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Shadow Divers: John Chatterton's Interview with ScubaBoard

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Gombessa, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. Gombessa

    Gombessa DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NorCal
    Not quite sure where this should go, but just bought and finished Shadow Divers yesterday. Incredibly entertaining, and at the end I was thinking "what a short book!" until I looked up and noticed it was 4:30am. :shakehead: Oops.

    This was literally the first time I've bought and read a book for pleasure in maybe 5 years or so, and I'm frankly surprised how it grabbed me and wouldn't let go.

    So these dives happened over 10 years ago, but some of their techniques sound insane to me. The "no buddy is better than a good buddy" attitude, the "navigate-by-memory" progressive penetration mindset. Is any of this still the norm?

    Anyways, I'm searching out the old Nova documentary now and looking forward to the Ridley Scott movie. Maybe my next read should be Guy Gentile's rebuttal of the entire account...
  2. all4scuba05

    all4scuba05 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Wallingford, Connecticut
    Oh yeah...plenty of divers diving this way. Some live and some die. I understand the reasoning behind their choices. I will only dive whichever way I feel comfortable for a given dive. To each his own.
  3. rawls

    rawls Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    The documentary is called Hitler's Lost Sub and can be purchased on Amazon right along with Gentile's book...probably on the same page:)
    There have been alot of very heated threads comparing Gentile's book with Shadow Divers. That may be why you haven't had alot of replies to this thread and I too will opt out of comment unless some of the Gentile proponents show up with their ridiculous comments/baseless accusations:D I know of one thread that was even pulled by Doc due to it's content of viscious name calling and accusations. Do a search and you can find several threads.

    There is a thread titled reel versus no reel...something like that in the wreck diving sub forum, wreck exploration...It seems there are not very many proponents of progressive penetration. I would venture to say it's probably an 80/20 for/against.
  4. scuba_frog

    scuba_frog Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Buffalo Grove, IL
    I read Shadow Divers and was totally enthrawled by it. Now I'm in the middle of The Last Dive by Bernie Chowdhury. It's the story about the father and son team that died...the Rouses. Very good too.
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: St. Louis Mo
    I read both Shadow Divers and The Last Dive and really like both. I admire Chatterton, but I disagree with the concept of solo diving being safer.
  6. String

    String Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Grand Cayman
    Best way to settle the Gentile/Chatterton and other feuds is to buy both sides books and read them both yourself then make your own mind up.

    In their own way, they're all a good read but must be taken in context with the alternatives on offer.
  7. Gombessa

    Gombessa DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NorCal
    Heated debate? Name-calling? Over diverging opinions? On Scubaboard? NOT POSSIBLE :D

    One thing that leaped out at me was the reference to the exploits of some "cutting edge warm-water divers" influencing some of U-who team to switch to trimix. I wonder if this reference had anything to do with the WKPP guys, who iirc had been doing some long dives at almost exactly the same 230-250ft cave dives around then. I'm sure there must have been many others using trimix around then as well, but that caught my attention.
  8. Drewski

    Drewski Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Virginia Beach, USA

    Kind of makes one wonder what REALLY fuels the "feud," huh?

    Sure seems like BOTH sides sell a lot of books...
  9. Buoyant1

    Buoyant1 Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hershey, PA
    I loved the book so much I read it twice to make sure I didn't miss anything!

    I read Gentile's book, and it's (to me) a bit of sour grapes, and seems to lean more towards trying to discredit the original account...what it true and what is not (and what is just someone's different opinion on the actual events) is not able to be determined by just reading both books...I all cases I guess you have had to be there. I would have respected Gary's book more if it was less trying to diecredit and more trying to just give his account of all the events. But read it anyway...form your own opinion.

    I have since purchased several of Gary's books, and thoroughly enjoy them...the two on the Andrea Doria are great!

    Anyway...I think if you know what you are doing, the techniques are sound. If I had 20-50-100-etc. dives on something, I'm sure I could see progressive penetration is a viable way to do things...I could see how in a tight environment like that sub, or any other wreck that a reel could be a problem.

    re: solo diving, how many times have you been paired with an insta-buddy and felt like you were diving alone anyway? These guys at least have contingency plans of something goes wrong...when you are recreational diving, good luck!
  10. Boa Gialla

    Boa Gialla Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Trento, Italy
    I agree, but don't understand why a rec. diver can rely only on his/her good luck.

    I think that a recreational diver, just like me, should learn techniques to approch diving in a safer way; should continue to train to improve his/her diving attitude and auto-lifesaving (sorry if this word isn't correct). Only in this way I can reduce the risks, given that very often I'm alone (when I dive with a new buddy, or I get lost, ....).


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