Manta Divers, November, 2014 Being a buddy
The happy news is that my shiny new shoulder is getting better every day and I am cleared to dive! I was thinking about this past dive season and how much I appreciated all the help that everyone gave me; pulling my wetsuit off my arms, getting my dive skin past my shoulders, moving the tanks. I am very thankful for all the great people in our dive group and their willingness to pitch in! That said, it was a little hard to have to accept all that help, but why?
Diving is a buddy sport. Naturally, when we are having a good time, we want to share it with someone. After all, who would want to walk around at Disneyland by themselves? Equally important is the increased safety of participating in an activity with a friend. You have each other’s back. Why then, do I see so many divers struggling to don their gear, shunning a helping hand from their buddy?
If you’ve played team sports you have learned the importance of bonding with your team mates in order to work better as a unit on the field. Helping each other builds trust and confidence that your buddy will be there when you need him. Accepting the aid of a buddy does not mean that a diver is unable to don his gear himself. Rather, it is a chance for the buddy be helpful while at the same time familiarizing himself with your gear. Remember, one of the first things rescue divers are taught to do at the dive site is to check out everyone’s gear so they will know how to get a victim out of his gear in an emergency. Your buddy, above all, should have this same knowledge of your gear. The other team member of course, returns the favor, helping and reviewing his buddy’s equipment. This cooperation forges a bond of mutual help and respect.
Buddies working together is also a way to keep diving safe. I’ve seen divers insisting upon donning their fins without holding on to their buddy for stability only to fall over and hurt themselves (or their gear). On a really hot day, allowing a fellow diver to help you gather your camera, or other gear and expedite your entry into the water can head off the danger of hyperthermia. Accepting the offer of a dry towel when you are cold and wet is not a sign of weakness, it is smart.
Being a buddy does not end after the descent. It is important that buddies dive their plan together, remaining close enough and maintaining enough contact to effectively help in an emergency. It is also advantageous to be close enough to signal your buddy when something interesting is found. Again, this strengthens the bond between team members; “We both find interesting stuff and share.”
Diving is a buddy sport, but it is best when the buddies are equals and are mutually helpful. I guess I will feel better this season with my shoulder back to normal and the feeling that I am back to being the best buddy I can be!
In Other News………………….
Bargain hunters! If you have been balking on the purchase of personal dive gear, here is your chance to get new and slightly used gear for a song. We are discounting all Aqualung and Deep See products to make room for something new! These are the cheapest prices you will see anywhere. Selection is limited and the terms are strictly cash and carry. Get them before they go on e-Bay!
Mike and I will be at the Dive Equipment manufacturer’s Association’s (DEMA) convention Nov. 19-23. Look for us to be bringing some exciting new products into the shop after we have scoped out what is fresh on the horizon in the industry. The shop will be closed Nov. 19, 20 and 21 in our absence. (P.S., stop in afterward and we can tell you about our dive in Lake Mead. “We dive it because it is there!”)
Enriched Air increases no decompression limits by decreasing the amount of nitrogen loaded to divers. Less nitrogen in tissues also equates to a little more energy post dive. These are the top reasons that Enriched air training is so popular. Manta Divers is holding an Enriched Air Course Dec. 16 at 6:30pm. Make your reservation soon!
Reserve your spot (by paying the fee) for the January Buoyancy Clinic. This is a very popular course through which you can improve your air consumption, hone your photography technique, and familiarize yourself with new gear. (See above) Is also a chance for those really jonesing for scuba to get wet! You have the option of just doing the pool session, doing the clinic, which includes a classroom session and the pool session, or signing up for the full specialty course which includes 2 open water dives to be completed this spring. This is valuable regardless of your experience or whether or not you have taken the course before.