Pretty New Diver Looking for Tips to Better Handle Future "Situations"

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wetb4igetinthewater

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@Pittsburgh_Mom

You have nothing to be embarrassed about. I wish the industry wasn't so negligent at times. I shake my head at the folks on this thread who said "good that you experienced this." What is good is that you were not injured, but I won't say it was good situation. No one needs a whoopin', people need proper training (another discussion). I am happy to read that you did not take this as a set back, but an opportunity to gain awareness at the dramatic variety in responsibility that dive operators have.

Because you have demonstrated to be a thinking diver and interested in learning, I highly recommend taking Gareth Lock's Human Factors in Diving (The Human Diver - Counter-errorism in Diving - Home Page). Many people, including myself, absolutely rave about the course, as it dramatically improves your awareness and how you approach not just diving, but life. I doubt my statement isn't very compelling, but I have yet to come across anyone to say it isn't a good course. There are different offerings available as well.

The other thing I recommend is a course like GUE fundies. If you travel to Florida often, I'd recommend a workshop with Ryan @custureri of AQUI Water Sports Fort Lauderdale in Ft Lauderdale. He is a truly exceptional instructor for body mechanics that will make skills acquisition and improvement much easier.

Good luck and see you under the surface.
 

The Chairman

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I just don't log dives
the DM with my little group had given me the "up" sign
Just point to the people on the line, show him the number with your fingers, and give him the hold sign.
my husband and I both have agreed, we just need to be completely honest if we're not feeling it with a dive, or even many dives, and need to be ready to lose the money if that's what happens.
Indeed! My second rule of diving is The Rule of Fun: You can call a dive at any time for any reason, with no questions asked and no repercussions. IOW, if it's not fun, bug out.
I can't imagine divers going out under the conditions you witnessed in Jan. a year ago.
Yeah, I couldn't either. In the Keys, they'll use the term "sporty" to refer to the conditions you were in. They'll go the extra distance to take you out, but you're probably not going to have fun. If ever you hear a captain or crew offer you a way out... DO NOT HESITATE. Get off the boat. They don't make money if the boat doesn't sail, so if they're giving you an out, it's probably beyond sporty.

Pro tip: Before you travel anywhere to go diving, ask about it here first. With nigh onto 300,000 members, we have lots of people who have been there and a number who might even live there. Many locals are up to meet for dinner or a beer. Make a connection. They're your connection when things go awry and they know all the ins and outs. There are some incredible restaurants in Key Largo that are mostly for the locals. That's true just about everywhere.
 

Centrals

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Pro tip: Before you travel anywhere to go diving, ask about it here first. With nigh onto 300,000 members, we have lots of people who have been there and a number who might even live there. Many locals are up to meet for dinner or a beer. Make a connection. They're your connection when things go awry and they know all the ins and outs. There are some incredible restaurants in Key Largo that are mostly for the locals. That's true just about everywhere.
Only the local have genuine local knowledge.
Probably everywhere where diving is possible.
 

The Chairman

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I just don't log dives
Only the local have genuine local knowledge.
Probably everywhere where diving is possible.
Meh. Locals can be biased. There's a lot of info on here from peeps who just dove there. They might tell you who to dive with and who to avoid.
 

Centrals

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Meh. Locals can be biased. There's a lot of info on here from peeps who just dove there. They might tell you who to dive with and who to avoid.
Anyone can be biased.
Local would have better whole round knowledge than visitors who only came during certain time of the year. Diving can be seasonal in many countries.
An well trotted path is easy to follow but off the beaten track is something else.
 
OP
Pittsburgh_Mom

Pittsburgh_Mom

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If ever you hear a captain or crew offer you a way out... DO NOT HESITATE. Get off the boat. They don't make money if the boat doesn't sail, so if they're giving you an out, it's probably beyond sporty.

I will absolutely keep my ear out for that, and I really appreciate the insight.

Pro tip: Before you travel anywhere to go diving, ask about it here first. With nigh onto 300,000 members, we have lots of people who have been there and a number who might even live there. Many locals are up to meet for dinner or a beer. Make a connection. They're your connection when things go awry and they know all the ins and outs. There are some incredible restaurants in Key Largo that are mostly for the locals. That's true just about everywhere.

This is a great point. I see what both you and @Centrals is saying. I can see merit in locals' insight, but also into the insight of those who have approached an area as an outsider. We are planning to dive locally through August and September before it gets too cold to enjoy, and then another trip in November. I'm not sure where, yet--we were thinking Cozumel, but with flight prices how they are looking, we're more likely looking at the Bahamas. We'll do a lot more legwork this time!
 
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Pittsburgh_Mom

Pittsburgh_Mom

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wetb4igetinthewater, thank you so much for sharing those resources, and for your kindness and support. I will look into everything you shared.

My husband and I just had a long soak in the hot tub and talked through everything that happened again, and we both feel like we learned a ton from this all, and from the feedback and resources I'm getting on here. He's not really an online community kind of guy, but that does not mean he does not care or isn't interested.

He also noted two big things... first, he admitted that he DID tell me we did not really need to worry about "plan your dive, and dive your plan." That is something I had brought up to him from my training, and when I had wanted to talk about "what-ifs" and plans before, he had been kind but dismissive and had told me that was not for divers like us, who go with guides, but rather for serious divers who go out and dive alone with all of their own equipment. He said he learned a massive lesson and feels terrible about this all. In self-analysis, he said that he realizes now that all of his previous diving was so tame and calm that it set him up with a really unrealistic false sense of security. Second, he notes that he was absolutely terrified when he got in and realized that he could not find me, and faced the reality that I was swept along with everything but so inexperienced. He feels like he led me wrong and should have been responsible for me; I realize, too, that I needed to be much more aware and responsible for myself. I should have been responsible for him, too. We should have been responsible for ourselves, and we should not have expected the dive op to be responsible for us.

That would be a "nice to have" in the future, even a "great to have," but if we want to enjoy this sport, we have to take full responsibility for our safety and happiness every step of the way. We are sure hoping to build experience together, here and around the world, as we adjust to where we are in life (with our careers, children, etc.). While neither of us feel the call to push any sort of crazy boundaries, ever, there are some really neat things around the world we hope to get to see and explore... but certainly, customs, language, conditions, and more, may be extremely different, and if we don't want to end up and a way more dangerous situation or with an outcome that turns way worse, we need to be way more prepared than we were in this popular US dive area. As much as we both really wish our dive hadn't gone this way, that's only going to happen if we learn from this.
 
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Take your preferred seasickness meds the night before diving AND the morning of. Made a huge difference for me with Great Lakes chop (I don’t dive tropical).

If you aren’t getting warm fuzzies on the boat, don’t dive. There have been plenty of times when I’ve called dives on charters I’ve paid for.

Anyone can call a dive - even before it happens - at any time, for any reason.
spot on for the seasickness pills
Very spot on for the if it doesn t feel right dont dive
Lost money but not lost life good on you
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/perdix-ai/

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