Tell us about the worse diving experience you've had: did you have a bad buddy?, run out of air?, didn't see any sea life?
For me, it was our second time in Ko Tao, Thailand.
The visibility was crap, no more than a couple of metres and our instructor (we were taking the SSI Advanced Diver) was more worried about getting a tan than making sure we had a good time.
One of the dives was a night dive, but I was so anxious in the water and had such a bad time that I've never done any other night dive since :o(
In some ways my worst diving experience has actually been an experience that I learned a lot from. My partner is not certified but unfortunately one of those people who dived years ago and does not see the point in all this new fangled safety gear like BCDs...or certification. I took him out on a discover scuba two dive day at Racha Noi thinking it would be a nice easy way to reintroduce him to life underwater after refusing to lie and say he had certification. I had woken up with a "migrainey" feeling and hoped it wouldnt develop into a migraine and went ahead with the dive. Typical of thai dive mass bookings he was given a 10 minute intro on how to use a BCD before we descended.
First dive at Racha he irritated the absolute living hell out of me by wanting to kiss underwater (I prefer my reg in my mouth but ok..just this once), wanted to hold my hand, wanted to have a cuddle..again i obliged thinking ok its a new thing for him just have a bit of patience. As im certified (and probably certifiable!) he had to stay with an instructor and tried to grab my leg while I decided to buddy up with another AOW diver and head deeper. I signalled to the instructor that i was going deeper and was heading down with a nice french diver who was travelling alone and came across the bum biting triggerfish that wanted to have a fight. Im quite capable of fighting bumbiting fish underwater but no, my partner had to come to the rescue and try and swat away the trigger fish in the process getting his hand tangled in my second stage and ripped my reg out of my mouth.....quick recovery and more signalling to the dive instructor that I was fine and signalled for my partner to get back up with the instructor..which he did eventually.
Second dive..I got a fin stuck in the marlin board and face punched the water as I exited the boat which really wasnt what I needed. I got down to about 15m when the migraine i had been fighting hit with a vengeance and I started vomiting repeatedly - having to swap reg and occy purging each between chucking up. Because I was vomiting so heavily I had every fish thats ever called racha home decide to come and nibble on my face for a free feed. I decided to abort and signalled the standard something is wrong signal and pointed to my belly only to have the dive instructor come over and stick MORE weight on me, misreading what i was trying to tell him as i needed more weight. Because I had so many fish around my face he wasnt aware that I was vomiting as the fish were eating it as it came out. So..I got weighted down even more and thought..ok, just keep calm and work through this..this is what your training is for..very very hard to fight the urge to panic while swallowing seawater between vomiting, swapping and purging regs and having a dive instructor misread your intentions and weigh you down even more.
All this is going on and my head felt like it was going to split in half when my nose started bleeding filling my mask up with blood..so I had to clear mask as well as doing the reg shuffle and fighting the urge to just dump weight and shoot up to the surface.
So NOT a good dive at all...but I did learn I CAN keep it together in a tight situation. I made it to the surface in one peice coming up very slowly to avoid having to stop for decom and at the surface ripped off my mask and continued violently vomiting only to have my partner say...oh babe, youve got black vomit all over your face, dip your head in the water to clean it off.......At that stage i kinda snapped something like Im thankful to be on the surface and couldnt care less what ive got on my face to which he took great offense. So..he ticks every box as a bad buddy IMO..he cant dive in Australia without certification which is a secret blessing to me but is prone to sulking when I go out and he cant...if he did a proper course he would understand why things he did underwater were very very dangerous - Even out of the water he annoys me because he insists on "trying" to put my gear together for me and does it all wrong then gets offended when i say LET ME DO IT PLEASE and have to change everything around to the normal and safe way.
If anyone has any advice on how to handle someone who does care and does want to dive but is a pain please help!!!
Oh and the other "bad" dive was popping up from a 39m dive in PNG (japanese mini sub wreck) diving with one of the papuan crew and 30 bar left only to find there was no boat....a very strong current had split us from the other four divers and when we looked around there was no boat..we had actually been carried out behind the boat which was hidden by an outcrop and when I asked Stix what was beyond the channel between the two islands we were rapidly drifting towards he said....SPIRIT WORLD!! - After inflating my sausage the boat crew spotted us and came to the rescue. Wasnt a nice feeling. I can only imagine how the guy lost for hours out of komodo felt after that experience.
Oh and vietnam has no fish LOL!
What a nightmare Cindy!!!... I'm surprised you didn't give up diving after that!
I love the SPIRIT WORLD answer, though!!! :oD
I went with a small independent group who was not experienced. Small boat, drift diving -- and the boat was drifting not just us divers.
Marathon Key, Florida
Working on my advanced open water diver certification and they anchored the boat and went diving with us. Did not leave anyone on a very big boat. The anchor rope broke and they had to swim after the boat. We were all floating on top, tired and out of air by the time they picked us up........at least they didn't leave us.
Least you've got some stories out of it Cindy
I'll own up to having had to do the regulator purge and shuffle on a few occasions too
I've also had the misfortune to have been drifting for about 1.5hrs after a current popped us up away from where we were supposed to be... such a small percentage of dives are bad though.
I think the best approach for a non-diving wanna be buddy - is to book them on a course and refuse to let them have anything to do with diving until it's completed.
Ali so glad to hear someone else has had to do the shuffle - not nice is it? As you say, A story that I learnt a lot from.
I have actually booked him in to do his open water dive course with a long established centre here in Perth before we go to Sipidan - (after having told the shop owner about his propensity to um..help..as well meaning as it is) - while im doing my Dive Master course and a Nitrox course...(I havent told him about the DM course because he will go..Well YOU couldve certified me!) at least with enriched air I can always escape deeper
Worst diving experience ever was actually my first dive !(luckily enough I didnt gave up on diving that day)
Open water course in France, first time ever with diving gears in the sea ( tried it in the swimming pool and the instructor saw that i was at ease) ... Anyhow, so at ease that for my first dive he took me to 14 meters and started to show me the exercise I had to do ...
Guess that's when everything went just plain WRONG ! took the regulator out, then back but didn't know you had to press the front button or blow air in it ... So yes started to drown, lost my mask, then the regulator and absolutely panicked ! So did the guy (by the time we got back to the surface he had lost his tan!)
Guess the best thing that happened to me that day was that while still on the surface, I actually asked to go back down ... Been diving every time I can since !
Back in my single days I would frequently go diving without a buddy and would get paired up on the boat---- often times with the other single or the person their friends did not want to dive with.
I'm sure you've watched this happen on boats time and time again. Most of the time I was a more experienced diver than the person I was being paired with so they became my responsibility. Usually--- not bad -- but it got old.
Any way-- one day I was diving Catalina Island, Ca and they paired me up with some hot dog diver who had far too much testosterone and very little common sense. The water was cold and the visibility was less than 20 feet. We agreed if we got separated we would surface. This was one of those divers who wanted to go as deep as he could even if there was nothing to look at. There were lots of fish at 50 but he wanted to go deeper. It got colder and there was nothing to see. You know what is coming---- he swam off. All of a sudden he was gone. I looked for him for a couple of minutes and surfaced. He finally came up, we went back down and it happened again. This time we both got caught in a kelp bed and had to use our knives to cut free.
Once we got back on board his buddies were having a big laugh that he does that all the time and they are sick of diving with him.
Diving is a lot more enjoyable when you have a buddy you know and trust.
Well a few days ago I've been attacked by a trigger fish and got bitten by it on my little finger.They do have sharp teeth and I am happy that I did not have to have any stitches...
At that moment I was shocked but did not panicked and in the end I was proud of it and my first question was for the dive master - "But I can go dive in an hour again, can't I?"
If you want to read about it here is the blog: Koh Tao, one more diver in the family!
I've read the blog Ma'ri, you were very brave and I'm not sure I would have reacted the same way!!, I often think about what would I do in a 'panic situation' down there... but I really hope it will be a long time until I find out!! :o)
Ma'ri Im sorry you met another trigger fish with attitude..In the gear thread I just posted about the bumbiting trigger fish and how to figh a fish underwater. They DO have very sharp teeth. The only fish I have ever been bitten by was NEMO! yep cute little clown anenome latched onto my nose in PNG and would not let go and it hurt. Everyone thought it was funny until I came up and removed my mask to show them where his little teeth had gone through.
On the subject of bleeding while diving - I cut my hand quite severely on the reef in the south of PNG (hence why I wear gloves at all times now) and glanced around to see a group of 6 sizeable white tip sharks about 40m away. Those stories of one drop of blood and a feeding frenzy are NOT true.......the sharks looked over and must have thought, nahhhh we can do better than that ourselves, doesnt look very edible anyway and swam off. However a very large giant baraccuda shot up from the depths and flared his mouth showing me his lovely teeth a few inches away from my face before flicking around me and disappearing...that was unnerving. Baraccudas are very ugly when they are showing you their needle sharp teeth like that.
Some of these stories sound horrible! In Gilli Trawangan I was on a deep dive with my buddy, a DM and an Instructor. The Instructor realised we were supposed to of levelled up about 3mins earlier. We quickly levelled up to 25m when we were forced to fight a strong current. Whilst concentrating on this I was suddenly struck by the feeling of no Air - familiar for those who have had their tank switched off before by an annoying friend. We later realised I had a leaking valve that no1 had noticed (great). I quickly grabbed my buddy's Secondary but I was on the wrong side of him so as I swam over the top of him to switch sides the current suddenly took us and forced us up. Before we knew it we were having a chat on the surface wondering what had happened. We fought the current to get back down to 20m then had about 10 stops on the way up also involving the spare tank being thrown in off the boat. Was quite ill for 2 or 3 days but recovered with the help of a nitrox tank :-) Probably not the best solution but it hasnt effected my diving since and I havnt noticed any side effects yet...