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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently I was diving at Stoney and had just started a dive. I was making my way to the platform by the submarine to do some skills with my OW students when a couple of other divers swam underneath me on their way to the exit. One of them turned to look at me, then he looked down at my feet. He was only a couple of metres away and I could just hear the cogs whirring and grinding...'Where are that divers fins?' :confused:He looked up at my face again. And then back down to where my fins should be. He was obviously having trouble working it all out so he poked his buddy and pointed at me. So the buddy turned round and looked me up and down too.:confused: :confused:So I now had 2 people staring at me as though they'd just seen something from another planet. :eek:It was then that I gave them both a great big 2 handed wave with my webbed-gloved hands and carried on 'breast-stroking' my way to the platform and thought nothing of it.

After the dive my students and DM all commented on the two gawpers from the dive and we all had a laugh about it. A little later, I was in the car park looking up at the map from my wheelchair and a voice behind me said 'Aaaah, it must've been you I saw mucking about in the water earlier'. 'Mucking about? You mean diving?' was my reply. And so an amiable converstion ensued...

What I found interesting about this experience was the divers initial reaction to seeing someone in the water that isn't 'normal' and their unintentional, slightly patronising manner when they realised I have a disability. Yes, I do things a bit differently but I'm still doing it. I don't do it to prove anything. I dive because I want to. Which is exactly the same reason why we all dive. Isn't it?
 

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Winding up the precious since 2009
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A little later, I was in the car park looking up at the map from my wheelchair and a voice behind me said 'Aaaah, it must've been you I saw mucking about in the water earlier'. 'Mucking about? You mean diving?' was my reply. And so an amiable converstion ensued...
I spend 90% of my time in the water mucking about.........
 

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I get strange looks to when I dive, particularly when getting kitted up, because my suit is different from the norm. Just human nature to look at something unusual. I bet your attention is caught by a species of fish that you have never seen before.
 
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The worlds slowest sailor.
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and i spend a lot of time putting my fins on and taking them off.
 

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Bon Jovi looked right at me
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I think I'd probably double take but like to think I'd connect the dots and not stare. Just because we don't c it all the time doesn't mean its not all ok.

Wishing u a long, happy and safe diving career
 

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Glad to be away from the flatlands
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I would love to see a piccy if you have one. Diving with out fins. I would love to give that a try some day. May be if people were aware that there are disabled divers and some the the things they have change to enjoy what the rest of take for granted that would be really a good thing.
 

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Personally I would think there is someone who has forgotten to put his fins on, so long as you didn't look to be in difficulty I would pass you by, I wouldn't join the dots and doubt many would.

I think maybe you are looking to deeply into this...

If something is different people will react to it differently...no big surprises there.

I believe in treating everyone equally so wont give you a high five you for being a disabled diver as I wouldn't high five a fully able bodied person for being able to dive. I will say well done on not allowing difficulties from stopping you enjoying life to the full though.

Just don't condemn people for being curious/confused/interested.
 

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RESPECT!! I jumped in without my fins on at Gildensludge once <face palm> , found it very difficult to turn round and get back out. Also had a fin break on the bottom whilst diving the Volney - again not something I would wish to repeat.
 

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All we wanted was a home... Manics
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I'm sure the bemused divers meant nothing by their actions and are probably cringing now they have perhaps worked out you were a wheelchair user. It's hard to be encouraging without sounding patronising but I can only say I have ultimate respect for anyone who can overcome some pretty difficult obstacles in order to enjoy what is a fab hobby. Hat off to you - its hard enough to slog along in a drysuit and all the clobber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm sure the bemused divers meant nothing by their actions and are probably cringing now they have perhaps worked out you were a wheelchair user. It's hard to be encouraging without sounding patronising but I can only say I have ultimate respect for anyone who can overcome some pretty difficult obstacles in order to enjoy what is a fab hobby. Hat off to you - its hard enough to slog along in a drysuit and all the clobber.
You're totally right. As are the other guys/gals that have taken the time to post. Those divers weren't to know my personal circumstances but it was funny to see the look of confusion on both of their faces.

I've just re-read my OP to make sure that I'm not coming across in the wrong way. I don't mean to sound judgmental of them or anything and yes I know it can be tricky to give compliments or be positive about something/someone without sounding patronising but I'm always up for a laugh, even if it is at my own expense. You have to have a sense of humour in life cos you only get one shot at it and it's gotta be fun, eh?

BTW, those webbed gloves posted above are pretty much exactly the same as the ones that I use and they make so much difference especially if there's any current. The last time my girlfriend and I dived together, I took my gloves off and gave them to her to try. She loved them and said she preferred them to fins. So who knows? Maybe those newfangled webbed gloves things will take off :wink:
 

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miles away from salty waters
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I have to admit that I was stunned the first time seing a diver happy passing by without fins. First thought, something is different. Second thought, Oh, yes, he doesnt have fins. Third thought, he managed just fine. Why do I bother with these awkward fins?
cheers
 

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So long and thanks for all the fish!
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So... is this the wheeliebloke who did my OW and AOW? If so - let me know next time you and G are heading to stoney and I'll do my best to come up and splash about with you two :)

If not, hiya anyway and maybe see you in the water some time... I may peer at you a bit but that's only to see if the diver without fins is someone I know or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Remember this one?

I certainly do remember that one. Those 2 weeks in SA were awesome. The best shark dives i've ever done were all on that trip (apart form a Whale Shark in Sharm). And the Sardine Run? Well, what more can I say? It doesn't get much better than that, eh? Not to mention, that's where we first met. The beginning of a beautiful relationship :wink:

For everyone else, just to explain that pic a little. Would you believe that I'm the guy on the left, yep, the one with no fins :wink: and the bloke behind me is holding me still. There were scores of sharks around us being fed so we were briefed to keep our hands tucked in close to our body, which basically meant that I couldn't move in the water at all.
 
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