The fun they had at TEKCamp

An awesome week of meeting the best UK technical divers and learning from them

Diving in The Red Sea

Warm water, clear visibility makes for a great holiday!

Malinbeg Harbour

Often, the simplest local dives are the best.

Burn all your certification cards!

I distinctly remember when I first tried to find someone to teach me to scuba dive I was a little bit overwhelmed and confused by the various agencies offering certification cards. In the end I chose PADI, mainly as it appeared to be more widely accepted than the alternatives, plus there was a PADI instructor nearby.



In hindsight I recognise that it doesn’t really matter, they are all accepted, kind of like Visa versus Mastercard. My visa however is not so widely accepted, mainly due to the fact that wife-buddy’s dry suit balance is still on it.

Lately I have noticed a lot of online discussion about various agencies and which is best and why. Since I completed my TDI courses I seem to have become even more aware of the different options for training. I was a little curious if I had chosen the ‘right’ agency.



So, this led me to decide for myself – which is the best?



I did a little lurking around the interweb forums to find out what was what. The results are in. Amazingly there is a common ground on this matter and the conclusion was;



It is down to the instructor, not the agency.”



Interesting.



This, in turn, led me to ask the question:


“Why are there so many agencies?”


I have no idea. I can’t find any real legitimate argument as to why there are just SO many training options. If it’s all down to the instructor, then it shouldn’t matter, especially as most of the top instructors are teaching for several different agencies anyway!



It’s all becoming a little confusing, and I am concerned there is going to be a scuba diver war. With all the acronyms around including: IANTD. GUE. TDI, PADI, BSAC, SDI, UTD – the whole thing is becoming frighteningly reminiscent of my home town, Belfast, which also has its own little abbreviations for various ‘agencies.’



So, in order to avoid the great scuba civil war I have decided there should be only one agency;



The Great Big Scuba Club (TGBSC)





I guessed it would still need to be an acronym; they do seem so very popular.


Now, as with any solution to a great conflict, The Great Big Scuba Club (TGBSC), can only be formed from an acceptable conclusion to the war. We don’t want war in scuba so I have a different idea:



A bar fight.



It makes perfect sense. All divers like a nice beer or 12 after a dive, so this seems like the optimal way to decide who will run TGBSC. Initially, I had figured on running TGBSC myself, but alas I don’t necessarily possess the relevant qualifications to front a whole new scuba foundation.

I know what you’re thinking; I’d be perfect due to good looks, charisma, good looks, charm, good looks, and long hair. However, I realise the masses probably wouldn’t buy it, plus … everyone likes a good bar fight.

Moving back to the “It’s all about the instructor not the agency” mentality, I have decided that every agency should submit its top instructors to take part. Once every agency has picked its representatives they are all sent down to the pub and the ‘The Great Scuba Bar Fight’ can begin.



The rules are simple:



Ø All agencies submit 3 representatives.

Ø All reps are sent to a small pub in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Ø 10 pints of mid-strength lager or cider must be consumed.

Ø No Buckfast allowed – this would give an unfair advantage due to the aggressive tendencies it produces.

Ø Once the 10 pints are finished everyone has to get wired in.

Ø Reps are eliminated once unconscious or dead.

Ø Last man/woman standing is the leader of The Great Big Scuba Club.



It’s a flawless system from what I can see. 




Or so I thought.



When I thought about if a little longer I worked out exactly how it will all go down:




  • PADI reps spend the whole fight on their knees, and won’t be able to throw a decent punch.

  • BSAC form a committee and by the time they contact all their members and finally decide to fight they will have been kicked to death.

  • GUE form a tag-team approach to the fight, but will be unable to have a last man standing as they won’t turn on each other.

  • UTD are so similar to GUE that they get confused and attack their own team members by mistake.

  • CDG show up in helmets and can’t be knocked out.

  • TDI deliver Paul Toomer, but he ends up on Jägermeister and is unconscious before it even starts.

  • Mark Powell will do very well, until the moderators’ notice he skipped the 10 pints for fear of a DCI hit, and will therefore be disqualified.
     
  • DAN swing by, but just keep trying to administer oxygen to everyone.

  • IANTD send in Phil Short alone. He will storm the place fully kitted in a Sentinel, pummelling everyone in his path. Then he will turn on the building, bringing it to the ground, killing himself in the process. 


In conclusion, although I have the solution to the numerous agencies problem in the form of The Great Big Scuba Club; there is no clear winner to spearhead it.


Ultimately it’s all about the diving. Never forget why you started. I started diving to look at things underwater while on my honeymoon in The Maldives. After that, I worked out I would be able to look at things underwater at home as well.




I trained with PADI originally, did some tech with TDI, and will probably do my next course with IANTD. It doesn’t really matter as long as you receive the proper training to enable you to conduct the dives you want in a safe and controlled manner.



So, I wouldn't go tearing up your certification cards yet ………… unless you think you could take on Phil Short after 10 pints?

Scuba diver beaten with club

Who wants to join a dive club?

Scuba diving is generally classed as a sociable past time as it revolves around a group of people sharing a common interest - scuba diving. I would regard myself as quite a sociable person, although in this age of digital networks it’s hard to grasp what sociable actually means. I am beginning to question if I like people at all, or if they like me; in real life that is.


I had over 2000 friends on my old myspace page, yet not so many want to be my friend on facebook; perhaps people are more ignorant on facebook. I don’t really know. Maybe everyone on myspace died, which would certainly explain its plunge in popularity. I hope whoever was last to leave dropped the keys through the letterbox.

Social networks are great but the main problem with internet buddies is that you can’t go diving with them. I can dive with a few, but not many. Most of my internet friends are from across the globe and don’t seem very keen to fly thousands of miles to join me on Sunday morning for a 45min wreck dive in a murky Irish Lough.

Selfish bastards.



As a result, most divers are proud members of a dive club. Everyone except me.





I used to be in a club, but it exploded……….. or imploded ……………. or disintegrated. It was hard to tell.


The club I used to be part of was basically the group of people I learned to dive with. There was the instructor fellow, a couple of DM’s and a few stragglers from previous courses that just seemed to 'hang out' with the instructor generally ‘helping out’ a bit.

When Kerri and I were learning I could have seen the other club members far enough, as it was quite intimidating learning a new sport with all the other “Jedi masters” around who had been doing it for ages. In hindsight, most of them were far from “Jedi masters” and were lucky to come back from any of their dives in once piece.


A standard conversation went like this;



ME: “What’s the deepest you can dive on air to?”

GUY: “Not sure, about a mile I think.”

ME: “Really? That’s great.”



ME: “What regs are you using? I need to get own soon, and would appreciate some advice.”

GUY: “I have a black one and a yellow one.”

ME: “Really? That’s great”



That was when I found myself turning to the internet for scuba advice.



Then there were "The dives."


Now, when I get to dive site I am usually in the water within 40 minutes. I don’t think this is particularly fast, but it does entail donning my undersuit, my dry suit, getting my kit together, donning it, checking it, locking the jeep up and then walking down to the water. It’s not horrendously slow either.



I recall arriving at the dive site with the club at 11am, as instructed. When we got there everyone else was already standing around. ‘This is good’ I thought. It was a shore dive, so all we had to do was kit up and walk in. 

It was a fascinating spectacle to watch 10 divers take SO long to get themselves sorted; arranging who was with whom, and who would be diving first ……. second ……. third ….. last ……. never. It resulted in Kerri and I standing around in our semi-drys, sweating in the sun until 3pm when we finally got a cylinder on.

It was scandalous.

When we eventually got our kit together we always seemed to be last in and were then hurried into the water while being asked not to be too long.



Then there was “The Liability.”



The Liability” shall rename nameless for so many reasons it hurts. Ultimately, it just wouldn’t be fair to do that to the fellow on the World Wide Web. I am not the world’s best diver, I have never stated that, but I honestly believe I am competent and safe. Safer than "The Liability" anyway.



This guy was a legend. He had all the best kit; wet suit, dry suit, undersuit, new BCD, expensive torch - the works. However, this was all wasted as most of his dives were conducted on the boat, finding far too many reasons not to actually get in the water.

I remember a dive when he actually did get in;

The guy in charge of the dive told him to descend first, then let us newbies follow him down. Dutifully ‘The Liability’ gave Kerri and I the ‘thumbs down’ and descended. 2 mins later as Kerri and I were about to follow him he shot up out of the water like a cork! 

He must have come 6 feet out of the water. His BCD was bulging at the seams it was so stuffed with air, his eyes were staring wide, and the craziest thing was, somehow, he had ended up with his octopus in this mouth rather than his main reg!


Outstanding.


The next dive we had with him was from the shore. As usual Kerri and I were waiting around to “share” the weights. This translated to standing on the beach in semi-drys for 2 hours in the hope of finally borrowing a weight belt. At this stage “The Liabilty” had all the club weights on; it appeared to be the only thing he didn't own. Even with 60lbs of lead on his belt, the guy was skimming along the surface, basically snorkelling with scuba gear.


ME: “Good dive?”

THE LIABILITY: “Great thanks. I think I need more weight, but I got wet and that’s the main thing”


Outstanding.



He had another go with 2 of the other guys in the club. They explained, after 5 mins into the dive they turned around to signal to one another and “The Liability” had simply gone. They surfaced a minute later and found him floating near the boat.


DIVER: “What happened mate?

THE LIABILITY: “I lost you, so I dumped my weight belt”

DIVER: “You dumped your belt at 20m?”

THE LIABILITY: “Yeah. You know me – everything by the book.”



Outstanding.



I vowed to never dive anywhere near The Liability ever again.




There were numerous other crazed moments in the club. Dives were cancelled last minute for reasons so obscure it was staggering; diggers were parked in front of the dive store, random hurricanes were forecast, the boat sank, cars broke down, pasta had been spilled on the kitchen floor, everyone was still drunk, the list was endless.



Eventually Kerri and I decided enough was enough. We bought our own cylinders, completing our kit, did some internet research on local dive sites, and basically began diving on our own. 

We have the best dive club ever.

In our club, dives never get cancelled, we go on lots of holidays, no one is ever late, everyone pays their own way, the divers are all at the same training level, dives are conducted properly in a safe manner, we always have fun, everyone gets along famously and we all go home and get into bed together.

I know divers who swear by their club, and are extremely dedicated to its operations. It takes a lot to run a successful club and without a doubt there are advantages. I get my air fills from a local BSAC club; they are nice people and have often asked us to join them.

Ultimately however I have been scarred for life and can’t imagine diving with a large group of divers in such fashion ever again. I just can’t go back to it.

It’s a sad story I know, but please don’t cry. Wife-buddy and I dive very happily, mostly on our own.

In the end we were beaten to death by a club.

I beat I Are Diver with my club!

This is Andy – he’s a deep sea diver!

When I first started diving my friends and family would often refer me to others, saying;

“This is Andy – he’s a deep sea diver!”


I Are Deep Diver
I quite liked the term and made very little effort to correct them, partially because it made me sound really cool, secondly because I have become a complete bore to my the non-divers friends by constantly correcting them on such things as ‘fins not flippers’ and ‘mask not goggles.’

I knew I had reached a very bad place on a particular occasion when I explained to a guy from work that I didn’t breathe ‘oxygen’ at depth, as he suggested, but would only use said gas to aid decompression and in fact breathed air when diving. I then proceeded to explain humans couldn’t breathe oxygen when ‘deep sea diving’ due to an elevated PPO2 level, would definitely convulse and most likely die.


He proceeded to explain that I was not a deep sea diver, but was in fact, a dick. I was then treated to a brief outline as to why that was the case.


The whole point of scuba diving is to go under water. I was able to work that concept out very early on, even without my PADI training. However, once you are trained to scuba dive it brings a whole new question; “How deep can I go?

When I completed my initial PADI courses I was qualified to 30m with no decompression allowed. Now I’m qualified to 45m with as much deco as the dive requires. I know plenty of divers that can dive to 60m, and there are those who can, and do, go deeper. So, what’s considered to be “deep?”

I discovered very early in my diving that depth is not a number. Depth is relative.

PADI Deep Diver

I will never forget my first ‘deep dive.’ As part of my PADI advanced open water course I had to complete a number of dives that exceeded my current training at the time of 18m. I did my PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses back to back so the increase in depth was quite a fast tracked affair.





The majority of my training at that stage was conducted in shallow waters of 8-12m. I had grown quite accustomed to those numbers and when I was told that I would be diving to 22m on the next training dive I nearly did a poo. As usual, my ever faithful wife-buddy was by my side and also nearly did a poo.

Not only was the prospect of the deep dive truly frightening, but we also had to wait an entire week before it would actually happen. This was brilliant, as it gave Kerri and I a whole 7 days to look up lots of tragic scuba diving related deaths of divers going ‘deep.’

The week quickly disappeared and the cold February morning soon arrived bringing the ‘deep dive’ along like its evil twin. When we got to the dive centre wife-buddy and I stayed close together, huddling as if to somehow combine what element of courage we had left into a suitable quantity that could be used to conduct the actual dive. We picked out the gear we needed from the schools supply and headed to the hard hull boat nearby.

Suppressing incredible fear we boarded the ship and headed to the dive site out in the middle of Strangford Lough. I can’t remember the actual name of the dive site; I was more focused on the regulators I would be using…. the "Cressi Sub" ones.

Let me explain.

The dive school had a big old box of regulators. They all worked fine(ish) but some worked better than others. The Tusa regs were always picked first as they breathed quite well, whereas the "Cressi Sub" was the fat, ginger child with thick glasses held together with elastoplasts. In short, no one wanted to use them for any sport, let alone diving.

Big old box of regs

I sat on the boat staring at the heavily worn second stage and browning mouthpiece of the "Cressi Sub," attempting to create a valid situation where they could fall overboard, leading to me getting my paws on the magnificent Tusa regs. Despite many failed scenarios of tripping, passing out and feigning temporary insanity I begrudgingly set my kit up knowing that every rotation of the A clamp was effectively a nail in my coffin.

I glanced at wife-buddy who was putting together her personal brand new set of Tusa regs. Such dark thoughts….

We received our dive brief, buddy checked and conducted a giant stride off the ship and surface swam over to the shot line. Once everyone signalled they were good, I put the old banana coloured mouth piece in and descended into the gloom.

The divemaster escorting us was excellent. He descended backwards looking up at me constantly as the metres ticked by; 2m ………. 5m ………. 10m ………. all the way down to 22m. I held his gaze as if his eyes were providing the very air I was sucking, like a cheap Thai boy, from the "Cressi Subs."

In true PADI fashion I hit the silty bottom on my knees and froze.


Titanic 30m+

When I first decided to be the best scuba diver in the world, wife-buddy and I spent a lot of time reading all the internet, especially anything related to diving. We quickly learned that we would become qualified to dive to 30m, and then dive the world. A little research also showed that The Titanic was 3810m deep. How the hell was I supposed to dive that with a PADI Advanced Open Water certification card? 30m was not deep at all.





Oh, how wrong was I?


At that moment 22m was deep.

Very deep.

The deepest.

Ever.

I stared at the divemaster as he continued to give me the OK signal. Finally my senses returned, I sucked some more air down the "Cressi Sub" and returned the signal. I wasn’t really ok in the normal sense but I was convinced I could hold it together for the short dive we were briefed on.

I followed the DM away from the shot, never allowing his fins out of my sight. A beluga whale could have asked me directions to the local tanning salon and I wouldn’t have allowed my sight to deviate from those Tusa split fins. Tusa = safety, that was the rule for the day.

15mins later I signalled 50bar and thumbed the dive. I had done it, I was alive and thank all the gods there had ever been, it was time to go.

I couldn’t believe what happened next.

There I was, ready to go, and the DM was fooling around with some stupid reel and a big plastic orange sausage thing. It seemed to go on FOREVER. I was now at 49.6bar. I had to leave. I tugged his shoulder and gave the ‘low on air’ signal and thumbed up again. I began to get agitated. The guy had lost it, what was he doing?

I was now at 49.2bar. This was getting critical.

The DM finally appeared to have finished whatever he was building and gave me an OK signal. Then the devil himself must have possessed him as he grabbed my octopus and purged it into the orange sausage.

What the hell was this maniac doing?!! That’s MY air you bastard!!


SMB - for rogering
What was that orange thing for? Had he lured me down here with the pretence of a deep dive but was instead going to roger me in secret with an inflatable phallus? How would I face Kerri after such an ordeal?

Before I could instigate a form of defence against the subsequent orange balloon invasion, and a suitable explanation for Kerri, it shot out of sight with the reel spinning away below. Swiftly the DM started to ascend giving me the thumbs up. We were finally going up, and no rogering. Thank Christ. 5 mins and a safety stop later we were back on the boat.




Deep dive done.


As usual, wife-buddy and I had our own private de-brief about the deep dive on the journey home. As usual, we drew the same conclusion as each other; in this case that deep diving wasn't all it was cracked up to be and we wouldn’t be repeating it. The Titanic dive was going to have to be delayed until the next ice age when the sea level dropped accordingly, to around the 10m mark.

Since then, most of my dives are in the 20m range, and have recently been venturing past the 40m mark. I have only done this as I completed further training to dive deeper. It took me quite a few dives at the 20m mark before I was happy, and the same has proved true of the 45m dives. It’s all about building experience.

I prefer a little depth when diving, I’m in my element at 25m yet one of my favourite dive sites is only 8m deep. At the end of the day I only dive to a depth where I can see stuff.


Lessons learned

- Deep diving uses the same techniques as diving shallow.

- There is no need to dive deep just for the sake of it.

- Don’t dive outside your training.

- Make sure you know how to use smb’s, they’re useful for deep dives.

- Work your way down slowly and get used to diving deeper.

- Don’t bore your friends with diving stories.

- If Cressi’s are the only regs left in the box – sit out the dive*




*Cressi regulators are good regs, it's just that the ones at the school could have done with a service about a decade previous to my use!

The State of Louisiana (NI) and the arguing computer

Sister ship State of Georgia
Dive Site: State of Louisiana, Hunters Rock (NI)

Dive Type: Boat Dive

Dive Attraction: “The State of Louisiana” Shipwreck

Depth: 18m-35m

Experience: Experienced novice





As the years continue to tick by, wife-buddy found herself celebrating yet another birthday, which particular birthday I shall not be revealing for fear of being refused a long hose when I need it the most. To commemorate this mystery day we decided a boat dive was in order on a new dive site.

First I must explain a little history of our local boat diving.

Boat diving in Ireland to date for Kerri and me hasn’t really been a successful venture, in that I have always had good dives, Kerri will have spent the day vomiting over the side. Admittedly this has been localised to rib diving, so we don’t dive from ribs. Usually. A recent visit to the doctor and a prescription for anti sickness medication dedicated to cancer patients, gave wife-buddy a new confidence for falling off a rib.

So with cancer drugs already being administered, we booked a dive with North Irish Diver Ltd charted to dive “The State of Louisiana.”

A quick visit to Irish Wrecks Online gave me the history lesson I needed:


"She was a 3 masted iron vessel built by Windgate on the Clyde in 1872, weighing over 1216 net tons, measured 300 x 35 x 24ft and had 2 decks. On a trip from Glasgow to Larne/New York, she ran aground on Hunters Rock and was badly holed. The buoy marking the rock had been dislodged. On January 13th, 1879, the big steamer cracked into three parts and sank." 


Homework all done, no sign of sickness and only some minor side effect of a numb tongue, (which didn’t reduce Kerri’s ability to talk) we drove the 35 miles to Ballylumford harbour to meet the ship, sorry….. the boat, sorry….. the rib. In super organised wife-buddy fashion, we arrived much too early and had to kill some time wandering around the harbour while I took my usual ‘ability-challenged’ photos.

Wife-buddy at Ballylumford Harbour


After an hour we stared out to sea searching for the dive boat which we presumed would be motoring over the horizon at any moment. Finally the ship arrived, behind me, being towed by a Land Rover; didn’t see that coming.

Rib going backwards
The rib was very deftly reversed into the slipway and professionally lowered into the water. This was an impressive display.

Skipper “Pete” introduced himself to Kerri and me and told us to get changed, get our kit together and carry it all down to the boat. The cylinders were secured in the centre of the rib, under a kitting up bench, and the peripherals were stowed under the seats in very clever hidden compartments.



Pete and random diver Declan
Once aboard the ship we were given a quick informal talk on protocol, where we would be diving, weather conditions and introduced to another “Pete” and a second random diver “Declan.” Nice chaps.

So far the trip was nice and relaxed, although we both had a bit of nerves as we hadn’t dived from a boat of any description in ages.




15-20 mins later the twin engine hard hull rib had us at the dive site. The sea was a little choppy and there was quite a swell brewing. Wife-buddy still hadn’t vomited, although the concentration on her face was a little comical. Kitting up was a challenge and I have to admit I was beginning to feel the effects of the churning waves myself and all potential comedy quickly subsided. Never the less we managed to get our gear on and struggle off the swaying boat with a giant stride from the rear.

I was very glad to be in the water.

The skipper had dumped us right at the shot line which was moored from the wreck 20m below. Nice driving Pete, or is it sailing? I don’t know the exact term for being good at moving a ship around. Either way Pete was doing a good job and I was where I wanted to be.

I have only descended down a shot about a dozen times to date, so it took me a moment to get myself into a decent position in the water for the descent. Buoyancy sorted, right hand on the shot line wife-buddy and I headed down into the greyish blue. The visibility was way better than we had expected, in fact, it was simply amazing at about 15m.

Wife-buddy enjoying the clear water

After only 12m or so we could easily see what appeared to be other divers, yes, I could definitely “see” divers below me, in Northern Ireland! Wow! With our local dive site vis being approx 18 inches, this was fabulous. Moments later we could see the giant compressors of the wreck. Awesome.


Lots of soft corals


We had arrived at the stern section of the wreck and she was very badly broken up over the big rock that she collided with. The boiler and stack were clearly identifiable and we finned about admiring the bits of wreckage. Sea life was quite good, mostly wrasse and the odd giant crab, the edible kind too, but I refrained from taking dinner home with me.



I clocked a maximum depth of 20m which gave us a No Decompression Limit of about 40 mins. As this was a new dive site for us we didn’t stray too far at one time from the shot line. I didn’t really fancy shooting a bag and undertaking a free ascent into the swell above. To keep things simple and safe we simply finned north for 20 kicks, spun around, headed south for 20 kicks back to the shot. The current was picking up so it was getting a bit difficult to gauge distance but the great visibility made navigation reasonably straight forward and we extended our investigations.


Heading back to the shot

The giant boiler was excellent viewing, providing home for vast amounts of soft corals and kelp blowing in the current. The iron girders that spilled around the hold further away were great as well.




With only 4 mins NDL remaining, 90bar and no plans for deco we made our way back to the shot line ascending slightly as we went to start the off gassing. Wife-buddy gave me the home signal and we began are ascent. Again, shot line ascents are not the norm, so I kind of ‘winged’ it a bit, keeping flat(ish) in the water, but maintaining a steady hand on my dump valve along the way.

I did rather well, feeling pretty much in control and amazingly my computer wasn’t screaming at me about my ascent rate. I love my Mares Puck computer, but it does tend to yap at me from time to time. Mostly it goes something like this:



Puck: “You’re ascending to fast you know?”

Me: “No, I’m not.”

Puck:  “Yes you are.”

Me:  “No, I am simply lifting my arm so you can tell me what depth I am at.”

Puck:  “Well, you’re doing it too fast and now you have the bends.”

Me:  “You’re going onto eBay as soon as we get home.”

Puck:  “You’re going to the chamber.”



At 5m we held a safety stop in the ever increasing swell. It wasn’t crazy rough, but enough to make us glad we didn’t have a 20min deco obligation. Clinging onto the very secure shot line helped immensely too. The Puck finally agreed I wasn’t going to die and we surfaced into the swell above.

Skipper Pete was dutifully waiting for us a short distance from the shot line and was waving us over. This was a little optimistic perhaps. However, I had a go. I released the shot and finned like mad towards the ship. Nothing really happened; I just seemed to drift further away from both shot and boat. At this point wife-buddy decided she couldn’t live without me and grabbed for my hand. Kerri now had a shot line in her left, an ‘I Are Diver’ in the right, and a quickly fogging mask.

With wife-buddy effectively blind, and me moments from being whisked into the deep, the skipper motored around the buoy stopping with the ladder just beside us. Nice moves Pete. Kerri handed over her fins and was up the ladder first with a bit of help from the guys above. I threw my legs up, Declan the random diver kindly flipped off my fins, and I hauled myself up the ladder onto the deck of the ship.


A great 47 min dive was had, we were safely aboard and no vomit. This had turned into a good day out. We secured our gear, sat down on the benches and enjoyed the short but rather fast trip back to the harbour.

Once the ship was docked we got our gear back on shore, paid Pete his money and said our goodbyes to him, the other Pete and random diver Declan. We then packed up the jeep and headed home.



Still no vomit.



Lessons learned


  • Be early to the site and have all your kit together. It reduces stress and just makes everything easier. 
  • Get anti sickness pills if you’re prone to illness on ships. See your GP for special ones. 
  • Keep a hand to the shot at all times. 
  • Try and keep flat when descending / ascending to prevent suit squeeze. 
  • Listen to the dive brief. 
  • Pay attention to navigation when diving new sites. 
  • Do your homework on the wreck, makes it more fun to know what you’re looking at. 
  • Computers are argumentative, dive tables instead. 
  • Cancer patients get really good medicine.
Another successful dive!