TSandM -- Her Greatest Posts

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Mike Boswell

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San Diego
# of dives
I just don't log dives
One way to honor our friend might be to gather together some of her most memorable posts. Some of them are funny, most are informative, and some, in retrospect, are heartbreaking.

Lynne Flaherty may indeed be lost to us, but we can keep her with us in spirit: She lives on in her writings.

So Here's To Lynne! May we meet again on the other side.

Are you on good terms with Lady Luck?

I've been ruminating over some of the accident and incident accounts which have recently been posted, and something kind of gelled for me.

Every dive has requirements. You need a certain amount of gas, have a certain limit with respect to decompression (whatever it is), perhaps need to be able to swim against current or get back on a boat in big swells. Each of these parameters sets a part of the limit that describes the dive.

When the resources you bring to bear are far in excess of what the dive requires, luck plays almost no role in how the dive comes out. If I do a 30 foot reef dive in calm, sunlit water, with double 80's on my back, a RIB to come pick me up if I get lost, and a very solid, experienced dive buddy, luck is going to have a hard time playing havoc with that dive.

On the other hand, if you do a bounce dive to 300 feet on a single Al80, you are seriously counting on everything going exactly according to plan . . . and in this case, if Lady Luck has a frown on her face, the outcome is not going to be pretty.

The closer you dive to the limits of your resources, whether it's gas, strength, experience, decompression, surface support or whatever, the larger a role you are allowing Lady Luck to play in how the dive comes out. Since she is known to be a fickle mistress, it may not be a great idea to invite her along for the dive.

This is a great idea for a thread Mike, but I think it belongs in the open forum.
I don't have a "greatest post" but I like this thread http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/dir/487545-standardized-prices.html for two reasons:

First it demonstrates the way Lynne could debate a point she really believed in a civil way that raised the bar for discussion and how she took the time to share her personal experience in a thoughtful, intelligent way.

And second, it led to this thread http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/di...ly-overstaffed-fundies-class-ever-taught.html and my finally meeting and diving with her in person as teammates (with Ian) during our fundies class. I am grateful to have gotten the opportunity to have done so.
I can't find it, but it was a gem about trim from a while ago. She had worked hard to find the amount of weight and location of it that would keep her in trim wearing doubles. She then took a technical course where the instructor told her she had too much weight, and he removed what worked for her. Resulting of course in a struggle to keep trim in the (cave?) course, and IIRC her fabled high standards for herself led to much internal recrimination. Her take away from this situation much later was to realize when you have something trim wise sorted out for yourself don't get pushed around by others in authority who have not seen you dive in the weighting configuration that works for you. Physics is physics.

This stuck home for me, because as a 5'2" woman, trying to achieve trim in double steel 100s, the physics for me was I needed ankle weights. I am just head heavy in those twinned tanks due to body configuration. No amount of expert instructor input changed this. Moving the tank bands up, nope. Moving the wing down, nope. Adding a tail weight, nope. Already dove heavy Scubapro Jet fins. However, adding the dreaded, uncool in tech land "gear solution to a skills problem" ankle weights solved it. (Though I've never understood how heavy Scubapro fins....which are a gear solution to a skills problem......are somehow different from ankle weights.)

Lynne's posting about doing what works for you after trying everything, and respecting your own knowledge, to the point of demonstrating that it works for you because....physics, somehow freed me up in my diving skills. Thanks Lynne.
We had a brief message exchange where she was questioning my decision to dive sidemount. As a GUE diver she believed in the "right tool for the job" and thought sidemount made little sense in open water and should be used only in cave diving. At one point I thought she was actually scolding me when I tried to point out the benefits of sidemount for MY diving. I was just about to scold back when she said...."Although I should really try it some time, it does look like fun" I laughed aloud at home in front of the computer at her honesty and humour. I can't count the number of posts of hers that taught me something valuable even if it was just about attitude and discipline. She was one of a kind and will be sorely missed by anyone who's life she touched.
Some of us take scuba safety rather lightly, but Lynne never seemed to. Right from the beginning, she was determined to learn everything she could and be as safe as humanly possible.

From July 29, 2005:
[h=2]New divers and "trust me" dives[/h]
I have been exploring this site, and have come across multiple mentions of "trust me" dives. It seems to be a pejorative comment.

I am an AOW cert with 11 dives to date. I am acutely aware of my shortcomings. I dive in cold water and poor vis (Puget Sound), and at this point, I don't feel as though I can reliably manage dive planning, gas usage planning, and navigation by myself. Therefore, I have arranged to dive with much more experienced people, and have made it clear that I am a novice and need a lot of support. But I count on my buddy to know the site, to an extent to evaluate the conditions, and to do the navigation. I can manage my buoyancy and monitor my air according to pre-agreed parameters.

Is this a bad idea? In no way have I entirely abdicated responsibility, in that I am selecting buddies who are DMs or AIs or the equivalent, I listen to the dive plan and make sure it makes sense, agree on signals and limiting parameters. But if I had to be responsible for planning and navigation as well as everything else, I'd probably not dive.

What is one to do in such a situation, other than "trust me" dives?
Lynne Flaherty may indeed be lost to us, but we can keep her with us in spirit: She lives on in her writings.

So Here's To Lynne! May we meet again on the other side.

One need only read ANY of Lynn's posts. Fittingly, her most recent thread recounts the ten years over which she's been diving...


From a brand new dive fanatic: Why is diving so addictive? Haven't we all been there?:D

August 15, 2005:
[h=2]Why is this so addictive?[/h]
I got certified a month ago. I have 20 dives now. I am scheming to figure out when I can go down again, and I last dove yesterday.

I am diving, for the most part, in lousy viz and cold water. There are a lot of sea creatures down there, but you have to look for them -- it ain't Molokini on a daily basis. We shore dive in places where parking is a nightmare and you have to schlep equipment an intolerably long distance. My gear weighs about half what I do, and I can barely walk wearing it. I get cold at the end of almost every dive.

So tell me why I can't wait to do this again? Tell me why I have just realized that every vacation for 2006 is organized around diving? Tell me why, oh why I am contemplating purchases of equipment whose prices make me hyperventilate?

Are we all just chronically mildly narced, or what?

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