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<font color='#000080'>When my wife and I first started diving we had considered signing underwater.  She had learnt through her job and I thought it would be useful to communicate underwater.  

Although I do agree it is a valuable skill generally, and a bonus as an Instructor if you have hearing impaired students, we didn't pursue it for main underwater contact. I felt that our own diving signals are concise, very much to the point and are proven, and need to be instinctive. Above all if you sign it does take your full attention away from what you're doing - you couldn't carry on a signed conversation while driving for instance.

I read a letter in this month's Dive mag where these points were raised by someone else and a very laudable idea it is too. It's one thing if you're on a bit of a bimble in some nice warm water or bored on a deco stop and fancy a chat, but I'm not sure it is such a benefit, or desirable for "normal" diving.

What do you think?
 

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Kim

I have wondered about it in the past, but I have never bothered to learn for diving's sake - the buddy needs it too.

I have seen mis-understanding u/w that could have been avoided by signing. Better still if divers had not 'interefered' with other pairs.

To be of benefit to all divers, we would all have to sign the same way. IIRC, there are dialects of sign language too.

Adrian
 

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I used to able to sign enough to hold a conversation when I was a youger lad but I probalily couldn't do that now.

I also used to use sign whilst I was at Uni (my house-mate could sign). Really handy for noisey pub comunication!

Bez'
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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I will kill any one who teaches my wife to talk underwater.


I get nagged enough on the surface

Mark Chase
 

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wibble
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<font color='#000080'>I used to work as a watersports instructor and we had loads of signs for the kids, ie miserable git, cold, big mouth etc etc without actually letting the kids know what we were saying about them (not standardised signs, we just made them up).  It was very useful to be able to, for instance, include the miserable one in games in a central role to help cheer them up and get them going etc.  
The other thing was a set of signals for shooting weirs where the white noise of the water will drown out even the lousest voice.  It let the people at the top know the person going down the weir was ok, and if the weir was nasty at all.

I play scissor, paper stone on deco stops.  Good fun until your buddy gets a winning streak.
 

The Digger sign for cold is very graphic, but hey it works!
 

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Duvet Diver
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BSL does not work very well underwater, it works best when the person signing is standing facing you. However you could probably work it so it was acceptable.
However my knowledge of bsl is limited (i think I know about 5 words!) so I just go up to my buddy, get their attention, and talk through the reg, If you are careful it's amazing how much can be understood!

Simon A
 

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To dive or not to dive - that's not even an option
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If it were that good an idea all dive agencies would teach it. Most divers don't even know the normal signs let alone new ones. Plan your dive and know your existing signes, if you realy get stuck, buy a wrist slate, much easier than teaching all your buddies sign.


James E H / ? : { ~ Y


The above dosen't mean anything, but I bet you were confused??  
 

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Small, yet perfectly formed...
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my sister and i both did a bit of signing when we were younger and we tried it last year in egypt. we were a bit rusty so found it slow and to be honest normal diving signs are fairly graphic and easier to understand. it's nice when you dive with people regualry and so get to extend your lexicon of signs to include ones you have made up or in jokes. we used to have a load of them and could have a whole conversation on a safety stop.
jules
 

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Because I've been diving with the missus for a while, we have built up a good rapport, especially abroad when you can see what signs the other person is doing


When diving with other buddies it's much harder. I must invent a sign for "WTF is that supposed to mean?"

Laters,
   Janos
 
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