Interesting article from John Chatterton

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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by spatman » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:41 pm

Paulicarp wrote:Self-reliance is not discouraged in the team diving I’ve learned. Just the contrary- I’ve been taught that every member is not only self-reliant, but planning to be relied on by at least one other member of the team as well when the need arises.


I'm not quite wrapping my brain around this statement. How are you self-reliant when you are relying on others?
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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by Paulicarp » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:53 pm

spatman wrote:
Paulicarp wrote:Self-reliance is not discouraged in the team diving I’ve learned. Just the contrary- I’ve been taught that every member is not only self-reliant, but planning to be relied on by at least one other member of the team as well when the need arises.


I'm not quite wrapping my brain around this statement. How are you self-reliant when you are relying on others?



I did not write that you are, "self-reliant when you are relying on others," but if you are making the point that there is an apparent contradiction here, I would simply clarify that I'm thinking in terms of how, for example, a team diver is planning for their own gas needed and their own gas reserves (self-reliant) but also they are planning their dive with enough gas to take one team member to the surface in the event that the other team member should have a failure that would preclude them from being "self-reliant" on their own gas as planned.

By itself this is an over simplification of team diving, but the specific point is that planning to dive as a team is not necessarily the same thing as not planning to be self-reliant.

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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by spatman » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:49 pm

Paulicarp wrote:
spatman wrote:
Paulicarp wrote:Self-reliance is not discouraged in the team diving I’ve learned. Just the contrary- I’ve been taught that every member is not only self-reliant, but planning to be relied on by at least one other member of the team as well when the need arises.


I'm not quite wrapping my brain around this statement. How are you self-reliant when you are relying on others?



I did not write that you are, "self-reliant when you are relying on others," but if you are making the point that there is an apparent contradiction here, I would simply clarify that I'm thinking in terms of how, for example, a team diver is planning for their own gas needed and their own gas reserves (self-reliant) but also they are planning their dive with enough gas to take one team member to the surface in the event that the other team member should have a failure that would preclude them from being "self-reliant" on their own gas as planned.

By itself this is an over simplification of team diving, but the specific point is that planning to dive as a team is not necessarily the same thing as not planning to be self-reliant.


Doesn't everyone basically plan for their own gas and reserves, whether it's thirds or "get back with 500psi"? So this makes them self-reliant, but still dependent on a buddy if that gets compromised in any way. So how does team diving make one more self-reliant than any other buddy team?
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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by Mortuus » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:52 pm

Matt, he is really just trying to say that in team diving, you don't necessarily have to immediately cling to your buddy at the first sign of trouble. Most team divers doing extreme dives are still going to be pretty darn self sufficient. Only in an extreme scenario will it be necessary for you to actually rely on your buddy (and your own training as well) to get you out. And with team diving, the good news is that you CAN rely on said buddy. As I said before, if you feel you cannot, then don't dive with them on that dive.

Chatterton seems to have the misconception that you have to pick one or the other, when you don't.

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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by LCF » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:59 pm

I think a lot of people think that team divers PLAN on needing one another's assistance, when nothing could be further from the truth. We plan our dives so that we really shouldn't need anybody's help -- but when you're assessing the resources for a dive, and the emergency resources, it may be decided that some things can be shared among the team, rather than carried by each diver -- and that may include to some degree gas supplies. For example, if I'm doing recreational dives, my emergency gas is in my buddy's tank, rather than carried by myself.

This strategy, of course, is very dependent on keeping the team together and on everybody in it being able to respond calmly and competently, which is why you see us out practicing skills so often :)

We are highly self-reliant for all normal and most contingency plans for a dive, but have made a conscious choice to cede some responsibilities to the team. You can only do that if everybody there works really hard to be sure they ARE there when they're needed.

It's a different way of thinking about diving, and culturally, it was not the approach that North Atlantic wreck divers took, and that's where Mr. Chatterton's way of thinking was developed.
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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by Jeremy » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:04 pm

Curious what the death rates are for team divers vs solo divers if those stats are available.

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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by spatman » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:17 pm

LCF wrote:I think a lot of people think that team divers PLAN on needing one another's assistance, when nothing could be further from the truth. We plan our dives so that we really shouldn't need anybody's help -- but when you're assessing the resources for a dive, and the emergency resources, it may be decided that some things can be shared among the team, rather than carried by each diver -- and that may include to some degree gas supplies. For example, if I'm doing recreational dives, my emergency gas is in my buddy's tank, rather than carried by myself.

This strategy, of course, is very dependent on keeping the team together and on everybody in it being able to respond calmly and competently, which is why you see us out practicing skills so often :)

We are highly self-reliant for all normal and most contingency plans for a dive, but have made a conscious choice to cede some responsibilities to the team. You can only do that if everybody there works really hard to be sure they ARE there when they're needed.

It's a different way of thinking about diving, and culturally, it was not the approach that North Atlantic wreck divers took, and that's where Mr. Chatterton's way of thinking was developed.


What you say makes perfect sense, of course. I guess there is a certain amount of subjective interpretation of what exactly it means to be self-reliant.
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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by Paulicarp » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:18 pm

spatman wrote:
Paulicarp wrote:
spatman wrote:
Paulicarp wrote:Self-reliance is not discouraged in the team diving I’ve learned. Just the contrary- I’ve been taught that every member is not only self-reliant, but planning to be relied on by at least one other member of the team as well when the need arises.


I'm not quite wrapping my brain around this statement. How are you self-reliant when you are relying on others?



I did not write that you are, "self-reliant when you are relying on others," but if you are making the point that there is an apparent contradiction here, I would simply clarify that I'm thinking in terms of how, for example, a team diver is planning for their own gas needed and their own gas reserves (self-reliant) but also they are planning their dive with enough gas to take one team member to the surface in the event that the other team member should have a failure that would preclude them from being "self-reliant" on their own gas as planned.

By itself this is an over simplification of team diving, but the specific point is that planning to dive as a team is not necessarily the same thing as not planning to be self-reliant.


Doesn't everyone basically plan for their own gas and reserves, whether it's thirds or "get back with 500psi"? So this makes them self-reliant, but still dependent on a buddy if that gets compromised in any way. So how does team diving make one more self-reliant than any other buddy team?


I did not write or even imply that "team diving make[s] one more self-reliant than any other buddy team", rather I was responding to Chatterton's implication that team divers are not self-reliant. My point is that in addition to planning 'thirds' or 'back with 500psi' team divers are also planning for one other team member. In other words- "more than just self-reliant", as opposed to just "more self-reliant."

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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by H20doctor » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:25 pm

well you better not read his new post about GUE and DIR , cause your all gonna be upset..
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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by Dusty2 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:03 am

Ok kids, Lets all agree to disagree peacefully and get on with the diving. As I said earlier. No one is right and no one is wrong. Each of us is free to decide what we want to do when we are out there. This is recreation and it's supposed to be fun. If your idea of fun is team sports then go for it. It's right for you. if you like the rigid format of DIR then have at it. It's your time spend it the way you want. No particular method is either right or wrong. The only problem is people get to upset when someone challenges their way. If your way is right for you then you really shouldn't find a need to defend it when others make comments you don't agree with. Like the old saying goes. If the shoe fits wear it. If the diving style fits then it's right.

This is much like politics and religion. I can't convince you that your belief is wrong nor should I try and the same goes for you. Lets all just get out there and dive safe and enjoy it. As long as we all return safely after each dive then we must be diving the "right way"

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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by spatman » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:07 am

No one is throwing stick and stones, Dusty. I was just asking for clarification about what Pauli described as self reliance.

I have dived with, and continue to dive with, many team divers and respect them all and trust them implicitly as buddies. I have take a few classes from TD instructors, and enjoyed the training very much.

Personally, I have no problem with the way anyone dives, as long as they are smart about it and well prepared for the planned dive.

This discussion is showing me that, like many things in diving, there is a gray area in the middle of the topic at hand that is open for subjective interpretation.

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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by Mortuus » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:56 am

Yeah, the implication that this was a hostile conversation actually made me more heated than anything said here.... In fact, I didn't see any arguments here whatsoever. It seemed quite civil.

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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by LCF » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:17 am

I think it really helps that most of us actually know one another in real life. It's harder to call somebody a DIR nazi if you know she's a little old lady with a shark hat . . .
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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by spatman » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:28 am

LCF wrote:I think it really helps that most of us actually know one another in real life. It's harder to call somebody a DIR nazi if you know she's a little old lady with a shark hat . . .


That made me laugh out loud for real.
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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by spatman » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:29 am

And really, this convo hasn't really been about DIR vs nonDIR. To me, it's been about interpreting what we all mean by self reliance.
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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by Dusty2 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:43 am

I wasn't saying that the conversation was going south. In fact I just sated in my previous post that I was proud of the comments and demeanor in this thread. And Lynn is right. It's pretty hard to get all fired up when you have dove with the OP and know they are a really nice person. I don't think we have any DIR nazi's or any of those other 3 letter nazi's on our board. If we do they are very good at keeping it under control.

That's the NW difference. !

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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by Mortuus » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:00 am

LCF wrote:I think it really helps that most of us actually know one another in real life. It's harder to call somebody a DIR nazi if you know she's a little old lady with a shark hat . . .


To be honest, I thought that made Chatterton's response all the more hilarious, since it had to be at least partially directed at you and Peter, who were pretty quick to jump his SB thread! I was laughing pretty damn hard yesterday when I saw his post implying that you guys (and others who joined in) were "trolls". No, John....no. They aren't trolls =P

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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by BDub » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:14 am

spatman wrote:I'm not quite wrapping my brain around this statement. How are you self-reliant when you are relying on others?


I’ll take a stab…

I agree that I think it has to do more with each person’s interpretation of “reliance”. When showing up to the dive site, I’d consider a diver to be “relying on others” by deferring to the other divers to develop the dive plan, gas plan, etc because he/she is unable to.

In the water, I’d consider that diver to be “relying on others” by signaling his/her teammate(s) at the first sign of trouble AND asking them to take care of it.

In team diving, we teach that communication is critically important, but equally important (and arguable much more difficult to learn) is knowing when to observe, when to step in and take control and when to relinquish control. Not understanding defined roles, which are dynamic, can lead to confusion.

For example, I may be able to diagnose and solve a failure on my own valves, depending on the actual failure. However, since I don’t have eyes on the back of my head, my teammates can probably solve the issue better than I. So, I’ll probably make an attempt to diagnose and solve the issue and at some point will call in my teammate to take a look, whether that be to verify and confirm the issue and what I’ve done to solve it, or to fix the bigger mess I may have made, then laugh at me and tell me I’m dumbass.

However, while my teammate is working on my valves, someone has to take over his/her responsibilities, which could be staying on the line, holding our position, managing the reel, etc and if I’m completely reliant on my buddy, then I’m forcing him/her to do everything at once, likely resulting in more (unnecessary) issues.

So, I’m “relying” on you to stick to our plan underwater, and follow protocols that we have been trained in to do these types of dives in order for us to do the dive safely and efficiently. I do have the knowledge and skill to get myself out of most situations on my own, however, even though to get to that point, there have been several epic breakdowns.
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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by spatman » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:17 am

Excellent post, Brian. Thanks for that.
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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by Peter Guy » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:38 am

While I wasn't planning on responding in this thread (having attempted to make my points on the SB threads), here are some of my thoughts on Chatterton's article:

I was taught "old school" diving in 1966 and we used "the bible" -- The New Science of Skin and Scuba Diving -- as I mentioned on SB. In both my class and in the text (and, as far as I know, in EVERY scuba class taught at the time), the concept of "buddiness" was key and drummed into us. Perhaps because the gear wasn't as reliable then as it is now, perhaps for other reasons, you were drilled to dive with "a buddy" with whom you could "buddy breathe" when (not if!) you ran out of gas (if for no other reason than your J-valve got tripped during the dive).

But, diving with a buddy, and "depending on your buddy" to be there to assist when needed did not mean we weren't also drilled to be safe divers. We were PRIMARILY responsible for ourselves -- our buddy was there if something happened that needed outside assistance. In other words, we were taught to be "self- reliant" divers -- and, for the most part, we were.

But when did "self-reliance" become another name for solo and the opposite of "buddiness?"

THAT is the problem I have with Mr. Chatterton's article -- well that and the "My gas is my gas and I'll fight you and win" if you have the temerity to come to me for assistance -- well that and the statement that doing an airshare within the confines of a technical (deep) dive is dangerous for both parties. (Note, on SB, Howard, a dive "buddy" of Chatterton, writes that Chatterton didn't really mean the second and no one has responded to the third aspect.)

(Side note -- I am NOT a "real" technical diver. I don't do deep technical dives. The deepest I've been is maybe 170 feet while the farthest I've been from the surface is maybe only 2000 feet or so. The deepest I've done an airshare (at least outside of class) is about 85 feet. But, I don't understand why an airshare would be dangerous for both parties at 200 (or whatever) feet when doing one whereever should be just routine.)

Dusty -- I do have to take issue with your "there is no right or wrong" way. The issue I have isn't about "right or wrong" but about "safe" and "perhaps less safe." On the SB thread, Dan Volker (someone with whom I've had the pleasure of meeting and diving) attempts to make the point that, especially on "more technical" dives, team diving IS safer than "every man for yourself" type diving. In fact, Mr. Chatterton seems to agree in that he describes how on deep technical dives there is a huge "team" supporting him.

I'm not opposed to solo diving at all -- but do you (or anyone else) want to argue as Mr. Chatterton appears to do that solo (i.e. his alleged self-reliant) diving is safer than diving with a team?

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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by Jeff Pack » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:23 am

One of the things I like about team diving is you dont have to be everything all the time. As a solo diver, you do.

I've learned in my recent tec classes to be as self reliant as I can. Redundant air, redundant air supply, etc.

But even with all that, nothing beats having a buddy along to "help" watch out for you. Having a couple of buddy's is even better.
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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by Norris » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:33 am

Peter Guy wrote:I'm not opposed to solo diving at all -- but do you (or anyone else) want to argue as Mr. Chatterton appears to do that solo (i.e. his alleged self-reliant) diving is safer than diving with a team?


Perhaps the dive he mentions in his blog?

Personally, to "rely" on another is allowing another failure point in my book. To have the mindset that I am on my own allows me to properly plan the dive, and take responsibility for anything that may happen. I pride myself in planning in such a way that I do not add to another divers load by not being able to handle any situation that comes my way.
However that is me; I intended to solo dive long before I ever took my first class.

My redundancy is intended for ME, however on the dives that I do there is no reason not to offer air to someone having a problem, considering my dives are somewhat recreational. My primary, or pony would be offered to another should the need arise.

Again, that type of diving is not what is being addressed in his blog. He is speaking about dives where carrying air for you AND your teammate is not preffered or even possible in some situations? Dives that require intense training and planning where if someone fails to do their part not only places that individual in danger, but anyone they feel compelled to jump for air.

Team diving is great for people that choose to dive with a team. The training is good and offers a lot for people that seek it. I think some of the problem is that many are arguing with John using recreational scenerios as their ground for calling bulls*hit on his reasoning.
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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by Dusty2 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:37 am

Peter Guy wrote:Dusty -- I do have to take issue with your "there is no right or wrong" way. The issue I have isn't about "right or wrong" but about "safe" and "perhaps less safe." On the SB thread, Dan Volker (someone with whom I've had the pleasure of meeting and diving) attempts to make the point that, especially on "more technical" dives, team diving IS safer than "every man for yourself" type diving. In fact, Mr. Chatterton seems to agree in that he describes how on deep technical dives there is a huge "team" supporting him.

I'm not opposed to solo diving at all -- but do you (or anyone else) want to argue as Mr. Chatterton appears to do that solo (i.e. his alleged self-reliant) diving is safer than diving with a team?


NOPE no argument from me. Just not my style. I have never said I am safer alone and taken in context I don't really think John did either. In regards to the dive he was doing in the video he would have indeed been less safe with someone else along because of the conditions in which he was diving. On the other hand there is no way that that dive was in in anyway safe in my mind and I would never attempt anything like that. None of that really applies in the real world because they are diving on the very cutting edge and everything they do is dangerous and beyond the skills and training of 90% or more of the divers in the world. My point is that what he is doing is not wrong for him in that situation. It is however wrong for the other 90% of us.

What I am saying is the concept of right and wrong is ambiguous and it is wrong for anyone to say that theirs is THE only right way. Progress is made because people naturally resist that way of thinking and ask why is that the only way. We have dove together and I very much enjoyed the camaraderie and the after dive conversations and hope we will do so many more times.

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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by Paulicarp » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:48 am

spatman wrote:No one is throwing stick and stones, Dusty. I was just asking for clarification about what Pauli described as self reliance...One diver's self-reliance is another diver's pollo asado taco.


:highfive: and uh... :taco:

having a rational discussion like this is exactly what I like about this board, and I appreciate Spatty helping clarify what I eloquently convoluted. Hopefully we make more progress solving this at the geodome Saturday? :)

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Re: Interesting article from John Chatterton

Post by Mortuus » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:57 am

Norris wrote:He is speaking about dives where carrying air for you AND your teammate is not preferred or even possible in some situations?


There is no dive Chatterton is doing where it is impossible to carry enough air for him and a buddy. He may not prefer to take the extra gas, as you state, but I just want to clarify that you can always have the extra gas available. It might make logistics more complicated, but it is doable.

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