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What does "Experience" really mean?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by Cave Diver, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Divemaster

    Puff you're stealing my thunder for the next thread!

    And you're not that old... yet! ; )
  2. RonFrank

    RonFrank Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Conifer, CO
    Is not experience, experience?

    If someone has none, it's easy to judge. If someone is active, and has a ton, it is easy to judge. Beyond that, not sure how best to judge.

    OTOH, I've dove with a lot of Operators on this forum, and they all are experienced, or so they say. They take you to the right sight, without looking, they provide dive profiles, without hesitation, and they get their divers back on the boat without exception.

    As for diving, experience is generally counted in dives. I've sat and watched as newish divers sit at the bottom for 20 minutes to add dive counts to their dive count! IMO that is not GAINING experience, but numbers. OTOH, I have buddies that are instructors that had hundreds of dives before doing their IDC. That counts for a lot, and these guys are great instructors.

    If someone wants my attention, and has less than a 100 dives in the area I want to go, that does not make me feel warm and fuzzy.
  3. DA Aquamaster

    DA Aquamaster Directional Toast ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: NC
    That touches on another equally important concept - currency. Many scuba skills are perishable and even if you have loads of experience it may take a certain number of warm up dives, potentially a LOT of them to get you back in the groove. But to some extent experience can help as if the skills have been well learned and well ingrained, they will come back in less time than if the skills were barely learned.

    That one always scares me too. Could be one guy with 40 years experience and 5 more with an average of two years each - or it could be 100 people with 6 months experience each. Both could be bad, especially if the guy with 40 years experience has been doing it badly for 40 years.
  4. lemon

    lemon Contributor

    there is a theory related to the mastery of complex tasks that postulates the human brain needs about 10,000 hours experience to truly master a complex task. no idea what this number was based on, but i thought that was pretty interesting when I read it.
  5. J.R.

    J.R. Divemaster

    "Experience" is knowing what hurts...

    "Knowlege" is knowing how to use your experience to avoid what hurts...

    "Wisdom" is knowing when it's a good time to use your knowledge and experience to help someone less experienced to avoid the things you've learned the hard way... and, umm... when its more fun to sit back and watch them learn the hard way...
  6. geokr

    geokr Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Maryland
    You know, that number is what your average airline captain has in his profession which, by the way, involves the safety of many, many more lives than any scuba operation. To get to that number, the Navy has determined that a pilot has to go through two dangerous phases, the first at 600 hours when he's just starting to really know what he's doing and begins to do it well and takes chances, the second at around 6,000 hours when he gets complacent in his competency. It's at those two critical junctures that the average ****-hot pilot gets in a fatal accident. After that he's just cruising through it. Experience can be great or it can kill ya if you don't respect the reality of what you're doing.
  7. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Divemaster

    [hijack]Geokr, are you or have you been an airline transort captain, or is your instructing limited to private pilot sector? [/hijack]
  8. ZKY

    ZKY Minimalist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, California
    Two people:

    Person A and person B do open water together and get certified.

    Diver A decides he likes the whole class thing and takes all the classes he can one after another. He get's into DM program and get's all required 60 dives by never leaving class environment including internship. He becomes an instructor and teaches for the shop he originally got certified through. All gear he uses is what the dive shop mandes their instructors use and he knows no different from day one. After 5 years instructor racks up 600 dives but 90% of them are dives in 20 feet of water certifying students. The other 10% are with classes doing advanced and rescue courses. The instructor has never done an independant dive on his own with a buddy.

    Diver B right away joined a dive club and 4 weeks later took advanced because a new friend was taking it and they figured it would be fun. Besides they needed the cert to get on the local charter boats. Diver B never does another class related dive. Half of his dives are over 100 feet. He's been on live aboards, has gotten cought in currents and had to fight to get back to the boat, he has done many challenging shore dives, and has tried all types of new and different gear. Over the same 5 years diver B only has 200 dives.

    Which diver has more experience?
  9. lemon

    lemon Contributor

    Diver C?
  10. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Divemaster

    Only because Diver C has 5k posts. ; )

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