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How long did it take to get used to limited vis?

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by FunkyDiver, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. FunkyDiver

    FunkyDiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NW Ohio
    Thanks everybody for the great replies. The reason I asked this question in this forum, is because I figured you all deal with this on a much more frequent basis than most folks and would have a better perspective on it.

    The main reason I asked the question in the first place is because I'm sure that from time to time I/we/everybody just about runs into visibility that is not great, or even good. Just like the other day at the quarry-- the vis looked OK, but once we got down in it, it was not nearly as good as we thought.

    I'm also not trying to force myself to go into zero vis, but I would like to get to the point where I am more comfortable with very limited vis, just in case sometime it happens. Thanks again for your info.
  2. ohmdiver

    ohmdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: ohmdiver@yahoo.com
    Low viz is the norm, 20' is a great day in my local lake. I just never knew any better. not being able to see your hand at arms lenght is always un nerving a bit. Practice good buddy skills and always remember to stay with in your comfort zone. I respect the diver's that are willing to admit when something isn't right for them.
  3. bane51031

    bane51031 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NW Iowa
    When I first joined the team here I had some reservations as I was severly clausterphobic but, after the first practice in the pool with blackout mask I did not have any problems, after much practice I made the jump to the pit in town, true zero vis. and had no problems with it, funny since then I no longer have any issues with cluasterphobia, something I worked through in my head.

    As far as zero vis. I do what Gary said, alot of times I just close my eyes and do what I am trained to do, our gear is very streamlined but, even then I got snagged in a fish habitat made with old christmas trees on our last search call out, it was the worst snag I had encountered but, was able to work through by staying calm.

    It also helps trusting my fellow divers and line tenders, I know if something comes up I can communicate via the rope and one of them will come get me and vice versa....
  4. Sky Shark

    Sky Shark Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Arkansas
    +1 for closing the eyes, I've been a PSD diver for 7 years and I find closed eyes more soothing and I can concentrate better on my 'feel'...
  5. dittrimd

    dittrimd Force Fin Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Coventry, CT
    I also agree that in true zero vis closing my eyes works very well for me. I think it was a focus issue. My eyes were having a hard time focusing and giving me a type of vertigo feeling. I also agree that my sense of touch seems to be heightend when I close my eyes. Maybe it is becuase I am not distracted by my eyes.

    Good Luck!!

    Mark D.
  6. Sealboy

    Sealboy Angel Fish

    I think its a state of mind you put yourself into, you need to train yourself mentally. If you have some underlaying problems like claustrophobia or trouble at home you'll probably have more trouble getting used to the low viz. I find it extremely calming to close my eyes and concentrate on the sounds around me. I rarely use a dive light, I've placed a small torch on top of my FFM and thats all the light I keep with me.

    Me and my buddy traveled to the Red sea for a diving trip and noticed how awesome the visibility was. I realized that my definition of good visibility is so much different from the average sports diver. Im pleased if I can see the length of my arm, thats what I call clear visibility. Down there your hands become your eyes.
  7. thelostpirate

    thelostpirate Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Hollywood, FL
    Do you really get used to it. I have been doing PSD for about 6 years and pulled several bodies, many cars and vairouos other things. Each time is a new experiance. If you ever have someone tell you that it has never bothered them, either they are lying, never done it, or need to be commited :wink:. None of us can say it has never bothered us. When you hit the mud at 30 feet and even with a dive light you can not see 2" (yes inches) you have to rely on training and your support team. gauges do not matter as they are useless.

    the only advise i can give, is go sit at the bottom of a lake with someone who is used to it. hold their hand (that way you have some security) and practice breathing
  8. ReefGuy

    ReefGuy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Punta Gorda, Fl.
    Another eye closer here.

    Bridge, I agree with everything you said but this. Of course, we have D2D comms, but even without, we have (line) signals to communicate with our buddies. Of course, it takes a while and a lot of training to effectively communicate underwater in 0 vis without comms.

  9. bridgediver

    bridgediver Instructor, Scuba

    hey reef

    Nobody's ever going to totally agree on here - thats why we're here (I think).

    It probably is possible to work out a system with buddys but the amount of practice to acheive it would be way beyond the 2 days/mth our team does as far as I can see (get it :eyebrow:). A single, solo, tethered diver is easier and faster. Maybe outline how you guys work it, I may be missing something

    You're in Florida though, so perhaps you're applying this to low - "not bad" vis?
  10. Yotsie

    Yotsie Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Modesto, CA
    I have not gotten used to diving zero viz, but like others above, I've learn to deal with it. A good comms system, be it hardwire or wireless, is the A #1 most soothing factor for me. Zero viz is where most, if not all PSD live, so train up. You don't need to enjoy it, just work through it. Fortunately for us, all of our water is zero to 1' of viz, so we don't have to blackout a mask very often.

    As far as body recoveries go, Like Pirate said, they will stay with you. I have every one of mine etched in my mind's eye (trust me, I really don't want it either) and every single one bothered me in one way or another. Dealing with it takes a tight team and a good support network to count on. Same with the zero viz diving. The guys on my team have no problem discussing individual issues with each other.

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