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PADI Open Water woes...

Discussion in 'New to Scuba Diving' started by VintageGt, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Hi @60plus - welcome to the forum.

    I started my PADI dive training abroad and finished it doing Rescue Diver in the UK. The abroad training was done in a typical holiday town with sun, sea and sangria, i.e. loads of fresh tourists passing through. This meant the training was very time-bound, multi-lingual and aimed at producing holiday divers that would be capable of follow-the-diveleader around a site.

    My introduction to UK diving was after I'd done 36 dives and was "advanced". I utterly cringe at the thought of a conversation I had when discussing diving in the UK -- talk about not knowing what you don't know. Anyway, the first dive saw me loosing a fin, the second drift dive (my second in a drysuit) was a demonstration of out of control buoyancy.

    I found the teaching on the Rescue Diver course in the UK to be hugely better than the training I'd had abroad. To be fair, a lot of that has to the the language, but mostly it was adapted to the more challenging UK diving conditIons. I was also put back to the next course as I'd not met the required standards for which I am eternally greatful to them. To this day I reckon I'd have been passed if I was abroad -- time pressures, less challenging diving conditions, volumes of customers all would contribute to this.

    In the UK we have tides, lots of wrecks, poor visibility and cold, all of which require additional skills and practice.

    Fast forward to now with many hundreds of dives in all sorts of conditions and styles, diving abroad really is so much easier, albeit having to be pretty blunt with DiveMASTERs who want experienced divers to help them herd their flocks or who seem intent on speed diving around a site.

    DiveMASTERs are an odd bunch. Some are good, but there's more than a fair share of useless ones without a clue and rubbish skills, e.g. just good enough as PADI dive leading fodder and have little breadth or depth of knowledge of diving techniques.
     
    #121 Wibble, Apr 15, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
    John F likes this.
  2. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    What? Double tides in the Solent and 1m viz, that will be a good day.:p

    However, for UK divers overseas it is often the exact opposite :)

    When I was leading, always had to bunch up UK unknowns as we approached the dropoff as for
    many it would be the first time they'd seen over 4m and vertigo was/is a real problem.
     
  3. 60plus

    60plus Member

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    I will have to admit that diving in poor visibility is not something I would intentionally do. For me much of the fun in diving is seeing things underwater in good light. My son did his first OW dives in Portugal. There was a strong wind and 3m swell, we were in a RIB and occasionally waves were splashing over my head when I was sat in the center. My son and his instructor followed the anchor line down and then laid a line from the anchor to the area where they did his exercises. I think my son and the instructor were joined by a line. We were trying to watch them on the boats radar but only got occasional glimpses as the boat was bouncing up and down. The Coxswain (who was also a DM / Instructor) said if my son could dive in this he could dive in anything. Visiblity was less than 2 m. In both Lanzarote & Madeira I have seen rough water / swell hammering divers to the point of exhaustion. I was in Lazarote in January and a diver tried to get out onto the stone steps of the pier in rough water, he got well slammed about and I would think heavily bruised. We swam round to do a beach exit instead and round the end of reef we were getting carried back and forth faster than we could swim. The beach was a mix of sand and boulders and it was really hard work in the waves. We could barely stand and the speed of the water was flushing the sand out round our feet. I was beginning to think of taking my BCD off and swimming onto the beach with it under my chest. Not just the UK that can be rough.
     
  4. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    Sounds rather tough.
     
  5. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Lol I'm guessing that was Playa Chica, Lanzarote :)

    The steps have to be avoided if rough, especially if not enough water and too high to get in the cut and
    second as fins have to come off, so one legged stand on slimy rocks while being slammed by waves
    no thanks.

    So it's the beach exit and in the rough need to go with the flow :)
    First off you should have been briefed where to exit, which is usually on the far right looking towards
    land from the sea. You then swim with the current when the water is going in and let the backwash
    take you back (don't fin against). This ends up being 3 steps forward and 2 steps back but it means
    you don't get tired. Soon as you are nearing the surf zone and just about close enough you swim hard
    as you can with the current and literally beach yourself. At this point you need to be quick
    and get further up the beach before the next wave comes in.

    It's also not a bad idea depending on size of group to get a pair to go out first and they can then ditch
    kit and help others on the beach.

    I've done this many a time and the key is a good brief and so everybody knows what's going to happen :)
     
    #125 Tel, Apr 16, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  6. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    The challenge -- and pleasure -- of UK diving is you get what you get. Like UK weather, if you don't like it wait and it'll change.

    Visibility varies around the coast pretty much along with the geology and river estuaries. South-East diving rarely has visibility over 8 metres, 3 to 5 being most common, but a lot less following stormy weather and during the May Rot. West and North West generally have the best visibility, but even then it can be poor.

    I think having poor visibility teaches you to be calm underwater and think as you move around the obstacles. Good finning technique makes this much easier; stopping, turning and reversing away from some obstacle without using your arms is much more calming.

    UK diving is rather zen. You get what you get and you're grateful for it.
     
  7. 60plus

    60plus Member

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    Yes Playa Chica, It was whilst we were still underwater round the end of the reef nearest the steps that were were getting "whooshed" backwards and forwards. We did just fin gently and that was no problem, the effort came in the shallows at the beach - all good fun and a learning experience. It was quite windy in January and I still have scars on my left leg from miss timing a big wave over the reef at Playa Ancla whilst snorkeling. Oh how I wish I was back there!
     
  8. 60plus

    60plus Member

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    I have just re read post #125. I did consider trying to swim onto the beach and beach myself. However being relatively new to diving I did not know if being washed up on the beach like dying walrus would be bad form, I had got it into my head that the proper way to arrive back on shore was walking upright.
     
  9. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    The ‘proper’ way is safely.
     
    JohnL and pgarrish like this.
  10. 60plus

    60plus Member

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    It was bad enough having to explain to my wife the coincidence that our holiday destinations / hotels just happened to have diving available. Having spent even more money on dive training and kit, trying to justify that expense just to roll about in the shallows would have been even more difficult. Under these circumstances the exit from the water had to look dignified and competent, not quite a male version of Ursula Andress perhaps, but nonetheless not an exit that that might crop up on YBF.
     
    JohnL and Tribal Chestnut like this.
  11. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    On the positive side, frequent appearances could fund your diving! :D

    M

    Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
     

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