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How to Avoid "Guided" Dives? I don't need/want my hand held.

Discussion in 'Underwater Photography' started by avengedkevinfold, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. CathyE

    CathyE Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
    Thank you Sam, this is high praise indeed coming from you.
    Coztick, dead dog and caydiver like this.
  2. diversteve

    diversteve mod

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: nowhere
    where is something to be considered.
    You dove in HI - so did hundreds of thousands of other tourists. Most likely you met/talked to the DM on the maybe 30min. ride out.

    In that time they had to evaluate you and all your fellow pax - some of whom may have not been in the water for years, ever (new certs) and also some locals possibly. So they have to pick a site to make everyone happy and handhold those people they don't know. My c-card is older than many of the DM's I dive with but I still get treated like that occasionally.

    You're sort of doing it again on Cayman. CITA regulates diving there, "advises" a DM per exp. level, controls the dive guide permit process and access to the Kittiwake. No operator is going to oppose them if they want to operate there.

    Also it's a big cruise port so gets a higher percentage of annual divers as well as discover divers from the ships. Add in time constraints for those operators since they have to get them back to depart and the sites are dumbed down to accommodate everyone - and DM led. It's actually a requirement for the Kittiwake.

    There's about a dozen shore dives off GC - most with easy access. Rent a tank and go. Divetech as mentioned above is at Lighthouse Point - it's both a good shore dive and their boats leave from there or nearby and dive the North Wall. One site not to miss near there is Ghost Mountain.

    I personally think Turtle Reef is one of the best. Not even very deep so the light is good.

    I believe Cathy Church has her own boat now - since she owns the Photo school/gallery at Sunset House I'm going to guess a lot of her customers are photogs - others go on the SH boats. There's actually several photo ops there - the Mermaid, the small wreck and the tourist sub goes by some moenings. Also I'm pretty sure we stumbled onto the area Cathy uses for classes - if fish could pose - they were,

    Think about a liveaboard as they don't hold your hand after the 1st dive to gauge your competence. I saw the DM evaluating everyone as they set up their gear the first morning before they opened the pool.

    On our boat a family of four did most dives with the DM - there were two beginners who moved between groups, a large group of doctors who dove mostly in a group and buddies and I plus another couple who always went by themselves.

    We did 2-3 dives with a DM because we wanted to or to find a feature. One because we did a drift dive with the Explorer trailing behind us - he controlled when it was safe to swim over and re-board

    Other than that buddy, I and insta-buddy dove together all week. Their dive styles matched so I did a lot of solo dives that week. I don't have a solo card and most likely would have only shown my OW card. No one commented or cared. All they wanted was to check you in/out so they knew everyone was onboard b4 they moved the boat.
    25 dives falling off the back of the boat 50' from my cabin. And I sat a couple out.
  3. AZTinman

    AZTinman Barracuda

    As mentioned by others, hiring a private DM or guide is a good way to avoid diving with a larger group. I've begun to do this frequently when I'm diving in areas where a DM or guide is required. For me, the additional cost is worth it and in all honesty diving someone who has familiarity with the area helps with spotting critters. Usually, the DM/gude and I have a conversation about what I'm looking for before we enter the water. It's also nice to have someone watching my back.

  4. Saboteur

    Saboteur Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Norh America
    I guess DIR divers can DIW.
    lv2dive and Sh0rtBus like this.
  5. caydiver

    caydiver Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Cayman Islands
    We have a couple that come every year to do photography. They charter the boat for a week. They are great divers as well as delightful people. One of the guys still jumps in the water and basically is another set of eyes for them. Hiring your on DM is a perfect solution and super easy. Years ago I had completely the opposite experience on the EE. Not the ops fault just depends on the group. Same can be said of any confined group activity that is not private where you choose who you want to be with.
  6. avengedkevinfold

    avengedkevinfold Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: OC
    Hi all, for those of you that provided my valuable information related to my question, thank you so much!

    For the rest of you that got your panties in a bunch, chill. Obviously my dive count was the default in my profile. I've had too many bad experiences with reckless beginners destroying the reef and my dive experience to pretend otherwise. After all, we all were likely moronic beginners at one time. Regardless, thank you for the additional posts to help drive more traffic to this thread. :)
    Ana likes this.
  7. avengedkevinfold

    avengedkevinfold Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: OC
    Hey guys, I just updated my profile. It's been too long since I've been on scubaboard... I'm sure many of you think I'm a novice myself but wanted to let you guys decide. Check out my photos, if you think they're junk, please tell me what I can do to improve. Maybe you have some advice for me to learn from because it seems that many of you are experts. http://www.darkroomtreasures.com
  8. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    Not obvious at all. Most people wouldn't expect an experienced diver to label a whole class of divers as "moronic."
  9. Dogbowl

    Dogbowl Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Somewhere
    First, you refer to beginners as moronic.

    Then, you call those who called you out as having gotten their panties in a bunch.

    I suspect if you tone down your arrogance your pictures would look a lot prettier.
  10. Sh0rtBus

    Sh0rtBus BUBBLLLLLLES! My Bubbles ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Denton, TX
    My thoughts are they should be two separate classes. There are beginners....then there are "moronic" beginners. And I'm sure we've all seen them. Those divers who are clumsy, uncoordinated, constantly silting up the vis, crashing into the reef for lack of buoyancy control, looking like they're swimming rather than diving......those divers that you just watch and wonder how in the hell they ever got a c-card in the first place. I can understand a DM/guide grouping together for a first dive maybe, but after watching and paying attention, it wouldn't be out of line to pair better divers with better divers and maybe keep the "moronic beginners" right by their side to ensure everyone is having an enjoyable (and environmentally friendly) dive.
    doogisar and avengedkevinfold like this.

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