Diving and the Abilene Paradox

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BlueTrin

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If that helps, when I have to discuss any kind of planning (in my daily job as well), I always state my preference (which can be to say I actually have no preference) and ask for the other person preference/opinion as well.

If you leave it open, people try to second guess you.

That’s a habit I got from work to avoid indecisive feedback. If you are scared of sounding too blunt, you can add “X is my preference because of Y, but I am happy to discuss and follow the majority” …

A more forceful version, which is more suited to the workplace, or if you are in a deciding position, is to say “because of Y, I will do X unless someone voices an objection/unless there are some concerns”
 
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boulderjohn

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So, Aldora makes you surface as a group, rather than allowing divers/buddy-pairs to shoot a DSMB?
Let me explain.

We had another couple with us that I did not mention. They went through their air quickly and were usually ready to surface about a half hour before us, usually at about the 50 minute mark. No problem. They went to the surface and were picked up.

I am talking about the last 5-10 minutes of an 88 minute dive, when we are all just drifting along expecting the dive to end at any minute. I assume that would be different.
 

rmssetc

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I was part of a group of divers last week, diving with an operation with a policy of starting the ascent when a diver reaches 700 PSI. For the most part, we were delighted with the dives. The problems came as the dives went on toward their ends. On those 10 dives, we averaged 88 minutes of dive time. On some of those dives, that was great, because we had something interesting to see the entire time. On most, though, at the end we were drifting in open water, sometimes high over the top of the coral below, sometimes over sand flats, for what seemed like an eternity. On those last dives, I felt a great sense of relief when the DM finally signaled that we would begin the ascent.

I suspect I was not alone. I suspect every one of us would have gladly spent the last 10 minutes of those dives back on the boat, but we couldn’t. We each knew that if we decided we had had enough and signaled the desire to go up, then the dive would have ended, and everyone else would have had to go up, too. We did not want to be the one to end the dive for everyone else just because we were totally bored.

I wonder how your experience level (1000+ dives) affects your perception (boredom at the end of the dive).

I've got about 10% of the dives that you have, and really enjoy diving with Aldora, including those "last 10 minutes". I'm at my most relaxed, and it's a great time to simply enjoy, without the "pressure" of trying to see something, trying to navigate around the reef in current, to slowly off-gas, to work on skills (DSMB, mask removal/replacement, BCD oral inflation, regulator switch, etc.).

Oh, I've also had great experiences in the last few minutes of a dive. This video of an eagle ray feeding was shot while diving with 3P, which allows divers to surface individually, rather than in a group. It was in the last few minutes, after we had been drifting over "blank" sand flats and gradually ascending. I'm so glad I wasn't on the boat 10 minutes earlier that day.

In ~75 dives at Cozumel, there have probably been only 2 where I wanted to surface earlier, because I was chilly.

Regardless of the specifics -- whether you want to surface earlier or not -- your basic point (love the thread title & it's explanation) is that the lack of clear discussion lead to a "decision by default" that you didn't like. I've seen similar behavior in many other situations, particularly recreational activity that's done as a group, with indistinct leadership and actions that are intended to be "by consensus". I think it's great to bring up the need for communication about the dive plan, expectations, and the impact on others.
 
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boulderjohn

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I wonder how your experience level (1000+ dives) affects your perception (boredom at the end of the dive).
More likely its my age.

Four years ago, DAN's Alert Diver magazine ran an article with a title along the lines of "Guidelines for Senior Divers." The author was 68, and he advised divers of that age range to limit maximum dive depths to 80 feet and dive times to 40 minutes. My friends and I are in our 70s. Our average max depth that week was 88 feet, with a deepest of 126 feet, and our average dive time was 88 minutes, with a max of 94.

There was some napping done in the afternoons.
 

scubadada

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More likely its my age.

Four years ago, DAN's Alert Diver magazine ran an article with a title along the lines of "Guidelines for Senior Divers." The author was 68, and he advised divers of that age range to limit maximum dive depths to 80 feet and dive times to 40 minutes. My friends and I are in our 70s. Our average max depth that week was 88 feet, with a deepest of 126 feet, and our average dive time was 88 minutes, with a max of 94.

There was some napping done in the afternoons.
Ha. I'm 68, did not know of my limitations. There's 68 and then there's 68.
 

Chap77

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I don’t know, but someone who has lived in Abilene and still has family there. All I know is you don’t want to go there. Lol
 

gbf

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Actually, we were in Odesa, for sure nobody wanted to go to Midland, so Abilene it was.

Just some historical background.
We played Permian in 1970 - took an axx-beating. Abilene is paradise...
 

Vicko

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I noticed this a lot with bad weather.
I tell people they will be sick during the drive, they won't see anything during the dive and at least 1 in 5 people will panic on the surface and everyone still goes, because nobody want's to be that guy that ruined the fun for everyone else.
And of course, 2 people stay on the boat to chum, the current is ripping the wrong way, all the interesting critters are doing the smart thing and staying at a bar, or a fishy version of it, until the weather clears, and that one macho guy get's a panic attack and I get to drag his overgrown manly body back to the ladder because apparently being catatonic is a viable solution for the 1 in 5 people problems.
 
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boulderjohn

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I noticed this a lot with bad weather.
I tell people they will be sick during the drive, they won't see anything during the dive and at least 1 in 5 people will panic on the surface and everyone still goes, because nobody want's to be that guy that ruined the fun for everyone else.
And of course, 2 people stay on the boat to chum, the current is ripping the wrong way, all the interesting critters are doing the smart thing and staying at a bar, or a fishy version of it, until the weather clears, and that one macho guy get's a panic attack and I get to drag his overgrown manly body back to the ladder because apparently being catatonic is a viable solution for the 1 in 5 people problems.
You just vaguely described the famous case of Chris and Chrissy Rouse, the father and son team who dived when others were bailing because of the weather. Although the weather was not the cause, the fact remains that they died because they talked each other into doing a dive that neither of them wanted to do.
 
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