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What do you consider as a experienced diver - Got me thinking , this one

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old time
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<font color='#0000FF'>This has got me thinking , since Prog stated

[/QUOTE]So, what equates to "an experienced diver" in most peoples mind?
.

So POLL TIME , lets here from ya .

My personal views are that a EXPERIENCED DIVER is,

A diver takes divng to his ability and is fully aware of his limitations, diving in the envioroment that he is best suited to, and regulary dives this.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]A diver takes divng to his ability and is fully aware of his limitations, diving in the envioroment that he is best suited to, and regulary dives this.
I agree with that.
 

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old time
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<font color='#0000FF'>U would tho, Dan   as you see what i see all the time here in the channel :S
 

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<font color='#32CD32'>Quals don't mean sh1t! It's all about time in the water.

And it's especially about time in the water that's near to your limits without crossing it.

What I mean by this is if you've got 400 dives under your belt and regulary dive extended range then a 20 minute dive in Leybourne isn't going to improve your skills or experience. These dives become all about kit config rather than limit stretching.

So I vote for time in the water, near to (without dangerously stretching) your limits.

Juz
 

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<font color='#000080'>Probably a diver who has experienced many different types of dives and conditions enough times to be at home in any condition. Numbers don't count much if the dives are very polorised, i.e. if they have 450 dives in warm water only or fresh water.
I also think that some time spent instructing would add to the experience as, if a diver always dives with buddies of equivalent experience and skill, they might not have experienced or be suitable and have the patience for diving with novice of new divers. I've personally seen an Advanced diver (roped into) taking novices in and just standing watching as the novice nearly drowns struggling with kit in 1m of water. Sorry if I digress.

Dave C
 

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To dive or not to dive - that's not even an option
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Juz @ Mar. 21 2004,16:40)]Quals don't mean sh1t! It's all about time in the water.
Too blasé for me, you could have been doing it wrong all that time? I think you need both quals and dives that complinemt each other, and just to sit on the other side of the fence for a second, I also do not agree with highly qualified, and little experienced, divers. They are doing it for the qual and not for the love of diving.

James  
 

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"Three sheds"
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Definitely dives and qualifications, although I believe you're constantly learning from buddies, people on the boat and here.

But it's not just a warm water / Stoney / sea thing. My first dives offa Dover this year were big learning experiences for me as it was the first time I'd dived in the sea in such low viz. Nearly shat myself when I realised I'd gone inside (by about 2m) without meaning to. I'll be reeling off next time!

Laters,
   Janos
 

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i personaly think a good balance between different kinds of diving as well as good training  
ive also found that diving with people who have far more experience than me is great!!!!!! as u pick up some great pointers on diving situations!!
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Janos @ Mar. 21 2004,17:40)]Definitely dives and qualifications, although I believe you're constantly learning from buddies, people on the boat and here.
I'll agree totally with that.

The point I was making on Torbaydiver's thread was that no matter how long you've been doing something, if you're doing it wrong, what use is all your experience?

And is "experience" relative?

Almost all my diving has been up around Oban, but I consider myself as in-experienced whenever I dive anywhere else.
 

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Team Starburst
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<font color='#736AFF'>Not an easy one to answer. I have to put this down to the range of experiences:
warm water and cold water
Poor viz
Number of equipment failures: freeflows, mask strap, reel tangles etc
Lost buddies!!
Rescues
Wrecks visited

Personally I love to dive with people more experienced than myself. Its a great way of picking up little hints and tips.
This is not simply a matter of depth.

My local dive school want me to do the Divemaster course. However I am likely to be trained by instructors with fewer dives and with a much narrower range of dives than myself.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Janos @ Mar. 21 2004,17:40)]Definitely dives and qualifications, although I believe you're constantly learning from buddies, people on the boat and here.
I'll agree totally with that.

The point I was making on Torbaydiver's thread was that no matter how long you've been doing something, if you're doing it wrong, what use is all your experience?

And is "experience" relative?

Almost all my diving has been up around Oban, but I consider myself as in-experienced whenever I dive anywhere else.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>andy,
not to detract from divers with years of experience who i would expect to be more proficient than a recent addition to the ranks but the fact is all divers have experienced the underwater enviroment.
so maybe the question should be asked 'does being experienced guarantee our safety' and i think recent deaths show tragedy can strike anyone who takes to the water with diving equipment strapped to their backs irrespective of previous diving experience.
plan the dive,dive the plan is probably the best practise irrespective of previous experience.

cheers
barrie
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]no matter how long you've been doing something, if you're doing it wrong, what use is all your experience?
What is wrong and what is right? Learn to dive with one agency and they will teach you to do something one way  learn with another and they teach you another way. Surely if you were doing it wrong you would never get to the stage of being experienced?
 

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Doesn't matter what your qualifications are.  I've dived with DM's who in my opinion wouldn't pass an open water course.  We've all encountered them at some point in our diving career.  Qualifications don't equal experience.

The only way to gain experience is to get out there and dive in all areas, weathers and environments.  Get yourself with a club or bunch of people who do this and learn from them.

This beats any course that you can do.
 

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wibble
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<font color='#000080'>I like to stretch my experience and limits every once in a while, otherwise it gets a bit boring.  
For me, at the moment, this is going that wee bit deeper.  Who knows what it will be next!  maybe trimix once i get the required bits of paper (plus have a payrise).
I trained in the north sea, off a rib and by doing shore dives in borrowed kit.  Now, this means jack all really, but i know army porridge diving (cold, wet, gray and lumpy).  As someone said to me, if you can dive in that, you can dive in anything!  I have dived in gale force 8 winds, hellish currents, zero vis, surge, at night, penetrated wrecks, done nitrox, had numerous bits of kit go tits up, fall off etc had buddies have rapid ascents etc but only now do i feel even slightly confident about taking in someone who is a novice.

As a kayaking instructor i saw my fair share of kids who had been to college and taken the course and "knew" how to teach.  They used to scare the shite out of me on a regular basis with their antics and utter inability to control even an easy group such as girl guides (who incidentaly will scream a lot and love to fall in, they also get paranoid "does my bum look big in this wetsuit" - "course it does now get on with it").
I rose up through the ranks of the club, everything i knew based on experience and stealing ideas from my instructors.  In my mind that was the best way to go, and that is how i want to do my diving instructor tickets too.

oh yeah and i did me advanced diver lectures this morning  


*dons flame proof pants and runs like hell*
 

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I don't think I will ever really consider myself an experienced diver, I always wish I knew more and could do more.

With only 200 dives under my belt I really am a beginner at this, but what I am beginning to find is a 'voice' and an opinion.  I am beginning to recognise chancers, lunatics, bar-room experts and gems.  I am beginning to decide what diving I want to do as opposed to the type of diving I 'ought' to do.  I'm making my own decisions regarding my own safety based on my own definition of risk.

Essentially I am beginning to think for myself rather than parroting the views of my instructors.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Essentially I am beginning to think for myself rather than parroting the views of my instructors
Top stuff you have hit the nail on the head.

This is the day when you become a diver, when you can take the experienced of others and add it to your own and come up with an answer. Doesnt matter how you do it as long as you come up with the same answer.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (IDH @ Mar. 21 2004,18:49)]Number of equipment failures: freeflows, mask strap, reel tangles etc
Experience should go a long way to stopping these happening in the first place (the 7 Ps) rather than the sorting out of them adding to it.
 

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When you really think about it this is a fascinating question, What is experiance? In truth you can only really answer this for yourself, one persons experiance can easily be anothers "cock-up".

In this country we tend to think of an experianced diver as someone who has a lot of in water time, in UK conditions, we also have a tendancy to be reverent towards depth, thinking that someone who goes deep "must" be a good diver, I can tell you from my "experiance" this is not true.

If I were to answer this with my definition of an "experianced" diver, I would say it is someone who has done a range of different dives in different conditions, but, and it is a big but. It is also someone who has seen the darker side of diving and come out the other side a little wiser. I have seen some of the best divers I have ever seen in the water, have some kind of problem and loose it.

If I look at the people I choose to dive with they all have this in common. The person I spend most of my time underwater (namely Mark Chase) I trust implicitly, although Mark will deny it, he is an experianced diver, this is by my definition. I have been with him when it has gone (in porgs parlance) nipples topmost. He does not loose control. It is this ability to apply previous gained knowledge (experiance) with a cool head that makes an "experienced diver". In my opinion.

Andrew
 
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