Tony in the green murk at the safety stop

Diving in less than ideal conditions

This is a much discussed issue and last Saturday was a good example. I had chosen to cancel the plan I had made to take Open Water students in the sea for the first time, because the wind was stronger than expected. Yet while Clare and I sat at the beach, at least 20 divers did enter the water for training.

I sat and watched this as I have done in the past and wondered whether I made the wrong decision. Of the 20 divers that entered the water four did not quite make it to complete the dives and returned to shore. The conditions were not suitable for them and they were not comfortable.

Tony in the green murk at the safety stop
Tony in the green murk at the safety stop

Some claim that if you learn to dive in terrible visibility and rough conditions it makes you a stronger diver. Some (me included) say that you should learn to dive in good conditions, build your skills and comfort levels and have a sense of your ability, and then brave the dodgy conditions if you must. This theory is based on the belief that if you are comfortable in the water, confident in your skills and abilities all you will then need to be concerned about is the conditions around you, but if you have not yet reached this point in your training then (I believe) you should not be exposed to these elements. There are many pros and cons for each argument but I am happy with my choice.

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

2 thoughts on “Diving in less than ideal conditions”

  1. Very good point. You made the Right decision. We teach divers that the first thing you do when you get to a dive site is that you look at the conditions and make a decision based on the ability of the “weakest” diver. Teaching divers in whatever conditions is available on the day is not a good idea. Diving is supposed to be fun and during training that the fun/enjoyment element should be primary. We are not teaching attack divers or planning an submersed attack on the pirates of Ethiopia….The same goes to the boat operators that take tourists out in less than ideal diving conditions – what is the verbal “advertisement” of diving in SA if they are dumped in bad conditions?
    There are lots of good coffee and breakfast spots to go to or you can even go for a hike in the very scenic surrounds of Simon’s Town.
    …but on an Advanced Course, it is another story…..Dive safe

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