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SCUBA-L  July 2001, Week 1

SCUBA-L July 2001, Week 1

Subject:

Getting narced! (Was Re: dive, dive, dive)

From:

David Strike <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scuba diving discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 7 Jul 2001 10:15:03 +1000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (79 lines)

On Saturday, July 07, 2001 12:08 AM, Hugh Huntzinger wrote:

(snip)
> > As a person who seems to be more susceptible to narcosis than
> > many, I know that my tolerance varies enormously and is related
> > to factors other than depth alone.  (Even the effects vary
> > dramatically - from an impending sense of dread right the
> > way through to euphoria and over-confidence!).

> Agreed...this is where I was going.  I normally consider myself to
generally
> be good to ~100fsw, but my wakeup call from complacency was a nasty "cold
> narc" (paranoia/dread/doom) that occurred at ~60fsw during a rushed
descent.
> Since then, no dive is ever assumed to be 'okay' based simply on depth.

It's often stated - but seldom believed, (and usually goes un-noticed) -
that narcosis begins at even the most innocuous of depths.  :-)

In the 'dark' old days, I used to do two deep working dives a day, (on
air!), for two week stretches at a time followed by a week ashore.  After
that one week lay off it, took me two or three dives before I was capable of
carrying out meaningful work and where I wasn't combatting the effects of
narcosis.

Even when I felt and believed that I was - once again - in total control of
the situation and had overcome the insidious effects of narcosis, the
reality would hit home when I was obliged to do a survey and write my
findings, with diagrams, on a slate.  What I considered - at depth - to be
works of art worthy of hanging in the National Gallery, often turned out to
be indecypherable twaddle when I was back on the surface - and necessitated
re-doing the task!  :-)

Fortunately for my continuing employment prospects, I wasn't the only person
thus effected!  :-)

Few of us doubt the effects of alcohol on our reaction times when, for
example, driving a car.  (Even 'though some people display a greater
tolerance than others, there is a marked slowing down of such reaction times
and ability to think rationally.  The more drinks, the greater the effects.)

With nitrogen narcosis those effects can be exacerbated by other factors.
Apart from those previously mentioned, there's also the question of air
purity, (less of a problem today), and even speed of descent coupled with
CO2 build-up.

Undoubtedly there are people who - under certain conditions and where a
combination of factors come together under the right circumstances -
actually manage to function as well, or better(?), when exposed to moderate
amounts of narcosis.  (As with small quantities of alcohol!)  But attempting
to predict when, where, or at what depth that might occur, is a pointless
and risky exercise!  (I know that I may not have explained that terribly
well, but hopefully the idea comes across?)  :-)

> > (Having just reviewed that partial list, it's a wonder that I
> > ever get wet!) :-)

> Its for the photographic rewards <grin>.

You have obviously never seen my u/w pics!  :-)

> BTW, I recently finished reading two of John Shaw's photography books
(ISBN:
> 0817440593 & ISBN: 081743710X).  While he's into outdoor photography, not
> UW, I found his discussion on exposure & metering in particular to be
> extremely useful...a real "ah ha!", even after all these years with a
> camera.  Applying it, I found that he helped to significantly increase my
> yield in Alaska last month, particularly on harder-to-properly-expose
> subjects (ice & glaciers with slide film).  I don't know yet how well he
> will translate to UW photo, but I expect that it will be beneficial.
Worth
> looking him up.

I'm always in the market for pointers on how to take u/w photographs that
look as though they weren't taken in a dark cave at midnight using natural
light!  :-)

Strike

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