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Sunday, April 03, 2005

big chief stuff-a-lupagus

another cool weekend on the boat. note to self. don't drink more than two rums. i had a few beers, two vodkas (crew behaving badly) and then too many rums.

i managed to get a dive in on saturday. didn't see anything extra spectacular. but i enjoyed myself.

on the first dive on saturday, an older couple said they didn't know exactly what weight they would need, so they wanted to go in last. i explained it would be best if they went in first and did a buoyancy check, they wouldn't interfere with anyone, and wouldn't hold anyone up. obviously i was too subtle, they went in last and stuffed around for ages. fortunately they chewed up a bit of air as well. so even though they descended last, they came up with the rest because they were out of air.

the guy needed more weight. but he duck dived, and splashed around, going nowhere, then said he needed more weight. but it wasn't enough for me to pass it down to him. he had to get back out, re-do his weightbelt, then get back in. his missus was weighted correctly, but her inflater was malfunctioning. her vest was always full of air. "oh yes, we're going on an overseas trip, we thought we'd get our gear serviced just before that..." but she's got a hood on. we're trying to tell her what the problem is, and she can't hear a thing, she's just looking at us and saying that she can't go down.

is cluelessness contagious? i hope not. i have a certain inbuilt level of stupidity. and i don't wanna catch any more.

they did get better though. by the last dive they were nearly organised. but they didn't go on the last dive.

one dude completely failed to look at his computer. as i was checking everyone in after their second dive i asked him what his maximum depth and time underwater was. and he couldn't tell me. and he laughed. i thought that was a bit strange. so i told him to tell me as soon as he worked it out. later he collared the boss and told her and she put it on the sheet.

aside
we have check in, and check out procedures. these ensure that the divers are going in with enough air, and they are recorded as going in, and then that they came out of the water and got back on the boat (don't wanna get left behind) and also a kind of "big brother is watching" look too see if they've got their shit together.
/aside

later when i'm filling tanks i casually look at his computer. it says SOS, blinking off and on in big letters. so i tell the boss. he's not bent, not showing any signs of decompression illness, but he's bent his computer. hello. welcome to 24 hours without diving. the next day, 24 hours after the end of his second dive, the computer clears itself. however he did 3 dives on saturday. the stupid bastard went diving with a bent, non functional, computer. he stayed too long at depth on his second dive, and didn't do a mandatory decompression stop, then the fool did another dive.

he gets to do the last dive on sunday. the boss is a lot more lenient than me. i'd be saying "sorry dude" 24 hours from the end of your last dive. you are too stupid to dive. not only are you going to get bent one day, but some poor unsuspecting dive charter operator will probably get into trouble, all because you, errrr, well realistically, you are an unsafe diver.

first thing divers learn. the dive tables. you can stay so long at whatever depth. stay too long, you need to decompress. computers recalculate the tables minute by minute, taking into account the depths you go to, and how long you stay at each depth. so they are much more lenient, while still being safe. if you bend your computer, you are close to getting bent. is death so attractive to you that you risk like this?

i like motorsport, skiing, surfing, diving... all have risks. but you eliminate the obvious risks. wear a helmet. don't smoke around petrol, don't ski near objects in the water, don't land on your head when you fall off your surfboard. and when you're diving, you obey the fucking rules you idiot. so deep, for only so long. if you have to decompress, you stop at the depth for the time specified. by jingo. your computer does it all for you. if you were stupid enough to do that on the manual dive tables you wouldn't have been allowed in the water for the third dive. and maybe not the whole weekend.

and you are meant to be a trained diver. idiot.

don't get me wrong though. on the whole it was a great weekend. the "pro dive nelsons bay" group are fantastic. easy going, fun people. we often get people bending their computers, but i've never seen anyone go for another dive afterwards when they should be panicking and thinking about the possibility of a helicopter flight to the recompression chamber in sydney.

good senses of humour, well no wierder than mine anyway. enjoyed their diving. weren't painful and demanding, or asking to go to impossible places.

just pleasant nice people. with an idiot

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