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How Much is Too Much?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by FloridaRanger, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. FloridaRanger

    FloridaRanger Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Florida West Coast
    A while back my buddy and I went on a drift diving trip out of West Palm. The seas were maybe 5-7 feet. A lot of people on the boat were chumming (I never thought I'd want to eat Cup o' Noodles with people puking all around me, but it was pretty cold that day!). It was easy to get body slammed getting back onto the boat, and one of my friends bashed his face on the transom when the boat took a weird roll, and he came aboard with a mask full of blood.

    The next day the seas were 6-10 feet, and the boat still went out. My buddy and I pondered over whether we would be wussies if we didn't go. But we're both still fairly new at this, and we both have shoulder issues. We took a drive to the beach, and there were whitecaps on top of the whitecaps. Plus, the beach was strewn with more Portuguese Man of War than I've ever seen at once. An endless string all up and down the beach. We watched a large commercial boat of some kind riding up and down the waves -- pretty much the only boat out there that day -- and decided to let our money go diving without us.

    I know it's entirely a personal decision based on one's own comfort level, fitness and training, but my question is this: How much is too much when it comes to wave heights and safe boat diving?
  2. Andy077

    Andy077 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Fairfield County
    Seasickness goes away when you get in the water :D I chummed halfway across the red sea, but didnt lose a dive!
  3. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Divemaster

    I would hope that an experienced captain would know the answer to this and not go out in unsafe conditions.

    The more experience you get, the more comfortable you'll be diving in adverse conditions and the more likely you'll be to call the dive if you're not comfortable. Newer divers always seem to feel more pressure not to "wimp out" and miss a dive.

    Trust your gut. If it says no, stay on the dock.
  4. DennisS

    DennisS Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sebastian, FL
    When it stops being fun. 5-7 isn't my idea of fun, it's serious diving with a good possibility of injury.

    6-10 ft seas are huge for diving, I don't know why anyone would be diving in seas that size.
  5. boates

    boates Guest

    Well, 12' seas in the Halifax area is too much, these were my condt's for my AOW.
    Needless to say, I didn't do it. Boat breaking the mooring was the icing on the cake.
    Having said that, yrs later, and many more dives, 10' seas in Saba off a liveaboard were not.

    It all depends, as you said, on your own comfort level and experience.

    That being said, I'd rather let go of some money, than my safety.
  6. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Divemaster

    Frequency bothers me more than height. I've done a bit of diving in 6-8 seas and for the most part it wasnt that bad.
  7. H2O 70

    H2O 70 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Baltimore, Maryland
    A lot also depends upon the frequency of the swell. Here in the Chesapeake 5-6' swells SUCK in smaller boats. 30' and bigger is just sucks. However out in the Atlantic 5-6' swells aren't that bad. In the Bay they have a very short frequency and in the Ocean they have a longer frequency. Wind can change that frequency. If you're off of NC in the Gulf Stream and you have a wind coming from the North, that 5-6' swell can get erratic and rough. I've been in the Gulf Stream in larger swells with the wind coming out of the South. Not too bad at all.

    Anyway my point is, experience will tell you when enough is enough. You're there to have fun and frankly I'd rather not get hurt and live to dive another day.
  8. MagicChicken

    MagicChicken Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    Exactly what Cave Diver said!

    There's no shame in calling off a dive. Ever. It's actually the smart thing to do.
  9. Walter

    Walter Instructor, Scuba

    First, never ask that question. When you ask that question, you already know conditions aren't good and you will probably dive anyway, putting yourself at risk. The only times I've ever come close to dying while diving is when I've allowed myself to ask that question. If you are thinking along those lines, the correct answer is don't dive.

    Dennis nailed it. You are diving to have fun. As seas increase, diving stops being fun. If you aren't going to have fun, there's no reason to be diving. I've dived in some pretty rough seas, but that's a thing of the past. If the seas get over about 4 feet, unless they are slow long swells (the frequency), I find things to do on shore.
  10. robint

    robint Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Albuquerque, NM
    ditto.... I look at whether it is safe trying to get back on the boat. If it looks difficult then I don't do the dive. I have seen people injured with swinging ladders, a regular here on SB had a boat rock viciously and seriously injured her shoulder while she was holding onto the ladder, and people fall down in full gear... all of those things make me NOT want to dive. Missing a few dives due to poor conditions is better than an injury that puts you out for weeks or even months! (that SB member had to have surgery!)


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