Wednesday, April 3, 2013

4/3/2013 Diving Interests


diving, deep-sea images
Images from Public Domain, Wikipedia

Some of you who have never clicked on our DIVING special interest pages may have none the less noticed that we actually have two separate and distinct diving pages. The first is labeled simply "DIVING" and the second "TECHNICAL DIVING". What's the difference? That depends on who you ask. "Diving" in our editorial minds incorporates everything from simple snorkeling to some industrial SCUBA operations with no overhead obstruction done in clear water at depths of less than 33 feet.  .  As you can see by our definition of "diving" our line of demarcation between "diving" and "technical "diving is not drawn on lines that separate amateur or recreational diving from commercial underwater activity. Our definitions are based on depth and over head obstructions. Many recreational divers have done cave and wreck diving. But we don't recommend that a recreational diver with the ink virtually still wet on his or her basic SCUBA certification try wreck or cave diving except as part of an instructor led dive preceded by instruction. We also don't recommend planning or going on a non instructor led cave or wreck dive until you have achieved one of the basic cave or wreck diving certifications that the various SCUBA instructional associations offer. Such certifications usually include formal instruction and a minimum number of instructor led dives with formal evaluation of your performance. Once you have such a certification we suggest that you not mistake yourself for an instructor. Don't lead dive teams of the uncertified into situations below 33 feet or under overhead obstructions. 

 Why do we draw the line so narrowly when some authorities consider only diving with specially mixed gases at extraordinary depth "technical". Basically we draw it at this narrow mark because we don't want you to die and we especially don't want you to die by drowning. Drowning sucks. Ignore everything you may have heard about it being anything like a pleasant death. It can take from 6 to 10 minutes to get you from last breath of air to truly dead and it is a painful stretch of minutes. The urge to breath becomes overwhelming in about a minute for most people , less if you are swimming madly. Eventually you will inhale a breath of water.Your lungs will burn like crazy, you'll experience choking gagging sensations, desperate fear, your head will start to hammer at the temples and things will start to go dark, but it isn't over yet. Remember these painful and scary sensations don't go on for seconds they go on for minutes before you lose consciousness. And then minutes or longer (see mammalian diving reflex ( ) before real brain death. Frankly it is a horrifying death, you don't want to go that way. At depths above 33 feet if you forgot what you learned in your first diving certification course about decompression it is highly unlikely to be a fatal error. Dumping your gear and making a mad fast swim to the surface probably won't kill you with an air embolism or the bends. By not having any overhead obstruction you can find your way to the surface even in zero visibility or after you've suffered the loss of your face mask. So we have drawn our editorial line at 33 feet and no overhead obstruction as the maximum dive that two or more beginning basically certified divers should ever plan. 
We pull that big word T E C H N I C A L out in front of everything else to give you pause. 

 Now while we admit that some activities below 33 feet and with overhead obstructions, even confined entry are done by recreational divers, they should be certified for those activities or on some sort of post initial SCUBA certification training outing with an instructor. A lot of commercial diving done by really well trained professionals includes work at depth with over head obstructions and often very limited visibility.There is a reason why commercial divers have a well known saying:

"There are old divers, and there are bold divers.....but there are no old bold divers"

 We hope that you enjoy diving and are able to continue diving well into old age. We hope to sell you many diving books over the years and that you often utilize our links especially to locate competent instruction. But we never want to sell you a book under a false impression and if you think that you can master any diving technique just by reading a book you are laboring under a false impression.Now having said all that you may notice that we have only one on line dive shop and it is the DIVING section with no comparable on line equipment vending going on in the TECHNICAL DIVING page. Pretty much everyone at every level of SCUBA diving uses wet suits, face masks, snorkels, weight belts, fins, gloves, knives, diving watches, underwater cameras, depth indicators, wrist compasses, buoyancy compensators, diving flags and floats. We don't sell mixed gases, or comparable things narrowly associated with true technical diving. Amazon may, but we don't feature them. We also don't sell books on mixed gas and extraordinary depth operations in the regular diving section. We do sell those types of books and review them in TECHNICAL DIVING. 

 So it is Spring and many are starting to think of water sports and one of those is diving. Here in our diving pages you can find diving instructions, free interesting videos, and videos for sale, books, and even buy most of the diving equipment you might need. But we have two different diving sections even if we have only one dive shop as a big cautionary sign ( along with several warnings in our text to seek real instruction and to consider diving skills as serially acquired through a series of instructions and supervised experiences); that sign means WARNING DANGER DO NOT PROCEED BEYOND THIS POINT WITHOUT ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTION (33 feet/no over head obstruction/ fairly clear water).

OK so we are a little stern about safety, that shouldn't mean that you need to go elsewhere to buy your diving books or gear. If, like me, you're an old diver now avoiding some of the more challenging dives of your youth we have lots of vicarious thrills for you by way of diving videos. If you haven't visited our diving section lately, you haven't visited our diving section. If you do visit our diving section take our various safety suggestions to heart and lets be hearing you click into this site after a full fun summer of diving that you end still walking around above ground.

No comments:

Post a Comment