At 21:55 16/02/2001 -0600, CH wrote:
>> > What a good way to spend the time puttering out to the dive site.
>> > REviewing your gear configuration and you buddies. Some one
>> > ought to put that in the OW courses.
>> This should have been done prior to starting the swim out. I call
>> mine matching or an S drill. Same thing I teach my students.
>OK, I confess, I was thinking of the ride on the boat.  About the only time
>I do a shore dive is when I am acting as a DM with students and that is a
>time when my gear configuration is absolutley positively 100% locked in
>memory cause I have lots of other things to worry about (like shepherding OW

I recently changed my car.  Reason I mention this is that I still
automatically flick the lever (now the wiper controls but on my old car the
headlights) whenever I want to turn the lights on.  I had the old car for
12-13 years, it takes a long time to change a conditioned response in my
experience.  IMO this kind of response can be a help or a hinderance
depending on how it's applied.  Following a set routine until you expect
events to unfold in a certain way is an example of a disaster waiting to
happen, warning signs may be overlooked, your mental picture of the way
things should happen may prevent you from seeing what is actually
happening.  However some examples of a helpful conditioned response would

1) Locating your inflator hose to dump or add air (and perhaps being in the
right orientation to do so too),

2) Locating and drawing a knife to release an entanglement,

3) Locating and deploying a regulator to an OOA diver, and

4) Isolating a freeflowing regulator (for those of use with dual outlet

These are all time critical responses.  The solutions I use in these cases

1) Having a simple structured setup where the inflator hose is kept in
position by a peice of bungie cord (and a secure fitting harness without
all the padding, straps, lapels, etc to get in the way).

2) As above, replace the word "inflator" with "knife"

3) Deploy the regulator in my mouth (easiest to locate), have plenty of
hose to give the OOA diver plenty of room, have the backup reg under my
chin on bungie cord so it's right there when I need it, practice deploying
the primary reg regularly during dives.

4) Practice isolating one first stage and swapping regs regularly.

>divers in almost 0 viz.) Usually on these dives I look like a walking dive
>store.  Snorkel, knife, octo (for air-sharing exercise) pony for a real low
>on     air event, slate, reel, safety sausage.  Last summer someone offered
>to carry my gear up the stairs while I worked with a student.  They got
>about 5 steps and gave up.

One of the reasons I keep dodging the draft whenever an Instructor course
comes up (apart from the fact I don't want to spend my weekends in a pool
doing what I do all week, teaching) is that I don't agree with the sloppy
skills students are taught and implications for equipment configuration.
One common practice locally is to get students to clip their "octopus"
regulator and guages under a chest clip (a slight improvement which I
usually advocate with my charter divers using shop gear is to bend the hose
and push the loop into a lapel of the BC).  They are then taught to go
through this elaborate ballet when donating a regulator which at some point
involves them uncliping the chest strap and presenting this regulator to
the OOA diver.  On the odd times I've had to demonstrate this "skill" in
refresher courses it's taken some practice on my part to work out all the
intricacies.  No if I'm going to instruct I want to teach people simple,
sensible ways to do things they'll remember (and which will work in
practice and with the right gear)...

...back to my point, I'm not going to alter (compromise) a better system
and then stand in front of would be divers and tell them this is the way
you do it (ie. tell them something I don't beleive).  Maybe I can afford to
have principles (this isn't an attack BTW) because I don't make money out
of diving.  People can look at my setup and if they care to ask why the
long hose or why the crotch strap, etc, I'll explain it as best I can and
they can choose to use the information  or not.  Trouble is a lot of cred
comes with an Instructor certification (a lot more than warrented IMO).  As
with other pursuits no single person is the repository of all knowledge and
wisdom.  Often the search for knowledge ends with a certification card
(this is a dig, but not at anyone in particular).



Simon L Hartley
RSM Website Coordinator\First Year Course Coordinator
Associate Lecturer
School of Resource Science and Management
Southern Cross University
P.O. Box 157
Lismore NSW, Australia 2480
Ph: (02) 66203251 or (61 66) 203 251
Fax:(02) 66212669
E-mail: [log in to unmask]