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Got my OW cert, but SOB!

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by maniago, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

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    This idea isn't bad but you can't just do that with a standard configuration. If you want your octopus on a necklace then your kit needs to be configured with a long(er) hose on the main as well. (and don't forget to practice with it because the hand-off protocol is different!)

    ===

    Also, I agree in part with what Lynne (TSandM) says, which is that "octopus holders" -- ie, actual little clips etc that are intended to hold your octopus in place -- are universally crap with an unacceptable potential to either let go of the octopus when you don't want or to hold it too tightly when you need to get it loose.

    However, there is at least one alternative without re-kitting everything. Aqualung have (finally) designed a BCD with some actual thought put into it, called the "wave". At the bottom of this post is a picture of it where you can clearly see an opening on the top corner of the pocket beside the D-ring. That opening is designed specifically to stow the octopus. It's easy to get the octopus in, it's easy to get it out, it is streamlined and the position of the octopus is both unobtrusive and easy to deploy for both the diver using the BCD and his/her buddy.

    In other words, it's perfect, and as far as my limited knowledge goes, the only jacket I know of with a 100% perfect system for holding the octopus. Why every jacket on the market doesn't have this is completely beyond me.

    And the best part? It's their cheapest but best designed BCD. You gotta like that. When it comes to BCD design, less is definitely more!

    R..

    aqualungwave.jpg
     
  2. halocline

    halocline Solo Diver

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    This is a PERFECT example of an advantage of the bungied alternate and recreational long hose. OP, look on the bright side, if you're smart enough to take this advice, you'll never ever have this sort of problem again, and you'll be able to comfortably share air anytime you want. And it's more comfortable in the water, AND it's more streamlined. There simply is no downside to a 5ft primary/ 24" alternate on a bungie necklace, deployed in a modified hogarthian manner.

    It's the rare case when there really is a gear solution. Shame on the recreational agencies for not adopting this configuration.

    The idea that a new diver, when suddenly missing a regulator, will be able to calmly "sweep" for a missing octo that could be tangled up in any part of the cluttered gear set up is very dubious, and this experience shows exactly why. And this is hardly an unusual situation, and so easily avoidable.
     
    tracydr likes this.
  3. Xitesmai

    Xitesmai Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Blacksburg, VA
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    I'm sure that others have said this but I'll reiterate.

    Practice your self recovery of the regulator....you can do this in a pool with a taped out mask until you cant do it in total darkness.
    Go through your procedures for other recovery methods, including ditch and don until you can do them under stress...This is where what some people call "hazing" or "harassment" training can come in handy.

    If you could have gotten your buddy's attention then you should have gotten their air and use the octo, or even buddy breathe until you can surface...

    Bolting for the surface is a last ditch option...but you got through it and you learned a lesson. Keep practicing those skills.
     
  4. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
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    First of all, reading about a similar episode is the reason I abandoned the traditional octo for my recreational gear and went with the bungied alternate.

    I think one of the problems that new divers face when having to do these skills in the pool is that they were only taught the skills in confined water dive #1, whilst kneeling on the floor of the pool. The skills are totally different in a kneeling position when compared to the horizontal attitude assumed while diving.

    Let's start with the reach method japan-diver mentions. Many students find it very difficult to do while kneeling because gravity pulls the tank down and away from them, making the hose hard to reach. When diving in a horizontal attitude, gravity puts that hose right behind the air, easily within the reach of even the least flexible diver. When kneeling, it is so difficult that students later usually don't think of doing it while diving, but in actual diving it is ridiculously easy and should be the first one tried.

    Now for the arm sweep. If you missed on a sweep, it is usually because you swung your arm over the top of the regulator. Touching the thigh on the sweep helps, as does leaning to the right. Leaning to the right while kneeling is very different from leaning to the right while in a swimming position. When it is done in the swimming position, the regulator swings out away from the body, making it easy to find with any decent arm sweep. More importantly, gravity once again comes into play, and the regulator usually drops neatly in front of the shoulder where it is easily found. It is quite possible that your regulator was sitting in front of your shoulder the entire time, but you couldn't find it if you were looking for it with your right hand. Use your left hand to find it once you have done to sweep.

    The difference between kneeling and swimming is only one of the reasons I teach these skills while in a horizontal position and never have students kneel.
     
  5. MADiveGirl

    MADiveGirl Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
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    Why can't you do this with a standard config (why is the long hose required?)? From what I've seen, most people secure their octo on their right D-ring with a stretchy little octo holder that goes around the mouthpiece. How is this any different than putting it on a necklace? That's what I've starting doing recently because I just didn't like my octo on my right D ring - it's overall more streamlined when I have it attached under my chin on a necklace. Either my buddy can grab my reg out of my mouth (which is likely what would happen in a true emergency - that's what they will see and they know it works), or they can grab my octo which is RIGHT there under my chin. Or I grab the octo, conveniently under my chin.

    How is the length of my primary hose in any way relevant here?
     
    shoredivr and Searcaigh like this.
  6. Xitesmai

    Xitesmai Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Blacksburg, VA
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    The primary hose is longer because that becomes your octo that you give away. You give your buddy the primary and the short octo hanging around your neck becomes your primary. With a standard length primary hose it is difficult to manuver with your swim buddy.
     
  7. Simon-

    Simon- IDC Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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    I use a Pro QD BCD for recreational stuff with a standard reg set-up.

    The BCD I use also has one of the pockets for storing the alternate air. Had no problems with the reg falling out, getting stuck on anything, not easy to remove to donate etc.

    Not everyone wants to go to a bungeed 2nd stage nor do they need to.

    Practice your skills, secure your equipment, keep with your buddy (especially in low vis)
     
  8. Them

    Them Barracuda

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    Funny you should mention that. On pool day one I was asked to do the "trace the hose" method, and yes we were kneeling in the pool. Worse, we were in the shallow end so I was already feeling crowded by the concrete below, the surface above, and my general awkwardness in the gear (especially the fins). I gave it up after 10-15 seconds of fumbling and did a sweep to recover my reg. Even lifting the bottom of the tank there was no way I could touch the hoses. I'm at least moderately flexible (I can touch at least the first couple thoracic vertebrae by reaching over my shoulder) but I simply couldn't get to the hoses. The exercise was actually anti-training because it caused me to write the technique off.

    When horizontal I have reached up to verify hose routing... it is, as you say, easily within reach... but I hadn't consciously connected the fact that I can reach my 1st stage reg when horizontal, with the idea that tracing hoses is actually possible. Thanks! :)

    Maniago...congratulations, both on completing your OW and on dealing with your first SNAFU safely.

    The system TSandM mentioned (with your alternate air on a necklace) is unfamiliar to a lot of people, which means you aren't likely to be advised to go that route by your local dive shop. However, you should research it and make up your own mind instead of letting any shop push you towards a "normal" solution.

    What I mean by 'unfamiliar': I was recently in a dive shop that had silicone regulator necklaces on display.

    [​IMG]

    As I stood there looking at all the goodies a couple walked by, with the guy talking about the dive spots around the world he had visited. He was a diving machine by the sound of it. The woman asked her boyfriend/husband what the necklaces were for. The guy explained that they were to put around your tank and hold a ball of some sort so you could make a banging sound and attract your buddy's attention. It wasn't a guess either...he KNEW what they were for and said it with authority.


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    You can/I don't think it is. You can replace your alternate air hose with a shorter hose, bungee it under your chin, and still have a better system than an "air 2" or the like. I think the long hose is a good idea since in my own OW training I had my buddy offer me his alternate air (during an exercise) and get it wrapped around a rope so I had to untangle it to make it reach - wouldn't have been a problem with a long hose.
     
  9. Slmason.72

    Slmason.72 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Woodstock, Georgia, United States
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    Next time you are in the water, try doing an air share ascent with your buddy on your main reg (and its short hose) while you breath off the octo. You're going to have to be VERY close to each other.
     
  10. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

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    You CAN do the bungied/necklace backup with a standard hose setup -- all you need to do is switch which regulator you use as the primary. The second stage on the short hose gets put in the necklace, and the one on the longer hose is the one you breathe. If it's a standard length octo hose (36 or 40") it will make an ugly big loop out around the diver, but it works. If you want to streamline things more, you can add a 90 degree angle adapter between the hose and the second stage, and route the longer hose under your arm.

    One thing this story brings up, in addition to the questionable wisdom of doing OW checkout dives in viz where you can't see your students, is that running quickly through a skill once (or perhaps twice) in a pool does NOT confer mastery of the skill. Mastery is where you a) can think of using the skill where it is needed, and b) execute it successfully to solve a problem. This student doesn't appear to have been taught, or to remember the "reach" method for regulator recovery at all, and could not successfully execute the skill when he lost his reg. My guess is that prior to this dive, he had done the skill once in the pool. It's not enough.

    It is an excellent idea for divers to practice switching from their own primary to their own backup. It does a lot of things -- it improves comfort without a regulator in the mouth (remember not to hold your breath!), it builds memory of exactly WHERE the backup reg is, and it will quickly tell the diver whether the system he's chosen to secure his backup reg is one that will hold the reg securely AND release it when required.
     
    tracydr likes this.

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