Yeah, I tend to get all nuts when some 200 dive "tecchie" tells me im out of my mind, and should be ashamed of myself for even telling anyone that I learned that way. I moved to the coast of NC, and lived there for 15 years, where I added to my previous dives, to log over 3000. With out incident, so I DON'T want to hear all about how bad I am as a diver. I keep my mind open and learn from those that are better than me, this place is a good example. I learn somthing every time I log in, from good teachers, not preachers. Many of the members of the "other" dive board, can regale you with knowledge, but one wonders how much "real life" experience they may have. Great know how, means little if one has not the experience to bring it to life. So I remain the ignorant, dangerous, out of date ,evil solo diver that I am......... And like it just fine! ;-)
To SeaRat (since you started it)and the rest...( I warned y'all about putting in my 2 cents worth, although in this forum of extremely veteran divers it is certainly less than that): First, I have only been diving with a tank on my back for about 5 years now, but I dive every chance I get, although I did have to take a sabbatical for surgery. I grew up on a large freshwater lake in northern GA and always dreamed of SCUBA diving like Mike Nelson. Yes, I experimented with the inner tube and a hose... Also with a 5 gallon bucket over my head. however, I contented myself with duck fins, an oval mask, and a snorkel for many years.
When I finally moved to salt water and took up diving, my LDS was associated with SSI. I was fortunate to have an instructor who had been diving since the late 50's, some of it in the military. He took the time to teach us much of what is outlined in the old NAUI paperwork that I have read. We also had to do the water work, doff and don, swim underwater holding our BCs and tanks in our arms, what it felt like to run out of air (yes, they shut our tank valves off). Furthermore, before I ever took a class, I read everything about diving I could get my hands on. I have also continued to taken every advanced course I can get my hands on and my pocketbook will tolerate.
I guess some of what I am saying is that it is not all the agency's or the instructor's fault, although it is a contributing factor. Some of it falls on the diver...the best program and the best instructor in the world does not a good diver make, they can only show him or her where the water is.
I also apologize if I rang my own bell too much. I am certainly not the best in the world and could stand to lose a good bit of weight and get in better shape. I was sidelined with chest surgery for sometime and was not sure I would ever dive again due to the reason for that surgery (a paralyzed right diaphragm). My pulmonologist says I made medical history...there is nothing in the medical literature about anyone diving after this! ;D
Immadman, don't worry too much about ringing your own bell--that's what bells are for. I am amazed that you have come back from this kind of surgery to dive. Congratulations!
I mentioned on a different forum that today's diver is probably not quite the same as when I started. I was diving for three years before receiving formal instruction. Reading Jacques Cousteau's The Silent World[/B] three times gave me a great body of knowledge about diving, and I had been a swim team member since grade school. I had also been through lifeguard training prior to taking up scuba (but snorkeling had been my passion for several years before scuba too). So it is good to be a water person prior to starting scuba.
John C. Ratliff Diving since 1959, at age 13. Haven't stopped, and still enjoy getting wet.
Post by sitkadiver on Apr 17, 2013 15:28:31 GMT -8
Sounds like I had a similar introduction to diving prior to being certified. In my case, my grandfather had a placer mining claim in the Sierra Nevada's, along the North Fork of the Merced River. When I was 9 years old, he'd let me sit on the bottom of the river with his extra hooka line. After I got a bit comfortable, I was allowed to move rocks away from the suction hose and help out a bit here and there. It was a lot of fun, and the memories I have from that are completely price-less.
When I was 15, my parents gave me an SSI Open Water course for my birthday. Now that I am older I can look back and see that the courses have changed dramatically in the intervening years.
I was certified in 1987.... So I'm new to diving compared to many of you. However, when I began doing Dive Master work (SSI called it a dive control specialist), I realized there had been a complete change in requiremtents from 1987 to the mid 90's.
Some of things that were no longer taught were the surf crawl. Crawling out of the surf zone on hands and knees until you could safely get your fins off. And Buddy breathing was only touched on and a buddy breathing ascent was no longer required. Now, buddy breathing is completely gone from the course.
When I asked about the curiculum changes, I was told one of the main reasons was that when someone places a lawsuit against a training agency; The agency's curicullum is compared to the standards of other agencys. For example, if an SSI diver is hurt and sues SSI, then the lawyers call in an expert from PADI or NAUI or whom ever and demonstrate the differences in safe teaching practice.
You would think that this type of legal wrangling would get the poorly trained divers sueing the bad training agencies more often, but in fact, when student divers are injured in an Open Water class,(think of a difficult task) then the agency that is conducting the training has to answer for why their standards are different than other groups.
Anyway, that's why I was told the training agancies all got together and compared notes and started training to the same standards. I have no way to verify if that was true or not, but that's how it was related to me.
And John, I thought our watermanship tests were for farther distances than that, but I could be wrong. Amazing how little is required. I just completed my annual swim test for the public safety dive team and it was also minimalistic in my opinion:
500 yard swim, any stroke 800 yard snorkel w/ fins 15 min treading/floating 100 yard buddy tow in full gear.
I'd like to see the swim and snorkel bumped up to 1,000 yards each.
One thing the industry could learn from the public safety divers is the black out drill and entanglement drill. Both are my favorites in training. I absolutely learn something new everytime I do those drills. Or at least re-learn something important.
Last Edit: Apr 17, 2013 15:33:14 GMT -8 by sitkadiver
I do not believe in taking unnecessary risks, but a life without risk is not worth living. - Charles Lindbergh
My Dad taught himself to Scuba dive with Dick and Barbara Carrier's book, DIVE. That was 1961. He taught my brother and I and we dabbled... Until 1969 when both my Dad and I took 30 hour NAUI courses at the YMCA. I dove a bit in High School and college years but lost touch with it for many years raising my family.
The Vintage movement got me interested again. I took an "intro" course by the local PADI shop and I thought he did a good job... Everyone learned to clear their mask, neutralize their buoyancy with weights, and clear a lost regulator mouthpiece. He showed us Octo-buddy breathing and we tried it. And he showed us buoyancy control with the BC and we tried it... And that was about all I was looking for... An acquaintance with modern methods. I prefer my Vintage methods better, though...
I wanted to comment on what SDM and others talked about on this thread back in 2005... That PADI was set up to make money for dive shops and the demise of Skin Diver Magazine was due to travel focus:
Skin Diver was the neatest magazine when it had the mail order ads from Central Skin Divers and Honest Archie, etc... SDM supported the Do-It-Yourself diver. Remember you could order wet suit "kits" by mail order? I remember when the anti-mail order crowd came in and banned SDM from their dive shops. A travel mag named DIVE replaced it in the shops and maybe that's what forced SDM to go to the Travel format.
The current form of price fixing in retail is called "MAP"... Minimum Advertised Pricing. It's another anti-mail order policy but what it really does is fix prices and discourage competition. It favors businesses that already have customers and punishes promoters who might try to win some customers with a bargain. I know an LDS that sells very little product but he still thinks he's got a good deal because no one can under cut his price.
The PADI profit program seems a lot like these anti-mail order price fixing programs. In being so protective of their business, they are ultimately BAD for business.
Yeah, kinda sickening... It really bugs the crud outa me that you can't go to ANY shop and buy, or order, parts for said gear, even if it's for a highly sophisticated piece off equipment such as a SNORKEL!!!!!! Geez, they're so overly protective, they don't know how much they're hurting the sport.
My brother is trying to guilt me into not using my vintage gear, mind you this is the guy who in his 20's would ride his motorcycle at 140-MPH, this was back in the 1970's... About six months ago, he told me he "...was seriously freaking out because I don't want my brother to die because he wants to use old scuba gear..." We have a mutual friend who dives as well, and I'm sure he told him about the certain-lethality of old gear. This is very much in line with all modern diving instruction that tells you NEVER try to work on your own gear, not even to look at something that might be stuck in the second stage's top box... Hmmm, 75bux to examine said reg to remove offending piece of debris... I totally understand that the average person doesn't have the slightest idea of how SCUBA's work; I know, I know, I'm preaching the the choir here!
... I was able to explain how the lungs work as a buoyance bladder (like a fish's swim bladder). Also, that in diving we needed to breath differently, and take a long, deep breath. On land, we usually breath only from the "bottom" of our vital capasity. Diving, I explained, we needed to take those deep breaths to rid our body of CO2, and to maintain our buoyancy. We swam another two lengths this way.
Nice job on getting him back under water ! I wanted to revert to what you wrote on breathing though:
Actually, this breathing technique is not optimal, nor really necessary. I had a talk about that with former divers of Calypso. Their mantra is: Exhale. Always. Exhalation is key to ridding your system of CO2 build-up. As you write correctly, as land-bound mammals, we instinctively tend to have a shallow breathing in the upper portion of our total lung capacity when we are in the water. We stock gas in our lungs, as if freediving on a breathhold. This however is neither natural to our breathing musculature, nor to our diving. Normally (on dry land), a human exhales right after having inhaled. Our ribcage does not like to be inflated (strains the intra-costal muscles). Likely our abdomen's muscles normal "relaxed state" is when we are in a normal (not forcefully complete) exhaled state... and having your abdominal muscle relaxed is key to good breathing, as breathing should involve your abdominal muscles... and they need that relaxation period between cycles.
So, what are the implications on diving? No deep inhalation. Inhale normally (about 1/3 of total inhalation capacity). Do not hold your breath, exhale nearly immediately (lung alveoles do not need a longer exposure to carry out the gas exchange) Try to be in a "relaxed exhaled state" most of the time. Your breathing frequency might increase, but you'll likely find that your overall gas consumption will actually decrease. (breathe more often, but less)
You'll also find that you will need less weights.
You may find it interesting that Calypso divers, who never used any kind of BCD, actually weighed themselves to be neutral at "operating depth", instead of at last deco stop as it is taught today. So they dove with very little weight. Their explanation is: at operating/working depth, activity requires heavier, deeper breathing. You have very little periods where you need to maintain absolutely static buoyancy. On the other hand, once you have reached a deco-stop, you are resting and you should fall back into the (minimal) normal breathing mode described above. Hence you would require less weights in the shallow depths.
I have trained to acquire this technique over the past years and I have to say... it works. With a 7mm wetsuit, I need no more than 2kg of weight (twin10 steel cylinders on my back).
First, welcome here. I appreciate your post above. My apologies for not answering earlier, but your post demands a bit longer attention than I have had recently.
First, respiration is very important to diving (and to life itself). It is too often ignored when divers are being trained. The U.S. Navy Diving Manual has a whole discussion on breathing, and the physiology of breathing, which is beyond our scope here to discuss. This diagram, however from the 1975 Navy Diving Manual, illustrates what I was speaking about above.
Note the first respirations, the "Tidal Volume" breaths at the left. This is where most people breath normally. This is also how many untrained and inexperienced divers breath through their regulators. My breathing mostly resembles the breaths in the "bubble" of the diagram, where I increase the volume breathed. I don't think I emphasize the exhalations that you mention above, but I do increase the inspirations volume. I have a 5+ liter lung vital capacity (measured by spirometry, which is required for respirator users in the USA at workplaces in their medical exams for using respirators). The use of spirometry is not mentioned in most instruction manuals for scuba, but is a very good idea before beginning scuba training. It is required if the diver is a commercial diver, or diving is part of a workplace activity (biologists, zoologists, and researchers take note), under OSHA rules for respiratory protection programs. This respiratory medical exam will catch things that could cause problems in diving, such as airway impairments, COPD, emphysema, etc.
I have been able, using my GoPro videos from this spring and summer, to look at my own respirations while diving. The inhalation is longer than most people's, and I breathe at about a 10-12 breaths per minute rate, depending upon workload. If you'll look at the volumes, you can see that the breath I use is more than 1/3 of my vital capacity, probably more like 1/2 of VC. It is important not to exhale too hard, risking collapse of the alveoli (air sac), or too deeply (so that there is some room for air expansion as a diver ascends. I sometimes do hold my breath, but that is mainly to attract fish toward me, while stationary, and usually only about 15 or so seconds. Mostly my breathing is regular, with perhaps a slight pause between inhalations and exhalations.
Concerning weight, with a single 72 tank (which is neutral in the water) I wear approximately 12 pounds of weight (5.4 kg), when wearing a full wet suit (7 mm), 16 pounds (7.3 kg) if I wear my shorty over the wet suit; this is in fresh water. In salt water, I would need something like 22 pounds of weight for my full wetsuit combination (10 kg). I think your twin 10 steel cylinders are somewhat heavy, so you don't need to wear so much). I also wear my ParaSea BC on most dives, not that I need it so much as I want the pocket I designed for the front to pick up things (I picked up an iPod recently, and regularly pick up fishing lead weights and lures), and I have an "equipment strap" that I can strap my fins, mask and helmet to when I'm climbing out of the water. Weighting for the depth of the dive is a great way to go, and I like the way the Calypso divers are so streamlined in the water.
Your point about being in a "relaxed state" is something I have emphasized for many years. I'm glad you pointed it out, as relaxing underwater is key do good diving.
Again, thanks for the input, and I hope you continue to contribute here.
One of my early scuba students passed away recently. I was talking to his long-time dive buddy about the class they took from me and my partner instructor in the late 70's.
He remembered that we did a day of diving in a nearby Freshwater Lagoon, then a day of rescue practice and diving at a murky local ocean site, followed by 2 weekends of diving on the Mendocino Coast. It must have worked for them, because they were still diving together 30 years later.
All that travel and trying to hit good conditions got to be tough so I eventually trimmed that down to a day of diving in a nearby river, then a weekend on Mendocino Coast. I'd still be teaching if I could choose students who wanted that level of instruction.
Charlie, that's a fun image! I think you're the only person in that image, who, if they were to walk out of the picture wouldn't look dated by today's standards: yes, I see that you have on what looks like a farmer-john, but still
That was one of my favorite suits. It was an Imperial Penguin suit made of Gloflex neoprene, with an attached hood and no zippers.
I've noticed a theme in all my old scuba class photos. Everyone else is back in street clothes, while I'm still in a wetsuit. This was for 2 reasons. I was usually heading out to do a little ab diving after running students through their paces. The other is that as soon as they finished their last dives, I would debrief each student individually going over their final dive profiles and any other concerns about the class. It would be quite late by the time I got home.
This may not be related exactly to instruction, but are there any dive shops in North America that rent doublehose regs to the customer?
It is doubtful; my LDS is a PADI dive shop, and they cannot even have a pool session with double hose regulators due to insurance concerns from their PADI insurance. I'm not sure of the other shops, but again I doubt it.
John C. Ratliff Diving since 1959, at age 13. Haven't stopped, and still enjoy getting wet.