I was listening to a podcast the other night in work; and before you jump on my previous declarations of poor-ness, it was an ancient ipod not an iphone, when it raised an interesting description of scuba diving.
The podcast in question was, the very awesome, Rich Synoweic’s, “Divers Sync – The Netcast and Pod Cast for Scuba Divers.” If you haven’t subscribed to the show, you must do so immediately or face my wrath, and probable eternal damnation.
Rich made a statement of how some divers view the process of going diving; “Diving is a pain in the ass.”
My initial reaction was mixed; I couldn’t decide if I personally thought scuba diving really was a pain in the ass.
In order to collect my thoughts I decided I would document my next dive from start to finish, collate the results and determine how annoying going scuba diving really is.
Here is the data I collected.
PLANNING AND ATTEMPTING
A SCUBA DIVE
A SCUBA DIVE
STEP 1: Arrange a date
STEP 2: Find a buddy
My original plan of Saturday was thwarted, as I was invited to join some guys for a recreational dive on Friday night. I confirmed, but then had to bail as I remembered my band was rehearsing that night.
Band rehearsal was subsequently cancelled; so I agreed to dive again. Unfortunately the guys cancelled Friday in favour of Saturday night; that didn’t work as I had plans.
Wifebuddy agreed to dive with me on Saturday morning. Saturday morning came, Wifebuddy didn’t feel great. Dive cancelled.
I texted another guy about diving Sunday; he didn’t reply.
Wifebuddy couldn’t cope with me not diving, so suggested I go with the guys and just dive Saturday night. I rang the guys, they were diving at 5pm and I agreed to come along.
You see? Not complicated...
STEP 3: Locate a dive site
The Alastor’ as the 3 of us have dived it plenty.
STEP 4: Get air
I’m not a member of a scuba club, for a million reasons as I talked about in a previous post, but the local BSAC club sell me air at a very reasonable price; it’s also 2 miles from my house.
|nitrox made easy|
I went home; with empty twinsets and a hole in my soul.
2 days later I endured the 52 mile round trip to the dive shop in heavy traffic after I finished work.
I left with 4 full twinsets.
STEP 5: Pack up scuba gear
The dive was now on, so I had to get my gear together. I hauled out the gear gulper, bags and began to sort all the gear required for the dive.
I charged my primary light, changed the batteries in my two backups, undersuits were removed from the airing zone and packed into their stuff sack. Everything was stacked up in the hallway ready to go at a moment’s notice.
STEP 6: Drive to the dive site
Saturday evening came and I loaded everything into the car and drove the 30 miles to the dive site.
In theory the journey shouldn’t take too long, but Saturday appears to be the day for tractors; 23mph for 6 miles was awesome.
I hate farmers and will happily eat a genetically engineered pill for dinner in favour of agriculturally grown food, if tractors can be outlawed.
One particular trip to this site I got stuck behind SEVEN horse and traps. That was a fun day out.
STEP 7: Kit up
Finally at the dive site I unpacked the jeep and assembled my kit. It was raining, so I opted to don my drysuit first. I are smart.
By the time I had assembled my twinset, checked all was working, packed my pockets with the necessary spools, smbs, knives etc. my jeep was drenched.
STEP 8: Get to entry point
‘The Alastor’ is a shore dive and a very popular site; with no car park. More often than not diver’s cars are parked for miles along the small lane leading to the shore line.
This results in dicing with death, as the local 4x4’s and tractors (fucking tractors!) hare along to their domiciles or the boating area. You can also guarantee one less wing mirror upon return to your vehicle.
If you arrive late you could face a 50m walk down to the shore. In a twinset, this can be a little taxing.
STEP 9: Go diving
Remembering why I actually left the dry, cosy, warmth of my house that I paid a lot of money for; I went diving.
STEP 10: Get out
Dive complete, it was time to wander out along the rocky, uneven, foot splitting shore that was much longer than before as the tide had gone out; then walk to the car.
STEP 11: Get changed
Arriving at the jeep it was time to finally doff the twinset, and the now, “boil-in-the-bag” drysuit.
I am absolutely convinced I could be one of those fighty-fighty UFC cage champion blokes. Anyone that can easily get out of a drysuit after 60 minutes, in water 4C below the cold tap in your house, is a truly phenomenal individual.
STEP 12: Drive home
My hair was sopping wet, clothes were soaked from the rain, and the jeep was cold inside as I had every door open packing the gear away.
STEP 13: Rinse kit
Once home, the day was far from over.
My wringing wet gear had to be traipsed through the house to the back garden, much to the dismay of Wifebuddy who had been cleaning our stately home all day, in order to be rinsed.
Dark, cold, and outside again, I had to hose down all the kit and arrange it such a fashion to aid the ever-so-slow drying out process.
STEP 14: Store kit
3 hours later, at 11pm, it was time to venture out the back garden again and re-claim my (not so dry) gear; hanging it around the house in such a way not to saturate Wifebuddy’s clean habitat.
STEP 15: Relax
By 11:15pm the diving day was done. I went to bed. Exhausted.
So, is scuba diving a pain in the ass?
Not to me.
At first glance I can totally understand why some divers don’t relish the ‘thought’ of diving, but I honestly do enjoy every step of a dive excusrion.
- I try to arrange as many dives as many weeks in advance as possible; it gives me something to look forward to as I struggle through the working week.
- I enjoy ringing around chatting to dive buddies on the phone, facebook, twitter or my chosen social network for the day.
- Choosing a dive site is often through default, but all the sites near me are proper sea diving and sheltered from the weather. No quarry diving for me!
- Getting air fills is a great excuse to visit my dive shop, catch up with the local scuba gossip, or maybe pick up a new piece of kit.
- I love my scuba gear. I have spent a lot of money and time on my kit; I honestly enjoy sorting it all out, making sure everything is where it should be and working accordingly.
- Dive sites are by water. Water is usually far away, as we no longer rely on horse and carts to move us about. We have cars, cars have stereos and additional seats; this allows enjoying music or travelling with buddies discussing the finer points of scuba and generally putting the world to rights.
- Kitting up and getting into the water can be challenging, but generally this can be down to an inactive diver, or after a break from scuba. When I dive weekly I can get in and out of my one piece harness with minimal effort. Don’t forget you have a buddy there too – ask for help!
- Walking about in scuba gear can be strenuous, especially tech gear; look at it as a work out, or maybe as a sign you need to start getting into shape.
- The dive itself needs no defence. Diving is awesome, plain and simple. Some dives are better than other for sure, but I always manage to pull something positive from a dive.
- Post dive is all about the de-brief and discussing how phenomenal the dive was; or what went not so well, or how the new piece of gear is working out. My hour long journey home from the dive site is just one big dive de-brief.
- Rinsing kit is my least favourite thing, but it I know that caring for my gear properly makes the next dive hassle free.
- Relaxing post dive with a beer is outstanding. Nothing is more rewarding than that first cold beer after a dive!
I love scuba diving; I want all divers to love scuba diving. If you honestly feel diving is a pain in the ass try a different spin on it. It makes it all the more fun!
What do you think?