suggest to them that it's in any way a good idea.
Now to get to that level doesn't cost much more, it doesn't take a huge amount of time and it doesn't hurt. There is a big difference in the outcome though and I haven't found any down side to it either for me or my students. On the contrary it makes everything easier and more fun for all of us.
On the other hand look how many divers are spending good money on an OW class who become frustrated (or impressed) and go spend another $300 plus instructor expenses on a DIRF to learn all the same skills over. It's easier and less expensive to get it the first time. It's a great class but if divers were being taught the basics in entry level training GUE may have never had to introduce the class. It started as more of a workshop to bring students basic skills up to speed before continueing their training.
You're in luck, Andrew Georgitsis of Fifth Dimension in Issaquah is GUE's training director; I took the DIRF from him a couple years ago (some of us got together and flew in Andrew and Sonya from FifthD and MHK from California to New Mexico for a class).
Yhea, the class is that good, it was worth every cent.
No scare tactics. Mediocrity in life usually has benign consequences in most endeavours. The analogy was in skill set.While driving can be hazardous, many drive completely oblivious to the dangers and escape. Many others do not. Hence the many property damage/injury/fatal accidents. This is acceptable to your way of thinking. Thus, we create safer cars, reduce speeds, enforce laws stringently instead of training a better driver. This in no way compares to your obsession with suborning proper training skills and accpting mediocre skills because most divers practicing these skills return alive to the surface. Nevermind the danger to their dive"buddies", damage to dive sites, obscured environments, lost equipment, accidents and injuries. To accept the status quo is stasis. You do know the survival rate of stasis in nature?
BILL MAIN BREAKS HIS SILENCE---AT LAST!
For many years, I have watched--without responding--as some people have rewritten cave diving history to support their personal agendas. And for those many years, I have generally been amused by "facts" that are inaccurate and by events that never actually occurred. However, Jarrod's article demands a response from me, so I am making my first ever Internet posting. I feel compelled to make this response for two primary reasons.
First, Jarrod uses the words "twisted facts" in his post, when, in fact, several of his own "facts" are inaccurate. Second, I spoke to Jarrod recently and told him I was going to write an article regarding the differences between the Hogarthian configuration and DIR. When Jarrod heard this news, he became defensive and asked me not to write the article because it "would stir things up." So I complied with his request and did not write the article. If, however, I wrote the article now, there are several things I might say.
For example, I might mention that Lloyd Bailey, my long time friend, certified Jarrod in full cave on October 23, 1989, a date that's after some of the events about which Jarrod writes with seeming authority. In actuality, Jarrod was not there in the early days of the WKPP, nor was anyone else currently in that organization around in those days. In my non-article, I also might write an interesting tidbit to put some perspective on Jarrod's position in the equation. Specifically, when Jarrod was working at Ginnie Springs, we used to dive a lot together. One night, while we were decompressing on the log in Devil's Ear, I used my slate to ask Jarrod in what year he was born. When he wrote his response, I realized that I had been decompressing on what seemed to be the same log when he was only three years old. As a result, the cave diving history on which Jarrod reports is frequently nothing more than hearsay. Inasmuch as this is the case, I'd like to correct the most glaring errors Jarrod makes in his posting.
Specifically, Sheck Exley died before the term "DIR" was used. Furthermore, in the beginning of DIR, the basic configuration was the same as Hogarthian, although differences did come into play later. As far as the coining of the term "Hogarthian configuration" is concerned, the mastermind of those words was John Zumrick and not Bill Gavin. And, finally, the main theme of the original WKPP members was of minimalism and the complete elimination of “danglies”. The poor gear configuration of which Jarrod writes in his post was definitely not characteristic of the initial WKPP group, and again, Jarrod wasn't around to even witness what our gear configuration was.
In closing, Jarrod has been a part of some big events in cave diving and has made some incredible dives. However, I have always believed that if you must report on or write about parts of cave diving history, you will make fewer mistakes if you were there.
Seeing that you are opposed to mediocraty, have you all taken a high performance driving class? Something like the 3 and 5 day courses taught by Bob Bondurant?
If not, why not?
Driving is a far more dangerous thing to do than diving and you can do lots of damage to the environment and kill lots of critters (people included) with a car.
Where do you draw the line?
No and probably because of cost and availability.
However I've done some driving. When my father was teaching me we spent some time in unpopulated snow covered parking lots (or similar locations). He would put the car into a spin or have me do it and I needed to control it from there. I still practice. It's saved my life and/or some one elses life or property many times. Because of the jobs I've had and where they were I've been on the road in every major snow storm in the midwest since 1975 or so. No ditches yet.
Every time it snows or rains I am totally amazed at the number of drivers who head streight for a ditch. How could some one live and drive in the midwest their whole life and never learn to drive in the snow and ice? It's like they're mad cuz it snowed so they drive into a tree.
BTW, I absolutly detest antilock breaks and front weel drive. If you're going to drive with the front you should steer with the back. LOL. Drive weels are going to break free. If they're the steering weels you then loose the ability to steer also. If they're in the fron it sends the front end to the outside. Bad. Very bad. The old fashioned way (rear weel drive) simply caused the rear weels to slide to the outside a little. You could counter the spin with the front and the car is still pointing in the right direction (toward the inside). I don't want no stinking computer deciding when to let off the breaks. I'll decide that. Antilock breaks were designed specifically for the people who just panic, close their eyes and lock the breaks. The air2 and spare air of the automotive world. LOL