A selection of informational articles written by Mr. Grateful Diver.
People often ask me what I mean when I use the term “Gas Management”. My answer is that it means you’ve developed diving habits that enable you to base your dive plan on the amount of breathing gas you’re bringing with you. Often they’ll then ask why that’s necessary. Isn’t it enough to just watch your SPG and start your ascent when you start to get low? Well, that might work … but it really depends on the type of dive you’re doing, and how comfortable you are “winging it”. Read more →
The Allure of the Deep
Many divers, especially newer divers, develop a fascination for how deep they can go. I can recall that, as a new diver, I couldn’t wait to “notch” my first 100-foot dive. Over the years, I’ve observed that it’s fairly common for divers who are just starting to get comfortable with their underwater skills to push depth limits as a way of challenging themselves, or simply to satisfy a curiosity about what’s down there. Read more →
Oh, Solo ... Me? ... Oh!
I received an e-mail from a friend who wanted an instructor’s perspective on solo diving. He asked “How do I determine if I’m ready for solo diving”? It’s a good question, but difficult to answer … especially for an instructor representing a training agency that mandates diving with a buddy. But I gave it some thought, and I’d like to use this column to share some of those thoughts with you. Read more →
The Photographer’s Dive Buddy
Like many of you, I like to take pictures underwater. And before I got a camera, I dived frequently with other people who took pictures. Bringing a camera underwater … or diving with someone else who does … can put a strain on a dive buddy relationship. I’d like to share with you some of the things I’ve learned over the years about being a photographer’s dive buddy … and about diving with others while I was the photographer Read more →
Uh Oh … I’m in Deco
One of the things we learned in our Open Water training is that sport diving is supposed to be within no-decompression limits (NDL). Back in the “old days” divers used tables to keep track of nitrogen buildup during their dives, and to determine how much no-decompression time they could plan for on their next dive. These days almost everyone uses a dive computer that monitors your dive profile and tells you on a continual basis how much no-decompression time you have remaining at a given depth. Keeping track of your NDL is a simple matter of watching the display on your dive computer. Read more →
Hey! Where’d my buddy go?
I watched it happen … standing on the beach at one of my favorite dive sites and looking out I saw a lone diver surface. Watching to see what he’s up to I watch him look around for a couple of minutes, then submerge. A few seconds later, another lone diver surfaces 100 feet away. He does the same thing. A few seconds later the first diver pops back to the surface again. I holler out and tell him to wait on the surface … his dive buddy will be right back. He waits, and in a few minutes, the two are reunited. Read more →
Clearing the Air about Nitrox
A couple of weeks ago I was approached by a young woman who was interested in taking a nitrox class. When I asked her why she wanted to dive nitrox she replied, “Because my boyfriend wants me to do deep dives with him, and I’d just like that extra margin of safety.” I explained to her that while I’d be happy to teach her the class, that’s not really what nitrox was for. As was the case with this young woman, certain misconceptions about nitrox are common. When considering whether using nitrox would be right for you, it helps to understand what value it can bring to your diving. Read more →