I tell people that without cowards like me there’d be no yardstick by which to measure the deeds of the brave. It serves to remind me that I’m fallible; that there’s no such thing as an easy dive; and that I should never allow bravado to take me anywhere that my mind hasn’t been to at last one hour before — especially when contemplating a deep dive.
Mind you, my interpretation of “deep” may be significantly different from that of anybody else. I was reminded of this fact when an acquaintance commented that a 100-metre wreck dive that he’d recently performed had been “easy.”
Not that I’m opposed to deep diving. Quite the opposite. Thanks to advances in training and equipment, dives to depths that were once considered extreme are now commonplace. It’s a natural progression and all part of the evolving adventure of diving, especially when every mission is properly planned and executed and accompanied by the realisation that there’s no such thing as a simple — or “easy” — deep dive.
The stumbling block in the above piece of advice is that the word “deep” is a relative term with no universally accepted definition as far as diving is concerned. Which is why, until such time as we sprout gills, I prefer to err on the side of caution.
When I’m neutrally buoyant and floating at eye level, the tip of my nose is 5 centimetres below the surface of the waves; and when I’m standing upright on the seabed, my nostrils are 164 centimetres above the soles of my feet. As far as I’m concerned that’s an excellent reason for taking the safe approach and regarding any depth of water greater than 1.6 metres as “deep diving.”
Diving since 1961 — with a background in military, commercial, recreational and technical diving — David Strike has dived extensively throughout the Asia-Pacific region, is a Fellow of the Explorers Club and the organiser of the biennial OZTeK Diving Conference.