Posts Tagged ‘travel’

"If you don't let me use my strobes I'll scream and scream until I can't scream anymore...so there!"

“If you don’t let me use my strobes I’ll scream and scream until I can’t scream anymore…so there!”

In breaking news at The Scuba Monkey’s top-secret research labs (next to Nangtong Supermarket, ask for Bob, the guy with the red beard and glasses) new research has revealed that that boarding a diving vessel can have an adverse effect on mental age and cognitive ability.

In a sample of average holiday divers from Australia to the Red Sea it was found that normal, rational, adult humans who normally hold down responsible jobs in day-to-day life transform into mentally challenged 8 year old children on boarding a diving safari boat.

Sally Arseface, a 31 year Financial Advisor, from Toronto, Canada, said “In my normal working life I can manage to set an alarm clock, get washed, dressed AND catch my bus to work like a normal adult – where I then manage a team of 8 people.” “However”, she said shaking her head, “as soon as I set foot on the boat I appear to have morphed into a petulant 7 year old girl who eats Haribo and chain-watches ‘Frozen’ on DVD. I can’t manage to wake up when scheduled without a wake up call from my Dad, sorry, Instructor. And I can’t arrive on time for a dive briefing despite normally catching a bus twice a day in the ‘real world’. I really have no idea what has happened to me…baffling.”

"Ok, so you've eaten now. Now they'll be a briefing in 30 mins ok?"

“Ok, so you’ve eaten now. Now they’ll be a briefing in 30 mins ok?”

Mike Weaselface, a 47 year old IT consultant from Norway and complete prat said “Back home in Norway I work in the corporate world and am able to follow simple instructions, guidelines and rules without any problem. I drive my car within the rule of the road. I work in my business within the professional guidelines set out, I’m polite with colleagues and yet… as soon as we arrived at the dive centre myself and my wife inexplicably began behaving like a pair of complete twats. My wife threw her cert cards at the instructor like a petulant teenager who’s been told she’s grounded. And then when advised to dive as instructed within local guidelines and not flash delicate marine life, touch coral and follow local ecological guidelines we both began stamping our feet on the boat and throwing a hissy-fit to the tour leader like a pair of toddlers denied ice-cream. It’s embarrassing really.”

Rene Bignose, 53, from Lyon, said “I’ve regressed so far back to infancy since arriving at the dive centre I can’t even manage to dress myself on the boat and have to have a team of local staff put on my wetsuit and fins. I’m like some sort of retard. I even went so far as to leave all the windows open in my cabin when it was raining so that the electric fan would catch fire because I have the mental age of a 4 year old now.”

"Put my fins on! Put my fins on!"

“I don’t know where I left my weight belt!”

Arlene Cousteau, 35, a local instructor, said “It’s strange seeing grown adults not even be able to keep track of where they left their towel or t-shirt. It’s like a temporary lobotomy on check-in. Some days we’re left with 20 Forrest Gumps on the boat. Still, you have to humour them or in this day and age they’ll write a snotty review on Trip Advisor if the water is too salty or the fish don’t look fishy enough for them. Bless ‘em.”

In breaking news at the Scuba Monkey’s top secret research labs it’s been revealed that working full-time in the diving industry for a period in excess of 2-3 years may result in an affliction known as ‘Instructor Tourettes’.

We only asked him where a nice place to get pizza was - now we've got a full briefing.

We only asked him where a nice place to get pizza was – now we’ve got a full briefing.

Sufferers of this condition display several signs and symptoms. If you notice any of the following in your diving colleagues or yourself, please notify your dive centre manager and seek medical advice:

  • Inability to communicate without using hand signals (ask your colleague or friend to say ‘moray eel’ and see if they can keep their hands still)
  • Sufferers usually speak in a slow, broken, grammatically incorrect form of generic non-regional English although they’re talking to a 5 year old.
  • Faint aroma of salt-water at all times.
  • White band on arm where dive computer would normally be present.
  • Collection of well-worn and slightly aromatic fake quicksilver/billabong flip-flops.
  • Collection of salt-stained and faded dive centre t-shirts.
  • Bags under eyes due to sleep deprivation/nitrogen loading.
  • Disproportionately small bank balance and/or large overdraft.
  • No socks.
  • Panic attacks in big cities/crowds.
  • In acute cases sufferers may turn every conversation into a dive briefing.
danger_scuba_diving_signal

Help me…I can only talk in hand signals. No-one warned me about this on my Divemaster course.

Mike, 42, from Ipswich, said “I used to be a professional in the corporate world. Now, after several years working in the diving industry, I can’t hold a normal conversation without discussing fish or using my hands to signal – even ordering a beer at a bar I start talking like I’m a childrens TV presenter. It’s embarrassing. My friends just take the piss out of me.”

Emma, 37, from York, said “I’ve been an instructor working in Asia for 8 years. When I landed back in London and was faced with the modern world I was like Crocodile Dundee or some sort of caveman who’d been thawed out from the ice-age and never seen civilization before – I could barely cross the road without freaking out.”

The best treatment should you have a friend or colleague suffering in this way is to provide them with lots of cold beer and a comfortable bed for a few nights.

Please help these poor unfortunate souls to rehabilitate into normal life.

With time and effort these people can regain normal behaviour and speech patterns and become useful members of society again.

Invisible to most novice divers.

Invisible to most novice divers.

In breaking news today at The Scuba Monkey’s top-secret research labs (just off the A12, near the Texaco Fuel Station and Wild Bean Café, ask for ‘Bob’, red-beard, glasses, you know the bloke…) groundbreaking new evidence has been uncovered regarding novice divers.

Previous schools of thought has assumed that completing your introductory one or two scuba diving courses had no bearing on the students’ eyesight or powers of perception. However, recent evidence has suggested that being a novice diver in the 10-100 dive range can drastically impair vision and memory.

Dr. A Hedgehog of Scuba Monkey Labs commented “…in recent tests these new divers went through a transformation following their basic training. Not only did they, seemingly overnight and for no reason, develop an over-inflated sense of their own diving ability – which in today’s narcissistic society is perfectly normal – but more surprisingly appeared to lose a large proportion of their vision or memory when diving.’

A narcissistic idiot earlier today.

A narcissistic idiot earlier today.

Asked to elaborate, Dr A Hedgehog said “As you’re aware, an experienced diver can usually enjoy the full underwater experience regardless of environment; the topography, the ambience, the water movement, the variety of life from small hermit crabs, dancing shrimps and nudibranchs to schooling fish and beyond, the history of the wreck, the interaction with fellow divers, the peace and tranquility and the sheer wonder of simply being underwater all are enough to keep the experienced diver amused…usually for the whole duration of the dive.”

“However”, he said shaking his head sadly, “this 10-100 logged dives demographic seem unable to focus on anything in-water aside their own, personal, diving needs and bragging rights on the boat – and are only able to physically see something if it is aquatic life greater than 3-4m in size that is physically pointed out to them with the accompaniment of a repeated ting-ting-ting sound – a bit like Pavlov’s dog. Astounding.”

Beautiful...they'll never see them.

Beautiful Bluefin Trevally…they’ll never see them.

We caught up with a diver just surfaced from a dive in the Indian Ocean. Boarding the boat from a stunning dive where Turtles, Peacock Mantis Shrimps, Trevally, Moray and a school of over 100 barracuda were present, Fabrice Crotch, 27, an enormous twat from Switzerland who works in accounting said “I’m an Advanced Open Water diver with 25 dives and I didn’t see a Whale Shark on that dive. In fact I didn’t see anything. Boring. I did manage to kick the other members of my dive group on the head several times and set off the ascent alarm on my computer though, so not all is lost.”

The crowned-prince of twats.

The crowned-prince of twats.

Asked by our research team if he had any other recollection of the dive he rolled his eyes threw his mask randomly on the floor in with someone else’s equipment to cause delays searching for it prior to the next dive, before picking up his iPhone and standing in the middle of the dive deck obstructing everyone else.

We next managed to catch up with Terry Balls, 42, a Carpet-fitter, UKIP voter and irritating arse from Barnsley, UK, at Scapa Flow, Europe’s premier wreck diving site. As he was lifted back onto the boat from a dive on the historic German Battlecruiser, SMS Dresden, we managed to grab Terry’s first words: “It was a bit cold… The instructor said something about a gun or anchor capstan or something, but I didn’t see it…pretty boring.”

"I can't see a Barracuda - how can you expect me to see a fan coral?? Don't worry a new one will grown in a few decades."

“I can’t see a Barracuda – how can you expect me to see a fan coral?? Don’t worry a new one will grow in a few decades.”

This phenomena is still being investigated by the world’s leading Ophthalmologists and Neurologists to decipher causality but there appears to be a strong link between being an inexperienced diver in combination with being an enormous idiot.

Instructor Carlotta Gonzales Fernandez from Tossa de Mar, 33, said, “…these new divers seem to have an uncanny ability to filter out anything smaller than a large eagle ray. I once took my group through a school of dozens of hunting trevally and afterwards they said the dive was boring and they’d seen nothing. Yes, they were idiots.”

Are you a recreational diver? Are you off on holiday soon? Doing some diving? Will you have a diving professional guiding you during the dives? Here’s a few really great ways to get on their nerves, make their life difficult and generally compromise the safety of yourself and the rest of the dive group courtesy of Scuba Monkey diving research labs.

Diving professionals are employed globally to lead dives and offer local diving safety advice and diving tips to certified scuba divers. Each diver paying for this service is, therefore, a qualified diver with an autonomous diver qualification seeking the underwater guidance and dive planning of a diving professional.

However, in this lesson (and it is a lesson) our team of recreational diving experts will show you how you, too, can liven up their dull lives and annoy your diving professional to the brink of a nervous breakdown.

So, sit back and learn some key techniques that will mark you out to experienced diving professionals as a enormous bell-end and someone they can’t wait to see the back of.

 

1. Equipment Savvy

Tom Perkins, 46, of Berkshire, an IT professional and Open Water qualified diver with 32 dives, said “I like to irritate my dive guides by having no clue about diving equipment set-up. I find the best way to get on my Divemaster or Instructor’s nerves is to either a) stare blankly at my scuba equipment for 20 minutes before each dive like a caveman who’s been thawed out of ice after 7000 years and has just seen scuba equipment for the first time – holding up the rest of the dive group – or, b) claim I know what I’m doing before connecting up the hoses incorrectly and leaving the tank band loose to ensure there’s an in-water incident. The key to this annoyance technique is to not be prepared for a diving trip and – certainly – not to take a diving refresher session before the holiday.  And, additionally, ensure you omit a buddy check before entering the water for maximum annoyance. Divemasters and Instructors like nothing better than securing a loose tank by man-handling the cylinder back into a BCD band at 18m in my experience. Livens up their day.”

Annoyance Score: 6

Wrong regulator in? Check. No computer? Check. No Clue? Check.

Wrong regulator in? Check. No computer? Check. No Clue? Check.

 

 

2.  Weight Clueless

Sarah Jones, 35, a HR manager from Bolton says “I trained with BSAC, so naturally my favourite trick on safari boats and day trips is to absolutely insist that I need about 6kg more on my weight belt than I actually need for the dive. It’s a great tactic. This means my buoyancy is completely screwed and I move around beneath the surface like a chimpanzee riding an invisible unicycle, guzzling my air at a rate of knots and compromising the length of the dive for everyone else. On a good day I can have my dive group back at the surface in 25 minutes and my dive guide still with 150bar in his or her tank. Brilliant. I might also ask the guide to carry spares in their BCD for me, like some sort of underwater ‘pack horse’. Then for an added annoyance I complain about the length of the dive as if it’s their fault. It’s great watching their blood boil. The key to this technique, like many you’ll hear, is to be absolutely unwavering in your belief that you know more about diving than someone who does more than 500 dives a year for a living and is trained in dive management.”

Annoyance Score: 5

No, I usually dive with 33kg. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

No, I usually dive with 33kg. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 

 

3. Fashionably Late

Tammy Lawrence, 24, from Baltimore, USA, has this fantastic way to grate on your dive guide and group “I like to be late for each dive briefing despite knowing exactly when the next briefing will be and then, while everyone else is getting ready for the dive, f*ck around with my camera or decide that this moment – at the end of a 2 hour surface interval – is the ideal time to start a conversation with someone else in another group. If I do it right the captain and crew can be circling the boat around the dive site for a good 10-20 minutes burning fuel waiting for me – or, for bonus points, I can have the rest of my group standing waiting in full equipment and getting increasingly hot and tired with the weight on their backs. They love that! For a full score on this one make sure you’re late getting ready and, at the 11th hour when you’re nearly ready, find you’ve left your computer in a personal bag in the cabin meaning you have to de-kit and repeat the whole process. After all – the dive is all about me!”

Annoyance Score: 7

Similan-Islands-Liveaboard

Take your time…we’ll just stand here fully kitted and circle the island while you grease the o-ring for your camera.

 

 

4. Computer Crashing

Bill, 39, from Montreal, a car salesman and Advanced Open Water diver with nearly 46 dives says “I like to always arrive for a day’s diving with a brand new diving computer I’ve bought online that I’ve never read the instructions for – or even taken out of the box until the day – and then expect the guide to know each individual brand of dive computer’s functions intricately. For real impact and maximum irritation you’ll approach your dive guide 3 minutes before the dive with lots of questions about the computer and no sign of an instruction manual. Then, and you’ll like this, I like to ignore common sense and put the computer on my left wrist instead of the correct right wrist so that every time I wave my left arm around on ascents and descents making adjustments to my BCD or drysuit it starts beeping and giving me warnings. It’s particularly good doing that on ascents so I can’t read it with my left hand moving up and down in a venting position. It then begins beeping repeatedly – that way my dive guide thinks I’m having a rapid ascent or crashing straight through a safety stop – and has to keep spinning around to check. Which sometimes I also like to do to keep them on their toes!” said Bill grinning.

Annoyance Score: 3.5

We're jumping in 2 minutes. Can you just show me how to adjust for a different gas mix on this? and how to change the algorithm? Thanks.

We’re jumping in 2 minutes. Can you just show me how to adjust for a different gas mix on this? and how to change the algorithm? Thanks.


 

5. Mutiny Beneath The Waves

Frank Wilson, a 51 year old quantity surveyor, from NSW, Australia offered this top-tip. “I particularly like to ruin my dive guide’s day by completely ignoring that he/she is supposed to be leading the dive and lead the dive myself by swimming off like a torpedo, unannounced, in a random direction until I’m out of vision. Have I been to the dive site before? No. Do i know where I’m going? Not a f*cking clue. Am I keeping an eye on my depth, no-stop limits, my buddy, currents or air consumption? Don’t be bloody stupid! That just adds to the fun! The secret of making this look plausible – and that I’m not simply taking the p*ss – is to be holding a camera; that gives you licence to behave like a crazed triggerfish underwater. Or, another method is to swim directly in front of the dive leader, kicking them in the head, before flutter-kicking sand and silt in their face so they can’t see where I’m going. But that takes a little more expertise to pull off. The more variables and problems you can throw at the dive leader, the better.”

Annoyance Score: 8.5

bigstock-Dive-Master-1061892-300x225

See you later, I’m off! catch me if you can!

 

 

6. Gas Consumption Poker

Henry McTwatt from East Kilbride, a 33 year old bar manager and massive tit, said “My party piece for causing problems while away on diving trips is ignoring my gas consumption or, when I’m ‘in the mood’, to blatantly lie about it. Most diving instructors always ask me to let them know at 100-120 bar so they can safely bring us all shallower or to our ascent point. The sheer cheek of them! I like to ignore all that and make it a big guessing game. When I’m really on form I’ll manage to ignore requests to confirm how much air I have until I’m at 50bar at 28m. Just to see the whites of their eyes! Sometimes, for a laugh, I also like to lie about how much air I have left too . I’ll say I have 120bar when actually I only have 70bar a-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!”

Annoyance Score: 9.5

No regulator, no watch, no computer, no limits!

How much air do I have left? That’s a secret that I’ll tell you when I’m ready. It’ll be a nice surprise.

 

As you can see, there is a real art to this. The experts assembled above are masters of the craft.

To begin annoying your diving instructor, divemaster or guide, start slowly and build up to these bigger skills.

At first you may wish to leave a dangling/unattached hose or SPG that you can snag on a wreck or coral, lose a fin at depth and flap around like a chicken, take off your mask on the surface before you’re back on the boat to facilitate struggling to remove your fins and head-butting the ladder. Also, touching coral and wildlife when told specifically not to can get you up to 8 points depending on the gravity of the offence or, alternatively, even just be so incompetent at even getting ready for a dive that you need a team of people to dress you.

With time and effort you can be one of the greats like the experts assembled here.

Image

Shortly before releasing he’d just floated up from 25m to 5m in 10 seconds clutching his camera…

 

When you’ve been monkeying around in this business for years and teaching in different countries and environments you learn, like a diving detective, to identify traits, characteristics and cues with divers. To sort the new divers from the old. To quickly spot the experienced from the inexperienced. The cocktail divers from those who have spent time in a more demanding environment. It sounds harsh, but it’s part of the job. Making sure your dive group is safe may depend on it.

So, what are the ‘tells’? What are diving professionals looking for? What are the stereotypes?!… Stick around, take the test and I’ll let you see behind the curtain… It’s not a complete list by any stretch of the imagination, but it will give you a few ‘give-aways’ as to what kind of diver you may be dealing with on the dive deck. Write down your answers. See how you do! There’s a poll at the end.

 

Part 1: Equipment

1. My regulators are:

a) Whatever I’ve been given. I’m not sure.

b) A bargain. I got them off ebay/a friend secondhand.

c) MK2/11 Scubapro, Aqualung Titan LX, Cressi MC9, Mares Prestige 12s…etc.

d) MK17/25 Scubapro, Aqualung Legend, Mares Abyss, Apeks XTX200…etc.

e) Mares Carbon 42s, Poseidon Xstream, Apeks XTX200 Tungsten.

2. My BCD is:

a) Decent quality semi-wing/BCD style device such as a Mares Hybrid/Dragon, Scubapro X-Black/T-Black, Aqualung Axiom, Hollis HD200…etc.

b) Wing and back plate. Twin Bladder.

c) Scubapro T-One, Aqualung Wave, Mares Prestige…etc.

d) No idea.

e) Buddy Explorer/Commando. 2001 model.

3. My computer is:

a) What computer? I’m not bothered – I’m not even wearing a watch! – I’ll just stay close to the group. Or, a Mares Puck your partner bought as a present and you don’t know how to use.

b) A 15-20 year old Suunto Favor or big grey UWATEC Aladin that should be on ‘Antiques Roadshow’; the algorithm is so out of date that at 35m on a repetitive dive it gives you a bottom time of 73 minutes.

c) The size of a laptop and with a lurid multi-coloured screen.

d) A solid Zoop/D4/Geo2/Vyper/Veo 2.0

e) Suunto D6i/D9/DX/OCi

4. My fins are:

a) Aqualung Slingshots, Mares Avanti 3/Quattros, Scubapro Twin-Jets, Beauchat Powerjets – all with spring-clips…etc.

b) Jet fins. End of.

c) Size 43 full foot. But I’m shopping online for some Scubapro Seawing Novas – in white.

d) Aqualung Express, Scubapro Jet-Sport, Mares Wave, Tusa Imprex…etc.

e) Original Mares Plana (green/black).

Part 2: Dive Style.

5. Pre-dive I put my mask…

a) On the back of my head.

b) On my forehead.

c) On my face

d) Around my neck until I’ve jumped into the water (which I usually do minus mask and regulator). I’ll put it on when I’m waiting for everyone else.

e) I don’t know where my mask is. I may have sat on it.

6. I put my computer

a) In a console with my air gauge.

b) I don’t know how to use my computer. My boyfriend/girfriend bought it for me as a gift.

c) On my left wrist.

d) On my right wrist.

e) On show where everyone can admire it and it’s flashing lights.

7. On the surface at the end of the dive I…

a) Signal the boat with my SMB and keep everything in place until I’m back on the terra-firma.

b) Put my mask on my forehead and complain about the current.

c) Put the mask on the back of my head and talk about your computer readout/runtime etc. during various stages of the dive.

d) Put my mask around my neck and fin back to the boat’s ladder cheering and whooping.

e) Get ready to take off my enormous weight belt and pass it up to the crew.

8. My air gauge is…

a) Tucked in my pocket on a 3-in-line combo and it’s readings are top secret. If you ask me how much air I have during the dive, I’ll be offended.

b) Neatly tucked under my arm and/or in a clip on the left hand side. It’s just a simple air-gauge.

c) On a super thin miflex hose and miniature metal gauge and is only my business.

d) No idea. I didn’t set up my gear.

e) Standard issue Aqualung/Scubapro 2-in-line on a standard hose.

9. In current I…

a) Get blown away and/or am unable to adapt my style to the environment.

b) Complain when I get back to the surface.

c) Plan the route around the site carefully to take shelter where possible with one eye on the group.

d) Hope to see something big swimming by!

e) Hope it won’t mess up my dive plan that I made on V-Planner.

10. On a dive site I…

a) Have a list of things I want to see so that I can take photos to show my friends on Facebook.

b) Search for the ghost pipefish for 40 minutes (even though the group with a combined total of 35 dives will have no idea what the ‘stick thing’ is).

c) Grab the reef when it suits or use a metal ‘pointer’ to prod at things when it suits. Why not.

d) Monitor my plans. Plan the dive, dive the plan.

e) Try to ensure the group are safe and bring them all to a safe ascent point with a margin of gas.

11. No stop/deco limits are:

a) Extended if you use some nitrox, but please keep one eye on your computer and let me know when you get to 5 minutes from your limit so I can manage the profile.

b) Something I learned about in training.

c) Something imposed by PADI/SSI etc. Pain in the arse.

d) On my computer. I’ll try to stay within them as we’re doing 4 dives today but if I see something a little deeper I’ll bend the rules and hope my computer sorts it out…

e) For inexperienced divers. I’m going with a couple of stages the richest one is 80%.

12. On safety stops I…

a) Hover vertically and blow air ‘rings’ for my customers.

b) Flap around and look at my computer in a confused manner, before popping to the surface like a cork before insinuating there’s something wrong with the equipment and that was the reason for floating away…

c) Film my friends so we can examine our positioning after the dive in the pub, talking earnestly and stroking our chins.

d) Try to stay horizontal and stable so I can off-gas efficiently and turn easily to keep an eye on where the group/boat is.

e) Make up the minutes left as my vintage Aladin slab/computer is simply showing ‘99’ – and I have no idea what that means.

13. My SMB is…

a) I don’t carry one – it’s something for the guide to worry about. I’ve never deployed one in my life despite having an ‘Advanced’ qualification.

b) On a chunky metal Custom/Kent Divers reel with a sausage big enough to lift an outboard motor from 20,000 leagues under the sea.

c) A cheap n’ cheerful plastic sausage on an 8m line with a bolt tied on the end. It has a smiley face drawn on it in permanent marker.

d) On a lightweight finger reel, but I keep a spare around just in case.

e) Faded and in my BCD pocket. It’s the same one I bought in 1986.

14. I love to dive…

a) In tropical areas or warm waters. I don’t like current. Diving in colder water is rubbish. And I expect to see exceptional things.

b) Where there’s some great Macro-life so I can get some decent shots. I love hunting for Pipefish, Seahorses and Harlequin Shrimps.

c) Everywhere. I love to blow bubbles. Everywhere in the world has it’s magic.

d) On wrecks. Deep. Dressed in black.

e) Wherever our committee says and is cheapest.

15. On the surface interval I…

a) Sleep if I can.

b) Tinker with my equipment.

c) Check my group are OK, speak with colleagues and prepare for the next dive.

d) Moan about what I didn’t see and how expensive the diving is.

e) Sit on the boat smoking and play verbal ‘Scuba diving ‘Top Trumps’’ with other guests (e.g. “I saw the ******, did you??”)

16. GoPro Hero cameras…

a) …are cool. I carry a camera just in case I see something on the dive.

b) …I don’t have time for one. I’m concentrating on the dive and the task at hand.

c)…make my heart sink. I know my work is going to be cut-out trying to make sure the user doesn’t lose the group or get a bend chasing something instead of monitoring their depth. Why don’t people buy a computer or continue their diving education instead?

d) …I don’t want any of that modern jibba-jabba! I reluctantly parted with money for my computer 20 years ago (which is still on it’s original battery). I’m not wasting any more money!

e) I bought one and take it everywhere. I film everything and post it to a social networking site as soon as I’m back on land. It was the first thing I bought in basic training (before mask, fins, computer…)

So, who are you?! Where do the majority of your answers fall? Recognise yourself? A friend? A dive buddy? Written down your answers?….scroll down for the reveal!

 

Cocktail Diver (Answers: 1a, 2d, 3a, 4c, 5e, 6b, 7b, 8d, 9a, 10a, 11b, 12b, 13a, 14a, 15e, 16e)

You dive only on holiday in warm waters. Or alternatively, it’s something you learned to do while ‘travelling’ as something to enjoy alongside elephant trekking or surfing. You have progressed to a maximum of Advanced Open Water level. You have less than 100 dives and in-water you dive for you, not as a buddy team and are prone to disappearing on your own or holding up the group. You expect the best and if you don’t see what it said on google for that area (e.g. Manta/Whale Shark/Turtle) you’re very disappointed. You like “big stuff”. You like to post diving footage from your GoPro on Facebook. You flutter kick and can’t cope with current. You have limited equipment (if at all) and what you may have bought is a mis-match of contrasting styles bought on special offer at the dive centre or dive show (as your ‘experienced mate’ said it was a bargain) or, alternatively, bought because the colours match – not for function. You have no idea how to use an SMB and are still scared of having water leak into your mask. Technically, you’re not unsafe but your skill level is still low. You measure your ability on what you’ve seen as opposed to how you dive.

 

Warm-Water-Spotter-Instructor/Part-Time DM or Instructor on holiday (Answers: 1c, 2c, 3d, 4d, 5d, 6c, 7d, 8e, 9d, 10b, 11d, 12a, 13c, 14b, 15a, 16a)

Hard working and with a passion for diving, you did your DM/IDC in the past 2 years in nice, warm, calm conditions. You have between 80-500 dives. You’re on a tight budget and your equipment is tough, mid-range gear that gets the job done – certainly no Tekkie gear although you like wearing a wing sometimes as you think it looks cool with your boardies. You like to party in the evenings and have been known to post ridiculous pictures of yourself making a peace ‘v-sign’ or ‘wicked/awesome’ hand signal underwater with your reg/mask off on Facebook. You’ve never taught/dived in a tough environment and focus more on ‘spotting’ creatures than group safety, dive management or coaching. You’re diving for you and may even carry a camera – even though you’re supposed to be guiding/teaching. Your mission each dive is to ‘out-do’ the other guides by finding more exclusive creatures than them to brag about back on the boat. You’re good with people but forget some of the safety aspects of diving sometimes if there’s something good to see, or at the surface. You’ve never seen a diving injury or accident and certainly not had to deal with anything as serious as a fatality. Teaching to standards is generally done, although you bend the rules a little sometimes to suit.

 

Old-Skool-Clubbie (Answers: 1b, 2e, 3b, 4e, 5b, 6a, 7e, 8a, 9b, 10c, 11c, 12e, 13e, 14e, 15d, 16d)

You’re a member of BSAC/CMAS etc. and think PADI/SSI etc. are money-grabbing charlatans who don’t know how to dive. A diving traditionalist, your equipment and procedures are 20 years behind the curve but, ironically, you’re so set in your ways that you wouldn’t accept any advice even if it was offered. You expect special service but also a discount (?) and think dive centres are out to rip you off! Equipment is rarely serviced – if at all – and you consider that if your equipment is old, faded and beaten-up it just makes you look experienced, right? You have limited buoyancy control and environmental awareness – and think nothing of grabbing the reef or wreck to get a photo. You wear too much weight, have between 100-500 dives, but still have high gas consumption – however you won’t pay a supplement for a 15L tank and would rather compromise the dive for the rest of the group.

 

Weather-Beaten-DM/Instructor (Answers: 1d, 2a, 3e, 4a, 5c, 6d, 7a, 8b, 9c, 10e, 11a, 12d, 13d, 14c, 15c, 16c)

You’re a Divemaster or Instructor who’s been around the block. With >1000 dives in different environments you don’t pretend to know everything, but you’ve got some tales to tell. You’re on a dive professional’s salary (square root of f*ck all!) but you have the best equipment you can afford. You know your life depends on it. Safety is your first priority over spotting the creatures – although you’re passionate about aquatic life – and you’ve seen enough cock-ups in your time to know that little mistakes can add up to a big incident if you don’t pay attention. Warm water, cold water, reef, wreck, current…you’ve seen a little of everything and try to adapt your style accordingly. It drives you crazy when people (including other professionals) are unsafe in the water or have no respect for the environment.

 

The Tekkie (Answers: 1e, 2b, 3c, 4b, 5a, 6e, 7c, 8c, 9e, 10d, 11e, 12c, 13b, 14d, 15b, 16b)

You’re not a full-time diver but a wealthy person who has a serious day job. You take yourself and your diving very seriously and are prone to considering yourself a class above standard recreational divers. You’re about 75% likely to be male. You have around 200 dives and consider yourself to be a great diver (the reality is you’re average and having been seen flapping around or getting lost like a student on dive holidays). You have all black dive gear. You love wrecks and have no time for “fishy sh*t”. Twisted metal is where it’s at. You love to talk gas mixes, shutdowns, SAC rates and run-times loudly to whoever will listen. You read the diving press religiously and buy the very best equipment online after drinking your local dive centre dry of coffee and not buying from them. Your equipment makes working DMs/Instructors drool but you don’t know quite how to use that flashy equipment to it’s full potential. You’ve never gone down the coaching/DM/Instructor route as you don’t have the patience or personality. You wear a twin-set even when you’re only doing a 12m dive in a lake as you love the kudos. Diving’s about you and your gadgets and some of your best dives occur during tall stories in the the pub.

 

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Why dive to dive?? You can simply use footage to post and tell everyone how great you are!!

Scuba Monkey Labs, the top-secret research facility in Asia (just south of the 7/11 on the main road, the pub on the left, ask for Bob – red beard, glasses – you know the one…) have discovered that in the near future, watching GoPro footage of diving will replace the actual experience of physically going scuba diving.

With technology becoming cheaper and most modern homo-sapiens reluctant take part in any team activity or leave their smartphones for more than 10 minutes, scuba diving will be phased-out in favour of watching footage of aquatic life on a series of 1080p image files while sitting on a boat.

In the next few years virtual diving is set to boom and diving instructors will be phased-out, with most people opting for new ‘diving experiences’ where they can simply sun themselves on a boat and watch footage on their smartphones with a commentary 4 times a day which they can then post to their facebook pages.

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A Trustafarian yesterday “Yar, so, like, I’m a traveller….I’ll tell you all about it – I’ll just grab my laptop from my Mum’s Audi”

Lenny, 25, from Holland, an enormously narcissistic young man, said “I’ve done nearly 50 dives now and surely that’s enough. After all, I’m a rich trustafarian who’s already dived in the best places of the coral triangle; Indonesia, Phillipines, Raja Ampat. I only want the best. Big stuff. Even though I can’t even manage to get my own fins on. And Diving is just so much effort. I have to actually think about other people and work as a team which, being a massively self-absorbed person, is very difficult for me.” Checking his reflection in the window, he added “I just disappear off on my own on most dives. Sod my buddy. I want to get footage of big things to post on facebook so everyone can see how great I am. I really am that pompous and selfish. This new process of simply buying footage of pelagic life to watch on your smartphone and claim as your own sounds perfect for massaging my ego.”

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“Man, I look good. I think I’ll make this my profile picture…”

Umberto, 44, from Italy, an enormously needy diver of some 73 dives said “I just get so cold on these tropical dives. The water is 28-29c – mamma mia!! Can’t they improve the temperature or something??” Shivering in the 34c air our delicate flower added “I love this new idea of simply sunning yourself on the boat and buying footage of the dive that someone else has shot. After all, if I can’t be guaranteed a Manta Ray why bother getting in the water?”

Magda, 47, from Oslo, a marketing executive with gigantic fake boobs, said “I was once told we would be diving a site a second time. That’s ridiculous. I’ve done it once so I’ve seen all I need to. So, this new system of sitting on the boat in my bikini talking about what a great diver I am while someone else provides footage sounds like a great idea. I don’t like all that hassle of actually having to move my legs and kick anyway. And last trip I found I had water trapped in my left ear for a couple of hours – which I complained to the manager about”.

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Commonly worn on the wrong wrist by cocktail divers (left instead of right) – they have no idea what it’s for but, boy, it looks cool!

Instructor Gary Clark, 42, concurred “Diving Instruction is set to become a thing of the past. And, to be fair, it’s probably for the best. Most alledgedly ‘Advanced’ divers don’t listen to their instructors, only wear a diving computer for decoration and have no idea what an NDL limit is, how to manage their air consumption, or how to plan a dive. So the safety will be much improved if we just let them sit on the boat, give them some footage of whale sharks to watch, and splash them with salt water 4 times a day. Everyone’s a winner!”

In breaking news at the Scuba Monkey’s top secret research facility (Asia-Pacific Branch, just south of Mars Bar on the main road from Phuket to Ranong, past the 7/11 on the right) shocking new research has linked owning and using a digital camera and housing with early-onset hearing loss.

Previous thought had theorised that hearing loss was linked to old age and/or long-term exposure to noise above accepted levels. However, recent findings indicate that being an underwater photographer can cause a form of selective hearing known as “happy snapper” or (in medical circles) “twat syndrome”. Technically speaking, scuba instructors refer to this as “completely ignoring the f*cking briefing and diving like a cock”.

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“No…I own a camera so I didn’t hear a damn thing…”

On a recent visit to a marine park in the Indian Ocean, Dirk Pederfilesen, 48, a fat bloke from Copenhagen with an underwater camera, said “I think they said something about ‘respecting the marine park’ in the briefing? or not touching the wildlife? Something like that? I couldn’t quite hear it as I’m an enormous bell-end.” Chuckling he added “I was busy preparing my camera housing for the dive, where I proceeded to kick living hell out of the reef and create a blizzard of sand for anyone in the area. However, I did manage to get 442 pictures of a clown fish that no-one’s interested in seeing. Ever.”

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International surplus of moray eel photos continues.

Plum Saw Wong, 23, an extremely pretty but totally incompetent female diver from Shanghai, said “Apparently we were told to during the briefing to not wear gloves as it’s a marine park rule and, also, to keep wearing our masks on the surface and keep our regulators in until we were safely back on the dive deck as there was lots of waves and it’s ‘good practice’. Naturally, as I own an expensive Nikon camera I didn’t hear a word of that. So, imagine my surprise as a smashed head-first into the boat’s ladder in the surge at the end of the dive. I couldn’t see what the hell was going on as I wasn’t wearing my mask. At the time I was busy trying to remove my ridiculous white fins while blinded by waves and…boom! into the ladder. If only I’d heard what was going on the briefing….” Making a ‘peace’ V-sign she grinned and added ” However, I did manage to scare the crap out of a cuttlefish by strobing it to within an inch of it’s life on the dive though so…happy! happy!”

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Take that reef!!

Dermot McCraic, 31, from Dublin said “I was greasing the o-ring on my housing during the dive briefing so my hearing was impaired and I couldn’t hear the instructor advising us about potential strong currents and keeping buddy contact. So, I was shocked to find that I was blown away from the dive site like a tit in the wind when I completely ignored the group and buggered off on my own with my camera. If only I’d been able to listen to the briefing. Bloody camera. Nevermind. It only compromised the dive for the whole group as they had to surface and look for me – so it’s not like my actions effected anyone else. Oh…they did.”

Sarah McDonald, 43, an experienced instructor in the area, said “This kind of occurrence is becoming increasingly common as more and more complete idiots buy underwater cameras. Their hearing and ability to follow simple instructions takes a nose-dive. It’s a worrying trend. However, it does mean the world isn’t short of pictures of moray eels.”

For help and advice on camera-related-twatish behaviour contact the Scuba Monkey’s research team below.