Op'eds & comments

Outside comments, debates, chronics

The Barracuda Dive

Readers of my Scuba books often say how useful they find the stories I tell to illustrate key messages. The stories are all true. I wish I could say I made them up, but I am not that creative. Fortunately, life tends to be able to conjure up real situations that are far more instructive than those I could ever invent.

Beware of the Corner Cutters

Beware of corner cutters. Underwater photo by Peter Symes
Know that cheaper prices always involve corner cutting of some sort. Sometimes you can see it and it just involves the level of comfort or service. Sometimes you cannot see it and it may be prejudicial to your safety.

There are thousands of dive centres, resorts and liveaboards all over the world. Some are very good and provide excellent, safe and highly professional service. Others are not so good and are best avoided.

Ten Commandments of Tech Diving Ops, Part II

Cave diver. Photo by Andrey Bizyukin.
Cave diver. Photo by Andrey Bizyukin.

In part one of this series, which appeared in issue #103, I suggested a few commandments to consider in order to ensure, as far as possible, that your technical dives are safe and successful. These were: First commandment: Prepare paperwork; Second commandment: Nominate a supervisor; Third commandment: Deploy safety divers. In this sequel, I deliver a few more tablets of stone.

Ten Commandments of Tech Diving Ops, Part I

An excellent strategy to guard against complacency and protect you and your dive team from becoming too casual about your diving is to establish set operational procedures for all your technical dives.

Today, technical diving is well into its fourth decade. We now have better tools, technology and systems than we did in the past and we know far more about which methods, decompression strategies and gear configurations work well and which do not.

A curious shark

The Year of the Shark 2019 Ends

What we see is that sharks are being targeted by international factory fleets around the world who trail millions upon millions of baited hooks through their realm, trawl the sea floors for rays, skates and other bottom dwellers to 4,000 metres, and slaughter them by the millions. Sharks are the only profitable prey remaining, now that ninety percent of the original (fish) fisheries are fished out.