Tuesday, April 6, 2010
The attitude in existence today forces one to pretend to agree to the “buddy system,” which oftentimes leads to the “once we are underwater I’ll do it my way” situation. The situation described in the article creates uncomfortable and resentful feelings and is not a positive experience. The “solo diver” should be accepted and accommodated, especially since everyone signs all legal responsibility “absolution” papers at any and all scuba diving activities, from “air fills,” to rental equipment, to boat dives.
Heinz W. Blaume
South Lake Tahoe, California
BUDDIES CAN INSPIRE
I wanted to comment on the article about the solo diver [“To Buddy or Not to Buddy,” Dive Training, March 2010]. I am just an Open Water diver and my instructor apparently left out a few things. I found this out when I got on a dive boat full of guys and girls who were trained well above my level. I think there was a game of “rock, paper, scissors” to see who had to dive with me, and, thankfully, I got a very nice man who helped me. I think he was a solo diver too. We went over each other’s gear and he told me that when my dive was over to do a safe ascent and a safety stop and the boat would come get me (it was a drift dive). That let him finish his dive without me getting in the way.
Granted, I knew the basics and didn’t need a baby sitter. It wasn’t my first dive after my class but it was the second on my own gear. I learned a lot that day and I am still learning.
My point: Yes, it sucks being stuck with the newbie, but if you take the time on one dive to help that person you might just change the way they think of diving, as that guy did for me.
THE WATERPROOF CHECKLIST
I was pleasantly surprised to open the February edition of Dive Training to notice that Alex Brylske and photographers had addressed a query I posed in the section “No Dumb Questions,” referring to conducting predive discussions with unfamiliar buddies.
He offered several excellent suggestions, including one in particular, the waterproof checklist. I plan to work on forming one to present to members of our local dive club. The advice should prove very helpful and is appreciated.
Thanks again to all who contribute to organizing this excellent magazine. I look forward monthly to reading the interesting and informative articles. A month doesn’t pass that I do not learn something new about this great sport from reading your magazine.
THANKS FOR THRE LOOK BACK
I just finished reading the “Early Days” article in the February issue of Dive Training [“A Long Way From the ‘Early Days’: How Innovation Has Transformed the Diving Experience”]. I enjoyed the article and hope to see more like it. I always enjoy perusing the “artifacts” and “old equipment” normally on display in the local scuba shops here in Indianapolis. I love the “nostalgia feel” I get when looking at “technology of the early days” — be it scuba or my other hobbies.
Seeing how technology has progressed, in a relatively short time period, is very interesting.
COVER PHOTO QUESTIONED
The first thing I asked myself about the cover for the March issue is, “Why are the divers looking at the pressure gauge?” Their hands are both on the valve knob, so are they turning it on? Also, where is the dive flag?
You have a great magazine and I make sure all new students have one.
However, I feel you dropped the ball on this. “Safety” should be used when turning on the air. The pressure gauge should be facedown or at least turned away, in case it breaks. Dive flags [are needed] to indicate scuba divers are in the area. Still, you have a great magazine.
SHOULD AQUARIUM DIVING BE PROMOTED?
People certainly have a right to dive in confined, unnatural environments, such as aquariums. But there is another perspective worth considering.
While aquaria certainly have a role to play in raising awareness, education and research, problems arise when ethical lines are blurred between these laudable goals and the desire to enhance their bottom line. Should whales, other marine mammals and large, pelagic fish be held in captivity and exploited like circus acts? If we accept that the many forms of aquaria exist to truly inspire, educate and raise awareness, then the answer is clear: There must be ethical limits applied when considering which species are appropriate for displays in captivity. If confinement is to be considered, it should be measured by the ability to accurately replicate a species natural habitat.
There are more legitimate ways to raise awareness and little real value to learn from research obtained by keeping whales in a staged, anomalous confine. If we really want to learn more about these species, then we must afford them respect and study them in the wild.
If instead we wish to use these animals for self-serving entertainment, then we should at least have the decency to present it as such. A quote from Jacques-Yves Cousteau seems apropos: “No aquarium, no tank in a marine land, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea. And no dolphin who inhabits one of those aquariums or one of those marine lands can be considered normal.” His son, Jean-Michel, recently posted a befitting reaction to the recent SeaWorld calamity: “We need to look at ourselves and decide that the time has come to view captivity of whales and dolphins as a part of our history, not a tragic part of our future.”
Posted by Dive Training at 1:48 PM