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247 Feet -- "We can't stay here for very long"

Discussion in 'History of Scuba Diving: Tales from the Abyss' started by MrVegas, Oct 27, 2017.

  1. MrVegas

    MrVegas Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ohio
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    My family and I got certified this summer, and have had fun diving local quarries -- I am now taking a look back at some of the old Cousteau shows I used to watch when I was a little kid (1970s). I was watching the Silent World last night (1956 or so? -- before my time). At one point, the divers with just compressed air tanks strapped to their backs go down to 247 feet -- Cousteau says "we can't stay here for very long." Earlier in the movie, they are at 165 feet looking for lobsters, and one apparently gets narcosis and the bends -- although it looks a little simulated for the film. (It helps to have a recompression chamber on the boat, I guess.) No computers, no BCDs, no pressure gauges, etc. They seemed to accept nitrogen narcosis as a regular part of diving.

    This looks crazy to me -- was the science just not fully developed yet, or were they nuts? (Not very politically correct either -- they blew up a coral reef too and everyone seems to have a cigarette in their mouth.) A fascinating film, though, and I still remember Cousteau's unique voice from when I was a child.
     
  2. USMC CPL.

    USMC CPL. Barracuda

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Havasu city
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    If you look divers we're doing deep dives on air for a long time. I. E Andrea Doria The U869 and caves. When trimix came along it was considered a voodoo gas that was going to kill divers. I believe Shek Exley and Billy Dean's we're one of the first to really advocate it's use and taught how to safely dive with it. Courses are still taught on how to dive to 185fsw on air.
     
    Caveeagle, northernone and Akimbo like this.
  3. mdb

    mdb ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

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    I have been on air to 200 fsw, single tank dive, slow ascent, no problem.

    Things have evolved, that is for sure.

    I am now still just on air, but shallow, no deeper than 100 fsw.

    Fits my old age profile so far.

    It is always interesting to hear from those explorers and the methods used.
     
  4. mcohen1021

    mcohen1021 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Texas
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    As a kid, I’ll never forget watching the Cousteau special where they dove the caves off Sipidan… Going deep into the caves and seeing all the turtle skeletons because they got lost and could not find their way out… Made me squirm then, and I bet I could not watch it now as an adult and a diver. Cousteau was such a pioneer, he often tested equipment and theories that they were not sure they’d survive.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
  5. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid idling in neutral buoyancy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
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    Yes.
     
  6. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    To some extent yes, but not to a significant level in this context. By this time, Cousteau's crew were seasoned professionals with watermanship and diving skills that would be impressive even by today's standards. Cousteau was also a filmmaker, entertainer, and had a vested interest in promoting the fledgling sport of "Aqua Lung" diving.

    Thousands of us that went through US Navy First Class Diving School until a few decades ago were certified on Air to 285' and 300' on HeO2. The recommended limits for ppO2 has changed from 2.0 to 1.4/1.6 and the ascent rates went from 25'/minute to 60'/minute to 30'/minute with a safety stop during these years. However, the actual statistical effect on the occurrence of diagnosed Oxygen Toxicity and DCS is endlessly debatable. More conservative obviously makes sense for the recreational diving segment which is only diving for entertainment and largely has minimal training and experience.

    Several posts in the this forum will give you a sense of what was known at different points in diving history and stories on very significant accomplishments far beyond what is considered possible as promoted by recreational Scuba training today. These dives on a commercial or military basis are even more "possible" today but less cost-effective given the advancements in saturation diving.

    Don't fool yourself into thinking that divers today have reached the apex of diving enlightenment. Perceptions change quickly, science doesn't even though our understanding and judgements of it might.
     
    Jay, HeliMech, couv and 15 others like this.
  7. Compressor

    Compressor ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
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    Extremely superb statement given today's state of affairs especially in the tech diving community and all its politics.
     
    USMC CPL. and northernone like this.
  8. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I believe this to be true:
    The sad part is I haven't learned enough yet to appreciate how ignorant I really am.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  9. USMC CPL.

    USMC CPL. Barracuda

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Havasu city
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    So true. Dives to 1000 feet on scuba. What is next. How far are the boundaries going to be pushed before someone says enough.
     
    Compressor likes this.
  10. Compressor

    Compressor ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: NYS
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    You know there is a difference between ignorance and stupidity and being adventurous and pushing the boundaries. In mountain climbing, the smart ones back away from summiting Mt Everest when they know its stupid (weather, cerebral edema...). Smart divers, say no when the risk is too high. Like calling the dive when it just doesn't feel good. Or refusing to dive when the conditions are poor but you paid $xx.yy for a dive trip.
     
    Akimbo and USMC CPL. like this.

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