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10 Stupid Things I’ve Done When Scuba Diving October 27, 2008

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Miscellany.
Tags: , ,

In no particular order. There’s plenty more things, I’m sure, but this is enough confessing for one post.

  1. I’ve jumped in the water without my fins – twice, because I was preoccupied with other things. No injury other than to my ego. Taught me to be more methodical and check myself from feet to head before jumping in. I’ve contemplated painting the toes of my booties international orange, maybe with white letters spelling FINS.
  2. In Mexico, I let an unqualified mate from the boat turn my air on. I found out at 60 feet, 10 minutes or so into the dive, that he’d only given the valve a half-turn. Once down to about 2500 PSI, the last second or two of each inhalation was difficult. I tried my octo, and it was the same. I got close to my buddy and started to prepare to surface. I glanced at my pressure gauge while I was inhaling, and saw it drop to zero, then pop back up again as I exhaled – and then realized what the problem was. I swam over to the divemaster and signalled that he should open my valve the rest of the way, continuing the rest of the dive without incident. Always check it yourself.
  3. Also in Mexico, I let the instructor on the boat insert my weight pockets into my BC. One fell out during the dive, although it was only 5 pounds and I managed to get it reinserted. Note to self – always check my own gear – better yet, prepare it myself too.
  4. I’ve jumped in the water with the zipper open on my dry suit. Fortunately I was near a handhold and had a lot of lift in my BC. Almost did it another couple of times but my buddies caught it. I think one of the advantages of a suit with the zipper in front is that it’s much more obvious. The reason I forgot is because I was distracted by something else.
  5. Diving in a local lake and at 95 feet, I got lost while using a 25 year old compass (a Scubapro LS-1) that wasn’t in good shape, and the card got stuck under water. I surfaced and swam back to the entry point. While decompressing (I stayed down a long time trying to find my way back) I let the compass boot slip of the wrist strap. The compass wasn’t worth anything but the strap and boot might have been useful to me or someone else. In fact just a couple of weeks ago I saw on a scuba forum that someone was looking for one.
  6. I was practicing filling my signal tube/lift bag and got the strap caught around my regulator, pulling it out of my mouth and dragging me toward the surface. I got it all sorted out after ascending from 35 to 18 feet. I thought I was doing everything right but it is something more to look out for.
  7. I was swimming along with another guy after recovering a lost weight pocket with about 16 pounds of weight in it. I was carrying it in my right hand, and he was holding it with left. We were swimming up the slope and I couldn’t reach the dump valve of my BC or Dry Suit with my left hand, so I had to let go of the weight at a depth 60 feet to reach the valve. This put me in a runaway ascent (and dropped him to the bottom) as I couldn’t dump air fast enough (although I should have let it out from my neck seal). I flared for the last 20 feet or so to slow myself down and concentrated on breathing regularly.
  8. I entered the water with about 1200 PSI to help out a Open Water class. The instruction took longer than anticipated and once down to 300PSI I had to signal the instructor that I was low on air and return to the surface. It wasn’t a big deal for him but I should have planned ahead better and got a fresh tank before going in. One of the students might have needed air.
  9. I wrote out deco tables on a wrist slate so poorly I couldn’t read them underwater. I had another copy on my fin, but in the heavy current had great difficulty actually getting my foot in the right position to read them.
  10. I wore a pair of worn-out gloves on a dive on the Jodrey. The tips of the fingers were worn right through. Having to hang on to the rocks covered in Zebra Mussels, I cut the tips of my fingers up. No stitches needed but they hurt for a week.

Through experience and mindfulness I hope to do less stupid things in future.



1. The Big Scuba Gear Purchase « Chronicle of an older diver - November 4, 2008

[…] A Scubapro LS-1 Compass – the compass finally failed on me during a dive this year, and then slipped of its wrist strap and disappeared into Lake Simcoe, as described in an earlier post. […]


2. Keystorm Error « Chronicle of an older diver - August 27, 2009

[…] Keystorm Error August 27, 2009 Posted by deepstop in Dive Log, Shipwrecks, Technical Diving. Tags: Adventure, Brockville, Decompression, Dive Training, Divemaster, Diving, Enriched Air, Nitrox, Outdoors, SCUBA, Scuba Diving, Scuba Training, Shipwreck, Sport, St. Lawrence River, Technical Diving, Training, Wreck Diving trackback This post comes as kind of a confession. I know that many of my diving friends read this so it’s not easy to write this down, but it’s in my log book so it deserves to go here. Almost a year has gone by since it happened . I even left it out of my previous confession called 10 stupid things I’ve done when Scuba Diving. […]


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