For those who are interested in what Essentials in Monterey looks like, here’s a video.
Cave divers and technical divers extensively use reels and lines. As such, emergency we have standard signals to communicate these items.
This command can either be the object or an action, depending on context.
Signaler: “QUESTION” + “PICK-UP” + “REEL” = Pick-up reel? Or leave the reel for the next dive?
It is not uncommon that a team member will be in a position to see better tie points. The “TIE” command tells the person with the reel to tie around a specific point or object.
Signaler: “TIE” over a rock = Use the rock as a tie point.
Sometimes you get stuck. This signal is denote that you or your dive buddy is entangled.
In order to make a jump, the action needs to be communicated. This sign requires a confirmation from the team before preceding.
Signaler: “QUESTION” + “JUMP” = Jump?
Teammate: “JUMP” = Confirming jump.
On Thursday, Kenn, Steve, I took a mid week day for a
UTD Stage Mini.
For technical diving, the use of deco bottle or stage bottle is a necessary skill. The UTD Stage Mini allows one to learn how to use a deco bottle in a workshop format. The day consists of lecture, equipment review, dry runs, in water skills, and then post dive review.
Kenn recently acquired a Flip HD with the new Ikelite Flip housing. To increase the viewing angle, he mated it with a wide angle lens. As the result, we had some great video of the day. Definitely watch in the UTD Stage Mini in HD mode.
As recreational divers move towards the technical path, they will have many decisions and experiences:
KMD posted a very nice short video on how to dump gas while riding a scooter.
In his words:
Some items to notice.
* By thumbing the light the diver keeps it pointed forward into the view of her buddies and frees up a hand to manipulate dump valves
* The divers movements are smooth and deliberate to minimize extraneous light signals
* The diver keeps looking forward to view the path ahead and navigate.
Model is AWL of Cold Water Kitty.
Team diving is best when teammates are at the same level in the water column. It facilitates communication and allows for comfortable diving.
To facilitate this, there are a few useful signals. These can be used during the dive, but are great for decompression stops and safety stops.
This sign directs the teams to level off. This can be followed by a number to signify depth.
Signaler: “LEVEL OFF” + “20” + (PAUSE) + “DECO” + “5” = At 20′, 5 minutes of deco time.
Teammate(s): “LEVEL OFF” + “20” + (PAUSE) + “DECO” + “5” = At 20′, 5 minutes of deco time, confirming the plan.
Used to tell a teammate to move up in the water column. This sign can be followed by head shaking if you want show disappointment (only do this with friends).
Used to tell a teammate to move down in the water column. Like the, “UP” signal, you can follow with head shaking. If you want to be very demanding, you can point at your teammate and then signal move down (only do this with really close friends).
At the end of the time, we need to communicate our decompression obligation and stops. For recreational dives, these hand signals can be used to communicate safety stops.
This signals the team’s required decompression time and is followed by numbers specifying the amount. When combined with the “LEVEL OFF” sign, then this denotes the amount of time required at a specific stop.
Signaler: “DECO” + “10” = ten minutes of deco time.
Teammate(s): “DECO” + “10” = ten minutes of deco time, confirms the plan.
Signaler: “LEVEL OFF” + 20 + (PAUSE) + “DECO” + “5” = At 20′, 5 minutes of deco time.
Teammate(s): “LEVEL OFF” + 20 + (PAUSE) + “DECO” + “5” = At 20′, 5 minutes of deco time, confirms the plan.
“UP TO NEXT STOP”
This signals tells the team to move up to the next stop. The team should repeat the signal back to the deco captain (person leading the decompression stops) to confirm the move.
While this signal can also be used to change team position or x-change an item, it’s most associated with gas switches. During the predetermined gas switch stop(s), the deco captain will signal switch to commence the sequence.
Here are some useful signs to provide team direction.
When these commands are given, it’s good procedure for every team member to respond with the same signal if there is agreement.
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“DIRECTION OF TRAVEL”
This sign directs the teams path of travel.
This sign simply tells the team to turn around. In a cave, this sign is used turn the team around but still continue with a dive. If the diver wants to terminate the dive, then “THUMBS/END OF DIVE” command signal is used instead.
Signaler: “TURN AROUND”
Teammate(s): “TURN AROUND”
“WAY TO THE SURFACE”
Also known as “way to the exit,” this communicates the direction to the team’s exit. The exit can be a entrance/exit of the cave system, the upline to the boat, or the direction of shore.
Signaler: “QUESTION” + “WAY TO SURFACE” = Which way to our exit?
Teammate(s): “THIS WAY TO THE SURFACE” = Responds to signalers query.
We can’t communicate with only (though I know some divers who like to try). We also need to let people know that there are issues – to tell someone there is a problem, to tell someone no, and to ask a question.
This scuba sign notes that there is an issue. The signaler then points to the problematic item to complete the sign.
Signaler: “Problem” + points to ear = equalization issues
Signaler: “Problem” + scooter = scooter/battery issues
Used when the signaler disapproves or disagrees with his teammates actions. This action is best done as if you’re a grade school teacher scolding a naughty student. Extra style points if you have your other hand on your hips.
Signaler: “No” + points to your camera = no more photos
Signaler: “No” + points to the primary tie = incorrect tie
One of the most useful signs, this starts a query to your teammates.
Signaler: “Question” + “Way to the Exit” = which way home?
Signaler: “Question” + “Deco” = How much deco obligation?