- Last Activity:
- Jan 14, 2009
- Feb 21, 2007
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- Philosopher: "I scuba therefore I am."
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Solo Diver, from Expat Floridian travelling in the Land of Eternal
- nereas was last seen:
- Jan 14, 2009
- Philosopher: "I scuba therefore I am."
- Certification Agencies:
- Mostly NAUI
- Dive History:
- Chasing anemonies and corals around the world with Two Of Everything for tech-deco diving.
- Certification History:
- OW1 (USN/NAUI), AOW & Rescue (SSI), DM (PADI), O2 & CPR (DAN), Instructor (NAUI), Blender (TDI), TMX (TDI).
- Certification Level:
- Advanced Trimix to 100m/330ft
- # of Logged Dives:
- 500 - 999
- Dive Classification:
- Technical Diver
- Years Certified:
- Ten Or More Years
- Dive Equipment:
- 4 ScubaPro Mk20s, 3 ScubaPro Mk2s, 6 ScubaPro S600s (www.scubapro.com), 1 twin set PST LP 72s, 1 twin set PST E8 HP 130s, 4 single alum Catalina 40s, 1 alum Luxfer 6, 4 single PST HP 80s, DSS 14 lb SS backplate w/ 6 lb Halcyon STA, DSS 6 lb SS backplate (www.deepseasupply.com), hogarthian single-web harness, Oxycheq 40 lb single-tank wing, Oxycheq 50 lb tech wing (www.oxycheq.com), two Sartek HID 21 watt lights (www.sarind.com), X-Scooter DPV (www.dive-xtras.com), V-Planner (www.hhssoftware.com/v-planner), Nitek HE, SUUNTO Vyper backup in gauge mode (www.suunto.com), SUUNTO compass, titanium dive knife, Turtle jet-fins, Oxyspy O2 analyzer (www.dynatron.ch/OxySpy-e.htm).
I try to share with everyone everywhere several generalizations for good scuba diving:
- Rebreather Experience:
1) Never hold your breath while ascending on scuba; during the rest of the dive it is up to you, but never while ascending; each year several people around the world will die due to violating this rule unfortunately. Jacques Cousteau "invented" this rule, when he sent out his first sets of Aqualung gear to Europe, Florida, and California, and he included it in the instructions. Since that time it has affectionately been called "Rule #1."
2) Never let anyone else touch your gear, and never touch theirs. This is the tech-deco diver's basic rule.
3) Be careful during your training; there are all sorts of irresponsible instructors; if an instructor wants to do something that seems dangerous to you, pack up and move on, then find someone else; had I known this it would have saved me a very dangerous concussion early on during a beach exit a decade ago.
4) Learn everything you can about scuba; become an expert yourself; do not merely rely on others as experts; read everything you can get your hands onto.
5) Get certification to whatever depth interests you, then develop your own protocols for diving based on what you were taught and what you have learned; don't trust agencies with pre-canned protocols; make your own based on what makes sense to you.
6) Become self-sufficient and buddy-independent; this normally involves having TWO OF EVERYTHING with you that is critical to your dive; for me that means 2 tanks, 2 complete regs, 2 masks, 2 computers (one in gauge mode), two methods of buoyancy (wing & drysuit), two models for decompression (one online-based and the other analytical in your head), two cave lights, two batteries for your DPV, two rechargers, and a save-a-dive kit stocked with spare parts and tools.
7) Plan your dive, and dive your plan; that means sticking to the plan.
8) Survey the dive site before you gear up; look at the the sky, the horizon, the clouds, the wind, the waves, the water clarity, the current, the kelp, the reef, the rocks, the sand, the slope of the beach, and the boat traffic.
9) Ask yourself what is the worst thing that can go wrong on this dive? Then plan a contingency for it.
10) Do not take needless risks; a needless risk is any risk that can be averted in another way or on another day.
11) Always treat every dive as a decompression dive; this means always ascending to 1/2 of your maximum depth for a 1 min stop, followed by 1 min stops every 10 ft, until you reach your last stop at 15 ft. [if everyone did this for all "NDL diving", on every dive, there would never be any need for a decompression chamber other than for out-of-control ascents or novice tech-deco divers.
12) Plan the gas for your depth based on the best mix you are diving to; technically this means you first choose your underwater target destination, and determine its depth, then determine the best mix based on your intended dive time combined with deco time; this is where you choose your ppO2 for your bottom mix (1.2 to 1.6) and for your deco mixes (normally 1.6 max); for most diving, EAN 32 is the best mix; next comes TMX 25/35; then TMX 20/40; then TMX 15/55; then TMX 10/70; the best deco mixes include 100% O2, EAN 50, TMX 25/35, TMX 30/30, and TMX 20/40.
13) For tech-deco, work "down" to your MODs gradually.
14) A DPV will enhance your safety, so get one as soon as you can afford it, as well as 2 batteries and 2 chargers for it too.
15) A good cave light will also enhance your safety, so get one of these as soon as you can afford it as well; these go hand in hand with a DPV as well, since when you are flying through the water on your DPV, the best way to signal is with your light. Get 2 if you can afford it.
16) Check the local NOAA marine forecast before you pay for a dive trip on that day; good diving days do not lend themselves merely to hit or miss.
17) Take care of your own gear, and be able to disassemble and assemble it yourself; take it all to your favorite local dive shop each year for maintenance service.
18) Always check and assemble your gear the day before you go diving; test everything, and listen closely for leaks or odd sounds.
19) If you are diving with a buddy, watch your buddy closely; you don't want your buddy to die while he/she is with you; I know others who failed to, and they feel like crap the rest of their lives.
20) For solo diving, don't push the extremes of your limits; solo diving is fairly rare for me now, and I like to keep it that way.
21) If something is not going well, then stop, breathe, think, and then act.
22) Keep your buoyancy neutral at all times during your dive. And watch your SPG about every 10 mins so that you don't run OOA or go past your turn-around pressure.
23) I will confess to having caressed whale sharks, anemonies, and eels; but definitely not stingrays! Always use your common sense!!