Clare and I on the boat heading back from a dive (into the wind)

Diving with your main squeeze

For some, diving is an escape from a busy work schedule and for people like this diving is often something they want to go off and do alone. For some, diving is great as long as they have a new buddy on every dive as it is a way to broaden their social circle. Diving does ensure you constantly meet new and interesting people and even if you dive on a regular basis with a club there are often newcomers, tourists and other club members at dive sites and on dive boats.

I have found that due to the nature of my work I have developed an ability to understand what most people are trying to tell me underwater, plus I have developed a technique of describing what I am trying to say and this is over and above the regular signs we use during training. There are also a series of signs for turtles, eels, sharks nudibranchs etc. that most divers will use, but what do you do when you find something out of the ordinary?

For example, we found a horsefish on a dive at Long Beach. I knew what it was but had difficulty trying to convey this description to the group diving with me. Only Clare understood what my very odd behaviour meant and after almost drowning with laughter she moved in to take a closer look.

When you dive often and with the same person as a dive buddy you develop an understanding of their behaviour and will find it easier to interpret their unusual signs. When this person is also your Significant Other it makes a huge difference. Facial expressions, body language and behaviour all contribute to the ease at which you communicate underwater. Tim Ecott writes about this in his book Neutral Buoyancy.

Clare and I on the boat heading back from a dive (into the wind!)
Clare and I on the boat heading back from a dive (into the wind!)

(Plus, if you play your cards right, you can look like dorks on the boat together! This picture was taken while Clare and I were attempting to protect our eyes from the freezing, stinging spray on the back of Grant’s boat during a winter trip in False Bay.)

Published by


Scuba diver, teacher, gadget man, racing driver, boat skipper, photographer, and collector of stray animals

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *