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Outside comments, debates, chronics

Out of Air with Plenty to Breathe

Take responsibility for opening your own cylinder valve before a dive. If someone else wants to do it for you or touches it to check it is open, politely refuse.

It was a beautiful day in Indonesia’s Banda Sea. Richard rolled back into the warm waters and swam over to join his wife, Florence. After exchanging signals, they descended together, heading for a patch of bright yellow sea fans on the reef wall at 30m, where their guide had promised to show them pygmy seahorses. The guide was already there below, searching for the elusive little creatures.

Choosing a BCD: Solutions for the Slight

A boy in a harness-and-wing system, which is adjustable, so it fits him perfectly. The system allows the head to be held higher on the surface of the water than a conventional jacket-style BCD does. It is easier to control and does not squeeze the diver’s ribcage and inhibit breathing when the air cell is fully inflated. Photo by Simon Pridmore.

In 2014, off the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand, a diver on a discover scuba experience died when she became separated from her group and ran out of air. She was discovered on the surface, floating face down. The inquest found that the dive operation involved was to blame because they had failed to supervise her properly.

Selling Yourself Short: Your Skills Are Worth Nothing and You Work for Free

Salaries and benefits for new scuba instructors vary widely but, generally speaking, diving jobs are not well paid, and this is another reason why you really need to have a vocation for teaching in order to survive in this line of work.

At some point, many keen divers entertain the notion of giving up their 9-to-5 job and following the dream of becoming a professional scuba diver, making a living from their hobby and combining work with passion. After all, the advertisements for instructor courses in the dive magazines make it sound easy. All you have to do is sign up, fork out the dough and take the plunge. What could possibly go wrong?

What Does It Take to be a "Good Diver"? Part II

Technical diver in Lake Baikal, Russia. Photo by Andrey Bizyukin.

You are chatting with a diving friend and the conversation turns to mutual acquaintances. “Do you know Bob and Carol?” your friend asks. “Oh yes, good divers!” you reply. We will usually refer to someone as a good diver when they are not around. We will rarely say it to their face. And it is something that we all rather hope people say about us behind our backs.