Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Poorly trained divers kicking up silt. Who taught them how to dive?

Poorly trained divers kicking up silt. Who taught them how to dive?


#frogkick #flutterkick #modifiedfrogkick #modifiedflutterkick #perfectbuoyancy

Perfect buoyancy takes time, but this is just unacceptable. While these divers might not be killing any animals, this type of kicking through the water is atrocious! They need to learn how to do the modified frog kick and slow down! Look at how much silt they are kicking up...

I started teaching in 2008 and became totally independent and full-time 4 years ago -- no dive shop, no pressure to push students through the system and NEVER to award certification cards to divers that looks like these guys!

What saddens me the most is that this behavior has a larger consequence. I know that no one masters anything after confined water and definitely not after open water, and with that understanding, to not teach students to not do this is beyond unprofessional. It is bewildering to see divers like this in the water.

There are dive sites in the world that are so fragile and delicate that it is in all likelihood that this kind of impact could damage those sites without the possibility of recovery, forever! For those cave divers that might have seen some of those majestic rooms I'm referring to, you know what I'm talking about.

I can only say that I would be devastated to find out that a student of mine was responsible for this kind of behavior and if I found out, I would write NAUI headquarters and ask for their cert card to be invalidated until their training (or attitude) was re-evaluated -- perhaps even mine! (I know this is likely to not be allowed.)

While the grander scheme of introductory certification would include re-certification, I know that is not going to happen, either.

Last weekend, my last student (just me and him) logged 7 excursions and a final recreational fun dive, #8 to the limits of his training, what I call, "the deep boats." My opinion is that skill competence will eventually come with practice, but there is a point where the instructor has to decide if the student is ready to become an autonomous diver (not solo diver, rather not need the instructor to accompany them).

I regularly joke with the students that if they are not ready, they can take me to their exotic tropical dive destination (all expenses paid, of course) and I would supervise their dives, take care of all their equipment, and give them a tour of a lifetime. Regrettably, I've never been given this opportunity  [ ;) ] rather the students are told they are not ready nor awarded certification.

We arrive at the motel's check-in at 2pm, dive until dusk, dive all day the following day, and up until noon on the third. It is after the first excursion that on the third day that I tell my student that his regular ascents away from me are not acceptable and I will not award certification if the next two dives have uncontrolled ascents.

I explain that while a risk to the student exists (even if minor), the greater risk is to leave one's dive buddy. This would be excursion #7 and dive #8. [I call them excursions as they are supervised dives and while they log them, the quantity and quality of said excursions must in combination be equal to or greater than if fewer dives where conducted demonstrating everything a diver needs  to successfully complete my program. I don't like the 4 dives model nor prescribe to the 20ft, 20 minute cookie cutter program.]

Upon the end of the dive when we stand up at the shore line, I exclaim, "What the fuck was that and like wow, man!" "That was an incredible dive!" He was overjoyed as well. If I had cut him off after 4 excursions, this victory would never had occurred at this time, nor would the fun dive, #8, and he would have had to return for additional dives. If I had awarded him a certification on the 4th excursion, he would have looked like those in that video.

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