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My moment of Zen and a sip of Kool-Aid...

Discussion in 'DIR' started by Goindrinkn, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. Goindrinkn

    Goindrinkn Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sarasota, FL
    DIR isn't just for cave divers... But you already knew this.

    A little less than a year ago I sat in front of my computer and began to read some of the posts in this DIR forum. I am a Florida Diver from a little south of Tampa. I was in the midst of my Dive Master class, and by local standards a half decent diver. My dive buddy (wife) and I were always conservative and safe divers, and we were your traditional Christmas tree divers, prepared but overloaded. As I combed through the posts about why I was going to die, and the rest of the propaganda, I found some interesting information: A backplate and wing for a modular streamlined rig, a 7 foot hose, and taking only what you need. While it wasn’t the way I was diving, I couldn’t really shoot holes in these ideas. I wanted to see what it was all about. Even though we live just a few hours south of High Spring, I didn’t find a lot of opportunities to try this stuff, or get more information other than the internet. But I wasn’t one of those cave divers at Ginnie that needed the militant level of precision so I was never sure DIR was for me. And no one in my area really promoted any of the DIR ideas, in fact it seemed to be just the opposite for the few people that even knew what DIR was. Unfortunately, I think that is the way it is for a lot of “recreational” divers out there.

    Working with some classes locally, I began to identify with some of the issues raised about the standard local openwater classes give by those big bad agencies that are just in it for the money... And after a lot more research decided that either these DIR people are crazy or they are not, and if they aren’t, what was I missing? I made the switch to a BP/W and immediately realized that it was for me. Crazy or not, the harness felt a lot better in the water than my BC. Well, if they are right about that – maybe I should give them the benefit on some of this other stuff. I felt there was only one way to find out and that was to go all the way, right to the heart of it, and get extreme… GUE-F! After all, the posts that aren’t answered with “You’re going to die”, are answered with “take fundies!” My wife decided she’d have to take it as well, as she was afraid that I’d come back and tell her how her diving was “Doing it Wrong” So in August we had our class…

    There’s plenty of posts on GUE-F so I won’t waste time recounting the class. I took so much out of the class, but I will overly simplify it and say this… In all my other classes I was told, “It’s important to have good buoyancy…” But what is good buoyancy? During the class I learned what it is. It was the first time that precision came into play. It wasn’t about doing the skills “good enough” it was about doing them right... Since the class we’ve helped out in the pool a few times, done our basic 5 and OOG drills, and a few shark tooth dives. And we felt better, more comfortable and more confident.

    But I told you all that to tell you this…

    This past weekend we went down to KL for a few dives. Just some fun dives with some friends. We were on what could arguably be called the SS Stroke, your standard cattleboat going out to do some 30-40 reef dives. We hopped in dropped to the bottom and hovered about a foot or 2 from the bottom. Got our bearings and began to swim. Kick and glide, Kick and glide. It was effortless, it was comfortable, it was amazing. Around us divers were attempting to reenact last Friday’s bombing of the moon. Creating craters and sending plumes of debris in to the atmosphere. But we escaped unharmed – one dropped right in front of me and with short backwards kick and a helicopter turn, we were back on our way.

    In one split second diving became more fun. How could that be? We did a few more dives that day, and back on the boat at different times had a few people comment on our diving. That was the first time I recall that happening, but I’m not trying to pat myself on the back. Later on the captain asked about my setup. He mentioned that he had a Halcyon rig, but quickly followed it up by telling me that he wasn’t one of “Those DIR divers” he just liked the setup… But wait, Am I not one of those divers now? It turns out that this was a great moment, I was able to pass on my experience that DIR divers are not just “Those DIR divers”, and that it’s much more than that. So don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

    So if you are researching DIR, realize that it applies to so much more than cave diving. It’s not about drinking the Kool-Aid, or telling people how, when , and why they are going to die. As many people have pointed out, the education and skills that you take away actually make diving not only safer, but more enjoyable. You need not aspire to dive caves or deeper than 100 feet for these classes to be of great value. They say that it is the best class you can take, and that it will change your diving for ever; and it is and does!

    And if you are a DIR diver, you are already aware of how you are viewed by most of the diving community, so rather than using your elite status and sometimes harsh words to turn folks away, use the skills and grace you have underwater to draw more folks into the circle. Help them to see the light in a positive way. And one day these practices may be seen as the norm rather than the small minority. To those who have helped me on my journey by sharing your knowledge and passion, thank you, diving has never been better for me! :D
  2. ae3753

    ae3753 Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Bay Area, CA
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience.
  3. JeffG

    JeffG Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Edmonton, Alberta
    Where is the fun in that?
  4. TSandM

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

    What a beautiful, inspiring post!

    This has been my goal for the last four years. DIR training made my diving better in so many ways, and so enormously increased my fun. As you are learning, better skill means more enjoyable diving!

    DIR isn't about tech, deep, or cave; it's about teamwork and good skills and safe planning, and being part of a great community of avid divers who make great buddies.

    Thanks for your post -- it made my morning!
  5. crd_kats

    crd_kats ... :) ... ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE, FL
    I have to say that I'm one of those divers who took GUE-F to become a better diver. My goal was to be able to hover and count the spots on a Flamingo Tongue or how many breaths a nurse shark takes in a minute in substantial current. The team diving and becoming aware of your surroundings is bonus. It's liberating. It's very cool.

    Now, having been well over a year since I've taken the class and with almost a hundred more dives, I'm thinking time to expand those horizons again. Cavern/intro is within my immediate future. Wish me luck.

    Thank you for posting.

  6. Teamcasa

    Teamcasa Sr. Moderator ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Near Pasadena, CA
    Excellent, and has been the case for the vast majority of DIR/GUE divers I know. Thanks for posting.:D
  7. GShockey

    GShockey DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives:
    Location: Vancouver Island
    And that, as they say, hits the nail on the head. Thanks for taking the time.

    Enjoy your diving.....sure is fun isn't it? :)
  8. GShockey

    GShockey DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives:
    Location: Vancouver Island
    This made me smile and almost laugh. I did the same thing, and then kept becoming more interested in what was around the next corner and what was deeper. It was never a set plan, it just kind of happened as I become more experienced and the skills developed. Now several years later, I look back and I am still a bit surprised at the progression, particularly as my GUE IE is in three weeks..............Who would have thought? :)
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  9. Rainer

    Rainer DIR Practitioner

    My experience as well, Dave. I just have yet to meet all these "you're going to die unless you dive DIR" types in my actual diving OR internet experience.

    In any case, a very nice post by the OP about the FUN that comes out of diving with solid teammates. Confidence, competence, and comfort go a long way...

  10. ScubaSam

    ScubaSam Sister of Shenanigans ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Cave Country
    I had to chuckle about the craters, plumes of debris because post Fundies class, that is what I notice when I'm diving and on a recent wreck dive it was very apparent. The amount of silting that the others caused dramatically reduced the viz and I thought to myself how much better the dive and the experience would have been for ALL involved if everyone had their trim and their buoyancy under control.

    Great post goindrinkn. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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