After several incidents in which I had to abort a job to help another diver, I stopped diving with a 'buddy' back when I was using SCUBA to install oceanographic instrumentation in the 70's. I found that the job went quicker, and safer, if I did not have to keep my eye on someone else all the time. I was able to concentrate on myself and my work without distractions. I remember one job in which I had to dive down to a series of bottom mounted tide recorders just outside Boston Harbor weekly, with the deepest one at 130 ft. I planned the bounces and surface time so I didn't have to make a lot of extra decomp stops. It was important to me to not be distracted from the job, because the narcosis typically hits me around 95-100 ft and it was okay when I anticipated it. It took me 3-5 minutes to remove the tide guages and replace them with a fresh one, and a couple extra minutes here and there screwed up my whole dive plan.
I found that I much, much prefer to dive alone when working. If there are other people in the water around me, I feel like the old lifeguard who has to keep an eye on everything. And I don't want to be the lifeguard. I enjoy the diving. And to me, it's a solitary pastime. A peaceful place to be. Until some bozo keeps flashing his newly learned hand signals in my face every few minutes to tell me he's okay, and expecting me to tell him that I'm okay...
When what I really want him to do is go climb on the boat and leave me alone.
Two Americans move to the TCI.
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