it's an attitude thing
Text by: Mark Brill
Louise was talking in an animated fashion.
'There's more to tech diving than just equipment you know'. 'Are you sure?' I said sounding disappointed. 'Yeah if you're going to do it properly you need a whole philosophy. And an instructional video presented by someone famous'.
I thought I better come up with a few suggestions. 'How about Go Trimix Diving with Monica Lewinsky'
'I don't think so' Louise replied.
'OK what about Pamela Anderson's Guide to Rebreathers'?
So Louise hit me. 'Don't be ridiculous, her tits would probably explode if she went below 20m.'
'So then all we'd need is a shark attack and an underwater scooter chase and ...' but I could tell that she was less than impressed with this idea.
'No. I need you to tell us about the kind of philosophies that dive blokes are into. Y'know, the ideas behind Hogarthian rigs and all that '
So here goes...
The Dive Boy Guide to
Generally in books and videos. Philosophies need gurus to promote them and followers to swallow them (and cough up the money for the merchandise). You can also find people spouting off their ideas on the internet, like the DIR lot.
It stands for Doing It Right. They're like diving's answer to the Seventh Day Adventists. They're mostly male US cave divers (led by George Hamilton IVth or something) who insist that you have to have the same equipment, same haircut, same accent, and undergo the same training as they do in order to dive with them. And they all wear matching coloured dry suits.
Sounds a bit serious to me. Isn't there anything more easy going?
Well Tom Mount and the IANTD people are really into meditation and visualisation. Basically you lie down in a darkened room, put on some whale music and visualise a successful dive.
That's not going to catch on with your typical UK diver. Most of their preparation happens in the pub the night before.
But I hardly think that getting completely slaughtered and believing that you're a witty and charming sex god while explaining the intricacies of your decompression planning software counts as pre-dive visualisation.
There must be some kind of philosophy that these dive blokes follow?
Well most of them seem to dive the ISLAGIATT method.
It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time. A prime example of this method is the bloke who decided to stick one those chemcial gel hand warmers inside his dry suit and go off on a long, deep dive.
Seems like a good way to keep warm?
Except that these chemical gel packs react under pressure. So at depth this thing got a tad hot and he was diving upside down to try and keep it away from him. He ended up getting back on the boat with blisters all down his back. And he's still got the scars to prove it.
Probably just an isolated incident.
ISLAGIATT diving is more popular than you'd think. One of their divers once spotted a tasty looking angler fish nestling in the sand. So he got out his knife and stabbed it in the head (as you do). Except that this fish was rather large and somewhat miffed about being stabbed. It promptly reared up from the seabed and swam off at a rate of knots.
Well at least he only lost his knife.
Except that it was still bungied to the divers leg. He became the world's first (and probably last ever) sub-aqua water skier.
But it seemed like a good idea at the time.